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How do you heal from a traumatic birth?

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I had an amazing homebirth with my first ds in July 2011.

I was planning a second homebirth with my second baby who was due April 8th of this year.  In early March, I started having some issues.  I went to the hospital to get checked out, and long story short, they discovered I had stage 3 cancer.

At 35w6d, I had an emergency c-section, total hysterectomy (cancer originated in my fallopian tube and spread), and cancer debulking surgery.  I had the c-section under general anesthesia, so I didn't get to meet Lucia until the next day.  She was then transferred to a different hospital with a NICU because of breathing issues.  She had to be intubated and tube fed.  I didn't get to hold or nurse her for a week after she was born.

I got to nurse for a total of one week before starting aggressive chemo.  Natural birth and nursing are both SO important to me, and both got taken away.  I'm still having a hard time coping with these things.  I've healed physically from the surgery, but not emotionally.  Lucia gets exclusive donor breast milk, and she is doing wonderfully.  She turned 4 months old yesterday.  I try to look at the postives, but some days are really hard.  I can never have more babies, and I was robbed of so much with my last.

How have you coped with your birth/parenting plan going down the tubes?

CafeMom Tickers
by on Jul. 11, 2014 at 6:45 AM
Replies (21-23):
by on Jul. 13, 2014 at 7:16 PM

It sounds like you are finding it hard to forgive your body and forgive yourself for things beyond your control. The ultimate goal of any birth plan is a happy, healthy baby, right? Your daughter is a beautiful reminder of what your body is capable of . 

by on Jul. 13, 2014 at 7:17 PM

You may want to find a therapist to talk to. I don't think it is just the birthing experience that you are dealing with but your health as well.  You have not been through an easy experience.  Your plan may not be what you wanted but you are blessed with a healthy little one.  You may not be able to give birth to anymore children but if it is important for you to add to your family, you could look into adoption.  Right now, it sounds like you need to talk to someone and try to accept the life you have now... not dwell on what you lost.

I do realize this is not an easy thing but is it possible.

Good luck.

by on Jul. 13, 2014 at 10:51 PM

The best thing you can do is just tell yourself that you will be there for everything else. By going through chemo and the maitenance afterwards you are making sure you will be. Snuggling her while she is getting a bottle, looking in her eyes, talking to her, stroking her head, etc. Basically doing everything you would do if you were nursing is bonding. You're doing great in the daily everyday stuff and you are making sure you will be there for your kids tomorrow. I'm sure she will understand why when she is older. 

Quoting Freckles0808:

I can't breastfeed on chemo, unfortunately.  My plan was to pump and dump for the 18 weeks of chemo, then nurse her again.  I didn't know I'd be getting over a year of maintenance chemo after.  I pumped for 3 months, then my oncologist dropped that bomb on me. It was devastating.  I really struggled getting past it, and I even struggled to bond with her without nursing.  I nursed my ds for 27 months.  I've slowly began to accept it, and I've found other ways to bond with her.  It's been rough.  :/

Quoting FrumpyMama:

Even though my first birth was no where NEAR as traumatic as yours or my cousins (she had eclampsia that caused her to pass out, she had an emergency section at 32wks, her dd was only 3lbs. My cousin and her dd both had to stay in the hospital for a month.)  The best advice that came from her was just move forward. Don't think about what happened, it was what it was and there is no rewind or erase button in life. You're both alive and healthy. Just do everything as you would of done it anyway, babywear, breastfeed, cosleep, etc. Also, check around your area, I'm sure there are mom groups that you can go to that other moms with similar experiences go to. Talking is the best healer. :o)

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