Dear Henci, I have 6 children. My first were vaginal births and easy enjoyable experiences. Then I became pregnant with twins. I went into labour at just under 34 weeks and was forced into a cesarean.( too long to explain here but hospital has since admitted there was no medical need for section). I found this very distressing. 6 years later I was pregnant again and developed pre eclampsia that my doctor and midwife ignored and told me I was worrying too much . I struggled for about 8 weeks with swollen hands and feet and other symptoms and repeatedly being told I was worrying too much. After my last appointment with my midwife I took myself to hospital and pre eclampsia was diagnosed. I had my baby a couple of days later by cesarean at 35 weeks and 2 days. In was told I couldn't have a vbac because they could not induce me because of previous cesarean. Again very distressing. 3 years later I became pregnant by surprise, everything seemed to go well physically but I could not accept the pregnancy emotionally at all. Then at 24 weeks I had sugar in my water and was put on insulin . I had hypos nearly everyday. I lost 2 stone in the last 3 months of my pregnancy. When I had the baby I weighed less than I did before I got pregnant. Any way, when I got to 36 weeks this time I began to believe I was pregnant and got excited. I agreed a plan to be induced at 38 weeks and have a vbac. At 37 weeks The baby was scanned and appeared to weigh just under 6lb. So I was offered a cesarean. I refused as I still wanted to have a vbac. I agreed to come in to have a trace each day and to come back in to be induced later in 38 the week. One day before I turned 38 weeks I had a trace and both me and the baby were fine. I was about to leave when a doctor who didn't know me( it was the weekend). Asked why I was having a vbac.I told him was because I thought it was safer. He said because I was having hypos ( which I had been having throughout time on insulin) that my placenta was probably failing and should have a section that night. i should stay in hospital and be constantly monitored because if I fell asleep I might not notice the baby stop moving. I was distraught. I called my midwife and she arranged for me to have my waters broken on the unit to try for my vbac. Despite contracting almost straight away and having them about every ten minutes and the baby remaining fine I could nor cope with the fear. I could not sit, stand ,lie down I could not rest believing that my baby could die any second. I just gave in and I think I went a liitle mad. I had a cesarean and my baby practically roared at the surgeon.She weighed 6 lb. She is now 18 months old and wonderful and still breast feeding. I however suffered severe PTSD and have been having councelling. I still suffer flashbacks and it was many months before I believed she was not going to die any second. I have read a great deal since her arrival. I feel I didn't need insulin and that's why I lost so much weight and had hypos all the time. I did think the healthy eating plan was good. I am 5foot 7 and wear size 16 clothes. Am I mad for thinking this ? I feel that I have gone from a normal women to a wreck. If I were to have another child do you think I stand any chance of being treated like a normal women? I would appreciate your thoughts. I had my first child at 24 and I will be 40 next week. Thank you for your time. Becca
It sounds like you have been through some very difficult, frightening, and disempowering birth experiences. You are doing the right thing in getting help with the psychological aftermath. If you want another resource, I recommend Solace for Mothers, a peer support group for women who have had traumatic births.
I think that yes, you absolutely have a chance of changing this pattern should you decide to have another baby, but I think it depends first, on your working through the emotional issues so they don't come back to bite you in a subsequent pregnancy or labor, second, on making thoughtful choices of your care providers and place of birth, and third, on preplanning for potential triggering scenarios so that you can handle things differently instead of reacting automatically. Your therapist should be able to help you with all of these.
You don't mention a partner or other loved ones as you told your story, but whoever would be with you during pregnancy and labor also needs to be on the same page you are and ready and willing to support you in your decisions, so you may have work to do in that arena as well. It isn't unlikely that if they have been with you during your prior experiences, they, too, have emotional issues to work through.
P.S. It sounds like you may be a woman of size. If so, I recommend the blog The Well-Rounded Mama.