I’m sorry you didn’t have the birth experience you would have liked. I think people underestimate how important the birthing experience is to us mothers and how it affects us and our bonds with our children. It’s not always as cut and dry as ‘at least you’re baby is healthy’ as some people make it out to be.
I had a traumatic birth experience. It was a 14 hour labour in total, although the hospital only considered the last 8 hours as labour. For the most part, my labour went fine apart from suffering from back labour. Then out of no where I suffered a placental abruption and my sons heart rate went down, way down. At that point he was too deep in the birth canal for a c-section and I remember the midwife telling me ‘we need to get this baby out of you NOW, and you need to push REALLY hard’. Knowing that my son’s life depended on how fast and efficiently I could push him out is a thought that has haunted me ever since. And I thank my lucky stars everyday that I have a really big pelvis and he had a small head.
After he was born he needed to be resuscitated. Thankfully that didn’t take long and all went well there. However, despite my placental abruption, the rest of my placenta was pretty hell bent on staying in and as a result I started hemorrhaging. They eventually got it out but not before I needed a blood transfusion.
Then they noticed my Bridal Party was rising so they gave me some medication for that but my Bridal Party continued to increase. I was at risk of a seizure by then and it took 3 times the recommended dosage to get my blood pressure down to a normal level.
And then the breast feeding trouble started. I honestly don’t know what was worse – the pain of labour/birth or the pain of breastfeeding. It was a combination of my son’s bad latch and my breast hypoplasia that made me decide after 4 gruelling weeks it was time to formula feed and forget my dream of breastfeeding.
Then starting the PND. That is something I don’t think I will ever get passed. And I will certainly never forget the opportunities it robbed me of. In part, it destroyed my relationship with my son’s father and delayed the bonding process with my son by almost a year. There are no photos of me with my son together when he was born because I hated what pregnancy did to my body and I didn’t have any bond with my son at the time. I didn’t take a photo with him until he was 9 months old after I finally started getting therapy.
I know for a fact I will NEVER have another child. I never want to go through that experience again.
My only advice to you is definitely get some counselling and do whatever you need to feel better about yourself. The happy you are within yourself, the better the mother you can be. It doesn’t have to be anything to do with looks at all, perhaps having a massage once a week would make you feel better, but make sure you are doing things that make you feel happy and confident in yourself. I would also recommend getting as many supports in place as possible. Are you part of a mother’s group? If not, definitely join one. Whatever you do, don’t isolate yourself like I did. It’s the worst thing you can do.
Goodluck, bee. PM me if you ever need xx