#191 | Placental Abruption: Meghan's Third and Final Birth

December 14, 2022

Meghan Murray and her husband decided to have one more baby. She'd already experienced beautiful vaginal births with her first two boys and, like so many women, she mentally went through all the things she could do this time around to get things just right. In preparing for her dream birth, Meghan hired new midwives who practiced outside of a hospital setting and seemed perfectly aligned with her wishes. She remained fit, practiced Spinning Babies and learned relaxation techniques for a comfortable physiologic birth. She savored her pregnancy knowing it was her last, and excitedly planned her first water birth.

At 36 weeks, Meghan suddenly heard a pop and assumed her membranes had released. But instead of amniotic fluid, she saw blood -- and lots of it. As she and her husband left immediately for the hospital, Meghan knew a placental abruption had occurred.

Meghan is more than a year out from her birth, and talks to us about her journey of processing what happened. In particular, what it was like having a very traumatic birth her last time around, when her hopes and expectations were at their highest.

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View Episode Transcript

I immediately thought, oh my God, my water has broken, which has never happened to me before. In the past, my water always broke when I was pushing. And instead of, you know, water flowing out of me it was blood I had just gushing blood. When I saw the bleeding I just knew I said, Oh my gosh, I'm having a placental abruption. I know what this is, every single night, I would put him in the carrier and walk around the fields with him and, you know, like, talk to him and cry and apologize for not being there when he was born.

I'm Cynthia Overgard, owner of HypnoBirthing of Connecticut, childbirth advocate and postpartum support specialist. And I'm Trisha Ludwig, certified nurse midwife and international board certified lactation consultant. And this is the Down To Birth Podcast. Childbirth is something we're made to do. But how do we have our safest and most satisfying experience in today's medical culture? Let's dispel the myths and get down to birth.

So Meghan, it's so good to have you on down to birth show. You first reached out to me and Trisha last summer, you were podcast listener in Connecticut. And you wrote us a long emotional email about your third birth, your third boy, your first two births were lovely. And then you had a placental abruption for your third birth when you were planning this final birth to be like the choirs singing and the be all end all of your birth experiences. So you're here to tell that story. And a year ago, you were willing to tell it and you asked to tell it. But I said why don't you give it a long while till you finish processing? So why don't you introduce yourself. And before you get into your story, talk about just comment on what that processing might have done for you. And whether you think it was a good idea to wait before telling your story.

I'm sure thank you so much for having me. I have been such a fan of the show. And it's just, it really actually helped me so much in preparing for my third birth, even though it went in a totally different direction than I had hoped for. I have Yes, I have three boys. One is turning seven, a four year old and my baby is now 15 months. So it has been 15 months since his birth. And I would say that. I mean, I still think about it a lot. And I remember when I first I joined Cynthia as Postpartum Support Group as soon as I had him. And I remember Cynthia, you saying like, you're really going to go through ups and downs. And it's not a linear process. And I definitely have found that to be true. You know, the one year mark was very emotional for me to sort of like, come full circle and be reliving that experience a year later, you know, in my memories. So that was really important to me to sort of move through that whole first year, I think. And it was a totally different experience than after having my other two that I keep saying like, wow, this third baby has really like brought some new things into my life that I had not anticipated. I kind of felt like, wow, I've had two kids. I know what I'm doing. I've been through this, you know, birth and postpartum experience before. And it was so different this time.

So Meghan, you had to this is your third birth story that you're going to share. You had two vaginal births followed by your third birth being a C section birth and a placental abruption. Yes. So why don't you just begin by telling us what this experience was like compared to your other experiences?

Yes. So it was really interesting, because with my first baby, I had a condition called filamentous cord insertion. And so I had been a lot of fear had been put into me in terms of the birth. So I really had prepared myself that there might be a chance I would have a C section with my first and fortunately, that did not happen. And I was able to have a vaginal birth, and a really great recovery and everything was very smooth. And my second baby was like the dream birth where you labor at home. I walked to the beach while I was in labor, and I, you know, gave birth within a couple of hours of arriving at the birth center. So I had read some statistic about, you know, if you've had vaginal births already, the chances of having a C section are very very low. So I kind of had put it out of my head completely that that was going to be a possibility, I really was focused on the fact that I wanted to have a waterbirth. For the first time, I did so much preparation. This time I was doing HypnoBirthing, listening to the recordings, the meditations every day, I did spinning babies, and did their exercises, I read and learned so much about optimal positioning for birth. I really liked put a lot of time into preparing for this, and was sort of excited in a way I hadn't been with my other two, I think the first two, I had some fears going into birth. And this time, I had sort of really done a lot of work to move through that.

Were you planning a home or hospital birth or birth center birth for your third,
a birth center birth and a freestanding birth center. And my other two had been in a birth center within a hospital. So this was my first opportunity that I was getting to give birth in to have a water birth. I had labored in the tub before, but I hadn't been allowed to give birth in the tub. So I was kind of really hoping for that experience. I had changed practices this time, because I really was searching for a particular kind of midwifery practice, I'd always had midwives that I wanted a certain experience that I didn't feel I had gotten the first time. The first two times. I am one of those women who really enjoys being pregnant. I knew this is my last pregnancy. So I was kind of cherishing the last few weeks, the last couple of months of being pregnant, and sort of really had this vision of what the end of my pregnancy was going to look like. And I teach fitness classes. So I woke up. I was 36 weeks and like five days, I think pregnant. And I had gone to teach and I taught a fitness class that morning. And in the evening, I went to my midwifery appointment. And they actually did a biophysical profile on me. I think that's what it's called for. They like to see if I'm having any contractions and monitor the baby's movement just was what was the reason that 36 weeks because of my age? I was 38 at the time, and they said this is kind of standard practice. She did give me the option to say no. But it's very interesting, because everything checked out perfect.

Well, when you say she gave you the option to say no, you always had that option. Yes. You're a really thriving healthy woman. And it's just a shame. You know, I had my home birth at age 38. And my age never came up my entire pregnancy. And I'm just thinking that you felt by this pregnancy, you found just the right midwives. But still, from our perspective listening to this, like, Yeah, well, you still could have had a little more support a little more evidence based support there. But anyway, you did go get that check and everything came out fine. So at least you didn't have to worry and wonder after she brought it all up? Yes, it's true. I had everything came back great. The baby was moving a lot. It could feel him. I went home. And I did what I usually do at night, I was preparing to teach the next day. So I had everything set up. My house was kind of chaos, because I knew I was going to have the morning free. So I was like, I'll deal with everything in the morning and I went to sleep. And at about four in the morning I woke up because my middle child had woken up and I went to check on him and I was lying in bed and I felt some cramping. And I was kind of half asleep and I thought to myself, Oh, I must be just having some strong Braxton Hicks or my body's preparing. You know, I am getting into the kind of homestretch here. And I went back into my bed and I was lying there. And as I was lying there, I felt like a pop. And then, uh, gosh, I immediately thought, Oh, my God, my water has broken, which has never happened to me before. In the past. My water always broke when I was pushing. And so I'd never had that experience of your water breaking first. So that's what I thought had happened. And I went to the bathroom to check. And instead of, you know, water flowing out of me, it was blood. I had just gushing blood. And I sort of had this intuitive knowing inside of me. I had heard a story of a woman who had a placental abruption. Just I was listening to people's birth stories, and I thought, wow, this is a really interesting one. And I had listened to it, never thinking that this was going to happen to me, but when I saw the bleeding I just knew I said, Oh my gosh, I'm having a placental abruption. I know what this is. And I had this kind of real sense of calm come over me. And I went back, woke up my husband and said, We have to go to the hospital immediately. And you know, there are other points in my pregnancies where something has happened. And I've sort of been like, Oh, should I call the midwife Should I not, it's the middle of the night. And this was none of that. I just knew, I knew that I had to go immediately and get care. It was very intense. I called the midwife and she said, you know, yes, you need to go to the hospital immediately, and you're too far away to come to us. So go to whatever hospital is closest to you.

How are you? How are you feeling at this point about the baby and the baby's well being? Did you have an intuitive sense about that? Did you feel the baby moving? You didn't You don't sound like you were frightened.

I did not feel him moving at all. And that was frightening. But I had like this eerie calm to me about the whole thing, where I just see, I felt very laser focused on doing what I needed to do. And in that moment, when we were driving to the hospital, I said to my husband, like, you know, we're having the baby now, like, they don't send you home from this, you know, and he was like, okay, you know, he was like, okay, and I was texting my boss telling her I'm not gonna be able to work. I was just like, I had some like, and he was saying to me, like, what, how are you focused? I just said, I just know what I need to do. Like, I have to tell these people what's going on. And we have to get to the hospital. And just, I felt very calm. And I think I've wrote to you in the letter, I had written that. I had this mantra in my head, which was, I am brave, I am strong, and I can do this. And I've been sort of, you know, I'd been practicing the HypnoBirthing, meditations and all these kinds of mantras to myself for birth, and I felt like I did tap into that in this process, even though it was a very different experience than I thought I was going to need that for.

Let's just have Trisha explain to everyone what a placental abruption is. And I want to know, like, I want Trisha answer, just like how urgent is it? I mean, if it does, sometimes it's part of the placenta detach, can the whole thing detach? Can a woman know the difference? And then how much time is left? If the full placenta has detached? How much time does the baby have to get out? You know, so can you just tell us more about that first.

So a placental abruption is partial or complete and that means that the placenta has separated from the wall of the uterus a complete placental abruption is absolutely life threatening, and there's very little time most placental abruption. abruption is our partial. I'm assuming yours probably was partial.

I mean, I don't think they ever told me that I do have questions and retrospect about like, did I have a partial abruption earlier than full and then it fully detached? You know, there are things that I wonder about now, in retrospect, but it's hard to get answers to any of that because they, if your placenta has fully abrupted there's no there's no longer a lifeline to the baby. It's time is there. A very little I mean, once you've cut off blood supply to the baby, they no longer have a source of oxygen. So it's however many minutes a baby can live without oxygen. I don't know the exact number of minutes but it is definitely life threatening for the mother and the baby because she also is at risk of massive hemorrhage. If there's a full placental abruption. Most likely you had a partial abruption. And it may be about the time you got to the hospital it was approaching full abruption. I mean, it can start small and it can go bigger. It can be a full on all in one moment, but that is usually catastrophic.

So, when I tell you what happened at the hospital might give a little more insight into that because when I did get there, and they hooked me up to monitors and verify that the baby was alive, that he still had a heartbeat, they at first did think that I might be able to deliver him passionately. They said I was having contractions, which was what the cramping was, and I was dilating, but I wasn't very dilated at that time. The doctor on call who's, you know, nobody I'd ever met before, said You know, you've had two vaginal births. Let's see if you could, if you can deliver this baby vaginally as long as his heart rate stays.

That would indicate definitely that you did not have a full abruption because your placenta was still connected still operating.

And they did confirm just you know that it was a placental abruption. They they told me that and I kind of said yep, I know Did you know there was a piece of me that when they said that I was like, Oh, wow, that would be fantastic to have a vaginal delivery at this point. But then there was also this piece of me that felt, you know, I thought to myself, I can't move with blood without blood gushing, how am I going to push a baby out, you know, at this point. And he said, you know, we would recommend that you get an epidural in case, we have to do an emergency C section. And he said, I'm gonna give you a couple of minutes, you know, a few minutes just to digest all of this, and then we'll come back. This all happened very fast, though, I will say, because he walked away for just a couple of minutes, I barely had time to think about what was happening. And he walked back in and said, I'm so sorry, but we're watching the monitors. And the baby's heart rate is decelerating now very rapidly. And what he said to me is, we don't have time to even do the epidural, we have to get you in for an emergency C section immediately. And you know, there is, there was that moment in my head that I thought, what if I push, like, Can I push back on this do I like, and I just didn't feel that I couldn't in that moment. Because of course, the last thing I really wanted was to be under general anesthesia when my baby was born. But they were moving so fast. It was, you know, I tell people, it was like a scene out of Grey's Anatomy at that point where, you know, the doctor is yelling at the nurses and the nurses are trying to do everything fast. And for me, this was when the fear really said in their times and birth, and we have said this on the podcast before. When your baby is in danger, you will know when you don't have choices anymore. And you just do what they say. You will know. And you experience that you knew there was no opportunity to discuss risks, alternatives, benefits, what if I wait, I mean, it was obvious in everybody's energy in everything that was happening, that this was the only course of action?

Did it hit you in that moment that this was how you're going to experience your third birth?

Yeah, I mean, I, I did, I had that knowing, like I said, that I, you know, I just knew like, this has to happen. And I just have to be as brave and strong as I can in this moment. You know, for myself, and for my baby. And I, I really just like I said, I had that mantra in my head. And I just kept telling myself, I can do this, you know, I can do this. Because frankly, I was terrified. I've never had surgery before. I've only only ever been in the hospital for birth related things that were very normal, there was no complications. I just had to tell myself that and of course, they wouldn't let my husband come in with me because when you're under general anesthesia, they asked the husband to, to wait outside. And I sort of said to him, you know, the only thing I really got out was if the baby's okay, you have to do skin to skin as soon as possible. And, you know, he looked at me and said, of course, like, I know that we've had two kids. But, you know, that was the most important thing to me in that moment, that he would get the baby if I couldn't be awake and present that he would get the baby as soon as possible and be able to do that with him.

Are you saying you needed general anesthesia? Because there was no time to do the spinal?

Yes. Yes. Yeah, they prepped me really fast. They rushed my bed down the hall so quickly that they rammed it into the wall. And, you know, I was sort of saying to the nurse, like, am I gonna be okay? Am I gonna be okay? And she was like, I have twins, and I've had to go through this, you'll be fine. But you know, I was really, you know, I was really scared at that point. And they took me into the car, and they went to put the mask on top. And I felt like I couldn't breathe. So I asked them to, you know, I said, I can't breathe, and they pulled it sort of off of my face. So I guess I was inhaling it, but it wasn't fully covering. And because of that, I actually did feel them cut into me. And that was kind of my last memory before I was I went under.

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When I came out of it. You know, I was very groggy. And the first thing I noticed was that my husband was sitting right next to the bed holding the baby. So I knew he was okay. I said to myself, like they he wouldn't be here with me if he wasn't okay. And then I sort of allowed myself to surrender to this like pain and experience of coming out of the anesthesia, which was terrible, terrible. I mean, I I remember saying like, Oh my god, this is this is what coming out of a C section is like this is so different than a vaginal birth. Now I know. It was an emergency one and I was under general anesthesia. So I know that's not the experience of all women who goes through C-sections, but it was very, very different than the experience I had after delivering my babies vaginally. And then and then the the other thing that happened after was that the nurse said to me, Well, you're not you're too out of it to breastfeed, so we're gonna have to get the baby formula. And my eyes were closed, I was just listening to her and I kind of nodded my head and she left the room. And then I said to my husband, give me the baby. Give him to me. I breastfed, you know, two children. I know how to do this. And he and besides, all I wanted was to be able to hold that baby. And so he brought him over and I put him on my chest and he latched on immediately. And then the nurse came back and she saw what was going on. And so she called the lactation consultant who came in and sort of helps me through the first feeding. But that was like, really, you know, I just again, it was that knowing like, I know, I can do this.

You weren't gonna get this experience without some rhetoric put on you. But you knew the difference. You knew? Yeah. Yeah, stand up for yourself.

Yes. And because he was 36 weeks, they wanted us to do these blood sugar test checks. Because they said if he did not have certain readings, they would have to take him to the NICU. And it was so funny, because the nurse would say, well, I'll come back in three hours when you feed him again. And I said, Well, he's not going to go three hours without nursing. He's going to nurse in half an hour again. And she just kept looking at me like, okay, just call me I guess. And there was a midwife on staff and the midwife came in, and she said, I saw your chart, I saw what happened, I know where you're supposed to deliver, and that this is very far from your plan. And she's like, I just wanted to check in with you and see how you're doing and she was so kind and she let me kind of process the whole experience and cry. And, you know, she said there was no other way that this could have happened, like you had to go through the C section. She was like, again, I looked at your records and I saw what happened and it just, you know, there was no other way. So she was very reassuring and made me feel validated and and kind of gave me the space to to process some of that And she also said about the baby and his nursing. She said, You know what you're doing. Don't listen to them. Just keep, keep breastfeeding him like you're doing. He's, he's doing great. So that was really, it was really nice to have that support. And, you know, my husband wanted me to add in here that for him, you know, he said, the two things that stand out for him was how well we felt like we communicated through the whole thing and supporting each other. And that it was, again, that kind of knowledge of what we needed to do. And we just really, really worked well worked together and felt like we were a team. And then also, he said, he really got the baby. He said about 10 minutes after he was delivered. Because they did a very quick assessment, and he was doing great. And they handed him off, and he did the skin to skin. And he said, for him, that actually was a really special experience to be the first one to hold him because the babies had always gone straight to my chest. And so he feels like he has this extra little bond with our youngest child, because of that experience, because of him being sort of the first person that got to really hold him and be with him. So he wanted me to make sure that I added that on.

That's great. And he was born healthy and fine and breathing. And, yeah, 100%. So that only little piece was that blood sugar reading that we needed to pass, which we did. And the only other piece about the baby was that we hadn't picked a name yet, we had a very difficult time picking a name for him with our other two weeks sort of had names picked out ahead of time. And I had said, I think there's something about meeting this baby that we're going to, we need to meet him in order to know what his name is going to be. And you know, as I was coming out of general anesthesia, I said, I think his name was supposed to be wild. Or I said that just that was so wild. And we had that was one of our names on like a long list, but it wasn't kind of at the top. But I said I think his name is supposed to be wild, or it actually could have been wildest three births. Megan, you're so different from how you talked about your birth a year ago? I don't know whether you're aware of it or not. I know because it isn't linear. But you were full of emotion full of tears, it was hard to get a sentence out about your birth. And you do have a different perspective now and a clarity. And in looking back, can you name what was so painful about your birth? Because for most women having a C section, my understanding is that the pain of not knowing whether they really needed it is just an indescribable anguish, regret, self blame, you don't have that particular thing to struggle with. Because you know, you needed this. It might have been more around the fact that it was your final birth. And you had done so much like was it that was it the irony of just trying your hardest this time? What was causing so much emotion in all this time?

Yeah, it was definitely not getting the birth that I had hoped and wished for that was a piece of it that I had really, you know, thinking this was my final birth, knowing this was my final birth, I'd really had a vision of what I I had hoped for it to be. And it was yeah, it was very painful having to let go of that. It was very painful having to let go of the last three and a half weeks of my pregnancy. You know, and I think that that can be a hard sentiment for some women to relate to, because I know that I have a lot of friends who at the end, they're just so ready to be done. But I was I did not feel that way. I always feel a sense of loss after I give birth. Just all of a sudden, you're not connected to that little being like you were before you were one being and now you're too and so I always experience a little bit of that. And this time I experienced like so much loss in the sense that I didn't get to sort of experience those last few weeks of being pregnant and connected in that way, knowing that I wasn't going to ever be pregnant again. And that that was kind of the end of what my Express pregnancy and giving birth experiences were. It felt like an end of an era but not the end that I had wanted or hoped for. And you know, we we talked about the Cynthia in our support group that so many people said to me, Oh, you're so lucky. You're okay and the baby's okay. And that's all that matters and that of course It is important, but that was like the baseline, you know, importance and then everything else, you know, you feel like you have to have gratitude for, for just that fact that everyone was healthy in the end and okay, and like everything else doesn't matter. But there was so much more that had happened. And yeah, I couldn't, I'm actually surprised. I'm not teary at this, talking to you about this, because I do find myself still getting teary about it. You know, if I see like, you know, on TV, or in a movie, a woman having a C section, it feels very triggering for me, I get very just emotional about that. I really do feel a lot of compassion and empathy. Now, I have many I know many, many women who have had C sections. And so in a sense, I have this feeling that I can relate to them in a way that I couldn't before. I think that I did take a sense of pride and my first two births and sort of feel like, wow, I really I did it. I did it vaginally, I did it without an epidural, you know. And now I feel so much more like compassionate and empathetic to everyone who does end up with a C section, whether it was warranted or not. And sort of even more sad for women who do have to have them when they're not necessary.

Did this experience change the way you view birth at all? Did it create any sense of fear around birth or sort of just that feeling of like, birth accidents happen? Sometimes difficult things happen on birth? And thank goodness, we have the resources that we have when we need them? How would you feel about giving birth again?

Yeah, I've thought about this a lot. Because, yes, there was, you know, there was a part of me that I thought I was just going to be done after my third baby. And there has been a part of me that has felt like no, I, I want to have another child, I want to have another experience. But there's a piece of me that is afraid to now that feels like what if that happens again? And we aren't, you know, quote unquote, as lucky as I was this time. So yes, it has changed my feelings about birth, I do see it in a sort of, you know, I, I think a lot of times we talk about birth being an natural thing that women are meant to do, which I believed so wholeheartedly, and I really did feel like I was meant to have children and give birth to them. And so this has sort of given me this, like, wow, there are times when it is a medical emergency thing that happens, and there is that piece of fear in me around it. Which, you know, I feel sad about to I don't want to feel like that about birth. But I do. And I do wonder like, Would I be able emotionally to ever go through a pregnancy and birth again, after having this experience?

It's a difficult feeling to grapple with. It's because we do trust birth, and we need to trust birth and birth is trustworthy. The vast, vast, vast majority of the time. Yeah, but nature is not perfect.

You know, and I, it's hard not to question why it happened. You know, I sometimes go back to those last few weeks in wonder, did something happen that I totally missed? When I got to the hospital, and they asked me, you know, all these questions, did you fall down? Do you drink alcohol? Do you smoke? Did you have COVID? I mean, the first thing they did was give me a COVID test? And the answer was no to everything. You know, I have. And you had a biophysical profile earlier in the day that showed that everything was absolutely okay. Right. Yeah.

I don't know why it happened. And I think that probably is one of the hardest parts of it.

Do you think this would have been a different experience for you had you had a pretty standard C section where you had a spinal instead and you are conscious and awake? How would that have been different for you would have been would it have been easier?

I mean, I think the the fact that I wouldn't have missed my baby being born would have made a huge difference. That is something you know that I think being under general anesthesia really took away from me, right that I didn't, you know, I didn't get to hear him cry when he came out. I didn't get to see him. You know, by the time he was handed to me, he'd already been wrapped up. You know, it was just I really missed that moment. And I was worried that that was going to affect our bond when he was really, really little within that first month, we went up to Vermont, where my parents live, and we were staying in this house with fields and every single night, I would put him in the carrier and walk around the fields with him. And, you know, like, talk to him and cry and apologize for not being there when he was born. See, now I am crying. So, you know, I think that would have changed things. I've seen some C section videos where you know, women have these births, where they take the baby and immediately just move the baby from the stomach right onto the chest and do this kind of more gentle cesarean. And I'm sure that if I had been able to plan something like that, I could have planned it in a way that was, you know, more gentle, and bonding,

You basically did do that with your husband. I mean, from the baby's experience, it really was the same as going into a baby is born, knowing both parents, the voices and the sense and Wilder did get to have that really lovely gentle bonding experience. I like to remind people that my best friend from college had her only two children twins at 31 weeks, and they weighed about two and three pounds each. And they were in the NICU for eight and 10 weeks each. And they're like happy loving, well adjusted, secure, kind, beautiful teenagers now, because it doesn't come down to that hour after birth. I mean, I didn't have that with my mom after birth, probably almost no one in our generations did and what a child needs is a stable secure home where they're where they're wanted. And women who are more sensitive, the child has the benefit of a mom who's more sensitive and empathetic, to raise them. But those sensitive moms beat themselves up and feel guilty over things very easily. And that's the unfortunate thing about being a sensitive, deeply feeling woman. It's that your child has more advantages as far as the emotional intelligence and empathy it'll receive. But they also have a mom who's beating themselves up all the time and feeling like they're not doing it just right. You know, when people say to you, you have this healthy child, they're all people really do mean, well, no one wants to see a woman suffer after birth. And they're always saying things like that, but no one has to remind you, that you ended up with that you ended up alive, because you had two other boys first that you definitely couldn't leave behind, but that your baby was well. And we have to give room for grieving the birth experience that we didn't have. And that's what we rob women out of when we jump in with trying to make them feel better.

Yeah, and it was, you know, I did join your Postpartum Support Group, Cynthia, and that was so key for me during that time, just to have, you know, a space where everyone was sort of going through the same things at the same time, week after week. I know there were a number of women in our group who had had C sections at that point. And so I think it made me feel less like alone, maybe in that experience. But yeah, I love what you're saying too, because I do think that women be we beat ourselves up a lot about things that are really out of our control.

We've shared quite a few stories on the podcast of mothers who, for whatever reason, traumatic birth, or even a non traumatic, but just overwhelming birth, we're bonding with their baby has been delayed, sometimes for many months. Some mothers, you know, haven't felt like they could really bond with their baby until they were six or nine months old, or even a year old, but it still happens. So Megan, thank you for sharing this story. Many women are sharing their birth stories on this podcast after they've had their first birth be a traumatic, difficult birth, and they're sharing their sort of redemptive birth story. And this is the opposite experience. And certainly there are women out there who are in the same boat as you. What what do you want those women to know? What do you want to share with the women who have had great birth experiences followed by something that's a lot more difficult and even traumatic?

Well, I think one thing that's been important for me is that my last birth doesn't negate my other two births. So remembering that I've had those experiences as well. Um, I remember after I had my first child, and I was with a group of women who we'd all been in prenatal yoga together, and then we'd all had our babies around the same time and they were telling their stories, like, a lot of them were I had a C Section I, and somebody said, What about your birth? And I said, you know, oh, yeah, I had Silas vaginally, and they said, Did you get an epidural? And I said no, and one of the women said, Of course you didn't get an epidural, you're all you're so natural or something like that. And that was my identity, you know, in terms of giving birth. So yes, it is. It's a shift in the way I perceived myself, I guess, for me, it's helped to sort of rewrite my story, you know. So when I tell my story, not just telling about the really hard parts, but about telling the parts where I was really strong and in control, you know, the way that I handled the situation, the way that I took control with breastfeeding, something that I knew I could do and I could do for my baby. I think that has really helped me to take pride in those moments. But also, I think, you know, just to know that you're never alone, that there are other people out there who have had similar experiences and that it is all part of sort of this women supporting women I think of it like this really big circle of all of us sort of supporting each other through all of these experiences and that has been something that for me, tapping into that has really helped.

Thank you for joining us at the Down To Birth Show. You can reach us @downtobirthshow on Instagram or email us at Contact@DownToBirthShow.com. All of Cynthia’s classes and Trisha’s breastfeeding services are offered live online, serving women and couples everywhere. Please remember this information is made available to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is in no way a substitute for medical advice. For our full disclaimer visit downtobirthshow.com/disclaimer. Thanks for tuning in, and as always, hear everyone and listen to yourself.

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About Cynthia Overgard

Cynthia is a published writer, advocate, childbirth educator and postpartum support specialist in prenatal/postpartum healthcare and has served thousands of clients since 2007. 

About Trisha Ludwig

Trisha is a Yale-educated Certified Nurse Midwife and International Board Certified Lactation Counselor. She has worked in women's health for more than 15 years.

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