or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › Non-natural birth & immediate bonding
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Non-natural birth & immediate bonding - Page 4

post #61 of 154
I should add, in case my "creds" make a difference as to whether you listen:

2 unmedicated hospital births, including a spontaneous FER of a 10#3oz baby.
Nursed both. Bonded immediately and intensely with both... I still remember the first night with #1, unable to sleep, staring at him in amazement and wonder that this was my baby and he was *here*.

I can honestly say that none of my friends who gave birth in a hospital have described their first reaction to motherhood as overwhelmingly fearful as you describe. Some described some anxiety at going home and being alone with the baby for the first time -- but that right there speaks to my big post above - human mothers do best with role modeling and support from experienced mothers.

FWIW, the local hospital leaves baby on mom's belly for up to an hour post birth and then performs necessary checks in mom's arms if possible and in the room definitely.
post #62 of 154
I am a little taken aback that people would actually judge an entire motherhood by how a few hours at the beginning happened.

FTR, I started my first labor with plans of a natural child birth, but felt like something wasn't quite right. I was right. He was in totally the wrong position and wouldn't engage in my pelvis at all. Not even close. I had an epi, thank goodness, because a few hours later we started losing his heartbeat during contractions and I was rushed (literally, running the gurney to the ER and cutting as the drop cloth was being set up) for an emergency c-section, he was blue (first APGAR=2). Then my blood pressure dropped out too. I actually don't really remember much of that first week because I was so sick and traumatized. He was an extreme high needs baby and never was out of arms for the first year or more. (he even slept on top of me because he couldn't sleep without movement)

My second was a planned c-section, with multiple complications, the biggest being pre-eclampsia. (also throwing up multiple times a day, not gaining weight, and generally being sick as a dog the whole pregnancy). Her birth was healing and wonderful after the first terrifying experience.

A close relative's birth was in a commune, the midwife on call but not in the room, delivered in a warm pool with her husband catching. A dream birth...candles, music, outdoors, UC.

I cloth diapered, baby wore, nursed my first until 5.5yo, my second is 4.5 and still occasionally nurses, my oldest had only organic whole foods and no sugar for the first few years, I homeschool, I am totally into gentle discipline and have two wonderful, peaceful, energetic kids.

The relative with the "perfect birth" cloth diapered for a week, but decided it was too much a PITA, had a sling, but never used it (used the bucket seat and actually hardly ever held him), stopped breastfeeding in a week, never really bonded to him, and eventually actually gave up her parental rights (which, honestly, was the best thing she could have done given the circumstances) to the father because she wanted to travel from commune to commune and a baby wasn't convenient for that lifestyle to her.

How the first day of parenting went has no relationship to how the rest of the lifetime goes. None. I have also never heard of or experienced being afraid of the baby at birth. I was afraid *for* my baby...blue and lifeless will do that to you, but once he pinked up and started crying, that fear was gone. I was nervous and excited, but not afraid.
post #63 of 154
for my own part, i had that feeling of "omg! i'm completely and totally responsible for the care of this being!" moment when my parents left after their first visit.

i had a pleasurable, unassisted homebirth.

i don't know if it was 'fear' as i generally experience fear differently, but it was an overwhelming sense of responsibility and awe.

personally, i found mothering to be easy. i found the changes in the adults and our family dynamics to be very difficult. and, i found the lack of recognition from everyone to be very difficult and emotional.

when i say lack of recognition, i mean that my mother and father would talk about how he looked so much like my sister and how exicted my sister is to be an aunt and how much my sister loves him (even before she'd even met him), and so on and so on. my ILs talked about how he looked so much like DH or their relatives.

once he was born, it was as if i ceased to exist to them, and that apparently my DH and my sister had somehow hatched him and the reason that he is so happy, healthy, well adjusted, and all of that other stuff is because of how much they were helping out (you know, visiting once a week and holding him) and how great my sister and my DH were.

my day-in, day-out work (which i loved and found easy), and my connection with my child (he has my body type, a similar sense of humor, a similar physicality, and a similar love of food and sleep) were never acknowledged or mentioned, and at times, it was as if i didn't exist at all. For example, if you look at the pictures my ILs took each week for the first 6 weeks of my DSs life--i'm not in *any* of them. in some, they had me pose, but i'm actually cut out of frame!

that built a lot of resentment in me, and there was frustration, and a bit of depression too.

i love my son dearly, an fiercely protective, and a confident mother. I am happy to mother; but i was not happy with the sudden invisibility i experienced.
post #64 of 154
I can't believe somebody is insinuating -- on MDC, of all places, where we are supposed to be respectful of others' experiences and perspectives -- that my birth was any less right than hers. Or that it made me any less of a mother.

Seriously, the OP is making an extremely insulting allegation here.

I had the MDC ideal birth the first time around. A medically necessary c-section the second. The very suggestion that I couldn't mother my second child as well as the first because of the way she was born is appalling.

I suppose adoptive mothers can't cut the mustard either. Indeed.
post #65 of 154
i think that the moderators have already asserted, and the OP herself, that she is not insinuating that one can't be a good mother without a natural birth.

Rather, she is wondering whether birth experiences and/or interventions in birth--whether necessary or not--can impact the mother's ability to mother by making it more difficult for her.

Level of difficulty in mothering doesn't mean that one mother is better than another. I know women who have had difficulty mothering (as per their own descriptions) who are amazing mothers to their children. I also know women who (like me) have it easy in mothering, and I know that they are amazing mothers (i like to think that i am too, but who knows).

so, i think that if we move forward with that point--whether or not one's own birth experience made mothering more difficult or not--then it will be a more interesting conversation.

not to moderate or anything, just to say, we could talk about the interesting issues of Primate Parenting is Learned Parenting.
post #66 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaKat View Post
I can't believe somebody is insinuating -- on MDC, of all places, where we are supposed to be respectful of others' experiences and perspectives -- that my birth was any less right than hers. Or that it made me any less of a mother.

Seriously, the OP is making an extremely insulting allegation here.

I had the MDC ideal birth the first time around. A medically necessary c-section the second. The very suggestion that I couldn't mother my second child as well as the first because of the way she was born is appalling.

I suppose adoptive mothers can't cut the mustard either. Indeed.
Unfortunately, I don't know if the OP is still listening. It looks like she got a link to one article that she believes entirely supports her original theory, is satisfied with that one viewpoint, and is no longer following the rest of the conversation?
post #67 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
i think that the moderators have already asserted, and the OP herself, that she is not insinuating that one can't be a good mother without a natural birth.

Rather, she is wondering whether birth experiences and/or interventions in birth--whether necessary or not--can impact the mother's ability to mother by making it more difficult for her.

Level of difficulty in mothering doesn't mean that one mother is better than another. I know women who have had difficulty mothering (as per their own descriptions) who are amazing mothers to their children. I also know women who (like me) have it easy in mothering, and I know that they are amazing mothers (i like to think that i am too, but who knows).

so, i think that if we move forward with that point--whether or not one's own birth experience made mothering more difficult or not--then it will be a more interesting conversation.

not to moderate or anything, just to say, we could talk about the interesting issues of Primate Parenting is Learned Parenting.
It's a ridiculous point. One day does not a mother make. You could never in a million years convince me that a baby's journey through the birth canal makes mothering easier.

It's one day. ONE DAY.

I dare you to line up ten women in a room and pick out which ones gave birth vaginally in a yurt while chewing on a stick, and which ones were knocked out cold in the OR with eighteen medical professionals standing around, on the basis of their mothering skill set.
post #68 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post


This is one of the most condescending, dismissive and insulting posts I've read on this subject in a looonnnng time.

I'm sorry you feel like that was condescending...it wasn't meant to be. I know you don't know me from adam on this board, but for me, there was a lot of truth to the matter. My first birth was horrible. I ended up with PPD afterwards. My second birth was horrifying and tragic and resulted in the death of my son and a huge legal battle and me spending years dealing with PTSD afterwards. A natural homebirth was absolutely out.of.the.question for me. A c-section was my only option after that. When my daughter was about to be born, I had a choice to make...I could choose to be resentful and angry over the fact that her brother's death is resulting in her being born a c-section and feel like my body failed me and therefore I was not worthy of her, or I could accept the fact that she would be born a c-section, work to make it as best an experience as I could, and own that as the beginning to her story. As much as I never never never wanted a c-section and I really wanted that natural birth, I did my best throughout my pregnancy with her to go into it with a positive attitude. If I would have gone into it angry and resentful, I don't know that I could have bonded with her as quickly as we did.

But that's my story. For me, it *was* mind over matter. I could have felt backed into a corner and like a failure and let that affect how I felt about my daughter, or I could work to make it the best experience I could have. Trust me, for a long time, I thought that wouldn't be possible...we wanted to adopt all of our future children (and did adopt one) because I didn't know if I could make a c-section a good experience and the experience of our son's death was so traumatic. But, when we were surprised with Amelia's pregnancy, I had to make a decision as to how I would deal with her birth.

It might not be the same for everyone. But, I do know that for some people, a positive attitude can make a world of difference. Obviously I'm not talking about really traumatic births. Losing a child or almost losing your life is not really something that easily lends to a positive attitude, obviously.
post #69 of 154
It is worth pointing out that the crux of the argument, that c-section mothers are inferior, is based on a completely unsubstantiated theory of Michel Odent.

Bonding with your baby is an incredibly complex interplay of culture, situation, temperment of mother, child, support systems, family of origin. Reducing it to a single hormone is a ridiculously simplistic view of childbirth and parenting.
post #70 of 154
I think equating a person's ability to parent based on their birth experience is akin to basing their ability to parent on a moment in the grocery store.

I hang out with a wide variety of people. One of my friends has had one c section, one non med and one epidural. Her kids are some of the strongest attached kids ever. Three completely different births, three strong bonds, one strong family. Her first was a c-section to boot.

My two children were delivered differently. I just followed my instincts with them both and it seems to have proven well. Hoping for a non-med birth with number three, but if something happens, I refuse to be ashamed or think of myself anything less as a mother or my ability to parent based on the birth. It's an important moment, but if you ask my 4 year old, it's probably not the most important moment in our relationship.
post #71 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyster View Post
I think equating a person's ability to parent based on their birth experience is akin to basing their ability to parent on a moment in the grocery store.

I hang out with a wide variety of people. One of my friends has had one c section, one non med and one epidural. Her kids are some of the strongest attached kids ever. Three completely different births, three strong bonds, one strong family. Her first was a c-section to boot.

My two children were delivered differently. I just followed my instincts with them both and it seems to have proven well. Hoping for a non-med birth with number three, but if something happens, I refuse to be ashamed or think of myself anything less as a mother or my ability to parent based on the birth. It's an important moment, but if you ask my 4 year old, it's probably not the most important moment in our relationship.
Good for you. Threads like this make it hard, sometimes, though.

I totally get that the culture of this forum is pro-natural childbirth. I'm as pro-natural childbirth as it gets. But not to the point where I think it's okay to post threads implying that you can't be a good mom if you don't have one.

And if anybody thinks that's not what's going on here, please refer to the title of the thread.
post #72 of 154
I agree. Birth is one day, and while that day may have a big impact on the next day, and the next, and the next...3 years out, it already matters very little. I can only imagine that 30 years out, the circumstances of birth hardly matter at all.

This is not to denigrate people's efforts to get the births they want. I tried very hard for the same (didn't work out for me, but that's another thread). But to think having a natural birth will put you in a better position to mother, forever...that's just silly.
post #73 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaKat View Post
I totally get that the culture of this forum is pro-natural childbirth. I'm as pro-natural childbirth as it gets. But not to the point where I think it's okay to post threads implying that you can't be a good mom if you don't have one.
Oh, the OP clarified, it's just harder to be a good mom if you don't have one.

And since that's the thread she asked us to expound on, mothering is the most natural and wonderful thing I've done. I've had difficulty with things all my life, but mothering came as natural as sunrise.
post #74 of 154
I had a 'natural birth' with DS. NOT by choice at the time. I was all for epidurals a planned c-section even entered my mind a few times during pregnancy. I knew I would give breastfeeding a 'go' but wasnt hell bent on it. Then I had such a speedy, easy labor I had him completely naturally, no IV's no nothing. I then began to research more into childbirth as it interested me, id been through it. I did co-sleep out of necessity but I never 'wore' him, he had formula a few times, I left him when ever I could to 'get a break' but even so I was/am a 'good mommy'

With this baby its so far looking like a planned c-section due to 'breechness' which im not thrilled about, now I know i can do it I wanted another natural birth..but ho hum, what will be will be...will having a c-section make me a suddenly 'worse mother' to this baby...I doubt it, infact since DS's birth ive become much more 'educated' on certain issues and will probably be a better mother in terms of MDC-things I plan to baby wear this next baby, actually breastfeed 100% instead of pumping for 11 months, I 'plan' on co-sleeping instead of just kind of falling into it through sheer exhuastion, cloth diapering my new baby (didnt with my son until he was 14 months)

so im not sure what consitutes a 'good mother' but even if this baby ends up being a c-section birth i am 100% sure i will be as good a mother as I have been to my son and in many ways probably 'better' as poor DS was my practise baby
post #75 of 154
obviously, you are not reading me properly.

i asserted "whether or not the birth experience impacted mothering for the individual."

you cannot speak for every individual woman. and, each individual woman can determine for herself and express for herself whether or not the birth experience that she had impacted her mothering (made it more difficult or easy in her opinion).

you can speak for yourself and assert that 1. your birth experience did not impact the level of difficulty or ease in your mothering, and also 2. that in your opinion, birth doesn't impact women's experience of difficulty or ease in mothering in general. (this is what i perceive you to be asserting.)

for myself, my birth experience does impact how easy i find mothering. it is not the only reason that i find mothering easy, but i believe it is one of those reasons.

likewise, i think that the negative experience of the change in family dynamics also "pushed" me more into focusing on mothering. It was the only real positive thing that i was experiencing at that moment, and so i really focused on it because it felt good to be doing something positive that felt good. Another reason might be that my son is a very healthy, easy going baby.

This is not to say that i am "better" than anyone else as a mother--regardless of birth experiences, difficulty in mothering that they may experience, familial experiences, or whether or not their child is high needs or easy going like my guy--most mothers are, or strive to be, "good moms."

I am interested in hearing from individual women whether or not they feel, think, or believe that their birth experiences impacted their mothering.

----

what i'm also really thinking about is that situation of primates learning from each other. I parent in a way that is very much unlike every young woman whom i know personally. I know very few women who are parents at all (many of my friends choose to be childless or simply do not have children yet). some of my friends have grown (teen and older) children.

i have been a participant on mothering.com for years, unassistedchildbirth.com, and i have read a number of books and articles on EC, UC, BFing etc. I did have to learn to breast feed with an LC, as my son had trouble latching (too strong, kept pushing out the nipple so we had to train him to draw it in). but before he was born i spent very little time with pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and ECers in person.

i went to one EC gathering about 1 week before DS's birth; i went to 1 LLL meeting after his birth (when he wasn't latching and before i got to a LC); and i taught a bit of prenatal yoga before i was pregnant and during but didn't really "learn" about parenting in these ways.

i'm just wondering what the 'exposure' to learning it needs to be or is. is it "enough" to learn through the web site, magazine, and books? a few minutes with a lactating, nursing woman or an ecing one?

anyway, it's interesting to me.
post #76 of 154
and for the heck of it, we could also explore other factors such as partnership situation, age, pregnancy experience, friendship experiences, familial experiences, educational opportunities (related to child rearing), and a variety of other topics to determine whether or not they had an effect on the individual woman's ease or difficulty in mothering.

i think education is an interesting one. a friend of mine said to me 'there's so much conflicting information out there, i don't know what to do!' in that moment, her mothering was difficult because she felt overwhelmed by information. later, when she had relaxed and processed a bit, she knew that she wanted to do X, and doing X was actually an easy act of mothering for her because she knew it was right.

so, the ease and difficulty of mothering can also be a shifting process. it might be easy in some ways and difficult in other ways, and it may shift from easy to difficult and difficult to easy depending upon what is happening in the moment in the process of mothering.

mostly, i like reading different people's experiences.
post #77 of 154
My birth experience absolutely affected my ability to mother. I spent every waking moment trolling MDC, planning my natural waterbirth, and after 3 days of labor ended up with a c-section for FTP. I was devastated. DS and I had a miserable time establishing nursing, and I really didn't do much bonding with him until WAY later. Mothering has been VERY difficult for me, not at all what I'd call "natural" or "delightful."

That being said, I think it was my feelings about my birth that affected my ability to mother. The fact that I didn't feel like I was in control with my birth was the biggest obstacle to me. I felt like a failure for being a healthy 23 year old woman with no risk factors who couldn't birth a baby vaginally, and THAT perception was what made it difficult for me to bond with DS. Not the c-section itself.
post #78 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by amberskyfire View Post
BUT, mothers who tend to be good mothers also usually learn about gentle parenting practices in advance. If we read about these things and know they are not good, then we know ho to implement gentle techniques before the birth.

Do you think that a mother who knows about attachment parenting before the birth of her child might stand a better chance than a mother who doesn't know what might happen yet? Do you think that women who have never heard that things like CIO are bad would know on their own? I don't know for a fact, but wonder if perhaps these mothers who have had their authority taken away in the beginning might just listen to bad advice because they feel unsure of themselves.
I did not know a thing about AP before DS was born. In fact, I didn't even know it existed. I planned for a drug-free all-natural birth but for serious personal reasons this was not possible for me. I had lots of drugs, an epidural, and a vacuum extract, and DS was whisked away from me at birth. I will tell you, the SECOND he was back in my arms I never once put him down. I never planned to co-sleep and in fact I stayed up all night the 3 nights we were in the hospital because I knew the nurses wouldn't "approve." I didn't have a birth high or anything, I was actually very traumatized by labor & birth. I never let DS cry. I was fiercely protective of him. I slept beside him every night. I breastfed him even though I had people pushing formula & pacifiers in my face from the day he was born. I went against every professional opinion given to me. I was surrounded by "mainstream" people and I simply didn't fit in. I hadn't researched or prepared to be AP -- I just WAS. My maternal instincts kicked in & I went with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amberskyfire View Post
I just have to wonder what it is that causes so many women to not listen to instinct and instead do things like CIO. There's got to be some kind of underlying issue.
I don't think it has anything to do with epidurals or c/s. I think it's got to do with the society we live in. Every day many of us hear messages that go against every instinct we have. Many people have a hard time going a separate course. Me, I don't care what people think. I don't care what everyone else does and I don't care if I'm popular etc. Maybe a bit but not the way I've seen others care (not enough to buy $100 jeans or watch all the latest movies or whatever). I think a lot of AP parents have a similar mentality, relying more on instincts than society. Plus there is the "doctor worshipping" I see going on with mainstream parents -- the DOCTOR said let him cry (DS's old pedi actually said this about 2 week old DS because he was eating every 20 minutes!!), the DOCTOR said do this, etc.

Sure a natural, drug-free, intervention-free birth is great for many reasons but I'm sorry, I don't think this is one of them.

ETA: Another factor that became blatantly obvious to me once I joined this forum, is that AP moms tend to be more interested in natural birth. I think you've got a chicken & egg scenario here... I would attribute any correlation to the fact that an AP mom chose to have a natural birth, NOT that someone had a natural birth & it 'made' them AP.
post #79 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaKat View Post
I dare you to line up ten women in a room and pick out which ones gave birth vaginally in a yurt while chewing on a stick, and which ones were knocked out cold in the OR with eighteen medical professionals standing around, on the basis of their mothering skill set.


Having thought about this thread overnight, I think the problem is in how it was phrased....the "My birth made me a better mom" idea. I do think there is a lot to the idea that trauma at birth can cause problems for a mom that make it a lot harder to adjust to motherhood. Not that it will mean that the mom has less mothering skills, or will do a poor/lesser job, but just that it's one more thing for a mom to overcome. To me, that's where the mom's connections and support systems really start to matter. Does she have people around her who are helping her, people around her who are modeling good mothering skills and supporting her choices/desires for parenting?

Edited my own experience out. I don't want to be a part of this effort.
post #80 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sk8ermaiden View Post
I agree with the previous posters. It is almost like natural birthers can't just take that natural birth is an awesome thing. Natural birth has to be an awesome thing and any other form of birth has to be an awful, terrible thing that scars you and your baby for the rest of your lives. It gets old.


I bonded more quickly and more strongly with dd2, who born via c/s with an APGAR of 2, was having seizures, and was immediately taken to the NICU. I didn't get to hold her until she was 5 days old or nurse her till she was 11 days old. I loved her intensely from the moment she was born. Michael Odent can I don't love my VBA2C baby more than my c/s babies, and I just absolutely reject the notion that one moment defines who I am as a mother.

I think when women spend their whole pregnancies hearing that they MUST give birth a certain way to be a "real" mother and a "real" woman, THAT'S what causes problems. I never felt bad about my first c/s until other people told me I should. I take responsibility for allowing people to influence me like that, but it's hard to ignore that when you're young (I was only 18 when I had dd1) and trying to figure out how to parent and where you fit in.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Birth and Beyond
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › Non-natural birth & immediate bonding