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Good birth experience after traumatic one? Please share!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I had a terrible time with the birth of my first baby 16 months ago and now that we are considering having another I'm wondering if others could share their positive birth experiences following a traumatic one? Is it possible that it gets any easier?

Fortunately my daughter was born healthy and happy but I had a long labour and very difficult delivery. We had tried for a home waterbirth but ended up having to transfer to hospital after 30 hours at home where our baby was born with forceps and an extreme episiotomy in which they cut into the muscle and right up the side of my bum (sorry for being so explicit). I could not walk properly for about a month after the birth and was not completely recovered (physically) until about 2 months. I'm so terrified of a repeat of our first experience..

I know all births are different and impossible to predict, but just wondering if there is some chance it could be easier the second time around?

I see people who are up and about hours after giving birth and it amazes me the difference between their experience and mine.

Any experiences to share I'd appreciate! Thanks!
post #2 of 6
My first and second births were dramatically different. My first was 23 hours of pitocin augmented labor, including 2 hours of pushing and it ended in a c-section and PTSD. My second was 3 hours of labor and less than 10 minutes of pushing, split my inner labia in half but it was an incredible expeirence. I just had my third and it was 4 hours of labor, only about 40 minutes of it requiring my attention, and 4 pushes. No tearing at all.

I will say I'm very lucky, and have had wonderful supportive providers and a supportive husband. I had to do a lot of work on myself mentally to clear out the fears that came from my first birth and some that contributed to it. I'd say though that such dramatic differences like mine are the exception not the rule. I've heard many stories like yours, with their subsequent births mama labors exactly the same but with a more positive ending (like no transfer!) it was just the way they were meant to labor.
post #3 of 6
Well my mom's first birth was similar to yours. She even had to be readmitted for an emergency repair of her massive episiotomy. With me (her second birth) she didn't even know she was in labor until her water broke. I was born 45 mins later. No tears or anything. Oh and she's 60 and has no issues with her pelvic floor now. She sorta thinks that my birth healed her somehow.
post #4 of 6
I'd love to hear some stories of positive births after traumatic ones too! I'm pregnant now (20 weeks) after a really traumatic birth rape last time. I'm really hoping for a healing birth this time around, because this is the last one. I wasn't even sure I could go through with having another one after last time, but DH talked me into it. But whatever happens there will be no more babies for me. I've been living in a state of semi-panic ever since I got the BFP, even though we've moved country to a more natural-birth supportive environment, and I'm doing absolutely everything I can to increase my chances of a good birth experience this time.

RightofPassage: How did you clear out your fears? I know I need to do this, but because I'm still suffering from PTSD from DD's birth, every time I try to deal with my fears I just get flashbacks and panic attacks!
post #5 of 6
AutumnAir - Congrats on being pregnant!! I really hope you have a great experience this time around!!

Sorry, no advice for anyone, still just the one babe for me.
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by AutumnAir View Post
RightofPassage: How did you clear out your fears? I know I need to do this, but because I'm still suffering from PTSD from DD's birth, every time I try to deal with my fears I just get flashbacks and panic attacks!
It was a lot of work and a slow process. It started with doing the exercises from birthing from within, mentally walking through my fear both alone and with DH and with my MW(as well as my DDC and talking to people that have BTDT with the specific fears I had), and also doing the fear clearing with hypnobabies. I wasn't fearless, but I put my fears in perspective, doing that healed a lot of my trauma. Talking about the fears with my MW and DH allowed me to see that I have an excellent knowledgeable birth team that believed in me and respected my desires for birth. I felt so safe before giving birth and while giving birth to DS3.

I think it also helped that I had no expectations for the labor and birth. I had no idea, and no specific desire for how long I would labor/push/etc. I accepted long before birth that my body knew what to do and I would enjoy the journey. I don't think I could have gotten there had I not dealt with my fears.

I will also add that from the birth of DS2 to the birth of DS3 I started studying to be a midwife and learned how normal birth is and how safe birth is. Sending you lots of healing.

ETA: I had flashbacks and panic attacks the entire first year of my sons birth. I started with reading a birth story. Just one. Then I'd try to read 2, then 3, and on and on. After a while I was able to read my birth story without sobbing. I went it alone to recover and probably would have healed sooner if I had sought out help.

I'd say if you can some couseling or EMDR therapy that I've heard nothing but amazing things about it would probably help start the healing.
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