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After your first birth - did you say "Never Again"? - Page 5

post #81 of 91
double post
post #82 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by hipem
, mama. You know, abuse survivors really need a special kind of support, especially for natural, drugfree birth. Penny Simpkin has done a lot of research and writing about this. She gives seminars for doulas to learn how to support these moms through childbirth. I'm so glad that your midwife for your subsequent births was able to offer you the support that you needed the first time.
Thank you for all of your responses, but especially for this. I have read Penny but never in this context (just the Birth Partner, and an Unassissted Birth Book...? i think) I really like her style so will have to check it out. Thank you so much for your support and kindness.
I'd say the most important lesson i learned about birth as an abuse survivor is: NO DILATION CHECKS! I have to go into a very small and private place in myself to get through the transitional contractions, to be checked is so physical, and really distracting. I now know, from experience, that once the pitocin was started in my first labor that the contractions were all just like the transition contrx. So, every cervix check they did, and they did a LOT, were done when I was in the throws of those intense ones. No wonder it traumatized me. In a lot of ways, birth completed my healing from sexual abuse, but it also opened a new kettle of fish in terms of dealing with the labor. I didn't expect that.
post #83 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by USAmma
But the birth was an anticlimax. Even though I know it was probalby the right thing for me at the time, I wonder, what if? What if I had trusted my birth team more? They were all trusted friends, a skilled doula, I knew the doctor respected my choices. I look back and wonder, what if I had just leaned on them for support and surrendered (the control freak that I am) and let labor happen? I know know how easiliy and quickly Nitara came out. It probably wouldn't have lasted long and I would have survived and even felt a sense of accomplishment.

I just attended the homebirth of a close friend. I saw the intimacy of being allowed to labor and birth in your own home, to get into her own bed, to not have nurses coming in every hour disturbing her peace in order to take vitals or pressure her to give formula, or pressuring her to send baby to the nursery for the hearing test. For all the intensity of her birth, and it was very intense the last 3 hours, she emerged at the end a changed person. It was the process of birth that healed her. It was the pain that healed her and made her cross that threshold in herself. It's hard for me to express in words.

My journey and my threshholds were in the mothering of my special needs child (children, actually, but especially Nitara), the daily grueling experiencing of that. The surrender of any plans or dreams for myself until she gets better. Which she is. That process has been painful for me and I have gotten through it. But it's a slow labor. I digress.

My point, Anna, is that although I have never had the experience of a natural childbirth, for better or for worse, part of me envies the women like you who were able to ride their pain and fear and cross that threshold, be initiated into motherhood. You had your own struggles with Alecs I know. But they came later. The first trial was the birth and you made it through that birth. You proved that even though you didn't like it, you could survive the pain and intensity. You found inner strength you didn't know you had, probably. Alecs benefitted from that in the months to come as you had to keep digging down into yourself to help him survive and thrive as he so clearly has, and continues to do.
Darshani, I wanted to reply to this the other day but got side-tracked (as usual)... Thank you for sharing your story with us. I imagine that when you spend as much time here at MDC as you and I do, that it would be difficult to not internalize some of the messages about what the proper way to do things is. I know I struggle with that myself at times. I have to keep reminding myself that that's the thing about birth - it can't be controlled and our experiences are never going to be perfect as that is utterly impossible. Even with my last birth, which was so healing for me, there are things that I would change. It seems so silly in retrospect that I spent sooo much time in pregnancy focusing on how I wanted that birth to go (despite at the same time trying to "release myself from expectation"). It's just impossible to dictate and it is easy to want to change things when looking back as though experience were a menu we could choose from.

I wish that as women we could be happy with our experiences (all the men I know seem to be just fine with their own) and focus on the good in them instead of nit-picking all the tiny imperfections. Sometimes we need to acknowledge that it is what it needs to be, which it sounds like you are doing. But the nagging "what if"s don't realy go away, do they? I'm sure as our children get older these questions will diminish with time, but for now, even a year ago, two, three years ago - there are always questions, reflections, as though birth were still such a part of our life. I know that for me I spend so much time thinking about it because of my fascination with birth and because my own birthing led me to want to become a midwife. I don't know what I'm trying to say. It's very late and I am very tired.

You are right about birth as that initiation. I feel so glad to have been born into this family that I could have the trust of birth so innately. It's just lucky it all worked out how it did.
post #84 of 91

Glad I read this thread

Wow! This is the most pro-birth, pro-natural childbirth site I've seen, and you all had some horrible experiences as reported on this thread. No wonder someone would say never again!:
post #85 of 91

Birth wasn't what did it..

It was the first few weeks with a cluster-feeding infant, trying to figure out this nursing thing, etc.

After my first was born - I was energized, excited, overcome by the awesome experience I'd just had. Higher than a kite on endorphins, probably Not exactly dancing around singing "Lets have another one 9 months from now," but "Wow, look what I did! That was amazing!"

(and by awesome - I mean, "Filled me with awe.")

But going home and living hundreds of miles from family and most of my friends in a town we'd moved to not long before having no friends with babies yet and very few examples of parenting to have watched, and figuring out our nursing relationship... *that* was hard.

#2's birth was also a powerful experience and left me wired and amazed - but since #1 was 9 pounds and #2 was 10 pounds, it also left me saying "hm, #3 woudl be 11 or 12 pounds. Yikes!"
post #86 of 91
I must have really overestimated the amount of pain involved, because I didn't think it was that bad. I remember telling my mom during my labor that it wasn't at all as bad as my morning sickness had been.
The thing that made me think, "Never again" was realizing that there's this little person who you care about more than yourself and you can't always be there with them to protect them and comfort them. That was the shocking, painful, intense feeling that you can't prepare for.
post #87 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACesPlace
Wow! This is the most pro-birth, pro-natural childbirth site I've seen, and you all had some horrible experiences as reported on this thread. No wonder someone would say never again!:
I am still pro-birth and pro-natural childbirth 100%. I love birth. I think it's amazing and am studying to be a midwife, but there is still a lot to process with it. I really don't want you to get the wrong impression.
post #88 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACesPlace
Wow! This is the most pro-birth, pro-natural childbirth site I've seen, and you all had some horrible experiences as reported on this thread. No wonder someone would say never again!:
I didn't get that at all from this thread. In fact a lot of women reported bad first *hospital* births, with a fantastic homebirth as a second.

Labor hurts, sure, for a lot of people. But eventually it's over and you have this amazing baby in your arms. There's nothing like that in the whole world.

I had an epidural for my first. I got it because that was "standard" and I didn't put a lot of thought or research into the decision. I'm really looking forward to this next birth because I hated the sensation of being disconnected from my body and the amazing process it was going through. When you think about the fact that a woman's body can make a whole other human being out of a bunch of cells - nourish it for 9 months, and then push it out of her body when it's cooked - well... I understand why that famous birth video is called "The Miracle of Life." It truly is a miracle!
post #89 of 91
I said this even though I had the best birth in the world (imo: ) I had a waterbirth and didn't even want to LOOK at water for the next few days. Now, of course, I've completely changed my mind and want to do it again down the road
post #90 of 91
I think it's important to note that most of us who said we'd never do it again ended up doing it again or are planning to do it again. Those who had really horrible traumatic experiences might choose a different method of doing it again (ie, if they had a bad hospital experience, they might birth at home next time, etc.). I am one who said I'd never do it again, and look at me - I'm 15.5 weeks pregnant, and this was completely planned! I'm excited about my next birth! I can't wait! I've educated myself on how I can change things with this next birth, so that the experiences I didn't like with the first one won't happen again. Some things I can't control (like preterm baby - that was part of my experience last time), but some I can. And by educating myself, I'm empowering myself.
post #91 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACesPlace
Wow! This is the most pro-birth, pro-natural childbirth site I've seen, and you all had some horrible experiences as reported on this thread. No wonder someone would say never again!:
I think one of the points of this thread is that you can say "never again" but be really happy the next time that you did not follow through with it.

Not only did I learn a lot about myself during my births, I can honestly say that my two labors (described earlier in the thread) were nothing in comparison with what it takes to raise children! My kids challenge me way more now than on the days they were born. And I love that challenge as much as I loved birthing them!
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