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Having a really hard time hearing about "easy" births - Page 2

post #21 of 54
My labor experience was very similar to yours...42 weeks, followed by PROM, followed by ~32 hours of labor. But after 19 hours at 7cm (and three hours of pain med/pit) it was off to the OR for a c/s. DD was posterior and asynclitic with her head in the full on transverse presentation (and we did try all the doula/midwife tricks to reposition dd...she just wouldn't budge, and with no bag of waters and a 9lb+ babe I guess she was in there pretty good!).

I had PPD and PTSD, my doula actually left me during my surgery (long story), it was a nightmare.

Especially since I am the "natural birth junky, crazy doula, no drugs, etc" mama in my group of friends. And I had the c/s.

And then a few months later my best and closest friend in the world had her totally medicated, massively mainstream, VAGINAL birth with her OB (who had her on a reduced calorie diet and had been scaring the pants off her for 9 months...and who then told her that breastfeeding was unnatural and would "make her look old and really wasn't as healthy as those crazy ladies say"). She breezed into labor, slide through to transition, had her drugs, and an hour later her babe. Safe, sound, and trauma free.

I love her. She is the sister I never had. But I hated her experience and cried my eyes out for literally months every time I thought about it.

You're not alone...in fact, I bet there are more of "us" out there than anyone realizes. The mamas who are committed to birth and the natural process but who wind up squished by nature, by the system, by luck, by whatever. And it's just not fair. And seeing other mamas make different choices about birth and then seemingly having those choices validated by an "easy" birth....that's hard. And hearing birth stories from other natural mamas who seem to assume that "if you go natural it's simple!" is hard too.

There's an amazing poem in Open Season written from the perspective of a c/s mama that speaks to this sort of personal conflict between the personal tragedy and the image of "ease" presented by other mamas...if you have access to that book you might want to check it out...
post #22 of 54
I am sorry you are feeling this way . I can definitely relate. With my first I got induced at 42 weeks +4 days after my fluid levels got super low. I had planned for a natural birth and it was really hard to accept that my body seemed to be failing. I was so jealous of other women who went into labor on their own. I had not even dilated or effaced AT ALL, yet I was so far along and things were failing. I ended up with AROM, maxed out pitocin, Stadol (that was the worst thing ever) and an epidural that DID NOT WORK!!!!!!!!!!! I lie in the bed strapped down in excruciating pain and b/c of the stadol I could not even talk. I wanted to scream "HELP ME", "IT HURTS", "AHHHHHHH", but all I could do was lay there and shake uncontrollabley for hours and hours. I ended up with PPD too.

For me the key part was pushing my body to go into labor when it wasn't ready. That just doesn't make for a good labor any way you look at it. I focused on how and why. I think that it is wonderful that you are getting help and dealing with the issues. It should help a lot. Time also heals. For me, my second birth was healing. I fought long and hard to avoid induction and was determined to let my baby come on his own time (provided I felt that he was still safe). I went into spontaneous labor at 42 weeks (after signing AMA refusing induction). This labor was a world away fronm my first. It was still long (actually longer than my 24 hour induction) but it was a totally positive experience that ended up being mostly painfree despite not having any drugs or epidural. It restored my faith in my body and my trust in myself. But you know what? I still got PPD only WAY worse than I had after my first traumatic birth experience. It happens. All we can do is try to seek help and work through our feelings.

post #23 of 54

Just offering support. You are so wise to process your emotions.
post #24 of 54
I totally understand!!!
I had a horrible horrible, horrible experience that turned me off ever having any more kids, after having been planning a wonderful UC for years.....
Meanwhile, on a homebirth list I'm on, a mom who ended up on the list because she accidentally got preggo as a single mother, and had no insurance, therefore was looking into midwifery care just cuz it is cheaper, had her baby around the same time as me, and had this super easy, not painful, couple-hour labor with no complications or anything, with her midwife telling her "you're so great at this, you should have 10 kids" or something like that.
And then, another lady on another list, who was vry mainstream, had her kid in the hospital parking lot cuz her labor was so quick, by the time she felt any pain at all, the baby wasbasically coming out and so she did the whole ridiculkous mainstream "rush to the hospital in labor and have your baby in the car" sitcom-style thing.

I was already so depressed, in serious PTSD hell, and then those 2 stories in particular REALLY just made me want to die.

you are not alone. I *know* reasonably that it is not about "fair"....but when it comes to EMOTIONS...emotions are not reasonable, LOL!
post #25 of 54
I read something one time about a momma who had to sacrifice her beautiful homebirth for a c-section. Thats' about what it is when you end up having to give in to intervention when you had your heart set on meeting your baby in this certain... very special (but not the only) way. She described it as "sacrificing her body for her baby".

I never had a c-section... nor have I ever had interventions that I was aware I dind't want . But, when I read about this woman's birth... and her way of describing what she was doing, I thought it was a beatutiful way to look at it. I decided it's the way I would try to look at it if I ever HAD to have interventions that I didn't want.

Birth is just as much about the momma as it is about the baby. It means something BIG to the mom. I think a lot of people lose sight of the mom when the baby starts coming through her. Your feelings are valid. Perhaps through your experience you can relate to women in a way you may not have been able to if you'd had your dream birth. I'm so sorry for your pain.

post #26 of 54
Originally Posted by pookel View Post
I still talk about natural birth to other women I know. I don't tell them "it's easy" because it wasn't for me (since I failed at it ... ) but I do tell them that the pain is different for everyone, and they shouldn't assume they'll need meds until they know what it's like.
I have to respectfully interject that I do not believe anyone "needs" pain meds for a vaginal birth.
Wants, yes.
but NEEDS???

I'll admit I personally WANTED pain meds more than anything ive ever wanted before in my life....would have killed indiscriminately to get meds if I had been in a position where that were a possibility....begged and prayed and groveled to God to please, please please, just let me DIE rather then endure that horrrific hellish torture for one second longer.

but NEED?

post #27 of 54
I can totally relate. In fact, our stories are somewhat similiar.

It took me a really long time to come to terms with it. It's only been within the last 6 months that I can think about my labor with my son without getting really upset, and he is nearly 17 months old. I found a group that met locally that was just for women with crappy birth experiences (in fact, I'm now cofacilitating) and that helped a lot. But time also helped... and being able to process a lot of it.

No one really understood except the ladies in that group. Everyone else thought I ought to be grateful to have had a vaginal birth, a healthy son, etc etc. Some people even dismissed natural childbirth and said "Yea, you learned your lesson didn't you? Take the drugs next time!" (yes, my aunt actually said this)

An interesting realization I came to was that the pain involved in laboring with my son was not disconnected or separate from the chaos involved with not being comfortable with my midwife or my surroundings. The fact was, I had people around me getting me extremely tense and on edge. Some people are better at separating themselves from the chaos. I am highly sensitive, and I was not able to do that at all.

There was a time when I felt very defeated. And I think that's okay. I hope peace comes for you soon. I don't think you really ever "get over it", but for me there was a point when I was able to just say "It is what it is" and leave it at that.

post #28 of 54
Originally Posted by bobandjess99 View Post
I have to respectfully interject that I do not believe anyone "needs" pain meds for a vaginal birth.
Wants, yes.
but NEEDS???

I'll admit I personally WANTED pain meds more than anything ive ever wanted before in my life....would have killed indiscriminately to get meds if I had been in a position where that were a possibility....begged and prayed and groveled to God to please, please please, just let me DIE rather then endure that horrrific hellish torture for one second longer.

but NEED?

Maybe, except that when you've been in labor for days and are jacked up on pitocin, your contractions are completely unnatural. They are much stronger than anything your body could produce on its own. May everyone have the strength to make decisions that work for them despite the unpredictability of labor and birth.
post #29 of 54

The question of what is "need" and what is "want" is something no one can decide for another. Each mother, each labor, each situation is unique. Interventions are interventions. Yes, it would be best if interventions were never necessary. But in some cases, some labors, for some mamas...they are necessary. You might question the situation that creates the need, or the abuse/over use of specific interventions (such as pain medication), but the individual experiences of the individual mama are her own and not really open to "speculation" by others.

In part, the pain of being a mama whose much wanted and worked for natural birth ended in a hospital and a c/s is hearing from others that this or that intervention "wasn't necessary" or that "if you'd only been/done/tried/didn't do/didn't go" it would have been fine. The truth is mamas here at mdc with less than natural births often face the pain and distancing of "I told you so" from their mainstream counterparts who never understood the desire for a purebirth as well as the pain and distance caused by natural living mamas who suggest that none of what happened was necessary "if..." (without any malice on the part of the speaker, but perhaps without thinking about how the words will sound to the mama who didn't achieve her dream).

It's a hard place to be in as you can tell from the stories in this thread...and a hard place to find healing.
post #30 of 54
I don't have anything profound to say. I don't have this experience with birth, but in other areas, I do. And it hurts to want something that just didn't happen, no matter your best efforts, planning, research. Some people just won't get that ever. They will find a way to judge judge judge judge YOU instead of looking at your situation. And yeah, the one living it ends up feeling jealous of good outcomes....even though you feel you shouldn't.
post #31 of 54
Just wanted to say I know how you feel. It is especially hard for me when I feel like I prepared so much and my friend was more uneducated and less determined to have a gentle birth. She walked around 4cm dilated before she went into labor, was at a 7 when she got to the hospital, got her epi, slept for 2 hours or so, and then woke up to the baby crowning and it practically fell out.

I was in labor for 33 hours before I dilated past 1cm and dealt with serious issues of inadequacy about my epidural and the other interventions that then came with it. When my friend told me her birth story I wanted to be happy for her that things turned out well but mostly I was ANGRY and JEALOUS, even though I knew that wasn't fair.

I think the fact that you are going to therapy will help tremendously. I go to counseling with my husband but now that I am pregnant again I am thinking of scheduling some 1 on 1 sessions to deal with my disappointment. I know it's hard to talk about IRL sometimes because no one else seems to understand.

post #32 of 54
Originally Posted by bobandjess99 View Post
I have to respectfully interject that I do not believe anyone "needs" pain meds for a vaginal birth.
Wants, yes.
but NEEDS???
Psychological needs are real needs, too.
post #33 of 54
I am so happy to read your post. Maybe happy isn't the right word, but it describes my life for the past 2.5 years so well.

I have 3 kids. The 1st was born by cesarean, the 2nd by VBAC but I was treated horribly and the 3rd by home waterbirth. I was so looking forward to the homebirth being everything I deserved with my other 2. It was nothing like what I deserved. I had an easy labor, but horrid time pushing, no support at all from my midwife even though I was literally crying for help, being encouraged to "push harder", a bad tear, bad hemmorhage, pitocin, passing out, catheter, nursing issues... I was so disappointed. I didn't talk about it to anyone at all, if I did I said it was a "very nice" experience because I didn't want to say what a nightmare my "beautiful homebirth" was. I couldn't even write my birth story for months because even thinking about it was too painful.

When my baby was 1.5 years old I attended the birth of my best friend at the time and she had the birth I SHOULD have had. I have read every birth book known to man, I walked each day, I ate well, I practiced Bradley and visualizations, I talked to my baby, I relaxed, I watched birth videos and daydreamed about the birth I would have, I did everything. She was in labor for only a couple of hours, pushed for 10 minutes, had TONS of support, no tear, no bleeding, her husband and she caught the baby, she got great pictures and a video...basically everything I should have had, but didn't. She had the same midwife and the midwife was so positive toward her. I was so happy when I was there at her house, but after I got home I started crying and just didn't stop for days. I was literally sick over it and it has affected our friendship and how I feel about her. I know that isn't right, but my feelings are too strong to be denied.

I dont know what to do to get over this, I dont think I ever will because for one thing I have to constantly hear how "great" this midwife is and because I probably won't have any more kids and won't have the experience that I was hoping for. It has been one of the biggest disappointments of my life. I really think that I need to go to therapy because of my births, but I feel very odd complaining about having crappy birth experiences when I feel that I should just be happy that my children have all been healthy. All I know is that these births have left me feeling very depressed and pretty much incapable of trusting any health care professionals anymore.

Anyways, just wanted to be another voice letting you know that you aren't alone. Love and hugs,

post #34 of 54
I really totally hear you. This is something I have thought about since my last child was born, but really haven't talked about at all. I had planned to have my 3rd baby UC. My first had been a harsh hospital birth, my 2nd had been a really great homebirth, so of course I figured that my 3rd could easily be a wonderful UC. I had already gained lots of knowledge through reading and planning to become a midwife, I had taken a doula course, etc. I was all ready for it.

I waited and waited for labor to start and it never did. Lots of prodromal stuff, but no labor. At 43 weeks I had a frightening dream about the baby and realized how little the baby had been moving the last few days, so we decided to go in and get checked out. Once at the hospital we discovered that I had high blood pressure and that the baby looked ok, but she wasn't moving much at all, so we decided to go ahead with an induction. I was fortunate that I only needed AROM to get things going. The last 2 hours of the birth were really horrible for me though, I had a cervical lip and a baby with a funky head position and a nurse who "yelled" (my husband says she wasn't yelling, but it felt like yelling to me) in my face with each contraction to stop pushing because I was swelling my cervix and I would never get the baby out if I kept pushing... all the while I was trying sooooooooo hard not to push, I couldn't help it though. Finally after 2 hours of me trying not to push and pleading for an epidural (I wanted one just so that I wouldn't have the urge to push and have them yelling in my face to stop doing it) I demanded that they get me an epidural or knock me out cold at that moment and I demanded to speak to the doctor. He came to the room right away (small hospital and I was the only one having a baby) and told me to lean back and I did and my baby came out. But she came out to everyone yelling at me to not birth her because the doctor had no gloves, and she came out while 3 nurses tried to pick up my body and move me to the end of the bed. It was excruciating to be moved with a body half out of mine and mid-push. And then they let me see my baby for just a moment and then took her across the room to a table where they kept her for what seems like ages.... the nurses even left the room to get stuff and left my baby way across the room from me like that. And I just wanted to hold her so badly. It was so not at all the way I had planned my birth. It wasn't bad for the hospital though, they were respectful to me, I had rooming in, they were cool with me laboring on a birth ball and in the tub, they didn't push medicines or medical interventions, etc.... and it was a vaginal birth too! This was a birth that many people would love to have.

However, I still greived that it wasn't the birth that I had planned. I had planned to birth in a fishy swimming pool in my kitchen, with my children and sister there. To scoop up my little one into my own arms and to tie off the cord with homemade ties in the prettiest colors of embroidary floss that I picked out special and to cuddle up in my bed and breastfeed and eventually send out the message that baby was born and we were all comfy. And then to later bury the placenta (after eating a bit) in our yard and brag to the neighbors about how wonderful it all was. Oh, and I planned for video and black and white photos and all of that... and none of it happened at all.

And to make it feel worse, one woman was critisizing me and my choices and birth online to a group she didn't know I was a part of.... and then she went on to have a nice homebirth herself and I was so angry about that. At the same time, it wouldn't have made me feel better for anyone to have bad birth experiences either.

For about the first week, I sobbed and wanted to put my beautiful baby back in my womb for a do-over. I just sat in the bathtub and cried and cried and cried that I hadn't given her, or myself, the birth that I had planned. And I wondered if any of the choices I had made were the right ones or if I had just been paranoid and then messed everything up because of that.

Finally, now at 7 months after her birth, I have come much more to terms with it all. I have known from the get-go that this was my issue. I have just constantly reminded myself that birth is only a small part of parenting. I let myself dwell on it too to see what parts I was really sad about. For awhile, I couldn't read any birth stories at all because I would get so jealous and I didn't want to give off that jealous energy to a new mama. I learned some lessons from my daughter's birth too and am really not afraid of birthing in hospitals anymore, which I think is a good thing as before I was terrified of them. So, in many ways the birth just humbled me and made me a more well rounded person.... even though it hurt like hell to get there. And now I am in a place where I don't get jealous anymore... well, maybe a little, but not in a bad way. And I don't take it personally when I see phrases like "trust birth" (before, I was pretty sure that people were saying it just to tell me that I didn't trust birth enough and they were all out to tell me what a crappy birther I am), so that is good.

I think that you having a tough time is actually a good thing, it means that you are allowing yourself to hurt instead of just shoving those feelings down and not recognizing them. I hope that soon you find yourself in a place where things don't hurt quite so much.
post #35 of 54
I also have a very hard time hearing about easy births. My son's birth was very difficult, and took place in a shabby and depressing hospital. I can't help but feel jealous when I read about beautiful home births and natural, pain-med free births where *everything goes right*. My son's birth was an avalanche of interventions, and I felt powerless, weak and defeated. It was hard for me to reconcile the reality of his birth with what I had imagined it would be like.

Writing out my birth story really helped. I wrote it out longhand first, then typed it up and posted it here on MDC. I hope that sharing your birth experience will help bring you peace.
post #36 of 54
i can relate, too. planned a hb, and ended up getting seriously exhausted and dehydrated so we transferred. got pit/epidural, pushed for 5 hours, then they used forceps to get dd out. they tore my bladder in the process and i was totally incontinent until i had surgery 2.5 months pp. i had a urinary catheter in for 9 weeks total. horrible birth, difficult pp physical recovery.

i do have a hard time listening to easy birth stories too, but i try to take a deep breath and not take it personally, though sometimes it's very difficult.

i am a natural birth advocate and still consider myself to be a hb mom even though we ended up with a hospital birth with the cascade of interventions. it's brought up an interesting thing in my life, though. i still absolutely believe in hb (and hope in earnest for one in my future!!) and when i suggest hb or birth center births, now that people know my story, they are scared off because now they say "well, if you couldn't do it, i absolutely can't". i had a picture perfect pregancy, ate well, took incredible care of myself and had a train wreck of a birth, so i'm no longer a good representative for natural birthing, even though i believe in it so strongly. :
post #37 of 54
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
, so i'm no longer a good representative for natural birthing, even though i believe in it so strongly. :
I can totally relate to that feeling as well! Recently I even asked my husband if I seemed like a poser in homebirth advocacy clothing. And friends and family who weren't happy about homebirth in the beginning were so happy because they figured that I finally learned my lesson and would go to the hospital for any future births. Anyhow, I sometimes feel like a total poser when it comes to homebirth and UC because while I believe in it, I didn't have it for my last birth.
post #38 of 54
Thread Starter 

This thread has really helped....

oooh, mamas-- thanks you so much for sharing. I especially thank you all for not getting mad at me or being offended that I am complaining about a birth that to many people would have been considered "really good". compared to many of your stories, mine was a walk in the park.

Erika, kidspiration, lynsey-- your stories made me cry. I am so sorry you had those experiences....don't you find it healing to write about it here?

kidspiration, i love how you said you still consider yourself a hb mama! that is the "permission" I have been waiting for. I DO still consider myself a hb mama also, and feel better saying it aloud now that I have heard your take on it. "Poser"....I know exactly what you mean.

to you all. you have made this week more bareable.

p.s. on a good note, I have spoken to my friend everyday (helping her with BF issues and general stuff) and have been able to not be too angry/jealous, unless she talks about the birth of course but she hasn't much, I think b/c now all her focus is on her daughter and BFing...
post #39 of 54
to answer your questions...yes i find it incredibly healing to share our birth story here. this thread that you started has been one of the most healing. your honesty has been such a catalyst for sharing and growth. thank you.

as for the spiritual and emotional healing, i have been so fortunate to find a craniosacral therapist in my area that specializes in trauma resolution, focusing on birth trauma. it has been incredibly healing for me. she also works with my daughter, she is incredibly healthy and vibrant but in her newborn and early baby days i felt very strongly that she was expressing some residual emotional pain and fear from her very stressful and harrowing birth. the craniosacral therapy has helped tremendously in that regard.

this is a topic that isn't discussed very often out there in the real world. as long as you have a healthy baby...this culture has completely forgotten and minimalized the impact of the birthing experience on a woman. when a baby is born, a mother is born as well, it is a tremendous rite of passage for a woman, and this can have life-altering repercussions. i hope that my horrible experience will translate into compassion in my work with mothers and babies (i am a physical therapist that specializes in working with children with special needs but am in the process of shifting my career focus to opening a yoga studio dedicated to children/prenatal/postnatal/mommy&me yoga classes).

and i've not admitted it to anyone else but i secretly long for a uc if we are to have another child. my dream is to plan for a midwife assisted homebirth but for things to happen in such a way that the baby is born safely, gently and lovingly into my own hands.
post #40 of 54
vanessa, I can relate, too....

I'm a very laid-back person, so it's been easier on me, but I definitely feel a little "cheated" when I hear others talk about their birth experiences....

I tried SO hard to get my body to do what it was supposed to do...but ended up finally being induced, when I was starting to really fear for my baby's well-being.

I ended up in labour for 54 hours, and it was a miracle (and an epidural!) that allowed me to end up birthing my son vaginally.

I still enjoyed labour (I'm a weirdo, I know...lol), but I didn't get to do any of the things I'd wanted...

Like you, it seems like everyone I know had much shorter, easier births, even though they were all having their first babies, too! And, most of the time, they didn't do ANYTHING to prepare like I did!

Also, many other moms I know had epidurals just because it was there and they wanted it. For me, it was necessity, otherwise I was going to have a c-section because my body could not go any longer without rest. I wouldn't really wish a hard labour on anyone, but I just sort of think, "well, if they were going to get an epidural anyways...why couldn't THEY have had the 54-hour labour...I would have been FINE with a 5-hour, 10-hour, even a 24-hour labour!"

I take comfort in knowing that it's unlikely that I will have such a difficult labour next time. I will not get induced again unless I get the same "impending doom" feeling, which hopefully will not happen, especially considering it won't be my first next time...

I look forward to trying again, and having an easier time next time....but even if I end up with a c-section, as long as my baby is okay, I will be happy. I just think that if I tell myself that enough...I will believe it!

Hugs to you...
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