We just found out last night that I'm pregnant again. This is totally unplanned and unwanted, but we are going to try and make the best of it. We have a 16-month-old son whom we absolutely adore, and whose birth was absolute hell. I was planning to give birth to him at a birth center but my water broke at 35 weeks and we were forced to go to a hospital. I won't go into it all the details here, but the birth center abandoned us and their back-up doctor was the most horrible and insensitive medical professional I've ever encountered. She was totally hostile to any natural birth methods, put me on Pitocin and rountinely threatened c-section, and finally, after I pushed my baby out while on my back (she told me I HAD to push that way, that I had no choice) performed a manual placenta removal without even telling me what she was doing first or why she was doing it (I did not have an epidural). The next day she humiliated me in my hospital bed, telling the nurses "oh, don't touch her, she doesn't like to be touched" and smiling like it was some joke. My poor son was in the NICU for nine days and I had severe postpartum depression for about 3-4 months afterward. It was by far the most traumatic experience of my life. Ironically, somewhat, we finally paid off this doctor's bill just a few days ago, which was symbolically really significant for us.
I am posting this in the homebirth forum because my husband and I both know it is how we must have this baby, as we will not step foot in a hospital again. But I'm scared, Really, really scared to give birth again, period, even in the safety and familiarity of my own home. We envisioned our son being an only child, and this pregnancy has derailed all of our plans for the coming year (and the rest of our lives). Nursing my son into toddlerhood has been one of the sweetest (and most redemptory) experiences of my life, and I really don't want him to wean himself because of this pregnancy. I guess I'm just looking for any advice or words of wisdom anyone has to offer. Thank you.
Congrats on the pregnancy! I hope you will be able to experience a peaceful birth this time around. I had both of my kids at home. First was a UC and the second with a MW assist. I am so sorry your first birthing experience was so bad.
Start looking for a MW. You will know when you find the right one.Mine was very hands off which I NEEDED after having a UC. Most MW's have experience with clients who have had bad hospital births,and they can offer advice.Ofcourse you will also find a lot of support online too.
In your labor you need to do what feels best for you.Some like no one around,some like the birth pool or a ball,some listen to music or sit on the toilet the whole time. In all cases you need to think positive and not fret about things going wrong.The MW will keep an eye on issues during labor.
Might want a doula if you transport and the MW won't be able to remain by your side during a hospital birth.
Also be prepared for an unplanned UC. You never know if you will have to birth on your own,and preparing yourself will help you stay calm.
Congrats! I'm so sorry that your first LO's birth was so traumatic. I agree with pp on finding a good MW right away. She will def help to ease your concerns, imo. Just talk out everything with her. I would be very surprised if you had an experience anything close to what your hospital one was. No one will limit you or force you to do anything in your own home. I know my MW for sure wouldn't. I wish you much luck! =)
I'm so sorry you went through that. Try the book, Birthing from Within, it has you deal with your birth feelings through art basically. It might help! I had a somewhat traumatic first birth too and my second non-medicated birth in the hospital was so redemptive and healing for me. Not to mention about 100 X's easier. I hope that will be the case for you too.
I am so sorry. I had my first born twins in the hospital, they were 35 weekers too, it was awful. Anyway, I have had my last 8 at home and we have had such wonderful experiences.
I am so, so sorry to hear about your last birthing experience. I second the recommendation for the book Birthing From Within. I'd also recommend you look for a BFW teacher (mentor) in your area and if that's not possible, I suggest looking into a phone consultation with the author Pam England (something she does offer - info on her website). She really has a gift for helping women deal with their fears and previous birth trauma. Dealing with your anger and hurt from your other birth is the best step towards dealing with your fears imo. Another suggestion is to look into hypnosis. I was skeptical of this myself but it really helped me deal with some issues I had before my second birth (I'm not talking about a Hypnobirthing or Hypnobabies program - just a hypnotherapist to help you work through your fears). Another author to look into would be Penny Simkin. She's done a lot of work with women who are abuse survivors dealing with issues before birthing - I would imagine there might be some good information for you there.
I hope you find a wonderful midwife soon and that you get to a place where you can feel more at peace about this pregnancy. Birth can be a very healing and empowering experience and I hope it will be that way for you. Best wishes, M
I'm so sorry about your negative birth experience. How miserable for you. I do think that if you can let go of the fear you can really have a much better, happier birth this time around. I can't speak to the trauma you went through, but I know that Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin was very morale boosting when I read it before my last two births. It made me have faith that my body could do what I needed it to do and just be less nervous about the process in general.
I really had to reply because you mentioned that you're nervous about potentially weaning your son due to pregnancy. I just wanted to tell you that both of my daughters nursed through my next pregnancy, despite my drying up at some point. Neither one cared! I know that some children might, but I think that if they really enjoy nursing and the comfort they get from it (especially nursing to sleep), they'll continue. I nursed #1 until she was 35 months (all through my 2nd preg. and until #2 was over 3 months old!) and am still nursing #2 at 34 weeks. You may want to read Adventures in Tandem Nursing as it contains a ton of information about nursing while pregnant as well as nursing 2 at once. Best of luck to you!!!
Thanks so much, everyone! I actually have already read Birthing From Within and Ina May's Guide to Pregnancy (which I own, although Spiritual Midwifery is my favorite!). Coincidentally, I began working with an energy healer just last weekend regarding my son's birth, and I spoke with her again tonight and told her the news, and she was very comforting. I am starting to get over the shock of being pregnant and having our plans for the coming year derailed. Maybe we can still find a way to do the things we were planning to do. I'm going to be searching for a midwife, too. I just really want to get past my fear so that this child can enter the world gently.
Thank you, BigDogMom, for the tandem info! I love nursing my son and I really hope he'll keep on. I suspect he will - he's still pretty attached to nursing and nurses several times a day plus several times during the night. I don't see him just giving that up easily!
Aw mama, big hugs to you! You have every right to feel scared considering your first experience. I am so GLAD to hear you are working with an energy healer to try and get past some of those emotions. I can't imagine how hard that must be!
I absolutely second "Adventures In Tandem Nursing." It was SO full of good information for me. I don't know where you are located, but in my area we are fortunate enough to have a toddler nursing group, which of course has a LOT of mamas who have tandem nursed their little ones. If you're not so fortunate to live in such an area, you could still try contacted one of the La Leche League toddler leaders from an area that does. Talking with someone in person about that anxiety can be so helpful. FWIW, I'm about 16 weeks pregnant now, and so far DS still wants to nurse any time I am willing, even though my milk is all gone. As one mother in "Adventures..." said, "my son would keep nursing even if motor oil was coming out of my nipples." I'm sure that once my colostrum comes in later on, that he will be delighted to get something!
Again, big hugs to you mama! And big, deep breaths. One day at a time, one step at a time. You won't ever walk the same path twice in life...
Wife to DH , mom to DS (4/09), and DD (8/11), and crafty and hardworking in my own right! In my parenting journey I've , , , , and. To each family their own!!
"There are words for people like me, but I don't think there are very many."