Birthing your baby is beautiful, no matter how or where - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-02-2011, 05:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Some friends and I were recently discussing another article on the perils of hospital births. Coming from a woman who wanted a home birth but ended up with a hospital birth, I find articles like that are often one sided. Women who are informed often want a natural drug-free birthing experience. And amazingly enough, some don't and say I would rather be in my back in a hospital bed with an epidural asap! But interventions are sometimes necessary for the safety of mother and baby. My friend, who by the way had three home water births, once told me not to feel bad about my c-section, because the hospital is there for a reason, when there are complications, and we can be glad to have trained medical professionals readily available when there are reasons for intervention. As pro natural childbirth that I am though, now that I have had one delivery in the hospital, it's not the end of the world and Elida's birth was still the most amazing, emotional experience for me. I am still a strong woman who went through 24 hours of hard labour before resorting to a c-section. My nurses and OB were very supportive and kind. They gave me the time I needed to feel comfortable with MY decision. So to see very slanted articles is disheartening because you know that while empowering women to give birth naturally is their goal, they are also tainting the birth experiences of women who were not able to have the natural birth that they wanted and planned. Birthing a child is amazing no matter how you look at it and it would be nice to see more articles that give us information on both sides of the childbirth coin.

 

Just for the record, I was in no way offended by the article, or any article. People are entitled to their opinions and entitled to voice those opinions. Birthing children is something that women are getting more and more impassioned about in recent years and that is in large part because of there being so much more information available. I think that is awesome in itself. But opinions are often largely based on experience and we all know that no two birth experiences are exactly the same. There are so many factors. So I don't think it is as black and white as some make it out to be. There are varying shades of grey. Listen, I was so EXCITED to birth my first baby at home. I was prepared beyond prepared. Except for one thing. I knew things could go wrong. I knew there could be complications. I knew interventions may be necessary. For SOMEBODY ELSE. When my midwife came and checked my blood pressure only one hour after my water broke and told me it was alarmingly high and we needed to immediately go to the hospital because I could stroke out, I was SHOCKED. My pregnancy had been healthy and normal. My birthing pool was set up. I had my birth music cued. I had my candles. I had my pain management skills honed. I was ready for a home birth. But you know what I didn't have? A bag packed in case I had to go to the hospital. I was 40 weeks pregnant and hadn't made any plans just in case The Plan fell through at any point in time. Just plain dumb. Even though everything went off the rails from the very beginning, I can still honestly say that once I got over the fact that I wasn't going to get my dream birthing experience and came to terms with the fact that I was going to labour in a hospital, I was alright with it. Despite the circumstances, I still felt like I had some control, I got to say what I did or did not want. I laboured for12 hours with major back pain and vomiting with almost every contraction before I finally asked for an epidural. I was reluctant because I knew the facts. But I was exhausted and at that point I just needed relief. I had done what I could do on my own strength. It took me 2 hours to make that decision, but when I finally asked, it was me asking and not someone telling me I should. Of course, the epidural did what it is almost guaranteed to do, took away my pain and slowed down my contractions. I was not surprised, but by then I was back in my right mind and pretty irritated that now I needed an oxytocin drip which never did bring my contractions back as strong and regular as they had been on their own. Bottom line, I landed in the hospital because of high blood pressure and my baby was delivered by c-section because she was posterior and her 8 lb 11 oz head got wedged into my pelvis. At the end of a very long day, I felt like I did everything I could to deliver my baby. I was at the exact opposite end of the childbirth spectrum than where I thought I'd be. If I had it to do over again would I still wish for my home water birth? Hell yah! But going through the experience I did only proved to me that even though she and I didn't get the birthing experience I had hoped and dreamed for us, she still has one strong momma! How did I do it? The same as any mother does. You focus on your baby. That is what this is all about. Becoming a mother. Giving life to your baby. It is what drives us to go through this whole life changing experience, from conception to birth and beyond. So you just do it. And maybe you cry for a few minutes when you realize that your child's birth isn't going to be what you wanted it to be. But she was born and she is ours and it was still amazing. Why beat yourself up about that? It is just one chapter in a lifelong saga. I would want women to know that the experience of giving birth can be many things, some of which you can control and others you cannot. But just be informed. Know all your options. But most importantly, BE OPEN.

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Old 12-02-2011, 12:20 PM
 
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I love this because I went through a similar experience. I laboured at home for about fifty two hours before transferring to the hospital where I took pain meds because I was so exhausted and then I had to have pitocin to kickstart my tired body. It is time for all women to support eachothers birthing choices and understand that there are things beyond our control. I felt like such a failure and then I had to remind myself that I did atleast 52 hours without pain meds and then gave birth in the hospital standing up and my husband caught. I am still working through my issues but I will try homebirth again!

 

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Old 12-02-2011, 01:07 PM
 
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Made me cry. I've been upset ever since my son's birth that it wasn't where or how I intended it to be. I've been so angry because the midwives and OB were stressing us out to the point my baby suffered what seemed to be, under the circumstances, a little heart attack. But this has made me feel better. He's here, healthy, and strong. I wouldn't take that back for anything. And I know whenever we decide to try for number two, all I've gained is knowledge to make a more educated decision later on.

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Old 12-02-2011, 04:56 PM
 
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You know, it's so funny how humbling it is to have children. Not to give birth to them (which is humbling in its own way)....but to actually start on the road to parenthood. Somewhere along the line, you get so tired and worn down that you have to really pick your battles, when it comes to where you put your energy, what you obsess over....I used to obsess over homebirth in ways that I just don't anymore. I'm too tired to care about the choices other people are making, I just want everyone to be safe and have experiences they are happy with. I used to see "different kinds" of mamas...now I feel solidarity with most all mamas, across the board, regardless of birth choices, vaxxing, etc etc.

 

My first, I was so gung-ho about being out of hospital, there was nothing you could have said to make me see that ANYTHING but out of hospital birth (and an "attached" birth center didn't "count" to me) as being "optimal" and I was blessed with a perfect water birth. My second, my kitchen baby, was another perfect birth...identical to my first. Both kids healthy as horses, perfect in every way. I'm an absolute fan of and promoter of homebirth. It's true. But I have so much more room in my head now, for other places, other ways. My births were awesome, I loved them, the closest thing I've ever experienced to true religion...but my kids, the PRODUCTS of my birth experiences are **precious**.  PRECIOUS to me, in ways that the births themselves can never be.

 

This time, as I grow my baby and think about what life will be like with three....I'm such a different person than I was even two years ago, for my sons birth. "Optimal" is a different word for me now....and I see all types of births in all sorts of places fitting into that term. "Optimal" is a happy, healthy, supported mama and baby. "Optimal" is a birth that ends with a healthy baby and as little emotional/physical trauma for mama as possible.

 

I know women who got their homebirths and it was so horrific and left such lasting emotional scars for them that they would trade it for a hospital birth any day. We obviously know lots of women who had the hospital births who wish they had chosen home. The experiences and outcomes and feelings range from birth to birth....but the thing that remains for all women who birthed, no matter where that birth was, who ended up unhappy with their experience, is the pain that comes with facing the black and white world of the childbirth community.

 

The homebirth mama who hated homebirth and feels so traumatized by it, feels separate from the homebirth community...the hospital birth mama who was so traumatized by her birth, feels separate from the homebirth community and also the "had my epidural, LOVED it!" community.

 

I used to throw out, at the end of my long posts about how superior homebirth is, "but we all know that what really matters is a healthy baby, no matter what" - but I didn't mean it, looking back. I can look back at saying that and realize that what I really meant, in my heart, was "A healthy baby is what really matters and if you stupid faces would just trust your bodies enough and find good midwives you wouldn't have complications to worry about" - I didn't realize that was what I felt...but looking back I can tell that I was really coming from that place. I really, really thought, that if you just left it alone and trusted it, birth would deliver you, every time, to health and happiness. I can sincerely say that I do not feel that any more.

 

Now, when I say that...."What really matters, is a healthy baby and a whole mama who feels supported by her community" - I know I mean it, because I look at these two perfect kids and feel so completely fucking scared about having a third. My first and second time around, a "perfect" outcome was a given for me....it just was what was going to happen, because I was making all the "right" choices. I didn't consider for a moment that things wouldn't be perfect. This time, I'm too aware of how much they mean to me, how much my entire universe is propped up on them being okay....and how little control I REALLY have over that always being true.

 

I almost feel like I'm pushing my luck, to ask for or expect another perfect birth and baby. I will still birth at home. I think my choices are good. But I know that "perfect" is not a given. My ability to visualize transferring is much better this time. I'm too tired and wary from the joy of loving and parenting these kids and the fatigue of realizing that they are not safe no matter what, just because I research things and WANT them to be safe....that in this life, there is chance and danger and things that are perfectly planned can go to hell in a hurry.

 

So, I tend not to think of myself as a homebirther. I think of myself as a mother, who happened to birth at home. But, a mother first...tired and harried and worn down as the rest of you...doing my best and waking up early and fretting over decisions that need to be made just like we all are. What makes me the parent I am, is not the way my kids are born. I rarely think about their births anymore....I'm too busy thinking about all the ways in which I can try to not mess these perfect, awesome kids up now that I've got them and they are growing like weeds.

 

I love all of you mamas...no matter where you gave birth. My wish is for all of you wounded by your births can be healed by your mothering...and that all of those women who feel superior for getting the births they wanted can relax and feel humbled and "the same" as all the rest of the mothers, by the important part....doing what we can to make happy healthy people, after they actually get here.

 

 


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Old 12-02-2011, 08:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can't say 'amen' loud enough!  Mothers are mothers are mothers.

 

I had my first child when I was 39 years old.  I felt like I had been patiently waiting for that moment forever.  I had been practicing half my life for that instant when I birthed my own little human being into the world.  I spent nine months reading and researching.  I watched The Business of Being Born repeatedly.  Ina May's Guide to Childbirth was my childbirth bible.  I could visualize my home water birth.  I was ready.  I was confident.  I have child bearing hips and I trusted my body to do what it was built to do.  I knew I would push my child into my own waiting arms at home and without drugs.  So shock and disappointment don't even begin to describe my initial reaction to being told by my midwife that I needed to transfer to the hospital after only ONE HOUR at home.  But I gave my head a shake and thought, I can still do this my way but it will just be in the hospital.  After 24 hours I knew.  I knew in my heart before the OB even said the word c-section that her birth wasn't going to be my envisioned ending.  I sobbed.  I was so tired.  I felt like I had failed.  This wasn't supposed to happen to a mother-to-be who was so prepared for a natural home birth.  But I had amazingly supportive people around me.  My husband.  My family.  My midwives.  Even my OB and nurses.  So as I was laying on the operating room table and they prepared to cut my child out of my womb, I had a few moments to think.  First, I admitted that I was scared.  Second, I realized that I worked really hard to get to this point and I was about to meet my daughter.  That single thought made me excited again.  I was going to see her face and hear her voice.  My husband held my hand tight and we waited.  When I heard that first gurgle and then her loud, protesting cry, we looked at each other with tears in our eyes.  I wasn't thinking about how I wished I was back in my birthing pool.  This was our reality and my heart was bursting with love and joy.  Looking back now, I can't imagine her arrival any other way because that is her story, hers and mine.  Don't get me wrong, in the days and weeks following her birth there were times that I felt pangs of regret, sadness for a missed opportunity.  But I did not allow myself to feel like a failure again.  I am Elida's mother and that role means so much more than just how I brought her into the world.  I love what Avery's Momma said, "BE HEALED BY YOUR MOTHERING".  As mothers, we are doing our very best for the most important people in our lives.  Just do your best.  That is all that matters.  Embrace the fact that you care this much.  We want everything to be perfect.  I know.  But life happens.  So mourn your disappointment and then celebrate their life.

 

And finally, support each other.  I smile at mothers every day.  I look in their eyes and I feel a connection with them.  I have no idea how they birthed their babies.  But I see myself in them.  I see the love and the tears, the laughter and the frustration, the pride and joy, the fear of the unknown.  I know them now.  Mothers are mothers are mothers.

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Old 12-03-2011, 10:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Momma to Elida View Post
And finally, support each other.  I smile at mothers every day.  I look in their eyes and I feel a connection with them.  I have no idea how they birthed their babies.  But I see myself in them.  I see the love and the tears, the laughter and the frustration, the pride and joy, the fear of the unknown.  I know them now.  Mothers are mothers are mothers.


Yes to this^.

 

I feel such solidarity with mothers I bump into. All mothers. I want and love the connection I feel to the community of women around the world who are doing the best they can for their brood with what they've got. I don't know how most women I meet gave birth and it never crosses my mind. For all the fuss I made about my births, I'm too busy having my mind blown by parenting to feel so smug as I did before. Pre-birth, I was the smuggest cat on the block. I was making all the right choices, my births were "in the bag". Post-births, I'm not so smug. Motherhood tends to wipe that look right off your face, doesn't it? ;) It's easy to feel smug when you're planning and preparing.....but there is nothing you can really do to plan, once you are really birthing and then, when they are here and growing like weeds! Planning and "making sure everything is perfect" is such a "pre-kids" philosophy, in my experience. I can hardly plan for a nap these days, forget about whole major life events!

 

If motherhood has done anything for me, it's helped me to see the beauty in chaos, the joy in throwing caution to the wind and just sort of "going with the flow" despite not being sure if things are going to be perfect. It's also highlighted that life can be incredibly unfair and that things don't just "turn out okay" all the time...but on that front, it's just helped me to accept that things always unfold as they SHOULD, no matter what that means to anyone else.....I truly believe at this point, that there hasn't been any good or bad development in my life that wasn't meant to be a part of this learning experience for me.

 

I've been so healed by my mothering that it's not even funny. My childhood was rough and being a mother has put so many things into perspective for me. My mother made some awful, awful mistakes...some things that I once thought were entirely unforgivable. I used to look back on my childhood and see a monster. But now, having become a mother....having sat in my bed, so many nights, wondering if I'm doing everything right or if I'll end up ruining my kids for life or whatever...seeing how hard this is and how tired and sometimes unsure of myself I am, I feel differently. Looking back at the skills she had, her age (so young! so alone!)...I really see, instead of a monster, an incredibly fragile, wounded girl, who was seriously doing everything in her power to keep it together. When I look at her today, I still see how tired and wounded she has been by this journey on earth. She didn't do everything right, by a long shot, but given the tools she had, the upbringing she;d faced herself....I really know she gave us absolutely everything she had. If there's one thing I know I got from her...it's a fighting spirit, and one sure as hell needs a whole lot of that, to be a mother.


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Old 12-05-2011, 04:13 PM
 
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OP, thank you for starting this thread. And thank you PPs for sharing. I don't really have words right now to express myself properly, but I really need to hear this. A few months ago I had a homebirth turned hospital transfer, and it's been difficult for me to reconcile it with my previous views.

 

Thank you.


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Old 12-06-2011, 05:10 AM
 
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Yeah.

 

You guys are such beautiful writers.  I hate to interrupt such eloquence with my blabber.  I thought I would chime in because although my situation is different, it's the same.  It comes to the same conclusions anyway.

 

I had two really beautiful home births.  I couldn't imagine birthing any other way - I mean, this is what I do, I give birth at home. Sounds funny now.  Now I know I was truly blessed.

 

Fast forward to my third pregnancy (right now).  I'm so excited I get to do it again - low and behold, my adoring midwife (who accepted insurance) was unfairly driven out of business.  First came denial.  Then the anger at the whole birthing establishment.  Then came the - oh, I don't know what to call it - defiance.  It was the old "I'm going to do this by myself at home and I will show them".  I was quickly whipped back into shape by my husband who told me, there was no way in hell we were going to deliver this baby by ourselves. haha.

 

I knew it too, but I was mad.

 

Then after a few weeks of calling midwives and realizing that nobody would drive to me - nobody took insurance, or would be out of network.  And worse, I would have to pay for bloodwork and sonograms out of pocket?  Really?   I went really long in my second pregnancy and my midwife made me do NST and sonograms every week for like 3 weeks.  Can you imagine?  With a 4K out of pocket cost for the midwife (not including labs and such), that birth would have cost us well over 10K if not more. 

 

Yeah...like that's happening.

 

After talking to a midwife who basically judged me and chewed me out over the phone (this was our first conversation and I was telling her about the situation), I realized that her anger wasn't towards me, but the establishment that I was also angry at.  But it didn't help.  Her anger was severely misplaced, and she lost a potential client who she might have gotten.  She was my savior, and now, I have nothing.  I've lost faith in the entire process.

 

Over the last few weeks, I have slowly (very slowly) begun to accept the fact that "money talks", and I don't have any.  I have begun to accept my fate.  There are no home birth possibilities for me, right at this time anyway.  So I began researching -  trying to find the best options available to give me the best chance at the outcome I want to achieve.  What I realized is that it's really all the same.  Birthing center is 1.5 hours this way and hospital based birthing center is 1.5 hours that way.  Whatever whatever whatever.

 

All I need is for someone to take care of me and help me have my baby. 

 

When I get sad about the whole thing, I remember that everything works out for a reason.  The reason being a better outcome for Mom and Baby - whether that be a growth experience, a personal realization or whatever.  In my situation, I think I am being guided on a different path, for one reason or another.  I'm not saying that something bad is going to happen, but maybe I just need a different experience to humble myself and/or for a personal learning and growing experience.


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