Feeling bad about my good home birth - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 08-18-2014, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Feeling bad about my good home birth

My son was born on Saturday in a complication-free home birth. He did great throughout the labor and was born pink and screaming. I didn't tear and am healing up well, so everything is great...except that the pushing stage this time around-he is my second child-was truly awful.

With my first labor, pushing was hard and painful but I felt in control and it lasted about 50 minutes. This time the pain was unimaginably horrible. I screamed at the top of my lungs through every contraction. I clawed at things and nearly fell over trying to get away from the pain. I couldn't do any constructive pushing. My husband started to freak out because I was like a wild animal and he could tell it was much worse than the first labor. My midwives weren't worried because the baby's heart tones were first rate and they had checked to make sure I was fully dilated.

I read that the pushing stage for experienced moms is usually 20 minutes or less. It took me 50 minutes again, probably because I was screaming and writhing rather than doing any pushing. One of the midwives thought maybe I had pinched a nerve or something as the baby descended and that would account for all the pain. He was perfectly anterior and well positioned. There was no clinical reason for the pain.

Anyway, I see these lovely home birth videos on YouTube or read birth stories online and I really felt like I would have that experience, that I would push my baby out with power and control, similar to but better than my first. Instead I was whipped and scared and just so thankful that it was over and the pain hadn't caused any lasting damage. Now I find myself fearing another labor if we have a third. I feel kind of cheated that I didn't get the easy labor second time moms are supposed to have.

Let me also say that I realize these are pretty trivial concerns in the grand scheme of things. Of course with post partum hormones everything seems worse than it is. Anyway, thanks for letting me vent...
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Jessica, wife to Bill, mother to DD (July 2012) and soon-to-be DS (due August 12, 2014)

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#2 of 16 Old 08-19-2014, 09:38 AM
 
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(hugs) I had a beautiful, peaceful, unmedicated birth in the hospital, 3 months ago & I'm feeling bad about it too? Weird. I'm chalking it up to postpartum mood stuff. Let yourself feel what you need to. XO Sierra
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#3 of 16 Old 08-19-2014, 10:06 AM
 
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Your feelings are valid. I just want to let you know that all of my pushing stages (5 kids) took a very long time whether hospital or at home. Average time means a lot of us are outside of that. Hypnobabies helped me feel more in control with my last two labors and pushing stages. Every birth is so different and I definitely understand feeling like you were cheated.

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#4 of 16 Old 08-19-2014, 10:08 AM
 
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I'm so sorry you had such a tough time. I suspect that there are more painful and terrible births out there than peaceful ones (I suspect this because it's covered in Genesis), but that the people with the harder experiences don't post videos. YouTube is going to skew positive.

Congratulations on your new baby, and I hope that you're resting and recovering.
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#5 of 16 Old 08-19-2014, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all these thoughts. It really helps to hear this. You're right that YouTube must skew positive. I wouldn't put a video of this labor I just had on YouTube, but if I'd had my ideal labor, I might've.

My midwives seemed to think the labor went great. My husband said they were smiling the whole time, so maybe there are more screamers out there than I realize. They seemed to be judging the labor on the heart tones and the baby descending. They never coached me out of the screaming, though I wonder if maybe that would've helped. Maybe the screaming wasn't that bad from what they see.
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#6 of 16 Old 08-19-2014, 04:54 PM
 
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oooh, a pinched nerve sounds very possible and awful! I'm sorry you went through so much pain. Thank goodness you were able to do that for your sweet little baby and he is healthy with an awesome mama to take care of him! I've heard from many women that "vocalizing" is very helpful and feels good. Obviously that doesn't sound like what you were going through. I hear it is better to push for a longer period of time because it gives your body more of a chance to stretch and avoid tearing. When it is time for me to push, with both of my kids it only took three pushes, but I couldn't even help it. My doctors were yelling at me to stop pushing. This time around, we are doing a homebirth with a wonderful midwife. Congratulations on your baby. I'm sorry to hear it wasn't a satisfying birth. It is wonderful that our bodies forget pain so effortlessly though. By the time you are ready for another you probably won't even remember how extremely awful the push was and you'll be able to do it all over again.
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#7 of 16 Old 08-19-2014, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's an interesting thought, maybe the upshot of this is that I spared myself any perineal damage. I did blow thru it really quickly just to end the pain. I was surprised to hear I didn't tear.

I think things went wrong with the cervix. My mw checked me and said I was at 6, then with the next contraction I was at 10 and pushing. The cervix just reacted really strongly to the exam, and that's when the excruciating pain began. I suppose that odd turn of events is unlikely to happen again.

Jessica, wife to Bill, mother to DD (July 2012) and soon-to-be DS (due August 12, 2014)

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#8 of 16 Old 08-19-2014, 06:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JessicaHW View Post
I read that the pushing stage for experienced moms is usually 20 minutes or less. It took me 50 minutes again, probably because I was screaming and writhing rather than doing any pushing. ....
Anyway, I see these lovely home birth videos on YouTube or read birth stories online and I really felt like I would have that experience,.... I feel kind of cheated that I didn't get the easy labor second time moms are supposed to have.

I have 2 children and neither of my births went the way that I wanted them too. Lots of complications. And for a while I had issues with it.

I think the birth stories and videos just mess with our heads. It creates this weird thing that having a baby is about the experience of our body giving birth rather than bringing a new child in your family and into the world.

Eventually, this will fade in your mind. I will always remember how horrible my births went, but now it seems like a very small thing in comparison to the countless hours that I've had with my children.

For me, the cure was holding and rocking my babies and just looking at them. Focusing on how amazing it is they they exist. Just being in the moment with them.

When you are thinking about the birth or considering future children, you and missing time with your 2 children and your husband. Be here, in the now.

Congratulations on your new baby.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#9 of 16 Old 08-20-2014, 12:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JessicaHW View Post
Thanks for all these thoughts. It really helps to hear this. You're right that YouTube must skew positive. I wouldn't put a video of this labor I just had on YouTube, but if I'd had my ideal labor, I might've.

My midwives seemed to think the labor went great. My husband said they were smiling the whole time, so maybe there are more screamers out there than I realize. They seemed to be judging the labor on the heart tones and the baby descending. They never coached me out of the screaming, though I wonder if maybe that would've helped. Maybe the screaming wasn't that bad from what they see.
Screaming is very common. The nurses actually didn't think I was progressing with one labor because I wasn't! For three of my hospital births, I could hear screaming pretty much the whole time. I screamed for two of my labors. So I can see why they'd be unconcerned. Just figured I'd throw it out there. Then again I might've punched someone if they tried to coach me out of screaming.

For my 4th, I talked myself up into being so positive about the birth that it really cut when I had complications. I felt like I had lost somehow, or that it was my fault for not getting that "perfect" birth. It took me awhile to get over it and now it's my most cherished birth story. Sometimes time helps, or just talking it through.
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#10 of 16 Old 08-20-2014, 02:28 PM
 
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My first birth was much easier than my second (last month) - shorter labor, faster pushing phase, and no tearing. I screamed my head off with my second. Incidentally, my recovery has been MUCH better this time around.

No two births are alike, I think, and it's pretty normal to have frustrations or regrets even with what seems on the surface to be a perfect birth. I definitely understand why you feel bad (and maybe even guilty about sharing your feelings) about your HB. One of my best friends was planning a HB and ended up with an unwanted C-section, and I don't feel like I can share any less-than-positive thoughts with her, just because I got a successful HB and she didn't. I'm frustrated that my births happened so quickly, but women always tell me that they're so "jealous" that my labors were that fast. Grass is greener on the other side and all that.

Just my $0.02 but I think you've got a very realistic outlook on this, even if you're still frustrated by what happened. There's a difference between being frustrated and being frustrated but knowing and understanding why. Not sure if that makes sense, but just wanted to offer you a little shared-experience and hug. I do hope that any physical issues or pain heal quickly and leave you feeling better about things.
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#11 of 16 Old 08-20-2014, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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These are just great responses from everyone. So many thoughtful points. What a great forum this is.

Yeah, I think the most important thing is the outcome, which was great for everyone. I am healing up faster than with the first, our son is doing great, big sister is, ER, adjusting... Probably not worth it to focus on the one aspect that didn't go as planned.

Jessica, wife to Bill, mother to DD (July 2012) and soon-to-be DS (due August 12, 2014)

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#12 of 16 Old 08-21-2014, 01:01 PM
 
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Every birth is different.....between ladies and even between the same lady! My first (hospital) was easy contrax but terrible pushing. My 2nd (birthing center) had very had contrax but pushing was great. My 3rd (first homebirth), was just somewhat scary because it was a new experience. Contrax were harder than the last 2 and pushing seemed hard too. My 4th (homebirth), once contrax finally started were pretty strong. The whole ordeal went very quickly (less than 3 hours from start to finish) but the pushing was very hard. It was like I was pushing against a wall. My 5th (homebirth) was my second longest labor. Contrax were decently easy...but pushing was hard and I was worn out.
So don't count out a 3rd baby! Who knows how it will be!
To me your delivery seems pretty normal. From what I have seen most people are vocal and have tremendous pain if they don't use some form of drug.
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#13 of 16 Old 08-29-2014, 08:26 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JessicaHW View Post
That's an interesting thought, maybe the upshot of this is that I spared myself any perineal damage. I did blow thru it really quickly just to end the pain. I was surprised to hear I didn't tear.

I think things went wrong with the cervix. My mw checked me and said I was at 6, then with the next contraction I was at 10 and pushing. The cervix just reacted really strongly to the exam, and that's when the excruciating pain began. I suppose that odd turn of events is unlikely to happen again.
I definitely agree with all these ladies! Every labor is different. Also just because the second labor and pushing stage are typically shorter, that's just the average and won't apply to every one. I personally yelled a lot more than I expected and was embarrassed. The midwives reassured me though that it's really common during pushing. What you said about your cervix and pain level though has me wondering. It might not apply in your case, but you should look into this. http://midwiferyramblings.blogspot.c...ng-at-5cm.html
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#14 of 16 Old 08-30-2014, 05:42 AM
 
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Hi - Just wanted to add my experiences with 4 unmedicated births (2 in hospital, 2 at home) and the pushing stage was so very different for each one. With my first, I was on pitocin and the contractions were unbearable, especially being stuck in the bed. I managed to grit my teeth (and moan) through it, but when the pushing stage came, it was if a fog had lifted, the pain of the contractions stopped and I had a somewhat pleasant sensation with the urge to push - I even started smooching my dh between pushes! I was expecting the same with baby #2 , but was sorely disappointed that the contraction pain didn't stop when it was time to push and it hurt like heck (although not as bad as those pit contractions). My midwife explained that the difference was in the size of the baby (my 2nd was two pounds heavier). So then with baby #3 , I had a planned home birth in a tub of water, and I thought I had discovered the secret to pleasurable childbirth! I had the sensation of my baby just slipping out of me with barely any effort on my part (ten minutes of pushing after only one hour of labor) After that birth, I couldn't rave enough about water birth. Then with baby #4 , I came back down to earth and realized that every birth is different.... Even though I had another water birth, pushing hurt, my normal moaning wasn't cutting it, I made comments like "I can't do it", "I want to stop", and my midwife did try to suggest that I stop making noise until the peak of the contraction, because she thought I would hurt my throat. She might have even told me to hold my breath, I can't really remember the details on that. But I will still describe birth #4 as my "dream birth" because we had envisioned every detail (outdoor water birth under the moon and stars) and it all came true I'm not sure what birth #5 has in store for us in December!

Laura ~ Mama to three wild and wonderful boys , our rainbow baby girl on 7/2/12 and expecting #5 on 12/24/14

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#15 of 16 Old 08-30-2014, 07:03 AM
 
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I am so sorry about this for you! I think in some way, the birth community has over-inflated the peaceful and relaxed childbirths that occur. I have had 8 varied birth experiences. In my 6 vaginal births, I push very quickly, and very large babies come flying out. However, the whole time I'm in transition these huge babies come from a relatively high station, crashing down, and I'm screaming the whole time. It doesn't matter what I'm being coached or supported to do..I scream, and I am out of my mind in pain. Truly, that in of itself is enough to make me think at the time I'm a failure, and even more so later in retrospect.

I've watched birth videos of couples dancing through transition, kissing, smiling, laughing..and then we all know about the orgasmic births

What about those of us who still naturally birth, despite being like a caged wild animal ready to shred her own self to pieces? What do we do with that?

What I've done with that is realize that's just how I birth. I do labor up to transition like some sort of peaceful, inward angelic birth expert...everyone marveling at my composure, not even believing I'm in labor. Then I hit transition and you have to peel me off the ceiling....

You are certainly a wonderful mama, and you birth as I suspect, the same way many, MANY other women do..we just don't see it much. Oh, and if it matters, none of those birth screams ever keep me from desiring more children. I nurse and get pregnant whenever God sees fit to bless me..and I go through it again, because it's worth every scream to nurture another little soul.

Blessings!

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#16 of 16 Old 09-09-2014, 01:05 PM
 
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Just wanted to chime in and tell you that I am a one of those kind of mamas too. I went all over the house, room to room, yelled, moaned, and made these weird barnyard animal sounds, and possibly even stranger, sometimes I sang out really loud long "Ohs". I didn't want anyone to touch me, and I whined and complained about being tired. Baby was born 3 days ago and my voice is still all raspy.

Thanks for posting this. It is one of the best threads I have read in a while.
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