Please help me understand something... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 97 Old 05-26-2006, 10:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am very serious about this, very serious, this is no joke. Would you please tell me why you would want to have a child? Here's my situation in a nutshell.

I am 45 years old and I think I am pregnant. I have been trying to get myself to the OB for two weeks and I just don't want to know. I don't like children, and have never liked children since the age of 12. I could never understand why anyone would want to be a mother.

I had a termination years ago, partly due to the fact that I didn't want a child and partially due to the fact that I can't handle labor. I can't handle pain--I have had two wisdom teeth impacted for 9 years, and I can't have them out in the office, due to the fact that I had such a severe emotional reaction to the impending surgery that the oral surgeon won't do it. He's afraid I will have a stroke or bleed excessively due to high blood pressure, crying, vomiting, racing heart, etc. I spent almost a year in a cast rather than have surgery on a shattered ankle because I was such a wreck the surgeon didn't want to have to operate. I mean, I can't handle pain of any kind, so labor has always been an absolutely out of the question situation.

I am now in the position where I am going to have to have another termination, which is fine with me, but the father is a great guy and I can't tell him about it. He has two kids, loves them, and will flip out. He agreed that we will not have a child, due to my age, but that was before this took place. He will want it, and I can't handle it. I would rather shoot myself quickly than be pregnant or go through labor. The whole thing makes me sick. I love him and I feel badly for him, though.

I was discussing my dilemna with a friend, and she made an excellent point: why do these people want to have children, be pregnant, deal with the problems, pee themselves for the rest of their lives, vomit for months on end, and then deal with labor? I will admit, that of all of my friends from college who have children--and it's not a majority of women, I will admit--not a single one would do it again. Not one. The ones who had a child didn't have a second.

Maybe there is something about this I don't understand. I never did understand it, but then again, with the first termination my then-husband didn't want it, either. I didn't think twice about this question. We divorced for reasons other than the termination.

Maybe you can help me understand why you would do this to your bodies and lives. I guess I missed something somewhere.

Good luck to all of you with your pregnancies!:
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#2 of 97 Old 05-26-2006, 10:53 PM
 
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You are right about one thing - you don't understand. I could ask you Why Not? I have thought about having children since I was a child myself. I have had 4 children and hope to have another. I love being pregnant, I birth my children at home without fear and even after delivering 4 children vaginally have only peed myself once and that was in the middle of a major laughing fit

Instead of allowing yourself to get pregnant and then terminating as easily as one might get their oil changed why not get your tubes tied? Or at least an IUD or other form of long term birth control? It is clear that you don't want children and I think it is great that you know what you want/don't want but if that is how you feel then why would you allow yourself to get pregnant?

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 Keri wife and Mama to  Cory 17,  Brendan 15,  Kerianne 8,  Avery 7,  Lilia 3
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#3 of 97 Old 05-26-2006, 11:04 PM
 
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If you're so sure that you don't want to have a child, I'm wondering why you are asking? Are you just curious, or do you think maybe you might change your mind if presented with a different perspective?

In any case, your question is a valid one of course, and I applaud you for having the courage to ask it in a forum filled with very pro-children women, lol! I've had run-ins with some "child-free" people, and they were *so* sure that children and children-lovers are evil and/or miserable that they will not open their minds to any other possibility, and that can only perpetuate animosity between the families with children and the child-free, which IMO hurts us all.

Also as someone who didn't want children and had no interest in them whatsoever, yet ended up with four of her own, I'm probably in a very good position to answer your questions. I have to go do dinner right now, but I just wanted to let you know that I will be back tonight or tomorrow to talk more about this.
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#4 of 97 Old 05-26-2006, 11:07 PM
 
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Sounds like motherhood just isn't for you. Good luck with your decision.
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#5 of 97 Old 05-26-2006, 11:07 PM
 
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It sounds like you might have a problem with surgery rather than pain per se? Impacted wisdom teeth and a shattered ankle are certainly painful. Pregnancy, labor and birth do not need to involve surgery, nor would you necessarily vomit for months on end (though some do) or have incontinence problems (uncommon with normal vaginal birth and can be addressed).

Not wanting children is another story. I can halfway relate, because I never thought I wanted children; my first was accidentally conceived. I did not want to abort or give her up though, and I'm so glad she (and now her sister, who was very much planned) came along. I was at something of a loose end when I found myself pregnant; my life wasn't going much of anywhere. Having children has given me direction, purpose and a great deal of joy. If you already have those things in your life, though, and cannot or will not adjust your life and your thinking in the ways necessary to becoming a parent, you are probably better off terminating.
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#6 of 97 Old 05-26-2006, 11:21 PM
 
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Pregnancy, childbirth and raising children is so much more than a physical experience. I have been pregnant three times, delivered three healthy babies vaginally and am now raising three of the most amazing people I have ever known in my life. Never once out of three pregnancies did I vomit; I had no "problems" to deal with; I have never "peed myself"; childbirth is the most profoundly moving and empowering experience I have ever had. The pain was nothing compared to the knowledge that MY body is capable of such an amazing show of strength.
I have watched these same three children begin as infants with nothing but love and wonder and trust in their faces grow and develop to become people who have their own amazing personalities and experiences and dreams. They are brilliant and funny and opinionated and loving and generally just really wonderful people. I feel so unbelievably lucky that they are a part of my life. My children are not something I have "done to" my body or my life; they are a part of me and have enriched my life and my husband's lives in ways I wouldn't possibly have enough room to express on this thread. Hope that helps you to understand a little of why some of us choose to be parents.
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#7 of 97 Old 05-26-2006, 11:25 PM
 
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I can so relate. I accidentally get pregnant in 2000. I was devestated. I never wanted children. Never liked them. I was slightly suicidal when I found out. Well, I miscarried and I have to say it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Between that, 9-11 and my mother passing all soon after the miscarriage, I decided to take a long look at my life. 37 and what did I have etc. I had a kind of epiphany. I decided that we would throw out the birth control and see what happened. If I wasn't pregnant by my 38th birthday, I was getting my tubes tied as a gift to myself. Well, wouldn't ya know next month, I turn up preggers!! I was scared, excited, confused, surprised.

My pregnancy went great, my labor and delivery sucked (that's a whole other story) but I knew it would end. It's all about the prize anyway isn't it?

Well, I'm not going to say it's been perfect, but it has been wonderful. More wonderful than I ever expected or could have believed. I still wonder sometimes "what have I gotten myself into" and when that happens, I just try to remember that this happened for a reason. She is here to teach me and I need to learn. Boy am I learning!! It's amazing how your mind can open up to new possibilities when you are no longer the only one that counts.

Think about it...do some soul searching...read posts here...It's not easy, it's not perfect, but you might just find out it's worth everything.

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#8 of 97 Old 05-26-2006, 11:28 PM
 
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Truthfully? I personally believe that nobody should become a parent unless they are absolutely, 100% certain that they want a child. It's normal to have doubts, day-to-day and in the long term, about one's ability to handle birth or one's ability to be a good parent, and to wonder how a child will fit into your lifestyle, but if somewhere deep down you don't feel certain that you want to open your life to a child, then you have no business having children.

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#9 of 97 Old 05-26-2006, 11:38 PM
 
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Children aren't for everyone. But just for kicks I will give you my answers:

Quote:
I was discussing my dilemna with a friend, and she made an excellent point: why do these people want to have children, be pregnant, deal with the problems, pee themselves for the rest of their lives, vomit for months on end, and then deal with labor?
I have had 2 sons and I have never peed myself...EVER. I have never "dealt with problems" in regard to childbirth, nor did I ever vomit one single time. I won't say pregnancy is a walk in the park, I actually don't like being pregnant but I do love labor and delivery...and I mean LOVE it !!

I'm pretty sure you can handle childbirth, lol. Seems like you've built it up into something that it isn't. I will tell you that I would rather give birth than have a cavity filled any day. I have never considered myself to have a high tolerance for pain and I have begged to be put under for fillings because I am deathly afraid of them and they always hurt so badly!!!!!!!!!! BUT I absolutely love giving birth. Once I educated myself and prepared myself for childbirth it wasn't overly painful. I made sure I had support around me so that I could handle it. Women have been doing this for centuries. Although given the current state of childbirth in America I can see why you would be so afraid of it. Get yourself back to a primal sense and then you won't fear the pain.

But back to your question. The main reason that prompted my desire to have children was a selfish one. I come from a big family and I see how family has been their for my grandparents/great grandparents when nobody else was. I had a fear of growing old and being alone. Of course now that I have children there is so much more to why I love it and why I want more children. I could not have prepared myself for how much bigger my heart and spirit would grow with the birth of my children. Another reason I want to have children is purely to experience the joy of giving birth. It is amazing and empowering and spiritual. There is truly nothing like it.

~Erin
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#10 of 97 Old 05-26-2006, 11:48 PM
 
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I have never peed myself either, and have been pregnant 5 times, given birth 3, and never threw up once, not even during labor.

I was one of those women who never wanted to have kids either. I never played with dolls. I never daydreamed about babies, or getting married. I never peered in baby carriages or cooed in line at kids. Its not that i didnt like kids, but kids and pregnant women were kind of invisible to me

But I became unexpectedly pregnant with my daughter on the birth control pill and was instantly attached. I went on to have two more kids and have never regretted it. being pregnant, giving birth and being their mother is simply the best thing that I have ever done.

However, it is not for everyone. I agree with the previous poster, whether you decide to proceed with the pregnancy or terminate, you should probably get your tubes tied or some other sort of very effective birthcontrol.
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#11 of 97 Old 05-27-2006, 12:02 AM
 
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I will tell you that I would rather give birth than have a cavity filled any day. I have never considered myself to have a high tolerance for pain and I have begged to be put under for fillings because I am deathly afraid of them and they always hurt so badly!!!!!!!!!! BUT I absolutely love giving birth.
I second that! I have four kids and love giving birth but I haven;t been to a dentist in 6 yrs.
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#12 of 97 Old 05-27-2006, 12:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmmm...it's good to know that you all had these great birth experiences, but I don't know anyone personally who has had anything remotely as wonderful as you all project. To a person, none of my friends from college who have a child would do it again. To A Person. They all had such a bad experience it wasn't worth it. One of them has a PTSD problem to this day and was suicidal afterwards. Another one has permanent sciatica, and they all have peed themselves. Hmmm..that kind of labor I can't handle, and frankly, I am not doing that to my body. I attended one labor in my lifetime and I was violently ill. It disgusted me, it really did.

As far as this primal stuff is concerned, to each her own and all, but I am not a granola-eating earth mother type. That's one of the reasons I think this gig is not for me. I have about as much belief in this primal woman business as I do the the Keebler elves.

I think maybe it's my lack of connection with the the caregiving and bonding stuff of little kids who don't reciprocate in a way I seem to understand, coupled with primal woman business that doesn't appeal to me, that makes it just not my gig.

Maybe I just don't get it. That's what I am starting to think. There must be a connection mechanism that isn't there for me. Hmmm...
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#13 of 97 Old 05-27-2006, 01:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ACesPlace
Hmmm...it's good to know that you all had these great birth experiences, but I don't know anyone personally who has had anything remotely as wonderful as you all project. To a person, none of my friends from college who have a child would do it again. To A Person. They all had such a bad experience it wasn't worth it. One of them has a PTSD problem to this day and was suicidal afterwards. Another one has permanent sciatica, and they all have peed themselves. Hmmm..that kind of labor I can't handle, and frankly, I am not doing that to my body. I attended one labor in my lifetime and I was violently ill. It disgusted me, it really did.

As far as this primal stuff is concerned, to each her own and all, but I am not a granola-eating earth mother type. That's one of the reasons I think this gig is not for me. I have about as much belief in this primal woman business as I do the the Keebler elves.

I think maybe it's my lack of connection with the the caregiving and bonding stuff of little kids who don't reciprocate in a way I seem to understand, coupled with primal woman business that doesn't appeal to me, that makes it just not my gig.

Maybe I just don't get it. That's what I am starting to think. There must be a connection mechanism that isn't there for me. Hmmm...
Perhaps you should seek out more friends then just those from college who had "such horrible experiences." What do you want? Everyone is sharing with you *why* they went through (even enjoyed) pregnancies and births, and you just keep harping on these college buddies with bad experiences...

I don't find labor disgusting at all. It's a beautiful, wonderful thing. And to go through it is an amazing, life changing experience. For me, and many other women, it was wonderful. I suppose it is primal - and you must understand something about primal, since your urges to eat, sleep, breathe, and go to the bathroom are all primal - but more than that it's empowering.

A baby comes through you and not for you. A child is a gift to the world and we as mothers are honored to take those little hands and lead them into tomorrow.

If you can't handle pregnancy, birth, and children, then I'm going to guess a forum on birthing might not have what you're looking for.

and after three children, I've never peed myself, had chronic pain, been suicidal, or compared myself to Keebler elves

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#14 of 97 Old 05-27-2006, 01:43 AM
 
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I have never peed myself either. Although, I was one of the unlucky ones who vomited for months on end.

I was terribly afraid of birth as well. I had heard nothing but horror stories. I read as much as I could and took a lot of responsibility for my own birth. If I had sat back passively and just done what the doctor ordered, I'd have had a horror story too.

I can't describe how wonderful it was when my daughter was born. I wouldn't have changed it for the world. It has made me a better person to love someone else as much as I love her.

As far as what you decide, I hope that you make the best decision for you and are happy with it. Perhaps you might want to look into a more permanent form of birth control if this is how you really feel.

Good luck.

Heather Mike Married 8/1/99 Mom to Charlotte Aug 04, Nov 06, and Katherine Oct 07
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#15 of 97 Old 05-27-2006, 01:51 AM
 
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Hmmm...it's good to know that you all had these great birth experiences, but I don't know anyone personally who has had anything remotely as wonderful as you all project.
That is probalby because most of the people you know likely had highly medicalized births instead of primal ones...yeah that is right *GASP*, I said "primal". That was the best world I could think of at the time but what I mean is that childbirth has been turned into a problem that needs to be treated by $$Doctors who take away a woman's choices and tells her what to do/makes her think her body won't perform. Undoubtabley many of your friends had inductions, epidurals, forcep/vaccum assisted deliveries or c-sections which in turn likely led to most of the problems they encountered with childbirth. Turns out contrary to what many $$OBs would have you believe, women can do it on their own. Imagine that...women are strong and powerful humans and their bodies can do what nature intended for them to do

In all seriousness though I have known of several women to suffer from PTSD after births that ended up pretty nasty because of their OB trying to make sure he wouldn't get sued or because he was trying to make his tee time. It doesn't sound like you want to have children, but if you did I'd say just take the time to educate yourself and you can probabley avoid all of that.
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#16 of 97 Old 05-27-2006, 02:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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A baby comes through you and not for you. A child is a gift to the world and we as mothers are honored to take those little hands and lead them into tomorrow.

If you can't handle pregnancy, birth, and children, then I'm going to guess a forum on birthing might not have what you're looking for.


This is the right board for me, although my presence here might make some others quite uncomfortable. Chin up, I will be gone soon, and then you can all say good riddance!

So far, it appears that the desire to be a mother has to do with your inherent value system. There is definitely a sense of appreciation for the process of mothering here that I am lacking. I think it's great that you view children as a gift to the world, and it's important that you feel it is an honor to usher them into the world. It all seems to boil down to what a woman believes has the most value for her--and what she is willing to invest in the process of raising those children she brings into the world. And, you clearly are quite excited by the good work you do.

There is quite a respect for the process of giving birth here, which is certainly the best thing if you are going to repeatedly go through labor. I am glad it is empowering for some, but I personally can't figure out why it would be empowering. I would imagine it is perspective. While it irritates some here when I supposedly harp on the negative birth experiences, there can be no doubt that a plethora of those experiences do exist, and are sadly occurring as I write. I guess it is just what you are willing to experience if you value the process of motherhood and believe it to be so altruistic and noble.

As for the medical aspects of labor, my mother is in medicine, and I don't share the opinion that MD's are inherently evil-doers. I realize there is a significant percentage of mothers who take a different view. Again, beliefs and values.

And finally, I have faithfully used birth control all my life. I have suffered two failures, repeat: two failures. I have never, NEVER, yes that's right, not even once in college, have I ever had sex without birth control. Nothing is perfect, and I am far from careless.

Thank you for your insight and input. It has great value. I have a much clearer understanding of the attraction to motherhood for others. At least now it makes sense even if it doesn't make sense for me.

Have a good night.
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#17 of 97 Old 05-27-2006, 02:53 AM
 
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I just wanted to point out that it isn't just that some people think OBs are "evil". It is actually a statistical fact that mothers who birth with OBs are more likely to have episiotomies/4th degree tears, vaccum/forcep assisted deliveries and c-sections. All of these things lead to delivery complications and generally overall much more traumatic birth experiences. Not really something you can blame on a difference of perception. They are facts.

Sleep tight
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#18 of 97 Old 05-27-2006, 04:54 AM
 
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I am sorry,for you.
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#19 of 97 Old 05-27-2006, 08:32 AM
 
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That is probalby because most of the people you know likely had highly medicalized births instead of primal ones...
I was thinking this too. Most of my friends had horrible birth experiences that put them off childbearing, too. None of them had a natural birth.

And natural birthing doesn't mean that one thinks docs are evil-doers. Both my parents are family practice doctors, and I think they're great. But I also think that surgeons should do surgery, and not attend births, unless there is a real emergency that require surgery.

I have two babies. I did pee myself. I did vomit. Contractions hurt. But I found pregnancy to be awe-inspiring. There is *nothing* like feeling those little feet kick, and respond to music and your voice. I still remember when my fist son was 7mo in the womb, and started exploring the indentation his father's arm (flung over my belly while we were sleeping) made in his little "home". I could feel his tiny hand going up and down the length of dh's arm. Then he flipped and gave a whopping big kick right in the middle. It was the coolest thing eve.
I did find the second birth empowering. I'm not sure how to expalain it, but it did have a lot to do with being free to do what I wanted, and not bound to doctor's expectations or orders. I'm not a feminist, but that was one time when I could have rightly said "I am woman, hear me ROAR". And of course, dh is always awe-struck when I give birth.

I will go through pregnancy and childbirth as many times as the good Lord will let me, since the prize is precious children.



I'm sorta wondering about your posting here too. And why you don't take some permanent measures against pregnancy, if you are so antagonistic towards being a parent?
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#20 of 97 Old 05-27-2006, 09:42 AM
 
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I can see why this is an important decision for you right now. At 45, this is probably the last time you will be confronted with the choice: do i want a child? And it isn't an easy choice for everyone.

I think that it's very very difficult to process what it would be like for you to bring a child into the world.....and to be able to visualize pregnancy and birth and then think it through to the end result of having a child. It's one of those things that is so huge that it's practically impossible to know how you would feel throughout that whole path. And there is an element of the unknown......a mystery per say....in that you do not know what kind of experience it will be for you. I know that before I became a mother I had no idea what it would be like for me, and how I would respond to it. I mean, you can't know what it will be like to actually have a child of your own until you do it. No one elses' experience is really very relevant to you......you would have your own unique experience.

Quote:
I can't handle pain--I have had two wisdom teeth impacted for 9 years, and I can't have them out in the office, due to the fact that I had such a severe emotional reaction to the impending surgery that the oral surgeon won't do it. He's afraid I will have a stroke or bleed excessively due to high blood pressure, crying, vomiting, racing heart, etc. I spent almost a year in a cast rather than have surgery on a shattered ankle because I was such a wreck the surgeon didn't want to have to operate. I mean, I can't handle pain of any kind, so labor has always been an absolutely out of the question situation.
This might be something worth having a look at. Nobody likes pain. And when asked, most of us would say we would prefer to NOT handle pain of any kind. It sounds to me like you HAVE handled pain.....your impacted wisdom sound very painful to me - you certainly wouldn't have any pain during surgery and I cannot imagine feeling more pain after surgery than you already do.....yet you have handled this pain for 9 years? If you would have had the surgery any pain would have probably been gone within a week or so. And a shattered ankle had to hurt like hell! But you got through it.

My point is that you did handle the pain. You handled it because you had to - you had no choice. I suspect that any pain you were to feel during labor or birth would be much the same. You would handle it just as you have had to handle other physical pains in your life.

Now, at 45, having such an emotional reaction to the idea of pain might be worth investigating within yourself.

Anyway, I am not trying to convince you of anything or sway your choice one way or the other. It is completely valid to feel that you do not want children. You are with a good man?.....do you love him? Sometimes the heart matters more than the head?

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#21 of 97 Old 05-27-2006, 10:21 AM
 
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I'm not sure what you're looking for here, the people on this forum are not likely to validate your feelings that "Being a mother was/is/could be the worst mistake I've ever made".

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#22 of 97 Old 05-27-2006, 10:33 AM
 
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All I can say is that no matter what anyone says here, you will not receive any benefit unless you open your mind to thinking about things in a different way than you always have. You ask for advice and personal experience and then try to dismiss what is said as not being relevant to you. I'm not saying you need to, but why go to a group of natural living, natural birthing, child adoring women for their opinion if you don't want to accept that what we have to say may hold some grain of truth in general, not just for us crunchy granola types.

And no, OB's are not evil. There is a time and a place for them. However, childbirth is a normal part of the human condition and treating it like a medicalized event is more likely to cause physical permanent harm (i.e. incontinance, PTSD, etc). For a normal healthy woman, a normal healthy unmedicalized birth is not likely to cause many permanent physical changes (although I do sometimes pee myself when I'm pregnant, never after.)

Personally I find it strange that all of your friends don't care for children. I wonder what happened to make all of them feel that way because from my experience, the general population has a good mix of people that want or don't want kids. That only want one or that want more. Personally I couldn't care less what any person knows is right for them. It's not my business and children certainly aren't for everyone. But ALL of them? What happened? If you really are thinking about having this baby, before you make any rational decision, you will need to open your mind to the posibility that there really is no one answer for anyone. The world is full of many possibilities and it is up to you how you accept and interpret them all. No matter what your decision is, it's all about how you choose to handle the consequences that go with it. It's not about anything external.
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#23 of 97 Old 05-27-2006, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I came here looking for answers from people who clearly understand something that I don't, and when I express reservations or objections, I get called names. Delightful.

Thanks. I made a mistake here. I won't be back. At least I tried to understand...
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#24 of 97 Old 05-27-2006, 10:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ACesPlace
I came here looking for answers from people who clearly understand something that I don't, and when I express reservations or objections, I get called names. Delightful.

Thanks. I made a mistake here. I won't be back. At least I tried to understand...
I don't see where anyone called you a name. You said you came to try and understand. Well...we need to try and understand you too

You seem to have a hard time wrapping your head around the thought that pregnancy, birth, and children can be a *good* thing.

We're having a hard time wrapping our heads around the thought that you came here asking for information and instead have tried to disregard everything we've said only to storm off when people question "what exactly is it that you're looking for?"

Because that would help us to understand what it is you need. If you want somebody to affirm your belief that pregnancy, birth, and children are horrible it sounds like your college girls are the way to go.

If you want someone to tell you the reality that pregnancy, birth, and children can be a wonderful experience, then maybe this is the place for you.

It's a bit frustrating for me, however, to try and share with you what you asked only to be told again and again "my college friends had horrible experiences and I don't want to pee myself." You ask for information, but you don't want to be open to that information. That's confusing

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#25 of 97 Old 05-27-2006, 11:04 AM
 
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One person mentioned the post was trollish. That is not actually calling you a name, just ascribing a description to your post. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the information you have posted about yourself, your friends and your situation but it is within the realm of possibility I suppose.

But PP have made good points. Maybe you could be more specific about what you are looking for? Maybe you don't like the answers or the options, but that's what's there. Coming to a "natural family living community" (as it says on the top of the page) and expecting responses that are against that designation just plain doesn't make sense.

These women have shown they are more than willing to share and answer any questions but it doesn't seem like you are even sure of what you are asking. Normally, when that happens the person is either genuinely confused, or- when their posts keep adding 'information' that goes against the tone of the board- it does end up being 'trollish'.
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#26 of 97 Old 05-27-2006, 11:27 AM
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There is no joy in the world like holding your child for the first time, unless it is seeing their first smile, hearing their first laugh, watching their first steps, hearing their first "mama", getting their first sloppy kiss, taking their first bath... I truly believe, and I lived a lot before I settled down.. there is no adrenaline rush, no drug, nothing in the world like the happiness your child gives you just by being themselves. But you will never understand that until you are there. I don't really even like some other peoples kids... honest.

ETA: and just when you thought you could never love another human more... you do! Each day with a child is precious and entertaining and joyous. There are bad days but wow! Even the bad days have little moments, the kiss goodnight, the hug after a tantrum... You will feel your heart grow and grow and grow and still find more love!

But I don't know what it is like to have a child unplanned/unasked for. I would hope that the sheer amazing wonder of giving birth would change anyone, but if you really want answers that fit your situation I don't think mine will help.
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#27 of 97 Old 05-27-2006, 12:58 PM
 
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I'm sorry your feelings were hurt, but you have to understand that it isn't personal. Trolls start out this way, and they are a *pain* *in* *the* *ass*. So people are understandably wary when someone comes on expressing sentiments that a troll might express, and your motivations are not yet known to be innocent. If you really are interested in finding out more, you just need to shrug that off and continue on with your good intentions. Plenty of us have taken the time to answer your questions sincerely. If that's not good enough for you to stay, so be it; that says to me that our input was not valued by you in the first place, and that's fine.

If you do happen to change your mind and make it back, or on the chance that someone else has similar feelings and is still reading, I'm going to continue to answer your questions. They're interesting to me anyway.

Quote:
To a person, none of my friends from college who have a child would do it again. To A Person. They all had such a bad experience it wasn't worth it. One of them has a PTSD problem to this day and was suicidal afterwards. Another one has permanent sciatica, and they all have peed themselves. Hmmm..that kind of labor I can't handle, and frankly, I am not doing that to my body. I attended one labor in my lifetime and I was violently ill. It disgusted me, it really did.
Let me guess: did they have managed hospital births? That is a very different beast from non-managed birth.There are reams of scientific explanations and evidence for why this is, and if you are interested in finding out why your friends were unnecessarily harmed, we would be very happy to provide resources for you to do the research.

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As far as this primal stuff is concerned, to each her own and all, but I am not a granola-eating earth mother type. That's one of the reasons I think this gig is not for me. I have about as much belief in this primal woman business as I do the the Keebler elves.
Well, the difference is that there is no scientific evidence for the Keebler elves.

Hormones are extremely powerful substances. They don't have much to do with whether one eats granola, I don't think, but they do create and facilitate the instincts for giving birth and mothering without trauma to the body or soul. The part of the human brain that is responsible for producing these particular hormones is the primal brain. Stimulation of the neocortex, the new part of the brain, interferes with that hormone production. That's why, for instance, you probably wouldn't be able to come to orgasm with your mother-in-law watching or with someone talking to you about stock options. And it's exactly the same reason why so many women's birth processes are dysfunctional, leading to traumatic experiences.

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I think maybe it's my lack of connection with the the caregiving and bonding stuff of little kids who don't reciprocate in a way I seem to understand, coupled with primal woman business that doesn't appeal to me, that makes it just not my gig.
The love and nuturing of children is something that can be partially conditioned by one's upbringing and experiences in life. In this society, though, many women don't receive that at all, and have to rely on hormonal changes and personal relationships for that. It sounds like you have had none of these so far. That doesn't mean you couldn't ever -- I'll illustrate why when I tell my story in a bit. But even if you could, it doesn't mean you should try. Hopefully, for the sake of tolerance, you will come to understand that there is something true and real and good about pregnancy and birth and motherhood that other women are experiencing that makes it valuable to them. But if you don't (won't) believe that it could be so for you, why not just let it go?
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#28 of 97 Old 05-27-2006, 01:36 PM
 
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Why would I go through all that stuff to have kids? Because there is NO greater joy then loving somebody that much! That is really what it boils down to.... it is amazing and fulfilling to have someone to love that much. I don't care if they love me back, I just love loving them.

Erika, mama to three beautiful kids (plus one gestating), and wife to one fantastic man.

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#29 of 97 Old 05-27-2006, 01:44 PM
 
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And finally, in answer to the OP:

First I want to address your misconceptions about the physical part of bearing a child. It's true that some people have difficult pregnancies and births, but it's by no means "just the way pregnancy and birth are" any more than illness and physical handicaps are "just the way life is." There will always be people who suffer physically for various reasons, but it is not inherently part of life *or* bearing a child.

Women have many different experiences of birth -- it's not all the trauma you see in the movies. In fact, there are many possible ways to lessen pain or bypass it. One major way is to avoid giving birth in an environment that prevents the body from laboring normally (as hospitals are notorious for.) Another way is to get drugs (although these carry substantial risks and don't always work as desired.) Another is to have a cesarean under general anesthesia (although obviously this also carries risks.) Another would be to do hypnobithing. Etc. As well, not all women experience the same kind of labor pain. Given the right conditions (which are unfortunately uncommon in our culture, due to birth being almost always medicalized) there have been women who have experienced birth as actually pleasurable. My own labors were unusually painful (I suspect due to a physical abnormality) but there were also quite pleasurable and edifying aspects to them as well. I did have one traumatic birth (my first), but it turned out on closer intellectual inspection that it wasn't the pain in itself that made it traumatic, but what was done to me in the name of "birth management". My births that were allowed to happen gently, spontaneously, and naturally were painful, yes, but they were also empowering and not in the least traumatic.

(As an aside -- did your doctors not offer you sedation at least? Gas? When I had my wisdom teeth extracted, one was deeply infected which somehow interfered with the novocaine taking full effect. The doctor said that if I began to feel it was too painful, that he would like to put me "under". I opted not to do that, but I was comforted by having that option. And what about abortion? Surely you can't entirely avoid pain with that? So what do you do?

And -- I'm curious -- is it the thought of the pain in your body that is really so horrific for you, or the idea of being handled by someone who can cause you pain? What happens when you get a headache? Have menstrual cramps? Cut your finger?)

As for incontinence, it's definitely not something that has to be. It is far more likely with a medically managed birth -- for instance, if you hire a doctor who won't let you up off your back in labor so that your body has difficulty expelling the baby, and you have to push for hours as hard as you can (not normal) and he cuts an episiotomy and uses forceps (again, not normal,) well, you may very well end up with incontinence. If your body is not prevented (by medical management) from releasing the hormones that will allow it to open up fully, there's no reason for your body to experience damage and trauma from it. Think about it, what sense does it make from an evolutionary and biological standpoint for it to harm the mother? If you were to do a poll of women who have given birth naturally (without routine intervention) you would find overwhelmingly women who are whole and healthy. In my case, I have given birth four times and have zero health problems connected to the births. No incontinence and no sexual dysfunction. And breastfeeding is protecting me from cancer for that matter.

I did have some nausea (no vomiting) and exhaustion with pregnancy that I chalk up to trying to still behave as if I wasn't pregnant -- essentially, allowing stress into my life. Pregnancy and stress don't mix well. I also had some depression and stress due to not being accepting of the changes that were happening in my mind and body. But once I let go of trying to still be like I was before, pregnancy became a very enjoyable experience. I enjoyed the altered state of consciousness it put me in: the sweet dreaminess and slowing down of time, the increased sensuality, and the awakening of my intuitive ability. These were all very precious gifts that I now cannot imagine having missed out on. I won't be getting pregnant again, and I have spent time grieving that I will never experience these things again as I did during pregnancy and the immediate postpartum.

Now as to the question of why someone would want children in their lives... I'm one of those people who never had any maternal urge, and never had any interest in children whatsoever. In fact being around them made me uncomfortable. I didn't understand why women would coo over babies much less think they were cute. Then I got accidentally pregnant. I was with a man who I was deeply in love with, and suddenly I just felt that it was meant to be. So I kept the baby. It was still a huge transition for me to make, emotionally and spiritually. I made some big mistakes with my health care, the birth was a mess, my living and financial situation wasn't ideal, and as a result I had postpartum depression. The first year after the birth was very hard. And then as I educated myself, as I sought therapeutic avenues to work through it, as my relationship with my husband became even deeper and more trusting, as I shut out the things in my life that were coming between me and my child bonding, and most importantly as I began to see my baby as a real person with intelligence and personality and endearing qualities, I became a mother, not just biologically, but in my heart. I fell in love with a fierceness and a passion that I'd never felt before, and it eclipsed everything else that I had previously valued in my life.

I was lucky. Not every woman is allowed (or allows herself) to achieve that. As I've found with successive births, allowing the hormonal process to unfold optimally is crucial to this happening for some women, perhaps especially those (like me) who do not have that early cultural conditioning to be nurturing and desiring of children.
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#30 of 97 Old 05-27-2006, 03:01 PM
 
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A
(As an aside -- did your doctors not offer you sedation at least? Gas? When I had my wisdom teeth extracted, one was deeply infected which somehow interfered with the novocaine taking full effect. The doctor said that if I began to feel it was too painful, that he would like to put me "under".
I was wondering this too... In this day and age of "sedation dentistry" being advertised left and right on the radio, catering to people who are fearful of dental procedures, etc.... I have a hard time seeing why any dental surgeon would turn someone down for a procedure!

I had my wisdom teeth out at age 14 (15 years ago), and I am scared of needles, surgery, etc. They gave me a pill to put under my tongue on the car ride over. As I was sitting in the waiting room, the door started breathing, and the wall paper became 3-dimensional. Yes, I was tripping. And I was very relaxed! They called me back and sat me in the chair, and I had no fear because I was drugged! They put me under general anesthesia, and I woke up minus 3 impacted wisdom teeth! Wasn't bad at all. They sent me home with an rx for pain meds if I needed them, but I never did.

Now I am VERY afraid of surgery while awake. I've had surgery done on my big toes with a local anesthetic, and that was WAY worse than childbirth!!! I can still remember the pain very clearly - the pain of the anesthetic shot going in! It was horrible! But general anesthesia type surgery? Piece of cake. You don't feel a thing. You just wake up and it's over. I've had wisdom teeth out and I've had jaw surgery - both general anesthesia, and neither one was a big deal. That "simple", quick procedure on my toes that I was able to walk home from - that was horrible, and I never want to go through that again. I'll happily take drug-free childbirth 10 times over than to get a local anesthetic surgery on my toes again. It was really that bad.

Mama to Tornado Boy (6/04), The Brute (11/06), and Mischief (05/09)... expecting in February '15
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