Having a really hard time hearing about "easy" births - Mothering Forums
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Birth and Beyond > Having a really hard time hearing about "easy" births
vanessab23's Avatar vanessab23 02:32 PM 01-29-2007
I mean a REALLY hard time. Am I alone?

Here's the gist: I became a midwife a couple years ago after an intense training, then a few months later got pregnant with my first. I have midwife friends who have had babies before, but ALL of my friends from highschool/college have just now begun to birth their babies in the last 2 mos.
I had a rough labor: went to 42 weeks, induced with castor oil & nipple stim, Miles was asynclitic, horrible back labor, unsupportive midwife prenatally labor and PP (don't ask why I didn't switch-- I will never understand either), transported to a mean doctor back-up at a local hospital, pitocin, a shot of stadol (that did nothing) and then a vaginal birth with 2nd tearing, MANY BF difficulties and then WAHM!!! I got PPD badly and have been on meds since 6mos PP.

I know I have much to be thankful for: I have a healthy baby, I did NOT have a c/s (and apparently I was begging for one: ), episiotomy or epidural (I have low platelets so it wasn't allowed and unfortunately that was why we had decided to go in, for some epidural-induced sleep, so when I couldn't have the epidural and they were starting pit I thought OMG this is turning out to be a nightmare-- can I go home????)

I know it could have been worse (I have read your birth stories here on MDC, and I have attended many that have been very rough) but I have recently started therapy to help me get over my feelings of disappointment, loss and anger. I've had one session and feel confident that in time I will be able to let go and get ready to have another baby, and hence get another chance to have the natural, loving, supportive, waterbirth at home that I have been dreaming about my whole life.

So, this morning I wake up to hear that my best friend in the world (who on my reco had a midwife in a birth center and is beginning to research vaccines & cosleeping, but otherwise is fairly mainstream) has just had a 5 hour labor, quickly pushing her baby out in the tub at her midwife's birth center at 38 weeks, just 10 mins after arriving there. She says she wouldn't change a thing. Oh, how I wish I could say that :

Instead of feeling happy for her, I have been crying in my coffee all morning. Just can't shake these feelings of jealousy and anger. I just want to be happy for her but I can't stop feeling like, why her? Why not me? *I* am the one who has done all the research, attended 250+ births and has been fantasizing about birthing since I saw my sister born at home in 1983. WHY did I have such a hard time of this whole experience-- still am actually. (even though the meds are helping a ton.)

DH tells me that I should feel proud that I am such a strong mama, b/c I had to REALLY work for my baby. Not just the birth, but having to get through, and go on meds for, PPD. Sort of the "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" theory.

I hope my post doesn't offend anyone here, I am just looking for some words of advice, someone who can commiserate. I know I *should* feel thankful for all I do have-- how can I get past this? I know I will get to talk to her today and I need to muster up the happiness and love that she deserves to hear in my voice. I feel like such a jerk. Such a brat for acting like this.

Thank you for reading this far-- so glad to have this forum to vent.

P.S. I had wanted her to be at my birth and she didn't understand how important that was to me-- and she made other christmas plans last year so she couldn't come. I was unhappy about that, to say the least. So when she got pregnant I figured I would be at her birth (she's been saying for years that she wants me there) but she changed her mind and I have had to deal with that rejection also. Of course, I see now, that my presence at her birth would probably not have been a good thing, in light of how I am feeling.

ETA: I just spoke to her and didn't let on how I am feeling. I played the supportive, loving friend as she well deserves to have. If only she knew....

QueenOfThePride's Avatar QueenOfThePride 03:02 PM 01-29-2007
I don't have any advice, but I understand how you are feeling. I had a difficult labor too - typical hospital experience (before I found MDC), so I wasn't expecting any different. Now I have feelings of regret the more I learn here about what birth can be like.
ckhagen's Avatar ckhagen 03:07 PM 01-29-2007
I had some serious "why me" issues after DS1s birth. I was due at pretty much the same time as two other friends.

My birth went like this...
38 hour failed induction, asyclintic baby, fever from epidural, c-section with no anesthesia (they eventuall knocked me out), 4 extra days in the hospital with no food, milk that didn't come in until 7th day (baby lost a pound), then low-supply issues for over 6 months.

Then, 24 hours later the other friends baby was born. 12 hours of natural labor, no epi, and a milk supply enough to feed a small army.
2 weeks after that, the other friends water broke, she had a 6 hour labor, popped out a 5lb baby, and looked like she'd never been pregnant 24 hours later. I went to see her in the hospital and I was sick over it... sick with jealousy. She was up and walking around, when I hadn't even had my catheter removed yet (timing wise). She also had no BFing issues. She said a lot of really insensitive things too... she just apparently had no idea what I had been through and was totally flippant about the situation.

Eventually I just had to come to the conclusion that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes you have no idea what the reason is until possibly decades later. I learned a lot of things because of what happened to me that neither of my other friends have had to or probably will ever learn because they had it so "easy". So... maybe 20 years from now when I have a DIL who's pregnant, I'll be there to encourage her to empower and educate herself. And then if something doesn't work out the way she planned, I'll be there to help her heal.
ldsapmom's Avatar ldsapmom 03:19 PM 01-29-2007
Remember, Mama, you cannot control how your labor will unfold. Your dh is right -- look how strong you are! You cannot compare birth experiences, but you have found your "button." You must learn to put this aside, not take it personally, because (especially being a midwife!) this is going to come up A LOT.

It sounds like you still have some grief over your birth. You certainly are allowed to feel the pain of the loss. Even though your baby is beautiful and healthy, you can still feel the pain of the loss. Why not try to really envelop yourself in it, and see if you can find the other side?

Remember, there is the pelvis, the power, and the passenger. Your pelvis was adequate, the power was helped along, and the passenger had his own ideas about position. You did all YOU could. And look how you survived a pit induction all on your own! Birth requires strength, and all mamas have it and use it, but look at how much was required from you! What an amazing feat!

Birth offers many lessons if we are open to them -- what could be the lesson here? If I were looking for a midwife, and I knew one had an ethereal, peaceful, (textbook), homebirth, I might feel like she couldn't relate to me if my labor didn't go just as smoothly, kwim? Look at what you have to offer those women who might experience births more complicated than the average "ideal" homebirth.

(((hugs)))
Sea_Gal's Avatar Sea_Gal 03:36 PM 01-29-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by ldsapmom View Post
Birth offers many lessons if we are open to them -- what could be the lesson here? If I were looking for a midwife, and I knew one had an ethereal, peaceful, (textbook), homebirth, I might feel like she couldn't relate to me if my labor didn't go just as smoothly, kwim? Look at what you have to offer those women who might experience births more complicated than the average "ideal" homebirth.

(((hugs)))


But really I'm so sorry. to you brave strong mama!
Your grief is perfectly natural, so is your jealousy.
I know I would be.
Still I was telling a friend yesterday we aren't in control of birth.
We set a course, we do our best sweetie, after that a good deal of it is out of our control.
Oh and just mho but the fact that she doesn't sound like a very good
friend could be a big part of your very justifiable feelings.
Good luck to you on your healing journey.

P.S. Your DH is right.
lactivist's Avatar lactivist 03:44 PM 01-29-2007
mama! You are strong. You have every right to grieve for your "ideal" birth experience. I hope you get through to the other side and find peace. I remember those feelings of jealousy after I had my m/c and others were getting pregnant. Girls who didn't even want to be pregnant and it just infuriated me. I knew it was my issue and I had to work through it. I just know how much it hurts when it seems that we deserve a better experience than we got. Allow your feelings, be gentle with yourself. I agree that she doesn't sound like a great friend. You will make a great midwife that will have understanding and compassion for all sorts of births.
Wendi
accountclosed3's Avatar accountclosed3 04:14 PM 01-29-2007
first, i'm really sorry that you had such a difficult birth experience.

second, i really wnt to commend you for saying ALL that you have said. in this, i see that you are doing a great job of taking care of yourself and your family (getting therapy, etc to help you work through these things--it's hard work and it takes courage!).

but even more than this, it is important to recognize that you have these feelings and recognize that it is ok to feel this way. that is, these are just your feelings and reactions--and it's more about you than it is about her birth. And that's ok. seriously, it is ok to have wanted something else, to mourn the loss of what you didn't have, and to feel frustrated that you didn't have it when others can and do.

it takes courage to stand up and say 'this is how i feel' and i think that it commendable on so many levels. it speaks to the truth of many things in our culture, in our hearts and minds--of ourselves and our expectations, our hopes, and the nature of the grief related to disappointment.

So, thank you for being so open and honest with your feelings. I am certain that you are not alone--many women are wounded by their 'lost births.' Good luck to you in the future. I wish you health and healing!
~pi's Avatar ~pi 04:17 PM 01-29-2007
mama.

I had a disappointing birth experience with my DS (risked out of most midwifery care, had an induction, long, difficult labour, followed by c/s and separation from baby, milk didn't come in until day 8, etc.) It all worked out in the end, more or less, in that I am OK, DS is OK, and after some initial hurdles, nursing has been great. However, I had a really, really hard time coming to terms with the experience, and still have trouble from time to time. Hearing stories of "easy" births is still hard.

I quoted this in my DS' birth story. It's from Emotional Recovery From A Cesarean, but I think it applies here as well.

Quote:
Finding it difficult to listen to other women's easy birth experiences is only human. It's certainly not that we want our neighbor or our sister-in-law to have a difficult birth---of course we don't wish them any ill! But it's hard when the thing we want most, some women have so easily and treat so carelessly. And to add insult to injury, these are often the very women who find it so difficult to empathize with our feelings, as they cannot seem to understand how traumatic birth can be sometimes. Although we don't actively wish ill will on anyone else, it is only natural to want for other people to truly understand our pain and what we have gone through. When they can't or won't, it's only natural to feel isolated, sad, and burdened by our feelings.
I really identified with this. Of course I don't want anyone to have a hard time, but it's difficult sometimes to deal with the fact that some of the women who had an "easy" time don't seem to have a lot of compassion or empathy for women whose births did not go so well, despite their best efforts.

I agree with those who posted above that your experience can only make you a better midwife and a stronger, more compassionate person, too.

My DS' birth was in so many ways not the experience I would have chosen, but it has provided me with some valuable opportunities for learning and growth. I don't know if I would have found those same opportunities any other way. It's cold comfort sometimes -- I would still trade the growth for a better birth experience for him and me! -- but it's true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea_Gal View Post
P.S. Your DH is right.
:
vanessab23's Avatar vanessab23 05:32 PM 01-29-2007
your words this afternoon are like a warm blanket around my shoulders....these are the words I needed to hear. Thank you.

Since there were a couple comments about her not being a good friend, I just wanted to clarify that she is in fact an amazing friend. always has been. even though she didn't come to my birth, I have since talked to her about it and she apologized profusely. I hadn't made it clear enough that I REALLY wanted her here. She said that if I had, she would have been here. I believe her. I think not having been pregnant, not having given birth, she didn't realize the importance. She does now.

Was that why some of you said she isn't a good friend? or was it something else?

Just curious, I would like know.....

And thanks AGAIN for all the encouraging words....I will in fact heal, I know.....
Sea_Gal's Avatar Sea_Gal 05:44 PM 01-29-2007
It just sounds like she may be lacking in the empathy department.
It is a sign of a good friendship when mistakes made are amended and forgiven though.
I'm sorry if I sounded judgmental, I don't know your friend.

Still as an example of a different friendship.
My friend Alisa turned me on to hb because of her birth plans.
I would have loved to have been there for her.
But she felt she wanted a more private birth.
Unfortunately her birth went awry and she ended up with a c/s.
I have tried to show her all the love and support I could.
Now she will be at my birth.
I want her there because she is a very friend.
Because of her wisdom and knowlege.
If I have to have a hospital transfer I want her beside me all the way.
Also I hope she will find healing in my birth, should my plans work out.
She does too.

Perhaps you will be someone else's Alisa.
She has already helped me in so many ways.
vanessab23's Avatar vanessab23 07:26 PM 01-29-2007
Sea Gal, that's make sense now-- Thanks for the explanation. And I think you're right, you and Alisa's friendship is well balanced and a great example of how friends can help heal eachother and still be there for eachother.

I am already feeling a little better. More work to do, but still just talking about it helps. And good news, I just found out that another close friend (also a midwife) may be moving to houston soon-- this possibility calms me to no end, to know that I may get to have her at my next birth. The faith I have in her as a midwife is profound and I know any birth of mine that she attends will be a healing process in and of itself.

Thanks again....
doulakris's Avatar doulakris 07:34 PM 01-29-2007
I want to thank you soooo much for your post. I have been feeling this way for 17 months now, and feeling completely alone. I think it's so hard for birth professionals when birth doesn't go as planned. I had also been to several beautiful births as a doula before my son was born. I think its one thing when you aren't educated about birth and get taken advantage of, and a completely different situation when you did everything in your power to prepare for birth, and it still doesn't go well. There have been times that I wished I could be one of those posts about not knowing anything and having an unnecessary c-sec. Because then you know you can get educated and have a perfect second birth. It's hard when you feel its completely out of your control.
I had planned a home birth with midwives I knew well and felt great about it. I was 2 weeks late, then my water broke, 7PM, and immediately had contractions 3 mins apart. After 30 mins, they were 2 mins apart. I got in the bath tub which was great. After another hour, it moved to my back (ouch), and I would have 3 contractions in a row, a 30 second break, then 3 more, and so on. If I attempted to sit or lie down btwn them, I would get another 3. I was throwing up and shaking. From my doula work, I thought I must be in transition. After 5 more hours like that, my midwife checked and I was 5! After 2 more hours of this, still 5, I remember asking the midwife to kill me, but she refused and we all decided to go to the hospital to get the epi. After 10 more hrs of being 5-6, I agreed to pit. Finally after 25 hrs, at 9cm, midwife rotated his asynclitic head and I pushed him out. Cord was 2x around his neck. Far from what I had wished for. Luckily, everything after that was ok.
The worst part was that afterword, my home birth "friends" all kept making snippy comments. Examples: "Wow, you must have a low tolerance for pain"..."No one's back has ever broken in labor"(obviously from someone who's never experienced back labor), "Next time I'll teach you lamaze so you can handle it better". And I realized that all these friends with quick, easy home births took credit for their births going well. It was the lamaze, the way they walked during preg, what they ate, the way they pushed... They will never understand. Although I still believe a big part of birth is mental, we cannot forget that it is part physical, and plain old luck.
Things that have helped me are: trying to figure out the lesson we are supposed to learn from it and letting go of the control. Also, I've realized that you cannot put blame on yourself for things you can't control...focus on doing things you can control right. I've realized that I couldn't choose my birth, but I can choose to be a good mother. I'm proud of every choice I've made since the birth. Also, I read a book recently that really helped me- Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom, by Christine Northrup. You might like it if you haven't already read it. Sorry this was so long. Thanks again for sharing!!!
amitymama's Avatar amitymama 08:11 PM 01-29-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by doulakris View Post
I want to thank you soooo much for your post. I have been feeling this way for 17 months now, and feeling completely alone. I think it's so hard for birth professionals when birth doesn't go as planned. I had also been to several beautiful births as a doula before my son was born. I think its one thing when you aren't educated about birth and get taken advantage of, and a completely different situation when you did everything in your power to prepare for birth, and it still doesn't go well. There have been times that I wished I could be one of those posts about not knowing anything and having an unnecessary c-sec. Because then you know you can get educated and have a perfect second birth. It's hard when you feel its completely out of your control.
I had planned a home birth with midwives I knew well and felt great about it. I was 2 weeks late, then my water broke, 7PM, and immediately had contractions 3 mins apart. After 30 mins, they were 2 mins apart. I got in the bath tub which was great. After another hour, it moved to my back (ouch), and I would have 3 contractions in a row, a 30 second break, then 3 more, and so on. If I attempted to sit or lie down btwn them, I would get another 3. I was throwing up and shaking. From my doula work, I thought I must be in transition. After 5 more hours like that, my midwife checked and I was 5! After 2 more hours of this, still 5, I remember asking the midwife to kill me, but she refused and we all decided to go to the hospital to get the epi. After 10 more hrs of being 5-6, I agreed to pit. Finally after 25 hrs, at 9cm, midwife rotated his asynclitic head and I pushed him out. Cord was 2x around his neck. Far from what I had wished for. Luckily, everything after that was ok.
The worst part was that afterword, my home birth "friends" all kept making snippy comments. Examples: "Wow, you must have a low tolerance for pain"..."No one's back has ever broken in labor"(obviously from someone who's never experienced back labor), "Next time I'll teach you lamaze so you can handle it better". And I realized that all these friends with quick, easy home births took credit for their births going well. It was the lamaze, the way they walked during preg, what they ate, the way they pushed... They will never understand. Although I still believe a big part of birth is mental, we cannot forget that it is part physical, and plain old luck.
Fantastic post, I completely agree. Even though I'm lucky in that I don't have any other friends who have given birth who made me feel bad about mine, I hate it when people who had these 'easy' births insist that it's ALL mind over matter and that if things went wrong it must've been because you weren't concentrating or breathing right or read the right books or whatever.

I planned a natural water birth at a free standing birth center and had been looking forward to laboring at home in the early stages. My labour started at 7pm and by 10pm the contractions were less than 2 minutes apart and lasting for 60-90 seconds each. I could barely get a breath in between them. When I got to the hospital I was 3cm and the contractions were one on top of the other. My water broke shortly after I arrived and there was a TON of fluid. An orderly had to mop the room twice and it was still pretty wet in that room!

Then the pain changed and became centered in my back and had me bent over and howling like a wolf being ripped apart from the inside out. Back labour isn't just 'uncomfortable', it's a whole other WORLD of pain. After 3 hours in the birth pool and still only at 6cm, I consented to a painkiller injection so I could get a breather in between the waves of crushing pain in my back. I ended up having an episiotomy and vacuum extraction. While it wasn't 'traumatic', I still feel a bit judged for 'giving in' and having drugs and feel like a bit of a failure sometimes. The next birth will be at home so hopefully it will all be different, but I've made my peace with the fact that, as much as I read up, practice 'mind over matter' and learn breathing and coping techniques, I can't control everything that happens in birth and at some point have to give in to my body and listen to what it is telling me. If it needs help, so be it. I'm no martyr and don't think anyone expects me to be.
vanessab23's Avatar vanessab23 10:11 PM 01-29-2007
thank you for the great birth stories. I no longer feel so alone!

doulakris, i can NOT believe your "friends" said those things. that is reprehensible, to say the least. thank you for the kind words. and amitymama too. wow. you guys are right-- you have control only up to a certain point, no matter how much we know, or researched etc...

keep it coming, this is extremely healing and therapeutic for me
witchbaby's Avatar witchbaby 10:21 PM 01-29-2007
oh, how i feel you on that one. neither of my kids' births went anywhere near what i'd hoped (with the exception that i DID get a vbac with my son). i still have a hard time dealing with easy birth stories.
pookel's Avatar pookel 11:07 PM 01-29-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by doulakris View Post
The worst part was that afterword, my home birth "friends" all kept making snippy comments. Examples: "Wow, you must have a low tolerance for pain"..."No one's back has ever broken in labor"(obviously from someone who's never experienced back labor), "Next time I'll teach you lamaze so you can handle it better". And I realized that all these friends with quick, easy home births took credit for their births going well. It was the lamaze, the way they walked during preg, what they ate, the way they pushed... They will never understand. Although I still believe a big part of birth is mental, we cannot forget that it is part physical, and plain old luck.
:

Luckily I don't have any friends in real life with that attitude, but I see it around here sometimes and it's infuriating. It's nice that some women can have these wonderful, easy, natural births, but that doesn't mean that those of us who can't screwed up somehow.
Romana's Avatar Romana 11:36 PM 01-29-2007
mama. You did great.

Quote:
They will never understand. Although I still believe a big part of birth is mental, we cannot forget that it is part physical, and plain old luck.
I could have written that. I went into labor spontanously at just over 38 wks, and everything was great for the first 12 or so hours of labor (sure there was pain, but I could handle it just fine). Then everything changed, and I spent the next 7+ hours in absolute agony, with back labor, unimaginably intense pain and pressure, and when I couldn't stand it anymore and felt something MUST be wrong if the babe wasn't here yet, I transferred to the hospital. Forunately I had NCB-supportive backup. While things went quickly at the hospital (pushed for 25 min), I will never forget all the things that happened in my natural childbirth that aren't "supposed" to happen. Like never having a pushing urge, and second stage/transition lasting about 8 hours total. And I had no support at home except for dh; we had had a major problem with our doctor (long story) at the 37 wk appt and we had not found a mw or replacement doctor when I went into labor a week later. It was a UC but more b/c of difficult circumstances than by choice (although I was emotionally very comfortable with the UC and so was dh; and completely unafraid during labor - it was just that I needed *someone* to help just once during labor to tell me I could push and help me understand how).

I really struggled with this, even had mild PTSD because my memories of the excruciating pain were traumatic and intense (I experienced flashbacks and had other "trauma"-related issues that lasted for several months). It was natural in the end, but it wasn't a good experience. The only reason I'd repeat NCB after a birth like that is (1) b/c I think it's better for the baby and (2) b/c I think the alternative is worse.

When I heard that the other mother in my Bradley class who had the SAME doctor got to have her home waterbirth, I was so intensely jealous and angry. I blamed the doctor (for being so controlling and weird we had to look for a replacement at 37 wks), I blamed my body (for not just doing what everyone said it would - push the baby out itself even if I did nothing and relaxed the whole time) and I blamed all those wonderful NCB books/people for encouraging me to think that things would just work b/c I was doing everything right. I was furious and just crazy-jealous. So angrily jealous; just seething that she got her ideal birth and I had to have this traumatic, intense, and ultimately conundrum experience.

I feel much better now, but I'm still trying to figure it out and it's been 10.5 mos for me. I'm sure dd's birthday will bring a lot more back. And for sure, if my best friend called me and told me she'd just had an easy 5 hour labor, I'd be crazy angry jealous again and doing my best to just sound happy for her.

Don't feel guilty; just take care of yourself. Whatever that means for you. Whatever you need. For me, that means spending wayyyy to much time on the MDC birthing forums!

Julia
dd 10 mos
KKmama's Avatar KKmama 11:40 PM 01-29-2007
I don't think I have time to say all that I'd like, but here's a start: (1) here's a big for you! and (2) your sensitivity probably makes you an awesome midwife (I know that's a consolation prize when you wanted your own birth to go better...)

I just want you to know you're not alone. My 1st was an emergency (but necessary) C, when I had hoped for/planned an unmedicated V birth with a hospital-based midwife. The recovery was hard, and I did a lot of 2nd guessing of myself. My 2nd was a VBAC, but it was a *long*, hard labor (with interventions--I felt they were necessary after laboring so long), with a harder recovery than I expected (but better than the C). My 3rd was the V birth I always dreamed of... much shorter, easier labor, no interventions. I tell you this because the 3rd allowed me to let go a lot of the "junk" I'd been carrying--I realized that though my 1st 2 births weren't perfect, it wasn't from lack of desire or lack of trying on my part; I was finally able to let go of the feeling that maybe it *was* my fault that it didn't go the way I wanted.

I hope that comes off the way I mean it... just want you to know that I feel like I understand where you're coming from.
Romana's Avatar Romana 11:40 PM 01-29-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by pookel View Post
:

Luckily I don't have any friends in real life with that attitude, but I see it around here sometimes and it's infuriating. It's nice that some women can have these wonderful, easy, natural births, but that doesn't mean that those of us who can't screwed up somehow.
Yeah, pookel, I've noticed before you and I are kinda in sync w/respect to this. Although I wouldn't say "can't" - I think I'd say "didn't." I have high hopes for next time.

Julia
dd 10 mos
pookel's Avatar pookel 11:53 PM 01-29-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Romana9+2 View Post
Yeah, pookel, I've noticed before you and I are kinda in sync w/respect to this. Although I wouldn't say "can't" - I think I'd say "didn't." I have high hopes for next time.
I thought I remembered you from another thread like this! : I was thinking "can't" for myself because I've resigned myself to being a repeat C-section mom, but I'll hope for better future births for you!

I still talk about natural birth to other women I know. I don't tell them "it's easy" because it wasn't for me (since I failed at it ... ) but I do tell them that the pain is different for everyone, and they shouldn't assume they'll need meds until they know what it's like.
wombatclay's Avatar wombatclay 12:24 AM 01-30-2007
My labor experience was very similar to yours...42 weeks, followed by PROM, followed by ~32 hours of labor. But after 19 hours at 7cm (and three hours of pain med/pit) it was off to the OR for a c/s. DD was posterior and asynclitic with her head in the full on transverse presentation (and we did try all the doula/midwife tricks to reposition dd...she just wouldn't budge, and with no bag of waters and a 9lb+ babe I guess she was in there pretty good!).

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

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

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

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

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

There's an amazing poem in Open Season written from the perspective of a c/s mama that speaks to this sort of personal conflict between the personal tragedy and the image of "ease" presented by other mamas...if you have access to that book you might want to check it out...
erin_brycesmom's Avatar erin_brycesmom 06:46 AM 01-30-2007
I am sorry you are feeling this way . I can definitely relate. With my first I got induced at 42 weeks +4 days after my fluid levels got super low. I had planned for a natural birth and it was really hard to accept that my body seemed to be failing. I was so jealous of other women who went into labor on their own. I had not even dilated or effaced AT ALL, yet I was so far along and things were failing. I ended up with AROM, maxed out pitocin, Stadol (that was the worst thing ever) and an epidural that DID NOT WORK!!!!!!!!!!! I lie in the bed strapped down in excruciating pain and b/c of the stadol I could not even talk. I wanted to scream "HELP ME", "IT HURTS", "AHHHHHHH", but all I could do was lay there and shake uncontrollabley for hours and hours. I ended up with PPD too.

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

~Erin
Spark's Avatar Spark 12:02 PM 01-30-2007


Just offering support. You are so wise to process your emotions.
bobandjess99's Avatar bobandjess99 01:32 PM 01-30-2007
I totally understand!!!
I had a horrible horrible, horrible experience that turned me off ever having any more kids, after having been planning a wonderful UC for years.....
Meanwhile, on a homebirth list I'm on, a mom who ended up on the list because she accidentally got preggo as a single mother, and had no insurance, therefore was looking into midwifery care just cuz it is cheaper, had her baby around the same time as me, and had this super easy, not painful, couple-hour labor with no complications or anything, with her midwife telling her "you're so great at this, you should have 10 kids" or something like that.
And then, another lady on another list, who was vry mainstream, had her kid in the hospital parking lot cuz her labor was so quick, by the time she felt any pain at all, the baby wasbasically coming out and so she did the whole ridiculkous mainstream "rush to the hospital in labor and have your baby in the car" sitcom-style thing.

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

you are not alone. I *know* reasonably that it is not about "fair"....but when it comes to EMOTIONS...emotions are not reasonable, LOL!
shellbell's Avatar shellbell 04:35 PM 01-30-2007
I read something one time about a momma who had to sacrifice her beautiful homebirth for a c-section. Thats' about what it is when you end up having to give in to intervention when you had your heart set on meeting your baby in this certain... very special (but not the only) way. She described it as "sacrificing her body for her baby".

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

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

Shellbell
bobandjess99's Avatar bobandjess99 05:56 PM 01-30-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by pookel View Post
I still talk about natural birth to other women I know. I don't tell them "it's easy" because it wasn't for me (since I failed at it ... ) but I do tell them that the pain is different for everyone, and they shouldn't assume they'll need meds until they know what it's like.
I have to respectfully interject that I do not believe anyone "needs" pain meds for a vaginal birth.
Wants, yes.
but NEEDS???

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

but NEED?

Nope.
Shell_Ell's Avatar Shell_Ell 06:09 PM 01-30-2007
I can totally relate. In fact, our stories are somewhat similiar.

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

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

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

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

:
meggles's Avatar meggles 09:04 PM 01-30-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobandjess99 View Post
I have to respectfully interject that I do not believe anyone "needs" pain meds for a vaginal birth.
Wants, yes.
but NEEDS???

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

but NEED?

Nope.
Maybe, except that when you've been in labor for days and are jacked up on pitocin, your contractions are completely unnatural. They are much stronger than anything your body could produce on its own. May everyone have the strength to make decisions that work for them despite the unpredictability of labor and birth.
wombatclay's Avatar wombatclay 09:17 PM 01-30-2007
:

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

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

It's a hard place to be in as you can tell from the stories in this thread...and a hard place to find healing.
mamaverdi's Avatar mamaverdi 06:59 AM 01-31-2007
I don't have anything profound to say. I don't have this experience with birth, but in other areas, I do. And it hurts to want something that just didn't happen, no matter your best efforts, planning, research. Some people just won't get that ever. They will find a way to judge judge judge judge YOU instead of looking at your situation. And yeah, the one living it ends up feeling jealous of good outcomes....even though you feel you shouldn't.
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