Jealousy/sadness toward friends with "normal" birth experiences? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 51 Old 03-01-2009, 08:00 AM
 
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I belong to a natural mamas group and I'm the only one with c-sections. I tried to birth at home both times. I absolutely feel both happy and jealous at the same time about all the natural births happening around me.

I hate the "at least your baby is alive and healthy" thing. That's like telling a woman who was raped to be glad she wasn't murdered, or the woman who is hit to be glad she wasn't beaten. Pain is pain. It can always be worse but it can also be better, too, and you get to be sad that it wasn't better.

It isn't fair to play the "my pain is worse than yours so count your blessings and quit complaining" game. Some women can't give birth at all. Some women have lost several babies. Some women have the perfect birth and then find out they can't lactate, and they grieve because they don't get to know what it is like to feed their baby with their bodies.

We can't fairly compare pains.

Besides, this is supposed to be a support forum, not a guilt forum.
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#32 of 51 Old 03-11-2009, 10:57 PM
 
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mammato5--I'm so sorry. She was beautiful. I hope you are ok...

I can kinda-sorta relate to the topic. I've never been pregnant but I would kill to have the chance. I have been battling my body so that it might be able to give me a child for the past few years (endometriosis, regular WTT stuff, etc, etc) and when I'm finally in a place where I *might* be able to, body-willing, my OH says he doesn't want any. I'm totally crushed.

I have such a hard time when I see families together. I would give years off my life just to have a little family of my own. A friend of mine had 2 little girls and then SHE LEFT THEM. She's back now, but I don't think I could ever forgive her for taking off on two sweet, innocent little girls (2 yrs and 4 mo).

It's not the same, exactly. I'm just suffering from the other end of pregnancy, I guess. *sigh*

I hope everyone here is ok. You guys are all so amazing.

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#33 of 51 Old 03-17-2009, 06:57 PM
 
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friday13 wrote:
It makes me feel like there's something wrong with me, that they can do everything "wrong" and I did everything "right" and I still couldn't have anything close to the birth I wanted.


hi mamas. i too had a blissfully uncomplicated pg, with a planned low-intervention birth, only to fail 2 rounds of cervidil/pit induction and ultimately have a stat c/s. my average-sized DS was just completely disproportionate to my pelvic outlet. i'll never understand how with all the technology available, we couldn't have known that so i wouldn't have to have undergone so much intervention to try for something that could not have happened. the numbness at my scar reminds me daily that my body is fundamentally flawed because i cannot give birth...i can only "be delivered".

since DS was born, i've had 3 friends give birth. i wish there hadn't been some small part of me that had wished they too would have had a c/s. i hoped not to feel so alone and embarrassed of my failure as a woman.

mammato5 - your pain must be unimaginable. blessings to you.
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#34 of 51 Old 04-03-2009, 02:09 AM
 
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I totally understand. We struggled with infertility for more than 5 years before we conceived our son through IVF. I didn't have the luxury of getting pregnant in a pleasant (or free) way, but I was finally pregnant, and I was going to birth the "right" way -- a natural water birth in a birth center, as close to a home birth as DH would agree to.

And then at 29 weeks, while visiting family in another state, I discovered my BP was dangerously high (180/120) and went to the ER. I was diagnosed with severe pre-e and put on bed rest in a hospital that did not have my records, with doctors that didn't know me. My son was delivered via c-section 3 days later when my risk of a stroke got dangerously high. He was tiny, weighing less than 2 pounds, and he spent the next 8 weeks in the NICU, 1000 miles from home.

My body failed me on SO many levels that it's almost funny. I worked my ass off to BF, and that really helped me to heal. The worst for me was to overhear 8-month pregnant women complaining about how miserable they were and how they wished it could be over tomorrow. Once I actually went off on a stranger for saying that, telling her she should consider herself lucky that she would have a healthy baby she could take home with her, that I would gladly have endured misery to give my son a full 9 months in the womb. Or when women with healthy FT babies quit BFing because it was "inconvenient". I would have given anything to be able to put my son to my breast and feed him in those early months when all I could do was pump and hope ge would be able to latch on eventually. (He did.)

I ended up leaving the birth communities I'd been involved in. When people said that women's bodies should just be trusted to do what they were meant to in birth, I couldn't control my bitterness. When people posted their beautiful birth stories, I couldn't bear to read them. And I can't even look forward to a healing VBAC -- if I am lucky enough to get pregnant again (we'll have to cough up the money for IVF) and if I'm lucky enough to have a full term pregnancy (chances are about 50%), I'll still have to have a planned c-section because I had a vertical incision and lots of complications. So I not only lost my beautiful birth experience; I lost chance to ever have one. :-(

But a year or so after my son was born, I started to lose my bitterness and anger. I feel incredibly lucky to have my son, and I do not take anything about having a baby for granted. I know what it cost me, and how lucky I am that we are both here now. And I can listen to those wonderful birth experiences and appreciate them, and be glad for the women who had them.

The pain was real and significant, and I embraced it fully. I refused to let people tell me I should just get over it. And then one day, I was able to let it go. I hope you will find peace one day too. :-)
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#35 of 51 Old 04-03-2009, 03:37 AM
 
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Thank you for sharing your experience with us!
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#36 of 51 Old 04-03-2009, 01:01 PM
 
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I find that I am jealous of any birth where mom comes out beaming. I am jealous of the births where dad is present and beaming right along with mama and everything is just so great and there are tears and happiness. This is more so the case with homebirths (I was a transfer) but I even feel that way about epidural and c-section births where mom is just totally cool with the whole situation. I wanted that. Forget *how* it happened I just wanted to be HAPPY and cuddle my baby without wanting us both to die. My depression was so bad afterward is why, BTW. Please don't think I am a horrible mom.

I guess it comes from my birth experience of feeling very alone, bullied, and betrayed by DH and MW. When I see or hear about helpful husbands and see their smiles with their babes I just lose it. If I hear about good births I lose it but the Dad thing just sends me over the edge. I shake, I feel nauseas, I want to cry and scratch out my DH's eyes all at the same time. I recently saw a picture of a friend who had a beautiful natural birth and it was so upsetting to see (but I was so happy for her!) and then I saw her crying holding her new babe and her DH leaning over and kissing her and embracing them both and I about lost it. I still can't get it out of my mind.

I feel so guilty for feeling this way. I hope I didn't offend anyone.

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#37 of 51 Old 04-07-2009, 09:44 AM
 
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Maggie - I feel just the same. I too felt bullied and betrayed by both my DH and my midwife. My DH had two specific jobs I'd given him before I ever went into labour. 1) To keep offering me water and juice to drink during labour (I'd read too many stories where the mom ended up dehydrated and I didn't want that to happen to me, but I know that I forget to drink enough even when not in labour) and 2) If anything went wrong under no circumstances to let anyone do an episiotomy on me.

Well, I had a long labour and got dehydrated because neither my DH nor my MW thought to offer me anything to drink in over 12 hours. Then they bullied me into transferring where my MW checked out on us and my DH just stood by like a rabbit while they cut a huge unmedicated episiotomy and ripped DD out with forceps (for no good reason that I can fathom other than that they were really angry that I'd tried to have a homebirth and didn't want to 'waste time' waiting for me to push her out myself).

Even now, over a year later I feel incredibly betrayed by DH, and I'm coming to the realisation that if I ever do have another baby that I'm not sure I want DH there at all. It makes my heart break to read birth stories where the dad is massaging the mom, giving her sips of water, holding her hand, telling her she can do it - that's all I wanted from my DH. Is that too much to ask? Especially when I'm the one doing the actual work...

A friend of mine had a baby about 4 weeks ago at the same hospital where I was birth raped. Her baby was breech, so of course she had a C-section - no choice. I really don't want a C-section. But I'm still jealous of her birth.

It was calm and peaceful, she and her DP were treated with respect. She was separated from her baby but only for about 2 hours and her DP stayed with him most of that time (unlike me - DD was taken away from us and kept from me for nearly 6 hours before I got to see her after the birth, and then she was taken away again for the rest of the night.. again for no real reason). She was helped and encouraged to BF in the hospital where I was ridiculed and forced to feed my baby formula in order to be allowed to get out of there. And her baby is a lovely quiet baby - he feeds for 20 minutes then sleeps for 2-3 hours. I think my PTSD was made even worse by a very high-needs baby who wanted to nurse 20 hours out of every 24 and screamed most of the rest of the time.

It just doesn't seem fair. But I hate myself for thinking that - I mean I'm happy that she and the baby are well, that they were treated with respect and that BFing is going well too. But it's hard . And I'm jealous :

Lisa - mama to Eleanor Rose 01/08 and Saoirse Lily 09/10
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#38 of 51 Old 04-13-2009, 06:06 PM
 
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THANK GOODNESS I am not the only one! I hate to hear about people I know get pregnant, because I am scared they will have a wonderful birth. I know that is awful. Their birth is theirs and I WANT them to have a good one. I just don't like how I feel.

I get so mad when someone tells me that I was *lucky* to have a c-section. Well, I don't feel lucky at all. I feel angry and mad.

My mom told me that "at least you have a healthy baby". I wanted to reach through the phone and rip her head off. How could you say that?

There is something to the experience. Dismissing the birth experience for the mother is wrong. Yes, I have a healthy baby. He was fine. I was not. I almost died 5 days later (I have my wonderful MIL to thank for convincing me to go in) and no one can tell me why (just pneumonia, septasemia, and early cardiac failure). It has been mentioned that it could have been a potential hospital infection, but not sure.

And yet, when I mention that I am researching homebirth next time, they tell me I am selfish, that I am endangering my future child! Goodness, I am only researching, and not even pregnant. I will do the best for both of us depending on the situation of the pregnancy!!!

Anyway, yes I understand. I could not imagine going through a birth loss though. I don't even know what to say to that. I can't say I understand that level of pain.

I just hope that the internal peace we all want will eventually be ours.

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#39 of 51 Old 04-16-2009, 08:43 PM
 
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I definitely harbor some resentment toward my friends who birthed naturally--especially toward those who didn't put as much energy into educating themselves about the birthing process as I did. I am happy for those who are able to experience a "normal" birth, but sometimes I just can't hear about it or discuss it with them. I will never have the opportunity to fully experience vaginal birth (I do believe that I was lucky to have gotten as far as I did before the C-section) so I guess I need to do the healing work necessary to move past this. My feelings have definitely alienated me from some of my dear friends--at least emotionally.
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#40 of 51 Old 05-20-2009, 04:02 PM
 
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My SIL's births drive me nuts. The first she was induced so the dr could go on vacation. 3 hours and baby was out. The second they went to induce (for no reason) and found her dialated 4 cms, broke her water and she had baby in 2 hours. Epidurals with both.
She didn't even freakin want kids and she has had it so easy. She was not happy to find out she was PG with either pregnancy.
I wanted like four and now I'm scared to death to have a 3rd. Both mine were high-risk with pitocin, epidural, one with vacuum delivery and second with c-section.
Now I have to decide if I have another one what is worse: fighting for a VBAC or dealing with the trauma of another c-section.
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#41 of 51 Old 06-05-2009, 07:26 PM
 
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Yes and no.

hmmm.... i guess ya i'm jealous that my experience traumatized me and i wish, if nothing else, that i hadn't had DD taken from me needlessly for hours after birth BUT i wouldn't trade it. It was the biggest day of my life. It was awful but it's mine.

It hurts. It makes me anxious. I have cried... so much. My physical injuries are healed now but i'll never be happy that things went the way they did.

Honestly, i DO tell myself "at least i have a healthy baby". I cry and kiss her sleeping head and thank God that i was given her at all.
I would do anything for her. So i tell myself that the birth was what needed to happen to bring her into the world. It was worth it.

That doesn't mean i have to ever accept that what i went through was fair. I will always have regrets and resentment (not to her, mostly to medics) but i will always weigh that against having HER here with me.


I'm working on it. I'm hoping to attend a healing birth trauma workshop in the next couple months.

Mom to Lizzy born May 2007 & expecting Baby#2 June/July 2010
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#42 of 51 Old 06-05-2009, 07:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jennchsm View Post

When people said that women's bodies should just be trusted to do what they were meant to in birth, I couldn't control my bitterness.
Me too.
I still struggle with this.

Mom to Lizzy born May 2007 & expecting Baby#2 June/July 2010
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#43 of 51 Old 06-08-2009, 10:12 PM
 
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Yes.

My 1st child was born via cesarean after a FTP induction. After that birth, I really had a hard time hearing about anyone birthing vaginally.

I just had baby #2 just 6 weeks ago--and I had my HBAC. It was supposed to be a healing experience. HA! Yeah right. We had a shoulder dystocia-she was stuck for 4 min. not breathing when pulled out, needed to be resusitated-she had a brachial plexus injury totally fine now)-we went to hospital (the very place I wanted to avoid-hence the friggen homebirth!) I am so glad my daughter survived ad is perfectly healthy, but now, instead of getting jealous over any vaginal birth-I am jealous about any uncomplicated vaginal birth. I get so jealous I start to shake. It's like I will never be happy with my birth experiences, ya know?

Tired mommy to a 2, 4, and 6 year old!
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#44 of 51 Old 08-21-2009, 03:05 PM
 
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Bunping this back up.

I knew this was inevitable... DH's best friend and his wife recently found out they're having a baby (they'd been trying for several months). The day DH texted me to tell me I literally felt nauseous for the rest of the day (the rest of the week, even). My productivity at work has dropped, it's been really tough.

I hate that I can't just be happy for them.. all I can think about is how awful DD's birth was. DH didn't want a doula, was actually offended that I wanted one the first time I brought it up with him, so we didn't hire one. I had to have a hospital birth, there was just no way we could have afforded to pay a homebirth midwife up front and potentially not get reimbursed for any of it from insurance. I thought I'd be fine going with a midwife who delivers at a local hospital about whom I'd heard good things on here, but in the end it was a really poor choice for me. At least if I'd been at the hospital with the higher section rate I'd have known to be on guard the whole time and I'd have absolutely fought DH tooth and nail to have a doula present. Long story short, I had a whole slew of interventions that I didn't want and got sectioned in the end anyway. DD was totally fine and healthy, the surgery was totally unnecessary. It sucked big time and I was too depressed afterward to try to overcome our BFing difficulties, DD is FF and I will never be able to have that relationship with her. Honestly, I don't post here much anymore because the atmosphere is really uncomfortable for a formula feeder.

I swore that DD would be an only but I've changed my mind and we'll probably have another one in 4-5 years, once I finish my degree and DH and I have better paying jobs. That has given me some hope to learn from the mistakes I made and have a good experience next time around (hopefully HBAC/water birth), but I still had all these awful feelings come back upon hearing that DH's friend's wife is pregnant. It sounds awful, but I don't want to help them at all. I don't plan to talk to them until after the baby, and even then not about pregnancy/baby things. I'm going to try therapy after my new health insurance kicks in Sept. 1, but I think avoidance is the only way I can handle this for now
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#45 of 51 Old 09-04-2009, 05:47 PM
 
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"We are complex beings, and in that it is totally possible to be very grateful for your health and happiness and still grieve your birth."
-quote from a beautiful nurse who flicked the switch in my healing ability!

I had an unplanned c-section (I also have a very hard time saying that I gave birth) in June and am slowly making my way to healing from it. I am a very informed, intuitive, natural mama who was Determined (notice the capital d) to have a beautiful home waterbirth. After gratefully having the experience of laboring for 18 hours at home, my midwives said I must move to the hospital because I had started at 6cm and remained at 6 cm, and it was 18 hours after my water broke. I exhaustingly and sadly got into the truck to be moved to the hospital, where we then found out our boy (we hadn't found out the gender until that moment) was breech. Immediate c-section action was taken, and we were rushed about as if all of our lives were in danger, although his heart rate was steady and mellow the whole time. I am mad!!!!! Mad at the whole idea of giving birth in an environment meant for sickness and dis-ease, not because anything was "wrong" per se; mad that they won't even try anymore to turn a baby during labor; mad at myself for skipping all of those chapters in the books in c-sections because I was not having one!!! Mad at my midwives; mad that I didn't get my placenta, or even get to see it, or even see the cord, or what it looks like to birth a baby; MAD that I have been told that I cannot have the homebirth experience that I need after a c-section; mad, mad, mad!! And I get so jealous at these births that were golden, that were vaginal, that were meant to be medicated but oops! didn't get the meds in time... AAHHH! It's frustrating, and I relate to you ladies that grieve their birth experience. I find it refreshing that there are ladies out there who want to birth (many I have overheard talk about never wanting to have anything but a c-section; talk about why would it matter anyway; talk about all kinds of ridiculousness).
We can't should each other, and tell someone that they are wrong for their feelings. We can't should ourselves and tell ourselves that we are wrong for our feelings. We can be in bliss with our blessing, and at the same time grieve the sadness of our process.
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#46 of 51 Old 09-21-2009, 01:26 AM
 
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Do others who have experienced birth trauma ever had resentments toward friends who have "normal" birth experiences?
I do, even after over a year since her birth and several months of professional counselling. My birth was totally traumatic to me and to my DD, and sent me into a year long battle with PTSD and PPD. Our best friends had the dream homebirth. . .so good, that she is afraid to have another baby for fear the next experience won't live up to the first one. Can you just imagine?

Even the existence of my pregnancy journal disturbed me. . .it went from a nonstop chattering of dreams and hopes and feelings into a sudden death of blank pages at week 41. It took me ten or eleven months to jot down something about my birth story down at all.

Do I know I'm lucky I had a healthy baby? Yes, thanks for reminding me of that yet again. IMO, when someone tells me that it is almost like insinuating that I do NOT appreciate that as well as ignoring my original issue, which is the birth experience. My little cousin died at seven weeks old last year; the health of my child is very much not lost on me. I'm also lucky that I live in a country where I am not raped on my way to get water everyday and where my daughter is doomed to a life of slavery. That doesn't preclude me from being less than happy with my birth experience (although really, yeah, I'm aware that it kind of should).

That being said, as jealous as I am of friends, I wouldn't wish my birth experience on other people and am truly happy that the "miracle of childbirth" (hack) can be so for everyone who gets to experience the dream birth. . .or at least a good birth.

My daughter's birth plan kicked my birth plan's ass.
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#47 of 51 Old 09-27-2009, 06:50 PM
 
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Someone on Facebook just posted about her birth. I am happy for her, I should be anyway. Stupidly, I admit, I was hoping to read that she had a csect. I am so incredibly awful. I did not want to hear about anyones good birth. It sent me right back in to the depression that I thought I was working my way out of.
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#48 of 51 Old 09-30-2009, 01:38 PM
 
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couldn't read this thread and not post something! it's been 16 1/2 years since my traumatic birth. time and the grieving work lessens the pain for sure. i still can't touch my scar though, and i don't think i ever will.

while my emotional pain surrounding that birth is gone, i do often wonder about birth and why it is the way it is for some women. why can some women have a typical hospital birth, without being bothered in the slightest, and some women seem more sensitive to how they are being treated and what happens to them during birth.

all the feelings that all of you are sharing in this thread are perfectly normal after experiencing a birth trauma, and none of that pain can be taken away or minimized. it's your pain! do your best to find your way through it, give yourself permission to feel the pain and to let it go, take the lessons you can from it, and move forward with your life.

as to the original question, sure i often felt jealousy/sadness towards friends with normal birth experiences after my section... it was really really hard. even now, a speck inside me doesn't think it's fair when woman have "easy" births because i had to work so hard for all of mine.

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#49 of 51 Old 10-26-2009, 06:04 PM
 
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I had a very long (48 hour), intervention-ladden birth that resulted in a c-section. On top of this my dd ended up having a mild stroke within hours of birth. (She is completely fine today, thankfully). Because we were not at a hospital with an NICU unit, my daughter was whisked away to a different hospital. My husband went with her, we both agreed he should do so. It was a very traumatic experience that I haven't healed from. One of the biggest triggers to memories of this time (now almost 2 years ago) is when a friend gives birth. A close friend gave birth naturally, via waterbirth for the second time last month. I find it so hard to be happy for her, which is completely twisted. One of the things I am most jealous about is not having that nesting in time and my inability to breastfeed her during those early moments.

Do others who have experienced birth trauma ever had resentments toward friends who have "normal" birth experiences?
YES. It makes me sad, even though I'm so happy for others at the same time. I feel like birth has lost something for me--if there's a next time, I'll be thinking about things like where the nearest NICU is in case of transfer instead of whether the hospital cafeteria is open at night.

Even watching Anna Duggar's homebirth made me sad...

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#50 of 51 Old 11-04-2009, 01:12 AM
 
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I'm jealous of the women I know who have wonderful births. Mine was wonderful in a way - holding my son for the first time, looking to see what his gender was, smelling him, sharing those moments with my BF. But the stitches were horrible, the healing was horrific - I was in excrutiating pain for 12long weeks after he was born. It was awful. I never want to have another b/c thats what triggered my ppd and I just can't do that anymore.

I envy women who are on their feet within hours after birth, who can sit in a chair and hold their baby the same day - I couldn't sit to hold my son for days, I had to settle for laying down and cuddling him. He's the light of my life, and I love him with all of me, but I so wish my body hadn't ripped apart when he came out.
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#51 of 51 Old 12-12-2009, 10:58 PM
 
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Funny how little we have control over things. I just wrote up my whole detailed birth story on here and did something stupid with my screen and the whole thing erased.
Basically I just wanted to thank 3 posters for their words of wisdom. AprilinJuly, otxena and mandib50: you ladies are awesome.

I was on here reading for some support after 2 years of grieving the c-section I had with my DD. It was a difficult labor and I was hooked up to every machine and drug possible and confined to a bed for over 24 hours. TOTALLY the opposite experience of what I had wanted.

The only good thing about the experience leading up to my daughter's arrival was my husband. I knew he was a keeper before this, but I never knew that someone could be that good.

How do you get through this kind of grief where it's a joyous time because of your beautiful baby but a loss of an experience of a natural birth? I'm ready to start healing, but don't even know how to begin.

Much love to those mamas on here who are still grieving too. There are so many reasons for us to grieve; so glad that we can support each other in our pain.

Farmer and Mother to DS 11/10, DD 01/08, still miss angel 12/06,
 

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