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

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Old 12-11-2008, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?
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Old 12-11-2008, 08:15 PM
 
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Absolutely. I had a friend who was due about 2 months before me. We shared everything about our pregnancies with each other -- it was fun. Then, I had an emergency C-section due to a placental abruption at 31 weeks. My DD spent 7 weeks in the NICU. Everything about our relationship totally changed. I mean, we're still friends, but not very close. When I get together with her, and some other women I work with for playdates for our kids, I just don't fit in. I hear them talk about all the hours of labor they went through (I never went into labor), the wonderful natural birth they had (I had planned a natural, drug-free birth), or about caving into an epidural after 24 hours of labor (I never had a choice about my epidural).

So, yeah, I hate that. In fact, in may not be healthy, but I don't hang around them anymore. It hurts too much to listen to what I missed out on. I'm always on the look-out now for other preemie moms, but haven't found any.
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Old 12-11-2008, 08:47 PM
 
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Yep. I have friends who get to go have their babies while mine died. I get to watch their babies grow up knowing mine will never get that chance.

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Old 12-11-2008, 08:59 PM
 
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Mommato5 I'm sorry you are hurting so much right now. Its normal to feel that way when you've lost something so very precious. I'm sorry for your loss of Mary, no one should have to bury a child.

But it doesn't take away other pain to know that perhaps it could have been worse.

OP I'm sorry you are feeling sad and jealous. I think it can be really helpful to talk through those feelings with someone who understands, and eventually I think you will be able to come to a place of greater peace. Everyone has their own struggles too, so you might be jealous of their births but there will be things you have that they don't.

Having a baby in the NICU is very traumatic and I think maybe just allowing yourself to have those feelings and know that they are normal might help you process them more quickly.
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:01 PM
 
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mommato5: I'm really sorry. I can only try to understand how difficult that must be.
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Old 12-12-2008, 05:34 PM
 
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I understand how you feel. My planned birth center birth turned into a transfer and emergency c/s under general anesthesia. Even though I know it was necessary I am still so sad about how things turned out and every time I hear of someone's "perfect" "easy" birth I get so jealous and sad. Which of course happens a lot here at MDC with all the great homebirths and all. I've actually felt more comfortable going to my mainstream birth boards because there are fewer natural perfect births to trigger my feelings.

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Old 12-12-2008, 05:58 PM
 
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mammato5 I am so sorry

OP I feel that very same way. I was having the "perfect" pregnancy with DD. I had really bad morning sickness, but nothing else. At 35 weeks, all of a sudden, my BP spiked. I went in 2 days later to have it rechecked, and it was still high. OB said I had pre-eclampsia. Went straight to L&D for "emergency" induction. 3 days with cervidol, and I was only dialated to 1.5. OB told me I could do pitocin, "but it wouldn't work", so we should have a c-section. I went from picture perfect pregnancy to having an "emergency" c-section in less than a week. It is/was only made worse by the discovery that my OB didn't test the way they should/could have to see if I *really* had pre-e, and that a lot of what they "had" to do, they *didn't* have to do.

Everyone I know, who I *tried* talking with about how upset/hurt I was/am tells me "At least you have a healthy baby." But she *wasn't* completely alright when she was born. She wasn't in NICU, but she didn't eat *anything* for the first day she was born, and couldn't latch on when I was awake enough to try and bf her. Whenever I hear about how bad someone's labor was, and how "Oh, I couldn't get an epidural, and I had to have the baby completely naturally." it makes me *so* angry and upset. I wish I could have had the chance to be unable to get an epidural and "have" to have had DD naturally...

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Old 12-12-2008, 07:41 PM
 
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I absolutely hate the comment "At least you have a healthy baby." I get that all the time -- it totally misses the point. The baby and the birth are two separate things. You can love your baby and hate the birth. To say "at least you have a healthy baby" is an excuse for others to just wash over your birth experience and not have to deal with it (or you) IMO.
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Old 12-13-2008, 03:24 PM
 
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I'm sorry you feel like that.

To me, I think your incredibly lucky. You have a healthy living baby and that outweighs any birth experience. The goal in pregnancy is to have a healthy living child. I know that no matter what I say, you are still going to feel sad about your birth. I just want to show you that there are some of us who aren't so lucky. Birth means nothing without a living baby to show for it.

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Old 12-13-2008, 05:39 PM
 
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I often feel like you do. I hate the way childbirth is treated in this country. However, when I hear about someone's fabulous birth I get jealous. It's really a catch 22. I mean, I'm happy for them because I wouldn't wish my two traumatic birth experiences on anyone but I want a positive birth experience too. Ya know?

Both of my births were 2 day labors that ended in c-section and I get soooooo angry about people who don't appreciate their birth experiences. I talk to so many people that go into the hospital at the first ache of labor, get the epidural popped in right away, and then out pops baby. I think the birth stories that hurt me the most are the ones that start off with a lot of intervention but end in a healthy baby birthed vaginally with a happy mom. It's like they did everything wrong that I did wrong but with a different outcome. My friend just gave birth to her 4th child vaginally with no meds or intervention. I just want the chance to experience that once. Instead I get frequent nightmares and an aching incision. Why? :
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Old 12-13-2008, 06:19 PM
 
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Well my two birth experiences were NOTHING like what some of you ladies have been through. It breaks my heart to read some of your stories. But the more I read on this site and others about natural birth the more I feel cheated and sad that I didn't even get the chance to try. Part of it is anger towards myself and feeling like I failed my children. I asked one of my care providers a month or so ago about the possibility of a 3rd pregnancy and trying to go intervention free. He said that I could try all of the natural remedies/recommendations there were and he believes that I would still have to have interventions b/c of my history of pre-eclampsia (and I truly had PE and was tested PROPERLY unlike a PP).
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Old 12-13-2008, 06:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bmcneal View Post
Whenever I hear about how bad someone's labor was, and how "Oh, I couldn't get an epidural, and I had to have the baby completely naturally." it makes me *so* angry and upset. I wish I could have had the chance to be unable to get an epidural and "have" to have had DD naturally...
Well, let me tell you what, I am one of those women who had a traumatic birth experience because I was not allowed an epidural.

You should not put such a premium of your child coming out of your vagina. My daughter did and still ended up with a broken collarbone, I had a huge second degree tear, and I was insane from the pain. Seeing my daughter did nothing to improve my destroyed mental state. My daughter did not eat the first day either because it literally never occured to me to do it, I was that messed up. I wanted nothing to do with her. I didn't even see her until the next morning. All I could do was just sleep and shower in a mindless loop. It was devestating.

I mean, if you want to still be envious of that, be my guest, but if a c-section would have prevented that disaster, I would have taken it six times over.
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Old 12-13-2008, 07:22 PM
 
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I definately have jealousy/sdaness towards my friends who have "normal" births. I think what spurs mine is the fact that they don't even care. They are all about the drs and hospitals and whatever the dr says is golden. I sometimes want to scream at read this or that and see what that is really about. When I got pregnant I was all about becoming educated and the more I read I realized I did not want an epidural I want to do this drug free and so on.
I had a perfect labor until the very end. The dr basically wanted him out. Not sure exactly what happened but there was meconium and then he would not drop and I ended up with a c-section. I was put under general anthestia (?). I was with 1 nurse when I woke up and my son was up stairs with my husband. I was in extreme pain. I found out that my DS was not breathing and had to be rescusitated. I went up stairs and was able to hold him and nurse him. I was so drugged that I don't remember a lot. Anyways sorry to be so long.

My friend had a baby 2 weeks after me. Lots of interventions. When we went to visit she looked great. I felt so robbed at that moment. I felt like I was still not to where she was in recovery and I was 2 weeks out.

To say all that I pray that I will have my next child by VBAC. I pray that I will not be bitter/jealous/sad. I have hope.

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Old 12-14-2008, 02:35 PM
 
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Me! It took me a year before I could comfortably acknowledge happily someone else's birth, trying to read a few friend's birth stories brought flashbacks and panic. I had to do a lot of healing to concieve my second and it wasn't until my VBAC that I felt completely healed.

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Old 12-18-2008, 09:41 AM
 
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I definately have jealousy/sdaness towards my friends who have "normal" births. I think what spurs mine is the fact that they don't even care. They are all about the drs and hospitals and whatever the dr says is golden.
:

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Well, let me tell you what, I am one of those women who had a traumatic birth experience because I was not allowed an epidural.
I more meant that towards people who want epidurals because "the doctor said I should." Basically, what mommy2jonah said, people who are all about the doctors and hospitals and "because Dr said, that's how it *has* to be." I meant "bad" in, when they tell how "bad" it was, it was "normal" labor pains (for what I understand normal labor pains to be, as I've never had them, but heard/read a lot of people describe them.)

Quote:
You should not put such a premium of your child coming out of your vagina.
I am not angry about the c-section in and of itself. What upset me is the fact that I was blatantly lied to by my OB, treated as less than a person worthy of knowing the truth, and essentially *forced* to have a c-section. I don't imagine all vaginal births are ideal either, but I think that a woman should be given the truth, and all the options in an unbiased way, so they are able to make their decisions based on facts. I'm angry that because my progress wasn't enough for them that they told me, in essence, that I *had* to have a c-section. I was made to believe that if DD wasn't born ASAP, she or I could die, and I know now, *after having a chance to look at the information* that that was, in fact, not true. Like I said, I firmly believe that a c-section procedure is a good thing to have, when it's needed, but, IMHO, in my case it wasn't.

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Originally Posted by Sonnenwende View Post
I mean, if you want to still be envious of that, be my guest, but if a c-section would have prevented that disaster, I would have taken it six times over.
Like I said above, I don't believe that just because a birth is a vaginal birth makes it "ideal." In your case, from what you have stated here, a c-section might not have been a bad thing.

Also, the OP was asking about jealousy/anger towards people who have "normal" births. I took that to mean vaginal births that were not traumatic. From what you have told me, your birth was traumatic, therefore not "normal."

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Old 01-04-2009, 04:33 AM
 
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I've had a really hard time around people who have normal or good births. I'm active on the ICAN support list, and I love the mamas there...but as happy as I am for them, I feel a little twinge every time one of them posts a successful VBAC story. I have an even harder time with the moms who just...never think about it, don't care and then have a completely complication free birth. They're also usually the ones who give me crap about being grateful and "what's the big deal?" *sigh*

Mind you, I have a relative who told me I was pathetic after she gave birth vaginally - after screaming for a c-section her entire labour - so I probably have extra issues about this. Don't even get me started on the "you cheated" garbage, because I've heard that, too.

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Old 01-25-2009, 04:19 PM
 
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to all you mamas.

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Old 01-25-2009, 09:40 PM
 
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I mostly have issue with the "induced-flat on my back-epidural at the first contraction and still has a vaginal" birth stories where nobody does any research and does exactly what the doctor says. I researched, I read from before I was even pregnant, I knew what I wanted, I took classes, I made it through 4 days of med-free labor (in every position imaginable) and still ended up with a c-section after 2 hours of pushing (upright).

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.

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Old 01-27-2009, 02:31 AM
 
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I sometimes feel envious of my friends who got a "perfect" homebirth. I transferred after my homebirth for a hemorrhage and retained placenta. I was so looking forward to cuddling in bed afterwards, and to have my older kids come into our room in the morning and see the new baby. Instead, my husband brought them to the hospital -- the exact place I told them I would NOT be giving birth.

I am happy for my friends who have had homebirths, but there's definitely an element of envy also. But all of them appreciate their births. I do not envy the average mom who has a vaginal birth in a hospital. Just that after-birth cuddling in bed thing.

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Old 01-28-2009, 03:33 AM
 
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I mostly have issue with the "induced-flat on my back-epidural at the first contraction and still has a vaginal" birth stories where nobody does any research and does exactly what the doctor says. I researched, I read from before I was even pregnant, I knew what I wanted, I took classes, I made it through 4 days of med-free labor (in every position imaginable) and still ended up with a c-section after 2 hours of pushing (upright).

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.
yeah, i totally get that. it sucks, doesn't it? i guess the other way of looking at it is at least you know you did everything possible to have the birth you wanted. if you hadn't then you'd have to wonder what you could have done differently, KWIM?

but it still totally sucks to know people who had inductions and pitocin and epis and pushed for 15 minutes when i had no interventions, pushed for 3 hours, then an epi, then more pushing, then a c/s

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Old 01-28-2009, 03:19 PM
 
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envy. shame. sorrow. you name it. And, none of my birth-trauma had anything to do with "me" or "failure". It just sucks that I had to lose control because something was wrong with my baby - she was born fine, thankfully, but that doesn't minimize the pain.

So, here I am 2.5 weeks later, still isolated in my bedroom with no contact with anyone because it's too painful for me to admit what happened IRL. I don't know if/when I'll ever be truly ok with it. Unfortunately, my DH has to go back to work, and my older kids don't deserve to be locked up like this. If I'm going to get help, I have to admit what happened - and that sucks.

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Old 02-03-2009, 05:11 PM
 
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i wanted to post to this thread again as my neighbor friend just had lovely drug-free birth with her first baby on monday. i'm happy for her, of course, but i can't help but feel sad and envious of her birth. her water broke so she went to the hospital about 16 hours later (after having not a whole lot of action)and was given cyotec but no epi.

the baby was born 4 hours after she got the cytotec...:

i feel terrible being irked at this!!! she is such a nice person and i'm so happy for them having their first baby.

but i think what makes it worse was she had my same OB i had, same hospital, and hearing the stories of how well it went, how happy everyone was and everything when the OB let her DH catch the baby, it just makes me feel terrible. the OB was nervous with me, gruff, everyone was panicked, i was weeping--it was just awful.

and she's spent the last 2 days in the hospital rooming in with her baby and bonding, and i never got to do that my baby was taken straight to the nursery, i didn't see her for 3 hours, and even then they only brought her to me for feeding and we were both hooked up to IVs. DH never even held her in the nursery--she was on all these monitors.

when i spoke to my friend's DH the other day, he seemed to happy to be a father and had already changed diapers and held his sleeping daughter. i asked my DH if he ever felt happy when DD was born, and he said no, it was never a joyful occasion; it was just...awful.

isn't that sad?

i really want more than anything to feel joy at the birth of a child. i hope i do someday.

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Old 02-03-2009, 05:32 PM
 
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Old 02-04-2009, 04:14 AM
 
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It's been nearly a year since my daughter's arrival. (I've noticed I can't even bring myself to call it a birth as it was a c-section.) Birth stories still bring me panic and flashbacks. There are a couple of friends who keep almost getting deleted from my facebook for even talking about their births. I wish I was joking. The friends of mine who are activists for homebirth or birth centers... I feel like I can't relate to them anymore. I feel like, even though I did everything right, I'm out of the club because of the way things went for me. I hate it. Why do so many women want to talk about birth?

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Old 02-06-2009, 12:54 AM
 
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It's been nearly a year since my daughter's arrival. (I've noticed I can't even bring myself to call it a birth as it was a c-section.) Birth stories still bring me panic and flashbacks. There are a couple of friends who keep almost getting deleted from my facebook for even talking about their births. I wish I was joking. The friends of mine who are activists for homebirth or birth centers... I feel like I can't relate to them anymore. I feel like, even though I did everything right, I'm out of the club because of the way things went for me. I hate it. Why do so many women want to talk about birth?


i get what you mean. i really think you could benefit immensely from therapy, specifically EMDR...the flashbacks *shudder*

i just spent the last hour with a friend who had a 4-day old and i actually didn't feel panicked. i attribute that to EMDR!

but i have to say, it STILL is just OBJECTIVELY annoying when people tout natural birth like it's just a choice you make, and you do it. it is so NOT that! i made the choice to go natural, but life happened and i ended up with a c-section. just like my friend who's a new mama made the choice to BF but is supplementing right now and it might not work out.

if motherhood is anything, it's a lesson in surrender and what you do NOT control!

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Old 02-06-2009, 03:52 AM
 
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Thanks Readytobedone. My dh and I would love to get me therapy when we can afford it. We even have a good therapist already. But last year we had such a miserable series of unfortunate financial surprises.. and it looks like we're going to have to put both of our cats to sleep soon and the debt just keeps piling on. One big slap in the face is that $4,000 of our debt is the crappy birth center where I didn't even get to have my baby. Ugh.

At least I have a wonderful, supportive partner. I'd be lost without dh and my babe.

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Old 02-07-2009, 05:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I've had a really hard time around people who have normal or good births. I'm active on the ICAN support list, and I love the mamas there...but as happy as I am for them, I feel a little twinge every time one of them posts a successful VBAC story. I have an even harder time with the moms who just...never think about it, don't care and then have a completely complication free birth. They're also usually the ones who give me crap about being grateful and "what's the big deal?" *sigh*

Mind you, I have a relative who told me I was pathetic after she gave birth vaginally - after screaming for a c-section her entire labour - so I probably have extra issues about this. Don't even get me started on the "you cheated" garbage, because I've heard that, too.

my mom.
she just doesn't get it. she had two unmedicateds hospital births. "just popped you out!!" and in the same breath "but honey, he's healthy."

and i too get envious on here sometimes. i pretty much avoid the positive stories at this point.

but i know it will get better...

living light husband wife loving life two sons to birth for our light loving earth. :
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Old 02-07-2009, 05:55 AM
 
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[QUOTE=readytobedone;13138505]

i get what you mean. i really think you could benefit immensely from therapy, specifically EMDR...the flashbacks *shudder*

i just spent the last hour with a friend who had a 4-day old and i actually didn't feel panicked. i attribute that to EMDR!

but i have to say, it STILL is just OBJECTIVELY annoying when people tout natural birth like it's just a choice you make, and you do it. it is so NOT that! i made the choice to go natural, but life happened and i ended up with a c-section. just like my friend who's a new mama made the choice to BF but is supplementing right now and it might not work out.

if motherhood is anything, it's a lesson in surrender and what you do NOT control![/QUOTE]


:

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Old 02-21-2009, 05:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Friday13th View Post
I mostly have issue with the "induced-flat on my back-epidural at the first contraction and still has a vaginal" birth stories where nobody does any research and does exactly what the doctor says. I researched, I read from before I was even pregnant, I knew what I wanted, I took classes, I made it through 4 days of med-free labor (in every position imaginable) and still ended up with a c-section after 2 hours of pushing (upright).

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.
I'm expecting my 1st babe pretty soon and you just described my biggest fear.

I don't have a vision of what my birth will/should be like because I don't want to set myself up for disappointment.

In the end, I don't care how it turns out (medicated/unmedicated, c-section/vaginal) as long as I do what I want to do then I'm satisfied.


: I can't wait 4 my birthing experience!! :
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Old 02-21-2009, 06:26 PM
 
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My last pregancy was very out of my control, and the delivery was absolutely horrible. I was pressed to induce, and given cytotech. I had an epidural pressed on me because wasn't allowed to move to cope with the discomfort, and that made the nursing staff uneasy. And a myriad of other 'loss of control' suff.

My previous delivery had been much better. I'd been allowed to move and feel very much in control, and I was terribly taken aback by what happened with my most recent.

I recently found out that I am pregnant, and honestly, I'm a bit gunshy after the last experience with a 'closely managed (by an OB) pregnancy'.

It angers me that women aren't listened to. I think that even when an intervention is necessary, it needs to be the woman's choice, not something pressed on her, not something 'encouraged' by hospitals, doctors, and nurses fearing a malpractice suit.

I refuse to go to same hospital. If I can find a mw who will manage my care, and will assist with a home birth, I'll go that route, but it's nearly impossible here, and with my medical hx.... I'll still try.

I'm thrilled that my son is healthy and happy, and ultimately that is what matters, but when we have healthy children at the cost of destroying the mother's psyche we're doing something wrong.

Hang in there. Sometimes it is only time that will help, or a better experience another time.
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