Why is it so different for others? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 20 Old 10-03-2009, 08:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've had 3 births now, all disappointing, 2 traumatizing. I've always wanted a natural birth. My first was agonizing back labor, vacuum delivery, 3rd degree tear. 2nd, pitocin induction and epidural. 3rd - slow labor, pitocin after 20 hours which was agony, then epidural, fetal distress, and emergency c-section. That one was the worst, we were terrified for our baby and dh and I are completely traumatized by the experience. Thank God our baby is ok, but I have nightmares and cry about it often. It was 2 months ago.

Every one of my labors has been agony. I don't understand it. I've been so prepared, educated, and unafraid, yet when the time comes, I end up in agonizing, excruciating, unbearable pain. Why is it some women can get through, some even have an easy time, but as prepared and confident as I am, I end up in so much pain?

I've wanted a natural birth so badly and have believed so much in ncb, but I've lost faith in it, for myself. I don't even know if I'll have another baby, but if I do, I will just get an early epidural. I feel so sad and bitter about my experiences.

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#2 of 20 Old 10-07-2009, 09:11 AM
 
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I know exactly how you feel. I don't have any answers but you're not alone at least. I was so prepared for a NCB but the amount of pain was horrendous, I have gaps in my memory, and it was all for nothing and I ended up needing an emergency c-section anyway. That's my one and only pregnancy so far and I don't know what to do for my next pregnancy. I would love to try for a vbac and hope for a better experience, but I'm getting scared.

I would love to know WHY. And I hate that women who have had easier labors don't seem to realize how bad it can be.
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#3 of 20 Old 10-07-2009, 11:04 AM
 
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I'm so sorry that birth was that kind of experience for you, and that it is so hard to recover from those experiences. This is some of the hardest work we face as women, and often without much support or guidance in our healing. You have my prayers for solace and healing!
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#4 of 20 Old 10-07-2009, 11:13 AM
 
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While I agree that birth attendants and birth setting are very important, I also know that many women do deliver easily under the "standard medicalized" approach, so there is a lot more to it in each individual case. The op should probably learn as much as she can about what happened in her births if she wants to make sense of it and learn for any future births, if she decides to have more children.

DD1 (Oct 99), DD2 (Sep 02), DD3 (Oct 09)
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#5 of 20 Old 10-08-2009, 02:20 AM
 
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While I agree with Ms Black in general about out of hospital births I CHOSE a homebirth and ended up with a cesearean. It does not always work that way. Perhaps I didn't choose the right support. I don't know, and I can't change anything now. I have asked myself SO So So many times, why? Why did I have to experience this? Why me? What if? I wanted a homebirth so badly and I made all the right informed choices to experience childbirth as an empowering, positive event and I didn't get that. I don't have the answers. Hugs, OP I am so sorry that all of your births have been like that for you. I have pinned so much hope onto the next birth for myself, that sometimes it scares me.

Maria, wife to DH, mama to DS 09/2007, #2 12/2010 and hoping for a
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#6 of 20 Old 10-08-2009, 03:46 AM
 
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You can do everything right, have the perfect set-up and it can still be less than ideal. (or maybe that is just my opinion but I truly believe it) Not every birth is going to be perfect, it's just not always possible and sometimes the reason is just that is the way the birth worked in your case.

I don't understand why people always give reasons why it didn't work that involve changing the setting, people around you, perspective, surroundings, technique, etc etc etc. Isn't it possible that sometimes things don't function as one would hope? I mean in every single country and in nearly every type of setting women still have complications in childbirth. I try to look at the research, the planning, the education etc as things that helped my difficult birth be the best possible.

I think that it is important not to keep difficult natural or hoping to go natural but ending up not birth experiences hidden. Sometimes we fear not being able to explain things and it is normal to search for the answer. I worry that this feeling of explaining it away does a disservice to women who are looking at home, natural, or low intervention birth options because if they hear on one side that they can plan/create a perfect birth experience and if it doesn't happen it is easy to throw out the whole system because it feels disingenuous.

I feel like this is the equivalent to the people who claim that you can experience a pain free birth if you pray hard enough and believe the right way. It sets up a system where if that pain free birthdoesn't happen for you others can just say you didn't pray properly or believe enough etc. That's sometimes how it feels when people tell me "Your mindset was off." "Your husband wasn't supportive enough, you needed better support." "You can't have a natural birth in a hospital setting"etc etc. I mean really? I had one super perfect amazing 100% natural birth in a hospital (yes really but I don't think here is exactly the place to discuss that birth because it's my other birth that wasn't so "perfect" I have to go to a hospital because I am not a candidate for homebirth) and guess what the same exact people (including the same AWESOME midwife), same set-up, same attitude etc. and I didn't have the same natural birth experience for my other birth. Both times I had the same options, the same possibilities for water birth, as far as I can tell the same mindset, midwife, etc etc. and it just wasn't the same experience.

It seems like an easy out to always explain it away and keep the idea that a perfect birth is possible if you just do it "right" and guess what? I am not so sure it is.

What can we do? I guess we can keep talking about it, coming up with ways to deal with births that are in our minds "less than ideal" or traumatic or scary in ways that involve our lives or the lives of our child. But I hope that I can also realize that every birth has the possibility of being better even if the better is just in the fact that I am able to be honest about how it went and not throw out all of my ideas of creating a birth experience that is safe for my child and myself. Natural childbirth is first and foremost important because it promotes safety and wellness in childbirth. I didn't pick natural childbirth as my goal because it was trendy or I wanted to somehow be a superhero. I picked it because statistically it is safer for my child, better for my child's bonding and breastfeeding and better for myself etc. Sometimes it feels like focus is only on the natural when really the goal the entire time was to provide safe, educated, emotionally stable, empowering and pro-bonding experiences for the mother, child and family as a whole. Natural childbirth fails as a philosophy when the natural elements are not understood to be part of a larger picture.

I also realize that I am lucky because I have a healthy child. I think that everyone puts that on the top of the list.
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#7 of 20 Old 10-08-2009, 07:17 AM
 
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I rarely post on this board, but Im a long-time lurker, I love MDC!

OK, first of all: Im sorry for your horrible experiences.

I do not believe that labour and birth is easy for most women. I think it's hard, excrutiating for the vast majority.

I had my one and only child almost 8 years ago. I went 42 weeks, escaped induction by 1 day.

I went into labour late friday night, hardly slept that night. I wasnt in a lot of pain, but uncomfortable enough to not get a good night's sleep.

Saturday all day long I contracted every 10-12 minutes. Saturday night labour finally picked up around 7.30 PM and by 11PM our midwife was at our home to check dilation before going to the hospital (I wanted to give brith in the hospital). I was 5cm and 100 percent effaced. That was after 26 hours of labour, 4 of them hard, back labour. So we went to the hospital, straight to a room, where we settled in and she broke my water. I was 8cm at 12.30 AM. I was doing 'fine'. According to her that is. HB was fine. I was dealing with it OK, or so it seemed. But I wasnt. It was the most unbearable,excrutiating pain ever. I had all back labour. I was having one monster contraction after the other. We took off to the shower where DH helt the shower to my back. That soothed the pain somewhat, but it was still horrible. Transition at 'best'. It took me 2.5 hrs of hell to get to 10cm, I felt the contractions changing and went back to the room and bed. I laid down and was told I could start to push. So i did. Shortly after, my baby's HB dropped and didnt restore and my midwife called in the OB, who decided baby ahd to come out NOW. I was cut open (4th degree), forceps were inserted and my baby was being pulled out of me. She was fine.

In a way I felt very empowered because i did it completely unmedicated. On the other hand, I felt dissapointed because I needed forceps. I had no interventions other then AROM in active labour and the very last MINUTE a cut and forceps.

There was nothing I could have done differently to avoid it. My baby was born healthy and fine 3 hours after we got to the hospital.

I wanted to push my baby out myself, and let DH caught her. It didnt happen. Im glad the hospital I gave birth in prefers forceps and vacuum over c/s. C/s are a last option here.


You cannot plan birth. I never thought Id go 42 weeks. I never thought I was going to need help getting my baby out. I never thought it was going to hurt worse then I ever imagined.

I did everything 'right'and still didnt get to push my baby out. I stayed home as long as possible, I didnt want any interventions, I drank a lot of water, I walked around, I went unmedicated, I had a midwife and a wonderful husband supporting me, etc. Still it was the most unbearable pain ever, I was nauseous, I was super tired afterwards and still couldnt sleep because of the pure adrenaline rushing through me. Pain and exhaustion.

It was not my fault. It was no-one's. Things happen. It wasnt for nothing forceps and vacuums were invented. I believe they can --and have save(d) many lives and prevent many c/s.
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#8 of 20 Old 10-08-2009, 09:19 AM
 
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With my first, I chose, and got a homebirth. The labor started off very hard and 2 1/2 minutes apart for 15 hrs straight. I never expected that as so many told lme that labor 'sneaks' up on you and gets more intense. Anyways, after 15 hrs, I got to push for 2 1/2 hrs. His heart rate started to drop and they called the ambulance. At that moment, I thought "I'm going to push this kid out if it kills me" because I had a vision of the hospital cutting me open to get to him. I pushed, and finally out he came. The MW's were shocked because my son had his hands up under his chin, so that is why the pushing was so long for me. The pain was very intense as well and there were moments where I had wished to dear God please somebody knock me out or something! This time, I am staying home again, and plan a water birth. The MW told me that I have to "let the prior birth experience go because it my hinder this one" and I truly believe that. I'm really hoping for a more casual birth experience this time, I'm studying the hypnobirthing method as well. Why some women have such easy births is beyond me, but I suppose it's like anything else in life that some of us do work harder to reach our goals than others do.

Mama to one very active DS (5.5) Loving wife to my wonderful DH and our baby girl arrived on December 10, 2009
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#9 of 20 Old 10-08-2009, 09:44 AM
 
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I think in this community, we are so focused on the fact that many interventions are unnecessary, we forget that *some* interventions ARE necessary.

It's not your fault for choosing the wrong provider or anything else. It's just life. We each have some physical difficulties and illnesses, etc., in our lives, and for some of us, difficult childbirth is one of them. Some of us have trouble breastfeeding even though we 'shouldn't'. Some of our baby boys do get infections in their uncircumcised penises. Some of our gently disciplined children are difficult. Some of us get rare diseases, etc. Some of us are attacked by strangers or hit by drunk drivers. And so on.

It's so hard in this community to plan and do all the right stuff and then still have a difficult birth. You're surrounded by happy, self-assured women who did all the right stuff and had a great experience, and are pretty sure, despite their true good intentions and effort not to judge, that in your case you [or the hospital or provider who you chose] did something wrong. It's the same old thing - we need to feel in control to feel safe. If something bad happened to you, it must be someone's fault or else I have to worry it could happen to me too.

It is true that so many bad birth experiences can be prevented, but not all, and I'm sorry for those of us who fell into that small sad category. Keep healing - birth is but a moment, and you get to parent your children for a lifetime.
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#10 of 20 Old 10-09-2009, 12:35 PM
 
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Please note that I have deleted the offensive parts of my original response. My apologies to all.

Again, healing prayers to you, MrsTurner.
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#11 of 20 Old 10-09-2009, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you ALL so much for your responses and insight.

I've talked to dh about it, and we're thinking that we all have different bodies and labor and birth are just naturally different individually. Also, I have come to think that we live in an imperfect world, with imperfect bodies. Why should I expect birth to be perfect?

I did have the most awesome support for my 3rd, and most traumatic birth. I had a wonderful doula, a NCB friendly hospital, great team of midwives, and a nurse who was a Godsend. After my first 2 births, I wanted to be fully prepared. Well, no matter how much I prepared, it went completely out of my control.

Thanks again. I'm still healing emotionally and physically, and it is such a blessing to have you all to talk to about this

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#12 of 20 Old 10-09-2009, 11:33 PM
 
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I'm so sorry you had such hard births, and I'm sorry that 2 of the 3 were traumatic.

My son's birth was exactly the way I wanted - but when he came out he tore me badly. It too 3hours to stitch me up. I couldn't sit in a chair for weeks afterwards. I had to get cut and re-stitched at 3.5weeks pp, and then get silver nitrate applied at 12weeks pp. I was in pain for 3long terrible months after my son was born. It was so terrible that I never ever want to give birth again. Ever. My son will be an only child b/c it was so traumatic.

You're very brave for having more than one baby. I have alot of admiration for people that do it more than once since I'm not willing to go through all that again.
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#13 of 20 Old 10-10-2009, 12:02 AM
 
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Thyra - I just wanted to say I tore terribly & the healing was horrific as well. But the further you get from that time the less horrible it seems - ime.

Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).

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#14 of 20 Old 10-16-2009, 06:30 PM
 
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I feel your pain. I just had to be transferred to the hospital after an attempt at home birth that was stopped due to meconium - and forced to have a csection because of her being breech.

I too feel jealous that other women that do not even care about child birth or the process or any of the such - end up getting to birth naturally. Where as I, planned, researched and end up with a c-section.

I am not sure what will heal the wounds other than talking about it and allowing yourself to go through the healing process.

All the best.
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#15 of 20 Old 10-19-2009, 04:54 PM
 
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It's so hard when you fully believe that if you do xyz than you of course will get what it is you are working so hard for and then it doesn't happen. But you worked so hard!!! I so know the feeling. You did nothing wrong of course. None of us did. It just is what it is and it sucks.


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#16 of 20 Old 10-23-2009, 10:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again for sharing. I still have trouble dealing with this last birth, it was so horrible (then again it was only 3 months ago). The memories are haunting. I want to burn my childbirth books. I feel so deceived and ripped off.

My husband is traumatized as well, he won't even look at photos from when I was in labor. He said that if we were to have another, that he couldn't be there, that we would have to plan it like back in the day when the fathers weren't present. I can't say I blame him.

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#17 of 20 Old 10-23-2009, 11:00 PM
 
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Mama, you are not alone.
I have also had 3 births, and each has gone very badly. My last was the worst, like you, and that one was after I had gone to counseling, decided on a home birth, hired a doula and midwife, and *knew* I could do it. Instead of my home birth, I got a medical airlift, breech preemie who was born dead and was revived, and remained sick, required surgery, and still has neurological issues including epilepsy 2 years later. Labour has always been excrutiating for me too, and when my babies were born, even the one in complete medical peril, all I could muster was "thank god it's out".

And I'm pregnant.

Mama, you are not alone.

It's not fair.

And it's not your fault.

4 kids under 10
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#18 of 20 Old 10-24-2009, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by sanguine_speed View Post
Mama, you are not alone.
I have also had 3 births, and each has gone very badly. My last was the worst, like you, and that one was after I had gone to counseling, decided on a home birth, hired a doula and midwife, and *knew* I could do it. Instead of my home birth, I got a medical airlift, breech preemie who was born dead and was revived, and remained sick, required surgery, and still has neurological issues including epilepsy 2 years later. Labour has always been excrutiating for me too, and when my babies were born, even the one in complete medical peril, all I could muster was "thank god it's out".

And I'm pregnant.

Mama, you are not alone.

It's not fair.

And it's not your fault.
My heart aches for you, I'm so sorry I really, really hope your next birth goes well for you. Thanks for your message

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#19 of 20 Old 10-26-2009, 05:54 PM
 
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It's not our fault. Even when you do everything right, sometimes it doesn't go the way you want it to. I planned to have a NCB just like my mother did. Midwife, doula, mental prep, it was perfect. My daughter didn't see it that way! It was a lot like your 3rd birth, and while I'm grieving the birth still, I have to thank God that she's alright.

Quote:
I've wanted a natural birth so badly and have believed so much in ncb, but I've lost faith in it, for myself. I don't even know if I'll have another baby, but if I do, I will just get an early epidural. I feel so sad and bitter about my experiences.
I could have written this part of your post! I don't think I could bear the disappointment of another failed NCB. I know it's not true, but sometimes I think that maybe my choices are what landed DD in the NICU after her birth.... The not knowing is so hard.

I think it's okay to feel sad; it feels like a loss of some sort. Grieve the birth; celebrate the child, and DO NOT be hard on yourself, no matter what.

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#20 of 20 Old 10-27-2009, 05:29 PM
 
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Control. It is all about control. It is a very big thing and we want to feel like we can control it. I thought I could. We can't. I had to learn this lesson after 30 hours of labor shrieking and wailing and out of my mind exhausted in the car on the way to the hospital, 3 cms dilated, scrambling up onto the table for the epidural I was NEVER going to agree to, pushing and pushing and pushing while sobbing uncontrolably for 4 hours.

We can't control our labors and births any more than we can control the weather. I believe that now. Next time I will have a positive attitude and will be grateful for a healthy baby and me afterwards and I won't give a hsit what happens during birth. It has nothing to do with who I am and what kind of mother I am.

I have boys! My first baby boy was born 10/08 and my second baby boy was born 7/12

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