natural childbirth, pain, and shame - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 53 Old 08-26-2012, 12:14 PM
 
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Please please don't be so hard on yourself.  You DID it Mama!  Why is it that as women we are 'failures' if  we don't labour or deliver quietly, or we need pain relief, or scream?  How do you think a man would handle that type of pain??

I have had 5 births and 3 of the 5 have been posterior.  Because I also have very large babies with big heads the posterior births have been beyond excruciating.  I am a reserved woman and I felt guilt and shame because I screamed and cried for them to make it stop.  I pleaded with them to help me and even asked them to transfer me (with my last birth).
The two births that were posterior were very intense but compared to the posterior positioned babies, not near as painful...not even on the same scale.  However those two ended in severe hemmorhages.

With #6 after 3 homebirths I am going for a hospital birth.  And I may well get an epidural.  I am not ashamed.  I have long difficult births with big babies and it's my choice. 


Birth is pretty much an easy pass/fail and I think everyone "passes"  IMO. :) 
Pass=you end up with a baby regardless of exit method

Fail= you mysteriously give birth to a litter of kittens or puppies. Or a clutch of lizards. 

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#32 of 53 Old 09-07-2012, 08:44 PM
 
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I feel for you so much because I had a similar experience, except that I got an epi at 8 cm and it didn't work. I felt so scared and so trapped because once I had "given up" my dream of a med free labor, I still didn't get pain relief. My setting was in a hospital because I was on pit at 42 weeks induction. 4 hours and 45 mins of pushing and I started passing out and they did a csection. I will have a ECS this time because it was so traumatic for me. I want that magical birth experience so bad, but I will not risk it happening again because I am still not over it 4 years later. *hugs Momma* 

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#33 of 53 Old 09-07-2012, 09:40 PM
 
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I feel like I know a lot about labor. I'd seen births prior to have children. I've worked in postpartum for years. I've taught prenatal classes for a long time. When pregnant with my third for some reason I felt compelled to buy the hypnobirthing book becuase it was supposed to have these great relaxation techniques. Well, I couldn't even get past the first chapter!  It claims that birth is pain free. which for some rare people it may be, but for the vast majority of women it it going to be the worst pain you have ever had. worse than claiming that birth is pain free or saying that birth can be pain free, it implies that if your birth is not pain free you are doing it wrong. That book made me livid and I threw it in the garbage because I could not imagine letting anyone read that.

 

Don't beat yourself up aobut it. Especially do not beat your self up about your first look at your daughter. she does not think any of those things at all! She is a tiny newborn baby who suddenly in the world, her first thoughts are sensations, your smell, your touch, soon hunger and rooting around. She is not thinking that you failed her.   Another big myth out there is that the first moment you have with your baby is all joy and instant bond. Sometimes it is, but mostly it is not. These were my first, honest to God thoughts as soon as I gave birth, after "Thank God it is over"

 

1st baby: Is he normal? (there were concerns) Boy? It was supposed to be  a girl. I didn't have a labor I wanted and it was a let down. I felt I had failed in my goal.

2nd baby: I did it! (I had really wanted a completely natural birth and it went perfectly and it was agonaizingly painful, but thankfully only 5 hours of hard labor). I did not think about the baby, I thought about my accomplishment. I was on a complete high. I was also in extreme pain for a 3rd degree tear and shaking so badly I wouldn't hold the baby until I was given freezing for the stitches. That took about an hour because they had to call in a dr. Once I was stiched up, then we had our great bonding time.

3rd Baby: I was completley relieved he didn't have downs syndrome, as that had been consuming my mind for that last few months.

 

The only thing I have ever heard somone compare to birth pain that I actually believe are kidney stones.

 

 

Remember that it is a relationship you have with your baby and realationships are not instantaneous, they are built over time. Not having that magical instant love will not lessen the wonderful bond you will have.

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#34 of 53 Old 09-09-2012, 09:26 AM
 
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I feel like I know a lot about labor. I'd seen births prior to have children. I've worked in postpartum for years. I've taught prenatal classes for a long time. When pregnant with my third for some reason I felt compelled to buy the hypnobirthing book becuase it was supposed to have these great relaxation techniques. Well, I couldn't even get past the first chapter!  It claims that birth is pain free. which for some rare people it may be, but for the vast majority of women it it going to be the worst pain you have ever had. worse than claiming that birth is pain free or saying that birth can be pain free, it implies that if your birth is not pain free you are doing it wrong. That book made me livid and I threw it in the garbage because I could not imagine letting anyone read that.

 

Don't beat yourself up aobut it. Especially do not beat your self up about your first look at your daughter. she does not think any of those things at all! She is a tiny newborn baby who suddenly in the world, her first thoughts are sensations, your smell, your touch, soon hunger and rooting around. She is not thinking that you failed her.   Another big myth out there is that the first moment you have with your baby is all joy and instant bond. Sometimes it is, but mostly it is not. These were my first, honest to God thoughts as soon as I gave birth, after "Thank God it is over"

 

1st baby: Is he normal? (there were concerns) Boy? It was supposed to be  a girl. I didn't have a labor I wanted and it was a let down. I felt I had failed in my goal.

2nd baby: I did it! (I had really wanted a completely natural birth and it went perfectly and it was agonaizingly painful, but thankfully only 5 hours of hard labor). I did not think about the baby, I thought about my accomplishment. I was on a complete high. I was also in extreme pain for a 3rd degree tear and shaking so badly I wouldn't hold the baby until I was given freezing for the stitches. That took about an hour because they had to call in a dr. Once I was stiched up, then we had our great bonding time.

3rd Baby: I was completley relieved he didn't have downs syndrome, as that had been consuming my mind for that last few months.

 

The only thing I have ever heard somone compare to birth pain that I actually believe are kidney stones.

 

 

Remember that it is a relationship you have with your baby and realationships are not instantaneous, they are built over time. Not having that magical instant love will not lessen the wonderful bond you will have.

 

That's how I got screwed with my first birth. Reading a bunch of books, I believed that the pain was "all in my head". 

 

This time I knew better and my doula knew that pain is a serious fear trigger for me. HOwever I did make everyone crack up by saying "Orgasmic birth? WTF, no such thing, people who say that are lying liars and they're going to hell" (I don't believe in hell, but I was pretty cranky by that point) 


 
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#35 of 53 Old 09-21-2012, 10:41 AM
 
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Agree with other mamas on here. We all have our own unique experiences. There is no such thing as failure. It's a shame so many people in the 'birth movement' push their views on moms. What I personally think is important is for the Evidence to be taught (b/c many traditional birthing classes do not teach what the evidence says). There are so many options that "all of us" very often never hear about that have major implications during our birth & future births. Once the Evidence is presented & risks for ALL options are discussed, only then can we make the best decisions (whatever kind of birth, wherever & however). Just as you had your unfortunate experience, so too do moms who routinely get hooked up to 'continuous electronic fetal monitors' that have been proven to NOT have any benefits for moms or babies, but DO increase the chance of c-sections (see evidence here)....and are never taught that. Why not? 

 

Sometimes it feels like the democrats vs republicans in the birthing world...let's stop bickering & start supporting each other. It's ok if you don't want to have the same birth as me, who the heck am I to say. It's your choice what you want to do right? I support you either way. I just help you get all the info you need (unbiased) so you feel confident whatever you decide!

 

Regardless what kind of birth you want to have...I wanted to share this interview YourBabyBooty did with Cindy Crawford. It's inspiring for all of us moms. I love her quote when she says... "You're at your strongest when you're pregnant"! You Can Do It!  http://yourbabybooty.com/interviews/how-i-managed-pain-in-natural-childbirth-with-cindy-crawford/ 

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#36 of 53 Old 09-21-2012, 11:53 AM
 
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I'm with everyone else who has never heard of a pain free inductions. I only know one woman who has done an induced birth without pain meds and I think she's superwoman or nuts or something.

 

I had an hour of pitocin right before they decided to do a c-section. I'd take all 23 hours of labor I did without pitocin over that one hour of labor with pitocin. I couldn't focus to make it through the pain. Everything just hurt. There was no breathing through it or riding the wave of the contraction. It just hurt and it hurt a lot. My non pitocin contractions basically felt like a really bad menstral cramp. But, really people, one cramp doesn't hurt, the 5 millionth cramp without a break and it hurts, a lot.

 

Even before the pitocin I asked them to mute the heart beat because it was making me irritable.

 

I am also with those who were so tired and out of it that I wasn't even very excited to see the baby. They put him on my chest to see and I just remember looking at him and thinking "what do you expect me to do with that". We bonded later, once I was out of recovery and we could just hold and stare at him, but that was hours and hours later.

 

We don't generally think about how uncomfortable babe is during labor. They are getting squashed and squeezed and then expected to breath and make every thing work right. I imagine labor hurts pretty bad from their perspective as well. If your baby was capable of thinking fully formed thoughts on her way out I'm pretty sure her thoughts of you were less than charitable as well.

 

With my second birth I went straight to the c-section.


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#37 of 53 Old 10-04-2012, 12:25 AM
 
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I just wanted to say a big thank you to the OP and everyone who posted. I read this post the day before I gave birth to my son and I thought of the words here frequently.
I also read and did prep for a med free birth and wanted as little intervention as possible. Unfortunately, I was also induced with pitocin and the pain was unbearable I think you're amazing for going through it pain free. I had thoughts of how am I going to love and bond with my baby if I'm going through so much pain! I ended up with an epidural and probably everyother intervention except for a c-section. I bonded and fell in love with my baby instantly. Although I didn't get the birth I initially wanted, I am happy with my experience.

I also did the ice cube excercise at the birth class. I find it funny now, I think they should rather throw you in a bath of ice water, that level of pain is more comparable.

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#38 of 53 Old 10-04-2012, 05:06 AM
 
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See I fully expected to be a raving lunatic during labour. I guess that's the other side of the coin with all the Hollywood hype/drama/stereotyping. No one said "you won't waste your precious breath on yelling obscenities". I was told deep breathing would help at the prenatal class. Bull! That only put more pressure on my abdomen and made it more painful. I'm very grateful to the nurse who checked us in. She saw how I was struggling and took my hand and without a word started doing quick shallow breaths through my contractions. That made it so I could get through a contraction without thrashing around in agony and tearing my hair out. It was still freakin' painful, just a little less unbearable. I didn't have pitocin but I did have the gel induction at 41 weeks. I'm sure pitocin is another ring of hell but this was bad enough! Nothing happened for hours and then BAM! I had the same intensity and frequency of contractions at 2 cm as I had at 9cm!! We got to the hospital after 9 pm and I said a BIG YES to an epidural at midnight (when dr got there) which was administered at 2am (when anesthesiologist was free). In the intervening seven hours, I kept hoping for a drop in baby's heart rate so they'd just wheel me into the OR and get this torture over with!!!!!!! At one point I even thought "If something goes very wrong I can always get pregnant again." ugh.. I'm not proud of these thoughts but I forgave myself and moved on. DD and DH needed me too much and I was too fascinated by this tiny little person. It wasn't instant love at first sight (another taboo subject) but over the next couple of days I did fall hopelessly in love with that delicate little helpless creature - the same person, supposedly, who is running around the house, shrieking "meow meow meow" at the moment eyesroll.gif. I completely agree with pp when they said that too much emphasis is placed on the birth and not nearly enough on the postpartum period of adjustment to motherhood and healing. I liken it to couples who spend all their energy and resources on a lavish wedding and have very little left to start their married life together. birth is important, yes but it is at most a few days compared to a lifetime of mothering. While it's wonderful that some women find labour an empowering, entirely positive experience, for many of us it's excruciatingly painful and we would give anything to make it stop in the heat of the moment.
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#39 of 53 Old 10-04-2012, 06:44 AM
 
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I'm with everyone else who has never heard of a pain free inductions. I only know one woman who has done an induced birth without pain meds and I think she's superwoman or nuts or something.

Hey, I am superwoman orngbiggrin.gif. I had an induced birth without painmeds - but without pitocin. This other drug. It was not pain free though. 

 

After my first birth I was so exhausted (that was an induced birth with pitocin and with epidural, but that didn't work) I listened for 12+ hours for the heartbeat of my little one and in every contraction there was a pause as in no heartbeat. That freaked me out. 

 

After she was delivered, I could not hold her. I did not want to hold her, I didn't care. I still feel awful that I did not care. I was totally happy that my DH took her after the doctors had a look .

 

The second birth was without meds and it was not really painful. At least not compared to birth nr. 1. I could stand it. I was quite calm and took one contraction after the other, I had to push him for 3 hrs due to to his position, and I was sooo exhausted, I didn't hold him as well. 

 

Birth nr. 3 was the above induced labour without painmeds. That was like being hit by a train, the first contractions started and less than a hour later DD2 was in my arms. That was really painful and happening so fast, I screamed for painmeds, but they did not manage to give me some before she was born. I screamed and yelled at my DH and I tried to hurt him as well bag.gif as in scratching and pinching him. 

 

Please, OP , love your daughter and believe her that she loves you, too. We all do or think weird things in labour land. 


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#40 of 53 Old 12-13-2012, 12:06 PM
 
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I know this is an old topic, but I am right there with the OP. I had a pitocon induced pain med free labor after my water broke and my contractions didn't progress.

My babe was also posterior. Active labor lasted 5 hours and at the peak, my contractions were 2 minutes long with a 30 second pause in between. It felt like someone jammed a chainsaw in my lower back and was splitting me in two.

Transition was somewhat a relief, but I had no energy, I was pushing and pushing, but the baby was not coming and his heart rate was dropping dangerously low. My midwife rang the OB who quickly came, pushed on my fundus and out my beautiful baby boy.

Except I felt nothing. Very much dissociated. Very much in shock. When my baby was handed to me, my first words were: "he's weird looking." I expected some euphoric bliss and felt nothing.

I stayed that way for a number of weeks. At my 6 week check up my midwife said of my natural birth: "don't you feel so empowered?" And my answer was "no, I feel traumatized."

That being said, at 5 months postpartum I feel ready to do it again. Hopefully without the pitocin because I very much believe it made my labor much more painful than it needed to be, but moreover, I really do feel it had a negative impact on me bonding with my baby after the birth.

Out of all this, I have taken away such an encompassing sense of awe and admiration for all of us women, and all of us mothers.
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#41 of 53 Old 12-13-2012, 08:01 PM
 
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I know this is an old thread...but I can totally relate. I feel lied to as well, sometimes. Sometimes I wonder if maybe it DIDN'T hurt so bad for other people. I hear people say that they loved their births and I wonder if it could have possibly hurt that much for them, if they just forgot immediately, or if it hurt just as bad and they really did enjoy it.

I've known for about ten years that I wanted natural, intervention free childbirths. I've wanted to be a midwife for almost the same amount of time. I've read all the books- Ina May, Sheila Kitzinger, Dr. Sears, Birthing From Within. When I found out I was pregnant I did everything I could to ensure I got the birth I wanted- childbirth classes that were very natural childbirth oriented, hired (2!) doulas, made sure the midwives were not going to try to stop me from doing anything I wanted to do or force me into doing anything I didn't want to do. I drank the red raspberry leaf tea, I visualized my birth, I walked several times a week.

I did ok through a lot of my labor. It was really once transition hit that I just HATED it. It was not a beautiful, empowering experience. It was terrible! I wanted to claw away at myself until I could escape my body and the hell I was going through. Pushing was not a relief, as I had been told it would be. It didn't feel good, it wasn't "the easiest part"...I think that's where I really feel that I was lied to. Pushing hurt like nothing else I have ever been through in my life. People kept telling me to reach down and touch my baby...I did, but mostly I was checking to see how much head I could feel and how much further I still had to go. I thought I was going to die. In the end she actually came out because I decided and accepted that it may kill me and I was just going to go for it. I screamed and just did it. Tore in two spots (relatively minor tears in good spots, though, I am relieved about that still), and when baby came out, and they told me to take a look at her, I didn't want to for several seconds. I was still screaming with my head buried. My body was in shock.

The next several hours were terrible and I think that's partly what made it all so bad- my body felt like it was in shock for a long time. I was so scared to push the placenta out. About an hour after she was born I went to the bathroom and fainted and came to in a pool of blood. When they finally got me back in bed I was freezing and shaking and they had to bring heated blankets. I needed sleep and I needed food, badly. The nurse kept checking my uterus and it hurt SO bad. A few hours after the birth I had to get my stitches (it took a while because they got bombarded with births in the couple of hours after she was born), and I just wanted to cry the whole time. It was like rubbing salt in my wounds.

There wasn't anything that physically traumatizing about my birth. Nothing terrible, no lasting injuries or anything devastating. The midwives and nurses all said I was amazingly "zen" and that I did great. My doula said it was the most amazing birth she's ever been to, that it's exactly what birth is supposed to be like, with the mother knowing exactly what she needs to do. In some ways I feel proud of myself- I did something a lot of people can't do. The only interventions I had during my birth were some fetal monitoring at the beginning and two cervical checks. In a lot of ways just looking at the technical details, my labor and birth seem very easy and good. But when I think about it, a lot of the time I feel scared and still kind of in shock and maybe a little traumatized. I had no idea it was going to be like that. I'm a little afraid to have more children. I hope it will be easier in the future knowing what to expect.

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#42 of 53 Old 12-18-2012, 09:56 PM
 
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I wrote about this very subject. I've been into birth for nearly my whole life. I've always known that I wanted a natural, unmedicated birth. I went to a midwife practice at a birth center for my first pregnancy and planned to have my son there. At the very last minute - literally, as I was walking out the door to go to the birth center and give birth - I got a call that one of the midwives would not be available to attend births (she had a horse show the next day and didn't want to lose sleep) and that I would have to go to the hospital. Every plan I had, gone. Now, I still had a midwife (now my best friend, actually) at my birth and I did everything naturally, but it hurt like hell. I screamed A LOT. I had always thought that I felt so much pain and that I screamed because I felt so out of control due to being in a hospital. I felt that a lot of my screaming was emotional, rather than in response to pain. I figured the next birth would be different.

 

My second pregnancy ended in a miscarriage at 8 weeks. I waited 4 weeks for my body to naturally miscarry and that feels every single bit like labor. It was insanely painful and I eventually ended up going to the hospital because I just couldn't deal with it and wanted to be drugged up. Again, I thought my pain and screams were due to an emotional response.

 

My third baby was a planned homebirth. I went into that birth just knowing that I would have a short labor, relatively pain free and that I would simply whisper my baby out with one sweet push. Yeah, screw that. As soon as transition hit, I turned into a wild primal woman. I could deal with the pain up until then, but transition convinced me I was dying. I became upset that I wasn't able to psych myself out of the pain. As I was getting onto the bed to start pushing, I whined to my midwives that I wasn't supposed to feel so much pain. I cried because I had started crying and yelling. I told them I wanted to be like to hypnobirth people you see on YouTube who just simply breathe their babies out without a single whimper. Both midwives looked at me and said, at the same time, "Jenn, that is bullshit. It's all bullshit. It hurts and you're going to get through it." Pushing lasted 15 minutes, but it was 15 minutes where I was certain I was going to die. I was elated once she came and spent the next few days in my post homebirth glory bubble. Then I started to get these shameful feelings creeping in. I started to analyze my birth and I felt like I let myself and my baby down because I screamed so much. I felt like I sucked because I let myself feel pain. I had the homebirth I wanted, I believed I could do it painlessly, I was birthing a live and healthy baby - so why did it hurt so much. Why did I scream? I actually started searching online for stories about how it's okay to scream in labor. That's sad.

 

A few months after I gave birth, I came upon a convo on one of the natural birth pages on Facebook. A pregnant mama was discussing her worries about pain during labor and many women left comments of advice and encouragement. There were comments stating that, "if you feel pain, you're doing something wrong." Yeah. There were actual women telling other women that they were doing something wrong if they felt pain in labor. I was so angry at that moment, so I took to my blog to write out my experiences and tell women that it is okay to feel pain. It is okay to scream. If you can birth without pain and you do it while singing some hymn, fine, but it does not make you any better or anymore "right" then the mama who feels tons of pain and screams at the top of her lungs. We all experience it differently and we all need to respect these individual experiences.

 

On Blogger, you can see when people find your specific blog posts by searching in Google. Nearly everyday, someone finds that particular blog post because they were searching for some confirmation that pain and screaming during labor are okay. Here is a sampling of the search terms that lead to that blog post in just the last five days:

"Feeling bad for screaming in labor."

"Pain in labor is normal."

"Shameful feelings during labor."

"Screaming in labor is okay."

"Screamed in labor felt bad."

"Wanted quiet birth but screamed."

"Is it normal to scream in labor."

"How can I not scream in labor?"

 

That's just this past week. It's upsetting to me to see that there is an obvious feeling of shame among women who are very vocal in labor. That's not okay at all. And it really pisses me off to see people in the natural birth community pushing this agenda that if you scream or feel pain then you didn't do it right. After all the crap we get from the mainstream, we shouldn't be berating mothers who didn't have the perfect hypnobirth or orgasmic birth experience. It's just ridiculous.

 

If you're interest, my blog post on this subject can be found here: http://funkylittleearthchild.blogspot.com/2011/10/it-hurt-i-screamed-im-still-legit.html
 

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#43 of 53 Old 12-19-2012, 01:38 AM
 
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*big hugs* I didn't have the thoughts you had, but I will say it's all normal, you didn't REALLY want her to die, it's just the natural reaction to being in so much pain.

I was in a lot of pain from the point I hit 9-10cm-pushing.. I felt like I was going to die, why did I want to do THIS when 2 years earlier I experienced the same miracle without feeling a thing?, why does all my knowledge and caring about my child not being exposed to the germy hospital or meds make it so painful, etc. I absolutely hated that about 30 minutes of extreme pain and wanted myself to die right then and there, but it ended when I began pushing. 

Your baby has no idea what you thought, and it's not something she ever needs to know <3 You're a strong, caring, wonderful mother and I think being open and honest is a real good indication of that :)


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#44 of 53 Old 12-19-2012, 06:27 PM
 
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There were comments stating that, "if you feel pain, you're doing something wrong." Yeah. There were actual women telling other women that they were doing something wrong if they felt pain in labor

 

 

I read that while I was pregnant, and believed it. I totally thought I would go into labor and if I felt pain, I'd just get on my hands and knees, or on my side, or get in the water, and it would all be better. I think that is a big part of why I thought something was going wrong- I honestly wasn't prepared to actually feel pain that I couldn't escape from.


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#45 of 53 Old 12-19-2012, 09:09 PM
 
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From the peanut gallery, allow me to say that from my selfish perspective as a dad, any birth where you end up with a healthy baby and a healthy wife/partner is a smashing success.  Obviously, my intent here is not to invalidate your feelings, but just to give an outsider's view.  But, you feel how you feel, and you feel that way, in part, because of the propaganda.  Where did that propaganda come from?

If you look into some of the rhetoric, what you will find is that a lot of what I think of as "Lamaze-talk" originated with a French doctor whose perspective -- and I am deliberately summarizing him in a provocative and perhaps unfair way -- is that women are gullible and you can just talk them out of feeling pain, thus saving the cost (and, to be slightly more fair, mid-1950s medical risk) of anesthesia.  The technical term for this is "psychoprophylactic."  The nontechnical term for this is "poppycock."

 

Anyway - you feel how you feel, and you have my sympathy.  I hope you can work past it.  All I can tell you is that, if men gave birth, every single one of us would demand anesthesia and feel no guilt over it.  I think it is absolutely shameful that the Lamaze-dominated rhetoric deprived you of a chance to adequately prepare for the typical levels of pain most women I know have felt during birth.  I think you're doing a brave thing by talking about it, and you will no doubt help other women by doing so.

 

Regarding thinking things you are now ashamed of, all I can say is that I believe that it is a common human experience (for both men and women) to have thoughts that they wouldn't actually act on, especially when in extremes of stress, fear, or pain, and birth certainly qualifies as that sort of situation.  Everyone has had thoughts like that.  Every.  Single.  Person.  In.  The.  World.  The important thing isn't what you think when you're in pain, but what you do.  And it sounds like you did great.  I am sure, beyond a doubt, that your daughter thinks so.  So hang in there.

 

-SympatheticDad.

 

PS: If anyone out there tells you that feeling pain means you were doing it wrong, feel free to tell them "SympatheticDad says 'Bite me'."

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#46 of 53 Old 01-16-2013, 12:15 PM
 
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I know this is kind of an old post but I actually just made an account to comment.

Reading these comments has made me feel so much more at peace with my own birth.

I had my son about four months ago. I wasn't afraid of labor at all. Now I'm afraid of labor though.

I was in labor for 39 hours. I was sleep deprived and it hurt like hell. At one point I remember crying and begging my husband and doula to let me give up.

Finally after two and a half hours of pushing (with me think over and over "If I die at least this will be over) he was born. I had been telling myself "if I can just get him out this will be over". Turns out that was bullshit. They started repairing my tear (which hurt), had to massage my uterus (which hurt), ended up having to use a straight catheter (which hurt).

I just remember telling my baby "I'm sorry I keep forgetting to pay attention to you". I just didn't really care about him right then. II didn't have any birth high, just a feeling of injustice that I had finally gotten that thing out and people were still hurting me.

I had told myself the whole time that it would hurt but then when he was born it would just be pure joy and bliss. Wasn't the case.

Also, I was VERY vocal through the whole thing. My husband was so traumatized that he doesn't want more children. He said he had to go out in the hall and cry several times because it was so horrible to watch.

To the OP. You got the baby out and you didn't die. You win. There is nothing to feel guilty about.
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#47 of 53 Old 01-16-2013, 12:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by allisonrae View Post

I know this is kind of an old post but I actually just made an account to comment.

Reading these comments has made me feel so much more at peace with my own birth.

I had my son about four months ago. I wasn't afraid of labor at all. Now I'm afraid of labor though.

I was in labor for 39 hours. I was sleep deprived and it hurt like hell. At one point I remember crying and begging my husband and doula to let me give up.

Finally after two and a half hours of pushing (with me think over and over "If I die at least this will be over) he was born. I had been telling myself "if I can just get him out this will be over". Turns out that was bullshit. They started repairing my tear (which hurt), had to massage my uterus (which hurt), ended up having to use a straight catheter (which hurt).

I just remember telling my baby "I'm sorry I keep forgetting to pay attention to you". I just didn't really care about him right then. II didn't have any birth high, just a feeling of injustice that I had finally gotten that thing out and people were still hurting me.

I had told myself the whole time that it would hurt but then when he was born it would just be pure joy and bliss. Wasn't the case.

Also, I was VERY vocal through the whole thing. My husband was so traumatized that he doesn't want more children. He said he had to go out in the hall and cry several times because it was so horrible to watch.

To the OP. You got the baby out and you didn't die. You win. There is nothing to feel guilty about.

I really love this thread and that there is the support that even though you didn't have the birth you wanted, or planned, or hoped for you still had a birth. I think about this when I look at my son: he is happy, he is healthy, and when he says love you mama it melts my heart and I know he isn't thinking to himself why couldn't you give birth to me naturally? Labor is hard, pregnancy can be hard, and birth should never be looked at something less than Herculean (Thanks, Lemony Snicket, for recognizing this). +1 to "OP, you win." You are strong, you created life, and damn anyone who wants to marginalize this because you felt pain, you had irrational thoughts in the throes of labor, or because you didn't want to swing from the chandeliers afterwards. You're still just as much a mama as anyone else.


DS arrived 3/10/10, DD arrived 3/13/13, and a third will be joining us around 5/20/14. pos.gif
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#48 of 53 Old 01-19-2013, 12:38 AM
 
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just a feeling of injustice that I had finally gotten that thing out and people were still hurting me.

Isn't that kind of weird, that nobody prepares you for that? With each birth, it took longer and longer for my placenta to come out, and they had to do more and more things to get it out, like pulling on the cord, massaging the belly, drugs and stuff like that. They were even threatening me! Like in: If you won't get the placenta out in ten minutes, we will take you to surgery! (And I was like: What am I supposed to do now? Pull it out myself?) 

 

I was totally not cooperative especially with the massaging, that hurt like hell! I was trying to get away from the midwife, who yelled at me for that. 

 

I was feeling ashamed when getting the stitches that I was not totally calm and cooperative and everything but constantly shaking and crying and pulling away, unintentionally...even though dr said it was okay and he could handle it... 

 

I was so in no place to feel bliss and have a natural high or something with baby. 


Trin with DH , DD(7)  and DS(5) ,  DD(2) ,
I am not regularly online at the moment due to the above ...
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#49 of 53 Old 01-19-2013, 06:52 AM
 
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"I was feeling ashamed when getting the stitches that I was not totally calm and 'cooperative and everything but constantly shaking and crying and pulling away, unintentionall"

Me too! I felt like a whiny baby. I kept apologizing but the midwifes laughed and said I had earned the right to complain.

It just wasn't the moment of bliss I had anticipated. I truly thought I would be so caught up with the baby I wouldn't care about anything else. Instead I was having to remind myself to try to show interest in the baby.
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#50 of 53 Old 01-19-2013, 07:10 AM
 
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I think we all experience it differently and no one talks about the more difficult aspects in an effort not to scare nervous first time moms. I did get an epidural with my first and honestly believe it was right for me. I was induced with the gel and once my contractions started, they were a minute long, coming every 90 to 120 seconds. They were exactly the same at 2 cm and at 9 cm. I was scared to death, unable to cope and after 7 hours of these I just had nothing left. I feel that with my second I'm much better equipped to deal with the pain and hope to go the natural route. I'm not advocating epidurals, but I firmly believe it was the right choice for me at the time. It helped the whole experience remain positive and anyone who implies I "birthed wrong" has never been inside MY body and has never had MY contractions. It's great that some women suffer minimal pain and I truly envy them but to say that a woman "did it wrong" because she suffered during childbirth is like saying the average person is an idiot for not being able to multiply 86446899 * 42688537 in their head.
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#51 of 53 Old 01-22-2013, 12:00 PM
 
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I think we all experience it differently and no one talks about the more difficult aspects in an effort not to scare nervous first time moms. I did get an epidural with my first and honestly believe it was right for me. I was induced with the gel and once my contractions started, they were a minute long, coming every 90 to 120 seconds. They were exactly the same at 2 cm and at 9 cm. I was scared to death, unable to cope and after 7 hours of these I just had nothing left. I feel that with my second I'm much better equipped to deal with the pain and hope to go the natural route. I'm not advocating epidurals, but I firmly believe it was the right choice for me at the time. It helped the whole experience remain positive and anyone who implies I "birthed wrong" has never been inside MY body and has never had MY contractions. It's great that some women suffer minimal pain and I truly envy them but to say that a woman "did it wrong" because she suffered during childbirth is like saying the average person is an idiot for not being able to multiply 86446899 * 42688537 in their head.

Totally true and this argument extends to a lot of the judgments that come with pregnancy and childbirth. I still fail to grasp how so many people feel that pregnancy/childbirth/post-partum time period is completely open for discussion for those who barely (if at all) know you, let alone know the struggles that are unique to each pregnancy. Perhaps there should be a public service announcement addressing that a) it is as inappropriate to comment on a woman's size/weight regardless of her being pregnant, b) if a due date is any of your business it will be proffered, c) the reason why people still discuss birth stories is because they are all unique; if all births were one-size-fits-all, one-way-to-birth I doubt they'd be discussed as in depth as they are.

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#52 of 53 Old 02-04-2013, 09:39 AM
 
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"I was feeling ashamed when getting the stitches that I was not totally calm and 'cooperative and everything but constantly shaking and crying and pulling away, unintentionall"

Me too! I felt like a whiny baby. I kept apologizing but the midwifes laughed and said I had earned the right to complain.

It just wasn't the moment of bliss I had anticipated. I truly thought I would be so caught up with the baby I wouldn't care about anything else. Instead I was having to remind myself to try to show interest in the baby.

Aww, I totally get this. And people aren't prepared well for it, IME

 

In what possible world would something that we all imagine would be bliss also coincide with stitching up our lady parts? The midwifes should not have laughed, they should have given you a shot (if possible) because stitches hurt.

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#53 of 53 Old 02-13-2013, 06:34 PM
 
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Your post broke my heart, radiogal.  I think that many, many women experience what you are describing, and they chalk it up to something being wrong with themselves. You're wise to be angry, though I know it doesn't feel like it.

I work with women preparing for labor (both as a childbirth teacher, and in leading workshops around traumatic births), and I have noticed that, despite all of the rhetoric right now about choices in childbirth, interventions, etc., what ends up being most important to women is that they feel supported and empowered during birth, and that they be able to look their fears in the face while they are pregnant and preparing. Unfortunately, we're in a place where we all feel like we need to defend our choices as being perfect - it's possible that the women who told you that labor wasn't so bad either were blessed with unusually easy labors, but it's also possible they felt compelled to write the story of their birth, and their choices, as being perfect. This is an insipid comparison, but I have felt betrayed as a parent on a whole suite of issues like co-cleeping and breastfeeding because everyone told me that parenting would be a breeze if I did these things. I felt betrayed, like  a sucker, when parenting was still hard when I did these things (and at times I have wondered if it is harder for me because of some of the choices I make). I've been surprised at the dearth of mothers who can share their ambivalence, such as saying that breastfeeding is hard, rather than paint it as being so easy and that's how you know it's the right thing to do.

 

I also wanted to share, in case it's helpful, that the emotions you described about death during labor: We humans are obviously a bit more than just animals, but that "bit more" doesn't completely supplant our animal natures. And what you described, that feeling of staring death in the face and wanting to be the one who survived: this is plays out in the animal kingdom on a daily basis, but it doesn't fit the story we tell ourselves about mother's intuition and mother's love. It's a confusing emotion that you felt, because it doesn't fit with the idea we have about a mother's sacrifice, but there is no shortage of evidence that what you felt is really, really common. And it does NOT mean that you don't love your daughter - labor brings out the animal in us (thank goodness, because it helps get the baby out), but you don't stay in that primitive mindset for your whole parenting career. 

 

The other women on this thread have said such beautiful, true things. You're in my thoughts as you embark on trying to heal, and trying to learn to trust again.

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