that I was supposed to have, rather than the horrible traumatic hospital transfer I had (see birth stories). I'm sure this is a common sentiment... right? Before this baby we said we wanted two kids, and then during the pregnancy (since i hated it) i swore we'd only have one, and then during labor/immediately after birth i said we were definitely just having one... but now i feel like I really just need to have that homebirth to heal this SHIT. The problem is... what if the same thing happens (or worse)? I'm just going to keep having babies in search of the homebirth that will never happen? similar to how people keep having kids to get a girl or boy and end up with four of the same sex before they finally call it quits.
ahh. I wish i had a rewind button on my life. I would have just stayed home, got my SHIT together and gotten hydrated, and pushed at home through the pain. She probably would have been born at 5pm then and not 7:30.
I had my second pregnancy all planned out to end in healing natural birth. Got slammed with placenta previa instead.
There are two things to keep in mind: It is not, ever, given to us to know what might have happened, and birth is not within our ability to control.
And then, babies hang around for a lot longer then it takes to birth them. Don't sign on for attempting a healing birth unless you're pretty sure you'd be delighted by the baby.
I can relate. I had similar feelings after my 1st. I'd planned a natural hospital birth with a MW and ended up with an induced labor that ended in c-section. I was devastated, despite having a healthy baby and fast physical healing. I wanted two children anyways, but all I could think about leading up to and during the second pregnancy was "I need my natural, healing BVAC" I did tons or reading about natural birth during the second pregnancy, but mentally prepared myself the best I could that it might not go the way I wanted. In the end I got my VBAC. But because I was dehydrated, weak from lack of food (I couldn't keep anything down) and had a 5 hour transition period, I asked for IV drugs. Due to possible complications (meconium in my water) my baby had to be treated and examined by a ped team immediately after birth. When he finally came to me, instead of enjoying him I had to have a tear stitched by an OB while high on nitrous. Despite all that, I felt much better after my second birth than after my first because I was mentally prepared. We planned on stopping at 2 and I would have been at peace if that was my last birth experience. We ended up having an unplanned third... and I finally got the perfect, natural and truly healing birth of my dreams.
Anyways, I just wanted to share my experience in case it helps, because your post took me back to my feelings after my first. It sounds like you had originally planned on 2 children. Remember that every birth is different. Do your research, but also let go a little, and remember that some things you just can't control. Wishing with all my heart that if you decide for another child, you get the birth of your dreams and the healing you need from your first .
I do not think that any child should be had for any other reason than parent (s) wanting to have another child to raise and to love. It is not this baby's job to heal you.
You just had a child. Concentrate on your baby. See a therapist. See an attorney. Do not make rush decisions.
One thing I forgot to mention, there are 3 years in between my first and second child, and my 2nd and 3rd. So it wasn't something I rushed into. In my case because of my c-section, it was best to wait at least a couple of years before TTC
I would say be wary about putting grand expectations on your child and their birth. I did that to my son and realized how unfair it was that I was expecting an innocent baby and his mode of birth to fix something wrong in me and I was so guilt ridden when he got here via failed vbac that became a lifesaving saving emergency (cord issue). He just wanted t to be born and healthy, he didnt care how it happened and I was so disappointed in his birth not being my healing vbac that I greived for him that he had a mother that was trying to use him for her own emotional needs right off the bat
I definitely understand this, but I also think that as mothers we are already (most of us) feeling guilty and selfish for so many things because of the nature of our all-giving, all-sacrificing role that that's a little unfair on you. I think that mother and baby work together on a spiritual and physical level both before conception, during pregnancy and at birth (and you're really still connected VERY psychically while they are babies and beyond).... so I don't think it's selfish or unrealistic to *want* to synergistically create a healing gentle homebirth experience for yourself AND your baby. Saying that your baby just wanted to be born.... is akin to telling someone who had an unwanted caesarian/homebirth transfer "at least you have a healthy baby". One of the main things I grieved/am grieving about the loss of my homebirth is that I didn't get to give my daughter a gentle, peaceful birth experience. She was literally ripped out of me, into bright lights with 4 different peoples hands on her at once and her cord was cut instantly and she got suction bulbs shoved in her orifices (when she didn't need it... she was breathing vigorously and crying)... and other things. I don't have grand expectations of children, ever. Expectation for birth though is something I do have and i don't think there is anything wrong with that at all.
Also as I said before- obviously I'm not going to have a baby JUST to have the birth experience i want- but it's how I FEEL right now. We wanted 2 children from the start, but now I am feeling with the second child more than ever I really really really NEED to have a healing home birth experience to feel complete (not the best word, but the only one I can think of right now). We're definitely not having our second right away, I want at least a 3 year gap in between my babies, so we wouldn't even consider trying for another 2 years.. and I'm getting an IUD put in as soon as possible because getting pregnant again is not something we want to do right away! Being pregnant with a 2 year old would be so much easier than with a 1 year old... and having a newborn with a 3 year old would be so much easier than with a 2 year old... it is a HUGE difference! so we're planning on that. My sister and I were 3 years apart and I think it's perfect :) off topic though...
ALl giving and all sacrificing is the classic ideal of "mother", but I have noticed in practice that it is not what happens. Part of this work is setting boundaries for children, so it is the work of a parent, sometimes particularly a mother, to be the source of You May Not, and You Must. This is a very dignified way of saying that I spent today informing my daughter that she is required to wipe her own ass, but it has other applications. (Also, I found the notion of the all-giving, all-sacrificing mother far more compelling when I had only one child, and never had to deal with incompatible requests.)
We know that labor - any labor - is hard on babies. They essentially have to hold their breaths during each contraction. No matter how well the mother copes with labor, the baby, with periodic oxygen deprivation and no context for what's happening, is going to be having a rough time. We can't really get input from the baby on what it wants for the transition from inside to outside, but the available evidence suggests that most of the things we can think of to do have no impact on how the process feels to the infant.
Also as I said before- obviously I'm not going to have a baby JUST to have the birth experience i want- but it's how I FEEL right now. We wanted 2 children from the start, but now I am feeling with the second child more than ever I really really really NEED to have a healing home birth experience to feel complete (not the best word, but the only one I can think of right now).
The issue I have, really, is that however much you feel you need the healing home birth, you do not have the ability to guarantee that it occurs. You cannot be sure it will continue to be advisable to pursue. There is a huge litany of things that could happen. There is a problem with expectation for birth, and it's not philosophical (want what you want, that's fine), it's practical - you cannot be sure of having any of what you desire. You absolutely need healing, but this course might not lead there, and you will not be able to tell that until you're committed. If a birth that doesn't fulfill your desires will leave you worse injured, you need to seek other remedies before you take that risk.
Reading your birth story, I'm so angry for some of the things that happened to you. I'm angry at your midwife's smug little line about "women go to the hospital to be delivered." That's BS. In ideal circumstances, we go to the hospital when we need to. We go of our own volition, as partners in our care. We go because we're strong enough and smart enough to get the help we need. I wish your midwife had been able to convey that to you, to put you in a position to see yourself as a strong mother in a moment where pain and fear were causing you to doubt yourself.
In terms of the. REALITY of your statement - Meepy. Cat is right, you don't want to "set yourself up for failure" but it is reasonable to want to "do things right". It is not exactly the events that were the issue- ie, if you had transferred, Ben treated with respect, still ended up with a poorly healed perineum and retained placenta, but you knew your providers were providing good care and you were respectd - that could actually be a very healing experience.
I don't want to say that birth and newborn experiences don't matter. But I think babies are so resilient that it almost doesn't matter (to them - as moms, we carry a bigger burden)My DD went through so much, for months and months, in terms of tubes, vents, procedures, sedated on fentanyl, eye exams straight out of "a clockwork orange," plus the inherent awfulness of being in the outside world when your body is not yet prepared to do so-- and she is fine. Happy, unscarred, unafraid- I don't know if she is the same person she would have been if she was born at term, but she is a normal toddler.
Reading this, it's obvious that you're well aware that a subsequent birth may not go the way you'd like it. You also said that you'd originally planned for two children but it was the pregnancy and possibility of another traumatic birth that had you thinking otherwise. Plan your home birth if you end up pregnant again, but mentally prepare yourself in case things go differently. Even if you get your HB, things may not go exactly as you want. It might help to have a written birth plan with your wishes written out for hospital staff, in the event you need to transfer. I read your birth story and I'm so sorry you were treated the way you were. You transfered simply because you needed a little more help than your MW could provide, and there's no reason the OBGYN couldn't have done so with compassion and gentleness. I think hospital staff sometimes treat transferred HB mamas like children who need to be scolded for trying to birth at home. Don't think of a subsequent pregnancy as setting yourself up for failure. I hate the terms 'failed VBAC, failed home birth, ect'. They aren't failures. Things happened that were beyond your control. That's not your fault. You still birthed your baby from your body. Also remember, your chances of having a beautiful HB are much greater than the 50 percent chance someone has trying for a certain gendered baby ;-)
DS is 18 months and while I'm not nearly as disappointed as I was I still spend a lot of time wanting another opportunity to have a home birth.
Thanks for sharing your feelings Yogini. I am right there with you.
OP, I had similar feelings after a traumatic birth experience, and I don't think there is anything wrong with it at all. It's an emotion to be processed, and like grieving, I don't think there is a right or wrong way to feel. Kudos to you for expressing yourself!
I had three positive, uplifting experiences followed by a trauma and I just wanted to erase it. I fought this emotion because it felt selfish and out of touch with reality, like it wasn't how I "should" feel. I was going through PPD and it was a tough time, full of self-doubt.
I just learned of this concept for healing birth trauma/disappointment, birth reclaiming ceremonies, and I want to share it with everyone who could use a way to process these feelings. I have had Mother Blessings and participated in Birth Circles, but this is something new to me and I think it would have been so helpful to have experienced two years ago following my traumatic birth.
If you're interested, here is a link to some info: Birth Reclaiming Ceremony - Healing When Your Birth Didn't Go to Plan
Hugs to Mamas out there being made to feel selfish for having these kinds of feelings and needing to nurture themselves! YES, our feelings and our bodies are important, too.
Oh, I so so hear you!
It's a so, so normal response to want to go back to the scene of one's trauma and re-do it.
I feel the same way as well... i want another baby in part to redo that awful day....
I also blame myself.... why didn't i do this or that or whatever....
these are all common trauma responses. Rape, assault, car accidents, survivors feel that way.
you are traumatized and you need to heal.
i think take a good chunk of time to heal, get support and then
further down the road, when your need is less strong, you can evaluate the decision whether to have another child or not .
I probably can't convince you of this now while birth is so fresh and salient, but in months and years and decades of your life with your family, how your children got born is going to fade in intensity and importance more than you can imagine right now. I love and parent my children every day and their births have basically no relevance at all except when they ask to hear the story. One breech Cs, one emergency CS, one home birth. I love and know and parent them all in just the same way, becaus that one day or moment of their birth has nothing to do with what they need from me now, what their interests are, how I relate to them, who they are becoming as people. It's as remote as when exactly were they conceived, on what specific date were their first words or first steps...the method of my 10 year old's birth has less than nothing to do with living and loving and parenting him. And that's what you're taking on in deciding to have another child....not another birth, that's just a day, but another human being who will live with you and love you and grow to be his/her own person and eventually an adult in your care. That's what to consider in choosing to have another, not the birth. You don't get much say in how that goes anyway as you learned. :
It is true that our birth experiences are each unique and parenting our children is something over which we do have more control over.
A mother's birth experience can and does effect many mothers, however, and that is important to acknowledge. We deserve to nurture ourselves and work toward healing that pain.
"more than ever I really really really NEED to have a healing home birth experience to feel complete...."
Would you be willing to try a different thought on to see if it fits? How does it feel to say simply "I need to heal in order to feel whole again."
Not necessarily "I need a wonderful healing home birth experience" but just "I need healing."
No matter how many times we tell ourselves the story of what happened, we can't go back and do it all over again. And we can't depend on the next time being different. When we're struggling with difficult emotions and in need of healing we tend to tell the story over and over again in our mind. The re-telling of the story has the effect of wearing a groove in our brain.
The good news is that we can change the way we tell our story. Being open to the idea of telling the story in a new way is often the first step to healing. Or even just adding a new chapter to the story. Healing involves changing how we think and feel about a traumatic event. Sometimes it involves prayer. Or meditation. I've found that core energy work can help, as can EFT.