Beginning the emotional processing - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 11-19-2009, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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I have two daughters! With the first one I had what I still think of as an ideal hospital birth (natural, midwives present, awesome OB, respectful staff, flexible policies). With the second one, I had a midwife-attended home birth.

There were pros and cons to both.

DD1's labor and birth were simply not all that painful. The recovery was pretty bad, but the hospital was great about keeping me medicated after the fact. The whole experience led me to believe that (a) extreme pain in childbirth is a mental thing brought on by overexposure to TV and movies and a lack of education, and (b) hospital births are preferable as long as the hospital is a good one.

With both children, I believed natural childbirth was unarguably the best choice, because of the reduced likelihood of C-section started by the domino effect of medical intervention, and also because I am terrified of the thought of a needle in my spine. I chose homebirth for DD2 because we don't have maternity coverage and can't afford to pay an OB and hospital out of pocket, especially when it isn't necessary.

DD2's labor and birth, however, WERE all that painful. And this is what trips me up. Because I know that if I had been in the hospital I would have been one of those women who brags about going all-natural, then ends up in tears begging for an epidural before the show is over. And I think if I had had an epidural, my labor wouldn't have progressed; I think standing, squatting, kneeling, etc. all through labor was what brought her into the position to be born. I don't think I could have done it lying down in one place. So I bet if I had been in the hospital I would have ended up with an unnecessary C-section, with all the risks and pain of that.

Therefore, it's awesome that I had DD2 at home, naturally.

But I don't feel awesome. I feel tired. I feel tired and my milk is coming in and my breasts hurt and I've already forgotten what it feels like to not be uncomfortable in some way. I'm so tired of being in one kind of discomfort or another for so long, I want to throw myself a pity party instead of celebrating.

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#2 of 7 Old 11-19-2009, 11:01 AM
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Oh mama. I feel like I know what you mean. Especially about the discomfort part. My nipples sting continuously, my breasts ache, my crotchal area, while not in terrible shape, aches when I've been up and about too much (and I have a, attention-needy five year old....). On the one had, I am so completely smitten by my daughter, and on the other hand OMG I would do just about anything for some uninterrupted sleep and something to make ALL the aches and pains just cease for a while!

I also feel like my second labor was more... I guess you can say "painful." I try to remain optimistic about the whole experience. It definitely hurt to push her out, which is different from my labor with my son. I had some serious ring of fire this time around. Stange, because I didn't have the ring of fire the first time and I tore pretty badly. This time I just had a little "mark." Go figure.

We have a lot to process. I have to remind myself that it is ok to process all these recent experiences and take some time to adjust to my new little family member. I have the tendancy to just want to hop up and say "Well, that was all peachy! " and run around like normal, when the truth is, there is a whole new normal establishing itself around this home. And 'm not sure what that normal is yet. And hopping around is exhausting myself.

It's a lot to take in, that's for sure.

Wifey to Hubby, Mama to Boy (2004) and Girl (2009). 
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#3 of 7 Old 11-19-2009, 01:02 PM
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Emotionally I'm good. Physically, I still ache. I find that a hot Epsom salt bath/long hot shower is the best thing and usually knocks me out for quick nap w/ DS nuzzled at my boob. I still get twinges of pain from my tears and the stiches are still there so I'm hoping when they dissolve the twinges will go away. I'm so constipated and the fear of pushing is making it even more impossible. I did 3 colace and an enema last night I was so desperate- still not feeling much better. How long does this last? And while I don't have any previous labor to compare this one to, it hurt like HELL (like a 15 on the 1 to 10 scale), and I have an usually high pain tolerance so I'm pretty sure it was the worst of the worst. Despite him being in a good position, I had excrutiating back labor for almost the entire 'active labor' phase and it's still grinding and popping when I walk- I'm hoping this goes away on it's own SOON. My nipples are ok, but he has a funny latch on the right side so there is a sore spot that I'm trying to remedy by more attentive latching. I've been pumping out excess milk to store in case I have to go back to work, and as a result my boobs are always full and leak constantly. I'm also wondering if this is part of the issue with DS spitting up frequently....

All-in-all though, I'm still way more satisfied with the way things turned out. I had more control of the situation, which means everything for control-freaks like me.

Momma to DD (12/04) hearts.gif and DS (11/09) hbac.gif.
I survived 16 mos! Ask me about breastfeeding a baby with posterior tongue tie, high palate, and weak oral motor skills- whew!

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#4 of 7 Old 11-19-2009, 01:08 PM
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I just wanted to say that my experiences with my first and second births sound a lot like yours. My first dd was a hospital birth with a CNM, and it was a good birth. My second dd was born at home with a midwife... and it was SO much more painful than the first birth I experienced! I was really taken off guard by that. The pain was so much more intense. I also don't know how it would have gone had I been in the hospital.

So, now I'm waiting on birth #3, any day now, and I have no idea what to expect. Will it be more like birth#1 or birth #2? all I can say is, I'll let you know!

Mama to dd born 7/2005, dd born 12/2007 and dd born 11/2009.
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#5 of 7 Old 11-19-2009, 10:13 PM
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As for birthing . . .I've had all 4 of my girls in the hospital and all without medication. Each time was different, though (very, very thankfully) my labors were all fast. This last one was by far the easiest,

BUT, I remember after my 1st was born, how shocked I was at the post-partum stage. I never knew I'd be bleeding so much, engorged with milk, how hard BFing could be, etc.

 2/02, 4/05, 2/07, 11/09, and EDD 12/25/11 wave.gif



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#6 of 7 Old 11-20-2009, 12:20 AM
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I understand how you are feeling. Although my first two were both born at home, I felt like my second one was so much harder to deal with. I had so much anxiety afterword instead of the happy feelings I had felt with my first. It turned into a problem this time because I focused so much on how hard my second delivery was, but this time it was great again. I don't know why our bodies process the same type of event so differently with different pregnancies. But it seems to be true to many moms. I have heard of lots of moms who say their second labor was much harder than the first and it can be unsettling when you know how good you felt before. Just know that you are not alone in how you are feeling. Taking time to reflect and process is always good. And *If* there are anymore children in your future, know that it doesn't necessarily mean labor will be hard again.
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#7 of 7 Old 11-20-2009, 12:59 AM
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I feel a bit the same way about my home birth. I never asked for pain relief because it wasn't available, but I suspect that if I'd been in the hospital I'd have gotten every drug known to man and would have had a c-section because of other factors (we had some scariness with his heart rate at the end, obviously competently handled by the midwife but would have been managed totally different at the hospital).

I couldn't believe how tired and sore I was ALL OVER, like I had climbed Mt Everest. I think I used every muscle in my body when I was pushing. He's 5 days old and that is finally subsiding.

And I do worry about the next birth--I no longer have "ignorance is bliss" on my side anymore!

Melissa, wife to Brian, mommy to my home born, breastfeeding, sling-riding, sleep sharing, cloth diapered, intact kiddos Adam 11/09 and Leah 8/12.

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