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This is so hard...one of the hardest things about becoming a mother. And yet so rarely are we, as women, prepared for this sort of situation and the intense feelings afterwards.

When our expectations are not met (during pregnancy, birth, or postpartum)...expectations of ourselves, our baby, our partner, our care providers, then of course we feel disappointed, angry, sad, guilty, etc.

There is absolutely no other possible way to feel when we grieve a loss of something. And it is a loss--a real one--the loss of a dream, perhaps, for those of us planning a home birth and had to change plans mid-stream. I know what that feels like. It feels shitty. And, yes, it can feel worse when it is just random chance (the "birth fairy") rather than someone's fault. Some people find it easier to be angry AT someone.

I hope I am not treading on any toes. I know this is a sensitive and highly personal subect. But I feel a call to go deeper into this.

I want you to know that you are being heard and validated. I am not trying to make you not feel a certain way, or change the situation, or in any way create judgments.

Can you go with me on this?

Sometimes, when our fantasy, our dream, dies a hard, sudden death, we suffer. Of course we do. It is an important part, that grieving and rage. Those of us who have a strong belief that birth is natural and instinctual, well, the belief in normal birth is so strong that it may not actually seem like a fantasy.

But in a way it is, in that we can NEVER know in advance how OUR birth will unfold. Built into every waking moment of our pregnancy, we may SEE, hear, feel our natural birth in every cell of our being. We create positive affirmations and visualizations so that this fantasy (expectation) of natural birth becomes more likely. And it works. Every one of these things that we do DOES make it more likely that we will birth normally. But there are absolutely NO guarantees in life or in birth.

Pam England, author of "Birthing From Within", experienced a similar situation--a planned home birth unfolding into a very unexpected and unprepared-for cesarean birth. Her birth, her 8 years of emotional and spiritual recovery, led to the writing of that book. Her story is moving. And so very human. One of the intentions of her BFW classes is to expand the realm of birth fantasies/expectations, so that no matter how birth/postpartum unfolds, women (and those with them) can stay present, mindful, and resourceful through the twists and turns of the LabOrinth of birth.

Be gentle with yourself...love yourself for who you are becoming as you recover. You are a changed woman--a Birth Warrior who returns with an unwanted, unexpected scar.

It can take a while to emerge from the postpartum LabOrinth--to emerge from that grieving foggy place of broken dreams.

Please know that you are absolutely not alone. There are more of us out there than you can even imagine. Most of us are too ashamed to even speak of it, and carry around the weight of self-hate, self-judgment, self-blame...carrying that into how we see ourselves and others for the rest of our lives. Never fully healed.

Thank you for coming here--you and everyone else on this thread--to speak for yourself, and for those who cannot yet speak.

We also remember the partners, babies, and care providers whose experience is rarely validated either.

Loving your baby is one form of self-love. Do you see already how well you are doing that?
Your capacity for self-love is limitless.
Breathe that in...
Move in it....
Live it.

With love,
Virginia
 

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Oh...
mama...

I feel for you.

You are grieving and you have every right to be doing so.
You are freshly newly born yourself--you have just been born as a mother. And this can be a raw, vulnerable place. Let it be that way...feel what is there.... in every shade and color it is. Don't feel like you have to change it, or "heal" or anything else ...in this moment.

Time will bring you new ways of thinking about it. New ways of seeing yourself as a mother, as a woman.

These words of yours particularly touched me:

"I just hate that I was 'handed' my baby. I hate that I didn't get to work hard to bring her into this world."

Don't you see? You HAVE worked hard!! You fed yourself what you needed to , in order to grow your baby. You took care of yourself--and your baby--all those long months when she was growing inside you. And you continue to do so---there ain't no-one doing it for you!

You are being born through the initiation of birth--cesarean birth. No, it is not the way you hoped and imagined. Your trial and challenge is not through the intensity of labor and pushing with your body....your trial is NOW, how you are moving into motherhood. Yes?

Don't let anyone tell you otherwise--the hard work is only beginning! You have already tasted what it is to do the "next best thing".

You are a Birth Warrior--your battle was not what you expected...you have walked away with scars that you didn't want, that you didn't ask for.

But mama...you are a Warrior.

What does a warrior do best?

She keeps on going...she loves herself...she knows that her power and beauty do not come from what her birth looks like on paper, it comes from her essence---that willingness to keep on going and DOING WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE NEXT, even when that thing is what she absolutely DOES NOT WANT.

A true heroine you are--and all of you on this thread who have given birth through cesarean...

Don't give up your warrior glory!

~Virginia
 
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