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Negative feelings about past births (long)

689 Views 10 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  gothmommy
Does anyone look back on one or more of your past birth experiences and regret something?

My baby girl was born in January and I'm still kicking myself for a few things. We had a great OB who said his philosophy is, "Mother nature knows what she's doing." He didn't bat an eye when I waived prenatal tests and knew I was going to do most of my laboring at home.

So I arrived at the hospital, everything was fine. I was in transition and I could feel the baby moving down. DH was right by my side holding a lavender eye pillow on my head and talking to me. Suddenly I knew it was time to push so I jumped up, flipped around and got on my hands and knees to deliver. DH had a warm wet washcloth on my perineum (sp) and the baby was just about falling out. I didn't actively push at all, it just happened. It was almost like an out of body experience in that my brain wasn't controlling what my body was doing.

Suddenly my OB started to panic. He quickly asked DH if I wanted an episiotomy and DH said absolutely not. OB demanded that I turn over quickly onto my back, because there was something wrong with the baby. I freaked out a little, rolled over, and was instructed to put my knees to my chest.

Of course this is the part I regret. Had I stayed on my hands and knees, DD would have been born in moments. She was going so quickly. As it happened, my body wasn't working on its own anymore. I had to push against gravity and ya know what? ...I could NOT do it. I didn't know how! I had birthed DS in a squatting position and had never been on my back at all. The doctor kept yelling at me to push because the baby was purple. I told him, "I can't, I don't know how to push!" The nurses said, "You were doing fine before, you can do it." I wanted to yell THAT'S BECAUSE I WAS ON MY HANDS AND KNEES but instead I just tried and tried to push her out. She came out, beautiful and perfect, but not breathing on her own. She needed to have oxygen for a while before I could hold her. I ended up with a second degree tear. Oh, and after they took DD away, the OB left and ordered two bags of pitocin for me. I said hell no, I went through this entire pregnancy and labor without anything being inserted into my veins and I wasn't going to get it now. They told me I looked pale and I was probably going to hemmorage (sp); I said let me go to the bathroom and think about it. They said I'd need to be catheterized; I refused. Twenty minutes later they finally let me go to the bathroom and after that I was fine. I had some OJ and my skin pinked up. No pitocin needed.

Now, she is absolutely perfect. When I did get to hold her, she nursed beautifully and there was definately no love lost. But I felt (and feel) so betrayed by the OB who told me I could deliver in any position I wanted, I didn't need an episiotomy, no pitocin, etc. I KNOW DD could have been born MUCH more quickly had I stayed on my hands and knees. I feel like every birth from now on, I will tear, because I did once. I feel bad for regretting things that happened at DD's birth, because I got a healthy and beautiful baby out of it. I mean, all in all, it was a good birth. At least I didn't need a c-section or something, you know? Does anyone else feel this way?
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You didn't say how much dd weighed?Was it a shoulder dystocia?If it was you probably should have stayed hands and knees.If your ob wasn't familar with the Gaskin manuver he probably thought knees to chest wide apart-I forgot the name of this position-would help you out.Either way the last bit sounds like apretty tight squeeze.Congrats on your beautiful dear babe.Yes I always look back in hindsight to wonder what if what if......I guess that's just how it goes ,so don't beat yourself up to much,just learn and move on
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I felt like this for a long time after the birth of my first baby.

I didn't know any better when I had him. I was young and read all the wrong books. But after finding LLL when he was a newborn, and reading Bradley and Shelia Kitzinger's (sp) book on birth, I knew what went wrong and that I could have prevented it and I felt awful. My whole family said all that mattered was that I had a healthy baby, and to forget it, but I couldn't. I felt cheated and robbed of something I could never get back.

I felt bad about it for a long time, and then I got pregnant again. I had an awesome HB where no one touched me and I did everything 'right' with no regrets. I feel like that is what healed me from feeling so bad about my first birth.

I can never redo my DS's birth, but at the same time it was like DD's birth was another chance where I could prove to myself how it should be, yk?
I ended up with a c-section for my 3rd baby and I've replayed things over and over in my head to see if there was anything I could have changed. Knowing what I know now, maybe (turned out ds2 was trying to come out forehead first-head kinked back, but my water broke so doc didn't do many internals and 36 hrs later still no baby and very little progress)- knowing what I knew then, not really. I definitely understand the disappointment (especially after having 2 pretty easy births).

As far as always tearing, that's not a given. I had an episiotomy with my first dd (doc did it even though dd was 5 weeks early and only 6 lb 9 oz) and absolutely no tearing or cuts with ds1- barely even had skid marks.
I know how you feel, I look back on my first birth and know that there are things that should have been done differently by both my midwife and me. It ended up a transfer to the hospital and my midwife left before my dd was born. I still feel sort of betrayed (six years later) by her inaction and leaving me once she got me to the hospital, I was lucky I had such great support from my mom and husband.
As far as the tear you suffered, first off
ouch!, secondly do not assume you will tear again. I tore with my first, and smallest, but have not torn at all with my other two ( and ds#2 was 9lbs and had a 15 inch head). Take good care of yourself and prepare not to tear with masage and vitimin E oil.
Good Luck!

to dh Eric
SAHM to Raven 61/2, Dakota 4, and Zebulon 6 weeks
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"Does anyone look back on one or more of your past birth experiences and regret something?"

YES!! I was depressed about my first birth for a long time. I had hired this sweet, mellow, motherly midwife for a homebirth, and she turned out to be a drill sargeant with little faith in me. I took castor oil, which made me severely ill, and was constantly at odds with the midwife about the "right" way to labor. She wanted me to do everything -- from movement, position, to making sounds -- different than how I wanted to do it. Her assistants were ineffectual at best and negative and intrusive at worst. She checked my dilation constantly, which didn't help my confidence or ability to relax, as it was so intrusive. She acted like I was making the painful out to be more painful that it was. She had me on my back pushing as hard as I could from the moment I hit 10 cm. I was so out of it from all this that I did not connect at all with my baby at first, and they took him away to do the cleaning up and measuring, etc. I had a terrible time breastfeeding and it took a long time for me to physically recover from the birth. There was more, but that's probably a good enough sample. It was awful. But, the baby was healthy and for that I am eternally grateful. Not to her, since everything she did undermined the normal hormonal process, but just in general. To my body, to God.

I have a big regret about my third birth too -- it was a planned unassisted birth and I didn't have the emotional support that I needed -- that was my fault, though, as I didn't express my needs to my husband. Aside from that, it was a good labor and birth. The only thing that went wrong was that my MIL showed up while I was in transition -- that really threw my concentration off. She had the sense to leave the room (I *wish* I had felt able to tell her to leave the house), but here's the worst part of it -- as soon as the baby was born, she came back into the room laughing and crying. Now, I love this woman dearly, but this was a HUGE intrusion, and I was severely depressed about it for several days afterward. This precious time between just me and my baby and my husband, focusing intently and only on each other, was lost. Forever. As soon as she came in the room, I became self-conscious and was no longer inside the birth. Her presence and noise demanded my attention and that I come out of it before I was ready to. It sounds like a small thing, but it wasn't. Sitting there with the baby just having come out, still connected to me from the inside, was private, intimate, and special thing. And gone the minute she walked in the room. Needless to say, no one will be allowed into the house this time.
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Nova, you did AMAZINGLY well. I'm proud of you for sticking to your guns afterwards and saying NO to whatever they were offering. Your body worked perfectly!!! Yeah, it sucks it didn't work out like it could have/should have and I absolutely can relate to REGRETS (even have some with my recent awesome, homebirth experience.)

Sigh - I guess it's part of the territory

I too was FURIOUS at my OB and DH for how I tore (DH didn't allow me food/drink - following hospital rules - when that would have really helped give me fuel/energy.)

What helped me was TALKING about it... because my AP friends said things that usually made me feel better - giving me insights that made me go, "oh yeah!"

Maybe this great article will help:

Making Peace with Your Birth Experience
by Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD
LLL's New Beginnings Magazine, March-April 2002

I eventually HAD TO release the rage against the OB and DH (for circ too) because it was literally making ME sick. So work through your feelings... it's important for you to do.
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I look back on the birthing of my first 2 dd's, and regret almost every thing that I did. I was a total sheep, and followed everything the OB said.........and later (much later) found out that I could have done almost everything differently and less medically. Hindsight is 20/20, but I've used it to my advantage in the birth of my 3rd dd, and will also use my gained knowledge in the upcoming birth of my 4th.
Did they say why the baby was turning purple?

I have things in my births I would have done differently. With my first I would have gotten a differen dr and off the bed, with my 2nd I would have gone on hands & knees to get rid of the back pain, with my 3rd I would have had a scheduled c-section. That sounds odd but she just about died due to a knot in the cord and the decelerations were there for 4 weeks before she was born. Hers was the one with the most problems, I had to do the legs apart and & knees back thing because her hand was by her face and she was stuck. her heartrate was already around 10bpm before she got stuck. I would have also hired a doula with all of them, dh is

I had an episiotomy & probably a tear due to it with the first. It was a 4th degree. I had a 2nd degree tear with the 2nd. At first my dr didn't think I had any tears or anything with the 3rd until he looked internally and I had a 2nd degree tear there, probaby from him reaching in to pull her out.

I don't regret anything, it did take me over 3 weeks to get out of shock with my 3rd, I use it all as learning experience and in my doula work.
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Originally Posted by nova22
I feel bad for regretting things that happened at DD's birth, because I got a healthy and beautiful baby out of it. I mean, all in all, it was a good birth. At least I didn't need a c-section or something, you know? Does anyone else feel this way?
Amanda, I know exactly what you are talking about! I also had my first child in January, and his birth was NOT at all what I had envisioned. I wanted a drug free, intervention free birth. My child was posterior and caused terrible back pain. Eventually I had pitocin, nubain, then an epidural. I eventually had to have a forceps delivery, then the dr. had to reach in and turn him to get baby out. I ended with a 4th degree tear, 60+ stitches & 8 weeks of horribly painful healing.

My husband doesn't 'get' why it upsets me so. I wanted a homebirth my child but my husband was not having it. Next time, I will get the birth I want!
He just keeps saying "It's over, he's out, he's healthy, what more do you want?"
Finally, I told him, I wanted a birth that I could look back on for the rest of my life with pleasure. I cannot do that, so next time I will be vigilant about what I want!

FWIW, having torn doesn't preclude tearing in the future! My mom tore (4th degree) with her 1st and with me not a thing, very little recovery time even!
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Yup...heres what I would change:

With DS#1 I would have found a HB MW and had him at HOME. I also would have hired a doula and rented a birthing pool too. We had a good hospital birth and epidural experience overall, but I know in my heart we would have been far better served at home.

With DS#2 I would NOT have consented to an amniotomy induction. As it happened, he wasn't engaged enough to do an amniotomy and he changed his position from occiput aneterior to a face presentation with chin transverse/posterior and I had him taken via c-sec. I still have a tough time dealing with that. I feel that in my haste to agree to induction I ended up depriving my SON of a great beginning. Im also upset of the lasting long-term problems I have as a result (painful adhesions and bladder spasms), but thats nothing compared to depriving DS of a normal birth.

With DS#3 I had a lovely FAST and comfy home waterbirth VBAC with a wonderful MW. I didn't realize I was REALLY in labour until she came and noted that I was at 8cm. He was born only about 1/2 hour later. What I regret with that birth was not taking more pictures or video. Pretty minro regret if you ask me
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