Friday, September 07, 2007

Reborn, again

OK, I've received several responses about birth experiences via email because nobody wants to scare everyone.

So in the comments, you don't have to share your whole story. Instead, just tell me...

Were you satisfied with your birth experience? Why or why not? And what are you going to do about it for next time? How did your opinions on childbirth change after having a baby (if applicable)?

These are all questions that this book - indirectly, I might add - got me thinking about.

Please share.

13 comments:

Mikael said...

I am sad to hear that you had a traumatic experience! That is just aweful. I think I remember hearing some details about your extended labor from your mom, and that was before I had makenzie, so I was a bit scared.

I LOVED my birth experience. LOVED LOVED LOVED it!!!!!! I was induced. I moved quickly, got my epidural, took a nap, and pushed makenzie out in 20 minutes! PERFECT :)
Next time- I want it the same exact way. I LOVE being induced, and I LOVE the epidural. I just had the best experience.
My opinions didn't change really. I still don't understand why woman do it natural with no epidural. WHY, when you can be so relaxed and happy and take a nap while awaiting your little one, haha.
My recovery- Different story! BAD BAD BAD!!! haha. But hey, I am ready to do it all over again.
And I really am glad this book helped you. and I hope next time you get the exact birth experience you hope for- meds or natural, whatever you want you deserve!

Bridget said...

Mikael, what happened with your recovery? That's the part we never think about going wrong because at least labor is over with, right? :)

I'm so glad you had a good experience. I love hearing stories of inductions and epidurals that went perfectly right. It restores my faith in the system :).

Nancy said...

My labor I thought went pretty well. I was planning on going natural--doing yoga and relaxation exercises...but I accidentally didn't know I was in labor so didn't go to the hospital until I was at a nine and so started to freak out when they told me to start pushing. I ended up having a spinal block, which wore off for the last two sets of pushes (I pushed for about 40 minutes).

I thought labor was fine--although I wouldn't say that I loved it, I would do it the same way again (in a few years), but shoot for not getting a spinal block. I've just always wanted to go naturally--and since I didn't find labor all that intensive (until the last 2 hours), I think I might be able to next time.

Recovery for me was alright. I tore pretty badly inside and out (Rachel's arm got stuck) so was pretty slow moving for a few weeks. And then there was all the crying and the mastitis and everything, but I think I'm doing ok now. I don't know--maybe it's too soon to tell.

Lark said...

Sorry Miriam's birth experience didn't go so well. Who was your mid-wife? My OB in tucson was only ok...I was induced with Afton and Paul for different reasons. Afton's labor was long and recovery was traumatic and emotional and painful because I tore. Everything about Paul's was quick and easy from labor to delivery to recovery. Next time yours will be better too because you know what to expect and your body will be a little more "loose" in certain key areas! Plus, if it was so bad the first time, how can it get worse, right? So I am pregnant again (I did not sign up for this!!!) and my doctor here is really great and understanding and already much better than my OB in Tucson. I don't know if you'll do midwife again or OB - Parker worked with this fabulous OB (Dr. Jessica Moreno) at UMC who also delivered Andrea Brown's baby and she loved her too. But in the mid-wife field, I don't know many there except that Brittany Cornett would probably have some great suggestions because she's a doula.
Just read your "Eclipse" post and I'm feeling the same way. I finished it like a month ago and am finally getting on with my life. I literally went through some sad days! Oh and where do you get all your books? Do you do Amazon or some great bargain place or just Borders? I'm trying to figure out how to get the best bang for my buck because there are several new books I want to read that I just can't get at the library. Sorry about the long post. Thanks for the book referral!

Bridget said...

Nancy, I remember reading your birth story on your blog and I could hardly believe it! I hope you're not offended if I say that I consider you to be very lucky in the labor department.

Lark, congratulations! Good luck this time. I actually had two midwives at the time. The one who made the initial decision was not the one who delivered. I much preferred the one who delivered, and if she had been in charge when my water started leaking, I think things would have gone better. But who's to say...

As for books - I am a library addict. But I'm thinking about buying the Twilight ones. And we almost always get our books from Amazon.

Nancy said...

Sheesh, Bridget...now I'm curious about your labor story.

I guess I was pretty lucky this time around. I hope that all future babies are as nice to have as Rachel was. Pregnancy was great. Labor was fine. Rachel's wonderful.

I hear that each time is so different though that you don't know what to expect. I don't know--I'm new at this.

Nancy said...

Oh, and I just want to mention that my whole family has crazy pain tolerance levels when it comes to child bearing.

My cousin was in the hospital for 22 minutes before she had her little one (2 days after me).

She was planning on getting an epidural (she was a 7 when she went in), but there wasn't any time. They checked her again right before giving her the epidural, but he was on his way out. So, she started freaking out...

The nurse grabbed her face and said, "You have to do this."

My cousin said, "Alright, then I have to push."

So she did. Two pushes and out Vance came.

That's her fourth child though, and I hear that things go faster with subsequent children, so...

Kristen said...

Okay Bridget, you may or may not be aware that childbirth is a subject about which I have become quite passionate. I have just begun exploring the horizon of a new adventure for myself: I would like to become a doula, lactation consultant, and birth educator, then eventually, when I wrap up the Curves chapter of my career, possibly begin a professional home-birth midwifery practice.

I actually read your post this morning and had to force myself to leave it alone for a while so I could gather my thoughts. I guess I had sort of a visceral reaction to your writing and the comments that followed.

First of all, it brought sadness to my heart when you described the extent of your birth trauma. I just wanted to give you a big hug and let you tell me all about it—tears and all! But I am so grateful that this piece of beautiful literature has played a part in the healing process. I am very anxious to read it myself.

This comment from your Syrian OB: "Childbirth is not brain surgery. It's something that happens all the time, everywhere. I like to treat it as a natural thing, not as something that women need to be saved from." basically sums up my general beliefs about childbirth. But I know that this is not the forum for my soapbox, so I will restrain myself and respond to your simple request.

I was very satisfied with my birth experience. I plan to do it the same way again. I trust that my body knows how to bring the life it created into the world. So by not interfering with the communication between my body and my brain, I allow them to work together to do it right.

I FELT pain. But I knew every contraction would end, and my reward would be a beautiful baby girl in my arms. The pain was temporary. The joy I FEEL looking back on my triumphant rite of passage into motherhood will last forever. I would hate to be numb to that.

Kristen said...

WOW. I just read the first five pages of "Birth" on Amazon. I could not contain the tears that forced themselves onto my cheeks. The stories she shares wrench my heart, and her exploration that follows will undoubtedly be powerful. I can't wait to read the rest. Thank you for introducing it to me.

Liz Johnson said...

Despite the fact that it was completely different from what I expected, and not how I would have planned it, and not how I would like to do it again, I was very satisfied with my birth experience. I think it stems from one, I completely trusted the professionals involved (my midwife and the OB she worked with) to make the same decisions I would make with a 'sound mind' and not those I would make when influenced by pain or frustration or feeling guilty. So I never felt pushed into anything or manipulated. So despite having un-ideal circumstances to begin with (being induced 10 days late because my amniotic fluid level was extraordinarily low and my placenta was mostly dead), I always felt like they had my best care possible in mind. That said, I only got to have 1 of 12 things on my birth plan. So again, not ideal, but in no way traumatic or haunting or even a bad experience. Just different. Some things don't go like you planned... not a big deal to me.

Crissy Bear said...

Hey Bridget,

I think it is all about expectation or in my case with Ezra a crisis of expectation. With Ezra I truly had myself believing it wouldn't hurt that much. So when it did...well I was certainly in crisis mode. Plus even though I knew births could be long I sort of felt like they topped out at 24 hours. When 12 hours after that I was still in labor I decided it could not be done and was definitely in tears. Plus patocin sucks! I still hold to that. My expectations were a lot different though with Grace. First off I knew what labor felt like...so my visualization exercises went much better because I wasn't like, "Oh crude that actually does hurt." Instead I was like, "Okay picture the wheat field." Secondly I had decided with Grace that I couldn't progress in labor on my own, so when I went in at a seven and the nurse said, "Sweeting we could drive a mac truck through your hips." I was pleasently surprised :) So for me it's all about the people you work with and the expectations you have. Granted things can always crazy which is why you need good people :) I guess I was lucky both times though because recovery was a relative breeze.

Bridget said...

Nancy, I used to think it was all about pain tolerance. But now I'm not so sure. I don't disagree that different women going through the same intensity of labor might choose different pain-relief options. But I think there is more going on here than just that.

Kristen, what an interesting idea for a future experience. And if you're planning on reading the rest of the book, get ready for more tears. Because, WOW.

Liz, I'm not saying this is how you're interpreting it, but just to be clear, my damage with my birth experience is NOT that it didn't go how I planned (though obviously, it didn't). That is the very least of the factors that led to it being so terrible for me.

Crystal, someone out there is spreading the "24-hour" rumor, because I subscribed to it, too! And man oh man, did that ever backfire. I'm so glad your (and other people's) second deliveries went so much better.

Anonymous said...

At first I thought this topic was best discussed by you gals in your child-bearing years. But because I gave birth to 5 children in 3 different decades, I think I can contribute something useful on this subject.

What comes to mind is that some of us have the hips of a German farm frau, and some of us don't. Some of us are stretchy and some are not. Some of us have high pain tolerance . . . some just don't. So the birth experience is going to be handled differently by each person and thankfully the prevailing philosophy allows for that, unlike when I had my first two in the 70s when it was disastrously one-size-fits-all. Bad deal, and dangerous too.

By 1992 when my youngest was born, childbirth education and choices were many, and mostly positive. Epidurals were all the rage and having delivered 4 previously without an ounce of painkiller (was not trying to win a medal, it just worked out that way) I thought it would be nice to go the country club direction and avoid the pain of labor. What a disappointment because by the time it took effect he was all but born--I wouldn't bother again. But that's me.

A mistake we women make is transferring over our feelings and experience to others, which ironically takes us right back in the direction of one-size-fits-all. So if home birth is what works for you, how neat, but it wouldn't be my choice. Or if hospital birth with yoga, or pain killer or no pain killer, water birth or no water birth, is the best route for you, well yay!

We can rejoice in the bringing forth of new life--how they get here matters less than that they are loved and cherished. Granny

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