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  #1  
April 15th, 2010, 07:09 AM
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I'm not saying this to offend anyone, so please no one take it that way, but maybe someone can help me understand....

I see other people's birth stories and read about how their labor/delivery has been a huge impact on their lives.. I read about how they see the way the labored or delivered defines them as a mother.. I read about how if things didn't go exactly as planned then they feel as though they failed themselves or were failed/let down by someone else. I read posts from people who think moms who got an epidural failed their baby and read posts from people who completely bash mom's who choose a c-section or repeat c-section and likewise read posts from people who bash moms who want to try a VBAC. I read the heated debates about induction. So many moms have this enormous view on how babies should be brought into this world and define this whole baby experience by the way they deliver. Moms come in with this script of the way things are supposed to be and if things don't stay right on track then it's something they seem to carry with them forever. I honestly just don't get it. I didn't find my labor/delivery experience to be spiritual or life altering (the baby here yes but the labor/delivery no).. I didn't find it to be this huge bonding experience between my husband and I.. I didn't feel much of anything for it like the way so many women here describe. But now that baby.. the first time I held it... and it didn't matter if I was the first one to hold it (as I was with my daughter) or the 6th person to hold it (as I was with my son), I was hooked.. I was so in love and the impact on my life was made at that moment.. and that moment began to define me as a mother.. from that moment on when things didn't follow the script I had to learn to roll with the punches and find what worked, and the only way I could fail myself or that baby was to not give it my all. It didn't matter to me how he/she got here all that mattered to me was that he/she was here. And I think that that's all that really matters... that baby doesn't care how he/she got here.. all he/she cares about is that they have someone who loves them.

So maybe someone could help me understand what is so great about this whole labor/delivery aspect of it all, because there wasn't really any part of it that seemed so big to me.. for me it was just a means to an end.
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  #2  
April 15th, 2010, 08:33 AM
ChicaChels's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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well, hmm I'm not sure how to answer this question.

For me personally, I think labor and delivery are SUPER important. Maybe it's because I am a control freak and I don't like things not to go how I plan for them (They didn't with Bry's birth) or maybe it's because I have been OBSESSED with labor & delivery since I was little, particularly natural child birth.

Since I was little I had this vision of me having my baby and it going straight into my arms/chest and having this awesome birth, with no pain medication, no interventions, etc. I don't know where this obsession came from. My mom had a natural birth in a hospital with an obgyn, but since I was tiny I was obsessed with midwives (I would play "midwife" with my barbies) and I don't even honestly know where I learned what a midwife did, because I don't recall my mom ever talking about them.

But for me, it was just like a defining moment in my life. My world is about to change and I want it to be as peaceful as possible. And I worked dammmmm hard to build that baby and bring her into this world, so no one better even try to hold her except me (first)

(I'm not saying you worked any less hard, or it was any less important, I'm just referring to my inner control freak here)

and as far as c-sections, I think they save lives EVERYday. I think inductions save lives EVERYday.

my big one is c-section though - I think it's a big deal to have your baby surgically removed. It doesn't make you any less of a mother, or a woman, or a person, but it's a major surgery that comes with big risks, so I wish there was more...guidelines on when a c-section is done. I feel like women aren't explained the risks, they're told "oh, great! We can schedule that today"..and especially elective c-sections (first, 2nd, etc)...they're an elective surgery. Insurance doesn't cover ANY other elective surgery, so why do they cover those? It just irks me I guess. I know a lot of people feel differently than I do, which is fine That makes convo interesting. But I just wish that sometimes people might consider letting their bodies do what they are built to do, and if intervention becomes necessary, thank GOD for that. Seriously, thank God. I think birth has been so over commercialized that everyone is afraid of it and that makes me so sad.
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  #3  
April 15th, 2010, 08:52 AM
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I completely understand that need for every mama to be well informed about what's going to happen or could happen and the different choices she has and agree that OBs/midwives should be giving this HONEST and COMPLETE information to all mama's well before delivery day... and not just tell them what they want to hear. I think that is VERY important. I guess what I'm saying is if I could twitch my nose or blink my eyes and have baby magically appear in my arms without all the labor/delivery (or even pregnancy) part, I'd sooooooo do it and wouldn't feel like I'd been cheated out of anything because to me the labor/delivery aspect of it all is just something I have to go through to get to the good part.
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  #4  
April 15th, 2010, 09:03 AM
hannah79's Avatar A little bit wicked
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Wow! Mama to 3 Monsters, I think you are in my head. I don't want to trivialize anyone elses experiences, but those are just like my own thoughts for my birth experiences. I guess we all take a different look at things.
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  #5  
April 15th, 2010, 09:15 AM
ChicaChels's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Yeah, im not sure why it's so important to me. It just is something I have always really looked forward to, and it was a very good bonding experience for DH & me. I really relied on him to be my coach and he did a wonderful job. I respect him so much for sticking by me (and that is for every situation, not just natural birthin moms)
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Hospital water birth
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  #6  
April 15th, 2010, 09:21 AM
~Allison~'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I'm pretty sure you've taken the words straight out of my mouth, and put them in this thread.

The labor meant nothing to me. The delivery I thought was amazing. But the end result, the holding Aaden, looking at him and knowing I created him, and that he came out of my body.....that's what was amazing, and that's what it was all about.
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  #7  
April 15th, 2010, 11:29 AM
3Sapphires's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I never realized how important it was to me to deliver vaginally/naturally until it was taken from me.

I had my baby cut out of my body and I wasn't awake for it.

I went to sleep pregnant, woke up not pregnant. It was really traumatic for me. I don't know if I view birth as a spiritual experience, but I know that as long as I live I never want to have another c/section.
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  #8  
April 15th, 2010, 05:53 PM
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I think that you just need to remember on this one that everyone does have a totally different experience. Like for instance I truly would like to kinda smack all the people who love pregnancy. I'm pregnant for the 4th time right now, and I hate pregnancy.
This is pregnancy to me:
Worrying about loosing my baby (and I do it for 40 weeks, not for just 12).
Throwing up (and I do that for way more than the first trimester)
Having to give up foods I love (not for the health of them, I can't eat wheat bread, I can't even smell it, it makes me gag or puke...in fact typing that sentence made me gag and I'm 31 weeks...)
I gain weight
I get stretch marks
My hormones are out of whack, sometimes I'm sad for no reason, sometimes I want sex too much
I'm really tired for a long time
I have to worry about gestational diabetes, I've had it once, and failed the 1 hour a 2nd time this pregnancy, though luckily passed the 3 hour
I have bh contractions that 100% mimic labor for the entire last month of my pregnancy (for number 2 and 3 at least.)
And I could go on...

...but some women just get the love of creating life, and feeling their baby move and they just eat it up with a spoon...

So for me labor is for one a relief, and something I oh so wait for, and something my body does "right." My body doesn't do pregnancy "right," it makes it pretty darn hard, but labor, I get to feel like "Hey, I can do that." I'm not saying c-sections are "wrong" I'm just saying, that I go in wanting something during labor, and so far, 3 of 3, I get that something, a nice vaginal delivery with a healthy happy baby.

I look so forward to labor that of course it is an amazing experience for me...
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  #9  
April 16th, 2010, 04:23 AM
palmetto_moon's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I think its pretty much just the difference between different people. All of us come to the table with different values on different experiences and for many people the issues involved in childbirth are very emotionally charged which is the reason I think we unfortunately see a lot of not-so-nice talk about those who make very different birthing decisions than ourselves.
For some of us, the process of birth is simply the means to get the baby out of our bodies and into our arms and carries little more significance than that. While for others of us, childbirth plays a role in shaping who we feel we are as a woman and as a mother. Some of us see the choices we make in childbirth as one of the first opportunities we have to nurture our babies and give them the best start possible. While still others of us regard it as important, but relatively insignificant when compared to all the other aspects of raising a child that occur over the course of baby's life.
Also, I think that women come into pregnancy/childbirth at all different point in thier life with regards to their physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological journeys. Some are looking to heal old scars through birth, some are looking to learn about themselves, to cement their bond with their signifiant others, to do something they consider monumental for thier child, to complete a rite of passage as a woman or maybe quite simply to have a baby and nothing more.
Added to that is the fact that we all place different values on various aspects of childbirth- such as control of our bodies. For some, having control over ones body and decisions regarding ones body is of paramount importance. For others, in this particular situation, thats something theyd feel better about handing over to a doctor or midwife they trust.
Sometimes I feel the reason that we can't all come to common ground regarding birth and birth choices is that we don't all start from a common place as far values, expectation, personal experience or perspective. Pretty much ALL of us agree that we hope for a healthy outcome and a happy, healthy baby. But beyond that what we hope to acheive, expect to realize or how heavily we prioritize childbirth in our experiences as women and mothers varies drastically.
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  #10  
April 16th, 2010, 07:23 AM
ChicaChels's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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very well said, AMF!
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Hospital water birth
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  #11  
April 16th, 2010, 08:47 AM
WhoaMomma!'s Avatar Danielle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amf4976 View Post
Sometimes I feel the reason that we can't all come to common ground regarding birth and birth choices is that we don't all start from a common place as far values, expectation, personal experience or perspective. Pretty much ALL of us agree that we hope for a healthy outcome and a happy, healthy baby. But beyond that what we hope to acheive, expect to realize or how heavily we prioritize childbirth in our experiences as women and mothers varies drastically.
What a beautiful sentiment and just exactly right
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  #12  
April 16th, 2010, 09:07 AM
WhoaMomma!'s Avatar Danielle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Allison~ View Post
looking at him and knowing I created him, and that he came out of my body.....that's what was amazing, and that's what it was all about.
That's what I hurt the most about my delivery. And it sounds like Ami's as well. I was "awake" for my c-section (though so heavily sedated that I could barely move and could NOT think), but I got to see Claire for less than a minute. I couldn't hold her. Someone else moved my hand so I could stroke her face one time and kiss her awkwardly one time and then she was whisked away. I didn't even know what she looked like. And then I was knocked out and did not wake up again until the recovery room where I was separated from her for an hour. Then they brought me a baby that I didn't recognize (and don't rememeber even now - but I have photos, so I know it happened) to try and nurse for a few minutes. And then she was handed to my relatives and I was sedated again until late that afternoon. When I was finally alert enough to have any recollection at all, she was almost 12 hours old and everyone in my family had held her. I thought she was tiny and perfect and adorable and I loved holding her, but I didn't feel like she was MINE or make any connection with her at all where I felt like her mother or anyone's mother or could wrap my head around the fact that the baby in my belly that I loved and the cute baby in my arms were the same one. That took several weeks. And it did affect how I felt about myself as a mother bc I felt like there was something wrong with me that I didn't bond with my own baby for several weeks. I think separating a mother from her perfectly healthy new baby is horrible and unethical and damaging to the mother-child bond. Next time I will know better than to allow that to happen. And if my hospital will not agree ahead of time to modify their policies for me, then I will go somewhere else!
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  #13  
April 16th, 2010, 07:40 PM
JulieMc's Avatar Loving my babies. :)
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Mama - I admit I feel like you. The day my son was born, my life changed forever. BUT, it was not some big spiritual thing and it didnt change who I am as a person. My husband and I did not have a magical moment, although I was proud at how well he dealt with it all.

IMO, some people place so much importance on the birth, and not as much the after. VERY VERY much like how some women focus all their attention on their big wedding day, not thinking about the after. Neither my wedding nor the birth of my son went as I had imagined or planned (I was sick and throwing up my wedding day, and for my baby, well they had me on pitocin and I got an epi), BUT, that's ok because that's not important...its everything else. It's the baby and the child you are going to raise. My experience wasn't how I imagined, but it wasn't bad...and I got what I intended when we got pregnant - a baby and a family.

For me, it's not about the act of giving birth. I think placing so much importance on it only sets you up for disappointment. While I would have been disappointed if I had to get a c-section, unless I had a horribly traumatic experience, I don't think I would have beat myself up about it.
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  #14  
April 17th, 2010, 06:09 AM
silverlife's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I think you can be upset/traumatized by a birth without placing a big importance on it. My daughter's birth traumatized me. Everything went great during labor. But then when she was born, she had an APGAR of zero. She had to be resuscitated by NICU nurses and even then she had a 5- and 10-minute APGAR of only 6. She wound up needing a blood transfusion and had IVs and wires poked into her. I wasn't able to hold her until much later.

I think I will forever have ingrained in my mind the visual of seeing my daughter grey, limp, and not breathing. I hadn't been able to touch or hold her before that. My first sight of my daughter was her in distress. The doctor caught her, the doctor cut the cord, the nurse whisked her away to the warmer--all before I could see or touch her.

It has an impact on my life. I go back and forth between wanting more kids because of it. I never want to experience that again in my life. And I'm not one to make huge long birth plans, so it's not like my "plans" were dashed.

Another thing to keep in mind is that when something goes wrong during labor, it's frightening. You worry about the health and safety of your baby. Depending on what's happening, you may even be worrying for your own life. Women envision birth going smoothly. If something goes wrong beyond, "You're not progressing, have some pitocin", why wouldn't that be upsetting?
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  #15  
April 17th, 2010, 04:30 PM
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I do definately agree that things can be upsetting and/or traumatizing during birth. There are some pretty scary things that can happen most definately, but for me.. what happens during my labor/delivery does not define me as a mother and I definately don't see the point in getting so worked up over what others decide for their own delivery that I feel the need to lecture and/or cut them and their choices down like I see and hear quit often in posts.. (and just want to clarify that I do NOT feel that has happened here in this thread and I have never felt like any of you ladies have done that at all on this forum).
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  #16  
April 17th, 2010, 09:34 PM
WhoaMomma!'s Avatar Danielle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama to 3 Monsters View Post
I do definately agree that things can be upsetting and/or traumatizing during birth. There are some pretty scary things that can happen most definately, but for me.. what happens during my labor/delivery does not define me as a mother and I definately don't see the point in getting so worked up over what others decide for their own delivery that I feel the need to lecture and/or cut them and their choices down like I see and hear quit often in posts.. (and just want to clarify that I do NOT feel that has happened here in this thread and I have never felt like any of you ladies have done that at all on this forum).
I have sometimes felt put on the defensive by other people's insensitive comments. I remember a while back I posted a thread in my playroom about how a friend of mine had a somewhat similar birth experience to mine (postdates, induced, cesarean). But she only labored for 6 hours before she asked for an epidural and her OB decided to do a cesarean for failure to progress after 1 hour on the epi. When I compared her experience to mine, it was the first time that I felt like I had done my best to get the baby out vaginally which was very important to me. I was terrified of a cesarean and the experience was even worse than I feared. So when I looked at her experience and realized that my midwife and I did everything we could to try and have a successful delivery when a lot of doctors would have called TIME a lot sooner, it allowed me to let go of some of my anger with myself. Anyway I posted about that and a few people responded with comments that basically amounted to telling me that my dissatisfaction with a cesarean was offensive to THEM bc they were happy with their cesareans. I was very upset and launched into an admittedly confrontational rant on the evils of cesareans. And I later regretted it bc I can totally see how someone who wanted an elective cesarean would read that and think I was attacking her choice. At the time I felt like I was defending my right to be happy or unhappy with my own birth experience without someone telling me that if I were a good mother I wouldn't feel that way. So I think a lot of the time the problem is that we have a tendency to make things about ourselves. If I say my induction was awful, people hear "your induction was awful too - even if you don't think so." When a woman says "my cesarean was easy" - I hear "your cesarean was easy too" even though that isn't what she's saying. When someone says "every woman should be supported if she wants a natural childbirth" people hear "every woman should have a NCB." Now some women are militant. There's NO QUESTION about that. But I think a lot of the time it's largely a series of misunderstandings bc we can't separate someone's wants/desires/belief/philosophies for their own body with the idea that they think WE should have all that stuff their way too.
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  #17  
April 18th, 2010, 12:47 PM
LJD3Tdance's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoaMomma! View Post
That's what I hurt the most about my delivery. And it sounds like Ami's as well. I was "awake" for my c-section (though so heavily sedated that I could barely move and could NOT think), but I got to see Claire for less than a minute. I couldn't hold her. Someone else moved my hand so I could stroke her face one time and kiss her awkwardly one time and then she was whisked away. I didn't even know what she looked like. And then I was knocked out and did not wake up again until the recovery room where I was separated from her for an hour. Then they brought me a baby that I didn't recognize (and don't rememeber even now - but I have photos, so I know it happened) to try and nurse for a few minutes. And then she was handed to my relatives and I was sedated again until late that afternoon. When I was finally alert enough to have any recollection at all, she was almost 12 hours old and everyone in my family had held her. I thought she was tiny and perfect and adorable and I loved holding her, but I didn't feel like she was MINE or make any connection with her at all where I felt like her mother or anyone's mother or could wrap my head around the fact that the baby in my belly that I loved and the cute baby in my arms were the same one. That took several weeks. And it did affect how I felt about myself as a mother bc I felt like there was something wrong with me that I didn't bond with my own baby for several weeks. I think separating a mother from her perfectly healthy new baby is horrible and unethical and damaging to the mother-child bond. Next time I will know better than to allow that to happen. And if my hospital will not agree ahead of time to modify their policies for me, then I will go somewhere else!
You've hit upon one of the reasons c-section freaks me out so much, I really don't think I could stand the idea of being "awake" during a surgery...*shudders*...
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