Is a healthy baby all that matters?

Ez - posted on 03/05/2010 ( 91 moms have responded )

6,569

25

237

Many of us had an idea of how we expected our labour and births to go. I know I did. I had my heart set on a natural birth, and to remain as active as possible, and it didn't happen. I managed to avoid a c-section but had far more interventions than I would have liked (artificial rupturing of membranes after labour stalled at 5cm, eventual forceps delivery requiring spinal block and episiotomy). I did not get the birth experience I craved, and I have struggled with this disappointment. Yes, ofcourse my baby's safe entrance into the world comes first, but does that mean my feelings about the birth don't matter?

Here is a blog explaining this same issue:
http://womanuncensored.blogspot.com/2010...

So what do you think? Is a healthy baby all that matters?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Mary - posted on 03/07/2010

3,348

31

123

This is in repsponse to Amie's question about WHY people will use the worst-case scenario in response to women hanging on to resentment and disappointment over a birth experience that still results in a healthy child.

First off, I think if you read the majority of posts, they are NOT stating a belief that any woman does not have a right to feel whatever anger, disappointment or regret that she does. What most of us ARE saying is that carrying it around forever, and letting it fester, is not a choice we agree with. Funny thing is, I don't think everyone in this thread is getting that distinction, and it is a big one. For example, I have NEVER gotten the impression, over that past year or so, that Cathy is dysfunctionally angry over her first son's birth. I think she ultimately used it as a learning experience and life lesson, and moved on. No, she's never going to be "happy" about that first delivery, but I also don't think she's blogging to the world about having PTSD from an necessary, uncomplicated C/S that resulted in a healthy child, and stating her stomach hurts and she bursts into tears everytime she sees a C/S on a TV show. To me, THAT is dysfunctional, and a bit over the top.

For those of us who have experienced or witnessed those worst-case scenarios such as a stillborn, or have had, as Wanda did, a 25 week baby in the NICU, whose mere survival is in question, it can be a little hard to feel a whole lot of sympathy for a woman who didn't get the birth experience of her desire, but still ended up holding that warm, breathing baby in her arms. It's not exactly non-exisistent, but it is fairly limited. I know that, for me, having swaddled many cold, lifeless, yet perfect infants, or having held and rocked a 23 weeker as it gasped it's last breath....well, it sort of changes your perspective. It readjusts your priorites. Those expereinces, combined with all of my years of infertility, made me a little less focused on what my birth experience was. Truly, having seen and experienced the loss and devastation that I have both professionally and personally, it did not matter to me HOW she got in my arms, just that she was. I just wanted a healthy, living baby in my arms, and it truly was irrelevant to me if she was vacuumed, forcepped or cut out of my body. Whatever need to be done, I knew I could heal from. She was here, she was mine, and she was alive. My dreams and prayers were answered. Not in the way I initially envisioned when I was in my 20's, but that didn't matter to me one little bit.

It's not that another woman's feelings about their birth don't "matter"...to them, I'm sure they do. But to expect everyone else around you to necessarily agree with them, or to sympathize months or years later may be asking a bit much. Own them, address them, but do not let them mar your happiness with what you DO have.

Mary - posted on 03/05/2010

3,348

31

123

This is hitting me on a bad day, so I should probably refrain from responding, but I need a bit of an outlet...



Last night, a really sweet couple came in, birth plan in hand. She was doing exceptionally well...contracting every 3-4 minutes, and had been for a good 8 hours. She was very controlled, and her husband was the perfect labor coach. She was 38 3/7 weeks, no risk factors, no complications. She said she was starting to feel pressure with contractions. It all seemed so perfect...they said they were having a little boy, and were naming him Cameron. She was hoping to go without pain meds and as little intervention as possible. She had needed forceps with her first, had been induced, and it had been "a bit of rough recovery". That little girl is 2.



I went to put her on the monitor...and could not find a heartbeat. My heart in throat, I called the doc, and an ultrasound confirmed everyone's worst nightmare. Baby Cameron was dead.



I will not drag out the details, but I will say that she delivered this perfect little baby 2 hours later, She only needed to push 3 times, and he was out. 8lbs, 9oz. She choose not to get an epidural, saying "I need to feel all of this...I need to feel SOMEthing'. She had no epis, and did not tear...only her heart is shattered now, instead of her bottom.



So, I'm pretty sure if we asked, she would say Fuck, yes...a healthy baby IS all that matters. I am sure if given the choice, she would have undergone a c-section without anesthesia if her baby could still be alive (not implying that it would have changed her outcome...we will probably never know why this baby died).



I understand having your desires related to your birthing experience met when at all possible. I fully support a woman having a say in what happens to HER body. I can even understand being a little disappointment if things don't go exactly as planned....but to the point of claiming PTSD after a c-section because your baby was breech????

Get the fuck over yourself already, and be grateful it was an option. (I've seen a head entrapment with a breech once...that baby died too). You are a MOTHER now...and it is NOT just about YOUR "birth experience"...it is the birth of your baby. And, if at some point, he is in your arms and breathing, remeber just how really lucky you are.

Mary - posted on 03/07/2010

3,348

31

123

Ahhhh another impasse! I've been thinking about this all day...even went by my mom's and made her read ALL of this woman's blogs about her birth experiences, just to see if I was being a bit heartless (which, btw, I had read in their entirety prior to my responses). I thought she might have a different spin on things, since she's older, wiser and often a bit more of a softie than me....and nope...she too was a bit appalled at the way this woman publicly described the birth of her son. Again, I feel the need to reiterate that it was an UNcomplicated and necessary section, with a good outcome for both mother and baby. I badgered my sister, who had wanted an unmedicated birth, but ended up, after 24 hours of labor, with a stat section by a stranger (she had gone to a midwife) at 7cms, and developed severe pre-eclampsia post-partum to read these as well. Although a bit more sympathetic than myself, her response was "Dear God, what will her son think if he ever reads that? I could never do that to Genna...I was upset, I was sick, and I hated the feeling of of people mucking around inside of me, but my girl was okay, and ultimately, so was I. That woman has issues!"



Now, by no means do I think my family is the ultimate authority on all things childbirth. However, it made me realize that a lot of how we deal with adversity, and things not going our way, is probably influenced by what we were taught, or saw, in our own families. MANY things in life are difficult, and don't work out the way that we want them to, or planned and strived for them to. Some of us just accept that fact, cry it out, and move on. I guess others feel the need for a little more sympathy and validation from the world around us, and struggle with a bit of a "poor me...it's not fair" mentality. Obviously, I'm not one of them. I don't agree with the underlying theory that we all have a "right" to feel angry and resentful and sorry for ourselves just because we didn't get our own way. I mean, you can...just don't expect me jump on the bandwagon and tell you it's okay, or healthy, or productive. I guess, ultimately, I don't get the whole "need for validation" thing...perhaps that's a confidence/self esteem issue?



I guess, because life taught me the hard way that motherhood is NOT an inherent right of every woman, but rather a GIFT that some of us are blessed with, my views on the birth experience were different. I knew full well that a perfect birthing experience was not something I was necessarily entitled to...I could hope for it, but nothing in life, especially childbirth, is a guarantee. Obviously, this was reinforced by the hundreds of births I have witnessed professionally. So, since I went into both pregnancy and labor with a more laid-back-as-long-as-we-both-come-out-healthy philosophy, I was a little less likely to be disappointed in the outcome. I think that because I had so desperately wanted a child for so long, and was just so overcome with love and utter joy at the sound of her first cry... It truly makes me sad for this woman, and others, who cannot FULLY appreciate the miracle they have been granted because they are too disappointed in HOW the miracle arrived. My mother would have been ashamed of me if I, or my sister, felt any differently. And, I hope that I can teach this life lesson to Molly as well

Amie - posted on 03/06/2010

6,596

20

412

Can someone please explain to me WHY the WORST possible scenario is being used in almost every single post I read about telling mothers to get over it? Really... I want to know why.

We are not debating the worst possible outcomes. I understand people give birth to stillborn's, I understand people have fertility issues, I understand that some people are ok with c-sections, I understand all that perfectly... I'm pretty sure Cathy, Erin and the rest understand it too.

That still doesn't mean the mom's don't love their children, that they aren't grateful everything turned out ok. Why is it so hard for others to acknowledge another person's pain? It really does not matter how any of you may handle the situation, to another person who feels passionately about it, it does. It means a lot. I can't understand it because I am not passionate about it, obviously by my first post. It doesn't mean I'm going to brush them off and say Get over it.

Mary - posted on 03/06/2010

3,348

31

123

Cathy, I think there is a world of difference between post-partum depression, and carrying around a yolk of resentment and bitterness for YEARS about a a birth experience, traumatic or not. Absolutely, a "traumatic" birth experience can increase the liklihood of post-partum depression, especially if there is an unusual amount of blood loss involved. And no one, particulaly not I, is implying that a woman can just get over a significant depression, particularly one that is hormonally driven.

But, not all women whose birth plans/hopes/dreams go awry experience post partum depression. Some woman who have the perfect delivery experience it as well. Clinical depression is not the same as hanging on to negative feelings about the birth of your child for years and years, and blogging about it to the world about how horrible it was.
Dear God, can you imagine how that child will feel if HE ever reads about his "Violent and unnatual" birth, as compared to her great and joyous VBAC with her daughter? Let me just tell you, if I had read that about my birth as compared to my sister's, it would have finally sealed the deal on "Mom really does like you best".

I am not saying that you, Erin, or anyone else on this planet does not have a right to feelings of disappointment, regret, or even anger. I am suggesting that harboring those negative emotions forever, or letting them impact you for years to come, is unhealthy, counter-productive, and potentially harmful to everyone in your life (although, I'm pretty damned sure that is NOT even remotely how you are!). At some point, we all need to just let shit go, and move on with our lives, especially that which we cannot control. And as I said in my most recent post here, ultimately it comes down to choice.

One of the hardest things for me to learn, and accept, as I faced the unsuccesful end to years of infertility treatments, and the demise of my marriage, was that these were both things which, despite my most valiant efforts, were out of my control. I could not "make" myself pregnant, nor could I make my marriage work - but I COULD control my reactions to the failures of both. I could chose to let it defeat me, and be eaten up with rage and sorrow. I could justifiably feel sorry for myself....or, I could accept them as done, and move on. Did I mourn, and cry and rant for a time? Yes, but it was short-lived. I chose, instead, to focus on the future, appreciate the postives I most certainly had in abundance when I looked, and move forward with my life.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

91 Comments

View replies by

Jess - posted on 03/11/2010

1,806

3

97

So I have watched this post go round and round, and its clear that everyone is coming into this conversation from a different position.



Those who haven't had a bad birthing experience personally. And those that have felt that pain personally and recovered and those that are still working at it.



For those of us who are still working at it, perhaps we need to start a group to support each other, because your not going to find it here !



And to those that haven't felt it personally.... I pray that it never happens to you. Because you will encounter women that don't get it. That don't want to hear that your hurting. You will find professionals who will fail you, that don't care and they see it everyday and just numb to your pain. This conversation is just proof of that !



Giving birth is something we all have in common.... we've all done it, in different ways and had different outcomes. There not all good and we can't control that. But we can control how we treat women who just need a shoulder to cry on without being judged.

Karissa - posted on 03/10/2010

112

26

6

Birth, yes, is usually the same for many. We hear all the stories our friends and coworkers tell and if you notice with each one of their kids comes a different story. EVERY child and EVERY birth and EVERY pregnancy is different. You can't exactly plan the entrance of someone else, they have their own plan. In a perfect world everything works the way you want, things are planned out and everything is on time and picturesque, but in reality it never goes that way. Just the simplest things turn into unexplained adventures. Today I dropped my boyfriend off at work and the plan was to go home and go back to sleep. Instead I stopped at the library and brought back a DVD that has been in my car for a week. While I was there I picked up some new books and learned about story time at 11. So I stayed and a friend from my Mom's group was there. When baby and I got home she went right to sleep. I was able to get a lot more cleaning done and even able to take a little nap. Not my plan but my day ended up better. We can not control ANYTHING. What we can do is Prepare for anything that can happen, that way when something unexpected happens we feel like we are stuck in the ocean by ourselves. Accepting that most things aren't going to go the way we want makes life smoother.

Irene - posted on 03/10/2010

133

12

14

In my opinion, too many moms get caught up in how their births happen. And what you don't realize is that if you are harboring negative feelings toward your birth, it is very possible that those feelings are coming out in your parenting.



When my water broke, if was full of blood. I had an unplanned induction and episiotomy (sp?). My daughter had to stay in the hospital for 4 nights because she had minor breathing problems and jaundice.



My cousin, who just had her baby, had an emergency c-section.



We both concur having our baby healthy was most important. NOTHING IN LIFE GOES AS PLANNED. We have to accept that what WE want isn't always what is best or what the world has planned for us.



If you have had your baby - and it is healthy - and you are hung up on your birth months or years later, then you really need to access why you are making the birth experience all about you.



That is not to say I don't understand wanting to have specific experiences. I just don't understand being seriously upset about your childbirth long after the child has been born. *shrugs*



I would just like to point something out that EVERYONE seems to be missing.



CHILDBIRTH IS TRAUMATIC WHETHER IS GOES SMOOTHLY OR NOT! The process of giving birth, if you look at the reality, is both a physically and emotionally traumatic experience, even if everything goes perfectly. And I think that many women don't realize that going into it. Being educated about childbirth may eliminate some of these birthing resentments.



But yeah, I'm in the Mary camp. There comes a point where you gotta make a decision to let those feelings go.

Johnny - posted on 03/09/2010

8,686

26

322

For me it comes down to the fact that each and every one of us process our experiences differently, in ways that reflect our innermost emotions. No person can or should be able to understand exactly why another person feels a certain way. (There is plenty of evidence of this just in the way this conversation went). I am sure that many of you have had serious emotional reactions to things that I might see as "no big deal". I hear people on nearly a daily basis whining, carrying on, and getting really worked up over things that I find almost laughable. But what kind of a person would I be if I just expressed that? I certainly would not want people to dismiss those things in life which I have found difficult. So I do my darndest to show others that I support their right to feel what they feel, even if I may not "get" why they feel a that way. Empathy is a difficult thing.

I can not imagine being that seriously upset about having to have a c-section. Especially if it went well, there were no complications, and most importantly, my baby was safe and healthy. I might be a bit bummed that things did not go as I'd hoped, both for myself and for the baby, but life goes on. But that is me. And no one else has to feel what I feel to validate me. But I expect others to display sensitivity and understanding of the fact that I do feel a certain way, and I am entitled to my own feelings. I think it is my responsibility to show others empathy, just as I expect to receive it.

Lets think of this another way. I am battling my weight. Every day it bothers me and each day I feel like I am failing because my weight loss is not happening according to plan. In fact, it is starting to keep me up at night, making me avoid mirrors, and lead me to recently buy a swim "outfit" rather than a suit because I am so embarrassed. Now, I'm sure most of you want to tell me just to get over it, eat less, and start working out harder. Stop feeling sorry for myself, that I am just acting like a loser and I should "get it together". But would you? Or could you try to put yourself in my shoes and offer encouragement and empathy?

Women are so hard on one another. We are our own worst enemies.

Amie - posted on 03/09/2010

6,596

20

412

Amie, do you not see the irony in your posts? You're constantly telling people they're wrong, rude, or douch bags for their feelings on the matter.




There's a difference between an opinion and feelings. I shouldn't have to point that out to you.



Edit to add: I never called anyone any names. I said certain things were rude, certain people I've known have acted like douche bags. I never said anyone was wrong, I implied it because that is my opinion on the matter. There is a difference but again.. I shouldn't have to point out the obvious.

Megan - posted on 03/09/2010

335

73

27

Yes a healthy baby is all that matters. Whether you have a natural birth, c-section etc.
My mother had a c-section when she had me and if not for that c-section there would have been no ME. So thank goodness for that c-section. Thank goodness for my mother not getting down on herself because she did not have a natural birth. Thank goodness for my mom seeing the positive and not ever at any point in her life concentrating on the negative.
I loved hearing the story of my birth. No I was not born vaginally but honestly I feel the story of my birth would not have been as interesting if I was.
The baby is number 1. Not mom. Not dad. But baby. The health and well being of the child is number 1. I'm not saying you can't be disappointed or upset because you did not get your 'dream' birth. But in reality, how many women actually do get their 'dream' birth? I didn't... I don't cry a river and sit and wallow in how I didn't have the birth of my 'dreams'. I, like my mother, look at the positive side of things. I have a healthy little girl who is thriving and brings me joy every day. Why should it matter if she was born vaginally or by c-section? The truth... It doesn't.

Mary - posted on 03/09/2010

3,348

31

123

I guess it really is all about perspective...If I had a section, I would have wanted a mirror to see it all, especially her being pulled out! But, I see one performed on at least a weekly basis, and while I wouldn't call the uterus beautiful, it doesn't scare or repulse me either! 15 years later, and I still love watching that baby emerge, no matter what route it takes! I would have wanted pictures too, but someone other than my hubby would have had to take them (cause he would have been too busy burying his head under whatever was available!).

[deleted account]

LOL Sarah! I asked my husband (a nurse) if he could come up with a c-section video for me to watch so I could know what they did to me. He refused. "You don't want to know, and I want more kids!" was basically his reaction!

Sarah - posted on 03/09/2010

5,465

31

344

Slightly off topic........but......i saw a C-section on tv the other week.
It did make me go "OH MY GOD!!! I had THAT done to me!!"
hahaha.

Dana - posted on 03/09/2010

11,264

35

495

Also since this point seems to be constantly missing when it's what any of us are actually saying. It's not that she has those feelings, it's what she's doing with them. It's like debating with people who aren't actually listening to what your saying they just want to argue instead.

Dana - posted on 03/09/2010

11,264

35

495

Amie, do you not see the irony in your posts? You're constantly telling people they're wrong, rude, or douch bags for their feelings on the matter.

Esther - posted on 03/09/2010

3,513

32

144

If she's still crying over seeing a C-section on TV - she hasn't come to terms with it. I think it's time that she does. It's one thing to be disappointed, it's another to be traumatized. I don't think her feelings aren't "real", I think they are disproportionate to the event. If she's that traumatized I think she should get some (professional) help. And one way to come to terms with something like this is to put it in perspective. By focusing on the blessing that was bestowed upon her in the form of her son.

Amie - posted on 03/09/2010

6,596

20

412

That is the problem for you. Not for her. And it's still callous to tell a person their feelings are wrong or don't matter. No matter how you word it. It's rude.

She still carries some baggage because she's human. /:) If maybe she felt ok expressing her feelings in the first place and wasn't afraid of everyone telling her "just be happy he's alive and healthy" (or something along the same ilk) then she would have come to terms with it sooner. Maybe then she'd be able to see a c-section and not be moved to tears by it.

What is traumatic by medical terms and what is traumatic emotionally are also two very different things. It was traumatic for her emotionally. Her emotions are real and something she struggled to come to terms with.

Esther - posted on 03/09/2010

3,513

32

144

I should probably just leave it alone, especially since Sarah's sweet posts (as usual) kind of took the steam out of me, but I still want to clarify a few things.



I don't think that if a woman has a TRAUMATIC birth experience she should have to just "get over it". I'm not so thick as to not understand that women can be grateful for their children and still not think that the birth experience in and off itself was not all it was cracked up to be (even if it was only "cracked up" in their own minds).



That being said - Amie, you asked earlier:



Can someone please explain to me WHY the WORST possible scenario is being used in almost every single post I read about telling mothers to get over it? Really... I want to know why.




I could ask the same question of those of you (you included Amie) who have come to the defense of this blogger. You bring up scenarios where women were being treated rudely by hospital staff and/or doctors, were forced to do things against their will, lost children, had severe bleeding, kids were born very prematurely, baby was born with neurological disorders, etc. etc.



The problem is NONE of these things happened to this woman. She had a normal delivery, except it was not a vaginal delivery, but a C-section. One that she acknowledges was needed and was performed without complication by a nice doctor. The problem is that she didn't get the birth of her dreams. The problem was that she didn't even allow for that possibility in her mind before she was confronted with the fact that this is what it was going to be. The problem is that she is so hung up on that years down the road she still can't watch a C-section on TV. THAT is the problem.

Amie - posted on 03/09/2010

6,596

20

412

Most people do see the positive. The ones that don't see it right away are the ones who need support and a way to find help. I'm obviously quite vocal, those instances are not the first times I've had to speak up against someone (or multiple people) being a total douche bag to someone.

As I've already said in a post above, it is can hinder the process if a person is not allowed their time to grieve for a certain aspect of their birth experience. If the majority of the people around them are being douche bags, then they need to ignore them and go to the person who is supportive. Who will listen and try to understand or just lend an ear and shoulder. Much like Cathy and her friend. They recognize each others horror stories but still are there for each other. It's not an "well it might have been so much worse" or "mine was MORE horrifying so I get to be upset and ignore your feelings". You know?

A little kindness and support goes a long way to help a person heal.

Sarah - posted on 03/09/2010

5,465

31

344

Hahaha Cathy! Perhaps it is different here.
I've moaned about my births (especially Cadence's) a LOT.
People have always just been supportive though (pretty much!) i guess it's strange to me that anybody wouldn't be supportive and understanding, i mean birth HURTS!! lol

Sarah - posted on 03/09/2010

5,465

31

344

There's definitely a separation between the 2. However, i think the 2 can get blurred sometimes. When Cadence finally arrived, and i held her, and was being all lovey-dovey over her, i overheard one of the midwives saying that she was really relieved that i was being that way. She said that after the nightmare of the birth, some mothers don't want to hold the baby, or even look at it. (which i can kind of understand)

Birth and the end result are very linked to each other i think. That's why maybe some people, and the mothers themselves can get the lines blurred about the negativity of the birth and the positivity of the outcome. It's like 2 opposite emotions pulling you in opposite directions.

It's NOT wrong to feel any way after the birth of a baby, every woman must feel a whole spectrum of emotions.

As i've said though, i think it's how you cope with those emotions, how you take what people say to you about it that makes the difference. Giving birth, however you do it is an amazing feat, it makes me sad that people can't see that, maybe it makes me annoyed too, because i think we should all be proud you know?
Not saying feelings aren't valid, just think that you can and should try to see the positive. :)

Ez - posted on 03/09/2010

6,569

25

237

Sarah I do get your point that sometimes people genuinely are trying to be optimistic when they utter these phrases. I also think some people just don't know what else to say in this situation. Quite obviously people have a hard time understanding that any negative feelings about the birth are separate to the happiness of having a healthy baby.

Sarah - posted on 03/09/2010

5,465

31

344

I guess that's where i have a hard time with this, i find it hard to believe (though i'm not saying it isn't true) that every person she encountered only said to her "get over it, a healthy baby is all that matters"

With both my births, yes, the phrase "she's healthy, that's the main thing" was said to me, but that wasn't ALL that was said to me. I received lot's of support and congratulations, and people telling me how brave and amazing i was. (which was all totally true lol!)
It just seems weird that not one person, not even family or best friends or her husband said anything encouraging and supportive of her feelings toward the birth.

I also think when people DO use those sort of phrases, it's not to be dismissive of what happened, it's just trying to see the bright side, so to speak.
Like when my friends little boy fell from a bedroom window, luckily, he only fractured his leg, he COULD have died. LOADS of people said to her (including me) "It could have been so much worse, be thankful he's alive!" Not to belittle the immense worry and stress of the situation, not to tell her to "get over it", but just to genuinely try and see that their is a bright side.
I also know a woman who had to have a hysterectomy, she never got to have kids, she often says, "but i'm alive and that's the main thing", same principle, she has every right to feel pissed and angry, but she also knows carrying that hurt around is counter-productive.

I don't know, i guess anybody has the right to feel the way they want.
If you want to assume that people saying "a healthy baby is all that matters" means they're dismissing your ordeal, then that's up to them. I truly think though, that people are just trying to help.

Amie - posted on 03/08/2010

6,596

20

412

Is it really that hard to understand that mothers can love their babies and be happy they are here but STILL be upset with how they got here? It's a perfectly valid feeling and I agree with Cathy, no one has the right to sit in judgment of a feeling.

Everyone has baggage they carry around. Everyone has some feeling that they never truly get over. No matter what it is... think about that... then think about someone telling you to get over it. Not just once but over and over. From everyone around you.

One of my best friends in the world is not sure if her traumatic birth has caused her sons neurological issues. She may never know. It's still (5 years later) a touchy subject for her. She is grateful her son is alive and for the most part healthy but it still affects her. No one has the right to tell her her feelings don't matter. It is something she will always think about and wonder about.

When I gave birth to my son, the lady in the next room had a horrible time with her delivery. She delivered just hours after I did but had been admitted the day before I had been. She did manage (after a lot of help) to deliver vaginally and her son was born healthy and happy. No defects of any kind. I went to see her and her baby the next day. I saw her come out of delivery and she looked horrid. So I went to say hi and congratulations. **I**, a complete stranger to this woman, had to tell her it was OK to be upset that her birth did not go "normally". Her family, her friends, the L&D staff and even her doctor had told her "to just be happy the baby lived", "it could have been so much worse", etc.. Are you kidding me?! No one EVER has the right to say that to a mother.

To ASSUME that a mother is not happy her baby is alive and well JUST BECAUSE she is not happy with her birth experience is callous. The two feelings are separate from each other and do not automatically tie into each other. Nor do they mean because a mother is upset with her birth experience that she is not happy or excited that her baby arrived alive and well.

Dana - posted on 03/08/2010

11,264

35

495

I can't even believe I have to address this.

Amie Turnbull
yesterday, 11:54 pm .Well, a red flag for me is that she is a mom and she's STILL looking for validation, now it's moved onto validation from strangers. I'd be really shocked if not ONE person in her life said, man that really sucked. Look at all of us with our stories of our births "gone wrong" I bet we all had someone say, that really sucked. You acknowledge it, you get over it. If you can't do that in life then how are you going to survive.

Going by this post Dana I'd say you didn't read the birth story of her son or you would have acknowledged that she said [It wasn't until I admitted how awful it was, then I was able to shrug my shoulders and say, "Okay, I'm done and ready to move on."] She's over it. Her blog is about letting other mothers know it is ok to feel disappointed and upset that your birth was traumatic for you.
Yes, although I did read the whole three articles, I still feel like she's looking for validation ALONG with telling people it's okay to feel that way. If you feel the need to look at her article simplistically then do so, but don't question my honestly because I look beyond it.

Sara - posted on 03/08/2010

9,313

50

586

I think I fall more into the Esther/Mary camp in how I feel about birth experiences. I had a high-risk pregnancy, so there wasn't much that I felt in control of and if I'm being honest, my pregnancy and delivery were nothing to write home about and weren't exactly great experiences for me...but at the end of the day, I have my beautiful daughter and that, even at the time, was all that I really cared about. I don't doubt that there are women who feel violated by a bad birth experience, and I think those feelings are totally valid. But I do think at a certain time you do have to move on. You can't control everything, and that's especially true with children. I also had PND, which made everything that much more difficult, but I'm ok now, and while I think I am a little scarred from experiences, I chose not to dwell on them or let them keep me from enjoying my daughter now...

Mary - posted on 03/08/2010

3,348

31

123

Esther, I'm blushing!!!
Thank you for your very kind words! I honestly credit my mother for giving me a lot of the strength I needed during the more challenging times in my life. She is the one who taught me to see the happiness when I often forgot how. She is the one who encouraged me to keep going, to believe that dreams can come true...just not always in the way we envisioned. The key to happiness is not is wishing for what we cannot have, but in recognizing, and appreciating what we do. As I said earlier, my journey to motherhood was not what I wanted or planned, and it was by no means easy. I do not regret it, though, and I would relive every painful second of it to have Molly in my world. I love and appreciate her, and my husband, all the more for it!

Esther - posted on 03/08/2010

3,513

32

144

AMEN Mary - I was going to try to say just what you said, only less eloquently. I had high bloodpressure during my pregnancy and had to stop working and go on semi-bed rest about 8 weeks before my due date. And my birth experience wasn't story book either. But I do not feel like my body failed me in any way. I delivered a gorgeous, healthy, smart, fantastic little boy. What more could I ask for? I feel like I have won the lottery. I got luckier than I deserve to be. I have been blessed beyond belief and the only feelings I have about that are of utter grattitude that such a blessing was bestowed on me. I absolutely think attitude has a lot to do with how one deals with tough situations. I definitely did feel like this woman was wallowing in her disappointment. As for Mary being rude ... please. I have never witnessed a stillborn child. I have never witnessed a baby dying only hours after having been born. I have never witnessed a baby being born with complications. I have never had to comfort parents in any of these situations. And I hope I never have to either. I don't think I would have the strength for it. If going through any of these experiences, not once, but multiple times, wouldn't change your perspective on things, I don't know what would. Mary, you are honestly my hero for doing what you do. And I think it's fantastic that you were able to go through your infertility struggles, all the while delivering babies for others on a daily basis (some of whom undoubtedly did not deserve to have the kids they were blessed with) and were able to stay positive and not wallow in your disappointments. I think you are one class act and I think the woman who wrote that blog could stand to learn a lesson or two from you.

[deleted account]

I was angry that I wasn't prepared to give birth a month early.
I was angry at the hospital for a myriad of reasons
I was angry at the piss-poor joke of a lactation aide that failed to guide me
I was angry-period
I am allowed to feel that way. I suffered through depression. It took 2 years to "GET OVER IT" (I'm starting to find that offensive now)
Above all, if the actual experience was more plesant, there's a good chance I would want more kids. I know my husband wants more, but I sure as hell don't.

Krista - posted on 03/08/2010

12,562

16

847

It's one thing to be temporarily saddened and disappointed by how your child arrived in this world, but I think she takes it to a whole different level.


Exactly. Rarely does the birth experience go precisely how we imagined. And in some cases, it's the exact opposite of what we imagined. And it's okay to be disappointed about that. It's okay to be sad. It's okay to feel like you missed out on something.

But if those feelings are so overwhelming and persistent that they are interfering with your enjoyment of your child, or if you can't watch a c-section on A Baby Story without getting all stressed-out and upset, then it's time to seek some help, because you're obviously not COPING with those feelings.

Mary - posted on 03/08/2010

3,348

31

123

Well, Amie, I'm not really sure what calling me rude is going to accomplish, but if it makes you feel better, more power to you! I honestly don't think I was, but you are obviously entitled to your opinion, no matter how misguided, but well-intentioned I may find it.



We disagree, plain and simple. We come at this from vastly different places and life experiences. I cannot divorce myself from my past, or from my everyday professional life, which led me to read her story, and think, "Dear God, I know of hundreds of women who would sell their soul to have had the opportunity that you were given, and describe as violent and unnatural.' And perhaps that is where our impasse truly lies...I have LIVED in a place where a child was an unattainable dream. I have seen entirely too many women give birth to a dead baby. I'm sorry, but I cannot erase this reality from my perspective. So no, I cannot feel too much sympathy for a woman who had and uncomplicated section and healthy baby. I cannot condone encouraging others to embrace the feelings she describes about her birth. I also disagree with the assertation that she has moved on, if, by her own admission, she cannot see a dramatized C/S on TV without crying or her stomach hurting. It's one thing to be temporarily saddened and disappointed by how your child arrived in this world, but I think she takes it to a whole different level.



Perhaps it's as simple as the glass half full/half empty. You can choose to see failure and disappointment that your body did not easily push out a full term baby, or you can embrace the fact that your body gestated a healthy full-term baby. You can be angry that you could not safely birth your baby without medical intervention or assistance, or you can be grateful that you live in a time and place where such assistance is available.

You can look at the birth of your child as violent and traumatic, or you can see it for the miracle that it is.

Johnny - posted on 03/07/2010

8,686

26

322

My body has let me down in a myriad of ways related to becoming a mother. And I have been disappointed and saddened each time. I've pushed past it and moved on with my life, I wouldn't say I spend much time focusing on the disappointments, but I still feel them. I spent the last three months of my pregnancy on bed rest due to abnormally low blood pressure that lead to fainting spells. I had a 52 hour labor that lead to an epidural after 36 hours and pitocin after 44 hours. It ended with the amazing moment where my daughter entered this world, which was rudely interrupted when I began to hemorrhage severely. I had a 3rd degree tear and required a blood transfusion. I was not able to breastfeed exclusively as I had hoped, probably due to both the blood loss and the fact that I have had 3 breast surgeries. Each one of these was a blow to me and each one hurt me.

I was told that I would likely never have children. I suffered from endometriosis that required surgery which supposedly would make me infertile if the endo hadn't already done so. I feel deeply blessed by the arrival of my daughter and she keeps me so busy that I really do not find much time to wallow in my disappointments about labor or nursing. And each and every day I am thankful that she is here with me, healthy and vital.

But when I think about having another child, those concerns and feelings all bubble to the surface. Will I be able to conceive again? Can my body deliver a baby without needing drugs? Will I be able to breastfeed exclusively? None of these questions may be important to anyone else, but they are to me. I don't care if you think that I don't have my priorities straight or that I am wallowing in self-pity or that I don't have a right to feel upset that my pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding did not go how I had hoped. I am very aware that life happens according to no plan, and that we each must deal with what is handed to us. And the more grace with which we can do it, the better. But I believe that I need to take my disappointments from my first child and turn it into a better opportunity for my second. You are welcome to see naivety and narcissism in this, but I choose to see it as a positive step towards a better future. And that is what I got out of reading this blog.

If we are not each allowed to feel and experience our own lives on our own terms, then why bother living them at all. I do not need to be happy that things went the way that they did to feel blessed by my daughter every single day. I strongly feel that each one of us has the right to feel however the hell we choose. I may not be able to understand why this woman was so deeply effected by what I see as a positive outcome to her situation. It does not matter. She is still entitled to those feelings just as much as each of us our entitled to ours.

Amie - posted on 03/07/2010

6,596

20

412

Well, a red flag for me is that she is a mom and she's STILL looking for validation, now it's moved onto validation from strangers. I'd be really shocked if not ONE person in her life said, man that really sucked. Look at all of us with our stories of our births "gone wrong" I bet we all had someone say, that really sucked. You acknowledge it, you get over it. If you can't do that in life then how are you going to survive.

Going by this post Dana I'd say you didn't read the birth story of her son or you would have acknowledged that she said [It wasn't until I admitted how awful it was, then I was able to shrug my shoulders and say, "Okay, I'm done and ready to move on."] She's over it. Her blog is about letting other mothers know it is ok to feel disappointed and upset that your birth was traumatic for you.

I guess others feel the need for a little more sympathy and validation from the world around us, and struggle with a bit of a "poor me...it's not fair" mentality. Obviously, I'm not one of them. I don't agree with the underlying theory that we all have a "right" to feel angry and resentful and sorry for ourselves just because we didn't get our own way. I mean, you can...just don't expect me jump on the bandwagon and tell you it's okay, or healthy, or productive. I guess, ultimately, I don't get the whole "need for validation" thing...perhaps that's a confidence/self esteem issue?

Mary this is beyond rude. It is not a poor me attitude, it is a blog about awareness for others so they know that it is OK to be upset. Every person has a right to their feelings, you or your family or anyone else has no right to belittle another person because they do not or can not handle a situation the way you would. As I've already stated, she has said she's over it. She has dealt with it and moved on. She's not wallowing, she's sharing her experience. Just because her description and her feelings would not match yours in the same situation does not mean they are not valid or deserve less attention. They are not to be shamed into getting better.. that would actually make things worse and hinder any process of healing and moving on.

Ez - posted on 03/07/2010

6,569

25

237

Just because a mother is dissatisfied or disappointed with her birth does not mean she is ungrateful for the safe arrival of her child, and I think it's pretty harsh to imply that. We all respond to things differently, and what qualifies as 'traumatic' is completely subjective to the individual. For some, a c-section is routine and normal and they're fine with that. Great! We form our opinions from our own experiences and that's totally understandable. But to dismiss a mother as selfish or ungrateful because they reacted differently to how you would is unfair.

Again, feeling any kind of negative emotion regarding a birth does not mean the child isn't cherished and loved! I'm not sure that voicing these feeling is about garnering sympathy necessarily either. I think it's more about acknowledgement and awareness. How many other women feel these same feelings but do not express them for fear of being labelled selfish, or irrational, or ungrateful? To me, that is what this blog is about, even if the blogger does take it to the extreme.

JL - posted on 03/07/2010

3,635

48

107

I had a birth plan but my goal was simple.....having a healthy baby and coming out alive. I had no expectations of some wonderful experience. I researched, informed myself, and ask my OBGYN about all the what ifs. I probably drove the man insane with my questions. I took birthing classes and prepared myself for the possibility of breach births, back labor, practiced pelvic moves in case I needed to try and turn the baby. I even learned about what to do if I went into labor at home. BUT with all that preparation and knowledge things did not go smoothly or as I invisioned.



At first it looked like I was going to have a vaginal delivery. I went in progressing well and dealing well with my contractions, but almost 6 hours into labor things turned drastically. I was barely breathing, blacking out, on oxygen, heart rate sped up, blood pressure dropped. I had to have an emergency C section and an emergency blood transfusion. It was scary, traumatic, and not the ideal birth experience. I was in pain and recovery sucked. I was not ecstatic about my experience but I was not dweling on what I did not get to have and all the negative aspects. I have never felt cheated or unhappy. I was happy I survived. I was happy my child was big and healthy. I was happy I recovered quickly for all the issues I had. I was happy I was able to have another child. The only time I have ever even considered that I may have missed out was when other women made comments about me not having the real birth experience, However I don't feel like I missed out on something. I feel like those women who make others feel like they did need to get over themselves, but I do also think that a women has the right to say she wished things would have went differently.



You have the right to be pissed off that things did not go as you wanted and to be dissapointed, but rather than dwell on it take the experience learn from it and try to make your next birthing expereince different .....if possible, but remember things do happen and an emergency situation may occur and you may not have the birthing expereince you desired.

Christa - posted on 03/07/2010

583

80

45

Without a doubt.....healthy mom healthy baby = successful birthing plan. After 7 pregnancies and 5 healthy kids...forget the birthing plan. It never goes as expected....bottom line. If I leave the hospital after 48 hours with a healthy baby in my arms...it was a success.

I am sure alot of this blog was a result of hormones. Some women get caught in a deep dark place and can't find much to be happy about. At some point, I hope they will realize how fortunate they are....to have gotten through the nine month journey and have the gift in hand. But until then....my heart goes out to them.

Dana - posted on 03/07/2010

11,264

35

495

Cathy S
4:05 pm .It's all about the individual. I'm sure many of you would be horrified to give birth on your bathroom floor with no emergency medical equipment anywhere in sight for fear of things going wrong .... but it worked great for me! ;-)


I don't think anyone is saying that you can't be horrified or scared when things go wrong. Hell you'd be insane not to.

Amie, I read all of the articles. That's how I formed my opinion. It's usually the easiest thing to do when forming one. ;)

Jess - posted on 03/07/2010

1,806

3

97

I count my blessings everyday. I have been so fortunate not to suffer from PND, but Im still disappointed in my birthing experience. It has nothing to do with my daughter, or my body. I don't think I'm taking away from the joy of my daughters birth by saying I'm devasted in the journery to get her here. I had a shocking pregnancy, my medical team failled to recognise pre-eclampsia, I worked full time right up until I was induced at 35 weeks. So my pregnancy was painful.



I didn't write a birthplan. I didn't want to set myself up to fall. I didnt' set an unrealistic benchmark. I was open to anything. I made no requests and the hospital took terrible advantage of that. I have the right to be dissapointed and I should have my feelings validated. I don't think its fair to compare my experience to someone who simply didn't get their own way. And by that I mean someone who writes a minute by minute guide to their labour and gets upset when the bath water isn't the right temprature and the scented candles didn't burn long enough!



Its one thing to be disapointed in your body, and another to be disapointed in your experience. I don't think these is any shame in having a c-section, but I can understand why a women would be dissapointed that her pregnancy ended that way. That disapointment is about her own body and her own capabilities despite how out of your control it is. My disappointment is in the experience. My labour could have been a wonderfully empowering moment, it could have been memoriable and a beautiful experience (while still being painful), but I was violated by that hospital and I was robbed of that experience not by nature or fate but by other people. If just 1 person had stepped up and done their job that day my story would be very different. So yes I have the right to be upset. A healthy baby is the most important OUTCOME, but its not the only aspect that matters. A happy, healthy baby needs a happy, healthy mother !

[deleted account]

I think another part of the equation goes back to the doctor/patient relatioship. Again, I am only speaking on behalf of myself and of my own experiences. But I wonder if other women go through this too. Someone questioned the whole ideal birth plan. Well, I have to be honest, my doctor and I never spoke about the "what if something goes wrong". If the doctor counseled and educated me, as the patient, about varying birth circumstances, I might have gone into the hospital in a completely different frame of mind. Instead, my husband just showed up at parent/teacher conferences at 6 pm and told me that the doctor called, lab results showed pre-eclampsia & early kidney failure, deliver tonight. I spoke to my doctor on the cell phone onthe way to the hospital and I was so utterly confused. Had the doctor & I had a conversation during any of my monthly check-ups about the actual birth, I might have been more aware and more in control. Only once at my 32 or 33 week appointment did she comment that if I were to go into premature labor anytime before 36 weeks, she would stop it. Never once did we have a discussion about birth itself. So when I was exactly 36 weeks, my mindset was simply, "When the water breaks, that's when baby arrives." Looking back on how naiive I was is another contributing factor in why I don;t want anymore kids.

Esther - posted on 03/07/2010

3,513

32

144

I don't want to be mean but I really just don't get it. I can't relate at all. To me giving birth was not about the process, it was ALL about the result. Life frequently doesn't go as you had planned but you have to deal with it as it comes. I don't understand why people have an expectation about what their "birth experience" should be when it is such an unpredictable event. Honestly, I don't want to be mean or disrespectful, but I really truly just don't get it. I think Cathy that your wedding analogy was a good one, but with that one too it was about the result for me. Bjorn & I have families who don't get along (AT ALL) and we have a strained relationship with his family ourselves. So we knew that if we had a real wedding with all the works, it would turn into a tense day with people at eachothers throats the whole time and us stressing out about it and footing the bill for the pleasure of it all. So we had a choice - either don't get married or get married but just don't invite anyone. And since it was about the result - we wanted to be married - we went to city hall and got married. It was on the day that the US invaded Iraq. We had to go through metal detectors. We posed next to a mop and a bucket with dirty water that someone had left in the hallway. Our planned helicopter flight over Manhattan was cancelled because of security concerns. It also POURED all day long. Our only pictures are of us underneath an umbrella being sprayed by a yellow cab. Did I care? Not in the least. I married the man I love. That's all I set out to do.

Esther - posted on 03/07/2010

3,513

32

144

Quoting Cathy:

If you're involved in an horrific car accident but come out physically unscaved, it would be pretty heartless of someone to turn around and say "get over it" because you have developed a phobia of automobiles. You get councilling and support to recover from the emotional trauma. For some woman birth is equally traumatic. What support do these women get?


She didn't really have a traumatic birth though. She just didn't have the birth of her dreams (I suppose that in and of itself was traumatic to her). But she had a straightforward, necessary and succesful C-section performed by a nice OBGYN & nice nursing staff.

[deleted account]

Cathy, I think you made a nice analogy comparing a disaster of a wedding to a birth experience. Plus everyone's perceptions and viewpoints are different. I was completely thrown off guard with my son's early delivery. But I also acknowledge the reasons why my doctor needed him to be delivetred early and I thank her for that. The experience soured me to want any more kids. That doesn't mean I'm an unhappy person or a horrible mother. It just means I coped with things differently than other moms might have. I'll never forget the experience, why should I? But it's one of those experiences that make me wonder if the outcome was different, would I be more willing to have more kids?

Amie - posted on 03/07/2010

6,596

20

412

Ok here's the biggest thing. How many of you actually went and read her son's birth story? Did you go beyond just this article? Where she's trying to get her story out? She's talking about her daughters birth here and look at how the one female family responded to her then. It's pretty hard to get over something easily or fast if someone says something like that to you.

The day came and I successfully birthed my daughter and proudly wore the badge: VBAC. (click here for her birth story). Four days later at home, a particular female family member (who will remain nameless) called and I began telling her my daughters birth story. (This family member is a labor and delivery nurse for over 20 years. She told me once when I was about 5 months pregnant (and I didn’t ask) that she thought it would be best if I have a repeat c-section and not endanger my daughter by having a VBAC). So, I began telling her my story and she suddenly interrupts me, “I read your blog. The one about Colton’s birth. I think your story is an insult to my profession!”


Oh. No. She. Just. Didn’t.
But, wait, she wasn’t done: “You have two healthy babies! DO YOU KNOW HOW LUCKY YOU ARE?!?!?”


Never mind the fact that she was already over it.... to have someone be so vile to you would cause a stir of emotions. THIS is what she says on her son's birth story:

It took me a long time to be at peace with the birth outcome of my son. I do believe a cesarean section was the best decision, given that I had a breech baby and hypertension. Had I not had high blood pressure I know in my heart I could have given birth to him vaginally if given the chance. But I can't take it back so I had to come to terms with it. Both for my own sanity and preparing for the birth of my daughter.


and this:

I just want to put it out there that it's okay to be angry, frustrated, sad and just plain pissed off about your birth outcome. Feel the feelings so that you can move on. If you hold it in, it doesn't go anywhere and will just get worse. It wasn't until I admitted how awful it was, then I was able to shrug my shoulders and say, "Okay, I'm done and ready to move on."


This is a woman who wants to educate women, to let them know its OK to feel upset, hurt, angry, etc about their birthing experience. It IS ok to feel this way. Just because others can not or will not sympathize does not mean it's not ok. Just because a lot would rather you just deal with it and not give words of comfort does not mean it doesn't matter. Yes it's harder for some people, I'd like to think we're all basically decent human beings. It's not about YOU (in general) when someone is upset with any aspect of their lives, it's about THEM. Just think how horrible it would be if everyone always pulled off their own experiences and said things like the ladies family member. If that is what she expected to hear (and rightly so obviously) then there is nothing wrong with her keeping it to herself and dealing with it privately.

I still see a woman upset with being given no options and who is partly to blame because of poor communication with her doctor. I also see a woman who is trying to educate other woman because things don't always go according to plan but it is still ok to not be happy about it.

Dana - posted on 03/07/2010

11,264

35

495

Well, a red flag for me is that she is a mom and she's STILL looking for validation, now it's moved onto validation from strangers. I'd be really shocked if not ONE person in her life said, man that really sucked. Look at all of us with our stories of our births "gone wrong" I bet we all had someone say, that really sucked. You acknowledge it, you get over it. If you can't do that in life then how are you going to survive.

[deleted account]

I went back and reread the blog and the comments that followed. One important aspect that I missed yesterday: A healthy mom is an effective, loving, and nurturing mom. If mom isn't emotionally healthy, how the hell is she going to provide for her newborn, regardless of the birth circumstances? I am glad to know the blogger successfully fought for a VBAC and was able to experience the birthing process differently than her first. I think that must have helped in her healing process. All she wanted was for someone to validate her feelings and not remind her she has a healthy baby. Why is that so wrong?

Sarah - posted on 03/07/2010

5,465

31

344

@ Cathy.
See, that's exactly what i mean. You're first birth experience sucked, so you made damn sure your next one was better. You learn from these things, which is one of the points i was trying to make.

It was more in response the the blogger's frame of mind that i feel she's holding onto these negative feelings and letting it get her down in a bad way. She needs to learn to let it go.....learn from it, not dwell on it so much.

I'm not going to jump up and down about either of my births. Perhaps i was more able to cope with them not going to plan because i didn't HAVE a plan! lol So there was nothing to be disappointed about really. All i wanted was my babies OUT of me!
Especially when they recommended a C-section with Shia, i guess i was already prepared that something was bound to go wrong, because it had with Cadence.

As i said, i just find it sad that people will get so upset over doing such a miraculous thing. No matter how baby arrived, we did it!! We created a life and got it into the world safely! That's bloody fantastic if you ask me! :)

Dana - posted on 03/07/2010

11,264

35

495

Mary, I think you keep putting it perfectly and are saying exactly what I want to every time I come to this thread. Thanks for saving me the time. lol

I think you are right when you say that the majority of responses to this thread aren't saying you can't have those feelings. Also not everyone is going to the worst case scenarios... I don't even know where that statement comes from, Amie.



Just because I and other people think this lady takes it to an extreme doesn't mean I don't think that anyone should feel disappointment over their births. I also don't think that anyone in this thread walked into pregnancy and labor thinking everything was hunky dory and boy gee whizickers this is gonna be greeeat! I'm pretty sure, as we're all intelligent women, we knew things could change or go wrong. This lady walked in with blinders on and then couldn't handle reality. Plain and simple. What is wrong with stating that fact?

Sarah - posted on 03/07/2010

5,465

31

344

I truly don't think you should dismiss it Erin, my Mum was scarred for life being at Cadence's birth! lol!

You have every right to feel disappointed, as i was with mine. You shouldn't feel like a failure though!!!!!

I guess all i'm trying to say is that it's better to try and let go of that disappointment and draw some positives from it. Not forget it, not "get over it" just to maybe take a different spin on it. Focus on how amazing you were for cope with 20+ hours of labour, that you made it through, that you were STRONG, that you did what it took to get baby out into the world safely.

I guess i just don't understand why people want to hold onto those feelings of resentment and failure and whatever. Wouldn't it be better and nicer to not feel that way?
I know it's hard, neither of my births were great experiences at all. As i said though, they shaped me into what i am now. They are a part of me, and i've grown to accept that.

Honestly and truly, i'm not trying to be dismissive, i just think that no matter how we delivered, we all did the BEST we could, we all did a bloody amazing job and we should be PROUD of that. It makes me sad to think of mothers feeling so down, when they did a truly amazing thing! :)

Ez - posted on 03/07/2010

6,569

25

237

Obviously all of us put our baby's health and safety first, but beyond that, we obviously all have different priorities. Some don't care how their baby makes their entrance. Some have birth plans written with every intricate detail. Some place importance on the experience of birthing their baby, and want to take an active role in their birth. Others don't want to feel a thing and just want it over with.

My own mother has frequently commented on how horrible my daughter's birth was. It is not just about me being pissed that things didn't go according to my plan. It's also not necessarily about blaming the medical staff. I didn't actually have a birth plan. Like Cathy, all I knew was that I wanted to stay active, stay upright and no epidural. So being restricted to the bed because I started fainting and vomiting as soon as they broke my water was a nightmare, and is why I needed the forceps (and spinal) after 20hrs of labour and 2.5hrs of pushing. Instead of my daughter being born calmly and quietly into my own arms, she was pulled out by her head in a brightly lit room full of about a dozen people. Given the fact that I was aiming for a natural birth, why wouldn't I be disappointed in that? Yes, my healthy baby was priority number 1, but that doesn't mean I can, or should, just dismiss the feelings of disappointment and failure associated with her birth.

Amie - posted on 03/07/2010

6,596

20

412

Which is maybe what the blogger was missing, someone to tell her the right things. :)


I'd have to agree with that statement.

Sarah - posted on 03/07/2010

5,465

31

344

I certainly don't rejoice the fact that my vaginal birth was so traumatic. It really was bloody awful! I don't rejoice in the fact that i was so ill afterwards and couldn't look after Cadence, that i had to have a blood transfusion etc etc.
In a funny kind of way though, i AM proud of the experience, i'm proud that i made it through it all.
My birth experience did haunt me for a while, but then i looked to positives about it.

My C-section, i WAS disappointed (mainly because i was actually coping with the contractions the 2nd time around!) i really thought that this birth was going to go well!! But again my baby had other ideas! Shia was breech, Cadence had been back to back, obviously my kids like to face the wrong way! LOL!

I'll say again that i'm not belittling anyone's feelings about their birth. It's bound to affect you in SOME way, even if your birth is the perfect birth.

I guess i just think that ANY experience can be looked at from a different point of view. My traumatic first birth taught me that i CAN be strong, i CAN do things that seem impossible at the time. My C-section taught me that things will never turn out quite how you'd planned!!

I'm not trying to tell anyone to "get over it" i guess i see it more as trying to help them find a new way of looking at it. I mean who WANTS to carry around that disappointment and resentment with them forever?!?!

On the point about the blogger being told to "get over it" every time she discussed it, well i can imagine that would be annoying. Luckily for me, not one person was like with me, every friend and family member listened, supported and told me how amazing i was to get through it all. Which is maybe what the blogger was missing, someone to tell her the right things. :)

[deleted account]

I first read this thread last night but had to wait to come back tonight to post my reply, Mary's first post had me in tears. My cousin's first child was stillborn, I was living with her and her hubby at the time and I was at the hospital when she delivered. It was the most heart-wrenching experience of my life. I know she would have endured the most tramatic birth if it meant her baby was alive and healthy.

As some of you may know, my son was born by emergency c-section at 25 weeks. Not what I had in mind for the birth of my first child and yes I was sad because I'd missed out on the whole pregnancy/birth experience, I felt like my body had failed me at it's most primal level, BUT it could have been a whole lot worse - he mightn't have survived. I'm so lucky to have my son with me that it totally outweights how I gave birth.

So, yes, I believe a healthy baby is all that matters.

[deleted account]

Quoting Cathy "It's extremely unfair to suggest that people just need to get over there pity party when they've gone through a traumatic birth and are suffering from some level of post partum depression.

I'm over it now but I still don't have to rejoice in the fact that the events of my eldests birth made me feel very detached from him for the first few weeks of his life. I was a young single Mother doing everything for myself. Having an infected tear didn't help me get mobile. I struggled with breastfeeding because my hindmilk never came in. I spent the first 3 weeks bursting into tears every time my baby cried because I was tired and in agony. I can't get those weeks back, I can't change them BUT I don't have to like them!"

I could have written this word for word because it is exactly how I felt, with the exception of being a single parent. Sadly, my birth experience is one of the reasons why I have zero desire to have more kids. I spent 2 years wallowing in my own self-pity. It took me that long to get it through my head that I took home a healthy baby and I did get to experience a vaginal birth, even though the circumstances was not what I expected. I did not bond for those first few months and did not adapt well to motherhood as I dreamed I would. The big thing for me was that NO ONE validated my feelings. How dare someone tell me to "Get over it!"? Why should my feelings be brushed off and dismissed as nothing? I have moved forward and love my son more than anything. I hold no resentment how he entered this world now and realize he is a blessing. But everyone deals with experiences in different ways. His birth sucked. My husband has a completely different viewpoint on it and he still thinks everything was all fine & dandy. Is it really so horrible to ask for acknowledgement? If I came to terms with my experience sooner than later, I bet my son would have a sibling.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms