Friday, June 25, 2010

How I feel about the birth

So, writing my birth story didn't take me so long because I've been busy with Gideon. Dave is such an amazing dad that I have plenty of time in the evenings and weekends when he's home. Really, the only thing Gideon needs me for in the evenings is for breastmilk because Dave does just as well calming him, changing his diapers, dressing him and playing with him.

The real reason is that it was hard. My labor and delivery were not the peaceful event that I hoped, planned and prayed to have. I barely told anyone the story for weeks because it was too emotional. As strange as it sounds to men and some women, it really does matter how a woman gives birth.

If it wasn't there wouldn't be groups like the International Cesarean Awareness Network or forums on about birth and how to get past it. I didn't need counseling to get over the birth- just time. I can finally think about it and even type up thoughts without crying.

Because my birth didn't go as planned, the doubts arose almost instantly. The what ifs started even before I pushed Gideon out. I wondered if the choices I'd made during pregnancy affected the birth. What if I'd made myself exercise more? What if I'd eaten better? What if I'd visualized more? And the choices I'd made during labor... what if instead of trying to rest, I had walked? What if I hadn't gotten in the pool so early? What if I'd spent more time on my feet? What if, what if, what if?

Every choice was questioned. I felt like I had failed. My body had not done what it needed to do. I felt guilty that I hadn't been able to provide a calm birth for my baby. I felt like a failure.

And then the worry began. What about when I have another baby? Will the same thing happen? Should I even try for a home or natural birth? What if I can't handle the real pain of labor? What if all the contractions I went through would simply be uncomfortable to someone else but to me they were painful?

I am so thankful that I have a healthy, beautiful, smart boy. I'm thankful recovery from labor and delivery was not difficult or excessively long. I'm okay with what happened for now. Nothing can change what has already happened. But, I am scared that all those feelings of doubt and worry will rise right back up when I get a positive pregnancy test (years from now).

And maybe I can't think too hard about it without getting emotional.


  1. AnonymousJuly 02, 2010

    Babe, you're the best, most responsible mother I know. I'm greatful you are mother to my son, and wife to me! You are FAR from a failure. The way you've recovered from labor, and have taken such care of Gideon speak volumes of your true quality. I love you! -Honey

  2. I wanted a natural hospital birth, and ended up with a failed induction and c/s. I have so many what if's. It's nearly impossible not to, I think.

    I just read your birth story - 3 days of laboring without any interventions is incredibly impressive and speaks a lot of your resilience and fortitude. Labor isn't easy (from what I've been told), and it sounds like you dealt with more of it than many women ever have to.

    You aren't a failure - I can honestly say that from reading your birth story, you probably did more to achieve your dreams than I think I could have in your situation. Not only that, but I think you made spectacular decisions based on what you knew. There are always what if's, and I am still dealing with mine, but truly, I think you should be proud of what you accomplished. I hope time and perhaps talking about it with others can bring you more healing and peace. (hugs)

    And your boy is absolutely adorable!! Congrats again!

  3. The birth story of my first son was very similar to yours, minus the epidural. I, too, was very disappointed with the course of the birth and really felt a sense of loss. Luckily these negative memories will fade away in favor of the positive ones. Having far few expectations for the birth of my second son resulted in a very positive experience because I only focused on the end result--a healthy baby and mom regardless of the means.

  4. I too, wanted a natural labor. I agreed to do it in a hospital setting only because the father was too afraid. "We are made to have babies!" I kept telling him. He kept stressing to me that I needed to be in a hospital and labor could kill me...blah...blah...blah...He stressed this (and other things) to me daily my entire pregnancy. He did not like my choice to only breastfeed (no formula). I too, did a huge amount of research. Needless to say, the birth did not go as I had planned AT ALL. I ended up being in labor for 68 hours before my baby was born. I had to be induced. I stayed on my feet the entire time because I had horrible back labor. Even though, I had to allow them to give me some medications (only the necessary ones), our little one came into the world safely and by the grace of God, I did not have to have a C-section. It was an amazing experience even though it was not what I expected. I was surrounded by wonderful Christian women who prayed with me and stayed with me the whole time. God is good. I learned what I strong woman I am. Thank you Jesus for my little baby and for such an awesome experience.
    Emilie, thank you for sharing your experiences in your blog. It is refreshing and a blessing to know that others share the same perspective. Bless you