birth story blues

So I was starting to write out my birth story for my newest little one for the umpteenth time and I am just so not enthusiastic about doing it - whenever I think about my birth, I feel so angry and disappointed and let down. I have read here that some cesarean birth mamas have felt that way and now I understand the feeling about things not going as you planned.

My first son had a natural birth after a very long labour and long pushing stage. He was a hospital birth and I wasn't really happy with the immediate post-partum care - getting stitches, cord cut too quickly etc. but everything else was great. I felt like, now I know I can survive a natural labour and my second will be even better and since I was having a midwife, those concerns I had would be addressed plus I would know what I was doing and would push more effectively and so on.

My first was also born the day after his due date, with labour starting on the due date, so I was expecting my second around then or a little earlier. I had exams around then and had talked to my school about what to do if labour coincided with an exam. Imagine my surprise when I ended up going over 2 weeks past my due date.

Going post-date was probably one of the more horrible, scary and lonely times of my life - I had no idea it would be like that. The phone calls every day from family and friends about whether I had the baby, the facebook messages, texts, e-mails... I had to stop answering my phone and only check e-mail once a day. 3 days past my due date my mother in law called my husband to tell him I should see a "proper" doctor (not a midwife) to see "what was wrong with me." I stopped taking her calls. Less than a week past my due date and the midwife was talking about induction. I had Braxton Hicks and cramping every night that would keep me up and I'd be sure labour was starting... then I'd finally fall asleep and wake up in the morning with no baby.

At 10 days past my due date, my midwife scared the pants off me talking about babies who stayed in the womb "too long" and were stillborn. She said legally she had to inform me of the risk and I should consult with an OB. I saw the OB at 12 days post-date and she said my cervix was long and hard and closed and if she tried to induce me that day, I would end up with a c-section. I had to start going for fetal assessments every day and counting baby movement.

It was horrible. Every time the baby went to sleep for an hour or two I had to decide if I should go to labour and delivery or not - I did nothing but lie around with my hand on my stomach stressing. I googled obsessively and found out gems like babies born 42 weeks onward usually had something wrong with them and that's why they were late. At one fetal assessment, the baby was resting and they had me on a stretcher ready to do an emergency cesarean until the baby woke up and just about kicked the monitors off me. My family were constantly nagging me about inducing. Every day I dropped off or picked up my son at preschool the teachers and the other parents commented on "not yet" and "I feel so bad for you" etc. etc. etc. My midwife was talking about how long they would "let" me go and how I was going to have a 10-lb baby. Because I had limited time between the end of school and the start of work I was resentful of every day I was losing with my baby - and of starting to get my body and strength back. I was so big and uncomfortable and unproductive. I felt like my body was failing me and not doing what it was supposed to do, and maybe it was my fault for studying too hard and willing the baby to stay in for exams and this was my revenge for being too self-focussed.

I consulted with another OB who said if I were his sister, he would advise induction even if there were no concerns about liability, but because I am a "lawyer" everyone was scared I would sue them if something went wrong. I finally agreed to come in on Mothers' Day - the day I was so sure I would be a mama to two already - to have Prostin gel applied. I was told that it starts labour spontaneously in 33% of women - more likely for a subsequent pregnancy - but many women need 2 or 3 applications and for some it never starts labour at all, but ripens the cervix for the oxytocin induction. I don't like internal exams etc. so I stressed and stressed about the application.

When I got it put on, they said I had to lie there for 1 hour to make sure the baby and I were tolerating it ok. I was 2cm and soft before it went on. I lay there and heard other women come in gasping in labour pain to be told they were only 1cm. They got lots of attention and concern from the nurses and I was irrationally resentful of this and of the fact that I was more dilated than them but they were going to have their babies, maybe even on Mother's Day, before I was and they were only 37, 38, 39 weeks. Then I was mad at myself for caring about what other people do.

As I lay there, I was feeling what I thought were cramps and when my 1 hour was up, I told the nurse and she said yes, sometimes there is discomfort and sometimes it changes into labour so go home and rest and come back in the morning if nothing changes. They had told me it was fine to go in by myself and drive myself so hubby stayed home with our older son. I remember having difficulty walking to my car and driving home because the "cramps" were so intense.

When I got home, I phoned my midwife right away because I was so uncomfortable. She timed the pains and said that they were happening very close together, like 1-2 minutes apart, but were only 30-45 seconds long and were irregular so they weren't really labour, so she suggested getting in the bath. I had come in and lain down on the floor because I was in so much pain and my son was very concerned and she could hear him asking me what was wrong, trying to make me feel better etc. so she suggested I get my labour plan in action for him and take a bath and see what happened. I called my mama to come and get him.

While lying on the floor, I felt the need to take off my pants so I did. All of a sudden, I felt something pop and realized my water had broken. Shortly after that, I lost my plug. I suddenly realized that this was heavy labour. My son saw all of this and was very concerned and asking questions. By this point, I was moaning and groaning and writhing around. My mama arrived and immediately said we should go to the hospital. She took our son and my husband told me to put my pants on and get up - but I couldn't, even with him trying to help me do it. The contractions were constant at that point with no breaks at all. My husband called labour and delivery and they said to come in.

I suddenly felt the urge to push and started pushing. Then I felt myself and could feel that my vaginal area was starting to open. My husband saw and realized that it was probably too late to go to the hospital and called them back and they told him to call 9-1-1. 9-1-1 wanted to talk him through delivering the baby himself but he was freaked out by that, so they said they would send an ambulance. By the time the ambulance came, I could feel part of the head and the baby's hair. The paramedics got me on a stretcher and out to the ambulance. By this point I was screaming and yelling and all my neighbours could hear this, as I found out later - some of them were outside and saw me crowning. We got in the ambulance and they were going to try to drive quickly to the hospital, but 2 blocks from my home they saw so much of the head they realized they wouldn't make it and pulled over. Then they wanted me to push the baby out, but all of a sudden, the contractions slowed down and I felt burning like nobody's business, way, way worse than my first - just an awful feeling, so I didn't want to push and I think my body wanted a rest, but they insisted, so I pushed my son out really fast. Then they stuck me with an IV and went to the hospital. I was feeling more really painful contractions and by the time we got to the hospital, the placenta was mostly out (and was only very slightly calcified - they had been scaring me about that.) I needed stitches again, which I had hoped to avoid. Everything was rushed and I ended up not having a midwife delivery. The IV caused swelling that still hasn't completely gone down - I wore my rings all through my pregnancy and now I can't. The baby was so shocked from the delivery that he lost 15 ounces and had trouble latching for the first few days and I had the public health nurse pushing formula on me.

Of course I get the "be happy you have a healthy baby" and "be happy it wasn't a c-section" from everyone. I'm thrilled with my boy, but part of me is disappointed about not having a girl. And after delivery, the OB came to see me and said sometimes the Prostin causes abnormal contractions and hyperstimulates the uterus, especially with a subsequent baby (but NO ONE told me this before - where is the informed consent?) She also said I could have a labour like this again, which is terrifying because I want more kids and would like to try for a girl but I am so scared of another experience like this.

I really thought each labour would get better and easier, not worse. Whoever said quick labours are great is out of their mind. Mine was about 4.5 hours and I would take the 24-hour plus one and almost 4 hours pushing over this one any time. I am also second-guessing myself and angry at myself for allowing myself to be pushed into the gel induction - it's amazing how doctors use fear and vulnerability to bully you. I want to go and tell them off, but what would be the point of that? I feel like nobody really understood what I was going through or supported me. And this seems like such a negative and sad birth story to write down for my son.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











Yeah, sounds like you were bullied. And sounds like you had a medwife, not a midwife. You got screwed. I would hate to know that my neighbors saw me in such a situation, so I think you have every right to be upset. I think your situation was probably complicated by all the intense planning you tried to do...sometimes our bodies hold onto babies extra long when we have too much to do. Birth is a letting go process, and sometimes our bodies teach us humility for not allowing nature to work as nature intended.

I don't think your next labor would be extra fast like that, not without the hyperstimulating drugs. I do think a homebirth would be a better idea for you though. 911 attendants are good for trauma, but they're not so good at birth.

Forgive yourself. You did an awful lot this year. It was probably inevitable that everything wasn't going to go perfectly. Give yourself time...the first month or two post-partum are a weepy time, so you'll probably feel a lot better if a little more time passes. Enjoy your boy...he doesn't care how he got here. He'll have an exciting tale to tell one day.

I wouldn't bother telling off the hospital staff. They will never admit they are the cause of so much grief for women, not even to themselves.

Thanks for sharing your story. It's interesting to the rest of us, even if it was difficult for you.
I am so sorry for everything you went through. My heart goes out to you. You have the right to be mad, angry, sad, pissed off, unenthusiastic etc. Birth doesn't seem to go as planned under even the best of circumstances but you really got the short end of the stick from both the medical community and your family members with the fearmongering.

Do you feel that your hubby is more or less on the homebirth camp after this experience?
hello.world.
Just wanted to add...

Lawyers (and wives of lawyers) tend to get the most medicalized births. Their c-section rates are out-of-sight. Second only to OB's (and wives of OB's). You were rather lucky you escaped with "only" an emergency out-of-hospital birth. It could have been much worse.
I am so sorry for everything you went through. My heart goes out to you. You have the right to be mad, angry, sad, pissed off, unenthusiastic etc. Birth doesn't seem to go as planned under even the best of circumstances but you really got the short end of the stick from both the medical community and your family members with the fearmongering.

Do you feel that your hubby is more or less on the homebirth camp after this experience?
Originally Posted by webjockey
MORE. I regret not pushing for it more and letting myself be scared out of it, and he agrees that IF I have a quick labour, a homebirth would be best. The OB even agreed. Of course, that only helps if I'm AT home when I go into labour....
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











RCW hit the nail on the head. Forgive yourself. Please forgive yourself and move forward. She's right. Your baby doesn't care how he was birthed. Every birth is a learning process. Now if you decide to have another you are armed with even more info than before. Its ok to feel disappointed but you're still a good mom.
High Priestess JessMess, follower of the Goddess of the Coiling Way and Confiscator of Concoctions in the Order of the Curly Crusaders

I'm sorry you went through that.. Yes it is aggravating to go "late" even though it's so common and perfectly normal. I went too 41 weeks, got induced, and after a day and a half of "not progressing" enough I had a c-section. I wrote out the story here, but it was years ago and I'm not sure I feel like writing it again. I understand the feelings you're having. I regret letting the doctors push me towards induction because I had a strong feeling it would end as a c-section. I also got the "the baby can't go too far past the due date" and the comments on how big she must be (she was 7 lbs, 9 oz).

I'm sorry it didn't go as you had hoped and even if you have a healthy baby, it is totally okay to be disappointed and angry.
I am so sorry for everything you went through. My heart goes out to you. You have the right to be mad, angry, sad, pissed off, unenthusiastic etc. Birth doesn't seem to go as planned under even the best of circumstances but you really got the short end of the stick from both the medical community and your family members with the fearmongering.

Do you feel that your hubby is more or less on the homebirth camp after this experience?
Originally Posted by webjockey
MORE. I regret not pushing for it more and letting myself be scared out of it, and he agrees that IF I have a quick labour, a homebirth would be best. The OB even agreed. Of course, that only helps if I'm AT home when I go into labour....
Originally Posted by Amneris
That's the thing. You'll never know if you'll have a quick birth and homebirth may not solve the problems you had - pressure, fearmongering etc.

When or if you're looking to go down the babymaking route again, check out The Birth Partner. It may help you and your husband understand the involvement needed to support homebirth so that it doesn't become about chasing the "perfect birth".
hello.world.
rainshower's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 6,000
maybe i'm looking at this from a different persepctive, but i think you are very fortunate that you had your mother and husband with you when your water broke. and i think you are fortunate that you had the attention of medical personnel, even if they weren't the type of medical people you would have liked, when you were crowning.

think of how things could have been different. your mother and husband could have been away from home. you could have gone through all of that with just your child at home. you might not have been in the frame of mind to pick up a phone, and your child may not (not sure) know how to make a 911 call for you. and you could have been like that until someone happened to arrive to your home.

if it's important for you to write a birth story, write the story. but your focus shouldn't be on how disappointed you were that it didn't have the components of the fantasy birth that you wished for. i think you can write an amazing story that is completely truthful and that captures the extraordinary parts, and not the depressing parts. and who knows? maybe in the future, you'll be able to look back at some of the things that have angered or embarassed you and actually laugh at them (neighbors seeing you crowning). come on, you have the ingredients for an amazing labor and delivery story.

i'm not minimizing the importance of you being able to have a fantasy birth story to recall. i'm just offering a way for you to recount your story by playing up the unusual aspects and leaving out the parts that make you depressed and miserable.

i'm curious, if you know you want a large family and that this isn't your last child, why are you so sad that it wasn't a girl?

i hope you recover quickly and feel better soon.
"Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb

Last edited by rainshower; 06-14-2011 at 07:51 AM.
rainshower's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 6,000
I am so sorry for everything you went through. My heart goes out to you. You have the right to be mad, angry, sad, pissed off, unenthusiastic etc. Birth doesn't seem to go as planned under even the best of circumstances but you really got the short end of the stick from both the medical community and your family members with the fearmongering.

Do you feel that your hubby is more or less on the homebirth camp after this experience?
Originally Posted by webjockey
MORE. I regret not pushing for it more and letting myself be scared out of it, and he agrees that IF I have a quick labour, a homebirth would be best. The OB even agreed. Of course, that only helps if I'm AT home when I go into labour....
Originally Posted by Amneris
That's the thing. You'll never know if you'll have a quick birth and homebirth may not solve the problems you had - pressure, fearmongering etc.

When or if you're looking to go down the babymaking route again, check out The Birth Partner. It may help you and your husband understand the involvement needed to support homebirth so that it doesn't become about chasing the "perfect birth".
Originally Posted by webjockey
i completely agree with this last sentence.

and just as no two children are the same, no two pregnancies and deliveries are the same. you just can't predict how subsequent pregnancies and deliveries will be, based on the first one.
"Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb

Last edited by rainshower; 06-14-2011 at 08:00 AM.
I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. I had walked around 4 cm dilated for 2 weeks with my baby and I was terrified I was going to go into labor and not make it into the hospital (my OB wasn't worried at all, I'm just a worrywart) and I know how it is with everyone calling and texting and emailing with the 'no baby yet' comments. My cervix started dilating at 29 weeks so I had been at risk for preterm labor and ended up going 41 weeks, so people were checking for WEEKS. It really gets to be annoying but I know they were just excited and their hearts were in the right place. It just adds to the general anxiety about waiting.

I think RCW is right that the first couple of months after birth are really difficult and emotional, so hopefully with some time and distance you will feel a little better about things and won't be quite so frightened to try to have another.
I haven't got the slightest idea how to change people, but I still keep a long list of prospective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out.
I'm sorry you were bullied by your attendants, harassed by your family and then ignored by your midwife when you were in hard labor. You have every right to be mad and disappointed. It does not make you any less grateful for your baby, I know that.

Please forgive yourself, relax and enjoy your little boy. It's OK to be a little disappointed you did not get your girl, does not mean you love your little boy any less and as you get to know him you will love him more and more. And I agree that the first few months are an emotional whirlwind. As the hormones settle down and you get into the swing of things, it will take some of the raw edge of what you are feeling.

I was lucky to go into labor spontaneously before 40 weeks both times, so I don't know what it's like to go "late" (which is BS) but I hear it is miserable. Like you I had a long-ass labor with my first and a quick one with the second and the second was much harder.

Thank you for sharing your story. I think as a culture we really are not encouraged to share anything but puppies and rainbows about anything to do with motherhood and I think it does all women a disservice.
To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
I'm sorry you're feeling this way Amneris. Part of the reason I never shared my birth story here was because I was disappointed in how it went as well. Combined with the fact that there were a few stressful events afterward, I just didn't feel like it.

I went over the second time around too and I dreaded dropping Majerle off at school, taking her to dance and swimming, and even going to my OB appointments because everyone was always making comments about I was still pregnant. When things did finally start happening labor was a lot longer and harder. Breastfeeding was more difficult. Things were just rough. 3 months later, I can honestly say I'm no longer mad at myself or my labor and delivery.

Sent from my magic cell phone!

Last edited by subbrock; 06-14-2011 at 08:40 AM.
I don't think anyone is chasing the "perfect" birth. I think it's more of a want to have more control over what should be a mostly naturally occurring event. In my case it was a healthy, low risk pregnancy that ended in a surgery due to unnecessary medical interventions that snowballed. Yes, I don't know how it would have ended if I had not been induced, but maybe that's part of the problem. I didn't feel I had the option to find out because it turns into a "hurry up, let's get that baby out" once you go past 40 weeks.

Then you're supposed to shut up and be happy because you had a healthy kid.

I am mostly over it, but it does take time. I can understand why Amneris is disappointed--it's still very recent for her.
Maybe you shouldn't write your birth story right now. You're not going to forget it, and it's something you can put off until you feel more positive about it.

Birth plans are kind of a joke in my opinion. Theres just no way you can plan for something that happens so spontaneously and so naturally. I think your story is amazing, and I think most people will hear it that way and not think of it as an unplanned disappointment like you do right now. I think most of us feel negatively towards some parts of our birth experiences.

I had plenty of nurses and doctors that weren't listening to me when I knew what was going on, and arguing with me because apparently what they read in a book is what EVERY experience is going to be like. They pressure you and snowball you into doing what THEY want - but don't let them make you feel like you had no control because of them. You had no control because childbirth is just one of those things we have no control over, no matter how hard we try. You did the best you could, but nature won. That's all. It's not a bad thing. It's a natural life thing.

Congratulations on your boy
I had plenty of nurses and doctors that weren't listening to me when I knew what was going on, and arguing with me because apparently what they read in a book is what EVERY experience is going to be like. They pressure you and snowball you into doing what THEY want - but don't let them make you feel like you had no control because of them. You had no control because childbirth is just one of those things we have no control over, no matter how hard we try. You did the best you could, but nature won. That's all. It's not a bad thing. It's a natural life thing.
Originally Posted by iroc
I'm sorry, but that is letting crappy doctors/medwives/nurses off the hook. It wasn't nature, it was them. And there is a big difference between giving up your control to natural processes and having your control taken away by people who don't treat you respectfully.
To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.

That's the thing. You'll never know if you'll have a quick birth and homebirth may not solve the problems you had - pressure, fearmongering etc.

When or if you're looking to go down the babymaking route again, check out The Birth Partner. It may help you and your husband understand the involvement needed to support homebirth so that it doesn't become about chasing the "perfect birth".
Originally Posted by webjockey


This is true. Just doing a homebirth isn't the answer. Choosing a care provider who shares your views is of utmost important, but you also really need to reign in your overbearing relatives and insulate yourself from negative people. When I was planning my homebirth, my mother became pollution...always with the negatives, you-can't-you-can't-you-can't. I had to enlist the help of my father (a homebirthed babe himself) to keep her in Florida until after my baby was born. She would have ruined it for me.
I'm so sorry, Amneris. I can relate to a lot of what you are feeling. I went postdates with my first and I felt like a freak of nature or like my body was failing. My OB was pushing me to induce, having me come in for NSTs and everyone else was bombarding me with phone calls and emails. I ended up with the complete opposite of the birth I had hoped for and I was angry, sad, etc. I was angry that I had been pushed into interventions I didn't need and I blamed myself for the choices I had made--if only I'd done this or said that, etc.

In the end it took time but I made peace with it. We can't turn back time and get a do-over but we can learn from the experience. I think I took some valuable life lessons away from my first birth and I believe I'm a stronger person because of it.

You have to be kind to yourself. I'm sure you would not blame another mother for what happened if she posted this birth story, so give yourself the same kindness you would give a stranger. You made the choices that seemed right for you at the time, given the circumstances, support system (or lack of support) you had, etc.

I don't think anyone is chasing the "perfect" birth. I think it's more of a want to have more control over what should be a mostly naturally occurring event. In my case it was a healthy, low risk pregnancy that ended in a surgery due to unnecessary medical interventions that snowballed. Yes, I don't know how it would have ended if I had not been induced, but maybe that's part of the problem. I didn't feel I had the option to find out because it turns into a "hurry up, let's get that baby out" once you go past 40 weeks.

Then you're supposed to shut up and be happy because you had a healthy kid.

I am mostly over it, but it does take time. I can understand why Amneris is disappointed--it's still very recent for her.
Originally Posted by gemini
What I mean by chasing the perfect birth is to emphasize that homebirth has its own pitfalls. I had both my babies at home. I was pissed at my hubby for a long time for not waking up while I was in active labor and I had to scream at him to call the midwife. Then I was pissed because when our son came out he had a disappointed look on his face (he really wanted a girl). I was pissed at myself for not understanding my body well enough to know that I was in active labor and to have the waterbirth I wanted.

Not to mention no orgasmic birth!!!! (Ok, I kid. I think that's just wild.)

The list goes on and on.

But I'm supposed to be happy, just like hospital-birth moms, that I had a healthy kid, and most certainly not ***** because I had a homebirth.

It took time, but I got over it *precicely* because I gave myself the time and permission to grieve and recognize the humanity in the situation.

I hope Amneris gives herself the time to grieve - it's so important to coming to peace with such an important moment in her life.
hello.world.
rainshower's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 6,000
Maybe you shouldn't write your birth story right now. You're not going to forget it, and it's something you can put off until you feel more positive about it.

Birth plans are kind of a joke in my opinion. Theres just no way you can plan for something that happens so spontaneously and so naturally. I think your story is amazing, and I think most people will hear it that way and not think of it as an unplanned disappointment like you do right now.
Originally Posted by iroc
i agree with the bold.

but i think birth plans are important ... to an extent. i think they are more a guide to have something to start with so that everyone involved will know how the mother will want people to interact with her, at least until she says she desires something different.

because birth is unpredictable and raw and oftentimes not pretty at all, i think it's beneficial to be flexible in your wishes and either have a back-up plan(s) or even be open to the possibility of things happening that you haven't envisioned. but when you have in your mind only one way that a birth can occur that will make you content, you may be creating an opportunity for feelings of disappointment or failure when the unpredictable happens that won't cooperate with the only birth plan you created for yourself. that's my take.
"Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb

Trending Topics


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:02 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2011 NaturallyCurly.com