Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Two Different Births

Welcome to the June 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Embracing Your Birth Experience
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about at least one part of their birth experience that they can hold up and cherish.
I've had two children.  Both completely different birth stories.

I had my son three years ago at a hospital with pitocin and an epidural and thank goodness vaginally because I was just minutes away from a c-section.

I had my daughter last year, at home, in my bedroom.  All natural.

I wonder sometimes if people think of my birth story with my daughter as sort of a redemption from what the birth of my son was like.  But I don't think that way at all.

I don't dwell on what could have been because there is simply nothing I can do about it.  It was what it was and it's over.  It doesn't take a piece of me because the whole of me is right in front of me, and that is my son.

Even though I don't dwell on my son's labor and delivery, it wasn't my ideal birth. There was something I could learn from it.  When I got pregnant with my daughter I told my husband I wanted the home birth this time.   We googled home birth midwives in our area and interviewed and picked the only one we looked at.  I know now that God lead us there as we were prayerfully considering the home birth.

What I learned

Trust your midwife (or OB)

My home birth midwife had delivered over 2000 babies before me.  She knows almost everything.  That was very important to me when I selected her.  She also knew a lot of the reasons my first labor went the way that it did.  We were able to troubleshoot so that I wasn't having the same long labor again with coupling contractions and stalls.

Trust your body
During my first labor I constantly wanted to be on my hands and knees.  Looking back, I wanted to be that way to keep my son from flipping.  When I was home birthing my daughter, I didn't fight the urge, I was in that position almost the whole time.  I even had my daughter in that position.  My labor was shorter and I didn't have those coupling contractions.

Learn from your experience
Don't be ashamed about your birth experience.  It may not have been what you wanted, but you can come closer to ideal if you change a couple things by learning from last time.  And you don't have to want a home birth to be an awesome Mom.  You are an awesome Mom because you are a Mom.  Don't forget that. You are what you believe. 

There are things that I would do different next time, too.  It will probably always be like that for me because I read something new.  Or change my thoughts from my previous experience.  And there are things that I choose not to think about anymore because I just don't want to.

Are there still things haunting you from your previous birth experience?  What has helped you let them go?  What did you learn from it?



Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon June 12 with all the carnival links.)


Lisa C said...

Yes, there are things that haunt me about my birth experience. I was completely traumatized by it. But through writing and talking and thinking about it, and then trying to get my body ready for the next one, I've realized bit by bit what had made the experience so traumatic. It wasn't just that I didn't get the natural birth I so desperately wanted, but that I felt completely powerless. I felt like a victim. A victim of a system I didn't trust.

I'm not sure how to get around that system, since I may have to utilize it again. I feel much more empowered than I did last time because I have a lot more knowledge, and because I've been able to take control of my health. I also now have a few years experience under my belt of advocating for my son and listening to my motherly intuition, when I did not have that experience before. I trust myself more now.

So, even though I still dream (literally) of a peaceful, natural birth, I realize it's possible that I won't get it. But as long as I am prayerful, listen to my body and intuition and any guidance God gives me, and make sure I take control instead of allowing myself to be a victim again, then whatever happens, I don't think I'll be traumatized again.

Cassie said...

It's terrible to have such a horrible birth experience. But awesome you know what to do next time!

Emily said...

Thank you for sharing your experience! I tore really badly with my first daughter (born without intervention at an independent birth center). I'm worried about tearing again with our next baby due in December. But, like you said, I learned from that experience and we're working with our midwife to avoid a repeat tear. I know that I can birth my baby!

Dionna @ Code Name: Mama said...

There are things that haunt me about my first birth in particular. While there is nothing I can change about that birth, I did choose to learn and change the way I prepared for my second birth. I try not to dwell on anything negative about my first birth - in the end, I had a beautiful child and I was empowered for surviving a labor marathon!

megan said...

So, so true. Dwelling on what you *wished* had happened can be discouraging! This is such a great topic, because birth is so personal, and we feel that we might be judged according to the births we have, even if it was out of our control.

stoneageparent said...

hanks for sharing with us a little about the experience of your two very different births. I had a similar birth with my son, ended up with a caesarian, but it has made me stronger to try for a home birth next time around. Reading stories such as yours inspires me with confidence that it is possible to have a home birth after a difficult birth first time around.
I've shared my experience of labour and birth with my son on my site www.stoneageparenting.com

Lauren @ Hobo Mama said...

I had a similar progression, and while the second birth was healing in many ways, I also don't want to think of it as negating the first birth and what I learned and experienced through it. As others have said, though, I think stories like yours give hope to people who've had one challenging birth and are wanting to try for something different the next time.

About trusting your body, my midwife said that women instinctively get into the best position for them to labor and birth, and she's learned not to question it, even if it seems awkward to her. She's seen women birth in ways that have protected a baby from a short cord, or helped a baby turn. That gave me so much confidence during my birth to get into whatever position felt exactly right just then, and the birth went very smoothly.

Andrea @ talesofgoodness said...

Like you, I'm not really bothered by my highly interventionist first birth. I agree that we just need to take things as they come. We sometimes put so much pressure on ourselves. Thanks for sharing this.

Alinka @ Baby Web said...

Trust your body - thank you - I definitely will when I give birth to my first baby next month!

Alinka @ Baby Web said...

Trust your body - thank you - I definitely will when I give birth to my first baby next month!

Chantal said...

Hi! I stumbled upon your blog and I have to say, this is a great post. My all-natural birth quickly changed to a semi-scheduled c-section because of a breech baby and no one available to deliver that way. I am going to do a VBAC with the next and I'm wrestling with possibly doing a home birth, and the fear of it because of the VBAC. Thanks for the links!!

Crunchy Con Mommy said...

Hey, besides not blogging basically ever I was also a slacker at replying to your nice comment! Anyway, feel free to e-mail me or send me a DM on twitter anytime if you wanna chat about baby stuff!! I'm super excited and hoping for a VBAC.