Competative childbirth

(230 Posts)
FrameyMcFrame Mon 04-Mar-13 18:47:32

All my births have been horrendous, back to back and lots of things went wrong. I won't bore you with the details and it's all a long time ago now. I'm over it now, apart from the permanent physical damage that was a side effect. sad
Friend has just had her 1st baby and it all went perfectly and according to plan, all great and I'm so happy for her.

Apart from she has been keen to tell me that if I had done X,Y and Z then I also could have had a perfect birth too. I don't think it's as easy as that, everyone is different and each birth is different. Just because all that worked for her doesn't mean it would have helped at all in my circumstances...

I'm glad she had a good birth but I don't want to feel like my traumatic births were my fault because I didn't do my homework or watch the right DVDs...
Birth is only the start of parenthood, it's not that important, why do some people want to make such a big deal of it?

Am I being a jealous cow? AIBU to feel sad about this?

neighbourhoodwitch Tue 12-Mar-13 18:54:00

Silly woman she is. Try and ignore. Maybe it will be different for her next birth (not that I would ever wish extreme stress on anybody...) I mean only in the sense that she might learn from it.

MrsMoppetMama Tue 12-Mar-13 18:45:31

Ignore her.
I had a crappy time in birth but don't think there is anything I could have done to make it easier - it was just the way it was. We're thinking of TTC again soon and the memory of my first labour is one of the reasons we keep putting it off! In the end there is nothing that you could have done and thats that!

Chunderella Tue 12-Mar-13 18:30:05

It sounds like Red and Icbineg are pretty much saying the same thing, just using different descriptors. A woman's experience in childbirth will be influenced by a number of factors, most of which she can't control, many of which she may not even know about and which can't simply be fobbed off as resulting from unnecessary intervention. You can call this luck, chance or something else.

Amber, if you come back I've got a couple of questions for you. Do you think women who birth unattended in rural Niger and sustain fistulas have traumatic births because of too much intervention? And can you tell us when you'll qualify and what area of the country you plan to practice in? I can't be the only one who'd do everything possible to avoid being under your care in labour.

RedToothBrush Tue 12-Mar-13 13:55:33

But when you decided to have sex is down to luck. That particular sperm is only in that position at the right time to even have a fighting chance because you decided not to watch that movie that night and get an early night instead.

Luck. Pure luck.

ICBINEG Tue 12-Mar-13 13:33:44

huh? Are you saying that you hypothesis is that all babies made by the same couple are the same?

Not even the activities of sperm are down to luck...they have their own deterministic behaviours....

RedToothBrush Tue 12-Mar-13 13:29:07

It is luck, if the same woman can give birth without problems one time but not another with the same partner.

Its simply luck that determines which genes from each partner, that you get. Its luck that that sperm hit that egg at that time.

Its luck that you were created in the same way and had the genetic make up you do that give you the pelvis you have.

ICBINEG Tue 12-Mar-13 12:34:03

Actually I agree that it isn't luck.

It is genetics and circumstance.

If your baby is positioned badly, this is due to the combined genetics and the exact size and shape of your baby/bump. It is deterministic in that if we had an accurate enough model of your insides and your baby (as well as your pain threshold and tolerance levels) we could predict exactly what sort of birth you would have, and what sort of interventions you would need.

It only looks like chance because we can't currently measure accurately all of the relevant variables.

However very few of said variables are subject to meaningful alteration by the mother. You can't change your pelvis, or your baby's dimensions, or preference for orientation. You can't change your pain tolerance. You can dick around with breathing exercises, and try different positions during labour, you can try stretching your fanjo but none of things will make significant differences.

So it isn't luck or chance but it also isn't something you are likely to be able to change.

The take home message is that you aren't responsible for a great birth or a horrible birth. Factors outside of your control are far more important than the piffling things you can influence in determining your birth experience.

hamdangle Tue 12-Mar-13 11:10:02

Dylan, don't feel guilty! I don't know where this ridiculous idea came from that if you had a difficult birth it's somehow your 'fault'. If men gave birth they would all have epidural a or c sections and would suffer none of this guilt!

I had a horrific but 'natural' birth with DS1. Pushed for ages, back to back, no epidural and no stitches. 8lb 5 baby. Oh and I was 17. 16 years on felt really positive about second birth. I did it the first time, right? I had a biig baby then and still no stitches and now I'm a real adult and had mentally prepared better so it had to be easier. Every midwife I met said second would be easier too. Well, I pushed for three hours and the head was still up in the back of beyond. I had a mobile epidural but it never worked. The midwife said to keep pushing and she'd check again in another three hours!!! In the end I had full epidural, prepped for c section but forceps instead, lots of lovely stitches. .

I could feel bad about the whole experience but I have a healthy baby and it made me realise that anyone who makes you feel bad because they had a lovely birth and just 'breathed it out' is a dick. Every woman is different and every birth is too. Just because it went well once doesn't mean something might not go wrong. Some women seem to find birth easier but some of it is just luck!

Dylan are there any mum and baby groups you can go to? At my group we have all shared our horror stories and everyone is very supportive. Hearing everyone else's problems helps to put it in perspective too.

EATmum - I covered all bases as far as I could from my experience and knowledge in birth plan 1 (DD) and did the same, but with more and different knowledge and experience, for birth plan 2 (DS) One thing I really wanted with birth two was to have a long cuddle and give him his first feed straight away, and not have him whisked off to be weighed for a good while, as DD had been.

EATmum Tue 12-Mar-13 09:50:47

I'd also echo others' comments about a birth plan. I think they make us feel we should achieve something we've somehow 'planned', and then when something completely different happens, even if the outcome is good, we feel we've somehow failed. Birth plan for DD1 was detailed and thoughtful re music, lighting (did I think I was directing a play??) Neither of the subsequent births had anything written down, just an urgent direction from me that if I needed it, I wanted an epidural to be available. I wonder how many people write a plan for a second or subsequent birth, unless there are specific medical or personal reasons for it?

HiggsBoson Tue 12-Mar-13 09:34:04

...no such thing as luck...

hmm

My friend had two relatively pain free 6 hour labours with no intervention.

DD was upside down (frank breech) and no one knew until I was 10 cm (which I managed with g&a despite being delirious with pain due to DD's positioning). MWs and doctors said they weren't prepared to deliver naturally and I was whipped in for emcs.

...but I wasn't unlucky.

hmm and hmm again.

Haven't read whole thread but I think I get the gist ..... and just wanted to say did anyone else see "Call the Midwife" the other day where Miranda did such a fab job of telling us Chummy's story .... where the survival of her baby and her opening her eyes to see him snuggling next to her, and saying "Hello little bean" (under a lovely Wooley Hug style blankie knitted by nuns and midwives together) - anyway where story was told as the wonderful, celebratory, triumph that it was, following a crisis during the birth (placental abruption I think ?)
Anyone who's had a difficult labour should watch that - it was quite wonderful smile

exoticfruits Tue 12-Mar-13 09:32:25

Rest assured Dylan that if you tell your teenage DD that you 'failed' she will look at you as if your are nutty! The only time she will be interested is if she has her own baby and then she will be full of respect that you managed a difficult birth. Think of it this way, anyone can manage to use what they learn if the going is good-the real successes are those who manage when things go wrong and it isn't straight forward. They are the ones I have real respect for and listen to with awe.

exoticfruits Tue 12-Mar-13 09:27:50

The good thing is that as your DC gets older no one talks about the birth-it is a phase- like whose DC crawled first, what colour reading book band your DC is on etc. When the DC gets to about 7 yrs they realise that the DC is their own person and not a personal project!

Dylanlovesbaez Tue 12-Mar-13 09:27:32

Thank you. Do you know what it weird though, it's only afterwards I feel like this. I actually really enjoyed the whole experience! Thanks for support.
Sorry for hijacking op-yanbu!

Crawling Tue 12-Mar-13 09:22:28

I wanted to talk about my births they were not textbook all 3 were back to back and very long but I had very little pain relief no stitches and I consider them good births.

But if I ever talk about them I am talked over and dismissed by other women with she just pops them out. Also they constantly give me dirty looks for dating to say I had a good birth. I personally find the competitiveness is usually about who had the hardest birth.

exoticfruits Tue 12-Mar-13 09:21:48

This is the whole danger Dylan and why I am so against people making elaborate birth plans, as if the most important thing is to give them a wonderful experience, as if they are planning a wedding, perfect holiday etc. It is down to nature, and nature isn't under control and won't just happen to go the way that you desire -unless you are lucky.
The most important thing is a healthy mother and baby at the end of it.
People build it up in their mind and then they are disappointed, or distraught, if it didn't go according to plan and they think they 'failed'. To a lesser extent you get the same with other events- e.g. all the threads on here about Mother's Day and all the angst that went with it! I had a perfectly nice day-they all remembered as it happened -but it would have been no big deal if they hadn't. It is one day in the year-it is how you get on the rest that counts.
Birth is the same-it is one day in your child's life. I wouldn't have wished a difficult birth on my mother, but I really couldn't care less how I came into the world as long as we were both healthy. It would blight my life much more if she kept harking back to an event that I can't remember, or if she had let me down when I was 5yrs, 10yrs or 15yrs etc. Motherhood is about much more than the birth.
There is no harm in mothers feeling proud that they managed the breathing-but really it was just luck (or chance, for those who don't like the word luck),and had they had the difficulties you had had Dylan they wouldn't not have been able to control it all by the right breathing. (and she has yet to prove she is a wonderful mummy-over the next x amount of years!!!)
You are not a failure. My DS3 had terrible colic and he was born so quickly that by the time the midwife examined me I said 'can I push?' she said 'yes' and that was it! All 3 took 2 years to sleep through the night and they were all easy, completely natural births. Stop being hard on yourself. Those who think it was down to them were lucky-they aided the luck by being prepared- but they never needed to be prepared for the worst.

Contradictionincarnate Tue 12-Mar-13 09:21:22

oh and Dylan so sorry to hear that sure there is support on mn for you somewhere and someone better than me will come along to tell you where!
as a ps when I was younger if I ever talked about birth with my friends it was the ones that had the complications that were fascinating... and would have us sat listening with open mouths they always sounded much more of a miracle!
every baby is a miracle anyway though and as op said doesn't really matter how they got here!

BearFrills Tue 12-Mar-13 09:18:41

Dylan, I'm so sorry you feel like you failed sad

You didn't, you really, really didn't. Ultimately the goal of pregnancy is to produce a baby at the end and you did that. I know that doesn't help you with how you're feeling and emotions are more complex than that.

The childbirth boards here are excellent as well as the postnatal support threads. For real life support contact the hospital where you delivered and tell them you'd like to chat about the birth, they should have a birth reflections service and a midwife will go through your notes with you 1-2-1 so you can see exactly what happens and why. Your GP also or HV will be able to refer you to a counselor.

I hope you find some peace soon x

Contradictionincarnate Tue 12-Mar-13 09:16:01

you are not being unreasonable ... I had a natural birth ...I think I was lucky and would never assume that a mum who didn't have one was something she could have changed!

Dylanlovesbaez Tue 12-Mar-13 09:13:35

Amber socks what utter bullshit! I had absolutely no intervention until completely necessary and it was very necessary, without it I'm sure dd and I could have died.

Dylanlovesbaez Tue 12-Mar-13 09:02:32

Sorry, I know I've just rambled. I need to share my birth story, where can I do this? I need to get it out. Dp is fantastic and supportive but I need to share. Just have overwhelming urge to do so.

Dylanlovesbaez Tue 12-Mar-13 08:59:52

I'm so pleased to read others experiences.
I had a traumatic birth 10 months ago which I still can't even think about without crying. Dd was perfectly fine and healthy and not affected by it at all but I was and I feel guilty for being selfish when I should be grateful.
I wish I hadn't read anything, I wish I hadn't gone to the antenatal yoga where the woman leading told us all that there are too many interventions, you don't need them, you can breathe your baby out yadda yadda yadda! I had a birth plan, I read the hypno birthing books, I wasn't scared, I wasn't in pain but I failed miserably to birth my baby naturally. I tried talking about it but was told I should just be happy dd was fine which I am but there's always that thought in my head that I'm a failure and that her birth led to some issues.
Did she have colic because of her birth? Does she not sleep because of her birth? Did my milk come in late as a result? Am I getting pelvis pain because of it? Sorry, so many questions and a rambling post.
I cry when I read/hear about water births, breathing baby out.
I've removed myself from the antenatal yoga group on Facebook, I used to love the birth announcements but its always '..... Born naturally to a wonderful mummy who obviously put her breathing to good use,
So did I but my body didn't work. I didn't want an epidural but I had no choice. My baby would not have been born without intervention, believe me I tried, I tried so bloody hard and it didn't hapoen. Sorry.

PurpleStorm Tue 12-Mar-13 08:42:42

I'd also love to see evidence backing up Amber's assertation that most traumatic births stem from unnecessary intervention. And also a definition of what Amber considers unnecessary intervention is.

exoticfruits Tue 12-Mar-13 07:05:24

I agree with chickenyhead- every woman is different and the last thing that you want is a midwife set in that she thinks is 'right'. What is an unnecessary intervention to her may well be necessary to the mother - everyone needs to keep an open mind. I was like EATmum, I said that my mind was open but actually it was firmly closed- I wanted a natural birth. One of the reasons that I wouldn't waste time with a birth plan is that you can't know in advance. As it was by the time I was asked if I wanted pain relief I said 'yes, anything!' As it transpired I was too late for anything except gas and air.
I believe that the medical profession are there to help- not that they set out to be obstructive!
The aim is to get a healthy baby out and then, as EATmum says- the real job starts.
Some people get so caught up with the birth- the woman that I mentioned earlier who wrote a whole embarrassing blog of the birth on her DDs 15th birthday was still bemoaning the fact that she didn't have a good birth with the 13yr old and that based on what she knows now she wouldn't have had medical intervention- it doesn't seem to dawn on her that she and the DD might not be here without it- or that 13 years down the line it doesn't matter. If I was her DDs I would want to keep her well away if pregnant- she has so many opinions on it - it would be very difficult to keep her at arms length and say ' I'm not having a birth plan- and I shall just go with the flow'.

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