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how do you feel about having never experienced labour and giving birth?

(58 Posts)
orsettorusso Mon 16-Dec-13 14:26:34

In 4 months I will give birth to twins. It seems likely that they will be delivered by ElCS, as my first child was, due to breech presentation, and I'm pretty sure I won't have any more children. So I tell myself: "all these children and I will never have experienced the pain and joy of giving birth vaginally", which for me will be a huge regret on my deathbed. Even before I conceived the first one, I dreamt of having a home birth, and although I am at peace with the fact that I will never have one, I'm still thinking: "perhaps I could still try this time around for VBAC with twins?". The healthcare professionals at my hospital, as well as my partner and close family are against it, plus I have a very bad relationship with doctors anyway and there would be a huge amount of extra practical preparations and unknowns to worry about.
Like any mother, my priority is to have two healthy babies, and I would choose to have an ElSC as I would never put their health at risk because of my own fixation on a VBAC. But...I tell myself: what if I could protect their health and give myself the joy of giving birth naturally?

Ultimately, I appreciate it is my decision, but I'm looking for other people's stories of being in a similar situation.
What did you tell yourselves to accept that you didn't have the birth you always wanted?

what did you do in the end?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

applejacket Mon 16-Dec-13 14:34:27

aww i am sorry you feel like this OP flowers

i am pg with dc3 and will have a section. i had elcs with the other 2 as well as i didn't want to have a vaginal birth, for lots of reasons

and i have to say i don't feel i have missed out at all, particularly with some of the awful v-birth stories i have heard on here and amongst my friends

my cs's were great, positive experiences. honestly it does not matter how you give birth as long as mum and baby / s are safe and healthy

Mabelandrose Mon 16-Dec-13 14:39:38

I can understand. It's something most women wish to experience. I think it's a very normal feeling so don't be too hard on yourself.

Best of luck which ever way you choose!

Aquariusgirl86 Mon 16-Dec-13 14:45:23

I understand, and despite giving birth vaginally to both my babies one was vontouse and the other forceps, so I don't feel like I've done it properly which I know sounds silly. I was told baby 3 should probably be a section but would be my choice. It's a hard choice but like you say ultimately healthy children is the outcome you want. Can't really offer any advice but just say I know where you are coming from grin

MolotovCocktail Mon 16-Dec-13 14:51:26

I'm sorry to read that you feel this way, OP thanks

I think however, that you need perspective. You have had one baby safely and the odds are that your twins will be delivered safely into your arms, too.

You are incredibly fortunate to be able to conceive and carry the babies you have to term.

If you can't help yourself out of thw very negative thoughts you're having, perhaps you could ask to see an ante-natal counsellor?

Good luck, and I wish you a happy birth for you and your twins.

MolotovCocktail Mon 16-Dec-13 14:53:38

* The desire to labour and deliver vaginally isn't the negativity I was referring to. It was the OPs 'regrets and deathbed' comment.

givemeaclue Mon 16-Dec-13 14:57:23

Didn't bother me in slightest. Why would it? Who cares how they get here a safe delivery is all that matters. But I had years of ivf , to have children was a dream come true I couldn't have cared how they came future, not important Lu,u health babies.

givemeaclue Mon 16-Dec-13 14:58:43

Why is giving birth "naturally" a joy? Is it not the end result that is the joy, hours of pain is not a joyful experience

MrsSpencerReid Mon 16-Dec-13 14:59:08

DS was an emergency section, I wasn't in labour and I'm hoping this one will be an elective section. I'm not at all bothered that I won't have done it 'properly'. I have a beautiful healthy son, no one else cares how he made his exit!!
The only worry I have is a ctg I had the other day showed a period of regular 'tightenings' never having had a contraction how am I supposed to know if I start having them?! But then I guess first time mums could say the same thing!

bevbennett100 Mon 16-Dec-13 15:03:42

I really don't think you'll care about how you gave birth once you meet your babies. You will be so stuck by how utterly adorable they are. Plus your mind will be so busy questioning how you keep them happy, keep them safe, raise them to be contented adults.

The birth is a really big deal before you've had your baby, but as soon as they are there with you it will fade into almost insignificance. You will be far to busy caring and bringing up your new additions to worry about how they actually made their appearance.

Tomkat79 Mon 16-Dec-13 15:07:55

OP may I suggest that you light a candle, get naked and squat over the flame TWICE.....coz that it what you are missing out on fwink

MidnightRose Mon 16-Dec-13 15:11:41

I think its normal to feel that way. Giving birth can be a massive thing that people give lots of thought to before they have a baby and for it to not go the way expected can be hard to deal with. I personally did have a vb which was actually a great experience but me and my baby were very sick afterwards and spent a long time in hospital and feel the same way about those early weeks, snuggling and bonding on the sofa that I missed out on. In the end I got a healthy baby which ultimately is the main thing.

pingulingo Mon 16-Dec-13 15:11:59

I am curious to know how I would have coped with a natural birth. But I only occasionally think of that. I'm mostly just overwhelmingly thankful that after one emergency section and one elective ( for a prem baby) that all three of us are here safe and well. Looking back It could have very easily been a lot worse - I dwell on that more

tinsletits Mon 16-Dec-13 15:16:51

I have had 3 elcs and 1 emergency cs. First one was after a largely uneventful labour. All 3 elcs were a wonderful and special experience with nil stress and fab recoveries. Personally I feel lucky to have had positive experiences regardless of mode of delivery. Please don't think of missing out, think of the positives of elcs.

Rosencrantz Mon 16-Dec-13 15:20:01

Completely agree with givemeaclue.

Ripping my fanny to shreds wasn't a joy. My children are.

SolitudeSometimesIs Mon 16-Dec-13 15:27:18

Heading for CS number 2 here myself and I in no way feel like I've missed out. Although I can see what you mean. We are sort of persuaded and convinced throughout our lives that vaginal birth is "better", even in antenatal class the majority of time is spent on preparing for VB and the recovery afterwards, a small proportion of time was spent on CS. It can have quite a depressing effect if you feel like you've "failed" by not experiencing it.

I would have died, as would DS if I hadn't had a CS. But one of the first comments from a "friend" was "Oh, were you too posh to push" along with head tilt and smug smile. Our friendship has never recovered.

Please don't feel like you've missed out. The birth is the bit before the hard work starts. As long as those babies and you are safe, well and healthy that is all that matters. I had dreams of pottering around, managing the pain stoically with a TENS machine (in reality I would have been a howling banshee), it didn't happen. I didn't have a choice that DS's birth ended in CS but at the end of the day, I have my son.

lizziekal Mon 16-Dec-13 15:28:20

I can't speak from previous experience as I'm a first-timer but because of a couple of issues which render me high-risk the subject of an ELCS has been raised by my care team. I honestly can't imagine I will be having future pregnancies (it's taken me 14 years to get here) and so this may well be my one and only chance at birth, as such the idea that I may not go through labour and vaginal birth does make me rather sad. I'm of an age when I have heard a large variety of horror stories concerning both vaginal birth and caesereans (both emergency and elective) and I am under no illusions about the pain and risks associated with both but, call me an old yoga-teaching, hippy (I confess), I do regard vaginal birth as something of a rite of passage.
Yes, the most important thing is that both mother and baby are okay, and yes I appreciate that there are a number of perfectly valid reasons why some women opt for an ELCS and I believe that it is their right to give birth as they see fit. BUT for me I would like the chance to go through the physical process of vaginal birth, in a sense I want to see what my body is capable of and how I respond to the process.

ovenbun Mon 16-Dec-13 15:35:50

As long as my baby arrives safely, I will feel hugely lucky. My birth plan is ' Hopeful outcome: healthy baby, healthy mum Method: Do what you need to do.'

I think huge emphasis is placed on vaginal birth and it is great for those that are able to deliver that way safely, but I also thank my lucky stars for c sections which save many babies and mums lives.

It's sad that you feel this is something you will regret on your deathbed, as you will have wonderful babies to cherish. If you are worried about the health implications of csection please do speak to your consultant, they will be happy to explain exactly why they feel this is the safest way to deliver your twins and what the benefits and risks are. Try not to see it as anyone being 'against' you...it's more likely they are trying to do things the safest way for you and your babies. There are lots of organisations about who can offer support to talk about birth experiences if you have some sadness about your last delivery, wishing you a healthy pregnancy xxx

Steben Mon 16-Dec-13 15:38:37

I experienced a natural labour that ended in a EMCS - the 28 hour ordeal that preceded the birth was a painful and frightening time (and I think unnecessary as it was clear DD would never have come out the natural route). My second baby was an ELCS which could not have been a more lovely, calm experience. I have had several people ask if I feel cheated and my answer is an unequivocal no. You are no less of a woman, or a mother because you have delivered by c section.

ThurlHoHoHow Mon 16-Dec-13 15:39:05

I think part of it at the moment is a bit of a fetishisation of natural birth. All this hypno, waterbirthing stuff - it's great, and if it works for someone then wonderful, but it there becomes this undercurrent of selling a vaginal birth as a wonderful, natural, feminine experiences that will complete you as a woman.

I'm sure for some women giving birth vaginally is a wonderful and empowering experience. But for others it will just be horrifically painful.

There's also this idea of birth plans (and I do believe this ties in with the current popularity of hypnobirthing) and the idea that if you just focus, and work hard enough, then you can have a good vaginal delivery. Which is sadly bollocks. I don't mean to sound against hypnobirthing, with hindsight I think I should have tried it as it sounds a fantastic way of managing the pain, but it does not mean you have any control over the dozens of things that can happen during labour which will effect the way you can give birth.

I had 2 days of labour followed by an emcs. I will be pushing for a elcs if I have any more DC. The contractions I had were more than enough for me, thank you, I have no desire to experience them getting worse grin

I'm sorry you feel disappointed, OP, but as much as a cs is an uncomfortable experience to recover from, a vaginal birth is no walk in the park either.

msmoss Mon 16-Dec-13 15:51:33

It's perfectly reasonable to feel this way. I don't really get why some women are so disparaging about women who want to experience labour and vaginal birth. I was really curious about the whole process and excited to find out what it was all about. I also wanted a healthy baby these two desires are not mutually exclusive!

Biffle Mon 16-Dec-13 17:03:17

I have to say I understand completely where you are coming from op. I have had one emcs and one elcs (due to age gap and severe spd) and I am determined to try for a vbac unless there are complications leading up to the birth that will put either me or the lo at risk. I laboured for 27 hrs with DD1 and still feel like I have been robbed. I am under no illusion that it will be the single most painful experience of my life but it just doesn't feel right to have my babies surgically removed from me and handed over. Obviously only my opinion but a strong one

VJONES1985 Mon 16-Dec-13 17:11:05

My ideal birth would be in water but as a type one diabetic who will most likely be induced and have a c-section, I would be disappointed if it ended up like that. I want to experience childbirth, no matter how awful some people say it is.

However, I do understand that of course the health of baby and mum must come first and I am sure I will put my faith in the professionals at the time

SignoraStronza Mon 16-Dec-13 17:19:54

I did umh and ah about whether or not to go for vbac with dc2, but eventually opted for an elcs instead. If/when I have dc3 I'll go straight for elcs and get sterilised at the same time (dh refuses vasectomy -don't ask!).

I did have some regrets, especially as sil banged on about her amazing drug free waterbirth about the same time I was trying to reach dc2 decision, but now am quite pleased I've never had to go through it to be honest. I did 36 hours of induced labour with dc1 and feel I did my bit. Don't feel any less womanly because I haven't squeezed a baby out my fanjo (or at least dh doesn't think I dogrin ).

nooka Mon 16-Dec-13 17:28:03

I understand where the OP is coming from as I felt that way about my first birth, which was planned as an at home water birth, but became an emergency c-section because of ds's position. I had no labour at all with him, no contractions or anything, my waters broken, they were stained, we went to hospital were (eventually) scanned and he was transverse oblique, so 30 mins later out he came. It wasn't a bad experience, just not the one I had in mind.

16mths later with dd I asked for a VBAC so I could do it 'properly' six hours induced labour and I begged for a c-section! I'd never do that again!

The fact is that me whilst my womb conceives and grows babies very effectively it's no good at getting them out (with dd my waters also broke with no contractions) and so I missed the natural birth experience I wanted. I think that pushed me to make a non optimal decision re syntocin, and I regret that really, I could have gone straight for a c-section and avoided a painful and frightening birth which also damaged my relationship with dh.

Anyway to answer the other bit of the OP's question it's almost 15 years since I had ds and I don't think about the birth of either of my children except in passing. I certainly don't anticipate dwelling on my 'failure' on my deathbed. I think it can become very important when you are coming up to giving birth, but give it a few years and it really won't be as defining. Plus in reality very very few people have birthing experiences that they would describe as joyful (thinking about the process not the outcome)

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