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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.

Slainte Mon 16-Dec-13 17:32:55

Sorry you feel this way.

I really don't understand it though. I had an EMCS and really don't feel I've "missed out" in any way at all.

Spottybra Mon 16-Dec-13 17:36:43

I know a lot of people who had an ideal on their head about giving birth that was encouraged by the midwife and other advice. Only two of my friends had a straightforward birth. The rest of us had various complications wich lead to elcs, emergency cs or tears.

I had to be rushed into surgery for a 4th degree tear and blood loss. I needed 4 blood transfusions and a week in hospital.

I don't think you should worry about how your children come into the world, but be glad that they have their mum. Pregnancy and childbirth is apparently the biggest killer of women. I think that statistic was from the developing countries as we have more medical intervention here. But it makes you think.

KatAndKit Mon 16-Dec-13 17:58:48

Hopefully on your deathbed you will look back on your kids childhood and how you took care of them and raised them into fine young people.

birth is one single day in your life. Its what you do with the child over the next 20 years that actually matters.

louloutheshamed Mon 16-Dec-13 18:40:39

I had ds1 vaginally (catheterised for 2 days, labial and 2nd deg tears), I had ds3 by emcs due to placenta praevia (another 2 day hosp stay, and usual cs recovery).

So I have done it both ways, and they are both horrid. The only nice thing about both of them is the lovely baby at the end.

MyMILisfromHELL Mon 16-Dec-13 18:59:45

The posters who are saying that they 'don't see how giving birth naturally is such a joy' annoy me!

I had a fantastic natural birth. DS was 10lb. I had no grazes/tears. I coped brilliantly. It was euphoric and the best experience of my life so far.

My Dsis had 1 emcs and then a 1 elcs (they wouldn't give her a vbac for no particular reason) She wishes she had a natural birth & feels she missed out. BUT she is happy she's got two lovely, healthy DC. That is all the should matter to you OP, if your only option is CS, that your dc are happy and healthy.

I'm sorry to say I'm glad I had a natural birth. I cried from relief after the birth at my 'achievement'. However, I do realise it's not the be and end all. If I'd had to have had a CS, I'd just have to accept it. Sometimes having a CS is simply the safer option.

Rosencrantz Mon 16-Dec-13 19:01:59

MyMIL... I'm sorry that my painful, traumatic, horrid experience annoys you. I'll try harder to enjoy all the terrible things happening to me, and my ruined body, next time.

DolomitesDonkey Mon 16-Dec-13 19:06:14

I don't give a rat's arse. I wanted children, not a vaginal experience!

TweenageAngst Mon 16-Dec-13 19:09:13

What rozencrantz said. I hated just about every moment of giving birth and if I was mad enough to do it again it would be a section .

Shellywelly1973 Mon 16-Dec-13 19:19:29

I've given birth vaginally 5 times. First birth was a hideous medical experience ending up with a third degree tear& pph.

Dc 2&3 were pretty crap as well.

Dc 4 & 5 were water births. Dc 4 birth was amazing. Its a also hideously painful. Im no earth mother & im a raging control freak!

Currently expecting dc6 & she's breech. Im pretty keen on a cs this time. It really doesn't matter how they get out as long as you & baby are ok at the end of it all.

AlwaysOneMissing Mon 16-Dec-13 19:50:43

I went for VBAC with DC2 after a crash section with my first DC.
I was determined to have VBAC as I wanted the experience like you do.
It was straight forward and uncomplicated.
But it was still awful. And not an experience I am keen to repeat.
The crash section was much nicer!
So remind yourself that vaginal birth can be complicated, extremely painful, physically damaging and pretty traumatic all round.
I also agree with the pp who said that this seems a massive issue now but in the future it will seem pretty insignificant.

Filakia Mon 16-Dec-13 19:58:53

I had one emergency section and an elcs. I did labour the first time around but 'failed to progress', dc was massively overdue so i ended up having a section to save the baby. It was a bit touch and go but luckily dc1 was ok.

I was all into natural birthing and was bitterly disappointed by my 'birth experience'. However I managed to ebf dc1 which helped me feel like my body was able to do 'what it is supposed to do' after all.

I had a planned Caesarian for dc2 as I had a high risk pregnancy and baby was transverse.

I do sometimes feel sad when I hear about really good birth stories (as well as being happy for that person) but I have learned that there can be so many challenges being a parent that I try to focus on the good stuff.

It's a cliche but birth is only the beginning. Your ability to tune in with your children, to create a positive and supportive atmosphere at home, to look out for your dc and parent them to the best if your ability those things count and are in your hands (as opposed to being lucky to have straightforward birth).

CrispyFB Mon 16-Dec-13 19:59:48

I do totally understand. Obviously, obviously healthy mother and baby is most important, but just like with a marriage, that's not to say you don't want a lovely wedding that you had planned too. It's okay to feel disappointment.

I'm a little different from you in that I did get a natural birth with my first, but it was precipitous, early and I had a horrible midwife who made a lot of mistakes (with massive later repercussions) and shouted at me. There were countless other issues, all related to basically rubbish care. I longed for a do-over after that and promised myself I would get one with at least one of my future planned children.

It's not to be. This is DC4, and DC2 was an EMCS after the end result of my birth with DC1 meant I couldn't dilate, and due to the permanent stitch I have in as a result of the mess, I have to have ELCS as there's no other exit.

I'm okay about it most of the time, but sometimes when I hear others talking about their plans for the birth in my due date group I do feel jealous.

My way of dealing with it is to try and get back as much control over the ELCS as I can. Researching "natural"/"gentle" c-sections and seeing what I can get away with, trying to reclaim a little something.

orsettorusso Mon 16-Dec-13 20:46:58

Ovenbun- thank you for your good wishes and understanding. I'm actually going to see the consultant tomorrow, and we have already agreed she would debrief me on my previous ElCS to try to explain why my recovery was so slow. So I'm sure that will help making a decision.

orsettorusso Mon 16-Dec-13 21:03:46

KatandKIt-
you're first sentence made me cry, as what you said is so true! As others have said, perhaps I should just put this into perspective to help me cope.
CrispyFB-
thank you for your kind words. I've agreed with my midwife I could request certain things for my ElCS to make it a little bit more personalised. At the moment it seem really comforting.

I had a vaginal birth (not hoping to say natural as it felt anything but) and it was the most horrific experience of my life, it's really not all its cracked up to be!

Hard as it is you (and I for that matter) need to focus on our wonderful children, in the grand scheme of things how they left our bodies is probably one of the least important things in their lives

orsettorusso Mon 16-Dec-13 21:15:39

Filakia-
I am hoping to ebf and I will hire a bf consultant to help me do that. Your positive attitude is inspiring, I wouldn't want the rest of the family to be negatively affected by the stress caused by my decision to go for BVAC if it makes things more complicated. Thank you for helping me see things slightly differently.

orsettorusso Mon 16-Dec-13 21:24:58

MurderOfGoths-
I'm sorry to hear that you also had a disappointing birth experience.

neunundneunzigluftballons Mon 16-Dec-13 21:31:39

I totally understand OP my first was a section and I wanted and got a VBAC. At all times I like you looked to the bigger picture and the fact that while I might be disappointed but having healthy babies mattered more. Is it definite that a c section is a must if so then I recommend getting a hypnobirthing cd for sections from natal hypnotherapy they are great. It is also great that you are acknowledging your disappointment it will help you move on from it. Wishing you a very exciting time ahead.

crumpet Mon 16-Dec-13 21:40:11

OP I think perhaps you are looking at this from the wrong perspective: the choice for you happened to be CS/danger to you and you baby. Your choice was not vb/ CS.

With the twins, you'll need to be careful to understand which choice is available to you this time.

In times past you may not have survived your first birth and to now be expecting twins. Be grateful for what medicine has enabled you to have, and don't regret what medicine may not be able to provide.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 16-Dec-13 23:25:38

Who cares how the baby gets here?

Being able to grow and nurture a baby inside you is what is the amazing thing about pregnancy, not whether you can push it our your vagina or not.

I'm pregnant with my first baby and have to have an ELCS and I'm not in the least bit fussed - I certainly won't be full of regret on my death bed that I couldn't deliver vaginally hmm

A healthy mom and a healthy baby is the only thing that matters.

Relieved, frankly! grin

Seriously, I suppose it's a bit odd having two children without the whole being in labour story to tell, but trust me, I still felt like I'd 'given birth' after having a c-section, probably by the harder route as the recovery time is so much more.

I can see why you wouldn't want another section after a bad experience first time. My first was an EMCS and I had an awful time with a very slow recovery, it was horrendous. I wasn't so bothered that I'd not had a natural birth, but I was gutted that the experience had been spoilt by how ill and in pain I was afterwards.

Second time round I had an ELCS and it was worlds apart. I was back to normal in no time, barely any pain even the next day. It was so strange I kept expecting it to kick in any second! Maybe it was down to the skill of the surgeon, but several friends have said that their second section was so so much easier than the first one.

As long as you and your babies are safe and well, that really is all that counts when it comes down to it. Mind you I wanted to kill anyone who said that to me after my first birth experience so maybe I should show a bit more empathy here, sorry.

Hope all goes well for you.

SomethingOnce Tue 17-Dec-13 10:36:07

If your birth method turned out to be the main thing you have to regret on your deathbed, it'll have been a great life!

It's just a means to an end.

All the best, OP smile

choceyes Tue 17-Dec-13 10:45:23

I don't care one tiny bit how I give or gave birth.

I have been through labour, 27hrs of active labour plus 3 days before of latent labour. finally nothing doing and had an EMCS for DC1.

I had a ELCS for DC2 and it was wonderful, a truely happy and peaceful experience.
I would never want to go through labour again.
No way do I feel like I was robbed from a vaginal delivary. It's not something I ever think about.

Panzee Tue 17-Dec-13 10:49:05

I have had two ElCS for different reasons, neither of them choice particularly. I've never experienced one contraction.
I do feel wistful, but in a "I wish I'd visited the Maldives" way, not a huge regret.

BitScary Tue 17-Dec-13 11:03:02

Hm.

Don't really understand why people on this are trying to get you to ignore your strong sense of sadness about this. Maybe it seems irrational to them, but it doesn't to you, and ignoring it away won't help.

I had a vaginal birth with my first and it was a very straightforward birth, however, I had an epidural. I had desperately wanted an all-natural birth and for a long time felt sadness that I 'cheated' by having an epidural. During labour I was genuinely astonished and horrified by the level of pain I experienced. I had read up on hynobirthing and thought that it was all just about a positive mindset and staying calm.

If an all-natural birth never happens I'll be OK about it, because I truly know now what a risky enterprise this whole giving-birth thing is. But I'll still be a little bit sad because an all-natural birth is a unique life experience and I'd like to experience it. (However, many who have experienced it would say they wish they hadn't...) Not because it's morally superior in any way, or a woman's true destiny, or anything like that. Just...because.

It's fine to grieve about experiences we'll never have, even if they seem horribly self-indulgent. Because our feelings are our own and no-one else's. There's not one way a woman should feel about it because women are humans and humans are all different from each other. Sometimes I grieve for all those exciting trips across the world I'll never take in my relative youth now that I have DC, for example. Other people couldn't care less.

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