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how do you feel about having never experienced labour and giving birth?(58 Posts)
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.
I too am sorry you feel this way.
I had a natural VB for my third - no epidural, no gas and air, not even a damned paracetomol and just a bouncy ball for company.
There was no joy involved. It was horrendous and I am not yet over it.
My biggest regret was not pushing for a CS.
The joy of holding my son however...
Please give yourself a break. Yes there are some women for whom a natural birth is empowering/an achievement BUT there are also many who
have PTSD having been through it.
I wish you the joy of healthy children in your arms who you have carried and protected for 9 months.
I've had 1 emcs, 1 elcs and am due another elcs in 6 months. No part of me longs to give birth naturally. I'm far more focused on how I will cope with the baby itself once it's here!
I can understand how you feel op - I had an elcs for my first (she was breech) and this time round was desperate for a vbac. I hated feeling that dd's birth was essentially done by other people, the clinical nature of it, not being able to hold dd straight away...
I was very lucky and had a straightforward vbac this time - but if I'm completely honest the best thing about it is the recovery. I'm glad I've had the experience but it's made me realise that it's all just a means to an end - i feel no differently about ds than I did with dd, the bondibg's been the same.
Something that helped me come to terms with my elcs first time round was acknowledging that I was being brave for going through the thing I feared most, and putting my baby's health above my own desires. Having had both ways, the elcs was harder emotionally and physically for me, the recovery sucks, I get annoyed when people call it an easy option. I agree with the other poster who said that it's not a choice of cs/vb but of cs/danger to baby, just try to remember the reasons behind it. All the best.
msmoss and Biffle-
thank you for what you said...seeing my thoughts written down by someone else is reassuring...Sorry to hear that neither of you had the birth experience they wanted.
I actually saw my consultant today and had a good cry at home which both helped.
I had some very idealised ideas about "natural" birth before I actually did it too. I was very pro home birth, but wasn't brave enough to go for it so went to a nice midwife led unit, where I had a water birth.
It was easily the LEAST joyful experience of my life.
I coped with the pain with gas and air, but oh my word the contractions were worse than I could have imagined. The pushing stage was agony. I had a third degree tear.
My personal verdict: natural birth is terribly overrated. PLEASE don't regret this on your deathbed OP, the manner in which you give birth is so inconsequential.
My first child was born by forceps, I had an epidural so didn't feel the last bit of labour or the birth. My second child was born by ELCS after the trauma of the first. I did feel a tinge of regret and my body did feel like it wanted to push a baby out for a few days after.
It is now 14 years since the birth of my younger child and in the great scheme of things the births are relatively unimportant. I would have liked a quick, manageable labour and leave hospital next morning with BF established but it was not to be.
At the time of course the birth is of great importance. I kept the cot card, the umbilical clip etc from the first birth but have no idea even if I still have them. They are unimportant - I have two healthy teenagers and I am more concerned with getting them through education and into rewarding careers.
Physically I am approaching the menopause and can't believe I once had a young fit body! I have regrets about the births I had and no doubt if my daughters become mothers those may resurface, but you move on and find more important things to dwell on.
I understand how you feel. I had my twins by cs and I won't be having any more children, I do feel sad that I have two children yet have never even experienced a contraction. My section was necessary for the health of my babies and It was certainly the right thing to do. They are doing great now. But I found the birth and the first few weeks until I got them home quite traumatic. The most important thing is the health of your beautiful babies. Good luck.
The question in the title invites us to share our feelings.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
A healthy mom and a healthy baby is the only thing that matters.
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.
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.
I'm sorry to hear that you also had a disappointing birth experience.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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