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Childbirth - Anyone NEVER doing it again? *Title Edited by MNHQ*

(324 Posts)
cheshiremama89 Sat 03-Mar-18 00:07:26

Childbirth that is...

Had DS a month ago tomorrow and the labour was the most horrendous experience I've ever been through.

Even my mum who has had 5 children described it as traumatic.

After a horrible birth, 4 days in hospital and a tough first month of self injecting, iron tabs, antibiotics, compression stockings and constipation I can quite safely say that I won't be doing it again.

Fave program used to be One Born Every Minute, now I can't bear the thought of it.

Thinking about the experience makes me very emotional and I'm looking forward to it being a distant memory.

Has anyone else felt the same? Gotten over it? Done it again?!?'

NotUmbongoUnchained Sat 03-Mar-18 00:10:19

Yep! I hated pregnancy, the birth was shit and she spent the first 3 weeks in the NICU.

But I went on to have DS a few years later because you really do forget about it and it does become a distant memory. Thankfully DS was straight forward.

ThisLittleKitty Sat 03-Mar-18 00:12:00

Probably best I don't. My last two were emergency c sections.

fc301 Sat 03-Mar-18 00:13:11

All my births were horrendous, but ultimately worth it. I have 3 children.

MoonlightKissed Sat 03-Mar-18 00:15:47

I have just one DC - always meant to have two, but hated pregnancy, was so miserable and so many problems.

Birth was totally off-plan, and things really weren't ideal, I was quite unwell for a bit afterwards.

And no, I didn't magically forget it all later on, as some say you do - hence I still only have the one DC, more than 10 years later! And with no plans to change that.

ijustwannadance Sat 03-Mar-18 00:17:17

It's shit isn't it. My first labour was ok.
This time it was awful. No one ever tells you the damage birth can do to your body either.

redbirdblackbird Sat 03-Mar-18 00:18:37

Your birth sounds very similar to my first. 😥😥 I had counselling for the trauma.
It took me 4 years to want another. I asked for and had a planned section which was s lovely, calm experience and so much easier to recover from.

deadringer Sat 03-Mar-18 00:19:05

My poor mum had 14 dc, 16 pregnancies , don't know how she did it.

colouringinagain Sat 03-Mar-18 00:19:09

I think many many women find childbirth truly shocking and sometimes NCT birthplace can set unrealistic expectations.

However some births are very traumatic both physically and emotionally.

Talk about it and how you feel. With your mum, with partner, with friends. Some hospitals offer a debriefing service which I'd recommend - you talk through the whole birth experience with a midwife or counsellor which can be helpful in understanding what happened and why.

You might also want to consider some counselling to help you come to terms with what has happened, and to help you bond with your baby despite that.

Yes you can get over it. I did, but it took time and support and the physical injuries sustained during my dc1 birth meant I requested an elcs with dc2. By comparison, both physically and mentally it was a complete walk in the park.

Take care, be kind to yourself and hang in there.

Readytopop12 Sat 03-Mar-18 00:20:53

I said never again after DC1... Now sat here feeding 5 day old DC2. My first labour was horrendous and wasn't as bad second time around (even tho both very similar labours, induction post term, baby back to back) but the difference was second time around I knew what to expect and how to help myself, what to ask the midwives to do etc, to make it easier. I knew about what I would be like post birth so had already got everything I needed ready, eg was taking lactulose from straight after the birth to prevent constipation as I'd suffered last time!

Give yourself time, it's only been a month, you may feel differently in a couple of years. And if not, that's fine, you are entitled to feel that way.

Comedyusername Sat 03-Mar-18 00:22:28

Child birth is pretty hideous - my first was traumatic, but the midwives were like yeah, pretty standard. I don't know anyone who would say it all went to plan, but then all being well you have a beautiful baby at the end of it.

Been through it twice now, even though I vowed never to do it again. You don't forget, but for me the memory fades round the edges.

DetectiveDog Sat 03-Mar-18 00:22:35

I didn’t like pregnancy and had a fairly awful birth, wasn’t keen on the newborn bit either! Definitely said I wasn’t doing it again but here I am pregnant with DC2. Took me 5 years to come round to idea though. Ultimately I want another child.

I have to say I haven’t magically forgotten it all either though, despite what my mum told me. It’s all still pretty clear in my mind.

All that said, if you don’t want to do it again, that’s absolutely right for you and don’t feel pressured by people.

I hope you start to feel better and enjoy things soon. It does get better by the way! The beginning is hard.

PickledLilly Sat 03-Mar-18 00:24:56

I had a very bad experience giving birth to my daughter but went on to have a son a few years later. Having a better (albeit still really fucking painful) experience second time around actually helped me massively and I feel like I’ve finally made peace with the bad experience I had first time. I don’t dwell on it anymore but I spent a few years quite traumatized by it. Looking back, I really think I should have sought counselling but I genuinely feel like I’ve got over it now. I really am never ever doing it again now though.

Witchend Sat 03-Mar-18 00:25:17

I said never again for about 2 years after dd1.

But dd2 and ds' were so much easier too.

Lana1234 Sat 03-Mar-18 00:27:44

I had DS 6 months ago. Very traumatic birth, poor after care and slow and painful recovery. Even though DS was worth it i would never do it again, the thought terrifies me

Happened Sat 03-Mar-18 00:28:05

I told my husband I wasn't ever having another, now she's 9 months old and I'm broody as anything 🤦‍♀️

cheshiremama89 Sat 03-Mar-18 00:28:23

Thanks everyone thanks

I feel lucky to have bonded with my baby after what we both went through, and so I'm very grateful for that.

At this point in time I cannot think of ever having another.

A baby shower gift was a beautiful book called "letters to my baby" the first page asks for birth details and it nearly gave me a panic attack writing it down.

I have my GP check up in a fortnight so I will bring it up then thanks

TheCaptainsCat Sat 03-Mar-18 00:28:31

As soon as I had my daughter I knew I'd do it again. Giving birth is shocking, women nowadays don't really have much to do with childbirth until they do it themselves, though I imagine this used to be different in the past. So yes, I found it shocking but not bad. I certainly wasn't traumatised by it.

Floralnomad Sat 03-Mar-18 00:30:44

Absolutely , horrendous first pregnancy (HG and miscarried twin) and traumatic birth resulting in blood transfusions and a head injury when I fainted in the toilet and bashed my head . Had a second after 6 yrs and requested a c section which was excellent .

ginch Sat 03-Mar-18 00:31:47

I knew I wanted 2 children and the first pregnancy and birth was so awful that it sort of ruined the new baby experience because I knew I had to do it again.

The second time around was a doddle, more or less.

PersonAtHome Sat 03-Mar-18 00:36:26

My first experience was awful, ended in an emergency C section but I bled a lot overnight and was discovered very pale and fading away the following morning. I had a blood transfusion and an operation to find the source of the bleed.

The whole thing left me in hospital for five days and I was very unwell for weeks afterwards. It took me a long time to recover and looking back I think I had post partum depression for a fairly long period.

I was quite traumatised by it and couldn't imagine having another one. A few years on I decided to have another child and birth two was completely different, I had a very calm and peaceful homebirth with an easy recovery.

PandaPieForTea Sat 03-Mar-18 00:36:41

I don’t know what you’ve been through, so apologies if this is unhelpful.

My DD2 wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t been guaranteed a CS for a second baby. DD1’s birth and recovery were awful and I couldn’t have inflicted a repeat on me or anyone. So I checked that I could get an ELCS and ended up also opting for private care for my second birth. Really glad I did as having DD2 has completed my family and I remember the feeling of elation a few weeks after having her. We also have a big age gap as it took ages before we could even consider number 2.

I’d say wait until you have a super cute toddler - that was what made me want a second DC. I just knew I wanted to do it all again.

On the other hand, we were really happy as just the three of us and I also understand why people stop at one. It wasn’t until I had DD1 that I realised that I hadn’t been yearning ‘to have children’ or to have the two in two years that made a standard family in my head, but ‘to be a mum’ and you are a mum as soon as you have one child. You aren’t any more a mum if you have multiple children.

theyoniwayisnorthwards Sat 03-Mar-18 00:38:11

My first birth was terrible too with an awful recovery, I think it was made worse by being unprepared for the shock of parenthood but mostly just bad luck. You do forget, the trauma fades and this time will be a blur.

My second birth was a dream with an easy and quick recovery and honestly I think it helped me recover psychologically from the experience of the first time around. You don't even have to think about number 2 right now, be gentle with yourself, try to find time for self care and ask for help if you need it. Best of luck, I promise it gets easier.

willsa Sat 03-Mar-18 00:40:20

My labour was 26h of pure painful hell ( I was convinced I will die from pain/heart attack ) only to have an Emergency section at the end of it. Recovery in hospital was awful, they totally did not care.
I could do another pregnancy but another child birth NEVER. Unless somebody could 100% guarantee that history would not repeat it self. I guess that leaves planned c-section as the only option if I would ever dare ( I don't think I will ).

LittlePaintBox Sat 03-Mar-18 00:48:32

I was quite traumatised after my first birth. Long labour led to forceps, I had way too much gas and air because of the time I was in labour, and my memories were almost like hallucinations. I also had PND, which made me feel very inadequate as a mother, from the birth onwards.

Eventually, though, I did want another baby. I won't say I forgot all about the first birth, but I did take more control over the second time - having been through it once enabled me to make different choices. The second birth was very much better.

But it's way too early to be thinking about another one now - be kind to yourself and give yourself lots of time to recover. Birth isn't that traumatic for everyone, but you're far from the only person to be left feeling like this.

PandaPieForTea Sat 03-Mar-18 00:51:05

I also recommend counselling following a traumatic birth. I was lucky to find a specialist perinatal counsellor. I may have had PTSD from birth (though a counsellor wouldn’t diagnose). The most useful things that my counsellor said were ‘it seems completely reasonable to feel like that, given what you went through’ and ‘I hear that from many mothers’. My counselling made me realise that the thoughts I had were a pretty reasonable and normal response to what I had experienced.

My experiences have made me determined to share them with others as most of what you see on social media is of parents being instantly besotted by their newborn babies and proud fathers saying how well their other halves did. I’m sure that’s the reality for some people, but it certainly wasn’t for me. Even now I get a bit of a pang when I see the phrase ‘mother and baby doing well’ as it took months for me to be doing well. But it has all turned out ok and I loved having DD1 so much that I did want another and she is every bit as great as her big sister.

TheOriginalEmu Sat 03-Mar-18 00:53:35

I felt the same for the first 2 months and then one day I woke up and was suddenly broody as hell. a year later the second one was born lol

pineapplesocks Sat 03-Mar-18 01:07:31

I sympathise op! I had an horrendous pregnancy. 9 months of hell which probably contributed to the bad PND after my DS was born, 3 years later and I'm still as traumatised by the whole thing and can't imagine doing it again! It makes me sad that DS will be an only one but I couldn't physically or mentally put myself through that again

sozzled Sat 03-Mar-18 01:08:30

I said 'never again' to begin with. I kept dwelling on the bad aspects of the birth but as I healed I started to put it behind me.

DD is 10 weeks now and I know I will do it again (assuming we're able to) - although I may go for ELCS next time.

colouringinagain Sat 03-Mar-18 01:11:15

panda I completely agree.

YouCantGetHereFromThere Sat 03-Mar-18 02:07:31

I still can't talk about DD2's birth without crying, and it was nearly 15 years ago.

I went on to have another baby, and the labour was quick and fine and actually very healing, and he was worth every minute of worry.

But yes, still haven't got over the awful time I had. I think sometimes you just don't.

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Sat 03-Mar-18 02:18:23

I was injured so badly the first time I was told I’m not allowed to have a vaginal birth ever again. I had more babies because I knew it would be a c-section (and my breach twins made sure of that anyway).

I haven’t forgotten all the pain and stress, and no, if I were allowed to I would never have a vaginal birth again. I don’t randomly burst into tears about it now, so I can say it does get easier.

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Sat 03-Mar-18 02:19:47

Sorry, youcan’t, my “does get easier” comment wasn’t directed at you. That sounds so horrible. flowers

LongWavyHair Sat 03-Mar-18 02:47:06

My second labour feels like a blur because it was so hard. I remember losing energy so they needed to attach me to a drip to get my energy levels back up. It was long and I was exhausted. I had a massive 3rd degree tear too.
He was a big baby at over 9lbs and was born a week early. I went on to have another baby two years later and his birth was an absolute dream. It was so chilled and he popped out in no time. When I gave birth to my first baby, it was very much the same. Both babies were smaller than my middle one.

bluescreen Sat 03-Mar-18 02:57:47

Dear God, I don't know how anyone could bear to undergo that again. I don't know how the human species survives, I really don't.

Microwavey Sat 03-Mar-18 03:01:58

I had a traumatic first birth including 3rd degree tear. I had an elective csection for my second child 4 years later and it was fantastic. It was a really positive experience all round (recovery took longer but wasn't overly painful). I had moved abroad by then but the nhs consultant had written a letter before I left recommending csection for future births. There was no way I could have willingly faced another "natural" birth.

cheshiremama89 Sat 03-Mar-18 04:19:56

@bluescreen when you're told you and your child are likely to have sepsis after a 20 hour labour, emergency forceps and a massive tear you may feel differently.

Cue baby being taken away every 3 hours for tests and medication intravenously for 4 days

Achafi Sat 03-Mar-18 05:05:14

I hated being pregnant, hyperemisis throughout and then had a really traumatic birth followed by infection. Swore I would never do it again, I cried everytime I thought about the birth. When I was really low I told my husband he could leave me and not feel bad because I knew he wanted two children and I was never going to do it again. DS is 11 months now and I just booked a debrief with the hospital because I only just feel ready. I packed away all my mat wear and baby clothes and have started to think about doing it again. Not for a while but I haven't ruled it out now. Congratulations on your baby and give yourself time and a break.

Stpancras Sat 03-Mar-18 05:24:10

Totally felt like that and still can't 'put myself' in the memories of DS1's birth, it was horrific. Elective C section for DS2 was a wonderful, calm experience, no more traumatic than a dental check up. If you do come around to wanting a second, I highly recommend looking into a ELCS. And yes, do get some counselling as others have suggested.

I have to say, having a good second birth experience has healed me somewhat.

Skittlesandbeer Sat 03-Mar-18 05:35:00

I am flabbergasted and so impressed when I hear of women who had a traumatic pregnancy/birth/newborn phase going back in the ring for another round.

I feel exactly the way you do now...7.5 years on. Nup, no way. Baby-making factory closed. Never tempted again for a solitary second. Not when drunk, not when sniffing a newborn, not when my DH & DD beg me. No wobbles.

Took me years of therapy (physical & mental) to drag myself out of the hole my dd’s birth left me in. Bits of me will never recover, and I’m dealing with that. I can now watch maybe half an episode of ‘one born every minute’ on a GOOD day. I have to diplomatically extricate myself from ‘birth story’ share conversations. I thought I was a pretty tough chick, but that birth broke me big-time.

Your urge to procreate might win over your memories in the future, or it may not. I firmly suggest getting some birth trauma counseling either way. And don’t write in that damn baby book, what a stupid first question it asks! Write it all down for yourself, by all means, but no kid needs to hear that their first day was your worst day!

Don’t know if this helps, but you’ll likely hear a lot of ‘oh but you got such a lovely baby out of it, that cancels out the trauma’ type comments. I learnt to smile and respond ‘if you had a horrible car smash on Tuesday, and won the lottery on Wednesday, would you be less broken?’. Rehab is rehab, regardless of how grateful you are for the bundle in your arms. You are allowed to feel both, don’t let anyone tell you different!

And congrats, you’re a champ!

Rhodes2015again Sat 03-Mar-18 05:44:39

I feel the same OP
DD is 7 months. Could cry every time I think of her birth day. DH is the same. He thought I was going to die. Had a bad 6 months after.
I’m sad. I wanted 2 children. But we just can’t put ourselves through it. I had a lovely pregnancy but if I were to be pregnant again I feel it would be ruined by knowing what was to come.

cheshiremama89 Sat 03-Mar-18 06:37:37

I'm so glad it's not just me!

You begin to feel so lonely and the worst person, because you're right Every says "well look what you got after everything" like it's meant to take everything away.

Thanks everyone I will definitely speak to the gp about discussing this with someone thanks

cheshiremama89 Sat 03-Mar-18 06:38:00


hidinginthenightgarden Sat 03-Mar-18 06:42:47

I would have done it again but we adopted our second instead. I liked the idea of a home birth for our second.

chandlersfraud Sat 03-Mar-18 06:47:13

Just for anyone reading about to give birth.... my 3 were fine!!

Onedaynamechange Sat 03-Mar-18 06:55:47

My first was a horror show. Induced at ten days over, hours of agony with the midwives telling me I wasn’t even in labour yet and to basically get a grip (pain was from the pessary) followed by epidural that didn’t fully work so still pain on one side...labour lasted 36 hours then baby was tugged out by a bloke with bulging muscles and one foot on the bed for leverage. Baby born with cuts and bruises from forceps and I was stitched from here to kingdom come while a cleaner had to get a mop and bucket to clear up the blood. This was followed by an infection in the stitches, mastitis, the usual cracked and bleeding nipples and post natal depression. But yes, three years later I braved it and did it again! That birth was a straight up waters break, six hour labour with gas and air, so very different.

wysteriafloribunba Sat 03-Mar-18 07:00:02

My first was pretty traumatic, but after decades of listening to horror stories about childbirth that was my expectation so I was mentally prepared for it. My second my much easier.

My friend had attended a hypnobirthing course and wasn't mentaly prepared for the fact birth can be anything but 'breathing the baby out'. She was traumatised. I think the course leader did her a great disservice as her teaching didn't cover the realities of what the women might experience. (I am sure not all hypnobirthing courses are like this)

divafever99 Sat 03-Mar-18 07:00:05

Hi op I had a similar experience... twice! 2 emergency sections, stockings, iron tablets, injections, and the second time a stay in the high dependency unit, a blood transfusion and baby having to be resuscitated. I think it is a real shock to the system, I never thought birth was going to be so traumatic. Second time room I was more prepared for what could go wrong and seemed to take it in my stride better. I am glad you are seeing your GP. I tried to manage on my own with the trauma for a long time. Dc2 is now 2.5 but I have recently completed a course of counselling because of issues around my difficult births. Go easy on yourself, your body has gone through a lot, and congratulations on your baby. thanks

CocoLoco87 Sat 03-Mar-18 07:03:54

I felt absolutely violated after the birth of DC1. I didn't want anything or anyone going anywhere near me, (me and DH weren't intimate for a year after).
DC2 is nearly 18 months old and I love the bones of him. I won't have anymore, but in time, my desire to give DC1 a sibling outweighed my fears of having sex / giving birth again. My second birth experience was a lot more pleasant all round.

Be kind to yourself, give yourself time. It's ok to stop at one child! But you might feel differently in a year or so.

MollyCule Sat 03-Mar-18 07:05:09


I had a traumatic first labour too, about 18 months ago. For a long time I thought I could never go through it again but we would like to have another.

For a long time I had intrusive thoughts about the labour and would feel panic if I even heard the name of the hospital. I was diagnosed with ptsd. I'm having counselling at the moment and hoping that will help me prepare for the prospect of another birth.

I know people mean well when they say "but it was all worth it to get your baby" but I hate that. What happened to you during childbirth does matter.

Congratulations on your new baby.

flumpybear Sat 03-Mar-18 07:06:56

First birth horrendous e fed up in EMCS second birth elective section ....very non eventful and great!

Tink2007 Sat 03-Mar-18 07:07:25

My first pregnancy was amazing from start to birth. My birth was horrible. Forceps needed in the end and blue lighted from one hospital to another.

I swore I wouldn’t do it again. Seven and a half years later I got pregnant again and the birth was a breeze. I was petrified though.

cheshiremama89 Sat 03-Mar-18 07:08:25

@wysteriafloribunba I totally agree

I attended hypnobirthing and it paints such a sunny picture, I'm all for positive thinking but there was no insight into complications or how what we had learnt could be implemented if things go off piste.

It was very much focused on being in the pool, breathing the baby out like you say!
Very different to what actually ended up happening x

MummyItsallaboutyou Sat 03-Mar-18 07:16:14

I always knew I wanted two children. I had a straightforward labour with DC1 but retained placenta afterwards which required a GA. I still don't know what happened but do know that I was poorly and lost a lot of blood. Following that I has a miscarriage which I ended up in hospital for, lost a lot of blood and the crash team were called at one point. I had moments of never wanting to do it again, but they were trumped by wanting a 2nd child. Pregnancy and labour with DC2 very straightforward.

GrannyGrissle Sat 03-Mar-18 07:17:43

Elective c section. That is all. flowers OP, sounds horrendous.

ImListening Sat 03-Mar-18 07:18:57

The problem - I think - is that a lot of people tend to gloss over that they had a hideous birth or they don’t say it can be.

I knew my first could result in my &&dd death as I had placenta praevia & I’d already been rushed to theatre twice with bleeding. I wasn’t badly traumatized after because I’d already mentally accepted what could go wrong. My second dc (but 4th pregnancy) after 48 hours I had to have an emergency but again after 24hours I’d started accepting that too.

But I have a large family & most of us have had awful births. Only one of sils had an straightforward time - one of out of 6 women.

ImListening Sat 03-Mar-18 07:21:28

What I’m saying is being exposed to awful births previously probably helped me mentally also as I knew there was a chance it wouldn’t be plain sailing. I think NCT & hypnobirthing ideas can lead to unrealistic expectations. Tell us the risks properly.

GetSchwifty Sat 03-Mar-18 07:22:05

My first labour was awful. I was terrified and screaming in agony. The post natal care was terrible. I spent the next few years feeling depressed and convinced I would never have another baby.
I had counselling when my son was four and started to feel that I really wanted a sibling for him. The second labour was quite fast and furious but a much better experience and I recovered well.
Don’t put any pressure on yourself. You may be very happy as a family of three. You may decide you want to do it again. Choose what you think is best for you and your family.

nowtygaffer Sat 03-Mar-18 07:23:02

Hi op, I had a traumatic first birth, an EMCS. I felt dreadful for the first few months. I mentioned it to my GP who was pretty dismissive but did refer me to my Health visitor who was really good.She did some counselling sessions with me. I remember being upset on my DDs birthday for a few years as it brought back horrible memories.

I also remember writing to the Birth Trauma Association as they were asking for birth stories. For some reason that felt like it really helped. I did go on to have 2 more DCs, one by EMCS and the next by ELCS. I had them at different hospital because I could face going back.

I really wish you well OP. I don't think society is very supportive of women who have traumatic births. If you do decide to have more DC be aware that you can go to another hospital and make sure the staff know you've had a difficult birth.

0lgaDaPolga Sat 03-Mar-18 07:23:30

If you’d asked me a month after my baby was born I’d have said never again in a million years. Horrific delivery in which I nearly died and it left me with crippling ptsd. I’m very much recovered now after quite a lot of cbt sessions and I’m planning a second baby. It takes a while to process and recover from something like that so don’t rush into thinking about it too soon. Take time to heal.

jarhead123 Sat 03-Mar-18 07:25:18

After my 1st, it took me about a year before I could think back to the birth without feeling physically sick.

I think my want for another became stronger & stronger and to be fair, the bad memories do fade.

We had a 2nd and she completed our family. Her birth was no where near as bad - I knew what I wanted/didn't want and took control.

It's still early days, be kind to yourself x

sar302 Sat 03-Mar-18 07:27:51

My husband and I had always discussed having two children. But I hated pregnancy, even though I was well throughout.
My labour was 50 hrs of hell, ending in an episiotomy and forceps in theatre. I was so drugged up I slept through the first day of my baby's life. I couldn't discuss my labour / birth for weeks without crying.

We had to take him back to the same hospital for physio (he was stuck, hence the 50 hrs, bad neck) and I had a panic attack in the car when we drove past the parking spot we parked in when I went to deliver.

It took my 6 weeks to start to love my child. I hated the sleepless nights. My failure to breast feed (again, his painful neck bless him). The physical damage my birth did (still healing 3 months on.) the fact that I literally don't remember giving birth to him and it felt like I had to learn to love a stranger's child.

Everyone is already asking when the next one will be. And maybe I'm just a complete wimp!! But I can't see myself doing it again. I'm currently perfectly happy with our family of three.

I've apologised to my husband, as our plan was for two, but I genuinely don't think I'd mentally survive another. I feel like I've cheated him out of something, because I know he'd love another one. But I think he was fairly traumatised by it all too and understands. He's an amazing dad, and I still feel guilty about the decision I've made. Maybe I'll change my mind, but I currently really doubt it.

Anatidae Sat 03-Mar-18 07:28:09

I attended hypnobirthing and it paints such a sunny picture, I'm all for positive thinking but there was no insight into complications or how what we had learnt could be implemented if things go off piste.

This is a major gripe of mine. The whole setup at the moment is really patronising to women and far too Pollyanna ish. The idea that ANY birth can be ok if you just breathe/don’t technique does women a gross disservice. It leaves women shocked and traumatised when things go wrong and makes them think it’s their fault for not following method x enough.
The type of birth you get is basically down to how the baby lies on the day plus the interaction with your own anatomy. From the get go, some births are going to be easier and some harder. Some will never be ok without intervention. And those women are often the ones ending up with pnd because they think they should have been able to breathe through it. There’s FAR too much pressure on women to ‘do it naturally’ when this is just not the best way for all women.

Op I had a pretty grim pregnancy and that alone left me needing some therapy. Birth was compulsory elve, anaesthesia wore off, incision needed to be extended several cm, I lost a lot of blood.

What helped me was a debrief with the surgeon who was kind enough to come round and walk me through what the fuck had happened and some psychotherapy after. I still developed very severe pnd and ocd.

Pregnant again now and it’s grim again (severe HG) and I have zero desire for a VB because I’ll once again be weak as a kitten and unable to move due to spd.

Try to get a debrief when you’re up to it. Therapy helped me somewhat, I think a specialist postnatal practitioner would be better than what I had.

You’re not alone. There are a LOT of women I know damaged mentally or physically by birth. Demand whatever help you need to get through this and if you do ever get pregnant again demand elcs.

PinkyBlunder Sat 03-Mar-18 07:29:01

After a long time trying to conceive, 2 miscarriages, 2 terrible pregnancies and PND, I had my second child a month ago and I am never ever doing it all again. And I am so relieved I don’t have to! No one believes me when I say never again of course because obviously everyone else knows me better than me hmm

Weepingwillows12 Sat 03-Mar-18 07:37:03

Sorry I didn't have time to read the thread so may repeat what others say. I am sorry things didn't work out for you as you planned. Its still early days so don't worry too much about struggling still.

I had a difficult first Labour and postnatal complications including haemorrhage, anaemia, and post natal depression. I couldn't remember my labour at all, just felt overwhelming panic if I tried to think of it which I think was a post traumatic stress reaction.

After 3 years I had another baby. What helped me was discussing my concerns with the midwife. Mine were quite specific)(linked to ineffective epidurals) so I had a meeting with the hospitals chief anaesthetist and we put a plan together for me involving only senior anaesthetists and other pain relief options that are not usually available. I also prepared myself better for pain by using some hypnobirthing techniques. For me, I just needed to feel some control and it also helped to have someone validate that it had been challenging and most labour's are not like that.

I think you can ask to do a birth review where you discuss what happened and chances of it happening again.

However, I don't know the details of your labour. In some circumstances I might not have had more. One is enough for lots of people.

ImListening Sat 03-Mar-18 07:38:12

I think we also fail to remember that pregnancy & childbirth in days gone by were risky. Lots of women & babies died. We have unrealistic expectations. Same with breastfeeding. Not all women can. Dd1 was a dream. Dc2 didn’t want to know. I beat myself up about that at the time. Now dc2 says so what! I’m here I’m happy - what’s the problem.

Turnocks34 Sat 03-Mar-18 07:39:04

I felt like this after I had my first. Took my 18 months before I was really ready to consider another. Had a second though. Probably will have a third.

Ansumpasty Sat 03-Mar-18 07:39:38

I felt the same about my first, which was a c section. I had another which was a vbac and a great experience but took me 2 years to even tolerate the thought!

LexieLulu Sat 03-Mar-18 07:45:54

I had a rubbish first labour, 31hours, back to back, forceps, signed the dotted line for a c section but they decided to cut me open instead... then obviously the recovery.

I was certain I would never do it again as it was horrific.

Now I have a 4 year old, and a 1 year old. 😂 I would never say you forgot a bad labour, but you accept that you have to go for the worst times for the most amazing gift in the world.

And I kidded myself that second labours are quicker... when in fact it doubled the time and I spent 54 hours without any pain relief.

Now DH is sterilised as I'm really not doing that again 😂😂

Huldas Sat 03-Mar-18 07:48:23

Is he your first baby OP? Defo see your GP if you are having panicky thoughts around the memory. Friend of mine had PTSD after her first, took 5 years and some treatment before she could do it again.
I had two very traumatic births, toyed with the idea of number 3 for a bit and as part of the planning i contacted the Midwivfery Council asking for a guarantee i could have an elective! They very kindly sent my request on to an OBGYN who said that with my history it should be a shoe-in. Ultimately we decided not to have another DC but i remember feeling very weepy and scared at the possibility of getting pregnant and then for some reason having to give birth naturally again.

Rarotonga Sat 03-Mar-18 07:48:32

I was traumatised by my DS's birth and am terrified of going through it again, though in an ideal world would love to have two children. He is almost one.

When I was asked about the birth by well meaning friends it took a lot for me to be able to talk about it and I was upset that people would just say "But he's alright now isn't he, everything is fine now", because it felt like our tough experiences had been swept away and like they didn't matter when, actually, it was all I could think about.

flowers OP, it's tough

Spudlet Sat 03-Mar-18 07:50:28

Meeeee! Nononononoooooo thank you.

I adore DS with every inch of me but I cannot bear another 9 months of being miserably pregnant with massive piles, sciatica, SPD and all the hormones, then pushing out a 9lb + heffalump, then all the sleepless, relentless hell that is having a newborn baby, losing all the damn baby weight, the stitches, the stretch marks.... no thank you please thank you.

Also we have no room in our teeny house for another person, but DH and I are both pretty dead set on being a one and done family. If we really wanted another, we could budge up and make room. But I am not up for doing all that again.

hibbledibble Sat 03-Mar-18 07:52:43

As a positive, it isn't always hideous.

My last Labour was fast, and relatively low pain. I had no pain relief other than a tens machine and a few minutes of gas and air. It was a lovely peaceful experience

Ikanon Sat 03-Mar-18 07:52:55

Pregnancy and childbirth suck big time. But I did both twice because I wanted 2 children. No more ever ever.

BornInALighthouse Sat 03-Mar-18 07:54:07

My first was pretty awful. Labour was long and ended in forceps and episiotomy. I tried to block it out for ages after. Now dd is 2.5 and it's a bit more of a distant memory I would give birth again. Won't be having any more for other reasons but the trauma of the birth has faded.

Huldas Sat 03-Mar-18 07:56:46

Oh and OP my kids are both 5+ and I still cant watch One Born Every Minute! Makes me feel like throwing up!

MrsKoala Sat 03-Mar-18 08:00:49

I had a terrible first labour. 3 days of interventions and ended in shoulder dystocia, forceps, 3rd degree tear, loss of blood, lots of stitches, double incontinence for a few months, hard scar tissue, physio, no sex for a year...Just a shit sandwich all round really.

But we wanted another and that period paled in comparison to having a baby.

Then i had a terrible second pregnancy. Placenta preavia and lots of bleeding from 29wks, being rushed into hospital thinking we may both die. Then hospital bedrest for 7 weeks before a very traumatic c-section.

But again, we wanted another.

3rd pregnancy was extremely stressful as it turned out i had ptsd for the first 2 experiences. i had an elc against what i wanted. But the baby went overdue and the drs really didn't think i should try vaginally and had been against it all along. It turned out to be the best birth yet. It was really lovely. The recovery with a 2 and a 4 year old was shit tho and we had to hire a nanny for a while.

However, i'd happily have a 4th. The reason i wont is not the births/pregnancies but the fact that none of the little bastards fucking sleep! So i haven't slept properly for 5.7 years now. That to me is way worse than any of those birth experiences, because it drags on and on. I'd happily go thru my first labour again if it meant my dc would sleep better.

jeanne16 Sat 03-Mar-18 08:12:31

My first delivery was terrible. I vowed I would never go through it again and so had an elective caesarean for my second. I really can recommend it. However you will have to do your research in advance as some hospitals are more sympathetic to a request for a caesarean than others. Don’t ask the midwives, as they will be very unsupportive. Ask the doctor as they are generally far more supportive.

PilatesSuck Sat 03-Mar-18 08:13:20

Yanbu. One friend had intensive counselling, hypnobirth cds and reassurance that she would have a csection. It took years of all of that before she changed her mind.

My sister did not change hers. Im wavering myself, my counselling really helped.

CatkinToadflax Sat 03-Mar-18 08:22:25

Had my first DS at 24 weeks, with thanks to the moronic bloody doctor in the maternity unit who refused to examine me, told me to stop wasting his time and sent me home. And meant there was no time to have any drugs to try stopping contractions. Or decent pain relief. [anger] I hope he's enjoying his promotion and lovely life as a consultant. hmm DS spent 4 months in NICU and has complex disabilities.

Made the difficult decision to have DS2 because I was desperate for DS1 to have a sibling and also felt I'd failed so badly at pregnancy and wanted to do it 'properly'. I was lucky enough to have the most amazing GP who referred me out of area to a specialist high risk pregnancy unit with the most incredible antenatal care and a lot of reassurance. Knowing in advance of TTC that I had a brilliant care package arranged made all the difference for me. DS2's birth ended up as an emergency CS and being re-admitted to the children's ward several days after birth due to too much weight loss and jaundice....however in comparison with DS1's birth it was an absolute breeze.

I think the NHS would close down instantly if I turned up and announced I was planning DC3....

Gran22 Sat 03-Mar-18 08:26:57

ImListening I'm a grandmother. DC1 was born early 70s after a pregnancy where I was still throwing up in labour. There was very little communication in hospital, basically I was left on my own for long periods. Eventually someone realised there was a problem, and a whole team of people were suddenly doing things to me. No one said what, but I was given an epidural, something I'd never heard of. I've no idea how many stitches I had, but I was ripped to shreds. A couple of days later it was realised I needed a blood transfusion, again no real information. Fortunately my lovely baby was fine, and I even managed to breastfeed, not fashionable back then, but it was my choice. I've never forgotten a ward assistant, on seeing me trying to sit up saying 'what's the matter, you've only had a baby!'

My GP told me later we were lucky to have both survived, baby was transverse and had arrested, and I'd lost several pints of blood. I believe in retrospect I should probably have had an emergency c section, but they left it too late. I searched for information, but back then there was no internet, and the library didn't have much. We had DC2 within 2 years. I knew if I put it off I wouldn't have another, and the whole experience was thankfully very different. It made me feel I hadn't 'failed' as I'd felt after DC1. It took a long time to get over the first birth, counselling or even talking to others who'd been through something similar would have been a great help.

Cheshiremama, enjoy your baby and take any support that you think might help.

MrsKoala Sat 03-Mar-18 08:28:10

I found the opposite Jeanne everyone was pushing me to have an elf but i was terrified and really didn't want one. My fears were totally dismissed and i wasn't supported at all as it was seen as a really easy thing for me. I ended with PTSD from it. It really ruined my 2nd and 3rd pregnancy.

Headofthehive55 Sat 03-Mar-18 08:35:47

Yes. I had a cs which left me with PTSD.
I thought I'd never be able to have anymore.
However I went on to have another three, and had fabulous vaginal births, with number three I said immediately afterwards that was good lets have another!

So it can change.

S0ph1a Sat 03-Mar-18 08:37:55

OP Im so sorry for what you have been though.

Having a healthy baby doesn’t make it all ok. It’s natural to feel completely traumatised by what you have been though. Imagine if a man had gone through that - no one would be saying “ oh well it’s all worth it because you have a baby at the end “ hmm.

You can acknowledge you pain and distress AND love your baby, it’s not either/or. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about it.

And it’s totally ok to decide not to have another child, it’s thats what you want.

There is no correct or best family size, what ever works for you will be fine for your child. There are disadvantages and advantages to every type of family.

Headofthehive55 Sat 03-Mar-18 08:39:21

I'd have any number as long as you could guarantee they wouldn't be a CS!

legaladvicepls Sat 03-Mar-18 08:39:40

I've had 1 ds and I will never do it again.

I was induced and it was nothing to giving birth in about half hour. That's good I hear you say. I imagine it is when you've got an attentive midwife and appropriate pain relief.

Midwife wouldn't even see me and sent HCA who wouldn't give me anything and said she'd get the midwife. She never came back.

I told dp and my mum I was going to push. Dp went to get midwife who said don't be so ridiculous she cant be.

Anyway she eventually came in and I told her I was pushing she looked and she was like oh yeah so you are no time for pain relief.
They then offered me gas and air for my stitches. Really??

They put a canular in my hand mid contraction which was unneccsary and I had to ask them to take it out before I left.

Never ever again.

MrsKoala Sat 03-Mar-18 08:40:24

I would definitely say get counselling to deal with any issues you have. I didn't and they got compounded with other stuff till i was fairly crippled with fear and nightmares. I had a debrief from my first labour just just before my 3rd babies arrival and it really helped. I had been begging for it all the way thru my 2nd pregnancy but i had been completely ignored as i was having a section so to them it wasn't relevant. I wish i had have been more forceful, despite asking every day to everyone i spoke to for 7 weeks.

Headofthehive55 Sat 03-Mar-18 08:41:36

I found the opposite too and there was a lot of pressure for a cs. Which had given me ptsd in the first place! My vaginal delivery was very much a healing process for me.

MrsKoala Sat 03-Mar-18 08:44:10

The first thing DH said to me after i came out of being sewn up after ds1 was 'if you never want to have another i am okay with that'. He was also traumatised and cries frequently abut it. We got married 3 months later and he spoke in his speech about my bravery. He has been to Afghanistan and seen people killed and it still was the most terrifying thing he has experienced. Don't feel you need to minimise it.

Dipitydoda Sat 03-Mar-18 08:45:33

I suffered ptsd after a terrible pregnancy and terrible birth where we both v nearly died crash c section under general and king stays in scubu for DS and HDU for me. We tried for another but think my body just went “you have to be joking!” So we have one very precious little boy. If you continue to struggle with bad feelings about the firth I would recommend the birth trauma association it’s a closed group on Facebook

Rosiie Sat 03-Mar-18 08:48:39

First DS born, easy pregnancy but horrendous birth. Went on to have DD, easy pregnancy, birth not as bad as DS's. Third DS born in 2016, most horrendous birth ever. He ruined my back, would love to have one more if I met someone else, but will never give birth naturally again. Even if I have to pay for csection, I will.

The saying " you will forget the pain as soon as you see them" is true to some extent though, otherwise I would never have DD.

mogulfield Sat 03-Mar-18 08:49:48

I had a rubbish first birth, 44 hours of back to back labour, ended in emergency C section under general anaesthetic as spinal didn’t work.
I hated the recovery from the c section, as you’ve described surgical stockings, constipation, iron tablets, those bloody injections. I lost a lot of blood and was anaemic so felt faint/lethargic and spaced out for weeks.

But I forgot all of that 😂 I just had a VBAC which was a very positive experience! I used hypnobirthing at home for as long as possible and by the time I got the hospital I was in established labour, I went from 4cm-10cm in 40 minutes. Contractions were ok actually compared to my back to back labour!
I needed help pushing DS out with forceps but the recovery is already so much better than my c section. I also made sure my iron levels were high before I went into labour so I didn’t feel so shit afterwards (I lived on Black pudding and mussels!).
Sorry for the ramble, but I did feel the same as you and am so pleased I went for it again smile

MrsKoala Sat 03-Mar-18 08:51:31

That's so good to hear headof. I wanted that with DD but it wasn't to be. Even on the morning of the ELC i had a sweep and they were going to try to break my waters but she wasn't engaged at all even tho she was 40+3 and my cervix was very soft. I had had sweeps every day for 2 weeks prior and nothing.

Another reason i'd not have a 4th is that i would have to have a section and the healing time with other dc to look after is brutal.

With ds2 i started refusing canulas. My arms were black and blue for weeks. I still remember the canula with ds1 as the most painful part. they fannied around for ages and put it in the most awkward place while i was contracting with no pain relief. I had ds1 at MK and it really is the shittest hospital. My care from beginning to end was shocking.

billybigballs Sat 03-Mar-18 08:52:48

I had what you'd say was a straightforward pregnancy and labor with DS, 3 years ago. I was very lucky. But even so I found the pain utterly utterly shocking, and couldn't believe what I'd put my body through.

I'm pregnant with no2. Finding this pregnancy much harder but ultimately id do it all over again to get DS and for this one.

I really think there's little preparation for the women to cope with what giving birth feels like and how barbaric it all is.

Natsku Sat 03-Mar-18 08:54:33

Yup. Gave birth nearly a month ago, declared to OH right afterwards that I'm never doing it again. It was horrendous, much much worse than my first birth. 24 hours of induced contractions, several failed epidurals, major haemorrhage, uterus wouldn't contract because my bladder was distended so had to have an in and out catheter several times, and to top things off I got a uterine infection which was incredibly painful.
The actual pushing part was honestly the easiest part of the whole thing.

I'm still waiting for the English speaking midwife to call me and talk me through it as my memory is still blank in parts.

KichenDancefloor Sat 03-Mar-18 08:56:10

My first pregnancy was tricky but not awful. The birth was horrid and I had post natal anxiety and a colicky baby who refused sleep day or night. I was such a mess but didn't talk about it, so I think you're amazing for acknowledging your trauma and not pretending all is well.

Despite all that, and my closest relatives predicting 'never again' I had my second (and last) three years later. The absolute biological urge was for a second was so powerful, especially when baby friends all started having their second two years later.

I had another tricky pregnancy but the birth was textbook and he was a chilled out baby who liked sleeping. I deserved it!

ByTheSea Sat 03-Mar-18 08:57:13

I felt that was but two years later when DD1-18 was so wonderful I changed my mind. I wouldn't be without DD2-15, she is also fantastic.

LorelaiVictoriaGilmore Sat 03-Mar-18 08:58:53

Never again. Ds was born at 35 weeks after a long labour, failed epidural, episiotomy and ventouse. Recovery was horrendous and my stitches got infected twice.

Dd was born at 37 weeks and is now almost 4 weeks old. I was diagnosed with complete placenta previa at 32 weeks and told I was basically a time bomb. Started bleeding at 36 weeks, stayed in hospital, investigated for a pulmonary embolism, went into early labour, told they didn't want to do a high risk c-section in the middle of Saturday night so could I just hang tight, started bleeding more, oh whoops we'll have to do the c section...

The registrar described it as traumatic and 4 weeks later I've got symptoms of ptsd and (thankfully) a good therapist.

AccidentalBumming Sat 03-Mar-18 08:59:04

Anybody who has gone through a traumatic first birth will take a while and need help to get over it.

Please, if youre suffering, seek perinatal counselling if you get pregnant again.

I got pregnant a year after a very traumatic birth. I lost the baby i think through stress of realising i'd have to go through it all over again. I sought counselling and two years later had my second child in a planned cesarian. Secretly, I think of the birth of my first son as the wirst days of my life, and my second and the best day ever. (They'll never know that of course). It's amazing what counselling can achieve. I'd have been a far better mother had I sought counselling after the birth of my first son. counselling can change everything.

ShowOfHands Sat 03-Mar-18 09:06:49

I had a traumatic first birth ending with a crash cs and birth injuries for both, plus a pph. I swore never EVER again. I had ptsd and pnd, panic attacks. I finally got help 2 years later.

I did have another 4 years later after intense counselling and spent the pregnancy terrified. While I had another emcs, it was a very healing experience.

Please seek help with your feelings. You don't have to have more babies but there is help available to manage your anxieties and address the trauma.

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