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  1. #1

    Do you feel that you got the birth experience you wanted?

    I think that my last birth was pretty close to my dream experience. I have always felt that my earlier births could have gone a lot better. Many people do not understand how someone could be disappointed with a birth experience that ended in a healthy, happy baby and mom. It happens though, millions of women leave their birth experience with feelings that they do not have have a word for; carrying around a type of disappointment that is hard to discuss.

    What are your thoughts on this? Do you all feel that you had the birth you wanted? Could it have gone better? How will your feelings affect any future births (if you plan on having more children)? How did/do you deal with residual disappointment, if you have any?

  2. #2
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    My first birth was a very traumatising experience. While I had unexpected outcomes (breech baby at 35 weeks of pregnancy) - the way I was treated (bullied) left me feeling angry, sad and distressed. Not a great way to be as a first time mum. This type of experience stays with you and I believe my experience caused the postnatal depression I experienced.

    For my next births I was so much better informed. I had gone over (and over) my previous birth experience chose my birth team (which were two wonderful private midwives), planned homebirths and clearly let everyone know what my desires were for the birth. While each subsequent birth had their own unexpected outcomes (things that no one could control) the experiences were vastly different and very positive.
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  3. #3
    For me, my birth is experience was very traumatic. I had preterm labor at 32 weeks and really thought that I was going to give birth already but thank God my contractions were halted. It was really a traumatic experience because of course, my baby was in danger, and as for me, I wasn't prepared yet like how to push and all those techniques to give birth successfully. And there were those resident doctors who kept on doing the internal exam which was very painful because they didn't do it slowly. It's as if they don't care and they should've been very careful because anything that is stressful could trigger my contractions. I was already 7cm that time. Anyway, the contractions stopped then 3days after confinement, went home, then after a month I gave birth which was still far from my expected due date but it was just okay because baby was exactly 37wks that day. :-)

  4. #4
    I can say that I definitely had the birth experiences I wanted... all five times.

    This was very much due to the fact that I took the time to interview my midwives carefully and made very good choices. I had two different midwives during my 5 births. Each was excellent. I also had challenges with three of my five births but even though I had challenges, I had the birth experiences I wanted.

    With my first birth, my baby's heat tones were dropping towards the end of labour, and weren't recovering fast enough. My midwife worked her magic, gave me an episiotomy, and got her hands in there to help bring the baby out quickly. I had to push, even though I never felt an urge to push. We just had to get the baby out. My midwife inferred that if I had been in the hospital, they would not have let me go as long and I would most likely have ended up with a C-Section.

    With baby #3, he had a hard time breathing when he was born. They took him into a steamy bathroom and worked on him, massaging him, and helping him to breathe. He was born with Tegralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart defect and typically these babies have cyanotic episodes. Due to the cyanotic episodes, these babies are often called "blue babies". My baby was a "pink tet" which meant that enough oxygenated blood was getting to his body. Had I been in the hospital, they would have whisked my baby away and I can't even imagine how I would have felt, let alone, what they would have done to him. I have a really hard time with babies being separated from their mothers at birth.

    I decided to have ultrasounds during my next two pregnancies simply because I was at a slightly higher risk for having another heart baby, and if my baby was going to be born with a heart defect, I wanted to know which one and what the risks to baby would be so I could make an informed decision as to where I wanted to give birth. Babies #4 and #5 were perfectly healthy so I had two more home births.

    Baby #4 had shoulder dystocia. This is where the top shoulder of the baby got stuck on my pubic bone. I was in the water while pushing. My sister-in-law who had assisted with my prior 3 births, went for the top shoulder, but couldn't free the baby. So my licensed midwife stepped in to provide the woods maneuver. They brought my body up flat on top of the water and the midwife went to free the lower shoulder. Baby popped right out. When I chose this midwife, she told me that shoulder dystocia was her specialty, that she had delivered a lot of babies with this challenge. I had no idea what shoulder dystocia was, so didn't think much of it. However I was very thankful for her skillfullness when I needed her help.

    I'll share about my birth challenge with baby #5 below, but first I want you to see this video that shows what shoulder distocia is and the different techniques that can be used to help birth the baby. The first is where the mother's leg is moved into a different position. The second is pressure applied to the public bone, and the 3rd is the Woods Maneuver.

    My 5th birth was one month before my 41st birthday. It was the fastest and easiest of all. It was another water birth.

    This time the birth went perfectly, but I haemorrhaged afterwards. My midwife gave me herbs to help my uterus clamp down, then an injection of pitocin, but still I continued to bleed. She then started massaging my abdomen as she thought that there were still some large clots in the uterus which was keeping the uterus from being able to clamp down effectively. She used her hands to work inside while another midwife worked on my belly from the outside... and though it was not comfortable, it was needed, and they were able to remove the clots and then my body was able to stop the bleeding. I lost a lot of blood, but I was able to get right up and take a shower without fainting. I had to replenish my iron levels over the next few weeks and I looked quite pale, but I was able to care for my baby normally.

    When I talk to the references that my midwives give me, I want to know about the problems they had and how they were handled. I really don't want to hear "everything went great - no problems at all". Of course that's the ideal hope that every mother has, but perfect births don't happen all the time and I want to be sure that my midwife is going to be as equipped as possible to handle challenges that could arise.

    So did I have the births I wanted? Absolutely! Even though I had some challenges, I was well pleased with how the challenges were handled and the outcome. All in all I was able to birth every one of my babies at home, in the love and care of family and friends, and that's what I wanted.

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