It’s supposed to be this beautiful, miraculous thing. Nobody wants to hear anything different. You can joke about how physically painful it was. But don’t discuss how emotionally painful it was.
Avery’s birth was not what I expected. It wasn’t what you see in movies. You know, the woman, obviously in pain, but able to talk, and joke with nurses and her husband. She might scream, and yell at him, but once the baby comes out, they are all hugging and crying with pure happiness and joy. “Look at this little miracle that we created. Look what we made! She’s finally here!”
I wish I could say that was my experience, but it wasn’t.
Like I said in the previous post. My labor and delivery didn’t go as “planned” In fact, it was pretty much the opposite of what I wanted. I wanted a natural birth in a hospital setting. No induction, minimal intervention. I had a fully medicated, induced labor with loads of intervention.
Going in to it I had few expectations, so I’m not sure why the deviation from the “plan” had such an emotional impact on me. Hormones perhaps? I’m not sure. But i do know that how I felt during and after labor, was not what I expected.
My labor was quick, yes. (if you don’t count the 24 hours that I labored at home) But the fact that it progressed so quickly, and was so painful, made it seem more like a trauma than a miracle.
My eyes were closed for 99.9% of it. I barely spoke to Dave (I guess that was good in a way—I wasn’t yelling at him!) There was no “Good job honey!!!” accompanied by a back-rub. It was just me, in my own world, in agony. And Dave not knowing what to do. (Had he been talking to me I’m pretty sure I’d have told him to stop talking, or ignore him. and I didn’t want ANYONE to touch me)
When they put Avery on my chest, I wanted so badly to have that emotional, bonding moment. But I couldn’t. Not at first anyway. I just kept thanking God, in my head, over and over that it was over. That I had survived it. That I wasn’t in pain anymore.
I don’t think it’s fair that society ignores the fact that labor can be traumatic for women. I know that I am not alone, as I have spoken to other moms who feel “cheated” or “sad” because labor didn’t go the way they wanted. We are made to feel bad if we don’t have a happy little story to share. I think every woman should feel comfortable and safe in sharing her labor story. No matter what her experience. Women should know they are not alone if they had a “negative” experience. It shouldn’t be something they feel they need to hide. Women need to know that it isn’t just like we see on tv. It isn’t always perfect. We feel things. It’s OK to feel things. Even the “ugly” things. It’s OK. It doesn’t make you a terrible mother. It makes you normal….it makes you human.
Of course I feel blessed to have a healthy, beautiful baby girl. I look at her with amazement every day. I’m in awe of her (and how she fit inside me!) I know it shouldn’t matter HOW she got here, all that should matter is that she got here. Period. I just wish it had been a bit more “beautiful” for me, a bit more Hollywood…..more “romantic comedy” and less “horror”
I hope other women can feel more empowered to share their birthing experiences without shame.
(Also, I’ll admit, I am really angry that since the pain killers and epidural didnt work on me, I basically had a natural birth but I don’t get the glory of going “med free” lol)