February 2, 2015

They lied…It matters how you birth

It matters how you birth www.bestofbabylady.com

“Well, all that matters is a healthy mom and a healthy baby.”

How many times did I hear that after giving birth?  How many times did it drive me deeper into confusion and self-doubt over my son’s reception into this world?  If all that mattered was a healthy mom and a healthy baby, then why was I so heart-broken?

The birth of my first child left a marked and profound impact on me.  All throughout my pregnancy, I had dreamt about and planned for his arrival.  It would be hard, it would be painful, but it would be beautiful and graceful.  And I would rejoice.  But it wasn’t and I didn’t.

We need to induce you ASAP or your baby is going to be born sick.  Ok…if you say so.

We need to crank up the pitocin, or you’re going to have a c-section. Ok…if you say so.

I’m glad you did what we said, because we almost had to cut him out. Ok…if you say so.

I did what they said and in the aftermath, I was left shell-shocked.  What had just happened?  I didn’t give birth — birth had been done to me.

“Well, all that matters is a healthy mom and a healthy baby.”

For months I mourned his birthday.  What was supposed to be one of the most extraordinary days in my life was a day that I couldn’t stop reliving, but only wanted to forget.  I felt ashamed of how I’d let things happen and remorseful that I didn’t give my son a more welcoming entrance into society.  Would I ever even desire another child? Would I ever willingly repeat the trauma of labor and delivery?  I was stuck between a place of swearing I’d never give birth again, and wanting an encore just so I could have a shot at doing it “right”….of fixing what I wrongfully believed I had failed at the first time.

“Well, all that matters is a healthy mom and a healthy baby.”

Baby blues quickly spiraled into full blown postpartum depression.  What was wrong with me?  I loved my son almost more than my heart could handle and I was so grateful for the gift of being his momma.  And I was healthy and had a flourishing little boy.  Everyone kept telling me that’s all that matters…so shouldn’t I just be happy?

Then I had another baby and I finally understood.  They were wrong — a healthy mom and healthy baby are not all that matters.

Birth matters.  How you give birth matters.

The second time around I had a doula who comforted and supported me.  Who repeatedly reminded me that birth could be beautiful.  Who believed I was designed for this.  I had a midwife who encouraged me and trusted my body. Who never once debased or belittled me.  Who respected me.

And I was FREE.  Free to labor how I wanted…in the tub, on a ball, and even in the hospital parking lot when I needed fresh air.  Free to go home even though I was 7cm dilated (only to return 30 minutes later) because emotionally, it’s what I needed.   Free to give birth right there in the middle of the hospital room floor, because that’s what my body told me to do. 

 It was beautiful and graceful. And I rejoiced.

Birth matters.  How you give birth matters.

Just ask the thousands of women in this country who have been bullied and coerced into a birth experience they never asked to have.  Ask the thousands of women in this country who suffer from actual post traumatic stress disorder after giving birth.  Ask the thousands of women who love their children deeply, but hated their birth.

A healthy baby and a healthy mom are undoubtedly the primary goal.  OBVIOUSLY. And I could never ever begin to imagine the pain of those who aren’t able to achieve that goal.  Their suffering is on a whole other level and incomparable. 

But how you give birth matters, and our feelings surrounding the event are valid.  To the mom who felt like her birth hopes unraveled and fell apart, it’s ok to mourn your birth experience.  It’s ok to feel heartbroken over how you brought your baby into this world — or more pointedly said, how birth was done to you.  And it’s ok to fervently pray for something different the next time around.

Because birth matters.  How you give birth matters.

Not everyone can or should have a natural birth.  And natural birth, while generally the safer and healthier option, isn’t necessarily the be-all and end-all. Complications arise and thank goodness for medical interventions.  But as a woman, you deserve a birth experience you can feel good about.  Not necessarily a perfect, natural, peaceful birth (though those are wonderful), but a birth experience where you feel supported, dignified, and respected.  How you give birth matters, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 

How you give birth matters, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.  #birth #birthmatters @BestofBaby… Click To Tweet

 It matters how you birth www.bestofbabylady.com

 

 UPDATE:  Thank you so much for the outpouring of support this piece received. I am humbled by those of you who told me I gave a voice to your experiences.  I want to make it clear that obviously, the most important thing is a healthy mom/baby.  Obviously.  OBVIOUSLY.   I’m not trying to claim that anything is more important…or even as important as that.  But I am claiming that women have the right to have their feelings respected rather than dismissed.

Also, while I never expect everyone to agree with me, I do appreciate everyone who took the time to thoughtfully comment…whether or not you share my view point.  After spending hours reading and replying to comments (thank you to everyone who commented!), I want to clarify a common misconception.  This post is NOT about what kind of birth you have (c-section, natural, medicated, home, etc.), but rather about your overall birth experience and having your feelings respected thereafter.  I absolutely believe you can have a c-section (and any other type of birth) and still have a positive birth experience. 

Last note – Profanity and outright meanness will be deleted.  Promptly. 

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Iulia is a former educator turned stay-at-home mama of a spunky toddler and a squishy infant. With a touch of sass and a good dose of self-deprecating humor, she has an ever-expanding repertoire of bloopers, insights, stories, and impassioned opinions to share. Iulia likes to think she has this parenting gig figured out, but her littles remind her daily just how far from the truth that is.

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209 Comments

  • plumtickledpink@gmail.com'
    Reply Amanda February 2, 2015 at 9:20 am

    totally agree! Education and support are key! Love this post!

    • stopwhining@gmail.com'
      Reply Grownup March 5, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      Agree. The whiniest, pampered, most self-absorbed generation in American history. Me, me, me! Barf.

      • fee_bell@hotmail.com'
        Reply Fee April 10, 2015 at 7:47 am

        Hi,

        Perspective is a wonderful thing. I agree this particular blog is very self absorbed. When you put it in the scheme of things it wasn’t a crisis. No one died or became seriously unwell.

        • Adellegrover@gmail.com'
          Reply Adelle February 14, 2016 at 7:54 am

          Postpartum depression is a serious crisis. How wait, only when a mother who loves her children beyond compare murders her children? I gave birth to my son only r months ago and still cry myself to sleep some nights. I gave birth in a state hospital and had absolutely no say in how the birth of my son took place. I had to lie down on my back. When I argued I needed to stand and crouch they said no! I had no choice in weather I got the episiotomy or not. She just cut me and I felt every single cut. I had no say and honestly I was too tired and shocked to put up a fuss over whether or not I wanted the injection to help deliver the placenta. Which by the way caused 3 and a half months of struggling with postpartum hemorrhage.
          Its not self absorbed. It is traumatic. Either you have no children or you do and your birth went perfectly. In either case negating the feelings and experiences of others is wrong and you have no right.

  • deliberatemom@gmail.com'
    Reply Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom February 2, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Such a great post. I had a doula with both my daughters and pushed for labour my way. With my second everything was perfect and then we encountered shoulder dystocia. My labour went from peaceful and idea to a chaotic emergency… with an alarm bell literally ringing and every hospital staff on the labour and delivery floor pushing, pulling and pressing me in all directions. It was horrifying and I suffered from anxiety attacks, nightmares, and depression afterwards.

    The staff wouldn’t even listen to my doula who was advocating for everyone to let me turn over onto my hands and knees to help the baby get “unstuck”.

    Thank you for sharing. Education and support before, during, and after birth are so critical.
    xoxo
    Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom recently posted…30 Delightful Ways to Connect with Your ChildMy Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 2, 2015 at 3:15 pm

      Ugh I’m so sorry you had that experience Jennifer. My doula would be so angry for you!

  • lbp@lifebreathpresent.com'
    Reply Life Breath Present February 2, 2015 at 9:35 am

    I wholeheartedly agree with this! How you birth matters. I believe it’s important to educate oneself to the best of your ability, don’t just go with anything simply because it comes from someone (or a group of someones) whom you’ve been ‘taught’ and encouraged to trust. And yes, for the most part, you can make all the choices you want when it comes to labor and birth and there are so many things you don’t have to “lie down” for. Great post! 🙂
    Life Breath Present recently posted…A Lack of Anniversaries Don’t Make Us Less TogetherMy Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 2, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      I so agree with this! So many women don’t realize that they have a voice. Literally…they are paying the doctors, not the other way around.

      • Reply Anonymous February 4, 2016 at 4:47 pm

        Wow. Your ignorance is astounding.

        • lauracooskey@frontiernet.net'
          Reply Laura Cooskey February 15, 2016 at 4:32 am

          Wow. Your arrogance is astounding. I assume you were responding to Bestofbaby’s supportive opinion. Not a parade of misinformation– an informed opinion. As a non-ignorant mother (three home births), i don’t see any ignorance in Bestofbaby’s comment. She is right on. A doctor might know, in certain emergency situations, what is best for the baby… but an informed midwife, doula, or mother would be the ones to decide whether it actually IS an emergency. At any sign of real danger to the life or health of the fetus, “medical” intervention is welcomed. What i think we’re arguing here (i can’t speak for Bestofbaby) is that when there IS no emergency, hospital medical personnel are all too ready to jump in with the drugs or the knife anyway. Who shall decide when there is that emergency? The guy who gets paid to wield the knife and the drugs, or the person whose entire life is wrapped up in giving birth to this baby, and her experienced allies?

      • Kdogsortino@msn.com'
        Reply Anonymus February 14, 2016 at 5:03 pm

        This is so unbelievably selfish. Do you know how many women just want a healthy baby? My nephew was stillborn 2 weeks ago today. My sister wanted a natural birth, she was seeing a midwife at birthing center. Her pregnancy was perfect, no problems. She say her midwife the day before her due date, 2 days later she was concerned about a decrease in the babies movement. She went to get checked at the birthing center, they couldn’t find his heartbeat. An ultrasound was then done. He was gone. They were immediately sent to the hospital. 3 ultrasounds confirmed her baby was dead. I guarantee she would would’ve had a c-section..anything to have her baby born healthy and alive!

        • lauracooskey@frontiernet.net'
          Reply Laura Cooskey February 15, 2016 at 4:37 am

          That is a real tragedy and a sorry story. But i don’t see how it’s selfish to say that a natural birth is preferable to one with unnecessary interventions. I mean to say, what does your sister’s tragedy possibly have to do with the fact that a woman has expressed her belief that –in the overwhelmingly likely event of a normal, healthy pregnancy–a natural and comfortable birth, where the mother feels like she and her baby actually matter, is important and can have a real impact on the quality of life for mother and child in the months and years to follow?

        • marylyons47@hotmail.com'
          Reply Mary Lyons February 16, 2016 at 12:41 pm

          Come over and live in Ireland. When your scan shows that the your wanted and loved baby has a Fatal Feotal condition and has no chance of survival outside the womb, you have to travel to another country to have a termination.!
          Just feel wonderful that you have your little baby in a cot beside your bed and not cremated in a foreign country!

  • lisa@thebenroecks.com'
    Reply Lisa B February 2, 2015 at 10:27 am

    I so agree with this. I absolutely hated the c-section delivery of my daughter and next time I have a baby (God willing!) I hope to VBAC in a much more calm environment!
    Lisa B recently posted…Nourished.My Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 2, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      Oh Lisa, I hope that for you too! If you get pregnant, make sure you connect with a local ICAN chapter…they are such a huge support for VBACs!

  • mommyzoid@gmail.com'
    Reply Stephanie McDougall @ Mommyzoid February 2, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    Beautifully said, Iulia! I think this is so important for women to hear.

    Stephanie @ Mommyzoid

  • Monica.geglio@mommyandlove.com'
    Reply Monica February 2, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Great article. Glad your second birth was better. It’s always important for a mother to go with what SHE feels best! <3

  • glamgranolageek@gmail.com'
    Reply Sarah @ GlamGranolaGeek February 2, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    I totally agree! Even if you don’t have birth done to you, there are situations that can cause trauma. I had a situation like that with my first. It was handled so well by my midwives but traumatic nonetheless. Birth is a complex situation!
    Sarah @ GlamGranolaGeek recently posted…Homemaking Like a Boss! { Tidying Edition + Video }My Profile

  • itsthenewtwenty@gmail.com'
    Reply Michelle @ Its the New Twenty February 2, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    Ok, I totally get that you wanted a different birth experience, but isn’t it true that if your water breaks and you’re not dilating that they do in fact have to do something or it can be harmful to baby?? I might be wrong. I am by no means an expert and am just asking, but I can see how not all birth situations can go as planned. Your babe is just beautiful though!
    Michelle @ Its the New Twenty recently posted…I Belong Under Blankets. Permanently.My Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 2, 2015 at 8:58 pm

      Michelle – Yes you are totally right…after a certain point if your water is broken and you’re not dilating it can be harmful to the baby. That said, pitocin doesn’t have to be the first line of action (I didn’t learn this until my second pregnancy, or I would have pushed for something different with my first birth). Also, there are varying opinions on how much time can pass from membrane rupture until an actual need for induction, and some medical professionals are way too trigger happy in this respect. I’m not saying that the induction of my first son wasn’t medically necessary, but I do think the whole situation could have been handled differently…everything from the decisions that were made to just general bedside manner.

      • Reply Anonymous February 13, 2015 at 12:11 pm

        What other alternatives are there apart from pitocin? They broke my waters for me and within two hours I had drips, monitors etc …. It never happened naturally!
        While I am glad we’re both healthy, I am disappointed to have had to give birth that way!

        • Reply Diana February 18, 2015 at 9:42 pm

          Yes, there are other ways, like this herbal mixture lemon verbina, it’s gross but it helps a lot and then walking up and down the stairs or going for a walk.

    • Reply Anonymous February 14, 2015 at 10:49 pm

      My water broke on a Sunday and it didn’t occur to me that that is what happened until Thursday when I was also realizing I had also been stuck in prelabor for most of that time. I discovered the spinning babies website that offered some techniques to get labor going and they worked. My baby was born four hours later and had shoulder dystopia but thanks to a knowledgeable midwife who knew how to turn her, she got her unstuck in a couple of minutes. Doctor’s are trained to test these like emergencies when they don’t always have to be.

      • Reply Anonymous February 14, 2015 at 10:57 pm

        I just wanted to add that my baby was born healthy and strong and I did not develop and infection but then, no one checked me to see how far dilated I was, thus reducing the risk of introducing bacteria. Maybe I got lucky, who knows. But I also know there are other options besides Pitocin and freaking out when a person’s water breaks or when shoulder dystocia occurs.

      • Reply Anonymous March 3, 2015 at 6:57 pm

        I guarantee your midwife was treating a shoulder dysticia as an emergency, as babies can die if not delivered within 5 minutes. However how she handled herself & those around her to maintain a calm environment so you didn’t feel the worst possible outcomes was a possibility is what mattered here.

        • ideagirl1227@gmail.com'
          Reply Daleth March 7, 2015 at 1:19 pm

          Yes, I completely agree with Anonymous: if your midwife was competent then she was treating shoulder dystocia as an emergency, because it is. It can kill a baby within 5 minutes, and even when the baby is able to be freed, some are left with lifelong partial paralysis (this is called “brachial plexus palsy,” in case you want to look it up). That’s why all competent doctors and midwives treat it as an emergency–not because they’re trying to scare you, but because they’re trying to make sure your baby is born alive and well, and they only have minutes to do that.

    • comf22@yahoo.com'
      Reply David Comfort February 18, 2015 at 9:36 am

      This exact scenario(unexpected releasing of waters) happened to us last week after 37 ½ weeks. We became anxious that we our vision for home birth would be compromised by Florida law. Our midwife reiterated her trust in my wife’s body. We ate a meal went to sleep and pre labor started 6 hours later. We went for two long 1 ½ hour walks around the neighborhood and by 4pm were in active labor. Our beautiful girl was birthed at home 5 hours later. Our midwife had herbal treatments to move things along but they weren’t necessary. Birthing challenges women on many fronts and this element pushed my wife to examine and trust in her body’s divine knowing. I love that this just reinforced to her that her exquisite body knows best.

  • jsdimas84@gmail.com'
    Reply Jessica Dimas February 3, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Wow, amazing post Iulia. I couldn’t agree more and I’m so happy that you are writing about it, because there is such a backlash against moms right now for desiring MORE than they’re currently offered in most hospitals. Like we shouldn’t have the audacity to ask or put our babies at risk for not wanting to be treated in such degraded ways.
    Jessica Dimas recently posted…10 Mommy Items I Can’t Live WithoutMy Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 3, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      Yes I totally agree! And when you look at how much better other countries do birth, well shame on us.

  • eucalyptica@hotmail.com'
    Reply Jenny @ Unremarkable Files February 3, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Wow, what a great post. Followed you over here from Mommy Monday and I’m so glad I did. I think it definitely does matter, even though that “healthy mom and baby” line was said many a time (even by me.) It’s the MOST important thing, but not the only important thing. The type of birth experience you have – or I guess I should say how you feel about the birth experience you had – definitely does make a difference. I have 5 children, and my fifth baby’s birth was exactly the opposite of everything I’d ever wanted. It took me a long time to accept it. I actually tried to write about it on my blog a little while ago and the post just wouldn’t come out right – I think the experience is still just too raw for me. And he’s almost a year old!
    Jenny @ Unremarkable Files recently posted…What Motherhood Taught Me About God: Our Infinite WorthMy Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 3, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      Jenny I completely understand this…I still haven’t written about my first baby’s birth….almost 3 years later!

  • tobin.kimberley@gmail.com'
    Reply Kim @ HappyPrettyBlog February 3, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    My son’s birth was incredibly traumatic and it took me a very long time to come to terms with how it all went down. I’ve never blogged the entire story but it was a 60 hour labor ending in an emergency c-section. I believe it was a huge reason why I struggled so much with PPD. I’ll be having my 2nd baby in a few weeks time and I’m hoping this one goes better than the first haha! I do have a scheduled section planned, given the reasons for my first but the plan with my doctor is that we are hoping I go into labor on my own and we will access the situation and see if I’ll be able to have a VBAC. I’m trying not to have as many expectations this time so that I won’t be as let down just in case. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂 I’m glad to know I’m not alone!
    Kim @ HappyPrettyBlog recently posted…Pregnancy Update – Week 36 and a Giveaway!My Profile

  • emmy@emmymom2.com'
    Reply Emmy February 3, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    You are right, it does matter, it really can change everything; yet I know for me, that line of as long as you have a healthy baby and mom is the only thing that got me through it. I literally pushed for 4 hours from just about every position imaginable, my hands and knees, standing, etc. etc. only to end in a c-section in the end. I cried when I left my first postpartum appointment and was told how much I had torn internally so should never try a vaginal birth again. I cried when I thought what I had missed out on, yet that one thought, the knowledge of the fact that my baby was alive and healthy, that was my one life line that got me through it all. So yes, I do agree with you, but for those of who never were able to birth like we hoped for, it is what we cling to to make it all okay.
    Thank you for linking up with the #bestoftheblogosphere
    Emmy recently posted…A New Twist on Valentine’s DayMy Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 3, 2015 at 11:57 pm

      Emmy thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry for your experience and I completely understand where you’re coming from. You bring up an excellent point and I think many women with similar experiences would agree with you! While my situation was different than yours, I definitely found comfort just in thinking about my sweet child. I do remember thinking that despite how awful it was, it was all worth it. That doesn’t mean I didn’t mourn how it all went, but of course it was all worth it for my baby.

    • Reply Anonymous February 12, 2015 at 11:46 am

      I had the same experience. Four hours of pushing that went nowhere. C-section in the end. I’m just stumbling on this post, but am so glad to hear that others had this experience and were not able to “get over it” so fast. I’m still really struggling.

  • jlpenz@telus.net'
    Reply Jessica February 3, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Thank you for this post. I went through a traumatic experience with the birth of my daughter just over two years ago. I suffered through post partom depression, PTSD and anxiety. Mom and baby where NOT okay. My daughter spent the first few weeks of her life in NNICU. Me, I was in a fog. I don’t really remember much from that time. I struggled with becoming intimate with my husband. I went over a year before I would let him touch me again. The mans a saint…lol. I always wanted lots of children but after everything with my first I will NEVER go through that again. Totally done having children. I wish that there was some form of support ar anything at the time to help me through that time. People just tell you that it’s normal and should just be happy to have a child.

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 3, 2015 at 11:58 pm

      Yes that’s exactly what I’m getting at…it’s ok to grieve how it went even when everyone else tells you that you should be happy.

  • eastern.ma@ican-online.org'
    Reply kira February 3, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    I’m an ICAN chapter leader who suffered from PTSD after my first birth. My epidural was uneven and I felt them make the first incision during the c section I was bullied into. Nobody could understand why I was so devastated and I couldn’t even put it into words for years. My 2nd birth was an attempted home birth that ended in another section. Though the experience was better, I felt like a failure and had a hard time bonding. My third was a homebirth. He’s 9 months old and I still feel like a goddess looking back at the fact that I not only grew this perfect being, but I birthed him. On my bed. Breech. I was the first to touch him and I instantly felt the jolt of love. Birth matters.

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 3, 2015 at 11:58 pm

      I’m SO happy for you that you had such a wonderful birth experience the third time. It truly is a healing and life-changing experience!

  • keenanlauram@gmail.com'
    Reply Laura February 3, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    Beautifully written! I had strong feelings about the type of birth I wanted with my first, and since things did not turn out how I wanted, I felt that his birth wasn’t special. I had a great staff that didn’t pressure me into anything, but nevertheless his birth was less than ideal. I am so hoping for a different experience this time around!
    Laura recently posted…27 Weeks (Bump #2)My Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 3, 2015 at 11:59 pm

      Laura – I pray that you have a better second birth! If you haven’t already, consider hiring a doula. My doula was instrumental in my positive birth experience.

  • Proud@gmail.com'
    Reply Proud c-section mom February 3, 2015 at 10:48 pm

    So i must be only person in the world who disagrees with this post. Healthy mom and baby are the only thing you should worry about. How you give birth does not define you as a mother. It is how you cope with the decision that makes the difference. I cannot believe that you are so hell bent on the perfect delivery that you cannot focus on your perfect baby. I had 2 c-sections and i will do it again and again and again because i will NEVER put my baby’s health at risk for the “perfect, normal birth”. Again, how you give birth does not define you as a woman or a mom. Putting someone else’s wellbeing before yours is what makes you special as a mom. Stop trying to make c-section moms feel like failures because we love our children just as much as you. And unlike you who had PPD because you did not have a “perfect birth”, i recovered from my surgery and loved my babies just as much with no depression about how they came into the world; just grateful for medical interventions that gave me healthy living babies.

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 4, 2015 at 12:06 am

      I have ZERO intention at making anyone, c-section or not, feel like a failure. My goal was also not to advocate for one method of birth over another, but rather to tell women who aren’t happy with their birth experience that it’s ok to be sad about it. I want every woman to feel good about their births, but I never said that it has to be a natural birth. If you had positive c-section experiences, AWESOME. I know women who have had negative natural birth experiences. The method is not necessarily the point. Support, respect, encouragement, etc…

      • ideagirl1227@gmail.com'
        Reply Daleth March 7, 2015 at 1:54 pm

        It’s understandable and of course ok to be sad when your birth experience was unexpectedly traumatic. What I don’t understand, though, is why the narrative here is that it’s ok to be sad just because the birth did not live up to your expectations in terms of the mood of it (graceful, calm, joyful etc.) or in terms of what specifics you had hoped for in advance (e.g. hoping/planning not to use Pitocin, not to have an epidural, to have/not have a vaginal birth, etc.).

        Why are you not gently suggesting that the problem is in expecting birth itself–and I don’t mean meeting your child, but the process of birth itself–to be a peak experience bathed on golden light, upon which you will always look back fondly? Some people SUCH a high value on their birth plans and expectations that if things don’t turn out that way, they get so depressed that they have trouble bonding with their baby! That’s incredibly damaging!

        Why would you promote the idea that it’s ok to place THAT much importance on your plans and expectations for anything, much less for something that’s inherently unpredictable?

    • Reply Elle February 5, 2015 at 9:12 am

      No, I agree with you. I have a friend who recently suffered a still birth and had to deliver the baby and another who nearly died during a home birth. I’m afraid, in the light of these sorts of terrible things, I find this stuff about years later being traumatised by not having had the “perfect natural birth” you wanted quite self-indulgent. It is very much a First World issue. I am grateful to live in a country (UK) which has a health system, which for all it’s failings due to lack of funding, is there for us with necessary medical interventions if complications arise. But really, get some perspective. Visit a cot death support site, or read the stories of women who have endured still birth. That is real suffering.

      • Reply Elle February 5, 2015 at 9:14 am

        … I re-read what I wrote and didn’t mean to sound so harsh. Yes, your experience matters, but I think what I’m trying to say is that in the big scheme of things it doesn’t matter that much. Not if you have a beautiful, healthy baby at the end of it – something denied to so many people.

      • kristle.morgan.km@gmail.com'
        Reply Kristle December 7, 2015 at 12:10 am

        I can’t even begin to describe how much I agree with this. I was the one with the picture perfect all-natural births. Everything went exactly according to my plan. Would I have been upset if it hadn’t? Absolutely. I had my heart set on drug free deliveries and being able to go home the next day to nurse my babies and bond with them. My first wouldn’t/couldn’t nurse. I never really got any milk (hereditary low supply), and he was lip tied. I tried pumping, but it just never worked out. I was absolutely heartbroken. Guilty as they come. I had failed my child. Guess what though? My child was ALIVE and THRIVING. It wasn’t traumatic that I couldn’t breastfeed. I wasn’t suffering anxiety attacks or on medication for depression over it. Who in their right mind thinks that they have a right to be depressed solely over their birth not going according to plan as long as they and their child ended up alive and healthy? What sort of entitled and self absorbed person feels they have the right to say they’ve suffered or anguished over an epidural or some pitocin? I’ve watched two close friends bury stillborns. One had to be induced and give birth to a dead child, and one had an emergency caesarean while under general anesthesia and didn’t know her daughter was dead until she woke up several hours later. THAT’S traumatic. Anguish. Unspeakable and indescribable pain. Having doctors with poor bedside manner and some unwanted pitocin? Good God help us all if that’s what we’re coming to as a people.

        • Reply Anonymous February 14, 2016 at 3:30 pm

          This is a horrifying response. No one chooses to be depressed..

          • Kristle March 23, 2016 at 11:24 am

            I never said anyone chooses to be depressed. I know people who have had amazing births exactly as intended and still suffered from PP depression. What I’m saying is that the way this article is written, it’s as if depression is brought on by having an epidural or an induction. That’s insane. None of the things the writer mentioned are a cause for depression based solely on “I couldn’t have it my way”. Grow up, be an adult, and take care of your LIVE child. Realize that not everyone gets the chance to take home a healthy baby, or even take one home at all.

    • badaza@hotmail.com'
      Reply badaza February 5, 2015 at 4:51 pm

      Your response (and anyone who says the old “Healthy mom and baby” nugget) is why I try to make this point:

      If mom has PPD from her birth, whatever the birth, is she healthy? Health is not only physical.

      If baby has respiratory difficulties, which is more frequent with c-sections, is he healthy?

      Yes, everyone is happy to have an baby that is alive and (relatively) healthy. But that’s pretty much the bare minimum we expect from birth. It’s a bit like hearing “What are you complaining about? At least, your parents didn’t beat you.”

    • gmosher22@hotmail.com'
      Reply Grace February 13, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      Thank you for bringing sanity to this discussion!! I hope for the “birth of your dreams” for every pregnant mom but at the end of the day, no matter how your baby arrives, rejoice that you have a baby to take home. I am concerned about the pressure on mom’s today for the perfect delivery. Not everything can be controlled and to place undue pressure on the method of arrival is dangerous to the mom and baby. The home birth/doula route can be beautiful–I know many that have done it. However, I also know a woman who was so determined it was the ONLY option and she refused a hospital after a long labor. Her baby died in childbirth. So I state here with 100% certainty–All that matters is a healthy mom and baby!!! Ask my friend who learned that truth too late.

      • Reply Bestofbaby February 14, 2015 at 7:27 pm

        I’m so very sorry for your friend. Truly. I’ll say this again though, the point was not home birth/doula/midwife/etc. It’s being supported in your birth experience, and having your feelings on the event respected thereafter.

    • Reply Anonymous February 14, 2015 at 4:56 pm

      thank you as the Neonatal Practitioner who resuscitates babies I have a much different perspective

    • Reply Anonymous February 20, 2015 at 6:03 pm

      I love your post, Proud C Section mom!! I have been a labor and delivery nurse for 16 years. I have seen LOTS of good and bad deliveries. I don’t think it’s a LIE to tell someone that the health of the mom and baby are all that matter….because that truly is all that matters!! I personally think it is such a selfish and self-centered concept for a woman to put her “birthing experience” over the safety and health of her babies or her own life. There are so many variables in the birth experience I couldn’t even begin to list them all here but as a first time mom who needed to be induced….it sucks and it’s not what you dream of….but ultimately the safety of the baby and mom should be the #1 priority! Of course her 2nd and/or 3rd deliveries were easier and calmer and more pleasant. They almost always are! I think women should educate themselves and be able to make decisions about their birth experience but not at the expense of their child’s or their own health! Learn all the facts before you start making claims of being lied to and treated poorly! For all we know, that traumatic/undesired birth experience could have saved that child’s life….or prevented brain damage or cerebral palsy! Thanks c-section mom for speaking up on this!

      • storknurse98@hotmail.com'
        Reply Storknurse March 5, 2015 at 12:58 am

        Amen sister! I too am an L&D nurse. Posts like the original post here frustrate me to no end!! These are the posts our patients read before coming to the hospital….we are deemed the enemy before they ever walk into the unit. I love supporting moms through this wonderful life-changing event regardless of what type of delivery they have. It’s not only my job, it’s my passion. But I am just as passionate about making sure the outcome is safe and that there is a “healthy mommy and healthy baby” as I am about supporting her through it. Nothing is more offensive to me than to be described as a bully and as someone who doesn’t care. I put my heart and soul into what I do FOR OTHERS and regularly get verbally beat up for it in posts like this. Proud C-Section Mom: good for you! So happy for you and your experiences. As for all the others claiming that their caregivers are bullies, etc…try to do what we do, see what we see….just for one day. You might find that we actually have knowledge that we’re using to HELP you, NOT harm you!!

        • lovekelz@hotmail.com'
          Reply Kel March 7, 2015 at 8:21 am

          Please don’t be offended, but as a nurse, you would understand the ins and outs of all birth experiences.
          As a first time mother, my first birthing experience was traumatic. Although I had done all my research, I knew what to expect, I understood active labour, pain relief options, vitamin k, placenta abruptions, pre-eclampsia…. I read everything I could and thought I knew everything I needed to know. I attended pre-natal classes and a birthing suite tour. I was academically prepared and not practically prepared. I am not in a hospital every day.
          During my first birth, I was TERRIFIED and thought, at times, I was going to die. Some may laugh at that because, yes, I did give birth naturally and so many do it around the world every minute (OBEM pun not intended). I required suction cap to assist and it wasn’t until that time the midwife and delivery ob realised my baby was posterior. The whole experience changed me and I suffered PPD over the next 18 months. In the days after my birth, I felt as though I loved this beautiful creature with all my heart, her tiny face and hands…. but later that day, I remember telling a friend on the phone that she was gorgeous, but I felt as though somebody had handed me a baby…….at the time I was still high on adrenalin and it is only in hindsight (and after my 2nd birth) how strange saying something like that was.
          In the grand scheme of things, my arduous, “traumatic” birth, was tame to some.
          My second birth was extremely different. A hospital water birth with no intervention and little input from my midwife… only support and guidance when I needed her. This time around I knew what to expect. I made choices, I felt more in control. After this birth I felt the zing. I was the first person to touch my baby born into the water and I lifted him up to me. It was instant electrifying bonding love and my husband reconigises the affection in comparison to my first. I would lose a limb for any of my children, but my instinct was ignited after an entirely different birthing experience.
          Education for first time mothers is what needs to change here. Yes, I also felt unsupported, lacking in dignity and completely out of control with my first child. Examples of what can/could go wrong and the emotions that may come with with those traumatic times. Mentally I was ready to have a baby, but I was not prepared for the emotions and what to expect in the case of a traumatic birth. “We may be required to use forceps, suction cap or if your baby is in distress, conduct a c-section” unfortunately does not encapsulate the emotional experience of those interventions.
          Of course it is okay to mourn the birthing experience you had hoped for. Personally I would opt for a c-section as I know what to expect as I have been educated by advertising, media, television, movies on how it happens rather than being terrified of the unknown.

          • Anonymous March 12, 2015 at 10:51 pm

            Kel I disagree with you to opt for c- section because you know what to expect is not wise. It is a painful surgery and sometimes things don’t go as expected. For instance, my mother had a C section for her 6th child and the doctor made a mistake and accidentally cut her bladder.

    • Reply victoria February 21, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      Amen, sat reading this comment astounded and slightly disgusted…my first two labours went smooth (sadly my first born passed away before leaving hospital) my third was an emergency c section and yes it’s not what I wanted and I was gutted for all of a day, till I realised how stupid and selfish I was being, I had a healthy baby girl. How many mothers leave hospital without there babies? An you are sulking and “grieving” (almost makes me sick that you people can say that) all for your dream labour. The dream labour is the one where you get to take your baby home. Think about if you’d got your perfect but lost your baby in the process, then tell me which was actually important.

    • deps76@hotmail.com'
      Reply Anonymous 2 February 16, 2016 at 3:14 pm

      I disagree with this post completely! There’s a level of uneducated whimsy in here. Seriously blows my mind.

  • rhinostorugrats@gmail.com'
    Reply Heather February 3, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    Beautiful post! I just had an emergency c-section a month before my due date and I’m definitely suffering a little ptsd from it! And while I’m thankful for the lifesaving abilities of this procedure for myself and my son, it TOTALLY MATTERS! Thanks for sharing this!
    Heather recently posted…Kids Kraft Kit Review – Week Four – Popsicle Stick Christmas TreeMy Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 4, 2015 at 12:06 am

      Heather I’m sorry for your experience! Thank you for your thoughts and I’m glad you resonated with this piece.

  • lauracfl@gmail.com'
    Reply Laura February 3, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    Someone posted this article on facebook, so I decided to read it.

    I felt cheated out of my first birth experience with my son. I was only four days overdue when he was born via unplanned c-section because the doctors wanted me to be induced. I wasn’t happy with the idea, but around that time there had been 2 women I knew (one IRL and one on a msg. board) – who had gone through tragedies that still make me cry to this day. I will NEVER forget their stories.

    The woman I know IRL was overdue by 2 weeks when she lost her baby. That was all I knew at the time. She did not tell me the story until after my son was a few months old (and about 7 months after she lost hers). I’ll never forget her trembling, telling me that that morning she ate, felt him wriggling a lot (a little unusual at the time, but he liked pancakes). Then, she was so busy getting last minute things in his nursery ready that she didn’t realize he hadn’t moved at all since the morning until she was about to go to the hospital for her scheduled induction. They could not find a heartbeat. An ultrasound showed the amniotic fluid level was low. But worst of all, it confirmed her worst nightmare – her son had died in utero (determined later as a cord accident). She had just assumed that his less frequent movements over time were due to him running out of room, and that his wriggling that morning was because she had “a lot” of pancakes because he moved the most when she ate them. She had to give birth to her deceased child. She struggled (and still does) with the fact that if she had let the doctor’s induce her just a few days earlier, or a week when they had wanted to, or even just a few hours earlier, she would have a perfectly healthy son today!! 10.5 years old. Our sons would have been able to play together.

    Another tragedy I read about was a placental abruption at 40 weeks. This was someone online that I “met” because our babies were due around the same time. Her baby might have been saved if the she had decided to give birth at a hospital, but she had decided on a home birth (because her first birth was at a big bad hospital with bully doctors, and she didn’t want that again)… and the midwife could not save the baby or get her to a hospital quick enough.

    I can’t deny that the manner in which I gave birth upset me at the time. I was induced (which I only agreed to because I was scared), in ‘false’ labor for 12 hours, and then after there was no progress, told I needed an emergency c-section (I had moved and the baby’s heart rate dipped, but then came back up). My son was in no rush to be born… he had been perfectly comfortable. My body wasn’t ready. Recovery was difficult. My milk didn’t come until a full 5 days after his birth. I felt like a failure. It wasn’t the birth that I wanted, and it certainly wasn’t in the birth plan I had meticulously written. Things don’t always go as planned.

    BUT – I have a 10 year old son. He is alive. He is thriving. And while we had a rough start, you would never know it today. I went on to have 2 more children via repeat c-section. Were the birth methods the way I had always dreamed of? No. Are they here, amazing, alive, happy and healthy little kids? YUP.

    Listening to my neighbor’s stillbirth story those years ago put so much into perspective for me. Thinking about these two women – who would both have 10 & 10.5 year old children right now…. put a lot into perspective for me.

    “A healthy baby and a healthy mom are undoubtedly the primary goal. But how you give birth matters too. To the mom who’s grieving, it’s ok to mourn your birth experience. It’s ok to feel heartbroken over how you brought your baby into this world — or more pointedly said, how birth was done to you”

    …aaaannndd, to that, I’ll say I would MUCH rather feel cheated out of a birth experience, than to experience actual GRIEF because my child never made it into this world ALIVE!

    Nobody can tell someone else how to feel, but I disagree heartily with the statement that how you give birth matters, or “how birth was DONE to you” – as if the doctor is there to cheat you of your dreams. Seriously?

    An OBGYN’s goal is for mom and baby to get through the experience ALIVE… and SAFE. If that doesn’t match up with your birth plan, c’est la vie. It’s natural to be upset. And I think it is OK for us women to recognize that when life happens instead of your perfect “plans” – it can be depressing, for sure. But the most important thing truly IS having a baby who is healthy and alive, not HOW birth was “done” to you!!

    Go tell that line to my old neighbor who decided not to induce and let nature take its course for an extra 2 weeks. Go tell that to the woman who was birthing just how she wanted, at home… only to have horrific pain and bleeding, and a midwife who couldn’t do anything but “pray” everything will be OK while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Go tell that to the thousands of women who had empty nurseries and had to plan funerals instead, or even worse, the husbands who had to plan double funerals. I’m sure any one of those people would choose the ending where the child is ALIVE, regardless of HOW the child was birthed.

    • theeyesofaboyblog@gmail.com'
      Reply Melissa Ann February 4, 2015 at 12:02 am

      Yes. Yes. Yes. Oh, Laura. You nailed it. Thank you.

      • Reply Bestofbaby February 4, 2015 at 12:20 am

        Laura – I’m so sorry for your birth experience, and my heart absolutely hurts for the two moms you mentioned. Such terrible heartbreak. I completely agree with you that the most important thing is a healthy mom and baby….every mom would undoubtedly choose a healthy child over a happy birth. But I stand by what I said that women have the right to mourn their birth experience…birth is a powerful and life-altering process and the manner in which experience it can affect you profoundly. And as far as the birth being “done to you” comment…don’t think doctors are there to “cheat” women out of their dreams. I’m very grateful for medical professionals…I chose to give birth in a hospital again even after my first experience (though I did switch providers and hospitals). But there is no denying that some doctors (and midwives, in my case) do not adequately respect women in the birthing process. There are even lawsuits from women who were forced into medical procedures they did not choose…yes, birth was done to them. My situation was nowhere near that extreme, thankfully, but for some women it is, and they deserve better.

      • Reply Anonymous February 12, 2015 at 9:15 pm

        I would also add that doctors carry their patients with them. Doctors are thinking about a lot more than a mother’s birth plan. It would be horrific to have to deliver a dead baby because of waiting too long or because complications are arising. Did you know that OB’s can be sued for 18 years of a child’s life? I’m sorry you felt cheated but it is so much more important to have your child alive.

    • Reply Kay February 4, 2015 at 10:08 am

      Thank you, Laura. As a mom of a baby who was stillborn, I struggle too empathize with this topic. I appreciate you speaking up for those of us who go home to empty nurseries. That said, I do have to find room in my heart to understand a postpartum mom’s pain. I think so much had to do with education and support, and also the constant mental preparation for mothers to help them understand on emotional levels the unpredictability of birth — what a challenge.

      • Reply Bestofbaby February 14, 2015 at 7:29 pm

        Kay – thank you so much for your rational response. I’m so so very sorry for your loss.

    • Reply Amanda February 13, 2015 at 6:32 pm

      Annnd my mom birthed me 2 weeks late cause that was 34 years ago and obs used to do that.
      Also, I have a friend from high school who lost a baby IN The Hospital due to placenta abruption.
      I think you are missing the point of this post. We all have stories of crappy things that have happened. Your birth experience isn’t the totality of your mothering but it is important to be heard…. no matter where or how you birth. With my first pregnancy my ob said, “you know, you don’t get a medal for going without the epidural.” I switched drs. The next one said, “most women get them, but if you don’t want to, go for it.” I ended up with an epidural …And my voice was heard.

      • Reply Amanda February 13, 2015 at 6:35 pm

        Just realized my response to Laura is right up under Kay’s response as a mother of one stillborn-didn’t want you, Kay, to feel I was being harsh to you…Or really to anyone.

        • Reply Kay February 18, 2015 at 6:30 pm

          It is ok. I do know that how you birth matters. However, and this is a big however, I think the natural birth community and birth advocates do need to do a better job of preparing women. It is one thing to empower women, it is another thing all together to nearly guarantee them the birth they are dreaming of — a la hypnobabies and the like. I agree with u — all birthing women deserve to be heard. But i also want to women to know that no one gets a guarantee.

    • Reply Anonymous February 14, 2015 at 5:05 pm

      I’m so glad to see reason responding. These immature thinking (or not ) are forgetting the most important Person, the baby. When your pregnant it’s all about you, during and after birth guess what princesses it’s now about the baby and will be for a very long time.

    • Reply Anonymous February 14, 2015 at 5:59 pm

      Thank you, thank you Laura!! Now that’s a post I can say a resounding “Amen” to!

  • theeyesofaboyblog@gmail.com'
    Reply Melissa Ann February 4, 2015 at 12:00 am

    This is a well written post, but I have to disagree. A living, healthy baby is all that matters. At least in my world. I think that it’s nice to get the dreamy birth that you’ve been thinking about your whole life. It would be sad to have a “bad” birth experience. Yea. I see that. But, I have to say though, that the only “bad” birth experience I can imagine would be the one where the baby wasn’t born alive on the other end.
    I have been there. I gave birth to my 30-week-old stillborn son in 2011. Then, two living sons followed in 2012 & 2103. Three boys in 25 months. The one I would’ve changed was the one where my son wasn’t alive. The depression that follows after that? You can’t imagine. So, I have to respectfully disagree because to ME all that matters is a healthy mom and a healthy baby.

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 4, 2015 at 12:23 am

      Melissa – My heart breaks for you…I’m so so sorry for your stillborn baby and praise God for your healthy sons. I can’t fathom the depression you must have felt. I completely understand your viewpoint.

  • Reply Stepha February 4, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    I understand where you are coming from with your line, ‘how you give birth matters’, but it is a very tricky space. ‘How’ is an incredibly subjective term. Mamas like ”Proud C-Section Mom’ and Laura are calling out that sticky matter of perspective.

    When you are addressing the process of birth vs the outcome, how you feel about it, vs how it happened, like Jenny brought up, is what I think you’re actually wanting to talk about here. To put any adjective towards HOW you birth, including ‘matters’, opens up a big ugly beast because it further perpetuates feelings of sadness, judgment and failure and defensiveness. It is this perspective, of the ‘how’ mattering, that leaves women feeling like they have to do it ‘right’ in the first place. A perspective that leaves women grieving, convinced the only way they can heal is by doing it better in their next birth. This is unfair.

    And that is the tricky sticky part. Birth is mysterious. Birth is primal and can quickly turn dangerous. There is a component we cannot control as mothers, especially when the mystery becomes big enough it becomes medically controlled, either by need or by fear by our prevailing technocratic models of care. For the sake of a good outcome, sometimes the process, the ‘how’ cannot matter, no matter how much we know about ‘informed consent’ or are given a clear choice. That is not to say there are not bullying bed-side attitudes by stressed-out OB’s or ungrounded midwives who put too much trust in a process that needs to be medically addressed by a professional. That is not to say a birth could have been managed differently, but I was not there, I am not a medical professional, and hence I cannot say what happened was necessary or not. Birth continues to have components of the unknown.

    Therefore, to say ‘how you feel about your birth matters’ allows mamas a fuller range of living in her particular story, to access the wide-range of emotions without drowning in guilt. It still gives space to appreciate the mysterious animus of life that we all need to remember and hold in gratitude without getting too lost in the judgmental why’s and what if’ as we try to make sense around what happened.

    • Reply Kay February 5, 2015 at 11:55 am

      Stepha, yes, exactly this.

    • Reply Amanda February 13, 2015 at 6:38 pm

      Yes, yes. Fully agree.

    • storknurse98@hotmail.com'
      Reply Storknurse March 5, 2015 at 1:10 am

      Yes! This! Well said!

  • contactus@birthwight.co.uk'
    Reply Helen February 4, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    So glad you had the birth you planned first time, se ond time. I too experienced something silar. I mourned my first birth, my spiralling interventions and lack of control, and lack of knowledge that I had a choice! Birth was definitely done to me…I felt I had my birth taken from me, which made bonding a long, hard slog! My beautiful, healing hypno waterbirth two years later, although perfect, opened old wounds and remorse from that first birth, something even now haunts me, that I didn’t know or do better by my little girl.

    I now teach hypnobirthing, to do my part in helping others to meet their aspirations.

    A great post! Thank you.

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 14, 2015 at 7:32 pm

      Helen I’m so happy to hear that you had such a good second birth experience. It really can be healing!

  • Reply Anonymous February 4, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Yes birth matters, and is the most precious thing you do to bring your baby into the world. I’ve had 3 births and all with different out comes. First labor, my body went into labor on its own, but wouldn’t push my baby out. Ended up getting my baby vacuumed out after 5 hours of pushing. The doc said that was enough, and I listened and I’m glad I did. It was a horrible recovery, cuz we tried to let “my body” do the work. Did I feel guilting fornlettingnthe doc help. No! Second labor, she was breach, so did a ultrasound and found my fluid was leaking and pretty much gone, a few more days and my baby girl would have been dead. So they did an emergency c-section, and I have a baby that is alive, do I feel made at the doc, cuz it wasn’t how I wanted my labor to be? No! So far both labora was not what I wanted, but my 2 girls are alive, and nothing wrong And then came my last baby. Pregnancy was perfect, no sickness, after 2 girls I was having a boy, and then an ultrasound, to make sure everything was good with my fluid at 36 1/2 weeks, and everything looked awesome. Hit 37 weeks and went into labor on my own, the labor was awesome, so easy, my body new exactly what to do, no complications, I loved my labor, the nurses and doc were so good to me, then my baby boy was born with lung problems, ended up getting life lighted. He was 2 weeks old before my husband held him for the first time. So, does how the baby gets here matters? In my option no! In the post is saying the doc is telling the mom what to do. If she didn’t listen she could of had a dead baby, so does it matter how you birth? No!!!! I would give up my perfect birth, for my son to be healthy newborn.

  • preid121@Gmail.com'
    Reply Paula February 4, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    As a Doula, childbirth educator(hypnobirth& informed beginnings), hypnotherapist and Wellness Coach, the feelings from a birthing experience will stay with you your entire life, regardless of the baby being healthy, ill or deceased. Obviously, a healthy, living baby is important but what needs to be understood, mamas must learn and trust their body to birth. Yes, if something goes wrong, thank goodness for modern medicine! But, if you do not realize what your rights are, unfortunately, many medical professionals do attempt to push women into a birth experience which is unhealthy. I see, first hand, what and how medical professionals attempt to create the necessity to do something when it is not needed! Women do suffer because they feel betrayed by medical professionals they trusted, and with all their interventions, it is a domino effect leading to a difficult outcome with mamas feeling mentally unhealthy! Bonding and breastfeeding are difficult and our culture still has much to learn about stopping its tendency to evoke fears unnecessarily for pregnant women! Fear of not knowing by the mama as to what should really be done, what she can do along with the medical community using undocumented, non-scientifically evidenced methods, all this must change! Know what your birth site offers/requires, what its history is by the numbers and know your care givers philosophies! Work with a good doula to prepare and during the birth! You will never regret making these choices, feeling you were in control and supported……how you birth is a huge deal!

  • Lori@BirthingPeaceWithin.com'
    Reply Lori Barklage February 4, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    I am so touched that you were willing to share your story – it is an oft-repeated story that is finally seeing the light of day. I work with women who are trying to come to peace with a birth that left them feeling traumatized and time after time I hear that they felt alone and were made to feel ungrateful for wanting to share their story. This used to happen to soldiers who went to war, too – it is slowly shifting and you are NOT ALONE in this reality. Every time your story is told you are changing the world for the better. Thank you.

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 14, 2015 at 7:33 pm

      Lori thank you for your sweet words. What a wonderful job you have…helping women heal in this way.

  • Reply Home Skillet Biscuit – Best of Baby February 5, 2015 at 10:10 am

    […] The Birthing Site decided to share my recent post (“They lied…it matters how you birth“) and within a few minutes, it took off across the social media realms.   I’m so […]

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    Reply Stephanie February 5, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    This was a well written post, but I would have to say that I disagree with it in some respects. As someone who had a NICU baby and our birthing experience was nothing like we planned, clinging onto the fact that “as long as we are both healthy” was really a saving grace. Maybe it was because of the relationship that I had with my doctors that made a difference, I don’t know. I never felt bullied and always knew my options, but I knew that I trusted their expertise to get me and my baby through that experience alive. So I think your point may be more centered around how people made you feel about and during your experience. I would have probably come out very similarly if I would have felt mistreated or misguided by my health professionals. Their demeanor definitely makes a huge difference! But after everything we went through to get to that point, it really was all about having a healthy baby in the end for us.
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    • Reply Bestofbaby February 14, 2015 at 7:35 pm

      Stephanie I’m glad that your baby was healthy in the end and that you felt supported in your birth experience! You are right in saying that how people make you feel is very important in your ultimate opinion of your experience.

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    Reply Monica February 5, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    I very much agree with this post. We KNOW that what matters most is a healthy mom and baby. But it’s also important to research, plan and have confidence in your abilities to give birth. Complications happen. We aren’t blind to this. We also don’t want to feel like we’re completely out of control during one of the most significant moments in our lives. A flexible, well-researched plan that is shared with healthcare providers and your birth partners can make such a big difference in how you feel about your birth experience afterwards, not only because you’re planning on how to give birth, but you’re also planning for moments when complications arise. If you did have a birth plan, I’m very sorry that it didn’t seem like your healthcare providers paid attention to it. More of them are starting to, at least where I am, so that’s a good thing.
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  • Reply Bestofbaby February 5, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    I feel the need to lay out a blanket statement here in response to several of the most recent comments. The point of the article was not about having a perfect natural childbirth or that if you go any other route you’ve failed. I believe in women having a POSITIVE birthing experience where they feel supported, respected, etc….that includes c-sections, medicated births, homebirths, water birth, and any other birth you can think of. The point was that it’s ok to grieve if you had a negative birthing experience, even in the face of everyone telling you that all that matters is a healthy mom/baby. For some women, birth is no big deal…and that’s fine! But for most, it has a deep and lasting impact…it matters and it’s ok to let it affect you emotionally. There’s a large range of what defines a negative birth experience…for someone it’s as simple as things not going how they’d hoped, and for others it involves actual physical and emotional trauma….but all of their feelings are valid.

    Also, several women made comments about losing babies and how a healthy mom and baby really are the only thing that matter. I agree that it’s definitely the most important thing and I can’t possibly begin to understand the grief and heartbreak of those poor parents. However, just because someone’s situation is exponentially worse, it does not negate the genuine feelings expressed by moms who’ve had negative birth experiences, even if they came out with a healthy baby. We should absolutely be grateful for a healthy mom and baby above all else, but we still have a right to be affected by our birth experiences.

  • Reply Stepha February 5, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    Still, How you birth does not matter. It does not. How you feel about your birth does matter. Understand the difference?

  • lifewithlorelai@gmail.com'
    Reply Life With Lorelai February 6, 2015 at 1:53 am

    Although my pregnancies and births were not how I had dreamed they would be, I feel so blessed to be a mom. Thanks for sharing your story at the #HomeMattersParty 🙂

    ~Lorelai
    Life With Lorelai
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    Reply Miranda February 6, 2015 at 1:58 am

    I wholeheartedly agree! I had a horrible birth experience in the hospital where I was bullied and coerced into inducing when I knew it wasn’t right. The next baby I gave birth at home and it was so much better! You can read about my birth story here if you’re interested: http://rahabtoriches.com/home-birth-free-printables/
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    • Reply Bestofbaby February 11, 2015 at 11:57 pm

      Miranda thanks for sharing! I love a good birth story 🙂

  • mrsjschon@hotmail.com'
    Reply Jennifer S. February 6, 2015 at 9:03 am

    I think how you feel about your birth is very important. Of course, in the end no matter how our baby arrives if he is healthy, that is the important part. I’ve had eight babies, and I can absolutely say that I felt post-partum was directly related to how I thought the birth went. My first went from a planned home birth to unplanned C-section, but I have no regrets, no bad feelings. I had amazing midwives who tried everything they could to get my body to dilate past 6cm. When they said it was time to go to the hospital, I believed them. I went. The doctors tried to get things moving. Nothing worked so we had surgery. I absolutely know I needed it. I had no regrets or bad feelings about it – ever. My sixth baby was a traumatic fast extremely intense labour and home birth that left me shaken for months and even affected how I gave birth to my seventh and eighth babies. The support and respect you are given or not given during labour and birth absolutely leaves a life-time feeling. Your are right.
    Jennifer S. recently posted…Fun With CardboardMy Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 11, 2015 at 11:58 pm

      Exactly! It’s not necessarily just about the birth itself (though that’s important as well), but the experience as a whole…from beginning to end.

  • hugallama@yahoo.com'
    Reply Mybabysmommy February 6, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    I had my whole birth planned out. I took the Hypnobirthing classes, hired a doula, envisioned what my early birthing time would be like, how long I would wait to go to the hospital, who would be with me, how long I would push. Everything. Boy, was I disappointed with all that! My body had other plans and I needed a medical induction at my 40th week. To top it off, my body was no where near ready to have the baby. I started with the “smallest” intervention that I could, which led to another and another. Ultimately, I got the epidural because after 2 1/2 days in that hospital, I was exhausted. Baby was born within hours after that. Was I disappointed in how the “process” turned out? You bet! I didn’t get my early labor at home, I didn’t get my natural childbirth. But you know what? I got a healthy baby. Had I waited for nature to “take it’s course”, I may (or may not) have been so lucky. Hindsight is always 20/20. I am glad it happened the way that it did because I know with those interventions, I got what I so desperately wanted. My baby. I don’t feel sorry for myself. I feel sorry for the women who have the birth that they envision, but don’t get the healthy baby.
    Does it matter how you birth? It might. temporarily. But those women who don’t get a healthy baby suffer far longer than those who just didn’t get “what they want”.
    For my next baby, I don’t plan on the classes, I don’t plan on getting a “redo”. I won’t plan on anything because all that did the first time was set me up for disappointment. If I have the baby on the front lawn on my way to the car, so be it. If it means medical intervention, so be it. I won’t lose sight of what is most important to me.

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 11, 2015 at 11:59 pm

      I’m happy that you ultimately have peace about your birth experience (and any future births as well). Thanks for sharing your story!

    • kristle.morgan.km@gmail.com'
      Reply Kristle December 7, 2015 at 12:28 am

      So. Much. Yes.

      I can’t even begin to say how amazing this is. Someone with some common sense is refreshing.

  • bimbersu@yahoo.com'
    Reply Kimberly O'G. February 6, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    It has been 7 months since I gave birth to my baby girl, Penelope Beatrice, via C-Section. In those 7 months, I thought my feelings about her birth would change or I would grow to accept them. They have not, and I now feel the need to express myself in hopes of letting these emotions go and healing myself.
    I was forced to not only deliver my baby 6 weeks early, but also have her via a C-Section. Penelope will more than likely be our only child. I grew up dreaming of becoming a mom, of having a natural child birth and getting to experience my baby’s first moments. I dreamed of holding her to my breast moments after she arrived and having pictures taken in those first moments that I would cherish forever. Instead I was rushed to having a C-Section after a day of being induced. I was alone in the operating room while they tried to find a vein for the IV. I was alone and crying while they did the epidural. My memory of my delivery? Laying on a table with my arms stretched out to the side. Then there is a flash of my baby being held to my face and my husband’s face. Someone taking a picture. Then there is nothing. I don’t remember anything until I was returned to my room.
    What I do remember is that moment when they told me I had to stay in bed and couldn’t go see my baby. For two entire days I didn’t see my baby. I pumped as much as I could but my milk never came in fully. I begged and pleaded to go to the NICU to see her. My husband and my mother-in-law got to hold her in the NICU when they brought her there from delivery. After 2 agonizing days I was allowed to leave my room and get moved to the post-partum ward right by the NICU. Upon arrival I found my 5 pound baby girl covered in wires, tubes, IV’s and a huge respirator covering her face. I was told that I couldn’t hold her due to the IV’s being in her umbilical stump. I could barely see her under all of the equipment. My mom and my sister came out to meet Penny and neither got to hold her before leaving.
    Most people will read this and say, “Well obviously you had a very sick baby.” No, I didn’t. I had a baby that was delivered early due to my OB being hesitant about my stroke history. I had a baby that was delivered early because my last appointment with my specialist ended up being with a fill in doctor while she was on vacation. My baby was healthy. The problem she had was that her lungs were underdeveloped. I never received the steroid shot that helps baby’s lungs develop. For some strange reason, the idea to give my baby that helping steroid never crossed my doctor’s minds.
    I would also like to point out that my entire pregnancy was normal. I took very good care of myself. I didn’t gain any weight. I didn’t have diabetes. I didn’t have any complications. The rush to get me to delivery was all done by my doctors. The maternal fetal medicine specialist and my OB disagreed on the rate of my gestation. They communicated via notes in the system their practices shared. We left one doctor’s office being told we would deliver at 38 weeks to hear it was going to be 36 weeks. Then it became 35 weeks. Then we were told to pick a day June 6-9. Then we were told that the OB didn’t do deliveries on certain days of the week so we had to come in on Monday June 2, I would be induced that night. By Tuesday at noon, not even 24 hours after they started to contractions, my OB stopped the induction and scheduled the C-Section for the following day. Again, not because there was anything wrong, but because he didn’t do deliveries on Thursdays or Fridays.
    I wish I had fought harder to insist on going natural. I wish I had been able to get a hold of my specialist so she could clear up the confusion on the dates that I would plan to deliver, her dates were a week to two weeks later than my OB. That 1 to 2 weeks would have made a huge difference in Penny’s lungs. I would have been able to hold my baby, I would have been able to breast feed. I wouldn’t have spent the first 15 days of her life in the hospital and NICU. I wouldn’t have had to wait 5 days before holding her. Which, by the way, I was allowed to do with her IV’s in her umbilical stump…. The nurses in the NICU were uncomfortable with doing it so they told me I couldn’t, finally on the 5th day a nurse I hadn’t met yet was like here’s your baby. She just swaddled Penny up and handed her to me. She acted shocked that no one else had allowed me to hold her.
    The whole situation was so chaotic and stressful. I was supposed to be on 6 weeks of bed rest from the C-Section. Instead I got up every day and drove to the hospital by myself while my husband went back to work. I over extended myself after a major surgery. I guess it was a two week adrenaline high, because nothing was going to stop me from seeing her every day after I was discharged. Every moment that we were supposed to enjoy together was ripped from us. I drove Penelope home from the hospital alone, because they let her go a day early and Tom was at work. I didn’t want to leave her there a single moment longer than necessary. All of Tom’s time off got used up in the hospital. I never successfully breastfed. I don’t remember my delivery.
    All of this is still weighing heavily on me. I feel like I was cheated out of one of the most beautiful and anticipated events of my life. I have a happy, beautiful and smart little girl. For that I am grateful. But I will never get those 15 days back. I will never be able to say I can remember my baby’s first two days.
    I hope someday I can move on from the feelings this has left in me. I hope I can forgive myself for allowing the “professionals” to bully and alarm me into doing something I didn’t want to do.

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 12, 2015 at 12:04 am

      Oh Kimberly…I’m so so sorry for your experience. Please don’t blame yourself for how things happened…you are NOT at fault. You are a mom who was acting in the best interest of your baby. You did absolutely everything you could. Your statement of “I hope I can forgive myself for allowing the “professionals” to bully and alarm met…” implies that you are to blame, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The bully is ALWAYS at fault. I’m praying peace and emotional healing for you, and that you would be able to have healing and redemptive birth experiences in the future.

    • thekitemkat@gmail.com'
      Reply Cat March 4, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      I’m so sorry for the horrible things that happened to you and your baby. My friend Crystal Di Domizio works with women who have had traumatic births, helping them heal. She uses the emotional freedom technique and matrix reimprinting; it all sounds weird but it makes such a huge difference. I would encourage you to look into it. Her website is cultivateyourhealth.com – – currently a work in progress, but send her an email. She would love to answer any questions.
      I hope you find healing and peace.

    • Reply Anonymous March 12, 2015 at 11:05 pm

      I feel for you, I’m sorry for what was done to you and your baby. I’m surprised no one thought to sue the doctor then maybe they won’t be so quick to schedule unnecessary C sections and definitely not early because it fits their schedule better.

  • mrs.aok05@gmail.com'
    Reply Mrs. AOK February 6, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    Thank you for sharing your personal story with us at Mommy Monday!
    I believe mothers know best.
    With my first child I was lost, I let everyone tell me what I needed to do, I was 21.
    All the best~
    XOXO
    Mrs. AOK recently posted…Thank You Notes: The 90’s & Twitter #linkupMy Profile

  • Reply THEY LIED…IT MATTERS HOW YOU BIRTH - Birth Balance February 7, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    […] How many times did I hear that after giving birth? How many times did it drive me deeper into confusion and self-doubt over my son’s reception into this world? If all that mattered was a healthy mom and a healthy baby, then why was I so heart-broken? http://thebestofbaby.com/lied-matters-birth/ […]

  • forbabymays@hotmail.com'
    Reply Kristy M. February 8, 2015 at 11:32 am

    This was great. I fortunately had a great experience. My doctor’s were supportive and allowed me to do what I needed, aside from the monitoring, which was required because of my blood pressure and the stress it was causing the baby. The didn’t push meds, they didn’t give me ultimatums, and for that I am so grateful. I know a lot of people don’t have that experience. You’re right though. They way it happens does matter. Of course there are things we can’t control but when you go in with an idea of how it should go and the way you want it to go, it can be heartbreaking to not have that happen. They did have to break my water because of my high bp but they were so encouraging and I felt comfortable with this decision (especially since I was dilated pretty far and had not made any more progress). Thanks again and I hope you’ll stop by from the link-up!
    Kristy M. recently posted…You’re My Main SqueezeMy Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 12, 2015 at 12:05 am

      I’m so happy you had a positive birth experience!

  • carly_s21@yahoo.com'
    Reply Christy February 8, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Absolutely. That’s why I’ll be asleep this time having the c-section I needed the first time around. No PTSD or obstetric fistula from this birth.

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 14, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      I pray that you have a positive experience this time around!

  • lisa@squishablebaby.com'
    Reply Lisa Nelson February 8, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Yes it does. I 100% agree with you. It does matter – and matters a lot it does.

    I have had 3 homebirths and never had head butting with my homebirth midwives. Never. They were of the same thought process, and that’s how I had 3 wonderful, beautiful birth experiences – no regrets.

    I had to go mainstream for the prenatals this time around and it was an absolute nightmare, until I decided I was going to take control of my pregnancy and kick them to the curb. Up to that point though, it was constant head butting.

    I don’t care though. I will not do anything that will put me or my baby in dire straights. I said no, and had no problem. No, I will not take this test, and this is why.

    Well, why are you recommending that for me? this is the way my pregnancy is going. All signs point to a beautiful healthy pregnancy.

    Finally, I had to say – look. I will let you know if something is wrong and then we can go from there. Until then, I am not jumping through all of your idiotic loops.

    I will absolutely not bend down and shut up – period. I don’t care how many degrees the doctor has. I know my body and my baby.

    I think at 33 weeks, we have come to a mutual respect. They respect what I say and I don’t roll my eyes at them. Once I decided to finally kick them, my blood pressure went down greatly.

    I realize a hospital situation is very different. Things are happening in the moment, when you can’t really advocate for yourself. That is where a very supportive doula who understands your wants and needs is essential.
    Lisa Nelson recently posted…The Homeschool Link-up (#homeschoollinkup) – Week 65My Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 12, 2015 at 12:06 am

      Good for you for educating yourself and taking control of your health care!

  • creativeaimdesign@gmail.com'
    Reply Amy @ Life to the Full February 8, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Beautiful post. I completely agree – birth DOES matter, though if things don’t go as planned it is important to not beat yourself up mentally and emotionally!

    I had my first baby naturally in the hospital but there was a procedure done (sorry about the TMI: episiotomy) that was done that wasn’t necessary and actually did more harm for recovery. I was told it was “standard procedure”… but had I done my research and thought through birth more in depth, we would have said no to that standard procedure.

    For #2, we are planning a water birth at home with an amazing midwife!
    Amy @ Life to the Full recently posted…Build a Budget-Friendly Home GymMy Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 12, 2015 at 12:08 am

      No such thing as TMI when talking about birth as far as I’m concerned (this is a baby site after all 🙂 And yes, unnecessary episiotomies drive me batty! I’m praying you’re able to have a wonderful home birth for #2!

  • anointedtoday@comcast.net'
    Reply Betty February 8, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    I agree. It does matter. My first birth was natural, not by choice, but because she came so fast. I had stitches afterwards. With my other births no stitches.

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 14, 2015 at 7:38 pm

      Betty thank you for commenting…this is a point I’ve been trying to make. It’s not about having a natural birth, because even a natural birth can be traumatizing for some moms.

  • Reply It's The Mommy Monday Blog Hop + Valentine's GIVEAWAY For YOU!! - MrsTeeLoveLifeLaughter February 8, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    […] They Lied…It Matters How you Give Birth The Baby Lady […]

  • Reply Mommy Monday Blog Hop {85} - Mrs. AOK, A Work In Progress February 8, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    […] They Lied…It Matters How you Give Birth Best of Baby […]

  • hollyberrie05@gmail.com'
    Reply Holly February 8, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    As one of those moms who suffered ppd and ptsd after being bullied by hospital staff resulting in the unnecessarian birth of my son, yes, it does matter. Am I thankful for a healthy baby? Of course! I cannot imagine the pain of those who have suffered a late loss and that is truly horrible. But at the same time, discounting my feelings and those of others who feel the way I do is incredibly disrespectful. After reading some of the comments, I think you may have gotten the attention of “Dr.” She Who Must Not Be Named and her lackeys unfortunately.

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 14, 2015 at 7:38 pm

      Holly – Thank you for sharing and I’m sorry you had such a negative experience.

  • Reply Top 10 Books for 8-9 Year Old Boys and Mom 2 Mom Monday #20 - The Purposeful Mom February 9, 2015 at 7:29 am

    […] They Lied – It Matters How You Birth Best of Baby […]

  • Reply Mom 2 Mom Monday Link-Up #20 - My Joy-Filled Life February 9, 2015 at 9:01 am

    […] They Lied…. It Matters How You Birth Best of Baby […]

  • nathanaclayaz@gmail.com'
    Reply Nathana Clay February 9, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Our first baby is due in early April and we are planning a homebirth with our midwife. Fortunately, we live two blocks from a hospital. I agree that the most important part is that the baby is born healthy, and if that means I need interventions, then so be it! But, I don’t want unnecessary interventions. I know too many women who, like you, were traumatized by their hospital births. They felt manipulated and walked on rather than empowered. I recently posted on why we chose to do a homebirth: http://www.theengagedhome.com/home-birth-with-a-midwife/
    Nathana Clay recently posted…11 of My Favorite Healthy Pregnancy FoodsMy Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 12, 2015 at 12:09 am

      Nathana thanks for sharing that link! I always say I would love to have a homebirth if I lived next door to the hospital 🙂

  • thriftschooling@gmail.com'
    Reply Heather V February 9, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    Wonderful post, thanks for sharing your heart! I’ve had three home births, all were beautiful experiences!! But I too understand the pain of pressure in the hospital and hope to never experience that again. And Stirrups? After having three home births I thought it was a joke, or a cruel and unusual punishment.

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 14, 2015 at 7:40 pm

      Ha heather yea the stirrups are something…I get the need for them if you have an epidural, but with a natural birth, I wouldn’t even go near the bed, much less lay down with my feet in stirrups. (But I’m a very active laborer…so that’s just my personal take on them)

  • Reply Wednesday Wrap Up Feb 11 | Andrea Lythgoe Doula Salt Lake City Utah February 11, 2015 at 3:29 am

    […] There are so many articles like this lately. I am really glad to have the conversation happening, I just wish that it wasn’t necessary. They Lied, it Does Matter How You Birth […]

  • rchreviewlh@yahoo.com'
    Reply Lynda Hardy February 11, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    I think a birth that is supportive of the needs of the baby and mother is the one that matters, however that looks. Thanks for linking up to Awesome Life Friday! We will be pinning this post – can’t wait to see what you’re sharing this week!
    Lynda Hardy recently posted…Review: EcoClear RatX Pet-Friendly Rodent BaitMy Profile

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