The Thoughts

Oh this is going to be a brain dump, just warning you.

This little blog of mine has been such a comfort over the last few years – it’s been my private journal and my public therapy all in one place and truth be told, I’m not sure what to do with it right now.  I know I get a lot of my traffic from women in really hard times in their lives – women dealing with loss and infertility, women who don’t yet have “a rainbow baby” on the way – and I’ve wanted to keep this as a safe place for those visitors.  Though I’m happy to be able to share our joys with you, I know a lot of what I’ve had to share will be hitting more than a few readers right where it hurts.  I know, I’ve been there – another miscarriage survivor with a growing baby bump, another infertility survivor who has beaten the odds – it’s hard and it hurts.  I’ve wanted to keep this space safe for them, and I hope I have.

If you follow along at Instagram, I’ve used that as my space to share pictures and the like.  It’s a space I did inhabit so strongly through the previous years, and has felt like the better place to go to when I need to share something baby related.

But yet, this is still my space, and nothing is perfect and there is still “a long, grey road” (I just finished listen to The Return of the King today, sorry) yet to go.  It has been, in general, a very lovely road this time.   I’ve passed by three of my little saints due dates without sorrow for the first time – only one more to go.  I’ve been given a gift of an easy pregnancy, allowing me to experience and enjoy this in a way I’ve never been able to before.  With Henry every bump and stretch and kick was just a reminder that I felt invaded and outside of myself.  I hated just about every minute of it.  This time is different.

There’s still a long ways to go and the next big hurdle I face is labor and delivery and to be quite honest, it scares me more than I can really say.  My experience with Henry was not traumatic, but it was far from normal and as I approach this second go-round all my mind can do is gather it’s information from the past – the sheer ignorance of what to do and how to cope, the immediate escalation that comes with an induction, the mind numbing pain that comes from the type of back labor I experience, etc.  I both know what could await me and at the same time am totally ignorant of what’s to come.

I’m lucky in many regards – unless this little lady decides to stay breech – our chances are pretty good.  I’ve only made one request to my OB – no inductions.  I’m holding my ground firmly that I either want to go into labor naturally or opt for surgery.  Choosing an induction and the work of labor then followed by surgery is not something I want to volunteer for again.

I’m actually quite at peace with the idea of another c-section (particularly a voluntary one).  I’m not gung-ho about creating a blissful natural labor experience.  I just want my baby, I don’t care how really.  I’m at peace with opting for pain-killers.  I’m not yet at peace with labor before that point.  I do know what to do or how to do it.  It’s the double-edged knife of pregnancy after loss – your chart thinks you should know what you’re doing by now, and even you think you should know what to expect, but you don’t and your other experiences have slowly eroded any confidence you’ve ever had in your body.  The phrase “your body knows what to do” is laughable and the phrase “you were made to do this” makes you want to throw things at people’s heads.  My body is not that body.  My body cannot even miscarry right on its own.

Then there’s my own aversions to get over – knowing that my body and mind’s response to pain is a strong desire to be left alone; the one thing I hated with Henry’s birth was the number of eyes on me – my husband, the nurse, our visitors.  I felt like a roadside attraction that was failing to live up to its billboard.  I don’t want to be coached or assisted or even touched.  I have no lovely dreams of a shared experience with my husband or a doula.  I want to be left alone.  Kind of hard to take birth classes and learn exercises when this is your go to.  I have, sadly, yet to find a birth method that caters to incredibly stubborn women who don’t like to be touched or looked at when they’re dealing with pain.

My bag of tricks feels pretty limited and I’m not very confident about it all because of it.  And I feel like I should.  I like I should know what I’m doing; like I should just forget it all and trust everyone’s advice that this birth needs to be the blissful bonding time free of all the things (i.e. painkillers and interventions) the options of which are the only things that make me feel confident I can even give this a shot.

As I was telling a friend not to long ago.  I like having options in this situation – tubs, beds, lights, painkillers, medical professionals, interventions and a door I secure shut on just about everyone all included.  I’m a bit of an oddity because this I realize.  All my super natural birth experience mama’s are probably shedding tears for me right now and I’ve probably made at least one doula I know faint.

The thing is you can’t tell me not worry or not to rely on my past experiences – it’s all I know.  All I know about what’s coming is the experience of a severely depressed woman having a very atypical first birth experience (induction, rolling contractions and back labor that can only properly be described with vice-grips and cinderblocks… and that was the first 3 hours only) followed by three years of my body not doing what it was supposed to.

I don’t know what’s going to happen in July though I’m thankful I’m in a better place mentally than I was the first time around to prepare for it all.  I’m both okay with this, and my plan for all my options to be in place and at the same time struggling with it all in small ways.  I feel quite at ease with “the plan” until I realize just how strange I am about it all and that makes me worry I’m doing it all wrong all over again.

Sorry, I warned you this was a braindump…..

25 thoughts on “The Thoughts

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  1. I'm not shedding a single tear for you and your choices. That natural birth stuff was good for me when I didn't know what I could do. Now I know what I can do and what I need – if that makes any sense. Our experiences are different but I think some of emotions are the same – fear, worry, so on. Anyways, all this to say, I am so happy you are pregnant with that little girl and I can't wait to meet her. 🙂

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  2. Thanks sweetie – between my birth plans and my feeding plans I just feel like I'm doing every thing contrary 😉

    I will say it's a comfort – after having friend give birth during these last five years to see the different choices they've made. Some have stuck with the 100% natural, some have opted for more of the interventions I've felt comfortable with from the beginning…. it does help me feel not so odd.

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  3. If it helps at all, every thing you've said here is totally normal. I don't know any (good) doula that would faint from anything you've said 😉 For four of my births I didn't want anyone touching me and it was only this last one that I thought I *might* allow Brian to touch me and that was the one where he didn't have a chance, ha! When you asked about birthing method my mind first went to Bradley. Not the husband coached part, maybe, but its teachings are based off of knowing that birth happens best when it is undisturbed and when mom can feel safe and left alone the way other mammals do it. Praying for your healing and confidence and that this baby is born exactly how God wants her to be.

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  4. ” I have no lovely dreams of a shared experience with my husband or a doula. I want to be left alone. “. You make me laugh! That's exactly how I feel when I'm in labor. The idea of having some other lady or even my husband bear hug and rock me while I'm having contractions makes me want to hide in a closet. Nobody touch the pregnant lady 😉

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  5. Aww thanks sweetie – I was afraid I might make you swoon on the fainting couch with all my talk of hospitals and medications and such =D I've looked through a book on bradley method, but I think I'll just review a few of it's chapters on their own – the books attitude toward things like medications, csections, etc. really put me off from seeking out an instructor. I agree about the informed, left alone part being a good place to start though. =D

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  6. So far the best thing I've found (though a lot of people have suggested reading up on Hypnobirthing, which has been on my list too) is “The Birth Partner's Bible” – pretty straight forward “here is information”, do with it what you will, kind of attitude which is what I need this time around. More info to prepare myself with, but still a resource that doesn't frown on the other things I'm comfortable with (pain relief and a possible voluntary c-section).

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  7. I second Mary on Bradley. I think every pregnant mom should read “Husband-Coached Childbirth” whether they are planning a natural birth or not. It's so great to know how it all works- it's kind of like learning NFP after all you've been told about is the pill. I think leaving your options open and being at peace with that is such a good mindset. When we feel we “should” do one thing over another because our mom/sister/friend/Internet did, we're heading down a difficult road. I loved reading as many birth stories as I could when I was pregnant and psyching myself up for birth, but I know that might not be everyone's jam. Good luck. I pray for pregnant moms daily!

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  8. Well I know you care deeply what your internet acquaintance in Davenport thinks but this all sounds totally normal. Birth is it's own demon to conquer however everyone chooses how to do that differently. When we took a birthing class all the slow dance, sweet phrases were not helpful and we laughed through them because I know me. Calling people morons. That's how my labors went. And somehow made me feel better. You do you. However that may be.

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  9. I'm also in the “everybody leave me alone and don't touch me” camp when I'm in labor 🙂 And I had 3 epidurals and really enjoyed them. If it weren't for my “everybody leave me alone” mentality that makes me want a home birth next time, I'd totally get another epidural.

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  10. Hypnobirthing does something called a “fear release” here's an example of one of the fear release exercises http://www.hypnobirthing-online.com/release.html ( each instructor does fear release differently ). It's just one of the things about Hypnobirthing that makes it unique. It's not “hypnotizing” yourself like some people think. You learn what relaxes you, and how to breathe. If you have any questions on it, let me know.

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  11. I'm also totally with you on the “nobody touch me, everybody leave me alone part.” This may not be helpful for you because everybody is different, but I've had 3 regular/painful but all natural hospital births and one really easy, practically painfree homebirth. The biggest difference is that for me, walking through the contractions really makes a huge difference. Now I'm pregnant again, due in early Aug. and will be back in the hospital but I'll really hoping that I'll be able to walk through all the contractions in the hospital and that will make a huge difference.

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  12. Is there a more recent bradley book? The only one I've found is 20 years old and really biased against pain relief snd interventions which was a huge turn off when I read through it just recently.

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  13. I had a very detailed birth plan with my son that included laboring at home and being all natural. Then my water broke, and labor was stalled and I had a csection. It was traumatic because I honestly didn't even think it was a possibility because I was so “prepared”. Lily was going to be my VBAC and heal me of all the things that went wrong with Ted's birth plan. But then I found out she wouldn't live and it just so happened that her birth defect often prevents you from natural labor. I was induced at 42 weeks and the labor actually went pretty well, but pushing didn't. She was stuck and it was so painful. I still got my VBAC, but it took so much longer to heal from that than my csection. I think mostly bc I didn't have my baby with me to help me forget the physical pain. I'm not pregnant yet (hopefully soon!), but I have thrown out any and all birth plans. I don't care, I just want a baby to live in my arms. For me, it's something that's been a little freeing with loss, I know now how much that really doesn't matter. I've had both births, I've labored naturally, I've been cut open, I've had pain meds and one time I got to take my baby home and one time I didn't. Now all I want is to bring a baby home. I can imagine the anxiety and uncertainty that comes with pregnancy after loss. Praying for a continued healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.

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  14. Thar sounds so lovely 🙂 Henry's birth really gave me a lot of hurdles to get over in terms of labor pain…. it sounds like what I experienced was really atypical, but it's still my only reference and it's definitely got me hoping for a natural, slow build up labor this time around so I can replace my vicegrip/cement block memories 🙂

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  15. Yeah I think pregnancy after trauma and or loss does change your mentality. It's hard to read the uber natural books that really downplay pain and complications when you've experienced it first hand. 8 nearly threw Ina May's books across the room last night because of this.

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  16. I'm staring down labor (due in 2.5 weeks) and terrified. And I used to be a Bradley teacher so go figure. My last labor was rough (induced with pitocin at 36 weeks) and I am having a hard time figuring out how things are going to go this time (mentally). Anyway, I'm right there with you with confusion.

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  17. So I've only done it once and had an awesome epidural experience. My son came into the world with nearly zero pain on my part, my husband and I listened to Christmas Carols (he was born while O Holy Night was playing) and talked/dreamed/planned for our little man. I always want to throw that out there because I felt guilty agreeing to “pain management”. I felt that I gave up my opportunity for empowerment. Turns out it was beautiful, peaceful, and I don't regret it at all. Don't feel guilty or bad about doing what is best for you and your body! Prayers for a beautiful birth experience no matter what you choose!

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