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Remembering the birth
did I miss something?


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#1 Nico2409

Posted 13 February 2013 - 02:11 PM

Not sure if this is in the right place...

My baby girl is 4 months old, and she is adorable. I love her dearly, but it was my husband who wanted kids - I was still on the fence for a long time. I did lots of research and preparation for the birth, hoping for natural drug free, but it wasn't to be - I was induced into a very long painful labour and needed gas and air, topped up epidurals, syntocin and ultimately a vacuum extraction.

My memory of the birth is already fading, and I imagine that's part of nature as well as a result of all the drugs I had. But I never felt like the birth was an amazing, incredible experience. To me it just felt like a very long and frustrating day...

So when I read all these celebrities talking about their amazing births and how it was life-changing, made them feel powerful, "I am woman, hear me roar etc", I feel a bit left out.

Eg. here's Penelope Cruz:
Penelope has previously spoken out about how motherhood has transformed  her life.

She said: 'From the first second, you feel so much love.


'It  is a revolutionary experience. That's the best way I can describe it. It transforms you completely, in a second.


'Nature is very wise and gives  you nine months to prepare, but in that moment, when you see that face,  you are transformed forever.'

I still don't feel transformed...
So did I miss out on this sort of experience because of all the drugs and interventions? Or is it because I was originally ambivalent about having a child? Or is it just, as my husband says, that celebrities talk everything up to make themselves sound so great???











#2 Feral Mozzie

Posted 13 February 2013 - 02:19 PM

I don't know the answer, but I'll be following this closely. I also had a traumatic birth after preparing for a natural one, and I didn't feel elated when she was born. You are not alone!

This article is well worth a read, especially the comments:

http://www.mamamia.com.au/parenting/learni...ld-after-birth/

#3 Tilli+Macey

Posted 13 February 2013 - 02:19 PM

I definitely didn't have an instant transformation type of experience. after 28 hours I gave birth, looked at her and then asked the midwives if I could go to sleep now. I now look back and do think of that 28 hours as a special and amazing time and feeling. I also didn't have that rush of love everyone talks about. I have however fallen in love with her as time has passed. I felt like there must have been something wrong with me but now I know it's because i was exhausted. I didn't have any energy to think or feel.
I think a lot of people do feel like Penelope Cruz did. I think that's a natural and normal feeling. But I sure didn't.

#4 CountryFeral

Posted 13 February 2013 - 02:20 PM

OP I haven't had a baby - but I starkly remember my darling friend telling me the day after her second child was born (no intervention, highly wanted) how she walked into the hospital and it all washed over her again - "Oh hang on - I hated this! I hated, hated, hated this... and now I'm doing it again!"

She made me promise to remind her about that if she ever talked about having a 3rd, she did NOT want to do it again..

Well, guess what she had a third!  Announced it to me when it was already happening - I ummed and aaahhed about reminding her, eventually did, and was greeted with an incredulous "I NEVER would have said that!"



#5 Bluenomi

Posted 13 February 2013 - 02:24 PM

I know very few woman who found birth transforming and wonderful. It really is something woman are expected to say but few actually say it honestly. Most will tell you it bloody hurt.

DD herself is wonderful and becoming a mother was transforming but the birth itself wasn't. It hurt, it went for far too long (even a quick birth would have been too long!) and I'd happily never do it again. I will because I want another child but if I could get one without the labour part I'd be happy with that.

#6 wanting3

Posted 13 February 2013 - 02:25 PM

Ignore what all of the celebrities say about their birth experiences. Everyone has a different experience, just as every birth is different. They are suppossed to tell everyone how 'empowered' they were, 'how it changed my life' etc, etc, how would they sell papers/magazines if they said it was the worst experience of their life, and they wouldn't do it again for one of their oversized pay packets.
They also tell you they have never had plastic surgery, do you believe everything they say?
Instead talk to others around you, people you respect and admire, and get them to tell you their stories. I am sure they will be more like yours than you would think.

#7 Jax12

Posted 13 February 2013 - 02:31 PM

I had an elective c-section due to health reasons which was really calm and pleasant but no omg transformative experience when DS was placed on my chest.  I really struggled with the fact that I didn't bond with him immediately.  My mother had told me that the love hit you so fiercely in such a primal way that it was overwhleming...yeah, nah, not for me.  In fact I didn't get that overwhelming love for a few months.  Don't get me wrong, I adored him to bits but I had to mentally grow into my new role over time.  Lots of guilt there for me...I tell every one of my friends who doesn't have children about my experience.  I hope they get hit by the love bus the moment their child enters the world but just in case they don't I want them to know they haven't failed immediately at motherhood, which is how I felt.

#8 Bassaf

Posted 13 February 2013 - 02:33 PM

Don't worry op I was the same too( no la di dah , choir of angels birth here!;)
I thought I'd get some rush holding him for the first time but it all felt a bit clinical and then my son pooed on me! wink.gif Haha

#9 B0612

Posted 13 February 2013 - 02:36 PM

I think we are entitled to feel whatever emotion we need/do feel after having a child. Of course if you have a long drawn out labour you are bound to feel exhausted and an abundance of emotions towards your child, what those emotions are depend entirely on the individual. Not everyone looks at their child the moment they are born and fall inlove with them. My sister did not bond with her child at all and to this day she wonders if she did the right thing in having children, she loves them but sometimes thinks motherhood isn't for her.

I on the other hand had a wonderful pregnancy, very few complications aside from severe hip pain. My labour was fantastic, not entirely painful, not drawn out, spontaneous and as soon as DS entered my arms I was inlove. I did however find the few weeks that followed incredibly difficult and it had me questioning whether or not I was a good mother and was meant to be a mother. I had so much anxiety and DS was so unsettled from weeks 2-6 and extremely reliant on me (which I did expect from a newborn) that I questioned every choice I made and over analysed every aspect, it drove me insane. Now DS is 8 weeks old and I feel he and I know eachother so well, he is more settled and I feel more confident in myself.
No matter what kind of pregnancy/labour/newborn you have you are entitled to feel any emotion you need to! As long as you are not feeling like you are no longer yourself or see signs of PND.

#10 stressnless9

Posted 13 February 2013 - 02:40 PM

I dont remember the whole lot but i was close to having a c section, at that stage i just thought i dont even care just hurry up, not long after i was fully dialated and had my baby 40 mins later, and no i didnt get that rush of love or anything like that i did have a huge smile on my face but my first words were is it normal that hes breathing like that? (he was totally fine)  a minute or 2 later i asked DP to take him - placenta was stuck and broken in half and i lost a heap of blood i dont remember being scared or anything like but even the day after i barely spoke a word and my partner looked after the baby. the day after that is when i started to feed him and bathed him still not really feeling much different......then he got sick and was taken to special care.....the moment he was sent there i felt as though i got that burst of love, felt so scared and did not want him out of my sight. they would call me when he was ready for a feed and i would wake up about 1 minute before the phone call every single time!

i still wonder why i was the way i was those first 2ish days.

I also wonder if everyone else feels that instant burst of love and all that or just feel glad for it to be over etc? it really didnt make me feel powerful or any different now that what i was before i had him. i forget most of the time what i went through (as in pregnant,birth etc) to get him here. Now its just the normal me plus my babe!

#11 Feralina

Posted 13 February 2013 - 02:41 PM

QUOTE (Jax12 @ 13/02/2013, 03:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I had an elective c-section due to health reasons which was really calm and pleasant a very quick and intense vaginal birth but no omg transformative experience when DS was placed on my chest.  I really struggled with the fact that I didn't bond with him immediately.  My mother had told me that the love hit you so fiercely in such a primal way that it was overwhleming...yeah, nah, not for me.  In fact I didn't get that overwhelming love for a few months.  Don't get me wrong, I adored him to bits but I had to mentally grow into my new role over time.  Lots of guilt there for me...I tell every one of my friends who doesn't have children about my experience.  I hope they get hit by the love bus the moment their child enters the world but just in case they don't I want them to know they haven't failed immediately at motherhood, which is how I felt.

This, exactly. I don't think I felt the overwhelming rush of love fully until he was over a year old. I felt terribly guilty. My mother just recently apologised to me for what she'd said; she never knew that not all women feel that instant rush of love.

Thank god I had a friend (like Jax12) who had been completely open and honest about not having that bonding thing going on - it made me feel a little bit more normal!

#12 Feral_Pooks

Posted 13 February 2013 - 02:48 PM

The birth of my son was revoltingly painful and traumatic due to uncaring medical people. I was so disconnected to the moment when they handed me the baby. I did feel very protective. But not a rush of love. Not transformed. Just exhausted in every way. Just feeling disconnected from what was happening. In shock. Wanting to go back in time. Feeling attacked and unsafe. Wanting to hand him back and run away and pretend it never happened.

And yet, next Tuesday he turns one. And there is no doubt in my mind that my life has been transformed, and my love for him has transformed me.

Somewhere in this first year it happened, it has been slow, sometimes hard fought for, sometimes happening in gentle moments that I can only later reflect were special, sometimes it has happened without me even noticing. But it has happened, a love has grown that has changed every cell in my body.

It might not sell magazines but I still think it makes a pretty good story. The truth is that real life can be so much more complicated than the stories we tell. We each have our own journeys, no two are the same. Yours might not be one of those love at first sight stories, but you and your baby will have a love story all of your own.

#13 elizabethany

Posted 13 February 2013 - 02:51 PM

Everyone reacts to pregnancy and birth differently, and there is no "wrong" answer.

I remember my dad telling me that he fell in love when I opened my eyes.  I didn't feel anything like that with DS, just overwhelmed.  It wasn't until he was interactive that I started to bond, and not until he called me mummy that I felt like one.

Give it plenty of time.

#14 Jo-Anna

Posted 13 February 2013 - 03:03 PM

I certainly didn't have 'that' moment OP. Even though I had a wonderful natural birth, I can remember those first few moments after he is born staring at the ceiling thinking 'thank **** that's over'. I didn't even look to see what the sex was, actually I didn't look at him at all for about 10 minutes till one of the midwives said 'oh my he is one big baby'.

I look back now and I can say I am super proud of how the birth went (as in proud of what my body achieved), but a lot of that was luck and having a great team.
I must say though that now I am one of those obnoxious mums who thinks the sun shines out of DS's bum, so i think the bond was there from the start, it perhaps was just a bit delayed setting in.

#15 TinyTeddys

Posted 13 February 2013 - 03:06 PM

I have not had a traumatic birth so I can't comment on that aspect. I think celebrity's say what they think people want to hear...they don't want us to know if they struggle. Many years ago I remember reading that Kate Winslet lied about the birth of her first child (I can't remember what she said but essentially she said had a NVD when she had a CS).

My DS3 was intervention free and what most (as well as myself) would consider a great birth....there were no instant love. I remember my first thoughts were WTF!! It probably took a few days to bond with him.

And now I'm doing it all over again....  happy.gif

Be kind to yourself xoxo

#16 Soontobegran

Posted 13 February 2013 - 05:26 PM

To me the labour and birth of my children was a means to an end but my first was so traumatic it took about 48 hours before I could look at her and think it was worth all the effort. My subsequent births were not traumatic but no more enjoyable, I have never felt that I have missed a single thing by not feeling this overwhelming rush of joy that was anything other than relief that the labour was over.

This has not impacted my relationship with my children in the slightest and I think the worst thing to do is to take heed of other people's accounts of their labour as you will often feel that there is something wrong with you that your experience was different.
I can honestly say that 2.5 decades after my last birth the way they were born and how I felt is of zero importance.


ETA I just need to add that having said this that I realise that my story is not necessarily that of others and that birth trauma can negatively impact the lives of those who have experienced it for a long time.

Edited by soontobegran, 13 February 2013 - 05:30 PM.


#17 lucky 2

Posted 13 February 2013 - 05:56 PM

Hi Nico,

I have moved your topic into the Traumatic and Disappointing Birth Experiences forum, I hope that is acceptable to you.
The link remains in the Birth-6 months forum but you may receive more responses in this forum.

Kind regards,

lucky 2
Moderator of the Birth-6 months forum

#18 Feralina

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:19 PM

QUOTE (Pooks_fembo @ 13/02/2013, 03:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Somewhere in this first year it happened, it has been slow, sometimes hard fought for, sometimes happening in gentle moments that I can only later reflect were special, sometimes it has happened without me even noticing. But it has happened, a love has grown that has changed every cell in my body.

It might not sell magazines but I still think it makes a pretty good story. The truth is that real life can be so much more complicated than the stories we tell. We each have our own journeys, no two are the same. Yours might not be one of those love at first sight stories, but you and your baby will have a love story all of your own.


Just beautiful, Pooks. We've never met, but I have been, and am, so inspired by your journey to get to this point. huge happy birthday to your boy next Tuesday.

#19 RealityBites

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:25 PM

I had a similar first birth to yours. It was horrendous and really affected my bonding experience.

My second birth was utterly transformative, natural, endorphins, fantastic, helped so much with the bonding. I am still more in love with my second child and have to work more on my relationship with the first ph34r.gif

Everybody and every birth is different. I am profoundly grateful for my second experience but the first was also important - it gave me my beautiful first DD!

#20 cinnabubble

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:30 PM

I don't think I had a particularly traumatic first birth experience. It was long and I was exhausted and the unanaesthetised episiotomy at the end wasn't the most fun I've ever had, but it wasn't particularly traumatic. Yet it was months before I could close my eyes to go to sleep at night without going back there to the delivery room. It took a long time for the experience to be assimilated into who I was. The sense of responsibility hit me immediately, but the unconditional love took a few months.

People feel what they feel and celebrities are expected to have transformative experiences for the benefit of the public, so that's what they deliver. Who knows what the truth is for people beyond ourselves?

#21 eachschoolholidays

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:37 PM

I had an emergency c-section and then an elective c-section.  There was nothing particularly traumatic about them.

Even then, in both cases I felt a little detached from the babies.  I remember being really interested in them and glad they had been born safely but I definitely didn't get that overwhelming rush of love.  

That overwhelming love came later after I had spent some time alone with them.



#22 axiomae

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:59 PM

I had a wonderful natural birth with DD which was hard work but amazing. Those endorphins are some drugs I tell ya! That said, I didn't bond straight away. I kept looking at this red, blood-covered baby on my chest with a mixture of fear and curiosity, as in, I know you're mine, but what am I supposed to do with you?! The love came, and my goodness she's captured my heart original.gif

#23 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:51 PM

I think back to my birth and have fond memories of pushing DS out and them handing him to me. I think back to it with such love and happiness.

I'm sure the realty was completely different though and I do remember feeling nothing for DS. I loved him but I wasn't particularly attached to him and I didn't really feel a great need to hold him or anything.

And the birth itself, Well, I'm pretty sure I had thread on EB while i was in labour and i was whinging about everything LOL!

The birth was nothing like a planned but it was okay. I had prepared for a drug free water birth but ended up being induced due to medical reasons. I remember feeling so disappointed and I remember being so focused on birth and that was it.

This time around I really couldn't give a sh*t if I give birth in the supermarket on the way home from work. My experience of last time really made me feel like its just a means to an end.

#24 Loulla

Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:13 PM

I had an amazing birth, for some reason I was very relaxed at home for the 24hr of labour before going into hospital when the contractions got really intense. I was in another zone which maybe helped the endorphins factor, who knows, or maybe thats why I was in the zone. The birth was transformational for me and felt connected to DS immediately and even more now to the point where my heart is melting! I feel very grateful and hope so much I may have the same experience again with number 2.

#25 SWMonkey

Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:31 PM

Celebrities do talk it up. I remember reading one particular book written by a neonatologist and he recalls reading about the birth experience of a celeb in a womens mag and it did not at all resemble the birth how he remembered it. She apparently talked about how zen it was etc and it was actually, anything but!






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