All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!

Birth, Birth, Birth… Ugh!

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The PAIL monthly theme post is focused on birth.  I wasn’t going to take part, because I’m sort of over the whole birth story/birth process obsession.  I don’t like calling it that (an obsession), but I do feel that that’s what it is.  When my older sister was having her kids, people weren’t asking her what her birth plan was, if she was going to try going natural, or telling her that her induction was a bad idea – and that was just 12 years ago.  I don’t know what has changed since then, but something has.  And that’s fine, but it’s just not my thing, you know?

I worked hard to conceive my kids – harder than most people I know.  I’m not saying that to boost myself up or anything, I’m just saying it because it’s true – and it lends itself to my feelings on birth plans and birth stories.  Because we struggled so much, with so many failed interventions, so many drugs, so many emotions, so many personal intrusions – I was just happy to be pregnant.  How our kids got here after so much effort, failure, heartache, and marital agony did not matter to me.  It just didn’t.  Prior to IF, I was all about trying to deliver naturally, with no interventions at all, because my mother had and she said it was just no big deal.  We have high pain thresholds in our family and I figured if I can handle the pain, then why the hell not, you know?  But once IF hit, and we couldn’t get (or stay, if you count my way early loss) pregnant, I just didn’t care anymore how I brought that baby into the world – just as long as I got him here.  That’s not to say that others care less than me about delivering their babies safely – I’m just saying that that’s ALL that mattered to me.  Sure, I was disappointed that Matthew was breech and that I’d need a scheduled C-section, but I got over it quickly and actually embraced the idea.

So I wasn’t going to write this month because people are probably sick and tired of me saying I don’t give a hoot about birth plans (because I don’t).  I do love to hear about birth, and I love an emotional birth story as much as the next gal, but birth plans in general – meh.  To each his own, and I do envy those who have the will and guts to deliver at home (those are my very favorite birth stories), but to read in the comments of birth plan posts that you should try this, do that, change providers, hire a doula, flip that baby, fire your midwife?  No – that’s not for me.

But I also wasn’t going to write this month because I just don’t feel included in the conversation when it comes to birth, because I have scheduled C-sections.  This happens online, with my girlfriends, at the park, at the grocery store, at baby showers, etc.  Anywhere and any time the topic of birth comes up, no one has interest in hearing about my stories – because all I did was wake up one morning, put some makeup on, show up at the hospital, sign some consent forms, and get cut open hip to hip.  No biggie.  There was no drama, no breaking of waters, no questioning of contractions, no rush to the hospital, no epidural, no urge to push – nothing.  And no one wants to hear my war story because it’s hardly a war story.

I didn’t have the courage to write this until I read Keanne’s and Mrs. T’s posts, and let’s face it, how I’ve been made to feel by being ignored by other mothers doesn’t hold a candle to the feelings they describe.  But I did read their posts and thought to myself, “oh I feel the same way, but different, but in so many ways the same.  I get it!”  I started to comment on their posts but then my comments turned into novels, making me want to put this out there for the world to see, and for my boys to read one day.  When you don’t rush to the hospital in a panic, or make decisions for epidurals or emergency C-sections, or have a 3rd degree tear, or spend over 24 hours from start to finish to actually cross the finish line – no one wants to hear it – because they can’t relate.

My sons’ birth stories are valid, and believe it or not, they are interesting.  They may be different from what you experienced, but they’re still birth stories of precious babies who were hard-won (like ALL babies).  I can guarantee you that I was scared to death the first time I delivered via scheduled C-section because I didn’t know what to expect, just like you were scared to push your babies out of your vaginas.  I promise you that I was even more scared the second time because I knew what to expect, and what I was expecting wasn’t fun.  I have war stories to tell, they’re just not stories that most people can relate to because they think I “took” the easy route (as if I had a choice).

Every single birth, adoption, conception, and loss story is valid, whether you relate or not with the story-teller.  Next time you talk about your birth, and someone says, “I had a scheduled C-section,” please include them in the discussion.  Please ask them what their experience was like.  Please don’t dismiss them because they didn’t have the same, or even remotely similar, experience as you.  Please don’t shut them up with your sideways glance when they chime in and try desperately to relate to the rest of you.

Birth – in the end – it doesn’t matter how we got there – just that we did.

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Author: Courtney

Hi, there, I’m Courtney. I never planned to stay home with my kids, but I got sucked into motherhood when my first baby came into our lives after years of infertility and multiple rounds of IVF. His brother followed closely behind, something we didn’t plan on after having such a rough road with achieving parenthood the first time around. My boys are IVF cycle twins, conceived on the same day but born two years and one day apart (they were both transferred on the same day in October, but with two years between them). My boys are the best of friends and my husband is a terrific husband, father, and most importantly… friend. He fully supported my desire to stay home (“I just wanted it to be your idea and not mine, I totally want you to stay home and raise our kids!”) and encourages me in everything I do. I am a lover of projects, spreadsheets, fitness, healthy cooking and eating, crafts, selling my stuff on FB (HA!), and the outdoors. If I’m active, I’m pretty darn happy!

15 thoughts on “Birth, Birth, Birth… Ugh!

  1. It’s funny, before I even got to where you wrote it, I was planning to comment and tell you your birth stories are completely valid! I really hate the perception out there that to have a ‘real’ birth it has to be done a certain way. I really, REALLY hate the term ‘natural birth’, as if giving birth any other way is unnatural.
    I’m so glad you’re standing up for your stories! You deserve it!

    • I despise the term “natural birth” too. I’ve heard women ask others if they delivered naturally and when the other woman says yes, with an epidural, she’s corrected that that’s not natural. I thought natural meant vaginally! I guess not!

  2. Pingback: october 2013 – monthly theme post listing – birth story – PAIL Bloggers

  3. That was our point, we wanted to hear about all births, all adoptions, all ways you created your family. A “birth story” is a telling of how you became a family, and however that happened it is valid and amazing. People who judge others’ birth stories are just jerks.

  4. I saw my mom after she had a c-section (my brother is 15 years younger than me), and it’s hardly “no big deal”. She was as white as the sheets on her bed! It’s so weird how people think a surgery is somehow easier than pushing a kid out. They both have their potential complications. Sheesh.

  5. This was really interesting to read Courtney – I’m glad you decided to join in the conversation! Personally, when someone tells me they had a c-section, I don’t know WHAT to ask, so I probably err too much on the side of caution and don’t ask often enough for details. I think it’s probably b/c most women I know who had them were in last minute emergency situations and they did NOT handle the change of plans as well as you did, so I’m afraid they don’t want to talk about it (does that make sense?). This is making me reevaluate my thoughts on that though…

    As for birth preferences, you know that you and I are on the opposite ends of the spectrum on this 🙂 However, I find it interesting to realize how much I do NOT feel like I need to even write my preferences down with this birth, now that I know that I have a provider who is whole heartedly of the same mindset as me about birth and the processes surrounding it. I wonder if the uptick in women writing/asking about birth preferences in the past decide is because they are realizing that the standard way most hospitals do things now days are not necessarily evidence based and/or beneficial to mom/baby and more “we don’t want to get our asses sued so we’re covering them 10 ways to Timbuktu” policies.

    I’m so glad that you got your boys in your arms, safe and sound, exactly as you wanted. 🙂

    • I understand having birth preferences – they’re just not for ME! I think you make a good point about not needing to write them out this time. I felt this way about my provider – we just understood each other so well and I knew he honored my wishes and desires.

  6. Great post! Very well said. I remember Bryson’s birth story and I feel like it was a doosie. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I am so glad you wrote this and so glad I wrote mine. I feel much less alone knowing that so many people feel the same way – even when they did give birth! I’m also with Kalyn above, your birth story of Bryson was a doozy!

    • I’m so glad you wrote your post – you gave me the courage to speak up! This has caused me agony for a long time (over 2 years) and I’ve wanted to say it out loud, but it felt so ridiculous. But it’s not ridiculous!

  8. Heh… I was once “shut down” by another mom when we were talking about our birth stories because, although I did have contractions prior to my csection, I didn’t go through transition soooo, I guess my experience didn’t “count.” I may never forget that conversation. It’s hurtful women invalidate other women’s birth experiences. Grr.

    • I’m sorry you’ve experienced this too. I always wonder what makes someone think that they have the right to decide what does, and does not, count as a valid experience, in any situation. Why can’t we all just support each other?

  9. I think you’re brave and I loved your birth stories of both of your boys. I love how much you embraced your decisions and situations. Honestly, the photos from Bryson’s birth were so amazingly beautiful, I think I cried more at those than any other birth story I’ve ever read!

    I have so many feelings on birth right now, both as feeling like an outsider for 2.5 yrs after having a c-section w L and now fighting for and having a successful VBAC. I both want to tell everyone about the successful VBAC and not talk about it ever because I know how small I felt after having a c-section with L and how painful birth stories are for so many women.

    Thanks so much for sharing your views on birth and I’m so happy to see so many women come out of the woodwork to say they too feel the same. this is huge! hugs to you!

  10. I really appreciate this post. It’s about what I would write, except that I had two plain old not-that-exciting births that wound up vaginal and without an epidural. I just find it rude to talk about birth stories and pregnancy sob stories too without inviting all stories equally and stuff. For me, I try to frame my birth stories as “this is what worked for us and how it happened” to ensure that other people don’t get the idea that I feel superior because I was lucky to get a pair of pretty tame births that didn’t require c-sections or adoptions. Not sure if that’s successful or not, but it’s my goal.

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