Pondering Our Birth Experience

We have a little while to go before Eudora is born.  I’m 33 weeks pregnant at this point, so it’s weighing pretty heavily on my mind.  This time around, there’s a lot more to my potential birth experience than there was with Norton or Andy.  I’m hoping to avoid a repeat birth experience like the one that I had with Norton – I’m shooting for a VBAC this time, so no c-section for me, please.  And because I’m going for a VBAC, there’s no way that I can have a repeat of my birth experience with Andy.

With Norton, it was a scheduled c-section after two failed cervidil inductions.  I never actively went into labor, and it turned out that I couldn’t progress because he wouldn’t drop.  I had so much amniotic fluid in there due to my polyhydramnios that he floated in there like a little cork.

With Andy, I had a birth experience that would just plain have traumatized the husband.  At first, it was bliss.  I felt absolutely nothing.  I thought I was going to have a labor like my oldest sister had with her daughter and like my mother had with my oldest sister (or me, I can’t remember which and she’s gone, so I can’t ask her): absolutely painless, to the point of not even feeling contractions at all.  Both my mother and my sister had to be told when to push because they could not feel it.  And this was all natural, not a hint of an epidural.  That’s how it was, too, until they decided that I was not progressing fast enough and gave me pitocin.  (I am still angry about this.  I had no clue with anything about it, and I was young, naive, and trusted the medical establishment unconditionally because of how amazing my family doctor had been my entire life.  If I knew then what I knew now, I’d have told the nurse where to put that pitocin… and it wouldn’t have been in me.)  I wasn’t asked; I was told, so there wasn’t really any consent there.  Once the pitocin went in, it became sheer Hell.  I nearly lost consciousness from the back labor, and they had to give me an epidural very early.  When the anesthesiologist slipped the needle in my spine, everything was starting to go black.  But once I had the epidural, I was back to sheer bliss.

I’m thankful that pitocin is not an option with a VBAC.  Quite frankly, the screaming would have terrified the husband, and I’m not sure that he’d be able to handle seeing me in such pain and not being able to do anything about it.  One of his big fears is losing me, and I know that had he witnessed that, he’d have panicked.

I think this is where my birth experience concerns are a little different.  You see, this isn’t just my birth experience.  It’s his, too.  I’m not insane about the idea of natural childbirth.  I mean, it’s not like there’s a gold star on the birth certificate or anything.  There’s no gold medals.  But he wants to actually see his child being born, and since this is our last baby, this is his last chance to experience that.  I want to give him the kind of birth experience that he wants.  I want him to be able to stay with me and hold my hand and tell me how much he loves me.  I want that mystical, magical birth that he’s hoping for.

Since we waited too long to get our acts together with the Bradley Method, it’s definitely time to practice as much as I can with the Bradley exercises… and also start listening to the Hypnobirthing CDs.  After all, time is running out.

Did you have a natural childbirth?  How did it go for you?

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. I had an emergency C-section, so I can’t give any advice on natural childbirth 😉 But I am certainly outraged as to your previous birth experience! I think I’ve always been blessed with good doctors, so I cannot FATHOM having someone boss me around like they did to you (and so many others that I’ve heard of). I’m so sorry that happened to you 🙁 Best of luck with your next birth!

    • I think a lot of it is that I was 19 and this was pre-internet. I was nowhere near as educated then as I am now, and I certainly didn’t have the same resources. This is one of those cases that just demonstrates that education is really the most powerful tool that we have.

  2. I was preeclamptic for the births of both of my kids. With kiddo #1, it was sudden onset preeclampsia, and they rushed me off for an induction–proud to say that despite the pitocin and the magnesium drip, i refused the epidural AND a c-section. With kiddo #2, it already seemed likely that i’d be preeclamptic. when i went into labor, i labored at home all night long and went to the hospital in the morning to have the baby. this time, i was so dilated by the time i got to the hospital that they were able to put off the magnesium drip for the preeclampsia until after i gave birth. Also no pain meds and no c-section.
    As long as the baby is doing ok, where there’s a will there’s a way!

  3. You’ll do great! I did natural, but I also had complications. I don’t think there is a “normal” when it comes to childbirth is there? I’m super glad I got to experience natural. Nothing like feeling her little legs kicking in my womb as she was halfway out. It was an amazing experience!

    Warmest regards,
    Pardon My Poppet ~ Pip Squeaks from the Mummy-verse!

  4. I was prepared for ever birth came my way. I was expecting the worst and I was just so happy to make it through. I take my hat off to the calm birth philosophy. It saved my day. I wrote about it and the tens machine. Amazing. I wish you all the best for a safe and amazing birth experience -heres my ode to calmbirth 🙂


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