Friday, September 2, 2011

i hated having a baby.

these pics were taken the last time we were visiting Rhode Grandma Heidi's pretty garden...
 *note:  if you are currently "expecting" - this post is not for you.  But I can say that motherhood is the most amazing adventure of all - and I am over the moon in love with my little Clara - and every single minute of pregnancy and labor was worth it a million times over when I hold her in my arms.

This has been a summer of BABIES in my little world - a record number of my girlfriends have become mothers (or are expecting soon!)  This has been an incredibly exciting time for so many of us - entering motherhood - falling madly in love with our little one's - growing closer in the relationships with our husbands - and wondering what the future holds.

I never really talked about my REAL thoughts about delivery...and only gave a quick little summary about Clara's birth story way back when.  Truth is, with all these friends of mine expecting I didn't want to freak anyone out - and I didn't want to sound pessimistic about the whole experience (which is exactly how I knew I would sound.)  So I shared a few things...hit the major highlights...and let the rest go into the "I'll never speak of it and hopefully forget it soon" category of life.

Except, I can't forget about it.

Especially since so many of my friends have had seemless, smooth, almost enjoyable birthing experiences lately.  And I can't help but be sooooooooooooo jealous.  Thrilled for them, of course, but a teeny bit wishful that their easy deliveries were mine! 

Delivering Clara was absolute hell.  But then it was over...and I thought that the worse was behind me.  Except, a lot of strange things happened to me that are not "normal" in those moments after delivery...I sat, alone, shivering and cold in a bed full of blood for over an hour while my nurse was busy doing something in the emergency room (obviously helping someone in dire need).  Tommy was out with Clara as she was getting her tests, getting cleaned off and doing those fun things.  I was thirsty, starving, exhausted, freezing, and in so much pain I couldn't even move... my epidural got turned off hours ago and all I wanted was pain medication...dear Lord.  I looked like hell...and felt even worse...and all I wanted to be was jubilant with our new little baby in my arms!!  Because really, seeing Clara was absolutely love at first sight.  Love. 

I wish I could say that it got immediately better. didn't for me.  I didn't experience any depression or wasn't a postpartum depression (though that is so common among women!)...but it was my pain and just could not be controlled.  My body so many places...I felt like I literally got hit by a semi...I couldn't walk straight...couldn't sit down....couldn't go to the bathroom...couldn't sleep...was swollen from my face to my feet and was wiped out 24/7.  This went on for a few weeks.  WEEKS.

I was not prepared for that aftermath.  I knew the delivery would be was birth after all...I wasn't expecting a walk through the park.  But...I didn't anticipate what really happened.

I went in thinking I would hop off the laboring table after pushing little Clara out with no prob.  My mother had an extremely easy birthing experience with me...and the couple of my friends with kiddos didn't complain about having a rough postpartum time.  I felt soooo alone with only Tommy to comfort me.  Poor Tommy!  (oh eyes just watered in remembering how horrible that time was for me....trying to be a good new mommy to the most perfect little angel I'd ever seen and I couldn't get past my physical challenges.)

Reading mom blogs didn't make me feel any better.  What with all the birth stories about women who labored/delivered with zero pain meds and zero/minimal pain or complications....who talk about how beautiful and amazing and wonderful their birthing experiences were.  Oh man.  I could not relate to that.  On any level. 

My body is still recovering.  Six months later.  Doesn't that sound so dramatic?  I wonder if I will ever be the same, and a part of me knows that I won't.  There are complications that are horrific that I will never discus with a living soul....and when I think about the whole thing I get so frustrated.  I get frustrated because of my body's inability to deal with birthing, and I get frustrated with how I was treated just after the delivery, that they turned off my epidural, that I wasn't expecting it to be like this and MOST of all I get frustrated that I even THINK about this stuff.  I want to delete everything in this post from my memory.  I just want to relish in the fact that I love my daughter more than any mother has ever loved before...which I'm fairly certain is exactly how every mother feels.

I'm only sharing it seems to be a side that isn't shared on the blogosphere...I certainly haven't read anything about this.  It has to be OUT THERE SOMEWHERE that a mother (who loves her child more than life itself) hated having a baby...and will admit that it was hard and painful and scary.   If this happens to you, you aren't doesn't make you a bad mama, or a freak, or a complainer, or a pessimist.  Even if nobody else understands...I do. 


  1. Awesome post! I think you got to the core of what it means to have a blog, it's about sharing your experience open and honestly, regardless of what the "norm" is. So thanks for this, because I can completely understand how alone you and other women who experienced things similar could feel all alone in a world full of near-perfect birth stories and moms who gloss over the gritty realities of birthing because they're embarrassed or think it's weird. We need more mommy bloggers like you, that's for sure.

  2. Oh man, Jes, I'm so sorry you had such a negative birthing experience, I can totally see why it would still haunt you. I'm sure you, as a doctor, know this but obviously everyone's bodies are different so the experience of giving birth is going to be varied. It sucks that yours wasn't what you had hoped for but you DID it, which is more than I can say, ha...I'm glad you shared this story because it's important for people to hear about the wide (wide, wide) variety of birth experiences that occur, not just the easy, sunshine-and-rainbows ones...Anyways, you and your daughter are too gorgeous for words in these photos and I hope that by writing this post, you are able to move forwards from the experience!

  3. Honey, you aren't alone and I think that is the point. We are trained to share the rainbows and unicorns but not the rain or horseshit.

    Having my first sucked. Pitocin, pinched off epidural that did nothing for my pain during but made it so I couldn't move after, extensive bruising in delicate areas that lasted for months, crying as I went to the bathroom, EXTREME pain for 6 months after at even the idea of sex (Poor Eric) which took over a year to get anywhere close to "normal."

    Julie's was physically easier but I had a huge scare with her after and didn't get to even see her for an hour! Not a single touch and I couldn't get out of the bed. With her I had lactation headaches and crippling depression after which my doctor was unconcerned about.

    I love my children completely and they were worth every second of pain and heartache. I wouldn't go back and undo having them. Pregnancy was rough and un-glamorous. Delivery was no cake walk. Parenthood is full of ups and downs.

    I just think we need to be more honest with both sides of each experience ... but then who would be brave enough to become a mother?

  4. I'm sorry you weren't made more of a priority just after giving birth. I can't imagine how you must have felt lying there just waiting. The hospital birthing experience certainly leaves a lot to be desired. Beautiful pics of you and Clara.

  5. YES! I can relate!!! My first baby birth was EXACTLY like this. Painful, stressful, scary, long. I get angry when I think about it. Jules is almost three and right now I feel my blood pressure rising. I often wonder when my hard feelings will go away. There were things that I let happen the first time around just because I was so clueless and let me tell you - the second time around I was waaaay more assertive. I *knew* better with Siah. Not only was the hospital stay better, but the recovery at home was peaceful - no inlaws breathing down my neck as we got used to breastfeeding, I didn't have to seclude myself in my bedroom for privacy as I dealt with my body and the icky recovery.

    Like Tara, the idea of sex after my first literally made me cry. It was 6 months before I was brave enough to start back up...and it was slow going. That's hard on a relationship. New baby, like you we had new jobs, everyone wanted a piece of our time (well, Julianne's time) - our whole world changed with the addition of baby. It was an adjustment on many levels.

    Anyway, I mostly wanted to chime in that if you decide to have a second child, I promise you that you will know better. And even if it totally sucks - you'll know going in what to expect!!! No delusions of grandeur!

  6. That sounds awful. :( I know when the day comes and we have our first baby, it will NOT be easy for me. It honestly scares me to death because I know I have such a low tolerance for pain, I also know that I'll probably be miserable most of my pregnancy too. I'm just hoping that having my child in my arms for the first time will outweigh it all.
    I'm curious to know, will you be having any more children of your own? Sorry if it's too nosy, I'm just curious if you can handle having more or if you even want to, because it's a fear of my own.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Jes. It is true that the blogosphere tends to be sunshine and roses. I think that can be a good thing, if you're like me and have a lot of anxiety about pregnancy, but I also really appreciate your honest approach. Have you read Sherry at younghouselove's birthing story? It definitely wasn't perfect either.

  8. You owe no apology for this post.

    You are OWED an apology by the staff at your hospital. In fact, I think you need to speak with an administrator or someone in authority there about it, so no other new mother is abandoned right after childbirth.

    I have never in my life heard of such treatment. Seriously. That hospital needs to shape up.

    Quit beating yourself up. The one surgery I had that resulted in more pain than I could handle in burned into my memory more than 15 years later. I hear you.

    Hey, I always felt jealous of women who had easy periods. Mine were hell on earth. Life doesn't deal with everyone fairly.

    My grandmother had horrible births too. She ended up with a prolapsed uterus from the trauma of her second birth. It happens.

  9. I just had another thought. Saw a documentary on birth in the ancient world and they said giving birth was the most dangerous thing a woman could do. Many of them died.

    Humans do not give birth as easily an animals because speaking evolutionarily, when our distant ancestors first stood up, instead of going around on all fours, it changed the mechanics of giving birth in a negative way.

    Until modern-day medicine, it was not at all uncommon for women to die in childbirth.

    That sort of gives some perspective doesn't it? We are not perfectly designed for birth.

  10. I am glad you wrote this post. Our baby girl is now 6 months old and I feel the same way as you. I went through 21 hours of labour before they decided to do an emergency c-section. I was not prepared for that. I was at home, crying every day from the pain. The pain meds they sent me home with didn't work. My mom almost took my little one the night we got home from the hospital because I could barely move and it felt like I was being stabbed with a knife in my belly and all they could tell me was it was after pains and I would have to deal with them. I had to go back to the hospital at 6 weeks because I was still in so much pain and could barely move. I love my little girl but, don't' know if I could have another baby. My hubby doesn't even want to see me on the operating table again, shaking and in so much pain.

  11. Except for being deserted by my nurse, this sums up my first birth experience. SO MUCH PAIN, and it lasted a long time :(

    Take heart in knowing that it doesn't always have to be that way. Labor, delivery, and recovery will never be a walk in the park. It can, however, be much easier the next time around.

    When my second came along, I was prepared for the worst. Labor was rough, but recovery was NOTHING. I literally did hop out of bed shortly after delivering my second baby...and then did the same with my third. Recovery was very easy with both baby #2 and baby #3. so, really, it can be good...not easy, but a good experience! :)



Related Posts with Thumbnails