Thursday, December 01, 2011

Some more thoughts on my birthing experience

Our doula came over a couple of weeks ago to follow up with us, as she did in the weeks after Little G was born too.  Along with getting to meet Ladybug again, we talked about the birth experience and compared our various stories.  It was really great to see her again.  If you think about it, this is someone that has been with us for both of the most momentous occasions of our lives...and then when all is said and done, she walks away from the hospital and on to her next family.  Setting time to get together when things calm down a bit is a great way to get some closure - especially this time, since the birth was SO fast.

Talking with her also gave me a chance to discuss some of the feelings I had immediately after giving birth with someone who has a bit more experience than my husband...who has just as much insight as I have, having only done this once before.  Here are a few things we discussed beyond the basic birth story that I found interesting.

  • When we got to the hospital, we both had a fear that the nurses wouldn't LET me give birth there!

    My OB had given me instructions to call his answering service before heading to the hospital.  He was out of town at a conference and had practically begged me not to go into labor before he got back since he missed Little G's birth too!  Just prior to leaving for the hospital, we called the answering service and let them know I was on the way.  I wasn't privy to the conversation because I was in deep labor somewhere away from the phone, so I don't know how the conversation went.

    The hospital where I delivered has two registration areas, one for ER and one for Maternity.  The Maternity registration desk is on the total opposite side of the hospital from the ER, but since we didn't know how late the Maternity registration desk was open, we headed to the ER.  When we got there, an orderly whisked me up to Labor and Delivery and my doula was practically running along his side he was going so fast.  We got to L&D and the nurses were all standing around a desk and they all looked up at me and said "Who are you?"

    I was pretty discouraged at that moment so I went into logistical-coordinator-in-an-emergency mode and very calmly said "My name is -----, My doctor is Dr. -----, I am in labor and going to have a baby soon and I would like to take my boots off and get some warm socks".  The nurses moved verrrrrry slowly to get me into a room and into a gown.  Looking back, both my doula and I both had a momentary thought that they weren't going to let me have a baby there!  My doula explained to me that in the nurses' defense, they had no idea I was coming and then I just showed up and said I was having a baby.  Since I was so calm, they had absolutely no idea I was at 8 cm!  Apparently most women at 8 cm can't even talk or function well, so by just looking at me, they thought I was in early labor!

    To the nurses credit, once things got moving just a few moments after that, they were on. the. ball.  Like amazingly so.  They all worked together like a very well oiled machine and by the time the whole experience was over you could feel a dynamic shift in their attitude.

  • With a fast birth, it took more time to bond with my daughter

    This is something that I was afraid to admit to anyone until I had discussed it with my doula and she assured me how normal it is.  While she was visiting us, we were discussing how when my daughter was born, she had a double, almost triple chin.  I sheepishly admitted to my doula that I didn't really like Ladybug when she was born and they handed her to me.  I thought she looked like Jabba the Hut and I was not impressed. (It scares me to know that someday my daughter WILL find this and read it and all I can say is keep reading, it gets better, keep reading.)  My doula explained to me that my feelings were completely normal especially considering how fast her birth was.  She said, when you have a chance to push your baby out, you bond with them over the course of pushing.  But since Ladybug just showed up in one fell swoop, I didn't have that opportunity to bond with her.

    This certainly meshes with my memory of Little G's birth.  I remember it being a beautiful, memorable moment - pushing him out into the world, feeling like we accomplished his birth together.  But with Ladybug, it was chaotic and anything but divinely beautiful.  Don't get me wrong, it was still an incredible experience...but I couldn't think of it as such DURING the experience because there wasn't time to think lovely thoughts!

    It was so helpful and empowering to have my doula validate how I had felt and I am really glad the subject came up as I would have internalized that for a long time had I not been able to process it with her.

The original birth story

Some thoughts on my birthing experince

Some final thoughts on my birthing experience  


  1. Hmm I'm wondering if the reason (or one of the reasons) I didn't feel immediately bonded to either of my daughters after birth is because I had such fast deliveries with both of them? It certainly makes sense when you think about it...

  2. It's always so nice to hear other women admitting it's not a fairytale. Someday ladybug will have children of her own and will understand exactly what you are talking about.