We invite you to share your thoughts on A Good Birth, or offer your reflections on your own Birth story or the Birth you hope to have one day. We sincerely hope you've experienced A Good Birth!
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My first birth was ok but I'd never call it great. Some parts were ok, some not so much. I didn't feel involved, I didn't feel respected, and once I had pain medication I felt almost like I no longer mattered. I got a healthy baby in the end so I'd count it as ok. My second was fantastic. It was a great birth. I went in looking for a medication free vaginal birth. My midwife, doula, and husband were all very supportive of this. My nurse was great and so supportive of my plans too. She'd just pop in to tell me I was doing great and head back out leaving us to do the work. It's exactly what I wanted. About 38 hours into labor I was exhausted and asked to talk about pain medication so I could rest. The nurse came in and respectfully gave me my options and fully discussed them with me. I chose an epidural. It wasn't the plan but it's what I wanted at the time. Breaking my water and pitocin to speed things up were both offered and I declined. My wishes were respected without question or threats, something I've seen done many times as a doula. My midwife caught my daughter and placed her skin to skin, again exactly what I wanted. I was treated like an educated person that was capable of making decisions for myself, that's all I was asking for and I got it. That's what makes a good birth.
I'm so glad you found your good birth the second time around, Melissa. It can take time, and sometimes a birth or two. I am sure in your work as a doula you help other women find their own good births, too. Take care, and thank you for sharing, Annie
I had my little girl last week-October 29th. Coming from a small town and still living in SC by most social standards I waited a while to have my first child. I am 34 years old. I'm active and healthy but I had still allowed my mother and sister's somewhat traumatic birth stories of Cesareans after hours of labor convince me that I should just resign myself to the same fate. In addition I'm a petite woman and my grandmother had been telling me since I could remember that pregnancy and labor would never be easy on me. I didn't go as far as schedule a Cesarean but I told my doctor that I expected that would be the way it would go. A friend convinced me to watch The Business of Being Born. She had delivered two babies vaginally and naturally in less than 2 hours of pushing total each time. She wanted me to know there were options. I found myself taking it all in and analyzing my mother and sister's experiences and decided mine would be different. Even if a Cesarean was still required for me I wanted to have a positive experience with every stage of labor. I hired a wonderful doula that same weekend. She literally was an essential part of my wonderful experience. She answered questions, all those ridiculous questions you feel you should already know the answer to but still need to ask. She talked to my husband, suggested readings and the day of she did everything from massages to speaking for me when I was too overcome in labor to respond to nurses and doctors. My doctor group was supportive of both my doula and my birth plan. I labored at home assited by my husband, doula, hot showers and an exercise ball until I instinctively knew it was time to make the 10 minute drive to the hospital. Longest drive of my life. Upon arrivng I continued to use the shower, ball and various positions to labor--finally requesting the doctor break my water to get me over the final hurdle. An hour later my girl was born, vaginally and drug-free. She was immediately put on my chest and didn't leave my room or my sight the entire stay. I labored for 15 hours, pushing for two, before she made her entrance. I was euphoric with my daughter's birth. Proud that I had accomplished what other women in my family could not and proud that I defied the idea that size determines a woman's ability to bring her daughter into the world naturally.
Congratulations Dana and what a wonderful story. I hope you and your daughter are enjoying each other. Research actually shows that expecting a good birth (having "high expectations") and having a good birth often go hand in hand -- so fabulous to hear that was the case for you. Take care, Annie
Hi Friends -- Annie (Lyerly) here. I am getting ready for my fifth birth, scheduled for Monday. I wrote some thoughts about the "good cesarean birth" on my Huffington Post blog -- see what you think. I'll be back in touch soon. Cheers, Annie