One Born Every Minute : A painful reminder…

Last night as I’m sure many people know, One Born Every Minute begun its new series. Twitter went crazy for it. Even my facebook stream went crazy for it. But I switched off. I turned off social media for that hour and didn’t have my telly set to channel 4. Why? Because OBEM is a painful reminder of the birth I will never have. Yes they feature their fair share of planned and emergency c-sections but they also show a heck of alot of natural births. Births where the baby gets lifted to mums chest straight away. Where she has pushed her baby out with or without pain relief. Something I will never be able to do.

Pregnant with DS2
Pregnant with DS2

Although I had birth reflections counselling during my second pregnancy and I came to terms and accepted my situation and that for my health a c-section really is the only option thanks to my two uterus’ and weird anatomy but it doesn’t mean I don’t still crave that natural birth. Afterall the reason it took me so long to get over my first birth was because I had dreamed  of the perfect natural birth. Yes I was 16 but I didn’t want any pain relief, I was petrified of epidurals, had read all the side effects, wanted to be mobile and upright to help gravity do its job. The reality was the total opposite. I was strapped to the bed on a monitor with back to back labour and laboured on the bed the whole way through until the urge to came to push… and then the contractions stopped … and then there was a mad dash to theatre … and an attempt to deliver with ventouse following an epidural … and then finally the emergency c-section. Oh except it wasn’t finally because then in recovery I had serious complications that left me clinging onto life by my finger tips.

My second birth was the total opposite and as wonderful as a c-section is ever going to be. But it wasn’t natural. It wasn’t drug free. And I didn’t get to ‘birth’ my baby.

I don’t know that I am ever going to get over that feeling of being cheated out of natural birth. Its all I ever dreamed of in terms of being a mother and both of my births have been the total opposite of it. I can’t ever try a natural birth without putting myself at serious risk (so please don’t suggest that because it just isn’t going to happen). I could try it but I’d be risking my boys losing their mother and I would never take that risk.

Maybe in a few years time it won’t be so painful. But for now shows like OBEM I give a wide berth!

8 thoughts on “One Born Every Minute : A painful reminder…”

  1. Both my births have been natural, but the last one nearly killed me. If I had swallowed my pride and opted for a csection, the placenta causing my illness would have been removed 20 hours earlier and I wouldn’t have gotten nearly so ill. My organs may not have gone into failure. I have been told it is now too dangerous for me to ever have any more children, even by csection.

    So I find it hard to watch obem, knowing I miss being pregnant and no matter how much I would secretly like another child, it can’t happen. I find it frustrating that obem have never shown someone with HELLP Syndrome, but then its very rare so why should they. They don’t even show many twin births.

    But at the same time, for those very reasons, I have to watch it. I have to deal with the trauma of what I went through seven months ago. I need to accept the pain of knowing I’ll never feel a baby grow again. Because there will always be people who say “are you having any more?” And I need to come to terms with my answer.

    So I do watch obem, as therapy, even though it makes me cry. We all deal with trauma in different ways and if watching it hurts more than it helps, then it is right for you not to watch it.

    Wishing you strength as you deal with your emotions and well done on writing such an open, honest and painful post. Xxx

  2. I am so sorry to read this Hayley. I can tell you would have been brilliant at natural birth if your body had given you the chance. Well done for even wishing to do it naturally there are so many who want the pain-free option it is so unfair you couldn’t swap with one of them! You are still a hero for carrying your two babies and being a great mummy – and C sections are not without their own pain so well done you! x

  3. I often wonder what sort of people put themselves through the most vulnerable and painful experience they will ever have ( whether natural, csection or whatever) in front of a tv camera for the whole world to see. Birthing is imo an intimate time to share with those closest to you. Can you imagine having to look back and watch yourself.

  4. I’m sorry that you aren’t able to have something you want so badly. I wonder, though, whether that focus on having a natural birth has perhaps made you more conscientious as a mother? You think so deeply about all of your choices and perhaps that thoughtfulness is something very good that has come out of all this?

    I can’t watch OBEM at the moment for a completely different reason. I find most the births featured too medicalised and it makes me anxious about having another baby.

    This is even though I have come to terms with my own birth which, though it ended in a normal delivery, was worlds away from the birth I’d hoped for.

    And that’s fine because a birth is a birth and I think that although natural birth is something we need to continue to hold as important (where its possible), it has become enshrined by some. The birth is important but it’s by no means the single defining moment of our children’s lives.

  5. Your first birth sounds very scary indeed. I no longer watch obem and I was obsessed with it before my little girl was born. It just doesn’t appeal to me anymore I don’t know why.
    We are all different and I am the complete opposite to you- I had a planned c sec which was a wonderful experience with my little girl due to her being breech and there isn’t a part of me that feels I missed out on natural labour. (Although I completely understand why you feel that way- in fact my mum had to have 2 c-sections with us and she says a part of her feels she missed out). I just don’t- I still feel like I gave birth to her.
    I am pregnant again and am still unsure as to go for a vbac or a c-sec but I am leaning towards another section. However being that this will more than likely be my last baby all being well, there is a little part of me that wonders whether I should try naturally in case there is always a part of me that wonders ‘what would it be like?’
    Hugs and I can completely understand why shows like obem would hurt if you feel this way.

    Sorry for the rambling! X

  6. I guess this is the flipside of the (generallypositive) move to promote natural birth – people who have genuine, legitimate reasons why they would not be able to have a natural birth feel like they have failed or been robbed of something wonderful. Your feelings of loss are valid, and if avoiding OBEM helps then that is valid too (I avoid it because I think it is overly medicalised and I see some fairly bad midwifery care which makes me upset and angry), but remember that although you didn’t physically push your boys out of your body, you created them and nurtured them inside you for months and they would not have existed without you. That is an incredible thing, and much more important than the way they were born. And you’re still the most important reason they continue to exist and be happy! You’re strong and brave and a great mother :) And thank goodness that c sections do exist, so that you can be the mother that you are.

  7. Wow Hayley, I never realised our birth stories were so similar – although mine was down to hospital error. I can’t watch shows like that, either. I also requested not to do my midwifery placement during my nurse training, because it would have been too painful. It’s really hard when everyone is talking about something that is so difficult for you personally. Sending love xxx

  8. Hi hayley my son was. born with cdh 32 years ago but at that time it wasn’t picked up on any scans.we had a very upsetting time for 4 weeks after his,op but things turned out well in the end.It took me 8 years before having another child she was born fine without any problems,so I hope that you go ahead to have another. Baby when you feel ready.Best wishes for the future.

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