A healing birth?

I planned it in so much more detail than my first. Perhaps that was where I went wrong back then? Perhaps my ignorant self-belief that I could do it was where Mother Nature decided to deal me a different hand? I still believe that if I hadn’t been induced, if I’d had more faith in myself, if I’d been better educated, if I’d been more positive… maybe I would’ve had that waterbirth first time around and maybe the next birth would’ve been different too.

The toddler’s taught me nothing if he hasn’t taught me how pointless it is to look back with ‘what if’s’. These days I’m more of a believer in ‘what will be, will be’ and that everything happens for a reason. Perhaps my son’s birth and all the rubbish that came with it was actually the beginning of something much more wonderful for me?

Would I have planned the baby’s arrival so well if the birth trauma had not happened? No. I know that.

So, I planned. As much as you can plan for a life changing event. And my daughter was born safely. I cried. But they were happy tears. They sprang to my eyes when I heard her cry, the sign of her life, the start of something new. I cried again later, in secret. I cried for my son. I cried because I was feeling something so familiar, so powerful and so poignant by its absence last time.

I was happy.

I was holding my baby daughter and looking at her face and I mean really looking. I was thinking about how I’d been in a hospital bed two years previously with the weight of a baby in my arms meaning nothing and looking at a scrunched up face feeling nothing and I was thinking how that wasn’t his fault and perhaps it wasn’t even my fault either? I was thinking how unfair it was for him and how much I wanted to hug him and to say sorry and to turn back the clock to feel like that then too.

But like I said, you can’t spend your life thinking ‘what if’ and you certainly can’t turn the clock back.

The baby’s calm birth has made me realise. I think it was a healing birth.

I think that every time I see my children interact, I’ve done something special. I’ve done something right. I’m even starting to think that it wasn’t me who did much wrong to begin with.

Is there such a thing as a healing birth? Seven weeks ago I would’ve screamed YES from the rooftops. Today, I’m biding my time, hedging my bets and waiting a while. I think there is such a thing as a healing birth, but I think it takes time. I think I will let you know.

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8 responses to “A healing birth?

  • ali

    I just gave birth for the second time 4 weeks ago and it was a world away from my first. For me, it wasn’t healing so much but it offered closure. Now I know that’s how it could be I feel better, about everything.
    So pleased you had a different experience this time. Xx

  • Birthtalk.org

    Hi – lovely blog 🙂 My name is Melissa, and I am from Birthtalk.org. For the past ten years we have specialised in supporting women in healing from traumatic birth. And I would say that in answer to your pondering about whether your birth was a healing birth…that maybe it doesn’t NEED to be a healing birth.

    To quote from an article of ours : “For me, and many women we work with, the subsequent empowering birth after a traumatic birth is AFFIRMING. Affirming of the new information we have, affirming that birth is important, affirming of how we DESERVE to be treated in birth. The healing for me, and others, came from the journey to GET to the birth – the reflection on what happened last time, the angst as we process the traumatic birth, the determination to work towards a different experience, the exploration of ourselves and the asking of some deep dark questions…that can all be healing.” (©Birthtalk.org 2012)

    And having the comparison between the two births will offer new opportunities to grieve, as now you know so much more what you missed out on first time. And that can be healing. So rather than a healing birth…which puts a lot of pressure onto a birth…I would ask if perhaps the entire process has been – and will continue to be – healing…and the birth was empowering and affirming of everything you are now learning. Does that make sense?

    • ghostwritermummy

      Yes! It makes perfect sense. I think I was grieving more so last time as my first birth had not been traumatic so I already knew how it was ‘supposed’ to be. I think this is definitely going to be a long process. Thanks so much for your comment XxX

  • Kelly

    Such a fantastic take on events and do true. My first son was born via emergency section and I was then diagnosed and treated with PTSD while pregnant with my second son 2yrs later. If only I had the courage to try for vbac but was just so terrified and convinced it would all go wrong again. I’m still living with regrets, but it’s fantastic to hear this story. If only I’d read it before my 2nd child it might have given me abit more courage.

  • The Boy and Me (@TheBoyandMe)

    I am hoping that if/when I have another (through c-section, it can’t be anything else) it will help rid me of my anxieties. I’m so pleased you’re happier.

  • waterbirthplease

    Lovely post. And a question I’ve been asking myself alot too lately x

  • Helen barnes (@Hels_Bells22)

    What a wonderful blog! I had a traumatic first birth 10 weeks ago and was diagnosed with post traumatic stress. Thanks to the brilliant support from the midwives and my family I have begun to feel some closure but still mourn the first few hours of my son’s life.

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