Labour, In Hindsight

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

In the days and weeks after labour, I said some pretty harsh things. To be honest, I felt a bit traumatised by the whole thing and used to end up in tears even talking about it. My labour experience wasn't anything out of the ordinary. It was a natural birth and the active labour lasted around 9 hours (read my birth story here), I just could not handle that pain. I felt so helpless and I was screaming in agony and, afterwards, I swore that despite always wanting at least two kids, I'd never do that again. 

I'd been told 'you forget the pain' but that wasn't the case for me. I was so in love with my little boy but I couldn't stop thinking about how horrific that labour had been and how the experience had changed all my future plans. How could I ever voluntarily put myself forward for that again? I was desperately trying to resolve the situation in my head.

Maisy Meow Lifestyle and Baby Blogger Getting Over Trauma of Labour


Maybe I didn't need to have more children? I loved this little boy more than anything already, and he was enough to make me feel like the luckiest person in the world, but I knew deep down I didn't want to deny him of a sibling because of my own fears. Growing up in a family of three kids myself, it means a lot to me that Oliver gets to have a brother or sister too.

So maybe I could go for a voluntary c-section next time? At least then I'd be more in control, I'd have a date to go into hospital and I wouldn't have to go through those contractions. But the more I read about it, the more I realised that c-sections aren't a walk in the park either. There can be really serious complications and the recovery can be painful too. Could I really put myself at that risk voluntarily, when I have Oliver to think of? Every alternative left me feeling guilty and selfish.

Some people are desperate for a child and can't conceive. I'm lucky enough to be able to have one naturally and yet I complain that it hurts? It sounds so ungrateful. I felt so guilty for even thinking like that but your mind can be so powerful and the thought used to haunt me constantly.

Maisy Meow Lifestyle and Parenting Getting Over Labour Trauma

It's been over 4 months since Oliver was born, and I've thought a lot about the future and I suppose time has helped me be a bit more rational. I wouldn't say I've forgotten the pain, but the memory is definitely more hazy now. My thoughts now are that, yes, it was horrendous but in return, I earned the most beautiful baby boy that's given me a happiness that I didn't even know existed. I really would do anything for him and if that means going through labour again to give him a sibling, I'll do it.

If someone was to offer me the chance to rewind, to never have experienced labour but therefore to never have met Oliver, I'd say 'no way'. And right now, although I've yet to meet my next baby, I know I'll think the same about him/her when I do. I'm currently in the 'rewinded' stage and I just need to be brave enough to fast forward to the good bit. (I really hope that makes sense - my inner logic can sound crazy at times but it works for me!)

It's just one day - that's what I keep telling myself. One day of pain and a lifetime of happiness with another child in our family. If I'm lucky enough to get pregnant again, I'm going to give birth naturally if I can. I've done a lot of research into preparing for labour (something I wish I'd done last time). A lot of women have said how hypno-birthing really helped them through labour and this is something I'll definitely invest in if I do it again.

The turnaround in my decision is down to one thing and one thing only, time. Having time to think about it, to process all my thoughts, the positives and negatives. I've not forgotten the pain, but I've just learned that sometimes you have to do something really hard to get something really amazing.

Did any of you feel a similar way after labour? 


12 comments on "Labour, In Hindsight"
  1. Yes I felt the same way! I thought I was alone and I never mentioned it apart from to my family, it's traumatised me and even now he's nearly 16 months old I can still clearly see what I went through and scares me having to do it again. The after effects still scare me as well. I will have another child though as I want him to have a sibling too. Great post, glad I'm not alone in how I felt! Xx

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    1. I think a lot of people are scared to admit it for the fear of what people will say. Glad you liked the post! :)

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  2. I'm one of the women you mentioned that struggles to conceive. Having tried for a baby for nearly 7 years collectively and only ever getting pregnant twice. Once with my daughter, and once with a miscarriage. I won't ever forget the pain of labour, I won't ever forget how HORRIBLE labour was, even though i had a relatively good labour. I didn't enjoy it, it was stressful and agonising. I would do it again if I'm lucky enough one day, because you're right, you have to experience something bad to have the good. Horrible labour, a lifetime of motherhood, it's a due I'd willingly pay.

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    1. I'm so sorry about your miscarriage, I can't even begin to imagine how you'd feel or what it'd be like to try for so long. Helps put things into perspective.x

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  3. Completely relate to this. I felt the exact same way after my birth with Noah, just like you I had quite a normal and natural birth but I tore so badly it really put me off ever wanting another. It took me about a year to come around to the fact it could be a possibility and then within 9 months I was certain I wanted another baby, time definitely heals. And although P had a traumatic time, my birth was really positive. I think second labours and births are a lot easier though if that helps at all xxx

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    1. That definitely does help - a few people have said their second labour was so much better and I'm hoping that's the case for me! So glad to hear your second birth went a lot better xx

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  4. OMG yes I totally felt this. I'd get random flashbacks for weeks afterwards if I wasn't concentrating on something else! But I think I always knew that for me one was never going to be enough!

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    1. Oh yes, the flashbacks .. totally had them too!xx

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  5. I totally know what you mean- I remember being mid-contraction and thinking "never again!". For me it wasn't the pain of labour though (although it was horrific) but the pain afterwards- the struggle to walk, sleep, go to the toilet and shower. It was so unfair, I'd had my baby, yet I was still in agony and could barely pick him up! I always thought I'd like three though and it'd be selfish of me to deny Lucas growing up with a sibling. There's gonna be at least a couple of years wait though!

    Ada x

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    1. Omg yes. I wrote a whole post on this recently, the pain afterwards is so bad. Really makes you appreciate being able to go to the toilet without dreading it! That's my way of thinking too - I want to give Oliver a sibling and if it means doing that again then so be it! x

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  6. I now feel like an awful person. 2 months down the line and as much as I wouldn't take it back I still wouldn't do it again :( I didn't even have to go through labour pains but I just couldn't do it again. Maybe I'll change my mind in a few years but it's still a firm no.

    Jess @ These Three & Me

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    1. Don't feel awful at all, it's totally a personal thing - everyone has their own experience of labour/childbirth xx

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