I received this e-mail from a mother that follows the Mama Birth Facebook page and I thought that I should share it with you. Nobody ever talks about this subject but it is a very real issue for many people. She gave me permission to share anonymously. People often say that the birth experience doesn't matter as long as the baby is healthy. The health of the baby is the most important thing to any mother, but we are lying to ourselves if we think that birth and it's impact won't touch every part of our lives. Birth is what life is all about. This too is why I think it is so important for couples to prepare together for the birth experience, so it is joyful for BOTH of them.
I hope somebody appreciates this post and please, keep comments respectful and decent on this sensitive subject.
When my husband and I got married, our "bedroom" life was great! It was great all through our first pregnancy (conceived the month after our wedding), then I had a bad birth experience. Humiliation, painful pit contractions, tearing, etc etc. After that, it was difficult for me to really "get back into the groove" of things for some reason, even after I was physically healed. Then came another baby, and another, all the way to #5, and this got increasingly worse. I would tense up and even cry in pain (likely from the tension and apprehension) each time we made love, but I did it for my husband because I loved him and wanted to tend to his needs.
Sure, my hospital births were horrible each time, all five of them, but I never really considered myself traumatized. Not until the birth of my sixth baby, at any rate.
With my sixth, we decided on a home birth, unassisted. Now, I'm all for midwives and such, but for me, personally, with the past I have had with care providers, that wasn't the best option for me. I have a trust issue with birthing care providers. So, we went UC (medically unassisted). The whole pregnancy, I geared up for birth. REAL, non-augmented, natural birth. I learned a lot about the female body, birth, and myself even. I learned to trust myself and my "gut," and also I leaned more on my husband than I had ever before.
Fast forward, it's birthday. I labor alone for the most part, but my husband is there to be my rock and supporter, my biggest fan through the flustering transition. He was born into my husband's arms and passed straight into mine. We rejoiced, we cuddled, and we just looked at each other and said "We did it!" and my husband even said later "Wow, is birth really THAT simple??" Recovery went great! I was confident in myself for the first time in a long time. I really could do it, and I wasn't broken!
After a recovery period, the time came when we were comfortable resuming relations, and was I in for a shock? Everything was totally different. It was like it used to be! there was no more fear or tension on my part, even though I was expecting it to still be there. No more pain. Nothing changed expect for this birth, so I have to come to the conclusion that this birth is what brought us closer together as a couple, as well as what calmed my fears, reassured me, and freed me from the trauma of birth which apparently impacted everything related to it in a big way.
Again, this is not a scientific observation, just an experience that I felt compelled to share. I can't believe how much this independent and ME controlled birth changed my love life, it is astounding. I never knew how much a horrible birth experience, let alone many on top of each other, could affect a couple's relationship and a woman's self-view until I experienced the healing from the pain that I didn't know I carried