Google+ Authentic Parenting: Keeping Your Baby Close After Birth (rerun)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Keeping Your Baby Close After Birth (rerun)

I could write about a million benefits of keeping your child close after birth, but I'll leave that up to the experts and stretch your imagination a little.

Imagine that you are an unborn child. You have been floating happily in lukewarm liquid for nine months now, you experienced taste through it. You felt vibrations and heard your mother speak, and you heard other, more muffled noises too. You sensed your mother's touch through the womb that hugs you. You have been really comfortable.
But right now, that womb, which is all you have know for all eternity, is getting a little tighter, you have little space left and it is getting harder to move. You may have engaged, you may not., anyway, you are ready for some change.
And so it happens, you start to feel hugged ever more tightly by that uterus, your home. Irregular at first, and short, but after a while, these sensations get more intense. Something is about to happen! You feel slightly pressed downward with every contraction. You are excited. You feel how your mother feels and you hear her voice, maybe she's a little frightened, should you be? Maybe she's excited too, and happy, so you feel happy too.
Let's just assume you are all well and she is indeed happy and excited to meet you - after all, she did wait nine months for this moment. Let's assume that this engaging thing and the contractions work well.
So you feel it's time to put in some effort of your own, after all, your mommy - who you have felt and heard and tasted all this time, but have yet to meet - is putting in so much effort.
So you twist and wriggle and turn. You feel really squeezed. Your head is a little sore, you feel like you can't take much of this for too long.

And then it happens...

[[[ I am sorry to take you out of the imaginative trip for a moment, but I just want to show you two possible scenarios and you pick the one you would like to have as the second half of this story ]]]

The pressure on your head is relieved and you feel a rush of - what is this, it's fresh, cold even, and it smells so different - air on your face. A big human pulls you out rather rudely and holds you upside down. There are all these things around, and so many people and noises and smells and everything happens so quickly and you don't see well, but the light stings your eyes.
"Hey, why are they cutting off my lifeline? I like that, I played with it all this time! Don't take it away!"
You are being pulled away from the one smell and feel you knew to again another entirely different setting. They prick you and it hurts and they rub you down and put stuff in your eyes, it stings even more than the light! You are starting to feel very desperate, very helpless. Maybe this wasn't as exciting as you though it would be. Frankly, you wish you were back in that warm - albeit tight - uterus. You start to cry - "Hey what's this noise, it's loud and it hurts my ears, wait... it's me!" - you are kind of freaking out.
Someone else puts you on a cold metal thingy and starts measuring you. By this time you are tired and desperate.
But then they bring you over to the one creature you know. She looks kind of desperate too. And she's cold and tired, just as you are.
You want to look, you want to taste and smell. But you're still a little freaked out, scared, and very very tired. Will they come and take you away again?

The pressure on your head is finally gone and you are in a lukewarm environment, just as you were in utero, but vast and less tasty, though it does taste and smells the same, just less pronounced. You open your eyes and see a beautiful face radiating love. You feel two strong but tired hands on your back. They pull you up - "Hey what is this? This smells great! I want to have a taste of this!!!" - and put you at the breast.
While you enjoy this liquid gold, you dare another glance. "Wow, mommy is really beautiful and look at how happy she is!"
You hear an emotion filled mutter, and look to the side. You've heard that voice before, but a lot more muffled. Hey, look at that, that's a totally different face than mommy's! A hand that belongs with the second face caresses your back and the face speaks gentle words to you, ever so softly. Mommy hums, and cries tears of joy.
"It was all worth it!" you think, as you doze off into a wonderful little slumber.

[[[ Take your time to wake up out of that soft dreamless sleep ]]]

Which one would you pick?



  1. In the scenario 1, you forgot about the thermometer in the anus to take the temperature and the tube through the nose or the mouth going down the oesophageus to the stomach. Done routinely in France. Hew. I am so glad Sophie did not get that and so sad Elias and Nina did.

  2. I know which one I'd pick. Unfortunately, I couldn't pick it for my son.

  3. Lovely article!

    The teacher in me wants to point out a few mistakes, which you can probably quickly edit before the rest of the world reads!

    exited means to exit or leave
    I think you meant to use the word excited meaning to have a thrilling feeling.

    mommies, spelt with the ies ending means more than one mommy. I think you meant to use mommy's meaning it belongs to mommy.

    There was also a couple of typos in the last couple of paragraphs.

    Lovely piece though- good job!

  4. beautifully written...makes me cry though. with my oldest i had an emergency c-section. they had induced me the night before because they wanted to...i didn't know i had a real choice in the matter! i had just finished a long day at work and just wanted to go home. they decided since i was so close to my due date and thought i might have been leaking fluids (even though the ultrasound they had done showed that my fluid levels were fine), the doctor decided to induce me! i went through labor all through the night on pitocin. my water broke at 3:30 am. by noon the next day the contractions were coming on top of one another so fast and hard (still on pitocin) and i couldn't stop throwing up! the doctor came in and said she was going to do a c-section. i told her i didn't care; i just wanted my baby! we had tried for 3 years for her, so it was "about time" imo! not even a year after having my oldest, i found out i was pregnant with my youngest. the place i went through with her gave me information about vbacs and such as i was interested. the information though was extremely misleading and negative. i chose to have another c-section.

    i still feel like i've missed out on something so beautiful! this time around (or whenever i end up pregnant again) i will look around until i can find someone who will go with my wishes (vbac and such). i know it will be hard, especially considering i'll probably be on medicaid again for that pregnancy. i know the ultimate goal is to have a healthy baby, but i feel kind of depressed at times at not being able to have a baby the "right" way. i know it's normal to feel this way, but i want that feeling of satisfaction. i know my body and i can do it; just need a doctor/midwife, that would work WITH me and not have their own agenda!!!

    thanks again for writing this though!


  5. Thanks Tami, got them out. Hope they're all gone now. Now if only I had an editor every time :)

  6. Hugs, Elizabeth!!! I am sorry if this upset you, I feel for you.
    You are right to feel hurt and cheated. No matter what people say, your birth experience does matter.
    VBAC is possible, I just had two friends attempt and succeed not so long ago, one who had three or four cesarians prior to this VBAC.

  7. No bother- I'm glad you're not offended!

    If you ever need an English as a first language person to check over your posts before publishing I'm more than happy to help you out. (You're Belgian right?)


  8. Thanks, Tami, that is really nice of you. Yes I am Belgian (English third language), irritating thing is that I know those errors when I see them, but I write so much that it just slips

  9. I have heard so many birth stories in my day and been at just one birth besides my own. Each birth has its different story.

    I had my first child Phoenix in the hospital. It was a lot like you describe - invasive and harsh and lots of instruments and needles and cold, yes. My daughter came into this world exhausted from a too-long labor stalled out by too many drugs. She was poked and prodded and messed with and we spent our first 24 hours in a hospital. I did not have a full epidural nor a C-section so at the time I considered myself "lucky".

    My second child I chose to have him at home. It was warm and much easier and loving and strong and much more dignified and after he was with us I was in my warm, loving house with loving people. He was so peaceful after he was born. Awake, alive, eyes open. No crying. It was simply a night vs. day experience. I loved it (I post his birth story every year on his birthday.

  10. You brought me to tears. :) That's just how it is in scenario #2. Makes me want to have another baby right now. :)

  11. that brought me to tears. scenario #1 was my first birth, #2 my second. i hate that my oldest son didnt get the same peaceful, undrugged experience that his little brother got :( beautiful article.

  12. scenario #1 was my daughter and we had a "good natural" birth in a hospital. scenario #2 was my son born almost 4 months ago now in a tub in our living room surrounded by good friends, his daddy and his sissy. reading this as they both sleep in the room next to me, i am in tears remembering each birth and how scared and worried i was during 1 and how happy and excited and safe i was at the other...
    thanks you

  13. Wow. I am pregnant with our first child and I am definitely going for scenario 2. Thanks for the brilliant way to show WHY I am making these choices. I may even show this to my midwife.

  14. This brought tears to my eyes. I had scenario #2 (waterbirth at a birth center) but after an hour or so, I had to be transported to the hospital. (I was hemorraging and had a seizure.) Sadly, I barely got to hold her the rest of her birth day. :(

  15. I cried a little reading this because I couldn't give my baby either. She was pulled out of me by a man wearing a mask. She didn't even knew it was coming. :(

    But, they didn't do any of that stuff in No 1 to her but brought her straight in to her Daddy's arms. :) At least.

  16. What a wonderful idea, to show this story from that perspective... I got teary eyed as well. Thank you.


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