I've read alot of posts where women have been so traumatised by giving birth, for various reasons, that it's something that they remember with horror, and for some of them, the though of going through it again is more than they can deal with. I also have friends who had such bad experiences that they were unable to bond with their children straight away. And I know many have suffered Postnatal Depression as a result. In fact the idea of enjoying childbirth is so alien to them that when I have mentioned it they've looked at me like I was mad!
But I love giving birth! I'd do it again if I could but I really can't cope with having any more children.
Admittedly, Girl's birth wasn't the birth I'd planned. She was late, so I was induced, because of the induction she had to be constantly monitored, she hated the monitors so moved away from them, ended up back to back with me and got stuck and had to be dragged out by a huge doctor! Meanwhile I'd had an epidural. So no, it wasn't the best birth experience and I couldn't think about it initially without crying, as I felt I'd failed her by being induced and having an epidural and needing an assisted birth. But I loved the feeling when they placed her on my tummy and those precious first few days when she was so tiny and so new, this small bundle which needed so much care and attention but defined me as a mother and produced such a big feeling of love, more than I could have imagined.
After I had Girl I knew I had to do it again. I couldn't wait to have another baby and when she was 11 months old I got pregnant again! After 'failing' at my first birth I really wanted a 'natural' birth this time, no drugs, no assistance, nothing.
So with Boy, although I had several sweeps to set me off, I did it all naturally. I used a birthing pool tho came out of the water to actually give birth, gas and air and no drugs. I remember as he arrived saying 'I did it! I did it myself!' I had doubted my body's ability to do what should come naturally. So I was delighted that I'd done it all by myself (so to speak!).
With Bug, I'd done it both ways so all I wanted was for her to be safely delivered. So I was open to what I would need. I didn't fancy a water birth again - no real reason except you can't wander around in a pool! So I stuck with gas and air, had a shot of diamorphine, spent most of my labour hanging over the bed and delivered her with one push! Of course, although the delivery was easy, the placenta got stuck so I ended up going off down to theatre to get it removed which sort of marred a 'perfect' delivery, but that's another story.
With the other 2 we'd known what we were expecting, but with Bug it really didn't matter so we didn't find out, and having my husband tell me she was a girl was a magical moment.
So although I'm not particularly keen to go through labour again, I love those first few days after the baby's born. They are so small, so loveable, so dependent on you for everything. I also seem to get a rush when I give birth so for the next few days I feel on top of the world. I am never so happy and so bright - until the baby blues kick in. Then I hit rock bottom.
It's not worth a pregnancy and having another kid just to experience those few days of absolute wonder and joy but I treasure the memories I have of those 3 times I've experienced it, and am extremely sad that some mothers have a much different experience.
What about you? Would you do it all again if you could? I would.