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Looking Back... What do you wish you had known/done for this birth?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Not for listing our regrets per se, but rather to help others who could benefit from this info later on!

Me, I wish I'd really known my rights at the hospital. I felt forced into a vaginal exam I didn't want when my water broke at 32 weeks; I said no, but the nurse insisted. I should have realized I could still say NO.

I wish I knew more about preemie care and hadn't been so afraid to take charge of my baby at first; the NICU was a little scary & intimidating.

I wish I'd asked for a translator other than my husband, who didn't always explain things well because he didn't always understand the medical terminology.
post #2 of 15

Things I know now

First off I wish I had known more about recovery. i really thought that I would be resuming some light exercise after two weeks or so. 3.5 weeks later it still is painful to nursing sitting up in bed. Although it's only three second degree tears (dear lord how do women cope with 3rd and 4th?) it's added a big challenge in caring for LO, as it hard to get in and out of bed, walk for any distance, pee... I know it's getting better week by week but I had no idea that there would be so much time of uncomfortable healing.

I also wish I had known about challenging breastfeeding can be. I read the womanly art of breastfeeding, met with lactation consultants prior to giving birth and have gone to LLL meetings. It would have been so helpful to get lessons from other mothers who've had problems. Just last night I found a whole bunch of information about Biological Nurturing breastfeeding. Why has no one mentioned this? I guess I am feeling the affects of an anti-breastfeeding culture, if I had seen more people do it, and talk about it I would have had a better idea about what it takes. At least now I will make sure that my childless friends and family get a chance to learn from my experiences before having their own children.
post #3 of 15
I also would have liked to be better prepared for the recovery. But then, I wasn't anticipating a c-section, so not sure how I would have been better prepared. I almost wish I'd researched c-sections and everything that goes on with them beforehand, but then again I never in a million years thought I'd have one after three successful vaginal births!
post #4 of 15
Compared to my first birth my first thought was "almost nothing." My first birth was a failed induction turned c-section and I hated pretty much every aspect of it. This time I am extremely happy with my experience and if I had it to do over again I would do mostly the same things. The few things I would change:

1) I would have tried pushing in different positions. This is something that was in my birth plan and i fully intended to do, but when it came time to push I was so out of it/overwhelmed/etc I honestly didn't care what position I pushed in, only that the baby comes out. My OB prefers the McRoberts position, which is supposed to be great for getting the pelvis nice and open. And I eventually accomplished the goal of pushing the baby out. But I still want to try different positions and more mother-directed pushing next time.

2) I got a paracervical block, which is basically a temporary nerve block that gives you about an hour relief from contractions. I actually loved it at the time and I think in some ways it helped me accomplish my goal. It helped me feel less wiped out and I was able to get mobile and do some real work to move the baby down. However, if I had known my labor was almost over I like to think I wouldn't have asked for it. I would like to one day have a 100% med free labor. I'm still really happy with it, though, and I am so glad that I was able to get some brief relief without using an epidural or narcotics that would effect my mental state or my mobility and get in the baby's system. I actually wonder if I had been "allowed" to labor in water (VBACs are banned from water in all local hospitals) if that would have helped me stave off the desire for a PCB.

3) I had gestational diabetes and had a slightly elevated BG reading right before I began pushing. I received 5 units of insulin, spent an hour and 15 minutes pushing, and basically felt like crap during and after i pushed my daughter out. I totally out of it and not able to enjoy her the way I wanted to. I think my blood sugar crashed from the exertion of pushing, but everyone was so busy with the baby, stitching me, etc. that nobody noticed. I would totally change that if I could and I will be prepared for that circumstance if I have another baby.
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by basje View Post
I also wish I had known about challenging breastfeeding can be. I read the womanly art of breastfeeding, met with lactation consultants prior to giving birth and have gone to LLL meetings. It would have been so helpful to get lessons from other mothers who've had problems. Just last night I found a whole bunch of information about Biological Nurturing breastfeeding. Why has no one mentioned this? I guess I am feeling the affects of an anti-breastfeeding culture, if I had seen more people do it, and talk about it I would have had a better idea about what it takes. At least now I will make sure that my childless friends and family get a chance to learn from my experiences before having their own children.
Well, I haven't had this baby yet... so... no comments with this birth..

But this really spoke to me because I wished this SO MUCH for myself. I failed at bfing with my first two dds... lack of education, experience and help (terrible nurses saying I had flat nipples anyway and basically, why bother?)... with dd3 I was determined. There was NO other way for me. .. and the first six weeks were H-E-L-L. Seriously. I cried and had the worst time ever. Then... well, then it WORKED! It clicked! And dd3 went on to nurse for 40 months until nursings gradually faded away... ...

So yes... I completely understand this. Because for some women/babies, even though it's obviously completely natural... well, it doesn't always come naturally.

I pray the two of you have a beautiful nursing relationship, basje... and that you help other women along the way with your example
post #6 of 15
Hmm, a couple of things..
I would have waited to push until I felt pushy instead of pushing because I was at 10 cm. Hopefully I will remember next time and be ok to just hang out in ctx land.

wish I had prepared mentally to really give myself at least 6 wks of complete down time to recover. I had a couple of 2nd degree tears and messed up my tailbone so sitting up to nurse still hurts sometimes at almost 7 wk pp. I think I keep trying to do too much too fast.

Wish I had thought to ask for a birth stool. I pushed in a squat position for a lot of the time and my legs were not ready for ~5hrs of squats! LOL, ok maybe i wish i was in squatting shape? i tried all of the positions and dh had to help hold my arms. i think i would have liked a stool.

other than those...nothing. I had planned on just going with the flow and educated myself on possibilities so I think that helped during labor.
post #7 of 15
For me the first time was a normal, vaginal delivery and this was planned section. I don't know what has resulted in this being much smoother. Even having planned it, I have to admit, the surgery itself was the most terrifying experience for me. I hated it. I shook uncontrollably with fear and felt so guilty you can't imagine. Yet- I can sit. I am healing very well. DD2 nursed easily and is a calm, settled baby. I never would have believed that after DD1. I always wondered if she had some kind of birth trauma from the long labor? She was puffy and covered in bruises and screamed most of her first 5 months of life. Maybe it was just her personality? Last time, I thought it was what everyone went through, but now I know it's not. 4th degree tears are not very common. 2.5 weeks on, I am miles better than I was after 8 weeks last time. I don't regret my decision. Psychologically, I'm a totally different person than I was last time. I think I just might avoid the PPD this time. It's a radical decision, but I'm really glad I chose to follow the doctors' advice. I guess for other women in the same situation, I'd like to say it's okay to take care of yourself.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by biennourri View Post
For me the first time was a normal, vaginal delivery and this was planned section. I don't know what has resulted in this being much smoother. Last time, I thought it was what everyone went through, but now I know it's not. 4th degree tears are not very common. 2.5 weeks on, I am miles better than I was after 8 weeks last time. I don't regret my decision. Psychologically, I'm a totally different person than I was last time. I think I just might avoid the PPD this time. It's a radical decision, but I'm really glad I chose to follow the doctors' advice. I guess for other women in the same situation, I'd like to say it's okay to take care of yourself.
Agreeeeed. I had 4th degree tearing with my first and suffered for months. Couldn't resume sex without crying/cringing in pain for probably 6 months+. I had a planned c-section this time and am 4 weeks out. I feel awesome. I'm not 100%, but am doing stairs, lifting light weights, nursing like a pro and having been taking care of my two boys without help for 2 weeks. First time around, I was depressed, exhausted, and in constant pain much much farther past 4 weeks. I have learned that it is perfectly OK to do what is best for you. I am a much happier, healthier mom this time around because I chose to do what was in my body's best interest...turns out it was also in both of my kids best interest too
post #9 of 15
I would have read up about c-sections and bonding/breastfeeding/recovery. I skipped all the sections on cesareans because I was sure it wouldn't happen to me. I would have had the presence of mind to demand to see my daughter as soon as possible after her evaluation. I would have not assumed breastfeeding would be a snap and would have contacted LLL or someone else for support beforehand.

I don't think there was anything that could be done about the situation itself. Even if I'd had a 20 week ultrasound I can't imagine it would have made a difference. She likely wouldn't have been that far ahead at that point and with me not measuring ahead and having no glucose issues, I wouldn't have thought a later ultrasound would be necessary. And even if I did have one, I'd likely have not believed it if they'd told me she was over 13 lbs anyway. I was expecting a nine or ten pounder anyway and wouldn't have been fazed.
post #10 of 15
I wish I had prepared more psychologically/mentally for birth. Ie taken a birth prep class, or even prenatal yoga or something like that. Something to be more connected to my pregnancy.

As for the birth itself, I don't think it could have gone any other way.

My other wish is that Id had a lot more support post-partum. I was cooking dinner the night I came home from the hospital, and was alone and caring for 2 kids all day at 10 days pp. Not only was there no babymoon, I think I really pushed myself too hard recovery-wise, thankfully with no serious complications. If we ever have a 3rd, I pray that either my mom or my MIL will be able to come help out. They couldn't this time because my mother is a teacher (so baby's birth was during her school year) and MIL was helping SIL who had twins two weeks before DS2 was born.... But yeah, that was rough. Plus we're new in this town, and while we've made some friends people here just don't make meals for each other or help out that way.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by flavorfull1 View Post
Hmm, a couple of things..
I would have waited to push until I felt pushy instead of pushing because I was at 10 cm. Hopefully I will remember next time and be ok to just hang out in ctx land.
I know what you mean. I did feel pushy, kind of, but that may have been just pressure from her moving down. She went from -2 to 0 pretty quickly. After that I started pushing but basically it was because I just wanted the whole thing to be over with. Hanging out in contraction land is just what I wanted to do in theory but it didn't sound so fun at the time. I plan on having one or two more kids so we'll see how it goes down next time.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninetales View Post
I would have read up about c-sections and bonding/breastfeeding/recovery. I skipped all the sections on cesareans because I was sure it wouldn't happen to me. I would have had the presence of mind to demand to see my daughter as soon as possible after her evaluation. I would have not assumed breastfeeding would be a snap and would have contacted LLL or someone else for support beforehand.
I felt that way after my first c-section. All of it. Well, I had read up on c-sections a little bit, but I think it's hard to be fully prepared for one, especially when it's just a vague possibility and you're not planning on it happening. I hated being separated from my daughter and when I was planning my second birth my cesarean plan was something I really honed in on with my husband. I was planning a VBAC but I wanted to make sure if I had another c/s that things would be different, and part of that was knowing that we might have to assert ourselves with the staff on things like separation, etc.
post #13 of 15
I wish that I has known that my Mom wasn't really coming to help PP but as a social visit. Last time she and my sister came and cooked, cleaned, etc for a week. She made it seem like this was what she planned to do again. Instead, she brought her husband and my husband ended up playing host to them, instead of spending time as a new family of four. She cooked ONE meal. That's it.The rest of the time she just talked on the phone and watched TV (and stuff that was inappropriate for a toddler to watch even when I told her to stop!). Basically, if we have a third child she's not invited until several weeks later when everyone else is invited.

The labor/birth were great.
post #14 of 15
I wish we'd gotten a birthing tub. I knew I wanted water, but not that I'd prefer DP in with me as opposed to sitting beside the tub. next time we will definitely have a birthing tub large enough to hold me and DP (I am small, only 5'3", but DP is over six feet tall and we just couldn't get him in the bathtub behind me during labor)

I wish I'd done a little more research about the third stage, because I felt sort of clueless this time when I was pushing the placenta, and then it didn't come out whole, so I had this little hunk of it that I worked on for a while. it was annoying. my goal next time is to have the placenta come out whole and to take pictures ... our pictures this time were post-smoothie-making and it was just all mangled looking.

also ... I wish I'd consumed more of the placenta. I only ate about a third of it, next time I'll shoot for at least half.

Niko's birth was ABSOLUTELY friggin' perfect, there's nothing I would change ... we just learned a few things this time.
post #15 of 15
I wouldn't have changed anything with this labour/birth experience but I would have changed a few things with my first.

With my 1st, I wish I would have laboured at home longer then I did. I was starting to get uncomfortable when we left the the hospital but I definately did not feel the need to get there yet when we left. I felt a little pressured from my family members to go when I did, I wish I would have listened to my body and stayed at home a little longer because labour was more comfortable there.

I wish I wasen't so nervous. I guess as a first timer and not knowing what exactly to expect, there really wasen't much that would have helped me. I forgot the breathing techniques I wanted to try and didn't try as many labouring positions as I had planned too. My second labour, I felt in control and was able to relax more through contractions. I remembered to drop my shoulders, open my lower jaw and moan and was much better and visualising the contractions working with my body and I felt much better, had more energy this time to try every labour position suggested.

The biggest difference though is with my 1st, during the pushing stage, I was exhausted, laying on the bed and was being coached to push when I was 10. I was pushing when I didn't feel ready and I think that made that stage take longer then it needed to be. With my 2nd, I waited for the contraction to build then pushed on my own, almost involuntarily for most of the contractions. I know second babies usually come faster but the difference was huge! Pushed 1h51mins with my first and got a 3rd degree tear. Pushed 6mins with my second and got a 2nd degree tear.

Also, the mood was much more relaxed in the delivery room during my 2nd. The doctor dimmed the lights, no one was rushing around and she talked in a very calm, encouraging way. I felt more relaxed and excited to meet my baby compared to my 1st when I was pushing, I was so scared, I wasen't thinking about my baby, I just focused on the pain I was feeling...
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