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How are you feeling? - Page 55

post #1081 of 1719
Labor is scary to us second time moms too. Lets face it. It's painful. Natural birth I AM SURE helps healing and a doula is necessary. I didn't have one in the hospital and it was a terrible experience. I have one now! I also decided that I hate watching/listening to women wailing in pain so I won't be watching "Call the Midwife" anytime soon. I can't look at pictures on the various homebirth sites I've been to. It's really not good... I'm planning on doing things naturally this time and am so afraid. But I also know I can do it. No prob. It'll be easy. Can't wait to see my sweet little girl! That's the motivation. wink1.gif

I had to quickly post that YES Serafina-- you are OH SO RIGHT about listening to your body. My pushing skills were great, apparently. Pushed DD out in like 3 tries. I was SO bad about kegals but worked out all during DDs pregnancy. I felt much different then and was at a healthy weight when I started. By the last trimester I barely worked out but still had some engery.

This time around I am feeling so crappy I barely get out for walks. Rather nap instead. Ha! I was trying to get a routine going but I just feel so TIRED. I've always been good about listening to the body but was like you, VC and Suzie the first time around. Go go go! I hope labor isn't impacted too greatly. Get the rest in now I say. Newborns don't sleep "like babies" pffft. That saying should be changed to "sleep like a toddler who ran around at the park for 2 hours" now THAT is some deep sleeping. smile.gif
post #1082 of 1719

My heart is leaping out of my chest for Suzie and vc!  I remember feeling the way you guys are feeling, ten years ago in my first pregnancy, and I want desperately to reassure all you first time moms not to put TOO MUCH pressure on yourselves to be exercise queens in order to have fabulous fabulous stamina during labor/birth because I don't think there's a huge link.  I think there's more of a link between general muscle tone and cardio stamina before you get pregnant and how you handle the physical endurance test of labor, but even then I still believe in just about every woman's body's ability to birth naturally and safely, with less than 1% exception.  Read Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth, please!  You'll feel so relieved that you don't have to feel any pressure about being the 'manager' of the task of preparation and execution of childbirth.  Your uterus knows what the hell to do and as long as you listen to your body in pregnancy and during childbirth, you can be confident in great outcomes.

 

I personally believe that it's really really awesome to have good physical health when you get pregnant, for the best birth results.  Being reasonably fit can come in so many different shapes and sizes, I'm not talking about looking good in a spandex outfit at the gym fit.  I'm talking about how you feel after you go up a few flights of stairs vs how much time you spend sedentary in your lifestyle. And if you do sit at a desk for work, do you hike and walk and go to the park and keep active during your off hours or are you on the couch?   For example, my cousin is a plus sized gal but she has been athletic and had good stamina all her life, even in periods of her life where she isn't doing sports or exercise, she is still a gal with tons of energy and can get through an active day with her kids no sweat, with hardly a break to sit down, and loves to be outside doing things, and because of that (or maybe as a result of) her body is a powerhouse despite a high BMI.  It's a pity she lives in an area with huge elective c-section pressure in the deep south and has never experienced labor because I know she would knock that out of the park with her good muscle tone (underneath a plus sized bod), cardio stamina, and amazing willpower.  

 

My best friend with four kids is a slim little thing and she has always been one of those women who is doing everything like normal right up until her water breaks, riding bikes and not altering her lifestyle at all, very active, and you'd think that she would have really easy births but instead all four have been pretty darned long.  She does the pregnancy thing like a dream, has a gorgeous torpedo strapped onto her sveltte frame like the cutest pregnant lady ever, and never needs to slow her pace down at all, yet when it comes time for labor, her uterus likes to take it's time and put her through a long term endurance test.  Not a bad outcome, still, I mean all her births have been natural and safe,  but she's a bit jealous of me and my snappy births.  I'm jealous of her awesome pregnancies.  We wish we could team up and outsource the areas we aren't good at to one another.  Luckily breastfeeding is a zen area of perfection for both of us and in the end that matters most, as you do it the longest, and it's something you do actually have to actively commit to consciously and a process you need to manage consciencously to get great results (vs. pregnancy and birth which your role in is rather passive).

 

Suzie, you were exercising like I do when I'm not pregnant, and pregnancy feels sucky exactly the way it always does for me, so I can address your situation more specifically and tell you my own 2 cents advice, for what it's worth, is to listen listen listen to your body and if it sucks to be on your feet after a certain point, err on the side of resting and being 'lazier' than you had previously envisioned you would have wanted to be during pregnancy because for some of us, those warning feelings (and the reward your body gives you when you put your feet up and the discomfort eventually goes away and we feel great again) are actually there for a reason, and just in case you are like me and so sucky at being pregnant that actually keeping up with normal life will cause the baby to come out early (you never know, you might be in that camp with me), it is safer to slow down rather than to be stubborn and push yourself past the point of what feels comfortable just because you are worried that all the lounging around will make birth more challenging.  But I so sympathize with that fear!  EVerything I read during my first trimester of my first pregnancy convinced me that I should keep on exercising exactly as I was doing before getting pregnant, right up until the end, and that it would greatly impact how easy childbirth would go, and so of course I was terrified of birth and EXTREMELY motivated to keep up the active exercise schedule if there was even a chance it would shave off hours of labor (turns out studies can only point to perhaps a 20 minute decrease in average labor times amongst heavily-exercising pregnant women vs sedentary pregnant women, and of course the studies are hardly 100% reliable).  But I just had to slow down because of the aches and jabbing pains, but I still was so bored laying around so I kept up walking around the city and as a result spent weeks visiting my premie in the NICU wishing I had just chilled out at more and learning from that in future pregnancies that I must.   Not all cases will end up like this, obviously it's my personal experience, but I can exactly relate to the feeling you are describing---the discomfort of walking around with a uterus that causes pretty bad discomfort after a certain point (for me it's after I've walked about half a mile or a mile-that's all I got...or standing in the kitchen for more than 20 minutes, for examples) and my body is yelling at me to put my feet up somewhere comfy.  

I stopped exercising in the first pregnancy and my baby came out in an hour.  I not only didn't exercise at the gym at all during my year post partum leading up to getting pregnant again (then again I was on my feet babywearing and walking around the city miles per day and EBFing so very very active) but once I got pregnant I certainly didn't exercise at all, and after week 20 had to stop chasing my toddler and take it very easy and after around week 25 went on total bedrest for the third trimester so certainly was not fit.  I didn't even do kegels because they would make me feel like contractions could come, but the birth was still just a few hours, and only a few minutes of pushing.  I'm not even slightly concerned this time that stopping exercise after week 10 will cause a long and difficult labor, I know better and trust in my body, especially my uterus.

 

Like I said, just take the pressure off your mind, and decide that the cure for this achey, sedentary, uncomfy period in your life will be a NATURAL BIRTH at the end, and with my first baby, I felt great four minutes after giving birth, looked decidedly pre-pregnancy and felt full of energy and my whole body totally 'put back together' by 4 days post partum, and all my energy and stamina that I ever had back soon after.  After a 3 month period on bedrest with the second of course the 'bounce back' took longer--- a few days before I felt totally wonderful and like my body's 'core' was back to where it should be, and 4 weeks post partum before I felt full stamina to get through the day of chasing a two year old and tending a newborn and keeping up with the family's household duties.  But still, remarkably quick as far as I'm concerned, compared to the months and months during pregnancy where you feel like you have the body of a 110 year old, 70 pound woman, like you could just shatter into a million pieces and your body is a horribly uncomfy place to live.  The transformation back to a woman who feels fabulous in her own skin is truly miraculous and so fast after giving birth naturally.   So just focus on your due date and know that if you can just trust your body's ability to naturally birth this baby, you may well be almost instantaneously rewarded with a body that feels the way you remember it feeling, and all this discomfort will be of the past and a price well worth paying for experiencing how amazing your body is once you've experienced birth.

 

VC- I really don't know about how it may go with women who aren't fit at all before getting pregnant, although I still believe most women can still have a wonderful natural birth, even women who were quite sedentary.  However, if a woman has pretty low cardiovascular stamina going into pregnancy and no risk factors that would preclude exercise during pregnancy, I could imagine that it could help a lot to  exercise during pregnancy as much as feels comfy, and as often as possible, i.e. going on long walks, as brisk as feels good, and maybe some leisurely bicycle rides, cruising around parks and such, or a few short nature hikes, just to get your heart ready for a big stamina endurance test.  Whatever doesn't feel too acutely uncomfortable.  I mean, better late than never right?  And most importantly if your core and pelvic floor muscles weren't especially toned when getting pregnant--kegels.  It's only my experience, but the women I know who swear by cesarean sections are all obese (not just typical american overweight/plus sized, but truly grossly overweight or obese) and every woman I know who has even a remotely non-sedentary lifestyle has had a vaginal birth with no interest in (and fear of/decided wish against having) c-section.  If you were able to go up a couple flights of stairs before getting pregnant without breaking a big sweat or getting overly winded and out of breath, I'm sure you are not in the category of totally out-of-shape and your body is well up to the challenge.  But if you didn't exercise at all and you currently don't feel shooting, jabby, awful aches and pains down in your hips and under your uterus/around your cervix when you are up on your feet, why not add a few long walks into your weekly schedule and add a hundred kegels to your day, by doing ten at each red light, for example?  The walks are a Great way for you and your partner to enjoy some alone time as a couple before the baby comes, and surely so good for your overall fitness leading up to giving birth naturally, and the kegels will help the bladder control issues that come with motherhood, and help your sex life as well.  Do as much as feels comfy, but don't beat yourself up about it--your body is designed exactly for what is coming and you shouldn't feel like you can really 'mess it up.'  

 

And all you first time mamas who went to the gym 1-4 times per week and who had any sort of regular exercise routine before getting pregnant, or just didn't lead a very sedentary lifestyle (and also those of you second timers like tilly who chase after a toddler full time) when getting pregnant, don't feel like you need to do anything more than feels right according to the messages your body is telling you--you'll be almost certainly be fine even if you put your feet up and read the rest of pregnancy.

 

re: doulas --I'm getting free volunteer doula services, so look into your community for volunteer doulas if you can't afford a pro!

post #1083 of 1719

I think I'm getting round ligament pain, though I'm not totally sure.  Sometimes, when I'm walking I start to feel a kinda crampy feeling in my lower abdomen, below my belly.  I always feel my belly when this happens to see if it's some type of contraction, but I never feel the rock hard uterus I get during BH contractions.  It only happens occasionally and doesn't seem associated with walking long distances or anything.  For example, yesterday I went out to lunch and when I was walking back to the office I felt it.  It isn't awful, but pretty uncomfortable and walking slower doesn't seem to help.  And it doesn't usually last that long.  And yesterday, I walked a much longer distance back from a meeting in the afternoon and I didn't get it then.  Not sure what the deal is...  I also got it walking to the bus stop after my last OB appt. and another time going to dinner.  My DP freaks out and wants us to stop and sit down whenever it happens, but I always just truck through it, maybe walking a little slower.  I'm not worried, but just curious if others get this kind of pain or if anyone knows if it's round ligament pain.

post #1084 of 1719
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serafina33 View Post
If you were able to go up a couple flights of stairs before getting pregnant without breaking a big sweat or getting overly winded and out of breath, I'm sure you are not in the category of totally out-of-shape and your body is well up to the challenge.  But if you didn't exercise at all and you currently don't feel shooting, jabby, awful aches and pains down in your hips and under your uterus/around your cervix when you are up on your feet, why not add a few long walks into your weekly schedule and add a hundred kegels to your day, by doing ten at each red light, for example?  The walks are a Great way for you and your partner to enjoy some alone time as a couple before the baby comes, and surely so good for your overall fitness leading up to giving birth naturally, and the kegels will help the bladder control issues that come with motherhood, and help your sex life as well.  Do as much as feels comfy, but don't beat yourself up about it--your body is designed exactly for what is coming and you shouldn't feel like you can really 'mess it up.'  

 

first off, thank you for that long reply, Serafina! i am able to do things like take a couple flights of stairs without it bothering me. i can walk for hours without it bothering me. as long as it doesn't really get my heart rate up, i can do it, endurance is something i can do, i think. but i don't exercise in the sense of going to the gym or doing any "cardio" since i dislike the feeling of getting my heart rate up. i kind of would put myself in the camp of "low energy, but enduring". so when it comes to imagining myself pushing out a baby, i am honestly hoping my body will take care of it in some magical way, cause i don't do any weight lifting or anything, really, that would require STRENGTH.

 

and re:Kegels, i didn't even know what those were until a few months ago. i'm not even sure i believe in them since i had never heard of them before. :-/ but they're on my list of things to get started on, although i never seem to REALLY look into what they are or how to do them. 

post #1085 of 1719
Quote:
Originally Posted by vc2013 View Post

 

i have not. since i'm afraid of labor, i have avoided reading anything about the actual birthing process so far. also, i've been so busy with everything else.. we just moved, now my ferret is sick, etc, that i'm feeling super unprepared for the whole thing. i see people discuss different parenting styles here or breastfeeding questions, what kind of car seat to get and we don't even have a registry yet. we have 5 books on baby stuff: 1 on names, 2 on pregnancy and 1 on pregnancy for the expectant father. i just ordered "The Birth Book" so that should help a bit as soon as i can retrieve it from our moving boxes!

 

as far as strength / stamina goes.. i am pretty pain sensitive, i always get anaesthesia at the dentist etc. i had a scary interview with a midwife and as a result switched from homebirth-leaning towards giving birth at a hospital. i can endure an uncomfortable situation for a while.. that is something i could see myself doing. but i generally don't have any strength, i don't work out.. hmm i'm starting to sound like i should hire a doula or some sort of prenatal coach to get me into the right mindset!

 

stupid question, but where would you look for birth stories? online? how would you pick which ones to read? the only two births i know about, that friends have told me about, were pretty horrible -- no inspiration there.

 

Hi there!

 

First of all: *hugs* to you! I think the labor and birth part is pretty scary even after multiple births. If you're like me, it's the fact that there are so many unknowns involved: when is it going to happen? How long will I labor? Will things stall and go on forever? Will they go super fast and be overwhelming? Can I handle the pain? What if something goes wrong? And so on. It's really not something we can plan for. We can prepare somewhat, and consider what decisions we might make in the case of certain circumstances, but I think every pregnant woman should really go into each birth without too many expectations of things going any certain way. I think most of the disappointed moms after birth are those that tried to over-plan. Birth plans are well and good, but spontaneity and flexibility are more valuable, in my humble opinion.

 

As for the pain part, I have to say that it's a special kind of pain, in my experience, because of the way contractions come and go, and then get closer together and more intense as you get closer to the birth. They build as your body prepares, and they're a productive kind of pain. This makes them more tolerable, to me, then, say a steady pain from something like a kidney stone. (I had to go to the ER for a kidney stone. I'd much, much rather go through natural birth again twice over than the kidney stone thing again!) So, in other words, how you handle other types of pain might not be a predictor for how well you handle labor pain. This is good! I think, since this pain is a necessary part of the process and again, because of it's gradual nature, our bodies are built to handle it much better than an emergency distress kind of pain. I guess I'm saying, try not to worry too much about it! My philosophy going into every birth is that I will trust my body and my instincts. If the pain gets to be too much, or it goes one for longer than I can handle any more, then I will transfer to the hospital and get the drugs. I will not be a martyr for my ideal birth! I will do what I feel IN THE MOMENT will work best for me. This attitude has served me well so far. Two natural homebirths under my belt, and hopefully one more to go. thumb.gif

 

As for the strength and endurance part... Well, I have to admit I am not in the best of shape! Actually, I'm in better shape for this birth than my others, because I had been going to the gym for a few months before I got pregnant and had been doing regular exercise, but for births #1 and #2, I was NOT the exercise type. I could go for a decent length walk, but I had never lifted weights, ran, or even BEEN in a gym. Again, I think our bodies are just built to handle this, whether we're fit and slim or the coach potato type. Not to say it wouldn't be easier for the gym bunnies... I honestly don't know! Just don't underestimate what your body can do when it needs to!

I would second the recommendation to read Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth book. I found it interesting (lots of birth stories in there) and also useful (one of the best laboring tips I picked up and made good use of in my second birth was to make low, moaning kind of noises instead of higher-pitched screaming. The lower sounds help relax you and "open you up", while the higher pitched noises will add to the constriction of your whole body. I found this seemed to really help me, plus it gave me something to focus on through the contractions at the end.) As for other birth stories, there are tons on the Mothering forums! And I also found this site useful for others: http://www.birthdiaries.com.

If you're feeling unprepared and nervous about it, look into a doula, coach, or prenatal classes. I had INTENDED to do prenatal classes before my first birth, but the timing and locations of classes didn't work out for us. In the end, I felt pretty prepared from all my reading and research, though, and found I didn't miss them. But everyone is different, and I think they can be helpful, especially if you have specific concerns or general nervousness.

Lastly, DON'T let other people's negative birth stories worry you too much. Sure, there are things to be learned from them sometimes, so try and sort out those things as tips (like, my tip would be to make sure you DO eat in early labor, because if you don't, you might become weak and then eat too late into the process, end up throwing up and needing Gravol, and then THAT might slow things down for you and make you tired. Happened to me in my first birth, so I made very sure to keep up my energy levels in early labor with #2!), but the scary parts aren't helpful. Every birth is different, so there's no point worrying too much about bad things that happened to other people. Also, things like tearing and needing stitches just sound so much worse BEFOREHAND then the real experience in the moment is! Just focus on the good stories, if you can find anyone to share one with you. orngtongue.gif

post #1086 of 1719

Oh, and Kegels are real, and really do help! What I hate about them is that feeling of dread that happens when you hold those muscles in (that's a real thing, too — I thought I was crazy, but at least one source I read said that when you get that feeling as you hold, it means you're doing them right), but they help. You can try to use the muscles to stop your flow of urine when you pee. Do it several times each time you're on the toilet and you'll notice it gets more and more effective.

All that being said, I really need to do them more. I still pee when I sneeze, if I'm not careful to contract first. Darnit! lol.gif

post #1087 of 1719
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bromache View Post
 As for the pain part, I have to say that it's a special kind of pain, in my experience, because of the way contractions come and go, and then get closer together and more intense as you get closer to the birth. They build as your body prepares, and they're a productive kind of pain. This makes them more tolerable, to me, then, say a steady pain from something like a kidney stone. (I had to go to the ER for a kidney stone. I'd much, much rather go through natural birth again twice over than the kidney stone thing again!) So, in other words, how you handle other types of pain might not be a predictor for how well you handle labor pain. This is good! I think, since this pain is a necessary part of the process and again, because of it's gradual nature, our bodies are built to handle it much better than an emergency distress kind of pain. I guess I'm saying, try not to worry too much about it!  

 

You put it beautifully.  Labor pains are a special kind of intensity.  They are productive, they are not constant (until the very very end), and they are not alarming, the way other types of pain are so clearly a signal from our body that something wrong is happening.  They feel like a process that you are very much mentally engaged with and on board with, you know that they are healthy and bringing you your baby, so riding through each contraction is a test of endurance after some hours, yes, but you don't feel like you are being.....damaged.  Like the way other severe pains can truly feel like an malicious attack that certainly must be badly damaging your person (I have heard kidney stones are by far worse than anything I've experienced), which I've experienced only with outer ear infections. I've had those more than once, and once in both ears, and the pain of those infections after they really got going and ran wild was like being in the eye of a tornado and I was wild eyed and desperate to take anything, do anything to relieve it---whereas I never think of or imagine needing pain relief during birth until the last half hour, at which point it's too late anyway.  I totally agree with Bromache not to worry about it too much.  Even if you are like us and planning another natural homebirth, it's probably a useful thing to keep in mind that if things go too intensely or more prolonged than you feel you can handle, a transfer to the hospital and drugs are always an option.  Even though I'm so pro-natural-birth, I wouldn't say never either, as I've never experienced a prolonged labor situation (nothing more than 4-5 hours) so what do I know about how I'd feel after, say, 18-24 hours?  Maybe such a thought will help you get through the tough moments when you remind yourself that you have that 'out' and will actually help you to relax and things to speed along.

vc, if you can walk for hours and hours I feel confident that you are in good shape to give birth.  I'm just guessing but I would think that only truly dedicated couch potatoes who barely move in their life and are grossly out of shape (obese) would honestly have any true problem giving birth naturally.  Your body is made for this, and it's an amazing machine!

 

Kegels kegels kegels!  Do the tip that Bromache mentioned practicing starting and stopping the flow of urine next time you pee and you will feel what muscles are in question and then you can start pulsing them a few times here and there throughout the day.  Eventually they will get strong enough for you to clench them hard and hold them for a count of ten each time.  It will help you avoid little pee-escapes from here on out, and make sex feel better, and help transition in labor as well.

post #1088 of 1719
I also want to second what Bromache said! I've had kidney stones too (most recently at 32 weeks pregnant with DS, NOT FUN) and I would rather go through natural labour any day versus kidney stones.

I honestly didn't find labour 'pains' to be 'pain' at all, not in the traditional sense of the word. Contractions were intense pressure, but there were only two times during DS's labour that I felt actual pain - first was if I tried to fight/tense up during a contraction, and the second was when DS crowned (ring of fire). DS was 9 lbs at birth and labour was about 12 hours, with 2 hours of pushing (took me most of that two hours to figure out how to push constructively!). DS came out, I held him and stared at him in awe, then turned to DH and said - yep, we can definitely do this again!

I attribute the relative ease of my labour to going in to it not expecting it to hurt. Reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth was a big part of that - Hypnobabies really helped as well. I read a lot of birth stories here on MDC but I avoided the ones with negative outcomes (usually the title/first few sentences will give you an idea the ones to avoid). But mostly, I just believed. And for some perspective - I am quite overweight, and while I am relatively fit despite that (I live on a farm and do a lot of physical work) I haven't seen the inside of a gym for probably close to a decade. I did some kegels during pregnancy and followed a prenatal yoga dvd maybe half a dozen times.

So even if you're overweight, not fit, and/or lead a relatively sedentary lifestyle - don't think that you can't have a natural birth if that's what you want! You CAN. Just remember that preparing yourself *mentally* is just as important as physically. READ, READ, and READ some more! Tons of people want to share their negative birth stories with you - don't let them. Keep all that garbage out of your head. If there is a birth show on TV, or even a birth in a TV show - shut it off! We've been so inundated with women giving birth on TV and in movies where they're screaming and crying and something goes wrong, that it's no wonder that we all grow up *expecting* labour to hurt. It doesn't have to be like that. The more you read (and talk to people with positive eexperiences, if you can) the more tools you'll have in your mental toolbox to help yourself through labour.

Uh oh, I think I ended up on my soapbox - better get off it now Sheepish.gif
post #1089 of 1719
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serafina33 View Post

Even though I'm so pro-natural-birth, I wouldn't say never either, as I've never experienced a prolonged labor situation (nothing more than 4-5 hours) so what do I know about how I'd feel after, say, 18-24 hours?  Maybe such a thought will help you get through the tough moments when you remind yourself that you have that 'out' and will actually help you to relax and things to speed along.

yeahthat.gif
post #1090 of 1719
Quote:
Originally Posted by LivingSky View Post
I am quite overweight, and while I am relatively fit despite that (I live on a farm and do a lot of physical work) I haven't seen the inside of a gym for probably close to a decade. I did some kegels during pregnancy and followed a prenatal yoga dvd maybe half a dozen times.

So even if you're overweight, not fit, and/or lead a relatively sedentary lifestyle - don't think that you can't have a natural birth if that's what you want! You CAN.  

I hope nothing I said made it sound like I suspected that people who fit your description wouldn't be awesome birthers.  Nothing about being overweight or not going to the gym would make me suspicious that labor would be harder.  Someone who regularly does a lot of physical work on a farm, (no matter what size she is) sounds quite robust and able to handle birth fabulously.  Kegels are not mandatory either, as i described not doing them in my second birth to no detriment to the speedy transition.  I hope I didn't sound like I was being judgmental to overweight birthing mothers.  Plenty of women can be hale and hearty but inside an overweight body and give natural birth wonderfully.  Some skinny women can deceptively have crappy cardio stamina/fitness too!  Where I would think there is concern is where obesity comes into play, and/or (and especially) the inability to even walk up a couple flights of stairs without getting totally out of breath--that level of cardiovascular fitness would concern me a little bit, and if I were her I'd start trying to increase my cardio stamina even a tiny bit every single week leading up to the birth, as it couldn't hurt and might help one get through the rigors of a longer labor, if that's what happens..

post #1091 of 1719
Don't worry Serafina, I didn't take it that way at all smile.gif We can all only speak from our own experience, so I figured being an overweight mama myself, I can offer first hand reassurance to anyone else who is overweight that yes, natural births are totally doable no matter what your size!
post #1092 of 1719

I never wanted a c-section.. but after having uterine surgery last July - I can ONLY have a c-section. I did have a vaginal birth with my loss baby last March - but it was traumatic and NOTHING like I envisioned. You mourn the loss of a natural birth - but then you get over it when you realize that you still get a healthy baby. It's probably easier still to know you're having a planned c-section versus an emergency c-section..that's just my two cents of course. 

 

Said that to say - don't be down on yourself if everything isn't perfect... bringing a baby into this world is HARD enough - and however you have to do it is how you have to do it. I also can't exercise because of my surgery and I planned on doing zumba and yoga... but I can't. I just do what I can in the food department and keep it movin. lol

post #1093 of 1719
Quote:
Originally Posted by LivingSky View Post

Don't worry Serafina, I didn't take it that way at all smile.gif We can all only speak from our own experience, so I figured being an overweight mama myself, I can offer first hand reassurance to anyone else who is overweight that yes, natural births are totally doable no matter what your size!

Perfect! thumb.gif

post #1094 of 1719
I'm in the c-section camp too Thebyr. Totally ok with it. I had a planned one with my first (breech) and I am planning to have another one. Even though I *could* probably have a vbac, I just don't want to stress about it. I don't feel like I'm missing out. So, yes what Thebyr said. Don't beat yourselves up if it doesn't a go according to plan. I so wanted a vaginal birth with my daughter. But at 26 weeks she was breech and at that point I just knew she wasn't going to flip. I just knew. Even though that is really early to worry about position, I just *knew*. And I wasn't comfortable trying a breech birth. Or trying to have her flipped. I just knew I'd be having a c section. It definitely wasn't my ideal, but it was peaceful and calm. I got to watch her be born with a mirror which was amazing. I know the recovery is harder, and I'm worried about that with a toddler this time around. But, I'll deal with whatever happens. Even if I have a surprise vaginal birth!
post #1095 of 1719
Having been with thousands of birthing women, I can say with confidence that women of all shapes, sizes, weights, physical abilities and fitness levels can birth well, both un-medicated and medicated. The key, IMO, is preparing yourself with learning about the stages of labor, having good support (doulas for everyone!) and having some idea about what interventions you will or won't like to have (except in emergency, there's always time to discuss and ask questions).

Add me to the pile of Ina May fans--her writing is easy to relate to and the birth stories are always great.

Personally, I adored natural labor and birth. I loved it and am looking forward to doing it again!
post #1096 of 1719
Quote:
Originally Posted by haurelia View Post
 Personally, I adored natural labor and birth. I loved it and am looking forward to doing it again!

thumb.gif  I'm a fan purely for the effects, but a fan nonetheless.  It's been the most amazing thing ever to have my body produce a human in just a few hours and then 'poof!' undo all those months of discomfort/unhinged/acheyness/contractions every day insanity in pregnancy in mere minutes or hours, zapping back to awesome shape in days/weeks.  It's mind blowing how fast the female body can recover and any discomfort of labor and delivery is sooooo worth those magical results.  Magical results that allow you to focus 110% on staring at, carrying and falling in love with that new baby --while living within a body that feels healthy, intact, comfy and un-damaged, although certainly over-abundently full of milk.  That immediate baby-to-breast thing is pretty awesome, just falling right into the groove of doing the mama/baby thing.  Sigh. Bliss!

post #1097 of 1719
Thanks for all the encouraging and hopeful posts about labor, ladies! I'm pretty scared of it, myself. This is baby #4, and we're planning another home birth. I've had two unmediated births, one in hospital and one at home, and one induced, medicated birth in hospital (my first). All were very scary for me, for different reasons each time, and very painful. I'm a big Ina May fan, too, and I've never had difficult births or particularly long labors, but I have never been prepared for how painful it is, and I am very sad to say that I haven't recovered well physically. Pelvic organ prolapse, ugh greensad.gif

I'm starting to consider a doula, but I'm not sure we can budget for it, as we'll be going to one income post baby. Man, I sound like Eeyore. Sorry.
post #1098 of 1719

A doula would be a wonderful idea.  Maybe there are volunteer/trainee doulas who would be enthusiastic about helping you for free?  That's what I'm going for.  I'm so sorry to hear about your prolapse, Jennyanydots, that is such a shame.  Are you able to treat it with Kegels or some other kind of exercise therapy or....?  

I would love to practice hypnobirthing methods before the birth and see if that might make labor more pleasant.

post #1099 of 1719
I'm a unmedicated hospital birth turned CSEC... Doing hypnobirthing VBAC. I'm excited to get to experience both sides of the spectrum.
post #1100 of 1719
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennyanydots View Post

Thanks for all the encouraging and hopeful posts about labor, ladies! I'm pretty scared of it, myself. This is baby #4, and we're planning another home birth. I've had two unmediated births, one in hospital and one at home, and one induced, medicated birth in hospital (my first). All were very scary for me, for different reasons each time, and very painful. I'm a big Ina May fan, too, and I've never had difficult births or particularly long labors, but I have never been prepared for how painful it is, and I am very sad to say that I haven't recovered well physically. Pelvic organ prolapse, ugh greensad.gif

I'm starting to consider a doula, but I'm not sure we can budget for it, as we'll be going to one income post baby. Man, I sound like Eeyore. Sorry.

Ha! Eeyore! You sound like I feel Jenny! It's your 4th and your still wary? Silly enough that makes me feel better. My first was scary also. The pain was terrible but the lack of support was worse. I'm not very good at opening up myself to anyone other than DH and am going to need to do this for the doula I hired as well as the (hopefully) midwife team who will do my water birth. All natural this time = no epidural. I'm glad for it but 100% freaked out that once transition hits I'll be SCREAMING for meds. The exhaustion killed me too. The empty stomach as well. Those things won't (hopefully) happen this time so I'm praying it'll be peaceful and satisfying.

I got my doula at a discount for being in the Holistic Moms Network group as she is. It'll be such a relief to DH and I, because I'll want him making sure our 3yo is doing ok. He's also a but scared of the whole process I think. I asked him if he'd like to catch the baby if we have a water birth and I think I freaked him out! I certainly do so it confused me. I'm planning to pull her out myself!

Recovery was bittersweet here as well. My hormones are something fierce and even got in the way of breastfeeding. The same nipple soreness from pregnancy (though I didn't know it) lasted a LONG time and I even had nausea from the let down! I got night swears and crazy mood swings. I even though I was having some mental ticks like hearing voices. Isn't that strange? All went away somewhat by 9m postpartum and my period came back. But I was still so tired and run down. I believe now it was my thyroid disease all along. I'm hoping with the thyroid drug I'm on I'll stabilize everything this time around. I'm guessing poor DH wishes the same. I must have been a nightmare. Lucky for him, he was at work for most of it. Gah please let the bladder and abs work themselves out! I'm SO worried I'll get prolapse. I don't remember the incontinence being this severe!

We need a labor thread. I'm going to start one and post!
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