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Lets talk labor!

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
Lets discuss what each of us are planning, what we are reading/learning about in preparations, drugs or no drugs? Doulas and midwives or OBGYNs. Vbacs, Etc. etc.

I'll start!

I'm planning a waterbirth at home OR birthing naturally at Kaiser medical center. I'm looking for a refresher class but would really like a good couple recs for books to read that clearly discuss stages of labor and techniques.

I'd like to be sure about what exactly and midwife does and does not do. Specifically education. Same with a doula. Am I to expect some sort of education or not? What's a waterbirth like for those who have done it? What's a natural hospital birth like with a doula for those who have done if?

Can you just straight check out of the hospital? I don't want to stay the mandatory 3 days. I can't stand the thought of DD not being with me for even one night.

So those are mostly questions at this point. I'm really going to try and do my research this one around and write up a birth plan etc.
post #2 of 48
I am planning a hospital birth at an academic medical center in the care of perinatologists, but with midwives also on staff (who may be involved in my care). Depending how I'm doing, I may end up with a term or near-term induction. I'll get an epidural very early in my labor. I am really, really hoping for a vaginal delivery and my ob (who boasts about the low c-section rate for her practice) is on board with that as long as the baby and I tolerate labor. I'm quite familiar with labor ad delivery and will have a high level of medical management, so I'm not planning to take a class or anything. I will probably try to take a hospital tour with my husband.
post #3 of 48

I'm hoping for a natural birth at the birth centre, but I won't find out if I can go there until the end of June. I only want to use gas and air again, and maybe a birth pool. I would've used my tens machine, but the hospital lost it last time and I can't afford a new one. I'm a wee bit worried about pushing with such split muscles, but there seem to be tutorials on that online, so I just need to strengthen my abdominals in preparation.
 

post #4 of 48
Natural VBAC at a hospital.

DH isn't comfortable even entertaining the home birth idea...
post #5 of 48

Natural birth at a VERY natural birth friendly hospital (they've got squat bars, big bathtubs to labour in, balls to sit on, mini-fridges and microwavesto bring your own food...).
 

post #6 of 48

I'm planning to have my third homebirth, second time in water, with my midwives and husband present. If all goes the way I HOPE, my mom will also be here to look after our boys, though not in the birthing room — that's just not her thing, and not really mine, either. (That will depend on when/if she goes back to China after the summer. She and my dad lived there this past school year so Dad could work as an administrator for a school and plan to go back again next school year, but she's mentioned staying here longer to help me out and then going back later in the fall on her own. She's nervous about the travel aspect on her own, though, so I'm trying hard not to push her one way or the other. Anyway, that's the backstory to THAT!)

 

From my own personal experience, the water birth was GREAT. I found the warm water to really help with the pain, so I'm definitely trying for it again. Meaning, we will set up for it, and hope I make it in the pool in time! Last time, I think I only spent about an hour, hour and a half in it all told, because my labor moved so quickly. No complaints about that! But we'll just make sure to fill it sooner this time. I'm not sure if I'll be renting the pool from my midwives or purchasing the equipment myself like last time. It will depend on cost; if I can do it cheaper myself, I'll go that route and then try to re-sell the stuff. That worked out nicely last time. (If you are planning a water birth, I highly recommend a thread on here all about the equipment you need. http://www.mothering.com/community/t/589333/birth-pool-resources-and-information)

 

Aside from pain relief, I liked that I could easily get into more positions while in the pool, and it was nice to hang off the edges. And then my son was born, still in his caul, and that was really cool too. The midwife pulled it off of his face and out of the water, and then we sat in the pool for a little while with his head out till the cord was ready to be cut. I liked getting out and going right over to my bed without feeling too dirty. Now the clean up, on the other hand, was apparently not fun! LOL. My husband had quite the time getting it drained. That was a downside. It might have been the hose we used, though. Not sure. But it's a sacrifice we're both willing to make again, because the good definitely outweighed the bad.

I'm not sure about where you live, but here in Ontario, you can walk out of the hospital with your baby within a couple of hours of birth under a midwife's care. As long as there were no complications for either of you, that is. I'm not sure what policy they have if you're under an OB's care. I would not want to stay for three days, either, so I don't blame you. Look into that for sure!

 

As for what a midwife does and doesn't do, I'm going to assume you mean in labor since that's the topic? Again, I can only speak from my own knowledge of our system here in my own province, but basically they act very much like the nurses would at a hosptial, as well as the doctor. They check on your stats periodically, and on the baby. They take your vitals and check your dilation. They coach you as needed, like suggesting positions to move into and how to breathe, and do things to keep you comfortable, like wiping your brow or getting you a drink. They will catch the baby (if you or your partner want it that way, that is) and check the baby after birth, but they don't whisk it away to clean it and weigh and measure it. They let YOU hold the baby first, and for as long as you like as long as there is no medical reason to take them away for oxygen or something. (I was a bit surprised by the lack of "cleaning up" the baby after my first birth, actually, but many sources suggest that it's totally unnecessary for their skin. Just wipe them down with a soft blanket and give them a real wash later on.) They deliver the placenta and deal with that. When you've had some bonding time and a chance to try nursing, they will then measure and weigh the baby (with the awesome, hanging fabric scale thing only midwives seem to use). They will help you get cleaned up and provide after care, like stitiches, if you need it. They'll help you get settled comfortably and get the tylenol and advil started (those are necessary for me almost right away, especially with #2!), and bring you food if you don't have anyone else to do it. Then they settle somewhere in your house to make their notes and give you private time with your new family. They usually stay for about three or four hours, to make surre everything is going well, and then they come back the next day for a check-up. They come back on days 2, 4, and 5 or 6 during that first week to make sure things are going well, administer any post-natal tests you might have agreed to (like the heel prick test) and just to generally answer questions and help with breastfeeding. They get you to keep track of the babies urine and bowel outputs to make sure that's all going the way it should, and weigh them each time. They check on you, if needed, to see how you're healing. Then you see them again in office about two weeks later, and the at six weeks post-partum.

At least, that's the way they do it here in Ontario! And I love it. That at-home attention in the first week is so invaluable. It means you don't have to go anywhere, yet you're very well looked after. I'm always very sad when we get discharged from their care.

 

Education-wise, I found them to provide answers to questions and so on, but for birth and labor preparation, that was mostly on me. I read lots of websites, books, and birth stories. Didn't end up taking a class, but felt pretty well prepared even without it. Indeed, I don't think I missed out on anything I couldn't have/didn't find out on my own anyway, but I certainly don't think they hurt if you want to take them!

I hope that helps answer some of your questions. smile.gif

post #7 of 48

I'm planning second homebirth, same midwife who came last time, and volunteer doula to help instruct my poor first-time-dad fiance what to do and how to operate a TENS machine. :)  I plan to float in our giant tub/jacuzzi much of the time, maybe lounge in our sauna if that feels cozy, too.  Let's see!

post #8 of 48

Natural birth at home.

 

My biggest fear at this point is being risked out of my midwifery practice and having to go the hospital route - I'm very bad about advocating for myself in a medical setting.

 

Will be taking a chilbirth class in August, though I wanted to also do Hypnobabies though I'm not sure when to start with it. Still need to find a doula - someone I know offered, but I'm not sure if it's a good idea for it to be an acquaintance who most likely won't have backup, need to talk about it with her.

post #9 of 48
Assuming everything goes as I wish, I plan on a natural, Hypnobabies-assisted birth at a hospital with birth tub and attended by a CNM.

Chispita, you'll want to give yourself six weeks or so for the Hypnobabies course, if you're doing self-study (you're not supposed to try to condense it). Given that due dates are such a guess, you may want to start well before that.
post #10 of 48

before i continue to whine about not knowing the first thing about what a "birth plan" even is let alone entails, let me just jump right in with the limited knowledge i have, and learn more as i go along. 

 

DF and i are starting our birthing class in about a week. we're also planning to tour two hospitals in June, and i'll look into a breastfeeding class. 

i always thought a water birth would be great, but it wasn't recommended to me, not even by the midwives i interviewed. i don't know if the hospitals we're planning to tour will have a tub. i don't feel comfortable with a homebirth since it's my first, i don't deal well with pain and am afraid of it and the prospect of not having access to pain meds if i need them, and our house is too far from the hospital in case we needed to go in midway through. 

 

"hypnobabies" has been recommended to me but i don't know if this refers to a book or what, so i want to look into that at some point. 

 

a doctor friend of mine recently told me the people who come in with the most detailed birth plan are often the ones who end up having emergency c-sections and all that. she encouraged me that it's ok to "go with the flow" and to NOT know all the details on what i want, etc.

 

i want to learn about the stages of labor, but maybe that will be covered in our birthing class.  

post #11 of 48

tillymonster - As far as checking out early, speak with your care provider!  I think that some might be pickier than others.  The biggest issue I have run into (as a doula) with moms who want to check out 4-8 hours postpartum is that the OB might release you if everything is going well (no postpartum hemorrhage, etc) but sometimes the pediatrician won't release the infant until they've been observed for 24 hours.  It's a sticky wicket and I think that only a care provider can answer "well, if you fall in these parameters..."  If you end up having an epidural I believe you HAVE to stay a minimum of 24 hours, but please someone correct me if I am wrong.  Our hospitals here would just have you sign an AMA ("against medical advice") form and send you on your way.

 

chispita - I second onematchfire's thoughts on starting Hypnobabies soon.  IIRC, when we did Hypnobirthing with our first, we started at 24 weeks (per midwife's recommendation) and with Hypnobabies we started around 25-26 weeeks because we already knew the basics of hypnosis in labor.  I think you'll find that unlike most standard childbirth classes where they're worried you'll forget something, hypnosis only improves with more practice.

 

We're planning a home waterbirth for our labor.  Water is my BFF FOR LIFE in water.  I can go from a naked, raging banshee to a calm, serene laborer.  My last labor was quite short (clocking in at just under 4 hours), and I am hoping for a repeat in terms of length.  Frankly, I don't even care where I am as long as I am naked and in the water.  I am not demure in labor and my chubby back-laboring self needs the buoyancy of that sweet, sweet water.  My midwife is also bringing saline pack injections to help in case I struggle with back labor again this time (extremely likely, since both my prior labors were exclusively back labor).  As much as I like the idea of my kids being in the house to greet their brother as soon as he's born, I just don't see it being feasible.  We thought about it during DD2's labor, but the minute my contractions started I just yelled "NOPE".  They'll likely get picked up by my in-laws who live 30 minutes away and who are actually really good about bringing the kids back RIGHT AWAY as soon as I call.  Plus, I find that even though I miss my kids when they're away, I like the time to just bond with the new baby before the onslaught of welcoming cuddles from everyone else.  Watching DH cry when he holds his kids just doesn't seem as magical if I also picture DD2 clambering up his leg simultaneously!  :)

post #12 of 48

disclaimer:  I'm a huge fan of natural birth, especially all the creature comforts and privacy of home for birth, and hate hospitals/needles/knives, so my birthing perspective reflects that!

 

Read Ina May Gaskin's books!  And Birthing From Within (can't remember author) was AWESOME.  I'm on #3 and have had great natural births (1 homebirth) each time and I still learned a lot about the birthing culture (at least in the US, which is not actually where I'm at but still it's my country so I'm interested) and realities of birthing practices from reading through those books recently.

 

Labor is not so mysterious!

 

First Stage labor =  contractions which open up your cervix from 0-10cm dilated and this does not proceed in a linear way (i.e. 1 cm per hour) but rather very sporadic (you could be only 4 cm one minute and totally dilated ten minutes later)

Second Stage/Transition = pushing that baby on out

Third Stage = placenta/afterbirth is delivered.  My midwives always yank it out in a few seconds after baby is born but I'm questioning that method this time and think natural contractions/pushing is the way to go

 

Then stuff to think about regarding whether you want to let the cord stop pulsing before they cut it, vitamin K drops or injection, eye goop, and whether you want to let the hospital bathe the baby or just chill out on your tummy, and what you want to do with the placenta (freeze dry, freeze, saute,  blend some of it fresh with some berries and juice and drink it, or just toss it).

 

Research the various medical procedures and drugs and the pros and cons well before, so you'll have some ideas of which ones you feel are off the table and which are a maybe.  Be aware of which 'relief' methods might actually hinder or stop your labor and therefore cause you more discomfort in the long run if it complicates a seamless delivery.  Relief on the front end and months of painful recovery on the back end might not be a trade off you welcome if you give it some thought based on research of statistical complication risks, ahead of time.  Also almost everything a hospital has to offer you will involve you becoming more passive in the process, to some extent, and laying prone/immobility/etc is truly not the way women have birthed for thousands of years.  I think those books will really cheer you up and alleiviate your fears ---and leave you feeling empowered and positive about the experience that lays ahead, which is exactly the best mindset to approach such a milestone in your life--the moment the maiden enters motherhood!

post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by aidenn View Post

  My midwife is also bringing saline pack injections to help in case I struggle with back labor again this time (extremely likely, since both my prior labors were exclusively back labor).   

Same here.  My midwife used the injections last time which helped temporarily (5 minutes each time?) for back labor.  But I also have short, intense labors, so I don't think that I'm the most ideal candidate to experience massive relief from something like that anyways.  And that's ok, I think that it's an awesome trade off (intense labors but they end quickly).

post #14 of 48

Planning a home birth/water birth.  We're going to have the tub there to use, but I've heard not everyone likes it so we'll see how it goes.  Weirdly I'm excited about labor.  In my mind I see it as this powerful experience.  Maybe I should be more afraid haha.

post #15 of 48

I'm planning a second home birth, and second VBAC, for my third child. We hired the same midwife, midwife asst, and doula, and will probably have a similar setup as we did last time. This time, I hope to make it to the pool we're renting again. My VBAC baby came too fast last time and I ended up in my hard bathtub. greensad.gif  I think we'll know this time to have DH fill it up ASAP when labor starts.  I can't wait to get closer to it happening, to start getting things ready. joy.gif

post #16 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaliHekate View Post

Planning a home birth/water birth.  We're going to have the tub there to use, but I've heard not everyone likes it so we'll see how it goes.  Weirdly I'm excited about labor.  In my mind I see it as this powerful experience.  Maybe I should be more afraid haha.


I'm excited too! Not even a little bit scared although this isn't bravery so much as I have never done it before so I don't have any experience to base fear upon...

post #17 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaliHekate View Post  Weirdly I'm excited about labor.  In my mind I see it as this powerful experience.  

That is an awesome mindset, and it's been proven in medical studies over and over that the mind has immense power over all the body's functions (i.e. placebo effect), and this effect is certainly magnified immensely in labor, as those who spend careers watching thousands of births (and then write books about it) have at least written.  It makes so much sense that your own sense of wellbeing, sense of freedom, calm, peace, security, willingness, happiness, etc would impact greatly how seamlessly your body relaxes, and opens up, and can busy itself with the job of birthing, rather than being impeded by any outside concerns.  You are in the perfect frame of mind!

post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaliHekate View Post

Planning a home birth/water birth.  We're going to have the tub there to use, but I've heard not everyone likes it so we'll see how it goes.  Weirdly I'm excited about labor.  In my mind I see it as this powerful experience.  Maybe I should be more afraid haha.

 

That's terrific! Honestly, you feel so amazing afterwards. Like, just so strong and powerful, and like you've joined an exclusive club. You will do things in labor you'd never do outside of it, but you won't care. You get so in the zone. It's very powerful.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CookAMH View Post

I'm planning a second home birth, and second VBAC, for my third child. We hired the same midwife, midwife asst, and doula, and will probably have a similar setup as we did last time. This time, I hope to make it to the pool we're renting again. My VBAC baby came too fast last time and I ended up in my hard bathtub. greensad.gif  I think we'll know this time to have DH fill it up ASAP when labor starts.  I can't wait to get closer to it happening, to start getting things ready. joy.gif

 

I'm planning the same thing with our pool! We found, when we did a test run with it before the birth, that it lost heat fairly slowly so it will be easy to keep it covered or topped up for a few hours. Easier than trying to fill it last minute anyway!

post #19 of 48
Katalopolis, I could have posted those very words. It seems like lots of folks give me a "you're so naive" response, but I'm choosing to ignore them and expect the best. smile.gif
post #20 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vc2013 View Post

before i continue to whine about not knowing the first thing about what a "birth plan" even is let alone entails, let me just jump right in with the limited knowledge i have, and learn more as i go along. 

DF and i are starting our birthing class in about a week. we're also planning to tour two hospitals in June, and i'll look into a breastfeeding class. 
i always thought a water birth would be great, but it wasn't recommended to me, not even by the midwives i interviewed. i don't know if the hospitals we're planning to tour will have a tub. i don't feel comfortable with a homebirth since it's my first, i don't deal well with pain and am afraid of it and the prospect of not having access to pain meds if i need them, and our house is too far from the hospital in case we needed to go in midway through. 

"hypnobabies" has been recommended to me but i don't know if this refers to a book or what, so i want to look into that at some point. 

a doctor friend of mine recently told me the people who come in with the most detailed birth plan are often the ones who end up having emergency c-sections and all that. she encouraged me that it's ok to "go with the flow" and to NOT know all the details on what i want, etc.

i want to learn about the stages of labor, but maybe that will be covered in our birthing class.  

I appreciate your honesty and yeah, I went the hospital route the first time because it was all new to me. I *really* wanted a water birth. I looked furiously for hospitals that offered it. I went to a midwife practice and was not impressed-- the OB I got was much worse in the end but it was all I knew and is just one of those things you learn on your own.

You don't need birth plan. Go with the flow is a great idea but at the same time-- you want to be empowered to do what you feel is right and that's very hard (was for me) the first time around. The hospital staff tortured me with interventions. They were even timing my birth like I was just another idiot first time mom with no clue. I was very stressed being induced and don't wish that on anyone. They convinced me to have an epidural while DH was out of the room. DH is still upset about that! He really advocated for me but could only do so much. I think if I had a doula it would have been a MUCH different birth. I just needed support and to be left alone. So I like most will recommend that to you.

Breastfeeding classes were GREAT. I am
so happy I took them! It saved me from idiotically trying to schedule feelings which is just stupid to attempt with newborns-- the RN leading the class steered me away from those ideas and I stopped reading Baby Wise from there on. Thank goodness!

Bromache-- THANK YOU! You explained exactly what I wanted to hear. Now I feel a little more prepared for a water birth at home. I hope it can happen.

I know I'm missing something else I meant to say so don't be surprised to see a double post!

Edit: I just read Serafina's and Aiiden's and am loving all the info. Serafina, your tub/sauna setup sounds amazing!!!

Now I'm thinking a bit more about having DD there. I don't really want her in the same room but might not be bothered if she's in the apt. with my sister watching her. I thought it might be neat for her to see the baby on my chest just as she comes out but now am thinking hrmm. Maybe not a good idea!?!?

Yes they MAKE you stay 24hrs after epidural and will probably do so after a natural birth too. I'm so worried about that. I'll be dying to get home and stressed out over lack of sleep. The last thing I'll want to do is argue trying to leave early. I just know it'll be a hassle.

Plus-- the midwives coming over postpartum is great for everyone. The LAST thing you want to do with a newborn and 3yo is go to a docs office or hospital. Hello GERMS? Oct. is considered "flu season". No thank you!
Edited by tillymonster - 5/31/13 at 1:02am
Mothering › Groups › September 2013 Due Date Club › Discussions › Lets talk labor!