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Preparing for Birth - Page 2

post #21 of 47
Originally Posted by mataji4 View Post

I am curious, Michelle, why you haven't seeked out a midwife before?  Seems like building a relationship with midwives would be great for you.  I guess we're blessed here with a community of awesome supportive attentive midwives, so that's my bias.  I have seen and heard so many times of doctors "changing" their attitude or position on things once you are in labor, so I understand how you'd have a hard time trusting your doctor.  I'm so sorry you are dealing with past trauma...have you thought of rebirthing or birth counseling?  There are people here who do that, not sure how common a practice that is.

My DH wanted me to use a midwife for our first birth, and I have always wished I had listened. After having a c-section with the first, DH wasn't comfortable with a homebirth, and none of the birthing centers around here would accept VBACs. After the horrible experience with our second, I actually hired a midwife, and went to one appointment, but I was at a point where it was too late. I couldn't trust anyone. It didn't matter to me that she was a midwife; I couldn't trust that she wouldn't hurt me, too.

When I finally felt ready to trust someone again, I interviewed both midwives and doctors. The person who succeeded in helping me feel comfortable happened to be a doctor.
post #22 of 47

Michelle, that is such a hard thing to deal with, I am sorry that it continues to affect you so powerfully.  I have PTSD, and while the root causes are not the same, I can totally understand how something that is seemingly years in the past can continue to haunt your life years and years into the future.  I really struggled with finding a provider for my first birth because of these issues (I had actually never had a pap before I was pregnant, which I realize is terrible, but I just couldn't do it) and I was so, so fortunate that the hospital midwife who I saw through my pregnancy was exactly what I needed (super hands off, listened respectfully to my sometimes irrational concerns, didn't get defensive when I was being hostile toward basically her entire industry).  I can't even imagine how I would have coped with an experience like what you went through.  I am certain I would never have been able to get appropriate medical care again, and there is a good chance that it would have stopped me from having more children.  I feel really angry for you, that you are forced to feel so defensive and distrustful of the people who are meant to be helping you, because of terrible Dr's and nurses who don't even begin to appreciate how their behavior is hurting people.  I am glad your current Dr. is making you feel comfortable.  You have been through this so many times now, and you are incredibly well educated about birth (from the sounds of things).  Keep trusting your instincts and rely on the people who make you feel safe and loved, and I know you will get through this and onto the good stuff, like that tiny new baby.  

post #23 of 47
Oh, Michelle! I'm so sorry any woman has to go through experiences like yours. It makes me really, really angry, actually! I am so happy you have a warrior husband who can defend you. I believe you have made the best choice for your situation re: care provider, and hopefully you and your DH won't have to fight for what you feel is right for this birth.

You know, at first when I thought about having another baby, I felt some anxiety. Like some other people, the pushing stage feels involuntary to me too, and the intensity scares me. BUT, I also give myself permission to get pain relief if I need it, especially if I have another induction. I've lowered the bar for myself. As much as I believe in the power of giving birth naturally, and I know the risks of interventions, I am ok with how I give birth. There is no prize for having a baby one way or another, and I have still given birth to a child no matter how it happens. Climbing off my soapbox now.... wink1.gif
post #24 of 47
Thank you, Courtney and Lida. It was hard for me to even say all that. Thanks everyone for your understanding.
post #25 of 47

Thanks everyone for being so open and sharing.  I think that the road to women feeling safe and empowered in birthing is paved by women's stories.  

post #26 of 47
Thread Starter 

wow Michelle, that sounds really horrible and I perfectly understand your difficulty dealing with it! hug2.gif I've hired a midwife to accompany me to the birth because I really don't want to deal with someone I don't know. Is that an option where you live? Have you talked to your current doctor about your first two births? I can imagine that would be quite difficult for you but at least you'll be able to gauge what kind of doctor he is by his initial reaction (does he jump to defend his colleagues or does he try to understand what happened?).


AFM, I feel finally the wheels are turning in some direction. I've been thinking about birth so much but at the same time had a strong desire to hide my head in the sand. The replies here have help me do something more useful than worrying and dwelling on things.


I ordered hypno-birthing (book+CD) yesterday. After reading the reviews, I'm a bit wary of anything that promises pain-free birth and that fear is the one cause of pain (I had pain before I even realized that I'm in labor) BUT it seems that the preparation and relaxing techniques have helped a lot of women so I'm excited to read it and listen to this CD everyone is raving about.


Lida, I love the idea of an energy drink during labor. I'm adding that to my list of labor supplies. Glucose-lollipops seems to be a popular choice here too (found out about that after labor). So far the list of possible food to take with me to the hospital:

  • glucose-lollipops
  • chicken broth with a bit of white rice
  • miso-soup
  • energy drinks preferably glucose-based
  • coconut water.
  • straws! (ok this is not food but so DP can help me drink if I don't want to hold something)
  • Food for DP


I'm also putting resting high on my priority list once I realize this is real labor. Also an action plan printed out for DP on what to do and not to do. Last time I was so clueless and actually went out shopping with DP until he found me in a dressing room in midst of a contraction. By the time DD was born, I had slept a total of 2 hours in 32 hours.

Edited by LilyKay - 8/8/13 at 1:02am
post #27 of 47
Lily, he seemed very understanding, and even upset on my behalf.

As for resting in labor, I like to take a nap first thing. Especially if I'm not sure if this is it, because then I can rest instead of worrying and second guessing. If it's really labor, the contractions will get stronger and eventually wake me up!
post #28 of 47
Thread Starter 

So I thought I'd revive this thread, even though I haven't done much of what was on my original list. After I ordered the hypnobirthing book and CD, I became really interested in the idea and found hypnobabies. I tried for a while somehow to buy it but there was no (reasonably priced way) to get it shipped to Germany.  Now I've found the CDs but don't have the workbook :(.


Anyway I just wanted to share that I'm finding the CDs amazing. First after listening to the tracks I feel like I just woke up from a very refreshing nap. And even though I still on the first 4 tracks (out of 12), I'm finally feeling relaxed about the birth and no longer apprehensive and anxious when I think about it. I'm starting to believe again I can do this. I've also talked to DP on how we can practice to create a cue (like him touching the back of my neck and say "relax") to help me go into a deep relaxation during labor.


As to other preparations, I got a birthing ball and whenever the mood hits, I try to do some movements on it. But I really need to start doing squats and other exercises more regularly...


Anyone one else trying hypnobirthing or hypnobabies? Or doing other preps?

post #29 of 47

I'm re-reading Robin Lim's postpartum book, which is excellent.  I'm trying to plan for a lot of support so I can shut myself in my cozy room for a couple of weeks.


Whenever I think of the birth, I just think, "Oh shit, I have to open up like that again."  It's not like I'm scared, I open up to birth really really well, but it is intense and it's crazy to think about going into that place again since I remember what it is so well.  It feels like something crazy and large is bursting out of my whole body; it's explosive!  My 2nd stages are quick.  I don't need to convince myself that I can do it, I know I can birth my baby.  So when I think about birth, all that comes into mind, and the terrific afterpains!, so I'm just trying to take a breath and remind myself that I will be okay.  The thought comes and goes easily, so I'm not feeling anxiety around it.  


I REALLY want my kids at the birth this time, as it's never happened, so that's really what I'm most attached to, and feel some anxiety around that- when will I go into labor?  Where will they be?  And I'm really playing it by ear seeing who will be here with them, as it will depend on if school's still in or has started back up, if it's near Christmas when my sister in law is here...but my best friend is going to be here for me and that's nice.  She was at my first birth 15 years ago too.  : )

post #30 of 47
Yeah, I'm not anxious about giving birth, I know I can do it, but the afterpains scare me, and the lack of postpartum support worries me too. Unfortunately, DD will be on school holidays so its likely to be chaotic. Just what I didn't want greensad.gif DH is useless at getting up and taking care of the kids in the morning, though once he wakes up he's pretty good at taking over so I can go back to bed. He's also useless at running the house and making meals for more than a couple of days. And, he will probably only get a week of holidays from work. It's all making me a bit freaked out, but if I can get our chest freezer bought and stocked it won't be so bad. And, I've decided to get cable for this winter too smile.gif
post #31 of 47

mataji, I hope your kids can be present for your little boy's birth. I know when I was 15 and watched my mom give birth to my baby brother, it was an amazing experience. All 6 of us kids watched baby number 7 come into the world. It was early morning and my dad came and woke us all up before my brother was born. My parents did an unassisted birth and I remember watching my mom catch my little brother as he came out, cleaned off his nose and mouth, and then he let out a scream like an eagle. Simply amazing.


AFM, that birth picture is what keeps me focused on the fact that I can give life to these two babies that I am carrying right now. I had a dream the other day that the first baby came out, stood up, cut his own umbilical cord, then stood to the side as he brother came out. Weirdest dream so far.


I have read through "Natural Hospital Birth" and my husband is now reading through it. I think it has been really good for him especially. He learned that having my water break is not necessarily a sign that we should head to the hospital, especially if contractions haven't started in earnest yet. On Sept. 26 we start our natural childbirth class with other couples. I am looking forward to that and so is DH.

post #32 of 47

Thanks for sharing that, lilac!  I'm teary : )  I was born at home and so was my sister, though I wasn't there; it was an awesome gift for me to have birth pictured as normal, positive, even enjoyable.  Your dream is hilarious!  Are you planning on having a doula?  Some doulas will come to your house in early labor and can help you decide when to go to the hospital.  If I were having twins and was birthing in the hospital I think I would hire a full-blown midwife who could help me figure out baby's positions in early labor so I'd know if they were positioned well for birth and if not I would have some time to try and get them there!  My mother in law gave birth to twins, and the midwife had to turn then hold the second baby (who was transverse) in a head down position during a handful of contractions with her squatting so he could be born.  It's so nice you have a positive family birth history and hopefully that's provided you a lot of inherent trust and confidence.


Lida, I hope you get your freezer and get started on stocking soon!  My husband is somewhat useless when I'm around, but he does well when I'm postpartum and he knows I'm not doing everything!  Last night he was asleep at 9:00!  I was up for another hour and a half with the dishes, laundry, and organizing for the next day...incredulous.  Can you hire a postpartum doula for a couple of hours a day?  Or even a mother's helper to occupy your daughter while you rest with baby?  If you can afford that, it could make all the difference in your pp experience.  

post #33 of 47

I have been putting off posting on this thread because I feel like I have soooooooooo much to write and don't have enough time to get it all down.  Alas! I thought it better to at least chime in for a minute.


LilyKay, I plan to use self-hypnosis techniques for labor, and I have been practicing a little bit already...although I REALLY need to find some time besides bedtime to practice...I end up falling asleep immediately.  I read hypnobabies with my last pregnancy, and I really want to reread it now. We have a copy at my library, but it is checked out.  I really hope it comes back soon. I found a lot of the tips helpful, and the self-hypnosis a powerful and spiritual tool for managing labor.  I have other self-hypnosis books that I pull from too. 


I plan to have my DS at the birth. We have hired a sibling doula to help. We are hoping she will be able to tag-team with DH between caring for me and caring for my son. We really want someone caring, calm and knowledgeable who can help explain labor and delivery to DS.  Lilac, your story is beautiful, a real inspiration. And what a powerful dream! Talk about super-twin powers!


I do have some concerns about postpartum...I don't remember afterpains being so bad, was that b/c I had a cesarean birth?  Or b/c it was just my first? Either way, yikes!

Most of my concerns are about managing my mood. I have considered encapsulating my placenta to see if that helps, but after the doula, we don't any extra funds. So now I am trying to learn more about specific nutritional needs for the postpartum period. I am also doing a little bit of self-hypnosis work re:postpartum mood and sleep levels.


So much more to say, but *cough cough* I am at work and really should get back to it.

post #34 of 47
Earthwalker, afterpains tend to get worse after each baby...not sure why, but they were nothing at all after my first (vaginal) birth, and pretty noticeable with my second. Like worse than labour contractions. Brr!!

I found being outside lots helped my mood after DD2, but she was a June baby, so, yeah....I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that yet. Definitely continue my iron/prenatals.

I was too cheap/lazy to do hypnotist hint with my second, despite being determined to have a natural birth, but I found some suggestions from Ina May Gaskins books helpful, namely her point about relaxing your face, and opening your mouth to an "o" and letting out a moan that way. The last thing I practiced was consciously relaxing different parts of my body at will, like you do at the end of a yoga session. Those three techniques worked beautifully for my birth, and the only time I felt pain was when baby was crowning and I forgot to relax and started to panic. Then I got back into it and all was fine to the end.
post #35 of 47
Originally Posted by earthwalker View Post

I do have some concerns about postpartum...I don't remember afterpains being so bad, was that b/c I had a cesarean birth?  Or b/c it was just my first? Either way, yikes!

Most of my concerns are about managing my mood. I have considered encapsulating my placenta to see if that helps, but after the doula, we don't any extra funds. So now I am trying to learn more about specific nutritional needs for the postpartum period. I am also doing a little bit of self-hypnosis work re:postpartum mood and sleep levels.


So much more to say, but *cough cough* I am at work and really should get back to it.

Afterpains do get much worse with each one. After my first they were like mild menstrual cramps; after my third I would have rather dealt with contractions again! My mw had me start taking ibuprofen every 4 hours just to ward them off. It's really hard to relax and focus on nursing your new baby when you're practically doubled over in pain.


With my last two babies I encapsulated the placenta myself. It makes a world of difference in how I felt emotionally and how I physically recovered. It's surprisingly easy to do it yourself and totally worth it. For the first 2-3 days post partum I just threw some raw pieces of placenta into smoothies, then encapsulated the rest. There was thread in the 'Homebirth' forum (I think it was there) not to long ago with a link to a site of how to do it yourself.

post #36 of 47
I've never experienced after pains. Is that weird?
post #37 of 47
Ladies the tincture After Ease is soooo awesome for after pains! Seriously have some on hand!

I have barely thought about the birth, I'm just trying to make it through the pregnancy, lol. I'm busy, hot, and can't sleep due to RLS, so I just look forward yo it being over. Ah well. 28 weeks today.start two week visits with my midwife now.
post #38 of 47

Yes, After Ease was very helpful last time for me.  I love all the Wishgarden Herbs- their Mastitis formula has saved me many times.

post #39 of 47
I will be getting some After Ease!! Thanks!!
post #40 of 47
Is anyone else not really preparing for birth?

Maybe since this is my fourth, third vbac, I kind of just have a wing it mentality. I've prepared a lot with the others but have had crappy births anyway so I kind of feel like "what's the point?" I'm fully expecting to have to be induced again in which case I want an epi (last birth was induced with no epi = unimaginably awful). I can't go past 42 since I'm a vbac and I don't want to anyway. I want this baby out before Christmas.

So my plan is just to do everything possible to get my body ready for birth/induction. Eat dates, take epo orally and vaginally, eat fresh pineapple (I swear that helped with #3), lots of "quality time" with DH...
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