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UC support thread #7, July '04 - Page 9

post #161 of 185
I've been think a lot about my recent uc and I wanted to say...

I am just amazed at how present I was right after! With my other two births I just collapsed and let everyone else take over, but this time I was SO there it was awesome. And I never had weird chills or rapid blood pressure changes like with the other two.

The another amazing thing is how well I feel now 10 days pp and how easily I've healed. Right after the birth I willed myself to heal and it's amazing. I felt strong and healthy right away and I have had so little blood loss...after my first I bled for 6 weeks and with my second it trailed into 8 weeks (it was light by the end), but with this one I have had extremely light flow since day 1 or 2 pp...

I just loved my uc! We are fairly sure that this is our last child but part of me wants another just so I can experience uc again Although I realize that's not reason enough to have another child!

Anyway, I'm still lurking here, reading your stories and I am slightly envious of all you moms who have such a wonderful experience ahead!

Jen
post #162 of 185
I'm glad that you are having such a good PP time, Jen. I feel pretty good, but my blood flow is still going. I've been trying to take some things that help healing, such as vitamen E foods, and green leafy veggies. But the flow is not heavy, at least, but kind of annoying. I'd like to just get it over with.

Man, is it difficult with 2 babies. : X100
post #163 of 185
Congratulations Jen on your birth!

I know just what you mean too, about being there after the birth. With my UC I felt exhilarated after she was born. I had so much energy and I felt GREAT! I didn't experience that with my 2 previous hospital births. I too remember the feeling of wanting to have another just so I could UC again lol

Update: I talked to dh about doing the uc again. Why he felt he could get in trouble. Says he felt the same way last time too. So I said, well you can't get introuble if the m/w doesn't show up in time right? Soo looks like I will have my UC anyways. I will still see her a few times during the pg but definetly not once a mth and then every 2 weeks as she wants.
post #164 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenniebug

Update: I talked to dh about doing the uc again. Why he felt he could get in trouble. Says he felt the same way last time too. So I said, well you can't get introuble if the m/w doesn't show up in time right? Soo looks like I will have my UC anyways. I will still see her a few times during the pg but definetly not once a mth and then every 2 weeks as she wants.
Yay! You will be birthing how you want, I am sure he will have plenty of time to come to grips with it!

Call me a weirdo, but I actuallyenjoy seeing a midwife for 'prenatals' (in quotes because I did my own weight, fundal measurments, and bp and she just talked to me) but I just don't want her at the birth.
post #165 of 185
I've been lurking and reading this thread for a couple of weeks now, and I just wanted to write a couple of things that came to me while reading some posts...

I'm a new mama to an almost eight week-old baby boy born at home with midwives in attendance. My labor was long -- aobut 36 hours -- and I was very glad for all the support my partner, my sister, our two midwives and their assistant.

I have written my version of our baby's birth story, and my sister also wrote her version, which I haven't read. And I haven't spoken about our baby's birth with our midwives yet either. Other than the sun coming up, then going down and then coming up again, I have no idea of a timeline other than the order things happened.

A couple of things written on this thread made me think a lot about my birthing...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malama
...<snip>...
I'm a new midwife and so I read everything birth related. I'm also 14 weeks pregnant with my 3rd and having just tons of confusing thoughts.
...<snip>...
I've been thinking about asking my mw (who has also been my teacher) to come to my upcoming birth more as my friend to the birth. To be there if I need her, but to just sit back. We have to talk deeply about this to see if she could really do that... she's a hands-on type of person- which the vast majority of her clients LOVE, but I don't think I need/ want that, but she's so special to me that I do want her there...... (just thinking aloud here)

So I've been reading Uc stories and also an old Midwifery Today mag about interventions and I've been thinking about how easy it is to intervene... and how things that aren't necessarily thought to be interventions could be perceived as such. So I had all of these ideas mulling about my brain and thinking about how I could more gently serve my upcoming due mamas, and I got called to assist at a birth yesterday.

This mama was sooooo not in touch with her body- was so needing "help" (her words).... what a shocker, after reading/ thinking about uc.... I told her to follow her body- to push if she felt the urge.... she could NOT follow that at all. It was so interesting and I felt deep sadness for her. Her baby was born just fine, but she wanted the mw fingers in her yoni (asked for it), and well, she just wanted all of that verbal and physical stuff that so many of you (and I) dislike. I guess it reminded me that an ideal for some is just not an ideal for others.
...<snip>...
I can understand feeling sadness for someone who is unable to follow her body's signals, but reading this made me feel somehow inadequate as a birthing mama because our midwives at various points during laboring and pushing did put their fingers in my vagina. I know each person is different, but I certainly felt in touch with my body and what it was doing. I didn't always *know* cognitively what my body was trying to do physically, but I felt okay. I found having a long labor very frustrating, and on many occasions during laboring I spoke that very sentiment, not to get reassurance that I was doing fine and get validation for that feeling, but to simply announce that I was feeling frustrated.

I guess I'm also confused about what many of you think of as "hands-on" midwives and caregivers. What makes someone hands-on and intrusive to you? I found the companionship of our midwives as comforting as the companionship of my partner and my sister during my laboring.

I guess I'm just trying to process the birth and these thoughts have me conflicted. I had an amazing and peaceful birth at home and I feel appreciative that I was surrounded by people who love me and also people who are very familiar with birthing. Our baby boy did have some problems breathing initially -- his cord was limp and floppy at the time I pushed him out -- and I was grateful for the assistance of the midwives because I know I was in shock that he was finally right there in front of me instead of in my belly and I don't know if I would have been able to take action as quickly as they did to help him breathe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueviolet
...<snip>...
I sometimes wonder how much clients really love the hands-on approach, and how much they just believe that it's just the way it's supposed to be, and so adjust their expectations sub-consciously. For my first birth I had a very hands-on midwife. She guided me and coached me every step of the way, doing dilation checks (I even asked for one) and perineal massage. The labor pain was so overwhelming to me, and the midwife sent me the distinct vibe that I could make it better if only I would do exactly what she was wanted. I had the feeling that she must know better than me (after all she had attended 1500 births) and that I could not possibly know anything of value (although my instincts were trying to tell me differently.) So I basically gave up my own initiative and relied on her to tell me what to do. At one point I didn't think I could make it without her, even though she was doing things that I didn't like. A couple of months after the birth, I wrote her a note thanking her for "all she does for women." It wasn't until several months later (through a gradual process) that I realized that in fact I was quite unhappy with how the birth was managed, how intrusive and overbearing she was, and the very clear tacit message she was sending me that I couldn't do it without her to tell me what to do. All of this, I believe, contributed to the birth being harder than it had to be and interfered with my instincts. But this didn't become clear to me until I had a lot of time to mull it over and essentially pull myself out of the conditioning that was so deeply ingrained in me.

Anyway... I relate to your desire to have the midwife sit back and just let you do your thing. I found a different midwife for my second birth who was comfortable doing that, and it was a (comparatively) great birth. But I still decided to go UC for my third (and now fourth) because frankly even just the presence of the midwife was intrusive and distracting and felt wrong from an emotional/spiritual perspective.
This made me wonder about a birth attendant being hands-on because that's "the way it's supposed to be". Although I haven't witnessed an unassisted birth in person, I have watched a video of one (forget what it's called...) and I have personally witnessed hospital births as a doula. The unassisted birth seems closer to my ideal and closer to what I experienced, while the hospital births seem quite actively managed and interventive and unlike what I experienced.

Until I started laboring, our midwives had never requested a cervical or vaginal check, and even in labor, they presented the option to feel how dilated my cervix was and let me my own decision. I'm a curious person, and I suspect that even if I were to choose an unassisted birth, I would be feeling my own cervix throughout laboring. The first time this option was presented to me, I declined. Later I felt an urge to push, and we asked one of the midwives to feel my cervix.

Then during pushing, having one of the midwives put her fingers in my vagina and press down towards my perineum felt physically good. They didn't do this every push, just sometimes. It reminded me of how I orgasmed during sex in my pregnancy, and I wonder if I would have done it myself if birthing unassisted.

Thank you for reading this far and for letting me share my thoughts here. I have been thinking about these two posts for about a week now, and I finally had enough coherent thoughts to post about it. I felt inordinately sad after reading these posts, and the phrase "fingers in her yoni" still continues to echo in my mind. I still am not sure if I felt sad because my body felt somehow violated because of the "interventions" during my birthing -- I use quotes because I'm not sure I view them as interventions -- or if I felt sad for some other reason yet unknown. I do truly respect any birthing choice that is made thoughtfully and responsibly.

warmly,
claudia
post #166 of 185
Claudia,
I want to explain that what I wrote (and you quoted) came out of the same confused-ness that you're having. When I wrote that, I had spent a bunch of time online and reading unassisted birth stories and stuff. When we attended that woman (who was having her 3rd baby), nothing made sense according to what I had read.... Why didn't she act like the women in the stories? Why did she want that "guidance" or "intervention"??

Where I have come to since then is that all women are different and need/want different things when they're in labor. It's not "wrong" to want more guidance and stuff, just different. Many women do not "mind" fingers in the yoni, and many are helped by having that pressure in there (maybe to help direct pushing efforts). Many hate it, and in my experience most mw will stop doing something if the mom doesn't like it.

I attended a birth yesterday where the mom was having trouble figuring out how to push. She finally put her own fingers in her yoni and could feel the progress (albeit slow) of her baby's head descending. It was so awesome for her. And i stress FOR HER.

I've been to so many births where the parents are so grateful and feel they "couldn't have done it w/o us". While that sure strokes my ego (i'd be a fool to deny it), I always make a point to tell them that they COULD have, and that THEY were the ones who did the "work".

Are you happy about your birth? If you are, then great! I don't think it's necessary to pick apart things that happened then. I was elated after my 2nd son's birth and while I know from the video that there were a couple things that I'm not thrilled that my mw did, it was one of the highlights of my life... without question. I also know that I chose to have her there with me adn will chose to do so again. I think uc birth is beautiful for those who chose it. I don't think it's the choice for me, but I respect those who make that choice.

I think I'm rambling, but I hope you can come to terms with your birth experience. Like my other post, I'm thinking aloud, so I hope it makes some sense!

Much Aloha,
Karen
post #167 of 185

Claudia-

I am sorry if you feel sad. I think we all need to strive for the birth experience that works for you where you are at right now. I can't speak for everyone here, but my posts in the UC thread aren't about you. For the most part, they aren't about assisted birth at all. They are all about *my* experience, expectations, needs and processes. If you are happy with your birth and feel it was a satisfying, empowering, safe birth experience, why dwell on it?

I have had a "good" hospital birth and an intense unassisted birth followed by a hospital transfer about 1 hr postpartum. The UC birth actually took a LOT more processing than the hospital birth. I felt happy with my first birth, and still do. There were aspects that weren't amazing, but overall, it was a good birth. I don't regret it at all because it did empower me a great deal.
post #168 of 185
CAUTION--whiny complainy pregnant woman rant

I promise it won't be long--the rant that is. I've just never been this horribly emotional at the end of a pregnancy. I am normally so peaceful by this time. Everyone is beautiful, life is soft around the edges. This time I am on an emotional rollercoaster. My children are driving me insane (they are just being normal, what is up with me!?!!?). I go into hysterics everytime my dh has to work. I just don't understand--I know I have some issues with where we live now, and it does not feel like "my home." I'm just afraid how this will effect my going into labor, and the actual birth. It's like I don't feel safe to birth in this house. {sigh} And I feel lonely without my homebirth support group in Ohio.

What can I do? This is not fair, what I'm doing to myself, my baby, and my family.

Anyway, thanks for listening to me whine.
post #169 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by *Mamajaza*
I feel pretty good, but my blood flow is still going. I've been trying to take some things that help healing, such as vitamen E foods, and green leafy veggies. But the flow is not heavy, at least, but kind of annoying. I'd like to just get it over with.
Ginger...
Tumeric

a mentor recommended a recovery drink for me, and I healed so quickly. I think the ginger & tumeric in it healed my insides. I've lost so little blood. In fact, it's not even been a week & I don't need a pad. I'm really amazed, because I bled for a long time with dd #1 and I used a lot of pads. I barely used any this time and donated my leftovers...
post #170 of 185
oshunmama, i can definitely relate about the kids driving you insane. i am about 37 weeks now and have a 5 year old and 2 1/2 year old. the children are not really doing anything out of the ordinary, but i feel frustrated often with them. i wonder how i will homeschool!!

i understand about being away from your support group, too. my first two where born at home in california and i had a great group of mama friends. now i am living in alabama, which is my home state, and it just isn't has supportive. plus, being closer to family hasn't been easier when it comes to our parenting style and choices. i have a few supportive mama friends here now which helps.

i hope things get better for you soon.
post #171 of 185
oshunmama
I have 4 girls....ages 14y, 5y, 3.5y, and 22months....and boy, do they drive me craazzzzyy sometimes (especially when I'm pg)!!! LOL It can be hard to have patience when you've got pregnancy hormones coursing through you and it's hot out and the baby is kicking your bladder and now you need to go pee...again...for the fifth time in an hour.... ... and the list could go on!! I generally feel good when I'm pregnant...but sometimes I'm just so tired and well you know!
So if they're driving me nuts and I'm in a bad mood, I try to distract them with something they haven't done recently....like fingerpainting or drawing with chalk on the driveway, making and playing with homemade playdough ...something like that....and they'll all be semi-quiet for a bit (even if they are making a mess!) and I'll have a few moments to pull myself together...again!

As far as feeling safe in your home to birth...is there anything you could do to make it feel safer or make it feel more like "your" home? What made you feel safe before?
post #172 of 185
Oshun - I've been particularly grumpy during this pregnancy also. Feel bad for DS because I'm the one who is the most gentle and talk to him about his feelings when he's upset. But I've been having such a hard time at it for a while. I really want him to spend more time with DH. Which, since DH stopped working a month ago, he has. Some of the times I just really want to nest in peace without someone messing up what I've cleaned and without crying because I'm arranging the toys in order to clean the sand off the floors. But I feel so bad for feeling this way. I've been reading Nursing in Tandem and I think it's a pretty normal thing to go through. Plus, it seems like lots of other pregnant women here on MDC can relate to me. So I'm feeling bad about it, chalking it up to the hormones, and hoping DS and I will start spending as much quality time together again soon as we used to.

Michelle Leigh, would you be willing to share the recipe for the drink with me?

And a question for anyone here, what exactly is a midwife or OB feeling and saying with effacement. I did see a doctor recently, but I did not let him do an internal. I let DH check me once a month or so ago because of my cervix was out of reach at the time. But I can reach it now, so I'm the only one who will be checking it from here on out. It's soft but the last time I checked it, not open at all. The last two mornings, I've had quite a bit of cramping around my cervix and am thinking I'm going to check it again soon. On the pregnancy month group I'm a part of, people have been having internals and saying their effacement and dialation as of this point. What do they mean when they say they are 70% effaced?

Take care all - Tiff
post #173 of 185
Wow a baby boom Congratulations mamas!!! Now I have to start posting here when I'm not so darn sleepy hope to come back soon and participate.
post #174 of 185
Thanks everyone. I am so glad I am not the only moody brooder in the house!

I sent the kids to go camping with my mother today. I will be bummed if they miss the birth, but I thought they deserved some fun right now.

And I don't know what would make me feel safer in this house. I think nothing--it's just not my home, in my heart. All my kids have been born in the same house--this is the first in a different place. Maybe I'm getting old and set in my ways!

Thank you again.
SHannon
post #175 of 185
Thread Starter 
Turboclaudia wrote: "I'm a curious person, and I suspect that even if I were to choose an unassisted birth, I would be feeling my own cervix throughout laboring."

A lot of UCers do. I don't. I declined cervical checks in my second midwife-attended birth because the first time around it was extremely discouraging for me to hear that I was, say, only 4 cm. dilated when I had been working so hard for so long. Later I came to understand that dilation is not a good indicator of how close one is to birth, or whether one is ready to push, so then it just became irrelevant.

"Then during pushing, having one of the midwives put her fingers in my vagina and press down towards my perineum felt physically good. They didn't do this every push, just sometimes. It reminded me of how I orgasmed during sex in my pregnancy..."

If it works for you, it works for you. I know that for me it feels viscerally wrong and unpleasant to have someone's fingers (other than my own) anywhere in or on my genitals if they are not someone I am sexually aroused by. I do consider birth a sexual process, but the only person I feel comfortable having involved in a sexual process with me is my husband.

Malama wrote: "Many women do not "mind" fingers in the yoni, and many are helped by having that pressure in there (maybe to help direct pushing efforts)."

But in an instinctive process, it doesn't make sense that someone should need to be helped to push correctly, unless that instinctive process has somehow been suppressed. One way that could happen is that the woman has been conditioned to be out of touch with her body. Probably pretty common. Another way is if she is so distracted by the attendant's ministrations that she cannot hear what her body is telling her. Another way is that the attendant is telling her to push before her body is actually ready for it, and if her body isn't ready, it's not going to be giving her cues as to what to do, and she's going to assume she can't do it without direction.

"Many hate it, and in my experience most mw will stop doing something if the mom doesn't like it."

But if the mother says nothing, does that mean that she likes it? No. It may be that she is assuming that it is necessary or helpful. It may be that she can't find her voice to say "stop". It may be that she has been kept from accessing her instincts, and so doesn't know what she needs.

"I attended a birth yesterday where the mom was having trouble figuring out how to push."

But why? It's usually assumed when this happens that it means that the problem is originating within the mother: that she has issues with birth, or just out of touch with her body, or whatever. It never seems to occur to birth attendants that it's very possible that it is the environment that is the problem, unless it's a homebirth advocate looking at a hospital birth. But it's really the same issue. Compare it with sexual arousal. If your sexual process was managed and observed, how would your body behave differently if managed and/or observed by professionals, as opposed to not?
post #176 of 185
Thread Starter 
Madrone wrote: "And a question for anyone here, what exactly is a midwife or OB feeling and saying with effacement."

The cervix changes in two directions as birth nears: it thins in depth, from front to back (effacement) until there is basically no depth, and it expands in diameter radially, like the iris of the eye when it's focusing (dilation.)
post #177 of 185
Hi all. I had a couple of questions. I am 7 days pp and was feeling great perineum wise (I did tear, and have pretty bad hemrhoids : ). Then we went out both days this weekend, and my perineum is killing me, and the bleeding has increased a little too. It seems like the tear might have opened up again. And to make things even better, our neighbor's dog killed our cat this morning! Dh has had that cat for 13 years! He was the coolest kitty ever. So I have been doing more today than usual, to take it off dh a little. Does anyone have any suggestions for my poor sore perineum? Thanks!

Oshun: when I was really grumpy, I found a dropper of Motherwort tincture in water calmed me in like 15-20 minutes! I loved it. I have been using it post partumly as well. Helps ease afterpains.
post #178 of 185
Comfrey is great for PP healing.You can make a compress out of the leaves, and put it in your underwear, or whatever works for you.

Hemorhoids, I got those after this birth. What a pain in the ass (hahaha) They went away after I took it more easily, and put my feet up as often as I could. I also did lots of Kegels. They (roids) were gone in about 2 days. I called them roids, made me laugh.
post #179 of 185
Chandar, I'm so sorry about your cat. I have 3 big dogs who only dislike 2 things in this world: cats and squirrels. I have to use both hands to count how many have been killed. Our neighbors have cats and when they got them I begged them to keep the cats inside for their safety... I was as clear as possible about the likelihood that one will be killed by my dogs someday. Cats wander, and they don't understand what danger they court by coming into our backyard!

The neighbors said sure, they'd keep them in, but they do not. It hasn't happened yet, but I see the cats in our yard often. I don't let the dogs out when I know a cat is there, obviously, but someday an accident will happen. Judging by my neighbors' careless attitude, I think I will be sadder about it than they will. I hate, hate, hate to see this happen to an innocent animal. I'm so sorry.
post #180 of 185
Thread Starter 
Chandar, that's awful about your cat. There are leash laws around here, but we live rurally so people ignore them. I love cats, but I don't know what we're going to do if we ever get one, because I think it's cruel to keep a cat indoors when they so desperately want to get out.

Claudia also wrote, and I forgot to answer: "I guess I'm also confused about what many of you think of as "hands-on" midwives and caregivers. What makes someone hands-on and intrusive to you?"

I call my first midwife "hands-on". Here are some of the things she did (and does routinely):

timed contractions
dilation checks (4 times in three hours)
castor oil to augment labor
dictated position and what my response to contractions should be
perineal massage
told me when and how to push
moved anterior lip
caught baby
insisted that I push the placenta out 20 minutes after the birth

My problem with all of this was that, first, it was distracting, inhibiting, even distressing, and therefore interfered with the normal process, and unnecessary (I was led to believe that I needed it to submit to it in order to have a normal, safe birth); and second, when my instincts would once in a while manage to assert themselves from beneath all that crap, she still pushed what she believed I should do, which was always different from what I wanted to do. For example, the sounds I was making were "wrong" and she was very insistent that I make them the "right" way.

My second midwife I call "hands-off" -- I don't know how she practices generally, but she allowed me to tailor her services completely to my needs and wants. She ended up basically sitting in a corner, observing. She did not touch me throughout labor, except to help me put my hair in a pony-tail. She said maybe 15 words the entire time, telling me that the baby was coming down and then suggesting that my husband help me into a squat. Her presence was distracting, but it was comforting to me at the time to have somewhere there who could deal with complications. I didn't want or need her to tell me how to give birth, or to help me do it, however, and she respected that. The first midwife, on the other hand, would have felt compelled to monitor the birth and correct and guide me when I was doing things that she had been taught were counter-productive to normal birth.
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