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Preparing for Childbirth

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
With DD, I attended a Lamaze class held at the hospital. I didn't do much else. Thankfully, labor was pretty fast so I was OK, until transition time . . .then I could not regain control of my breathing, so I asked for something (not an epi) to take the edge off. (No one told me it was transition time-- I figured it out after it was all over.) Thankfully, I had a strong urge to push before I was injected with anything.

Everyone told me that I "wouldn't get a gold star" if I had a drug-free birth, but I am just SO happy that I did it. I want this baby to also have a drug-free birth, but I can't guarantee that my labor will be so easy this time around. I just don't know how to prepare . . .I'm not sure I want to subscribe to one "method" (like Bradley) . . .I don't know if I should take a class . . .

How are you preparing, if at all? Any book recommendations from anyone?
post #2 of 12
We took Bradley last time and thought it was ok. Not the end-all answer to everything-- too bad that's not available!

This time, my MW recommended we read Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth and not bother taking a class at all, since we've already had one vaginal birth. She says, and I hope she's right, that the best thing you can do with subsequent children is get out of the way mentally and let your body take over, since it will "remember" how to do everything. I've also read Birthing from Within, which was pretty good. Oh-- and a friend is loaning me hypnobirthing CDs, which I hope will help with that whole "getting out of the way" concept.

I have much different expectations with this birth than I did with the last. Then, I really wanted to be on top of the pain-- manage it well, be in control. Now I just want to ride it. I think there is no "control" in birth, and trying to attain that last time held me back more than anything. My last labor and delivery took about 24 hours, and I feel very confident that I can endure anything for 24 hours, if Iknow that's going to be the end of it. So that's my thinking now-- ride the wave, let my body hurt and work, know that at the end there will be a beautiful baby in my arms.
post #3 of 12
This is a good article on choosing a childbirth instructor/type of class if you decide to go that route:
http://www.parentsplace.com/expert/b...228828,00.html

A book I'd definitely pick up if you haven't read it:
Henci Goer's The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth

Other books to look at and see if they interest you:
Birthing from Within by Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation by Pam England
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin (GREAT READ!)
The Birth Book by Sears and Sears
Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon
and
The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin

I found that my local library had a few of these.
post #4 of 12
i asked about this a few weeks ago. this being our 2nd dh and i decided not to take any classes. i'm going to read a couple of books and we might hire a doula. our doctor says that sounds good to her.

with dd i was in labor 20 hours and asked for something to take the edge on after i let my mw break my waters. it was shortly after that i was pushing. that makes me more confident i can ride the whole thing out this time. also, dd was on my tailbone the whole time i labored. this time around i'm praying to be spared back labor! i'm sure it'll make a world of difference.
post #5 of 12
DH and I were talking about this over the weekend, and he thinks it would be helpful for him to see a video or something about what to expect during labor and delivery. You know, you see programs on TV from time to time but until its your turn you don't always pay attention to the details. Any recommendations? This is our first time...

We are debating the doula route, although we would probably have our good friend Sharon, who is a certified massage therapist, be there as labor support/doula, even though she is not trained as a doula. She has assisted with at least one birth, and I would be comfortable having her around since DH and I have both known her for 10+ years. And she has seen me naked many times! :LOL

I have "birthing from within" on order from Amazon, some of the other book suggestions look good, too. We will probably take the class offered by one of the midwives at my doctor's practice, and then decide if we want to take anything further.
post #6 of 12
DH and I are taking a hypnobirthing class in january. I've read Ina May's guide and plan to pick up birthing from within.


xoxoxoxoxo

Beth
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
As far as Ina May's book . . .is there practical info in there about some sort of pain management?

Stream, your point that there is no control in birth is interesting . . .I'd like to hear other thoughts on this!

For me, the problem was that when it got really bad, I just didn't know what to do. I knew I was supposed to breath differently, but that led to me hyperventilating. Maybe I should have just given into that? Until that point, the pain was bad, but I could focus through it. I didn't try to get rid of the pain, just ignore it (ha, ha) by walking around the room, using my focal point, listening to DH's countdown of the contractions (that helped so much), and showering (this time I'll have a TUB!). I didn't have massages and I didn't want to sit still long enough to use that ball thingy. I took advantage of every second in between contractions to rest. When it was transition time, I felt no break, so that was when I lost my ability to focus.

I wonder if people have different labor personalities and that's why different techniques work for different people? Or do you think it depends on the particular labor?

Speedknitter, I wish I had recommendations for you . . .I know my Lamaze class had some videos. I give your DH credit for WANTING to watch such a thing! It sounds like he'll make a great birthing partner!

Hypnobirthing people, please let me know what you think!
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizelenius

Speedknitter, I wish I had recommendations for you . . .I know my Lamaze class had some videos. I give your DH credit for WANTING to watch such a thing! It sounds like he'll make a great birthing partner!
Yes I think he is going to be great. He is fine with OPB (other people's blood) but is a wimp when it comes to his own!!! He actually asked if it would be possible to watch an actual birth but I told him that it was unlikely we could get anyone to agree to that! He loves the process of research and learning about something - an engineer, can you tell?
post #9 of 12
Quote:
For me, the problem was that when it got really bad, I just didn't know what to do.
Ditto, in hopes of doing better this time I'm going to hire a doula for my hospital birth to help me get over that hump. Pushing was just as painful as transition but also much better beacuse I felt that I could be an active participant in the situation.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by natashaccat
Ditto, in hopes of doing better this time I'm going to hire a doula for my hospital birth to help me get over that hump. Pushing was just as painful as transition but also much better beacuse I felt that I could be an active participant in the situation.
My doula did exactly that. When things got tough, hers was the reaffirming face that said I could do it. She keep reminding me how to breath and how to relax. If you go the hospital route, I highly suggest a doula to help keep you focused.
post #11 of 12
Speedknitter - I'm totally biased, LOL, but you may want to take a class, even a hospital class, just to help dh get more prepared. I am a Lamaze teacher & have been teaching for about 7 yrs. I think my classes are a lot of fun, and honestly, I know most of the fathers leave WAY more prepared then they were coming in, LOL. What you see on TV is often not reality. Even if you plan on having a home birth or a Bradley Birth, some sort of prep may be helpful for him, just so he knows what to expect & how to help you. I was a doula for 5 yrs before my dd & I teach my couples the techniques that I used as a doula so the partners/fathers are able to help the moms as best they can. It's more than just breathing (which I think IS helpful, and Elena, I do think how helpful depends on the labor, etc), it's positioning, various massage techniques, hip squeeze, counter pressure, hand squeeze, birth ball techniques, and what to expect emotionally, etc. (I think it's very hard for partners to see the person they love the most in that much pain and know there isn't much they can do (other than the techniques we've practiced, etc) to take the pain away. )

Just my humble opinion, LOL.

As for me, we took a prepared cb classes with dd. I did it for dh (obviously, LOL). I also wanted the massages & knew that was the only way I was getting them, LOL. This time, i'd love to do a refresher or a hypnobirthing class. I just want to do something to mark the arrival of this new person, yk. It will depend on dates, childcare & finances.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
It's more than just breathing (which I think IS helpful
ctdoula, ITA with this. The breathing is one of the ways I made it through labor . . .I think breathing (correctly) would've helped me during the transition phase, beause I'd remembered the Lamaze instructor talking about how it needed to change at this point. Unfortunately, I hadn't practiced enough on my own, and no one there was trained appropriately to help me.
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