My friend was traumatized by her last birth, so she really wanted that epidural. Everytime they came near her to check her cervix she started to wimper and tremble, if that gives you any idea. With her last baby she had severe hypertention and her kidneys were failing so they induced labor. She wanted to go natural and tried to with pitocin but ended up passing out because of the pain and baby was delivered about the time she came to 20 minutes later.
<<Did she fall prey to the 'system' with the slow start ? >>
I wouldn't say that. She wanted to get things going and just get the birth over with. That's how scared she was. They started pitocin at around 2 PM after her epidural was in place, which is what she wanted. They turned it off again around 5 PM because her body was taking over the labor on its own.
<<Did she get the epidural as she wanted and was she able to squat with an epidural? >>
She didn't want to squat. SHe just wanted to hide under her covers until the baby came. Poor thing. They rotated her from side to side every hour. On one side the baby's heart rate kept crashing, and at one point stayed down at 40 bpm for 5 minutes. They tilted her bed back so her head was lower than her feet to take pressure off the cord. Baby was happiest on one side so they left her there for most of the labor after the emergency. When baby was born the cord was very tight around her neck, so that's what was probably causing her heart to crash.
When baby was born her dh and I held her feet, and she held some handles to pull herself forward, so she was pretty much squatting on her back. It took only about 20 min. of pushing to get the baby born.
<<How was the staff to you?>>
The nurses were all getting excited about a c-section when the baby crashed, and talking about it in front of my friend which terrifed her evey further, but the doctor was very cool and calm. He's the same one who delivered my dd and I was very happy with him. He remained calm and baby was just fine.
When dd was born he followed my birth plan and massaged me down there to prevent tearing. Worked great until my dd's heart almost stopped, so he had to cut me and get her out fast. With both births he waited until the cord stopped pulsing to cut it.
One interesting thing-- baby didn't cry at first and didn't appear to be breathing while it was attached to the cord. As soon as he clamped it baby started to scream as if she felt it! It was so incredible! I'd always pooh-poohed the idea of the baby feeling the cord but now I'm not sure.
<<was her perception the same as yours? I am always amazed as a doula at women's perceptions of what happened vs what really happened.>>
I haven't talked at length with her about it yet (letting her get some private bonding time with baby and leaving her alone for a few days), but she feels very positive about the birth experience. This is great from someone who was so terrified of it after her last birth experience. I strongly believe that having a good support person there made all the difference for her.
I also was her advocate and reminded the staff what she wanted, and I think that eased her mind too, that her wishes would be respected.