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#31 of 57 Old 06-30-2011, 07:21 PM
 
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That is is true. I was crying from happiness and joy for an hour (-:
 

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  There is NOTHING like birth.  It is beyond amazing and it makes me tear up just thinking about it.  happytears.gif
 

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#32 of 57 Old 07-01-2011, 05:20 AM
 
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I was not anxious. I was prepared. ....If I did not have an epidural and rests, I would have ended up in c-section because one the pain makes one hallucinate, one can't progress or push.

 

I can tell you were prepared and I commend you for accepting intervention when it was needed.  That's remaining flexible.  It is absolutely better to have more minor interventions to prevent more major ones.  Of course!   And of course the ultimate goal here is a healthy baby and mother.  BUT as you said yourself not everyone is the same.  I just disagree with how you have presented some of your experience b/c I can see first time moms easily being scared by it.  It's not the details you've shared- everyone has the right to share their truth, it's the tone.  And perhaps there is a difficulty here online conveying your true emotion.  But what has come through to me is a jaded feeling about unmedicated birth.  The OP would like to try to go unmedicated and I would like to support her in that endeavor.  I imagine that she has been well prepped for the worst of birth already.  She has come here to learn the other side and how to best prepare.  That's it.  OP good luck with your preparations; I wish you the best experience!
 

 

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#33 of 57 Old 07-01-2011, 08:18 AM
 
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I'm going through this for the first time and I'm due in five weeks. I think it's so important that you ladies have provided the support that going unmedicated is possible, and what our bodies are built for, and that the pain of childbirth is most likely going to be constructive pain. Hospitals and society send us the opposite message so often, and my childbirth classes at the hospital definitely freaked me out for a while until I sought out a more empowering class.

However, I just want to support Alenushka's experience, too, that it's important to stay open to intervention if there is a risk to mama or baby, including if mama has reached exhaustion/labor has stalled. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to express this right, but my hubby's and my journey leading up to this point has taught us this lesson, I guess. It took us 2 1/2 years, medical intervention, and three losses to get to this point, and I still have to tune out the fear and channel positive, loving thoughts to our baby daily that she HAS to be healthy and strong because we just love her so much! I guess this journey has taught us that you cannot plan your journey, and sometimes you find yourself walking down a path you never in your dreams imagined you would be on. It has left me hoping and aspiring toward a natural birth, surrounding myself with people who will help me with this goal, but surely not planning that this is the only way I can imagine doing it.

What is important to us is to have a healthy baby and healthy mommy through this journey, and if our girl has to come out by c-section to be healthy then that's ok. That being said, I know that interventions can cause complications, and an epidural frankly scares me, and I want to send my body and my baby the message that we can do this. My hubby is sending me this message too, and he is learning ways to comfort me during labor, including massage, counterpressure, the birthing ball we already bought, and a water tub provided by the hospital. We plan to tell the staff that if there's no danger to baby or mommy, and the labor is progressing, to not offer us medication. It REALLY helps to know that when the pain is most intense we may be almost through it (in transition). I guess I just don't want to hide from the possibility that we might need interventions to get our baby out safely, so that I don't end up feeling disappointed in myself if it happens, as Alenushka did. I think that she was trying to protect us first-timers from that hurt is all. Does that make sense? So thank you for ALL of your responses, because hearing a balanced message definitely helps prepare.
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#34 of 57 Old 07-01-2011, 08:29 AM
 
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I was very focused on pain management as I prepared to give birth. I was able to find a lot of resources to help me understand what the pain might be like and how to cope with it. Much of that information was helpful to me, even though my birth did not ultimately play out the way I had hoped & expected.

 

What I wasn't prepared for was the fatigue. I really think fatigue, not pain, is the thing that set me up for interventions. I wish there were more resources and more information about how to anticipate & deal with a long labor and the resulting fatigue. Pain gets discussed so much, but maternal fatigue seems to be a frequent factor in birth complications (that's my very unscientific opinion, just based on my own experience plus reading a lot of stories here on MDC). As I felt my body getting more and more tired during my long labor, I felt less & less able to understand what was going on and how to get things back on track. It's one of my recurring frustrations that I still don't really understand why my labor took so long and was so fatiguing or what I should have done differently to make it better.

 

If anyone knows of any resources that would help a first-time mom understand fatigue and how to deal with it during labor, it would be great to see those resources. It's too late to help me, but I'd love to see others benefit from that information.


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#35 of 57 Old 07-01-2011, 02:00 PM
 
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Pain and fatigue are a part of vicious circle.  And there is component of mental confusing. Body can only take to much. Pains make you tired, fatigue makes pain feel stronger.

 

I had an easier time with my second child and I  think for a few reasons.

 

I took a lot of time off before due date. With the first one I worked until the day before birth (and he was late).

 

I stopped doing all sort of housework before due date with my second child. I totally suppressed the nesting urge . My water broke as I was washing the floor on my knees with my first child.

 

While I was at home, before I went to the hospital. I ate a lot of good food and kept myself very well hydrated but with my first child I was too excited to eat.

 

If I could give myself an advice a la Back to the Future, I would say "Take 1-2 weeks off before you due date, and for God's sake, do not wash the floors and scrub the kitchen. Nap a lot"

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#36 of 57 Old 07-01-2011, 02:06 PM
 
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I am sorry if i came across jaded. I guess my experience  made me more  of  a realist than optimist.  I guess my main point is that yes, plan hope etc, but for not beat yourself up if thing do not go as planned.

 

 

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I can tell you were prepared and I commend you for accepting intervention when it was needed.  That's remaining flexible.  It is absolutely better to have more minor interventions to prevent more major ones.  Of course!   And of course the ultimate goal here is a healthy baby and mother.  BUT as you said yourself not everyone is the same.  I just disagree with how you have presented some of your experience b/c I can see first time moms easily being scared by it.  It's not the details you've shared- everyone has the right to share their truth, it's the tone.  And perhaps there is a difficulty here online conveying your true emotion.  But what has come through to me is a jaded feeling about unmedicated birth.  The OP would like to try to go unmedicated and I would like to support her in that endeavor.  I imagine that she has been well prepped for the worst of birth already.  She has come here to learn the other side and how to best prepare.  That's it.  OP good luck with your preparations; I wish you the best experience!
 

 



 

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#37 of 57 Old 07-01-2011, 02:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

Pain and fatigue are a part of vicious circle.  And there is component of mental confusing. Body can only take to much. Pains make you tired, fatigue makes pain feel stronger.

 

I had an easier time with my second child and I  think for a few reasons.

 

I took a lot of time off before due date. With the first one I worked until the day before birth (and he was late).

 

I stopped doing all sort of housework before due date with my second child. I totally suppressed the nesting urge . My water broke as I was washing the floor on my knees with my first child.

 

While I was at home, before I went to the hospital. I ate a lot of good food and kept myself very well hydrated but with my first child I was too excited to eat.

 

If I could give myself an advice a la Back to the Future, I would say "Take 1-2 weeks off before you due date, and for God's sake, do not wash the floors and scrub the kitchen. Nap a lot"


ROTFLMAO.gif That's the good advice I needed, too! I was at the hardware store shopping for door when my water broke, and that was after a full day at work! I can't tell you how many times I've wished that I had just stayed home and taken a nap that night...

 

 


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#38 of 57 Old 07-03-2011, 06:55 AM
 
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What I wasn't prepared for was the fatigue. I really think fatigue, not pain, is the thing that set me up for interventions. I wish there were more resources and more information about how to anticipate & deal with a long labor and the resulting fatigue.

An excellent point for sure!  As Alenushka noted, fatigue makes everything feel worse.  It can cause you to feel hopeless and your body can give up physically and mentally.  As she also noted, it's quite easy to get carried away and overly excited with your first.  That first contraction hits and you think "This is it!!" and you start to rush around making arrangements, timing contractions, forgetting to take care of yourself.  My midwife had a saying: if labor starts at night, take a beer and a benadryl.  Seriously.  The idea here is to RELAX.  To rest as much as possible.  So if labor begins at night, try your best to sleep.  If it starts in the morning or during the day, try your best to "be normal," eating and drinking as you usually would, doing ordinary activities, and resting in between.  Relax through the contractions and let them do their work.  And it cannot be said enough, EAT and DRINK.  You may find that comfort foods work best and that you are only wanting those foods that worked for you while you had morning sickness, so be prepared for that.  It can also help to drink fortified drinks like Emergen-C or laborade concoctions.  And have honey sticks on hand for quick energy boosts as labor progresses.

 

If your water breaks first (only 10% or so of women have this happen contrary to what you see in movies and on TV!), there are some extra things to take into consideration.  Definitely read up on what you can and cannot do once your water breaks.  And also DO NOT rush off to the hospital.  As soon as you notify your care provider that your water has broken you will be on a 24 hour clock.  There are many resources you can read about the risks and benefits of giving your body the time to start labor on its own instead of being induced and/or augmented simply b/c your water broke.   Also note that often the contractions are immediately more intense when your water breaks.   Try not not feel disheartened that the pain is so intense right away, thinking that you're not strong enough and cannot possibly make it all the way.  It's more intense b/c your water has broken and this will likely make labor proceed faster IF you feel safe and can stay relaxed.  I know your experience was different, Alenushka, and it is important to note that what I'm saying is a generalization, meant to be taken as such, and is no way meant to trivialize what you experienced.  love.gif

 

Whether you're early in labor or your water has just broken, rushing to the hospital can easily stall or slow labor especially when the pain is more intense b/c the environment is often not conducive to the laboring woman entering that place where the pain killing endorphins can flow.  In addition many hospitals have protocols that can make everything worse like IV's and continuous fetal monitoring that limit mobility and a requirement that you cannot eat.  Labor is like running a marathon!  You need nourishment.  So staying at home as long as possible, relaxing, and eating and drinking will all help combat fatigue and allow your labor to progress faster.

 

All this being said, if you do reach a point where your body is simply too fatigued to progress, it is important to know that accepting an IV to replace your fluids and electrolytes could make all the difference and allow you to continue.  If that is not sufficient, accepting an epidural could allow you to sleep, regain your strength and allow you to still have a vaginal birth without assistance.  Remaining flexible to these more minor interventions could prevent the more major interventions like vacuum/forceps extraction or or course, c-section.  It is important that you discuss these "what ifs" with your partner and/or doula so that IF the time comes they know what your wishes are and can advocate for you instead of having you whisked off to surgery when you're too tired to protest.

 

My first labor was 20 hours- I'd say that is moderately long- and I really did love almost every minute of it.  As I mentioned in previous posts, transition was challenging for me as were portions of the pushing stage.  But the 15 hours that I labor at home were truly lovely.   I was excited, certainly, but I made sure to eat my normal meals and drink plenty of liquids.  I also did just some light work around the house like laundry and fixing up the guest room for my sister.  With each contraction I would pause and relax.  And as the contractions got closer together and more intense, I moved to the couch where I watched my favorite TV show on DVD (Friends) and practiced my hypnosis techniques.  We called the midwife at one point and my voice was too level to be far enough along so we waited a few more hours to go in.  When I finally had difficulty holding a phone conversation, the midwife told us to come in and I was 8cm.  It was great.  But even the welcoming environment of the birth center with its fluffy bed and dim lights managed to slow down my progress from there- it wasn't home.   So I cannot reiterate enough, labor at home as much as possible!!
 

 


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#39 of 57 Old 07-04-2011, 01:32 AM
 
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I tend to think of myself as sort of a wimp, pain-wise. I can put up with pain, but I'm not one of these people who doesn't feel it, and I kind of moan and whine my way through it. So I always wanted a natural birth but kind of worried that I'd end up not able to handle the level of pain. Last week I did manage to birth my first baby without any pain meds or any interventions. I found it really helpful to take a Bradley class with my husband, so that we both had knowledge of the different stages I was going through, and to have his physical and moral support, to be able to try different positions to find out what worked best for me, and to have a care provider who was really supportive of my natural birth attempt as well. Tolerating labor pain is sort of different than tolerating other kinds of pain, imo--you know that the pain is happening for a purpose (as opposed to many kinds of pain which signal something is wrong and must be fixed), and you can try to have an environment where you can just try your best to relax into the pain and let it fulfil that purpose.

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#40 of 57 Old 07-04-2011, 03:33 AM
 
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WRT to fatigue: it's often related to dehydration. I couldn't bear to drink when I was in labour with DD, and ended up dehydrated and flagging. I got some IV fluids put in, and it made a huge difference - it still wasn't fun, but I felt much more with-it! With my next birth I made DH promise to bully me into drinking a glass of water every hour (I took a cal/mag supplement too). As it turned out, with that labour I wanted to drink - so I sipped water and grape juice continually. Much faster labour (for a variety of reasons, though).

 

Also, with my second baby, I had a good meal when I was in early labour - as opposed to DD's birth, where I hadn't eaten properly for ages before and during labour. And I was much better prepared, mentally, for the pain of contractions. With my first baby I thought I was prepared, because I'd planned a homebirth and had my birth pool and towels and herbs all ready to go - but it turned out I hadn't really given enough thought to labour itself, nd when I ended up birthing in the hospital, I had nothing to fall back on, KWIM? Just disappointment and anger about my situation. It wasn't pretty. So with my second labour my brain was chock-full of birth mantras and advice and techniques from a bunch of birth writers, and it really helped. (It wasn't spiritual or airy-fairy affirmations: more like "Relax your jaw" and "Shake the pain away".) I also did Hypnobabies, which worked... a bit.


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#41 of 57 Old 07-05-2011, 12:25 AM
 
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Congratulations on your pregnancy! :)

 

I planned for a nonmedicated birth and wrote on my birth plan not to do interventions without reason, and asked my dh and sister to keep reminding me my reasons for avoiding epidural. I became more determined after reading Ina May Gaskin's books.

 

I wasn't sure what to expect of labor (first baby) and in general my pain tolerance is not high. By the time I got to the hospital, contractions were 2-3 minutes apart, and very intense. About an hour before my baby was born, I told my dh that I wanted pain relief, because I can't go on like this for more hours. The midwife told me I was in early labor so I should get up and walk, use the ball, take a bath, etc, but I didn't want to do anything except curl up into a ball. I couldn't find a comfortable position and I tried all the ones I read about!

 

Anyway, my baby came out very quickly so there was no time to ask for anything. She was out in a second after crowning, and until her head crowned I had no idea she was coming out. I was trying to poop (sorry if TMI) and delivered her on the toilet bowl. I ended up with a hematoma, some stitches, and an injured tailbone. In that sense I'm glad I was in the hospital (homebirths are illegal in my country anyway). All that was nothing compared to the contractions an hour before birth. In hindsight, I should have practiced more techniques in handling those.

 

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#42 of 57 Old 07-06-2011, 10:19 PM
 
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Jandmbaby,

 

I'm pregnant with my first and I'm also a birth and postpartum doula.

 

First I want to address your fear issues.  I think it's only natural to feel some fear, because it's something you've never experienced before, which makes everything scarier, it's quite lonely feeling, and by that I mean, birth is something only you can do.  Yes, that has the potential to be incredibly empowering, but it's scary.  There aren't that many things in life that truly no one else can help with.  And of course we live in a culture where most of our exposure to birth is very sensationalized in a scary way.  

 

I've been very fortunate that I was able to see my half siblings (different mom) born at home and I got to see what a healthy, respected, unmedicated birth process was like. I too was born at home, but my mom had an 82 hour labor and placenta accreta (uterus was too deeply attached into the uterus), and didn't go to the hospital because home birth was illegal.  So I grew up hearing about birth really negatively from my own mom (she's very supportive of my home birth plan).  I was terrified of giving birth, but at the same time I had tremendous respect for birth and knew I wanted to birth at home.  When I began studying to be a doula 5 years ago I was still quite scared of going through it myself.  Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, really changed that.  I highly recommend her books.  They are extremely informative, and the one I mentioned is also full of first hand accounts of birth stories from women who, for the most part, had really positive labors.  Reading lots of stories about how women enjoyed the process, even with the intense sensations, or what some described as intense pain, really affected that fearful internal voice, kinda shut it up, if you will.  

 

Next let's address birthing location because that will lead to the topic of interventions and pain relief techniques.

In a hospital you are more likely to have to spend energy defending your right to informed denial of routine interventions.  It's possible you may get nurses that take offense to your preferences and if they have a negative attitude that can really affect your birth.  Some hospitals have great staff, and very supportive nurses though.  If you would like to birth at a hospital, it's important to shop around.

Birth Centers allow some women to feel more comfortable and that improves birth outcomes and in that regard they can be very beneficial.  However, I don't see any benefits they have over homebirth, personally, and the midwives I've talked to have agreed.  They are mostly great if you'd like a homebirth but can't do it, like you share a house, or you are homeless........For me the BIG downside to birth centers is that you still have to travel when you are pretty deeply into labor, which I'm not is quite terrible, and you also have to leave the birth center within a couple of hours.  They are not staffed with nurses for round the clock care like a hospital, so you have to pack up and leave right after birth.  And potentially if others are birthing there too you don't have the wonderful support of individual attention that you'd have from a midwife at home.  And like a hospital, there is a subtle power imbalance.  It may be that no one will pressure you to do anything, but our comfort zones, our homes, are places of power for us, they allow us to more comfortably claim or needs and desires. This is one of the reasons that for many women birth goes more smoothly and with less pain at home.  Many women find their labor slows when they enter a hospital or birth center.  In fact, though virtually unreported, women's cervix can and do close back down when they are stressed.  How frustrating to have your labor regress upon entering a hospital!  That said, for some women being in the hospital makes them feel safe and relaxes them and they have no problems entering the hospital, and may in fact open faster once there.  

 

Chemical pain relief:

Epidurals and narcotics can be of tremendous benefit.  And...everything that I've learned about them has indicated to me that using them prophylactically carries more risk than benefit.  We know that those drugs cross the placenta and have both a short and long term effect on infant behavior.  By this I mean they seem to have more trouble acclimating to their enviroments, nursing, and engaging.  (I am not suggesting that mothers and babies can't bond or that these babies aren't healthy and developmentally sound.)  It seems strange to me to avoid all drugs and medications in pregnancy, only to take high doses in labor without them being really needed.  And I think it's important for every pregnant women to read thoroughly all of the risks and possible side effects associated with any pain drugs.  The more mild ones are severe itching, or incomplete numbing, which is difficult to cope with because none of the natural pain techniques will work once the women is totally imobilized, and slowing of labor.  The more severe ones can be permanent or fatal, like back pain, spinal headaches and allergic reactions.  

Epidurals very frequently slow labors down, which means they will likely want to add a pitocin drip, which makes contractions really intense, so they need to up the epidural.  Not a good cycle.  Once you have an epidural you are more likely to have a cesarean, in part because they tend to lower babies heart rates, and more likely to have pitocin, which is also known to significantly up the chances of cesarean.  

But.........Epidurals have their place, and can be a tremendous gift.  They can, when a women is far too tired, or in far too much pain, prevent cesareans, as someone on here said about her labor.  And I do believe women experience things differently.  Sometimes it's mental, sometimes emotional, and sometimes physical.  (An example is that studies show red heads are more sensitive to pain and need high doses of pain relief).  I believe dealing with ones anxieties and fears surrounding birth and learning pain management techniques make a big difference, but sometimes other things are necessary.  Many women have told me that they embraced the birth goddess wholistic perspective, ended up having a different experience than they envisioned and ended up feeling isolated and angry at the community they had wanted to be a part of.  They felt lied to that nobody said "even if you try, natural birth/nursing/co-sleeping/etc may not work for you".  I have seen the most (as in the number of people) positive outcomes from homebirth with strong support people present.  But that doesn't mean that those ingredients will make for a great birth, and it doesn't mean it's not possible for a woman to have a really wonderful cesarean with no loved ones present.  

 

And I think it's REALLY important to find a care provider that you trust and that respects you and your decisions completely.  My midwife is really clear that ANY tests or intervention is completely my choice.  And she very thoroughly explains all the benefits and risks.  For example, she was clear that Rhogam is a choice.  She was the first to inform me that Rhogam can actually cause sensitization to the babies blood, and also the only one to mention to me that Rhogam is made from prisoners blood.  What I like so much about her always phrasing everything as an option is that it puts all the responsibility square on my shoulders.  It requires me to be pro-active in my care and I think that is an important aspect of birthing a child.  

 

My recommendations as a doula are to get really well informed, surround yourself with positive birthing imagines/words/people, work through unresolved fears, don't shove surfacing emotions deep inside and be pro-active in your care.  If you don't have the birth you worked for, don't blame yourself, surround yourself with supportive people, and people who can relate from experience, and enjoy your baby either way!

 

Didn't mean for that to be so lengthy, but it's hard to be brief when discussing birth.

 

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

 


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#43 of 57 Old 07-09-2011, 10:42 PM
 
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Would you show me a link that says that Rhogam is made from prisoner's blood now, in 2011?

 

Because, I find this

 

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-02-08-blood-rhogam_N.htm

 

I do find the AK prison scandal connected to hemophiliacs, but I also know that blood donation rules have changes since because of lawsuits.

 

My female friend can;t donate her blood at all because years ago she was in some malaria region.  So, it is bit hard for me to imagine a blood collection done now, in 2011, from such high risk population. IF it is, in fact goes on, I would like to start a writing protest campain to CDC

 

 

 

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Jandmbaby,

 

I'm pregnant with my first and I'm also a birth and postpartum doula.

 

First I want to address your fear issues.  I think it's only natural to feel some fear, because it's something you've never experienced before, which makes everything scarier, it's quite lonely feeling, and by that I mean, birth is something only you can do.  Yes, that has the potential to be incredibly empowering, but it's scary.  There aren't that many things in life that truly no one else can help with.  And of course we live in a culture where most of our exposure to birth is very sensationalized in a scary way.  

 

I've been very fortunate that I was able to see my half siblings (different mom) born at home and I got to see what a healthy, respected, unmedicated birth process was like. I too was born at home, but my mom had an 82 hour labor and placenta accreta (uterus was too deeply attached into the uterus), and didn't go to the hospital because home birth was illegal.  So I grew up hearing about birth really negatively from my own mom (she's very supportive of my home birth plan).  I was terrified of giving birth, but at the same time I had tremendous respect for birth and knew I wanted to birth at home.  When I began studying to be a doula 5 years ago I was still quite scared of going through it myself.  Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, really changed that.  I highly recommend her books.  They are extremely informative, and the one I mentioned is also full of first hand accounts of birth stories from women who, for the most part, had really positive labors.  Reading lots of stories about how women enjoyed the process, even with the intense sensations, or what some described as intense pain, really affected that fearful internal voice, kinda shut it up, if you will.  

 

Next let's address birthing location because that will lead to the topic of interventions and pain relief techniques.

In a hospital you are more likely to have to spend energy defending your right to informed denial of routine interventions.  It's possible you may get nurses that take offense to your preferences and if they have a negative attitude that can really affect your birth.  Some hospitals have great staff, and very supportive nurses though.  If you would like to birth at a hospital, it's important to shop around.

Birth Centers allow some women to feel more comfortable and that improves birth outcomes and in that regard they can be very beneficial.  However, I don't see any benefits they have over homebirth, personally, and the midwives I've talked to have agreed.  They are mostly great if you'd like a homebirth but can't do it, like you share a house, or you are homeless........For me the BIG downside to birth centers is that you still have to travel when you are pretty deeply into labor, which I'm not is quite terrible, and you also have to leave the birth center within a couple of hours.  They are not staffed with nurses for round the clock care like a hospital, so you have to pack up and leave right after birth.  And potentially if others are birthing there too you don't have the wonderful support of individual attention that you'd have from a midwife at home.  And like a hospital, there is a subtle power imbalance.  It may be that no one will pressure you to do anything, but our comfort zones, our homes, are places of power for us, they allow us to more comfortably claim or needs and desires. This is one of the reasons that for many women birth goes more smoothly and with less pain at home.  Many women find their labor slows when they enter a hospital or birth center.  In fact, though virtually unreported, women's cervix can and do close back down when they are stressed.  How frustrating to have your labor regress upon entering a hospital!  That said, for some women being in the hospital makes them feel safe and relaxes them and they have no problems entering the hospital, and may in fact open faster once there.  

 

Chemical pain relief:

Epidurals and narcotics can be of tremendous benefit.  And...everything that I've learned about them has indicated to me that using them prophylactically carries more risk than benefit.  We know that those drugs cross the placenta and have both a short and long term effect on infant behavior.  By this I mean they seem to have more trouble acclimating to their enviroments, nursing, and engaging.  (I am not suggesting that mothers and babies can't bond or that these babies aren't healthy and developmentally sound.)  It seems strange to me to avoid all drugs and medications in pregnancy, only to take high doses in labor without them being really needed.  And I think it's important for every pregnant women to read thoroughly all of the risks and possible side effects associated with any pain drugs.  The more mild ones are severe itching, or incomplete numbing, which is difficult to cope with because none of the natural pain techniques will work once the women is totally imobilized, and slowing of labor.  The more severe ones can be permanent or fatal, like back pain, spinal headaches and allergic reactions.  

Epidurals very frequently slow labors down, which means they will likely want to add a pitocin drip, which makes contractions really intense, so they need to up the epidural.  Not a good cycle.  Once you have an epidural you are more likely to have a cesarean, in part because they tend to lower babies heart rates, and more likely to have pitocin, which is also known to significantly up the chances of cesarean.  

But.........Epidurals have their place, and can be a tremendous gift.  They can, when a women is far too tired, or in far too much pain, prevent cesareans, as someone on here said about her labor.  And I do believe women experience things differently.  Sometimes it's mental, sometimes emotional, and sometimes physical.  (An example is that studies show red heads are more sensitive to pain and need high doses of pain relief).  I believe dealing with ones anxieties and fears surrounding birth and learning pain management techniques make a big difference, but sometimes other things are necessary.  Many women have told me that they embraced the birth goddess wholistic perspective, ended up having a different experience than they envisioned and ended up feeling isolated and angry at the community they had wanted to be a part of.  They felt lied to that nobody said "even if you try, natural birth/nursing/co-sleeping/etc may not work for you".  I have seen the most (as in the number of people) positive outcomes from homebirth with strong support people present.  But that doesn't mean that those ingredients will make for a great birth, and it doesn't mean it's not possible for a woman to have a really wonderful cesarean with no loved ones present.  

 

And I think it's REALLY important to find a care provider that you trust and that respects you and your decisions completely.  My midwife is really clear that ANY tests or intervention is completely my choice.  And she very thoroughly explains all the benefits and risks.  For example, she was clear that Rhogam is a choice.  She was the first to inform me that Rhogam can actually cause sensitization to the babies blood, and also the only one to mention to me that Rhogam is made from prisoners blood.  What I like so much about her always phrasing everything as an option is that it puts all the responsibility square on my shoulders.  It requires me to be pro-active in my care and I think that is an important aspect of birthing a child.  

 

My recommendations as a doula are to get really well informed, surround yourself with positive birthing imagines/words/people, work through unresolved fears, don't shove surfacing emotions deep inside and be pro-active in your care.  If you don't have the birth you worked for, don't blame yourself, surround yourself with supportive people, and people who can relate from experience, and enjoy your baby either way!

 

Didn't mean for that to be so lengthy, but it's hard to be brief when discussing birth.

 

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

 



 

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#44 of 57 Old 07-10-2011, 09:05 AM
 
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Both of my previous births were planned unmedicated and were relatively quick. My overall experience was not so much of pain- other than at the crowning which hurt like crazy but doesn't last long- but of a very intense and overwhelming kind of experience, one in which I went so deep inside that I was not experiencing my body in the usual way (I was actually passing out and hallucinating during contractions for my first, which I did not realize was fairly common until later, it freaked my mom out but the MW and nurse were like, "oh yeah that happens"). I was fortunate to have MWs attending my birth both times who were pretty hands off and let the process happen, but who were very well able to guide me as to good ways to labor that optimized fetal positioning- in the case of my first this was very important b/c we are all pretty sure he was either posterior or otherwise poorly positioned at the beginning of labor. My second was born very quickly despite an anterior placenta (she never did turn posterior though MW was worried she might) and a nuchal hand.

 

And... as an Rh- woman with an Rh+ partner (and two Rh+ children and one m/c, which was likely of an Rh+ fetus, since I have something like a 78% or higher chance of carrying an Rh+ baby), even my generally VERY anti-vax HBMW for my last pregnancy recommended routine rhogam for me. She did test my newborn's blood type before giving me the second rhogam injection, and my current midwives plan to do the same, but I will take the prophylactic injection by 28 weeks. Its a very small part of the population that has to even worry about this and I know its made from human plasma, but like Alenushka I would be very surprised if there was coerced blood collection from populations at high risk for serious blood-borne diseases (like HIV and Hepatitis). Now, its true that the hospital-based birth center just jabbed my butt with Rhogam after the birth, no concern over whether it was warranted (which it was). If I knew for sure that the biological father of my baby was Rh-, I would go ahead and refuse it, but given that I know for sure that he is not, I am glad to have this medication available to me and grateful to the people who donate their blood to make it possible. In fact, if I ever stop breastfeeding (okay, I know I will, but it feels like I have been pregnant and/or breastfeeding almost forever at this point! My eldest is almost 7) I will be sure to donate blood myself.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

Would you show me a link that says that Rhogam is made from prisoner's blood now, in 2011?

 

Because, I find this

 

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-02-08-blood-rhogam_N.htm

Alenushka likes this.

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#45 of 57 Old 07-10-2011, 12:38 PM
 
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I'll look around ladies.  As I said in my post, this is what my midwife has told me, not something I read.  I'll check online and ask her for her sources at my next appt.  I agree that there are strict standards for a lot of things blood related these days.  I can't give blood because I regularly get tattooed, for example.  But on the flip side, I don't really trust our government and I'm sure many of us can come up with examples of things our government has dropped the ball on.  Just look at all the poisons they let big corporations put into our environment.  So, I think you make good points, it's worth looking into, and at the same time I'm generally wary.


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#46 of 57 Old 07-10-2011, 02:51 PM
 
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I don't have time to read this whole thread, but I couldn't read your post without replying. Childbirth isn't always excruciating painful and sometimes it isn't painful at all. Yes it will be really painful for some women sometimes and there are valid medical reasons for this, but it isn't always and you'll probably have a nicer experience if you work through some of your fears during pregnancy. I'm not trying to preach/lecture, but there are so many birth horror stories out there and I wish that I had been exposed to more positive ones when I was pregnant with my first. If no one else has recommended them Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and the dvd Orgasmic Birth are both pretty nice. Here are my 2 birth stories if you're interested: 

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1273532/unmedicated-hospital-birth-10-2007

http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1273540/extremely-positive-natural-hospital-birth-long

 

Best of luck with your pregnancy/birth :) 

 

p.s. I have a tilted uterus too and it didn't effect my birth one bit. 


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#47 of 57 Old 07-10-2011, 03:28 PM
 
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I had extremely long labors. Not your normal long labors. I was prepared for natural homebirths and got medicated hospital births. I was ashamed and depressed about having the epidural. After number two, while I wished I had gone natural I was ok with having pain relief.

 

Your vagina opens SO MUCH during labor. Its not even imaginable to a woman who has never given birth or seen a birth.

 

To the OP, you can do it! It will be OK. I had epidurals and had no issues with them, but I feel that I used them as a tool when all other options had been exhausted and nothing was working. I used what was available to me and mostly due to exhaustion not pain. But natural birth is possible and happens ALL. THE. TIME. Educate yourself and prepare for all scenarios and most of all enjoy your birth. Enjoy every moment, when they are over you will long for those moments and feelings again. I promise.


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#48 of 57 Old 07-10-2011, 04:28 PM
 
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I think it is important to have source when you post something this scary. Well, one part of the goverment, EPA , is trying to stop the poisons. Write a letter to you local GOP office to stop attacking this agency that wants to protect our air and water.

 

It is true that goverment drops the ball on many things, but we live in the country where citizen's outrage changes things . And many rules regulating blood donation came from journalistic expose and citizen exposure. Before  Rhogam shots,  thousands of babies used to die. Yes, every treatment has risks and benefits but someone's informed consent should not  be based on the internet rumors about prisoner's blood.

 

When my child needed IVIG treatment that carries certain risks, his doctor showed me research with statistical data on IVIG safety  and we looked at my son's mortality  risks if he was not treated based on  studies over the years. Suddenly, IVIG did not so scary anymore.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by justgonnadoulait View Post

I'll look around ladies.  As I said in my post, this is what my midwife has told me, not something I read.  I'll check online and ask her for her sources at my next appt.  I agree that there are strict standards for a lot of things blood related these days.  I can't give blood because I regularly get tattooed, for example.  But on the flip side, I don't really trust our government and I'm sure many of us can come up with examples of things our government has dropped the ball on.  Just look at all the poisons they let big corporations put into our environment.  So, I think you make good points, it's worth looking into, and at the same time I'm generally wary.



 

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#49 of 57 Old 07-10-2011, 04:32 PM
 
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I think it is sad that women in our society now feel ashamed about pain control. Pain is pain.  Every body is different. I know people who have fillings done  without lidocaine. I do not. There other kind of pain I tolerate without med that people take pilsl for.   High pain tolerance is not what makes  someone a good mother or father or a good human being for that matter.

 

 

Originally Posted by NANandAUBIE View Post

I had extremely long labors. Not your normal long labors. I was prepared for natural homebirths and got medicated hospital births. I was ashamed and depressed about having the epidural. After number two, while I wished I had gone natural I was ok with having pain relief.

 

Your vagina opens SO MUCH during labor. Its not even imaginable to a woman who has never given birth or seen a birth.

 

To the OP, you can do it! It will be OK. I had epidurals and had no issues with them, but I feel that I used them as a tool when all other options had been exhausted and nothing was working. I used what was available to me and mostly due to exhaustion not pain. But natural birth is possible and happens ALL. THE. TIME. Educate yourself and prepare for all scenarios and most of all enjoy your birth. Enjoy every moment, when they are over you will long for those moments and feelings again. I promise.



 

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#50 of 57 Old 07-11-2011, 07:36 AM
 
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My sister had a homebirth and ended up with a hematoma (one that required surgery) and some major stitches..  She had a wonderful, nearly painless homebirth that was un-complicated by hospital procedures, then transferred to a hospital after the birth.  Being in a hospital for the birth wouldn't have changed her situation or out-come one bit.  She loved her homebirth and wouldn't have done it any other way, but was grateful that we have great medical care when it is really needed. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by azhie View Post

 

Anyway, my baby came out very quickly so there was no time to ask for anything. She was out in a second after crowning, and until her head crowned I had no idea she was coming out. I was trying to poop (sorry if TMI) and delivered her on the toilet bowl. I ended up with a hematoma, some stitches, and an injured tailbone. In that sense I'm glad I was in the hospital (homebirths are illegal in my country anyway). All that was nothing compared to the contractions an hour before birth. In hindsight, I should have practiced more techniques in handling those.

 



 


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#51 of 57 Old 07-11-2011, 05:00 PM
 
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Alenushka, I agree sources should be listed when listing something as fact.  I wasn't intending to be misleading, and I apologize to anyone on here who takes anything I say as absolute truth.  

I was sharing what my midwife said to me.  I hope that no matter what the topic is that people do not use an internet forum as their sole source of information.  I also hope that the information people get

on here prompts them to educate themselves further and not simply accept  what they are told by friends or medical professionals.  

And I don't think I ever attacked the EPA with any of my statements.  What I did say, and I stand by it, is that our government sometimes makes decisions that have risks or negative effects.  

We should not simply trust that their regulations will keep us safe.  It's up to us to critically consider the information set before us, and sometimes we have to do a little digging to find all the facts.

I have lots of positive things to say about our country and government as well.  AND I have good reason not to blindly trust people in power.  

 

And for the record, I'm not against Rhogam.  

 

 

 


Married to my favorite person (together since '01, married since '05), the hapa papa to my queeuty quapa DD, born 10/11.

We baby wear, co-sleep, cloth diaper, don't vax and intend to nurse for a good long time.  

I don't care what you do as long as it works for your family.

 

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#52 of 57 Old 07-12-2011, 09:15 AM
 
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I am sorry, I just used EPA as an example that once in a while some regulations are right.  But, I agree, goverment does many stupid thing!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by justgonnadoulait View Post

Alenushka, I agree sources should be listed when listing something as fact.  I wasn't intending to be misleading, and I apologize to anyone on here who takes anything I say as absolute truth.  

I was sharing what my midwife said to me.  I hope that no matter what the topic is that people do not use an internet forum as their sole source of information.  I also hope that the information people get

on here prompts them to educate themselves further and not simply accept  what they are told by friends or medical professionals.  

And I don't think I ever attacked the EPA with any of my statements.  What I did say, and I stand by it, is that our government sometimes makes decisions that have risks or negative effects.  

We should not simply trust that their regulations will keep us safe.  It's up to us to critically consider the information set before us, and sometimes we have to do a little digging to find all the facts.

I have lots of positive things to say about our country and government as well.  AND I have good reason not to blindly trust people in power.  

 

And for the record, I'm not against Rhogam.  

 

 

 



 

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#53 of 57 Old 07-12-2011, 10:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abraisme View Post

My sister had a homebirth and ended up with a hematoma (one that required surgery) and some major stitches..  She had a wonderful, nearly painless homebirth that was un-complicated by hospital procedures, then transferred to a hospital after the birth.  Being in a hospital for the birth wouldn't have changed her situation or out-come one bit.  She loved her homebirth and wouldn't have done it any other way, but was grateful that we have great medical care when it is really needed. 
 



 

 

My situation was very similar. I adored my comfortable, peaceful, intervention and med-free out-of-hospital labor and birth, and was glad to have a hospital nearby when I needed it several hours after the birth. Being in a hospital would have done nothing at all to prevent my post-birth complication, and I may actually have received quicker treatment because my midwife was still with me when I began to develop symptoms. She was able to get me to the hospital and treated in a matter of moments. I wouldn't change a thing! 

Happy memories of labor and birth and the "birth high" hormones sustained and encouraged me during my recovery.  I ended up healing well and a little more quickly than expected and wonder whether my natural birth may actually have helped a little--there is some interesting research linking elevated oxytocin levels to faster healing from injuries, incisions, etc.
 

 


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#54 of 57 Old 07-14-2011, 09:39 PM
 
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I highly recommend Ina Mays Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin.  Even if you choose epidural, etc, this book is SO informative, and will help you to relax just by the positive information that it gives you.  When I was preg with my first I *thought* I had read and researched everything and I knew everything I needed to know...... NOT EVEN CLOSE.  As soon as I got preg with my second, a friend recommended this book to me, and even though I thought I had no need to read it, she was so impressed with it that I decided to check it out at the library, and I am so glad I did.  I have learned SO much more than I knew before, and now DH is reading it too!  It is a must read for every pregnant woman, I am serious.

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#55 of 57 Old 07-20-2011, 02:05 PM
 
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I thought that this was a neat, informative article: http://houstonbirthdoula.com/blog/2010/05/the-holistic-stages-of-labor/

 

Also, before labor last time, I read the Bradley book (I didn't take the class) and it had a great breakdown of how each stage of labor would feel. I think that that was where I read that when you feel like you want pain relief, it probably means you're in transition and will be meeting your baby soon.

 

I second/third/etc the mamas that suggested reading positive birth stories and Ina May books, too, reading about others' experiences can be so enriching and helpful to those of us that live in a society where birth is not something we all see many times before experiencing it ourselves. It is only natural to be scared of something we have only heard horror stories about! And whatever you do, DON'T watch those birth programs on TV!!!

 


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#56 of 57 Old 07-21-2011, 10:14 AM
 
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I also did Hypnobirthing with my first and used NO meds.  It was taught through my hospital, and was critical in practicing the meditative and relaxation techniques.  I don't think the book alone would have quite done it.  

 

Since I have a midwife, she immediately put me in the tub when I got to the hospital, which was critical in alleviating my back pain.  As they don't allow water-births there, I headed back to my room when I was 8cm (and at that point had only been in labor 7 hours).  We played the hypnobirthing cd of affirmations and relaxing tunes, and were allowed to keep the lights dim during active labor/pushing part.  While I can't say it was an awesome experience, it really wasn't that bad.  Our bodies are built to handle childbirth, and with the right mindset, you can do it very peacefully.  

 

I think it's all about your mindset here.  If you go into it scared and anxious, you'll probably have a tense and difficult delivery.  If you are flexible in your expectations, confident in your ability, and supported (from Dr's, nurses, midwife, husband) then you ought to have a pleasant experience.  In the end, I think it's important to know your options and be empowered to choose in the moment what you want and need (for the delivery and entire hospital stay).  

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#57 of 57 Old 07-22-2011, 07:15 PM
 
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Thank you for that link L'lee


Married to my favorite person (together since '01, married since '05), the hapa papa to my queeuty quapa DD, born 10/11.

We baby wear, co-sleep, cloth diaper, don't vax and intend to nurse for a good long time.  

I don't care what you do as long as it works for your family.

 

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