Fear of another difficult labor - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 07-12-2005, 12:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Let me start off by saying, my next labor may be nothing like my last, and if it is, then problem solved...

As some of you know... I am immigrating to Canada, and not covered by OHIP so we are paying OOP for everything. I have to use an OBGYN and do a hospital birth due to medical issues which are mitral valve prolapse, hypothyroid with goiter, and a past history of severe preeclampsia.

My previous childbirth was over 24 hours... 16 of which was "hard labor" spent in the hospital. My waters were broke at 8cm... and I was given pitocin when labor was still not progressing. I HAD to have this done due to the dangers of my BP. My BP was 210/117 and I lost a lot of blood, so much in fact I was offered a blood transfusion after the labor (which I refused.)

I declined pain killers, I refused the epidural, and went the breathing methods and a doula route... but this time I am rethinking this entire approach. My fears are starting to kick in... and honestly... well, I don't feel I could handle another labor like the last.

I see these child birth shows of women talking or crying out, making noise, speaking, smiling, or able to sit in birthing pools, but my labor was so hard I could barely whimper. I was really out of it during the last half, I could barely move and I felt like a vegetable. I am not sure if this was due to the labor itself or the blood pressure.

Overall, the labor was obviously difficult, and so I am considering registering for an epidural. I am also thinking of maybe tryign a doula and going with a pain medication, but to be really honest, since we are paying thousands and thousands of medical costs as well as getting ready for baby costs, It's either the epidural or a doula (and a possible pain killer, although I read the pain killers are narcotics and can hurt the baby.)

I am not a wimp. Examples... I had a bi-lateral breast reduction where they removed glandular tissue, grafted my nipples back on, and I didn't take pain killers after the surgery. I broke my foot and continued to walk on the beach because I loved going to the beach so I have a high tolerance for pain, but I am only human and have my limits.

What I am poking at here is this. What are the pros and cons of an epidural? What effects do they have on the baby?
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#2 of 10 Old 07-12-2005, 01:30 AM
 
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I am sorry you are so scared of labour...it sounds like you had a really hard time. I don't know that you need to register for an epidural...they will give you one if you really need one. I would go the doula route and if you need an epidural then go for it. It's too bad you have to pay OOP for everything...$$$ shouldn't be a factor for you. I assume you are in Ontario (you said OHIP) too bad you don't qualify. Where are you located...I am in Ontario too...pm me if you don't want to reveal you exact location

Have you tried hypnobirthing...I just bought a cd online from a Dr. in Ottawa and it really helped...also you may have a really different experience this time. Don't be surprised...my second labour was just over 2 hours and my first was 12...

Do everything you can to get baby in optimum position, prepare yourself for labour as best you can and then be ready to change your plans if you need to. Your best bet is to deal with the fear...that will decrease your pain...the pain/fear cycle is the worse

...

Good Luck!
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#3 of 10 Old 07-12-2005, 01:45 AM
 
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wow, that is some labour story! I can understand your wanting to do the best thing for this time around. My second birth experience is a few weeks away, and I'm a bit worried about how things will go this time too, as the first was not exactly what I was hoping for, but still not at the level of your experience.

I am pro natural childbirth, and I also believe in prioritizing goals realistically; for example, an epidural is better than a c-section, in my mind. In my case, we had a wonderful douhla, but I still ended up using an epidural. To be honest, for a time I felt guilty for having a douhla AND an epidural!- but, because of a 9 lb 6oz posterior baby who wouldn't turn and a 16 hr labour on pitocin, I opted for the epidural so I'd have the energy to birth my baby.

I wish I had better advice or info. to offer. I guess I just want to say that sometimes our bodies do have limitations to do something that is normal and natural, and in that case, we should make the best choice we can and not feel like a failure. good luck and I wish you a good labour and delivery experience - and a healthy baby too.
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#4 of 10 Old 07-12-2005, 01:58 AM
 
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Oh my gosh. You are pretty tough. Did they allow you to move around or were you in the left-lying position only (with all the monitoring, etc)? Were you on mag sulfate + pitocin?

For pre-e specifically, the biggest reason I've heard is that the epidural does lower blood pressure (and the side effects that come with it - remember? splitting headaches, vision disturbances, etc). I know that it was the first time in over a month I quit having a headache and I didn't feel the mag sulfate any more; and in my case, I was completely on my back with needles and tubes all over me already. Ick. I also was lucky and had an excellent anesthesiologist. I held out for a long time but in the end I don't regret it, I just barely gave birth within the 24 hour window they had for me before a c-section (because of HELLP). The worst aspect for me was the catheter, which I previously had not had yet - that was really not cool and I can't imagine WANTING that during labor (if labor, etc is normal). I didn't like that at all.

Here's a good article by Penny Simkin on pros and cons of epidural. You can see where her sympathies lie. http://www.childbirthsolutions.com/a...ural/index.php

I think that it's probably not necessary for most good births with good support people and when you can move around and try other pain relief. I very much look forward to being able to move around this birth (fingers crossed) and having a support system in place.
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#5 of 10 Old 07-12-2005, 02:05 AM
 
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I think that one of the things that you can do is try to avoid pit at all costs. If it's medically indicated, then you may not have an option with an OB, but if you *can* avoid it, do so. Maybe if you do need to be induced, they would let you do some altenative stuff to get your labor going...

I've had a doula client who couldn't believe the difference between her induced labor and her spontaneous one.

For your BP, try taking a magnesium supplement. It can really help keep your BP within healthy limits. It also helps you feel relaxed and nice. I take one called NaturalCalm, but I don't know if they have it in Canada.
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#6 of 10 Old 07-12-2005, 02:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for making me feel good and syaing I was strong and not thinking I was a wimp. All women who give birth naturally are powerful women in my book.

I see some women giving birth on TV or read exp and I think, my god, if you only know how lucky you are. Or when I hear how painful exams are or how much it hurts to have your water broken... I was so out of it I didnt' even know they gave me an IV. And this was BEFORE the pitocin. My one GF said her labor was like a bad period. *sigh* It makes you feel very robbed of your birthing exp, do you know what I mean?

Not sure if the pitocin was mag-sulfate or with mag-sulfate or whatnot, I just know it was pitocin. The entire labor I had to be flat on my back because Emma's heartbeat wasn't regular. The first few hours I was there I had the doula on one side and my mother on the other to help me walk a bit because I was havign a back labor and the doula reccomended it for the pain... well the nurse came into the room and got very very uset with me and told me I was effecting the baby's heart beat, then later the DR in and he scolded me for moving the fetal monitor off my back (I moved it because it was aggravating me and the pain.) So from then on out, I didn't get off my back and left the monitor in place. I would say the labor portion at home was actually OK, I mean it hurt but nothing serious, then the first half of labor in the hospital was very painful but I could cope. The second half - after breaking my water then with the pitocin, was a nightmere. That when I just couldn't lift my head and couldn't speak well and didn't know what was going on.

I do know in Florida, I was told I HAD to register and prepay for the epidural or I would NOT be given one. I paid a thousand bucks in advance, but got it back.

Edited to add because I keep typing oxytocin - I mean pitocin
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#7 of 10 Old 07-12-2005, 03:03 AM
 
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Pitocin induces you and gives you hard contractions that are way, way worse than normal contractions, as I understand. I had that too. My midwife insists that labor is apples and oranges with a pit induction vs. natural - it's very hard to stay natural with pitocin because the contractions come so hard and violently that you don't get the natural breathing room most women get during labor. So I think it would be hard to know if you'd need an epidural now - I am really believing in this theory myself.

Mag Sulfate makes you feel as though you are swimming in lakes of fire, although it's supposedly to stop you from having a seizure. Supposedly. You would not forget Mag Sulfate. They pack ice around your neck because the heat is so horrible in your veins, and the baby comes out all floppy. I'd already had one seizure, and if they were letting you walk around, I think you probably did not?

I agree with magnesium supplementation. Things that have magnesium:
*chocolate
*bananas
*chocolate banana crepes
*calcium-magnesium supplements they sell at any pharmacy
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#8 of 10 Old 07-12-2005, 03:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loraeileen
Pitocin induces you and gives you hard contractions that are way, way worse than normal contractions, as I understand. I had that too. My midwife insists that labor is apples and oranges with a pit induction vs. natural - it's very hard to stay natural with pitocin because the contractions come so hard and violently that you don't get the natural breathing room most women get during labor. So I think it would be hard to know if you'd need an epidural now - I am really believing in this theory myself.

Mag Sulfate makes you feel as though you are swimming in lakes of fire, although it's supposedly to stop you from having a seizure. Supposedly. You would not forget Mag Sulfate. They pack ice around your neck because the heat is so horrible in your veins, and the baby comes out all floppy. I'd already had one seizure, and if they were letting you walk around, I think you probably did not?

I agree with magnesium supplementation. Things that have magnesium:
*chocolate
*bananas
*chocolate banana crepes
*calcium-magnesium supplements they sell at any pharmacy

Oh, they didn't let me walk around, they got very angry when I first got to the hospital (I was trying to - mom on one side doula on the other) but no, I do not think I got this mag sulfate business. I only had pticoin durign the second half of labor because they said it wasnt 'progressign fast enough. I call BS, I was progressing fine... they were just nervous about the preeclampsia 210/117BP and wanted to speed my labor up. To be blunt, I would have rather had a C-section than go through that.

You had this mag sulfate business? Oh you poor thing

And thanks for the manesium advice! I will be sure to get lots of it!
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#9 of 10 Old 07-12-2005, 10:01 AM
 
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I SO understand your fears! I had pit and mag for pre-e during my first labor, flat on back, catheter, etc. Such a frightening experience. I did without the epidural, but in hindsight under those circumstances I wouldn't pass it up the second time.

Having said that, if you don't have BP problems with number two, (I didn't), I suspect pit. is unlikely and you should be able to walk around, no? Or might your other health situations prevent that? What does your OBGYN say about what to expect in labor?
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#10 of 10 Old 07-12-2005, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Will I be able to walk around or will I need pitocin again? I am not sure.

I will have to have an IV because I need antibiotics because of my heart condition. It's not life threatening - mitral valve with regurgitation but it leaves me at risk for heart infection due to the regurgitation portion so I have no choice to have the anti-biotics (I don't have any say at all and that's OK I wont' fight it.) I will be able to walk around so long as my BP doesn't get terribly high, but we suspect it will. I am at week 21 of my prengnacy, and already my BP is fluctuating and have had to deal with facial water retention due to BP increases - it got to 145/95 but came back down again to 110/70 because I have really been taking it easy. I cannot tolerate BC pills, they make my BP go up (last time I was on the pill my BP was 185/100) and wit ha past history of severe pree and hypertension without pregnancy, my chances of pree returning are high.

I feel I have about an 80% chance of pree or PIH. My Dr. has already made it clear he will not have me labor for 16 hours with severe pree and BP of 210/117, and that he would do a c-section, which I am actually comfortable with, and I am against many/most c-sections.

Just trying to figure out what I should do. I wish I could see into the future
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