I really need some support - will my body let me down again? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 01-29-2010, 02:50 AM - Thread Starter
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I know this is a slow board but if you have ANYTHING to say please say it. I need some support.

I am 38 weeks with my second baby. First baby was c-section after being at 7 cm for 9 hours. I did everything 'right'. Laboured at home, had midwives, stayed upright, no drugs, etc. He was 9.6 which is big but not enormous. His head never properly engaged.

Now it feels like history is repeating itself. As of today I am 'softening' but not dilated at all. The baby is not engaged. The midwife says the head needs to come down in order for me to dilate. I am so worried that the same thing is going to happen again. I am trying acupuncture and am also going for feldenkrais tomorrow to try to loosen up my pelvis. I'm thinking of going to a chiro as well although I haven't had much luck with that in the past. I just have a strong feeling (or maybe it's only an irrational fear) that I have some torsion or tension in my pelvis that is stopping my baby from engaging and that is going to prevent a vbac. I need to hear some good vbac stories or maybe suggestions on what else I can do. I am sitting on a birthing ball right now and trying to relax my pelvis. Anything else I can do?
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#2 of 14 Old 01-29-2010, 03:16 AM
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Can you find a better chiro who is trained in the Webster technique?

FWIW, my babes never engage until they are on their way out. With my first VBAC babe, my water broke. After waiting 1.5 days, I allowed the MW to do a cervical check and my cervix was SOOO high and closed she couldn't reach it. I went into labor and my baby was in my arms less than twelve hours later (born at home in the water). I didn't allow and cervical checks with my 2nd VBAC babe until I was in active labor.

Just say no to cervical checks. They really tell you nothing and raise a whole lotta doubts. DO find a better chiro, though.

"So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." - Jack Layton

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#3 of 14 Old 01-29-2010, 04:56 AM
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hey there,
I think because you are so worried about history repeating itself that you are tensing up and this is likely to stop the baby from moving down. I know you are trying acupuncture and you say it hasn't worked. I think you need to try and find some method of relaxation, I personally use acupressure which relaxes me, perhaps you could give that a go or may be try a hypnotist! Also try and keep busy to take your mind off things, may be with a hobby like scrap booking, anything so that you don't keep dwelling on matters. Also walking and going up and down stairs is supposed to help move the baby down. Hope this helps and good luck
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#4 of 14 Old 01-29-2010, 06:58 AM
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Yes - it is very common, esp. after the first baby, for them not to engage until labor.

Do you have an exercise ball? Sit on it whenever you can if so. It puts you in a supported squat, opening up your pelvis. It sure helped me before my VBAC - I used it as my computer chair or whenever I was sitting. And don't forget your kegels.

You can do this!
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#5 of 14 Old 01-29-2010, 02:09 PM
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My baby did not engage until well into the active stage of labor. While I was in labor, I squatted during contractions and kept the thoughts in my head of moving down and out and just breathed it over and over.
I was nervous before it too, that I would end up the same way as my first c section.
I do believe that part of this is mental and that visualization really helps.
Try to let go of the fear and trust your body.
My cervix was long and closed a day before labor and they said that I might not dilate because her head was not low enough.

You can do it!


Deb, Mom to Madeleine 8/2005 and Maia 11/2009 Nick: and Chris
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#6 of 14 Old 01-29-2010, 02:23 PM
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Mama, you've got 2+ weeks to go! I think finding a Webster chiro is a great rec. All I can say is try to relax. Maybe this sounds crazy but I don't think the baby will start coming until you're ready to welcome her, so relax! All you can do is your best, and if it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out.

Try to be patient and get some rest before the little one arrives!

to you.

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#7 of 14 Old 01-29-2010, 02:40 PM
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You are getting some great advice here--listen to it!

I especially agree with elisheva--no vag checks anymore, at least not until active labor. Vag checks are of NO USE at this point, are NOT PREDICTIVE of when/how you will labor. Just say no, and focus on trusting birth, your body and your baby instead.

I will also say that I've had clients with labors like your first--even with second and beyond babies. Something about their pelvis and baby size just seemed to hang up labor at around 7cm....for many hours. But all had normal, vaginal births! If this should occur for you again, a long stall at advanced dilation, the main thing will be to stay fed/fueled, hydrated, keep peeing regularly, sleep between contrax--so as to keep up your physical stamina-- and DON'T LOSE HEART! As long as your own and baby's signs are all good, you can wait it out. One mama stayed at 7cm for 12hrs--and then suddenly, literally, POP! baby cleared the 'pelvic tight spot' and was born within minutes.

You can so do this! I add that being upright is NOT what helps every baby/mama. Sometimes, counterintuitive as it may seem, sidelying is best--well supported with pillows, totally relaxed. Or knee chest....try different things if this happens again, see what feels right. There is no one right way to get a baby born, best to follow your body's signals and be ready to try everything including stillness and horizontal instead of active and upright.
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#8 of 14 Old 01-29-2010, 03:20 PM
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Don't worry about not being "close" yet (in terms of your cervix). At 40 weeks I was still high and closed - not even fingertip dilated, but I had my VBAC at 41+2. Relax (if you can), be proactive if it helps you feel more confident about your body. Remember - you WILL go into labor, your cervix WILL dilate, and the minute you find that you're past 7 cm you will be amazed because it's REALLY HAPPENING and you're getting your VBAC. Peace.

Mom to James (ribboncesarean.gif 5/2006), Claire (vbac.gif 6/2008), furry kitties Calvin and Bob, and wife to Dennis. 

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#9 of 14 Old 01-29-2010, 03:32 PM
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Chiro is a great idea, anything that will help you "make more space". Also, look around for someone who does Arvigo massage. It's a Mayan massage that relaxes the pelvic ligaments and gets the baby positioned well. Also, look into things you can do in labor to bring baby down, not just staying upright, but lunging, maybe some belly dance moves like figure eights or dips to wiggle the baby down, stair climbing two at a time, belly lifts, hip squeeze in labor to open pelvis, pelvic floor release http://www.spinningbabies.com/techni...-floor-release, and just listening to your body on what it is telling you to do. Here's a great site

Everything on this site is wonderful. look under the techniques tab for more specifics.

You can do this. Your body was made to birth a baby. Hire an experienced Doula if you haven't already, one who has worked with VBAC, long labors, and baby positions. Even if you have a midwife, a Doula is a different tool that can only help.

Happy Birthing!
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#10 of 14 Old 01-29-2010, 06:02 PM
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I think the chiro and using the Webster technique is an awesome suggestion.

Do you know if the baby is lined up well? My DS was ascylintic (sp?) and never put proper pressure on my cervix which led to a whole host of unwanted things including a cesarean.

I think that (as hokey as it can sound) positive visualization can be tremendously helpful. Bounce on your birth ball and visualize the baby lining up and properly engaging. It can't hurt anyway.

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#11 of 14 Old 01-29-2010, 06:23 PM
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Well, I don't know how this birth will go for you, and I don't have anything to add regarding labouring techniques/chiros/etc, but what I wanted to say is this: your body did NOT let you down! So many times on this board, and in other places, I hear women beating themselves up because their birth experience didn't go exactly as they had envisioned it and/or it didn't fit into their own sense of self-identity. Having a medically-required C-section does not mean your body failed, it does not mean you failed in your commitment to natural living, it is not a personal failure at all...it just means that you live in a era where you have access to new medical technology that increases your chances of living through childbirth and giving life to a healthy new babe. Your body is strong and healthy enough to carry two babies to term and recover from at least one major surgery. I do hope that your birth experience is everything you're hoping it will be this time, but if it isn't, don't lose sight of the big picture: a healthy baby and a healthy mama. And don't forget to thank your body and treat it well, it's doing a great job!
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#12 of 14 Old 01-29-2010, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. The last post brought tears to my eyes. I've decided to focus on just relaxing and enjoying being pregnant. I am also going to try chiro again if I can get an appointment. I'll come back and update when the baby arrives. It really makes such a difference to get support, even from people who don't know me. Thanks so much
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#13 of 14 Old 01-29-2010, 11:54 PM
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I'm a VBAC mom too, and get it. I just wanted to share that a mom in my ICAN group just had a very quick, less than 7 hour labor VBAC, at home, and the baby never engaged before labor started. You can do this!
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#14 of 14 Old 01-31-2010, 12:16 PM
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I have a friend who has a similar story, 9+lb baby(s), first labor baby didn't engage, labor stalled etc. ended in c-section, 2nd baby she went into labor on her own before her due date had a 8ish hour labor, baby engaged just fine and was born vaginally even bigger than her first!

i agree with the chiro rec. my babies have very large heads and have a hard time getting into position .. with my 2nd the chiro REALLY helped, i felt such a huge difference in his position after i went there (well, of course, he was breech when i started going, but even after that .. ) going there also REALLY helped me enjoy the last several weeks of pregnancy, knowing that he was in teh right position for whenever labor did start was very comforting to me

- Staci, Mommy to Mollie (3/06), Jamie (5/08), Annie (9/10), Bently (2/13) , and Robin (11/15)
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