Feeling conflicted about VBAC - need advice! - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 57 Old 06-01-2005, 10:51 AM
 
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I'm planning a VBAC in Sept/Oct and my dh has read parts of "Natural Childbirth after Cesarean" which I found to be more helpful than VBAC companion, although that was good too. I mainly pointed out the questions about the previous birth experience because we really needed to talk that out, but it has good stats/stories too if he needs reassurance that it's safe.

BTW, I just hired a doula and wouldn't do it otherwise this time. It really seems strange that your OB doesn't want one...they are so common now and can take all sorts of roles, and mine has already been so helpful in terms of education. Good luck to you though, that's a tough spot.
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#32 of 57 Old 06-01-2005, 11:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daekini

Also, is there anything out there geared toward VBAC support for partners?
what a great question! My husband is eager to read up too. We have pulled out our old Bradley class book and the materials that came with it but if anyone has other suggestions, I am all ears!
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#33 of 57 Old 06-02-2005, 12:04 AM
 
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While ideally it would be a great help to have a doula present, I do think there is a lot you can gain from her before the actual birth. It sounds like she is doing a great job at preparing you and your husband in every way she can now.

As for not having a birth plan, that would disorientate me a bit. We had a very detailed birth plan with ds and since we ended up with an emergency C-section much of it went out the window but surprisingly enough, there was stuff in there they were able to keep to and more importantly, I think it gave the staff a better idea of what type of birth we were hoping for - not that if we didn't get it we would be devestated or angry - but rather something to strive for, focus on. I intend to have one this time as well and it will most likely be just as detailed, if not more so, and will include a caveat about emergency situations should they arise (just as our first birth plan did). I don't see it as a invitation for disappointment or disaster at all but rather a comfort blanket of sorts.
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#34 of 57 Old 06-02-2005, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was really shocked when she essentially said she wouldn't read a birth plan if I wrote one. I felt like she was saying that my wishes were totally invalid, and something to be disregarded. I'm trying very hard to want to keep her as an OB. I have 10 weeks left and I'm not feeling up to switching right now. The devil you know.... is sometimes just a lot less scary than the devil you don't. Especially 'round here.
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#35 of 57 Old 06-02-2005, 09:33 AM
 
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I agree with you that the no birth plan thing sends up red flags...

The fact that she wouldn't even read a list of your wishes for the ideal birth is unnerving. The things you put in a birth plan are not set in stone demands, they are ideals based on everything remaining within normal limits, you know?

I'd be running for the hills, honestly. If she won't listen to you before the birth, what on earth would make her listen DURING?

Good luck to you! Remember that she's your employee!
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#36 of 57 Old 06-02-2005, 09:45 AM
 
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Any way you can bring a doula and just say she is a "friend?" I think sometimes docs misunderstand the role of a doula and think they are going to be in a situation where the doula is recommending one thing and the doc another. In reality, though, a doula's job is to provide support for the laboring woman - and that's support that docs traditionally don't have the time or inclination to provide, and the nurses are often too busy to provide.
Even if your doc follows the ACOG guidelines and says in the hospital while you labor, she is unlikely to be in the room much - probably just every so often to check your progress and then catch the baby. This leaves likely hours of labor where your doula could be supporting you. And doulas generally don't have an agenda - they simply help you with your agenda.
It's a little puzzling to hear that you shouldn't be prepared (write a birth plan) or supported (hire a doula) but don't worry, you can do it! Makes you wonder what the real plan is.
When I was a resident physician, I once attended a birth where there was this woman who was so wonderful to the laboring woman who was a teenager. She helped her work through contractions, brought cool cloths for her head, helped her into good positions to push, told her she was doing wonderful, and basically supported her through a great natural birth. After the baby was out, I said to the teenager "Boy, you have the nicest sister!" And they both cracked up because the woman I assumed was a sister was a doula through a volunteer program to help young women. That was my introduction to doulas and I loved having them around after that. Unfortunately, doulas are non-exsistent where I currently practice.
As far as books - I'm quite fond of "The Birth Partner." It isn't about VBAC specifically, but it has wonderful tips for supporting a woman in labor.
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#37 of 57 Old 06-02-2005, 10:25 AM
 
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I just thought I would let you know that at 28 weeks (ended up really being 30wks) my OB 'terminated' my care for reasons of non compliance. I was told I refused the GT test, but in reality they never would put any reason in writing and I have come to believe I asked too many questions and had asked about vbacing. (The GT test doesn't hold water for an excuse, I didn't have it with any of my pregnancies with this OB office...)
I hired a lay mw DEM and had a homebirth after 2 c/s. It took me a few weeks to find a DEM.
For me it was easy to say hb b/c I had wanted a hb w my 1st. It was also very plain to see from my prior experience in the hospital that vbacing w the restrictions put in place by hospitals in our area I would have a slim chance of success.
Please don't use being so far along in your pregnancy be an excuse not to seek what you want. If you really want to go for a vbac, be 100% committed to seeking out the care you need to ensure the best possible chance of success.
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#38 of 57 Old 06-02-2005, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you ladies so much for you support, encouraging words and knowledge. I'm thinking of visiting a different OB to see what another viewpoint might be.

I wish I had the ~oh i don't know what it would be called, guts?~ to hb, but it has taken a long time for me to even get to this point after such a majorly medically interventive pregnancy with my dd. I love reading the hb birth stories...
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#39 of 57 Old 06-02-2005, 12:26 PM
 
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Alison, I just wanted to share that at 30 wks I switched to a CNM after my dr told me of the hospital's no vbac policy :. I have heard of women switching even later than that. I did have a hospital vbac but my birth plan was honored (my mw was so glad I wrote one). I had hired a doula b4 my switch and I kept her. She was wonderful. In fact she helped dh help me better.
I am so glad that my hand was forced [ to switch] in my situation. I don't want to even imagine what the birth would have been like with the dr. My vbac was awesome! (Here is the story: http://www.mastbrookfamily.com/Faithsbirthstory.doc) While I did have a few interventions, it was overall a wonderful, healing experience.

The fact that your dr is not interested in a birth plan or doula signals red flags for me as well. It certainly wouldn't hurt to visit another one, or even look for a midwife.

Best wishes to you!!!
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#40 of 57 Old 06-02-2005, 11:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay I just had a loonnnng talk w/ my own mother and she's helping me figure out what to do. She's very concerned about the situation I'm in w/ my OB.

I think the first thing I'm going to do is tell my OB how I feel - like I'm bobbing around untethered in turbulent seas. Like she wants total control and I have to just go along with it. I'm afraid she'll rush me into the OR for a surgical intervention when maybe it isn't necessary [yet]... and without a birth plan or doula to ground me I'll be forgetting my goals, forgetting the research, disoriented... and very complacent.

I believe in giving people a chance to explain themselves and remedy the situation. So I'm going to tell her these things and see if she'll stop talking over me and interrupting me long enough to hear what I'm saying. If we can't have a meeting of the minds, I'm going to find another provider.

This is such a weird place for me to be. I'm a pretty assertive person normally, I teach biological sciences at a university and I'm not stupid. But somehow this experience, combined with my previous birth experience, makes me feel a bit like a bovine being herded around... Maybe part of the problem is that I'm a control-oriented person and so is she. Maybe we're in the middle of a mental tug-of-war of some kind?

My next appt is in 2 weeks. I'm going to gather strength (drawing much of it from all of you!) and figure out what to say between now and then.

My Mom asked to be with us in the hospital during my labor because she doesn't want me to be "dumbed" into another c-section while I'm disoriented from labor and may not be thinking straight. She's a toughy, and won't be bullied. I have mixed feelings about this, but I'm leaning towards saying yes. She can learn some things from books between now and then and wants to provide supplemental labor support, co-partnering (but in a much smaller role) w/Mark. We're very close, but do have our differences...

anyway, sorry to ramble... that's what you get for making me think! :LOL
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#41 of 57 Old 06-02-2005, 11:19 PM
 
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Alison,

That sounds like a great plan! I am sorry you are in such a spot but it does sound like you are thinking your way out of it so to speak. I hope the meeting goes well and that your doc is able to understand where you are coming from and let you gain a bit more control back. (it is tough being a control freak, I fully understand!)

I think that is wonderful about your mom wanting to help in that capacity. On quite the opposite side of the coin, my mom knows she will be present at this birth (she is a licensed massage therapist, how can I turn that down?!) but was offended that dh and I wanted a doula present as well. She doesn't understand that I need her for me, but I we need the doula for us - to be strong when we are wavering. My mom turns to mush when I am in pain and still blames the midwife for not noticing my son's breech position for so long. She will be an asset to me, but in no way is she an advocate for the birth I am trying for. How nice that your mom is that for you though - way to go mom!

I look forward to hearing how things go for you in 2 weeks. Keep us posted

(we meet with our OB on Monday with a litany of new VBAC questions! I think, though, that all will go positively)
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#42 of 57 Old 06-02-2005, 11:58 PM
 
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A tip I use when going to the doctor's and I have things I need to say and remember to say them -- I write everything down, typed out, and I do it in a format that I could just hand to the doctor, but usually I use it as crib notes.

Depending on the situation, I've used bullet format as well as paragraph detailed explainations that I could read verbatum. I've even left spaces after questions for me to write in what the doctor says.

This has helped me tremendously...
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#43 of 57 Old 06-03-2005, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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that's a great idea...
She's always throwing me off by interrupting me. That may help me to stay on track.
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#44 of 57 Old 06-03-2005, 08:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daekini
I was really shocked when she essentially said she wouldn't read a birth plan if I wrote one. I felt like she was saying that my wishes were totally invalid, and something to be disregarded. I'm trying very hard to want to keep her as an OB. I have 10 weeks left and I'm not feeling up to switching right now. The devil you know.... is sometimes just a lot less scary than the devil you don't. Especially 'round here.
How about writing an advanced directive/informed refusal document. Check this out: http://www.birthpolicy.org/ican05.htm

homeschool.gifmama to two boys 10 & 8vbac.gif

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#45 of 57 Old 06-03-2005, 09:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There's some really interesting information in that website!!!! I am SO HAPPY you shared it!

Electra375 you should read the section on Patient Abandonment and the Right to Care - I'd bet your physician violated some of the principles outlined in the document.

I hope that my conversation with the OB will prevent me from having to use the informed refusal document.

If anyone is wondering why on earth I'd stick with her, I do have to make the point that I think she is a very competent, if overly cautious, OB and up to this last appointment I was thrilled with her and her desire for me to attempt a VBAC; she is actually the one who convinced me to even consider it. I just have to figure out what is going on now that made her defensive about the thought of my having a doula. I wonder if asking about a doula put me into a new "category" of patient, at least in her mind. I know that some physicians in our region may have preconceived notions about people who choose alternatives to the norm. Funny how slow some regions are to get with the program - many areas employ midwives and doulas in the hospital, here many physicians scorn them, ime. A friend of mine drove an 1 & 1/2 hours to a hospital in another town where she could have a hospital birth with a midwife.
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#46 of 57 Old 09-26-2005, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Everyone was so helpful while I was trying to decide what to do about VBACing, I thought I'd share the outcome.

Miles was born on July 29! I went into labor 3 weeks early. It was wonderful to feel what labor is like - my previous c-section was scheduled and I never felt a labor pain.

In the last couple of weeks of my pregnancy, the cyst on my ovary doubled in size and began to look like something other than a "simple" cyst. My choices were to have the cyst and ovary removed during a c-section or have surgery 6 weeks post-partem, which would mean no breastfeeding for nearly a week. I was concerned about trying to pump and bottlefeed so early on, so I opted for the c-section.

My doctor arrived after about 12 hours of unmedicated labor - my contractions were 3 minutes apart. I went into the operating room with more fear than I've ever experienced - I just wanted to go home and crawl in bed with my 2 year old, I was terrified that I'd not make it through the surgery and that I might have cancer. I was so frightened that I nearly panicked, so I shut myself down emotionally. It was an awful experience - my son being born and me feeling almost nothing emotionally.

However, it is a very good thing that I had the c-section! When my doctor made her incision she discovered that during the course of my labor, my previous c-section scar on the uterus had begun to "dehisce" or open up. She was glad that we'd not tried to VBAC and felt that I could have completely ruptured if it had continued, but she's pro-VBAC and was careful to mention that she couldn't be sure what really would have happened. Only that something would have had to be done about the opening on my scar.

The removal of the cyst made my surgery take longer than a normal c-section. The cyst, thank goodness!, turned out to be a benign teratoma (icky tumor with hair and teeth cells) and I was able to keep my ovary. One of the residents almost passed out and had to put her head between her knees when she saw it!

More good news - I recovered my emotions pretty quickly, and Miles nursed for the first time about 45 minutes after birth. Basically he latched on and hasn't let go yet! He weighed 8 lbs 2 oz, and is already over 13 lbs now! I love having a son and a daughter. I'm truly blessed!

Thanks again for all your help and support. It means so much to me!
love,
ali
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#47 of 57 Old 09-26-2005, 02:24 PM
 
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Congratulations on your newest family member!!

It sounds like everything worked out for the best


The tumor, is that the kind where it was probably an absorbed twin?
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#48 of 57 Old 09-26-2005, 03:01 PM
 
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Congratulations!!!



I am glad you and your ds are a great nursing couple!

You had a very hard decision to make. I'm sorry you had such fear, I've been there in a 2nd c/s with the fear and anxiety and wanting to run out of the operating room (in my dreams I did run)... But knowing what needed to be done. I wasn't so lucky to nurse 45 min after birth -- I got my ds2 after nearly 4 1/2 hours after birth.
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#49 of 57 Old 09-26-2005, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Nope, not an absorbed twin, though a lot of people think that's what they are - I was really freaked out about it! They're actually just embryonic cells that can give rise to whatever they want to be, and they probably start early on in your development in the womb but don't really get growing until some hormonal situation makes them get going. Either way, pretty gross!!!
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#50 of 57 Old 09-26-2005, 05:15 PM
 
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congrats to you Alision on making an informed choice. glad to hear baby and mama are well. (hope your enjoying the cosleeper btw! )

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#51 of 57 Old 09-26-2005, 06:45 PM
 
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http://www.estronaut.com/a/dermoid_c...xplanation.htm

I had to look up your cyst b/c it sounded gross yet facinating. Hair and teeth cells are the most common. So poo poo for the resident for getting ill -- it likely won't be the only one they will come across in their medical residency.
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#52 of 57 Old 09-26-2005, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey, thanks for looking that up! I wanted a bit more info about it to share with dh. Or to gross him out, anyway!

Rainbowmoon, we love the cosleeper. But I rarely fail to think of you and your loss every time I lay Miles into it, and I remember that your dh had to set it up so you could get photos of it for me... I've been so upset for you. I hope you're making out okay in spite of everything... Let me know if I can do anything at all for you...
love,
ali
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#53 of 57 Old 09-27-2005, 07:31 PM
 
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Hi, my name is Dee-Dee. I'm a SAHM to 16 month old Marnie Leigh and I'm 19 weeks pregnant, (expecting a boy in Feb.)
I had a c-section because after pushing for 2 1/2 hours my dd was NOT coming out! She was posterior and although my dh and I could see and touch her head with every push she was too big. She was 8 lbs 12oz and I'm not big! I'm very happy with the way her birth went, I laboured and pushed naturally with family and a doula by my side until there was no energy left and she wasn't coming out. All that to say I feel that I've experienced both natural childbirth and the agony of a c-section. (Which got infected a few days after being at home). I don't know what to do this time around. I am TERRIFIED OF THE PAIN!!!!!! I feel that I can't handle it a second time. I don't and can't have the same amount of energy that I did the first time seeing as how I'm chasing after a toddler!! GULP!
Thanks for any words of wisdom or advice in advance.
Dee-Dee
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#54 of 57 Old 09-27-2005, 09:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee-Dee
Hi, my name is Dee-Dee. I'm a SAHM to 16 month old Marnie Leigh and I'm 19 weeks pregnant, (expecting a boy in Feb.)
I had a c-section because after pushing for 2 1/2 hours my dd was NOT coming out! She was posterior and although my dh and I could see and touch her head with every push she was too big. She was 8 lbs 12oz and I'm not big! I'm very happy with the way her birth went, I laboured and pushed naturally with family and a doula by my side until there was no energy left and she wasn't coming out. All that to say I feel that I've experienced both natural childbirth and the agony of a c-section. (Which got infected a few days after being at home). I don't know what to do this time around. I am TERRIFIED OF THE PAIN!!!!!! I feel that I can't handle it a second time. I don't and can't have the same amount of energy that I did the first time seeing as how I'm chasing after a toddler!! GULP!
Thanks for any words of wisdom or advice in advance.
Dee-Dee
you said it right there, she was posterior. who knows if she would have fit if she had been positioned properly?
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#55 of 57 Old 09-27-2005, 10:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think that it is a mistaken belief that women are too small to bear their children, but it's an easy way for a doctor to explain all the complexities of a delivery that doesn't go as expected. If your baby was positioned correctly then you would have been able to birth her! You'll be able to do it, and from what I've heard, it's less painful if the baby is positioned correctly. So find a provider who knows how to get the baby or you in a position that will maximize the likelyhood of a successful VBAC, and visit www.spinningbabies.com for more help!

Don't believe it if anyone tells you that your body couldn't deliver the baby because she was big and you are small. I said that to my OB and she told me that she had delivered dozens of 10+ lb babies to 100 lb tiny women from a less developed country than the US.
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#56 of 57 Old 09-28-2005, 12:07 AM
 
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I know exactly how you feel. I pused for almost 5 hours with ds and ended up with a c/s due to "failure to descend". ds was posterior and the labor was so painful I transferred from the birth center to the hospital for an epidural. it was totally my choice for the c/s though and I opted for it when I was just too exhausted. (I was up and in labor for over 36 hours)

with my last birth the pain was NOWHERE near as bad as dd was in the right position. I was terrified though throughout my whole pg that I would have the same kind of pain. I did LOTS of hands and knees positioning though in the few weeks before dd was born and watched how I was sitting making sure my knees were never higher than my pelvis. it helped a TON and baby was in the right position.

also try working on deep breathing as that helps a ton with the pain too.

I would be VERY wary of depending on your CP to make sure baby is in the right position though as that was my BIGGEST mistake with my c/s baby as I totally did this and my mw's weren't real concerned about his position until it was too late. the nurses at the hospital were actually more knowledgable than my mw's on positiong which was totally weird to me.

I would check out the spinning babies site and do all you can to get baby lined up correctly on your own. it sooo helped me and my labor wasn't a fraction as bad as w/ my posterior c/s baby. though I did push for almost 4 hours.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee-Dee
Hi, my name is Dee-Dee. I'm a SAHM to 16 month old Marnie Leigh and I'm 19 weeks pregnant, (expecting a boy in Feb.)
I had a c-section because after pushing for 2 1/2 hours my dd was NOT coming out! She was posterior and although my dh and I could see and touch her head with every push she was too big. She was 8 lbs 12oz and I'm not big! I'm very happy with the way her birth went, I laboured and pushed naturally with family and a doula by my side until there was no energy left and she wasn't coming out. All that to say I feel that I've experienced both natural childbirth and the agony of a c-section. (Which got infected a few days after being at home). I don't know what to do this time around. I am TERRIFIED OF THE PAIN!!!!!! I feel that I can't handle it a second time. I don't and can't have the same amount of energy that I did the first time seeing as how I'm chasing after a toddler!! GULP!
Thanks for any words of wisdom or advice in advance.
Dee-Dee

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#57 of 57 Old 10-07-2005, 02:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee-Dee
I had a c-section because after pushing for 2 1/2 hours my dd was NOT coming out! She was posterior and although my dh and I could see and touch her head with every push she was too big. She was 8 lbs 12oz and I'm not big! I'm very happy with the way her birth went, I laboured and pushed naturally with family and a doula by my side until there was no energy left and she wasn't coming out. All that to say I feel that I've experienced both natural childbirth and the agony of a c-section.
briefly because I have to get off the web soon -- I just had a VBAC 8 days ago after having the same experience you did with your first. I can't believe I even considered NOT trying for a VBAC. I feel so much better, the birth went really well and little Leah is here!

what did I do differently?
1. I knew she was posterior BEFORE labor and acted to try to turn her (and it worked!) -- www.spinningbabies.com and there's a book called something like "stand up and take notice" (maybe sit up?) helped with that.

2. I saw a chiropractor who didn't really adjust my spine as much as loosen the ligaments holding my uterus, which was pulling back to the right (along with my pelvis) and holding my baby on the right side.

3. I found a doula who I felt was experienced enough with all kinds of births and wasn't as naive as the first one we had.

4. I walked/ran/swam throughout my pregnancy.

and
5. I decided that I really wanted a vaginal delivery -- preferred a vaginal delivery to a csection. So for me if I were having back labor and exhausted and not dilating again -- I might have opted for some kind of drugs/iv to let me sleep a bit and rest.


with regards to a birth plan --- I strongly think a birth plan isn't as necessary to have on paper as it is to discuss with your doctor, doula and partner. They all knew what I wanted and we had all discussed what kinds of things I didn't want. So I felt supported by my doula and dh when I refused to have my bag of waters broken before I was fully dilated. No surprise for them because we'd already discussed it.

Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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