What some women went through... - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 08:02 PM
 
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Indeed. This is part of why it bugs me when people say "well, as long as it ends with a healthy alive mom and a healthy alive baby, that's all that matters, right?"
It's not all that matters. It also bugs me that they say "healthy" when they really mean "alive" - at least for the mom. They don't care what kind of shape we're in when it's all over, as long as we're still breathing.

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#32 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 08:07 PM
 
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I don't get that "prevents tearing" thing at all. Thats like seeing someone about to run head first into a metal pole, then intercepting them by wacking them over the head with a cast iron pan. Sure.. you prevented them from running into the pole, but they STILL have a concussion and one hell of a headache, so what good did that do? And you never know, maybe they knew that pole was there and would have moved to the side at the last second and wouldn't have hit it at all.
I love your analogy.

I'm wondering from reading a few posts what the heck 'twilight sleep' is. I've never heard that term.

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#33 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 08:26 PM
 
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My mother dodged a bullet with my and my older brother's births. She was told that due to a prior back injury she couldn't have an epidural. So she took Lamaze classes and planned a LeBoyer birth, with low lights and gentle entrance to the world and everything. Both births worked out that way, except she had some pitocin during my brother's (her first) birth. She did get an episiotomy both times - everyone did. But she avoided most of the other nonsense.

She also bucked the trend at the time and breastfed both of us until we were more than 2 years old.
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#34 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 08:27 PM
 
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I don’t really know much about my mom’s births. (She is just not comfortable to share about that stuff...)

She did share her breastfeeding story though and it is sad. She proudly says that she BF’d us. Really she went to the rocky first weeks and then switched to formula. Poor mom.
In 67, she BF my first brother, for a whooping 4 or 6 weeks.
At this point, it was the end of the week, she was going back to work on the Monday and went to the health clinic of the small town she lived in. The nurse gave her crap for nursing her baby in the first place against their expert medical advice. Mom said they just gave her some medication to stop the milk, and that was it. No transition for Mom or baby. You breastfeed on Friday, and have no milk left by Sunday, without any engorgement, baby is now on formula. Ain't that wonderful! :
No one suggested she pumps. Although I don’t even think there would have been a pump available for her to use in that small town.
But what she realized a couple years ago is that she was working at the school across the street from her daycare provider. She could have gone back during recess and lunch to nurse (and she ended up going there often anyways during the day because she missed my brother...)
My other brother and I ended up being BF’d for about the same period of time, just because the pattern had already been established that way... But she said the weaning was more gradual for us.

I know one of my aunts had to fight to give birth without medication... (Late 60’s) Dr was just asking why she wanted to do that... She got it, but she says it was quite the fight.

Another one was heavily medicated and doesn’t remember a thing of her births... (69 & 73.) She was so happy when my cousin invited her at her birth about 15 years ago. She said it helped her heal a lot of old wounds. Because all that time she had had dreams about the birth of babies, but even her dreams at a big gap

But I am proud to say that my GMas respectively had (at least) 13 and 15 homebirths, approx in between 1925 and 1945. (Not so proud that they had to have all those kids because of the lovely catholic mentality running the village, but they were all born home... or at a neighbour...) I do not know of them having a stillborn (hence the at least), I do know they each lost 1 baby under one year. We believe my Dad was a preemie, his brothers called him the “7 months” sometimes... Apparently he was thought to be stillborn at first and they realized later on that the baby was breathing on his own
One of my dad older sisters died of a hemorrhage following a HB though. This was in early 50s. So his family tends to be scared of HB now. They remember that one that went wrong, not the 15 successful ones. The death of my aunt was solely blamed on the homebirth when I heard about it at first during my teenage years.

I am not sure they breastfed. From the information I have, it sounds like they had the condensed milk/sugar blend... I’ve seen bottles on the rare family pictures.

Anyhow, I find this thread fascinating. Keep bringing the stories.

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#35 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 08:31 PM
 
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I don't get that "prevents tearing" thing at all. Thats like seeing someone about to run head first into a metal pole, then intercepting them by wacking them over the head with a cast iron pan. Sure.. you prevented them from running into the pole, but they STILL have a concussion and one hell of a headache, so what good did that do? And you never know, maybe they knew that pole was there and would have moved to the side at the last second and wouldn't have hit it at all.


My mom had six unmedicated births between 1976 - 1988. She used Lamaze, which she said worked great. She does, however, favor episiotomies and wishes my youngest sibling had been born via c-section. She thinks a c-section with him (nearly 12 lbs.) would have prevented the uterine prolapse she experienced later. I'm inclined to think that multiple episiotomies weakening the pelvic floor are more to blame.

She doesn't understand why I use a midwife and birth at home.

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#36 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 08:55 PM
 
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Yes my Grand had twilight births and medicine to dry up their milk. Never questioned it then but when I was home birthing she would watch birth vdeos with me and also wishes she would have breastfed because her babies always had colic.
My other Gran was held down with wrist straps and ended up dislocating her wrists with her forcepts delivery of my Mom. Torture she called it.

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#37 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 09:21 PM
 
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I love your analogy.

I'm wondering from reading a few posts what the heck 'twilight sleep' is. I've never heard that term.
Twilight Sleep
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Scopolamine + morphine provided childbirth without pain (or without the memory of pain), once a much sought-after objective. However, there were serious problems with twilight sleep. It completely removed the mother from the birth experience and it gravely depressed the baby's central nervous system. This sometimes made for a drowsy depressed baby with poor breathing capacity. Twilight sleep therefore has fallen entirely out of favor and is now a chapter in the history of obstetrics

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#38 of 57 Old 03-10-2009, 10:56 PM
 
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My Mom's birth stories are terrible.

I love that someone said that "women have been abused for generations. It STOPs with me!" That is great and so true! That is why I am passionate!

Anyway, back to Mom.

She had my sister in the mid-70s. She told me that she had back labor, and the nurses for some reason strapped her down on her back so that she couldn't move. Then, they gave her some drug that was supposed to stop the pain, but it didn't in her. Instead, it just made the room spin. She said she still felt all the pain. She remembers one young nurse coming up to her, looking at her and saying "God, I hope I don't act like that when I am in labor." She said she will never ever forget that because it made her feel so stupid.

Before she TTC with me, she said she put it off forever. My Dad wanted a baby badly, but she just couldn't ...she was terrified of labor again. Well, I was unplanned, and she was scared. She actually wound up having an emergency c-section with me. I don't know exactly what happened, but she has told me that she went to the hospital and they strapped her to monitors. The pain got so bad that they gave her something to knock her out. While she was asleep, the monitors started showing that I was crashing ...dying. This was the middle of the night. Dad ran out to get his doctor, who blew him off. So, Dad grabbed a different doctor, and he took Mom for a c-section telling Dad that "I can save one or the other, but most likely not both. Please, prepare yourself. I will try my best."

Mom said all she knows is that the cord was around my neck several times, the placenta was coming off the wall and infection has set up in my eyes for some reason. She doesn't know much else because she almost died and was out cold for 3 days after. My Dad took care of me in the early days.

She also told me that both times, after she was in recovery, a nurse came in with medicine to "dry up her milk." She said she never remembers being asked; she was just given the medicine as standard routine.



It makes me sad thinking about all that. I've had two beautiful normal births, but it makes me so sad to think about what my mom went through.
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#39 of 57 Old 03-11-2009, 01:57 AM
 
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The thought of twilight sleep makes me sick to my stomach. Just terrible the things that were done.

I just wish things were much better.

I know a woman who with her first child (now 4) gave birth in India. She is affluent & could afford good medical care - ha! They wouldn't allow anyone in with her (not dh, mom, no one). They put her in a room with a dozen other labouring women with nurses occassionally checking in. When it was "time" they brought her into another room, strapped her into stirrups & she pushed on her back. When the baby was born she was taken away & the woman was left there for an HOUR alone before anyone came to help her.

No wonder when she was offered an elective c-section right off the top here (Costa Rica has a VERY high c-section rate) she jumped at it.

It all makes me sooo sad.

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#40 of 57 Old 03-11-2009, 02:50 AM
 
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My father's mother had twilight sleep and forceps when her first (my father) was born in the 1920s. I'm told after she got back home she said "never again" and had the other children at home with a midwife.

And her family had been so proud because she managed to marry a man who could afford such "modern" medical treatment for his wife.

2 happy kids makes for a happy mother.

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#41 of 57 Old 03-11-2009, 11:54 AM
 
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My grandmother had all 8 of her children under twilight sleep. When she woke up from the meds after my mother's birth the doctor announced, "surprise, you have twin girls!" and she didn't believe him because nobody had expected she had twins. She actually asked him to take the babies away because they weren't hers. I think my grandfather basically raised the twins, she was so disoriented after their birth and so disappointed to produce two "useless" daughters for the family.

The last baby almost killed her: she flatlined (I'm guessing from the meds) and the baby died in utero. It was the late 50's then, and it was not socially acceptable to talk about birth loss, so she never spoke about the baby that died to anyone, even her other children. She never talked about him, in fact, until another of her sons died twenty years ago. Now, when people ask, instead of saying "I have seven children," she says "I had eight children, and six are still living." I can't even imagine how freeing it is for her to finally speak about that loss, after forty years of grieving in silence.

My mother had a failed induction followed by a C-section after her water broke with me way too early, and every time I start to talk about my home birth she loses control and starts to cry. She says that if it weren't for medical science, I wouldn't be alive right now - and I respond that if it weren't for so much medical intervention, she might have been able to wait until I was ready to be born instead of having to go through such a traumatic birth with me.

I second Kriket: this abuse stops with me.

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#42 of 57 Old 03-11-2009, 12:08 PM
 
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I don't get that "prevents tearing" thing at all. Thats like seeing someone about to run head first into a metal pole, then intercepting them by wacking them over the head with a cast iron pan.
:

On the other stories, gah! I'm pretty sure my mom's births were medicated (this was in the 60s). I remember her saying I was breech, but she still delivered vaginally. I'm not sure about the bfing -- I need to check family pix. My dad doesn't remember and my mom is dead so ...

Lucky wife to DH and mom to DS (10/02) and sweet DD (7/08) and DSD (3/93) and assorted animalia
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#43 of 57 Old 03-11-2009, 12:50 PM
 
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my grandmother had her first baby on an air force base in texas in the 50's. she was completely 100% ALONE for the whole thing, in a tiny little storage area. she got up to go to the bathroom (pushing) and then the nurse came and got her and screamed in her face that she was going to have her baby on the toilet. then they conked her out and took my aunt out. I don't know the birth stories of my other aunt and my mom.

Grandma also told me that during the 60's, she had four D&C's. I asked why, and she said she didn't get her period for a few months and thought she was pregnant but the doctor said she wasn't. that's all she knows.

then, when my mom was 16 she had a baby. it died in the 7th month. they put her on the maternity ward and she had the baby but never got to hold it or see it, she doesn't know if it was a boy or a girl. this was in 1976.
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#44 of 57 Old 03-11-2009, 03:05 PM
 
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my grandmother-in-law (age 92) who had her first baby at age 17 told me that she didn't even know at the time how she got pregnant or HOW THE BABY WAS GOING TO COME OUT... she assumed it would come out of her mouth.

I am not joking. This is the truth.

She also said that she always thought something was wrong with her when she got her periods. She would tie a coat around her waist to hide it. She had no idea what it was and she couldn't talk to her mother about it. She said she was very embarassed and nobody talked about those kind of things.
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#45 of 57 Old 03-11-2009, 03:29 PM
 
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my grandmother-in-law (age 92) who had her first baby at age 17 told me that she didn't even know at the time how she got pregnant or HOW THE BABY WAS GOING TO COME OUT... she assumed it would come out of her mouth.

I am not joking. This is the truth.

She also said that she always thought something was wrong with her when she got her periods. She would tie a coat around her waist to hide it. She had no idea what it was and she couldn't talk to her mother about it. She said she was very embarassed and nobody talked about those kind of things.
Yea my dad's mom had no idea how a baby was going to come out either. She finally asked the dr about it and he actually explained it to her really well.
This was back in 1948 you'd think there was more knowledge about this stuff back then.

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#46 of 57 Old 03-11-2009, 03:35 PM
 
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My grandmother birthed my mom under twilight sleep. The scopalamine pushed her over the edge into a full blown psychotic state. She wound up in a psych ward and my mom went to an orphanage. They were both de-institutionalized a few months later, but never had a close or loving relationship. It was hard for my mom to learn to be a mom when she had us.

Oh, and my mom tried to breastfeed my sisters and me, but developed a "rash" and was told she was allergic to our saliva and needed to stop. Wanna bet it was thrush?
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#47 of 57 Old 03-11-2009, 04:23 PM
 
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I'm feeling so lucky for my grandma that her labors went so quickly that they didn't have time to administer medication to her. She told me that my mom was born in a guerney in the hall at the hospital! Lucky lady. I think all her labors were too quick for medication. She had 8 children in all.

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#48 of 57 Old 03-11-2009, 04:28 PM
 
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I don't get that "prevents tearing" thing at all. Thats like seeing someone about to run head first into a metal pole, then intercepting them by wacking them over the head with a cast iron pan. Sure.. you prevented them from running into the pole, but they STILL have a concussion and one hell of a headache, so what good did that do? And you never know, maybe they knew that pole was there and would have moved to the side at the last second and wouldn't have hit it at all.
I love that analogy.

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#49 of 57 Old 03-11-2009, 09:20 PM
 
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Women have been abused for generations. It stops with me.
That's beautiful. I hate that it's so true, though.

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I'm the same way. Dh gets more mad than I do. Its 2009 and we STILL have to fight for basic rights.
I think you're very lucky that your DH is beside you in this fight. I love my DH like mad, but this is one thing that he just doesn't get. He's supportive of what I want for myself, but doesn't understand why I get so upset at the across the board problems. Anytime I feel the need to vent, he winds up making me feel about this tall = for it. I'm learning to take those vents elsewhere. He'll even argue with me that women aren't discriminated against.

As to the topic at hand... In 75, my mom really wanted a natural Lamaze birth with my sister. The only details I've been able to get is that baby was "in distress", with decels and she had an "emergency c/s". And of course, once a c/s, always a c/s - so my birth was scheduled. I feel so sorry for her, because we know now what usually causes the decels... the interference of the doctors.

I know when I had my son 2 years ago, I had at least 3 doctors try to brow-beat me into getting an epidural. I was an emotional mess to begin with, add induction drugs to that, and I was in a LOT of pain. I told my doctor from the start I wouldn't okay an epidural - there was no way anyone was getting near my spinal column with a needle. Plus I knew that at most I would have a few minutes with my son, and I had no intention of spending that time unable to move. They didn't like that answer, and every couple hours a different doctor would come in and forcefully try to convince me that I "needed" an epidural (I was on morphine already). The contractions were at 2 minutes, and I was completely unable to speak, and they tried again. Finally my DH had to threaten physical violence on the doctor to get her to leave me alone. We didn't see another doctor between then and 7 hours after our son was born when I told them I was ready to go home.

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#50 of 57 Old 03-11-2009, 11:23 PM
 
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My grandma had twilight sleep with my mom and my aunt, but she's very supportive of my mom's, mine and my sister's decisions to birth naturally. My grandma has this friend though, a very bossy mean old lady, who used to be an L&D nurse back in the twilight sleep days. When my grandma told her about mine and my sister's fantastic natural births with mws, she replied that "those evil mws should not be allowed to torture women like that!"

My DH's grandma's 2nd pregnancy (about 65 years ago) was surprise twins. It was natural (maybe at home, I don't know). Her doctor had never delivered twins so didn't suspect them. She told me the first one was born and then the doctor said "I think there's another one coming!" She said she just started laughing because "what else could I do?" And each twin was over 8lbs!

My mom did Lamaze with all 3 of us, but had a spinal with me and my brother (the 1st 2). With my brother, she got all the way to pushing without anything, but the doctor wouldn't let her push without a spinal! He made her wait! She finally had a natural birth with my sister, her 3rd.
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#51 of 57 Old 03-12-2009, 12:20 AM
 
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My mom's tells the story of my birth a lot. Apparently all her labors were pretty fast and easy. I know she did get the epidural/epesiotemy -- I don't think she realized there was an alternative.
But after my birth, the hospital was very very empty that night, way quieter than normal, so as an extra special treat the staff *allowed her* to keep me with her overnight. I was born at 8:46 p.m. and she got to start nursing me *that very night*.
It is sweet to hear her tell it, and the story always makes her smile, and I know it was really special to her that she got to keep me with her overnight that first night and nurse. She said it was really nice bonding and she thinks that's why I got such a good start.
It's so incredibly sad, though, to think that it was considered some kind of special treat to be near your baby after the birth in the late 1970s.
My sister and I both had homebirths, and I think she sort of wishes she had one. She watched my birth video and was really moved by how peaceful and gentle it was.

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#52 of 57 Old 03-12-2009, 06:21 AM
 
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My mother either UC'd or was attended by a lay midwife (I can't be sure, she never talked about it and we aren't on speaking terms anymore). But her religion strictly forbid any western medical intervention, so it must've been one or the other.

My real MIL (not the crazy woman I've posted about in a few other threads) died as a result of delivering in a hospital in 1977. My partners nearly died too. I *think* her death was the result of a botched c-section, but no-one's entirely sure. All I or my partners really need to know is that she went into the hospital to deliver twins and came out dead. I felt her spirit watching over me when I UC'd my own children, though.

I've had a few people tell me I must be incredibly 'brave' to UC. That really made me laugh. I UC because doctors and hospitals scare me like nothing else in the entire world.

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#53 of 57 Old 03-12-2009, 02:37 PM
 
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I've had a few people tell me I must be incredibly 'brave' to UC. That really made me laugh. I UC because doctors and hospitals scare me like nothing else in the entire world.
:

Right before I got pregnant, my grandmother and her best friend were reminiscing about their 1960's births. They thought it was wonderful how the nurses shaved them and gave them enemas before the twilight sleep kicked in

My mother's first birth with me in the late 1980's was an induction at 42 weeks. I think her dates were wrong though, she says that she didn't realize she was pregnant until I started moving because she kept getting her period. In the newborn pictures of me in the hospital, I definitely don't look like a post-date baby which might be part of why her induction was so rough. She was given a poorly placed epidural that only numbed one side of her body and the doctor didn't believe her when she insisted that she could feel everything on one side. After forceps and an episiotomy, it's no wonder she had post partum depression. My brother's birth was completely different though, she did a Lamaze class, labored at home as long as possible (almost too long, which I'm starting to wonder if it was an attempted UC ) and had a drug free birth with just a large tear. Of course because her tear was so much worse than her episiotomy, she's insisting that I ask to be cut She did breast feed both of us though, me for 5 months (until she found out she was pregnant again) and my brother for 7.

I'm really curious about my MIL's births though in the early-mid 1980's. I know she went 44 weeks with SIL and 43 with DH which blows me away because she's the textbook (or should I say "MDC"?) definition of mainstream.
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#54 of 57 Old 03-23-2009, 12:15 PM
 
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In the early 60s my mom had what she says was a beautiful, easy natural birth of my 10+ lb sister in Denver Co with Dr. Bradley of Bradley method fame. She'd nearly died with my 11+ lb brother a year and a half earlier (another hospital, another city, I don't know the details). But everything went great with my sister until my mom went back to Michigan to vist her family and thought she was developing mastitis, so went to the doctor her my grandma worked for as a nurse. Well the doc didn't tell her anything, just gave her a shot and said that ought to fix you right up, and sent her on her way to discover shortly that the shot completely dried up her milk! Then followed the nightmare of my sister refusing a bottle, she was dehydrated and didn't eat for I forget, at least a day or two before finally one of my aunts was successful getting her to take formula. I feel terrible for my mom who had been so pleased with this beautiful labor and delivery and how well everything was going to have just had it shut down completely with not even a warning of what to expect. What these women have gone through is disgusting in my opinion.
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#55 of 57 Old 03-23-2009, 12:37 PM
 
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My mom didn't prepare for my birth at all. I was early, so they put her in a tub of ice water to stop labor. It didn't work, and I was born shortly after, no IV, no drugs, no episiotomy. She had no idea until I told her when planning my DS's birth how it could have turned out for her. As it was, she said the ice water was by far the most painful part. This was 1981.

Mama to DS1 (2/08) and DS2 (9/10).
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#56 of 57 Old 03-23-2009, 05:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinsTwicePlusTwo View Post
I've had a few people tell me I must be incredibly 'brave' to UC. That really made me laugh. I UC because doctors and hospitals scare me like nothing else in the entire world.
I don't think I'd ever be comfortable with a UC, and I don't feel brave going into the hospital (I actually feel like a total coward for ending up in this spot). But...I'm much, much more afraid of going into the hospital again than I ever was about going for a HBA3C...

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

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#57 of 57 Old 03-24-2009, 12:35 PM
 
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With my homebirthed baby my mom asked me if it was okay for me to eat after my water had broken and I didn't go into labor. This angered my husband that she was questioning what we were doing, but I think mom was really worried about it. When we explained that eating during labor was okay she asked "How come they wouldn't let me have anything but ice chips the whole 40 hours I was in labor with you? I got really dehydrated too" Oh and they strapped her down for the whole thing too. Back labor, Pitocin, episiotomy, four hours of pushing on her back, and forceps. One thing was a blessing though. Mom begged for a cesarean and they wouldn't give her one. This was 1976.

For my brother's birth in 1981 she stayed at home for most of her labor when she started pushing on the toilet she figured it was time to go in. She said it was a breeze compared to my birth.

Heather Mike Married 8/1/99 Mom to Charlotte Aug 04, Nov 06, and Katherine Oct 07
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