What did you learn about birth that you wish someone had told you? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 132 Old 08-04-2013, 04:39 PM
 
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No, no, no, you are not the only one.  I guarantee it.  hug2.gif  I don't know how reassuring that is to you, to know you're not the only one. Specifically the anxiety, for a lot of us.  The insomnia and anxiety make a nice little feedback loop, each feeding the other.

 

How old are you, may I ask?  Exhaustion and sleep deprivation aren't exactly the same, but both can be crazy-making and disheartening. They just take wind right out of your sails.  Sleep deprivation was my particular problem and I think it probably took years off my life.

 

Are you getting medical attention for your insomnia?  

 

Hiya,

Thanks for your kind thoughts. For sure the anxiety is feeding into the sleep problem. I don't want to hijack this thread though (which is very interesting!) - my insomnia thread is here, and you can see what I have and haven't done about it (mostly haven't, to my shame). http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1380656/chronic-post-partum-insomnia

I'll be turning 43 at the end of the year. Was 39 going 40 when I had my daughter.

 

G

x

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#62 of 132 Old 08-04-2013, 04:42 PM
 
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There are things about labor and delivery and birth and new motherhood that just can't be explained, that only can be experienced to understand.  Sometimes I want to tell my dd about all the negative things I didn't anticipate, just to spare her the surprise. But 1. I don't want to be like my MIL, who delights in telling every one of her pregnant daughters and DIL about all the little miserable experiences she had with each child, and 2. I don't want to alarm dd about things that she might not even experience.

 

I dunno. Speaking about the transition to motherhood, not just labor and delivery and postpartum experiences-  I kind of wish there was more common knowledge that becoming a mother can REALLY EFFING SUCK.  At least it did for me. 

 

But, 3. I don't want my daughter to conclude that I hated becoming her mother, specifically.  It was nothing personal, I just hated becoming a mother, period.


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#63 of 132 Old 08-04-2013, 06:07 PM
 
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That you will shake/shiver during contractions and it is okay.

That you pushing during a contraction makes the contraction stop hurting as much!

That your labour/birth can go completely opposite of what you "planned" and still be absolutely perfect, but you have to keep an open mind and be willing to accept change.

Labour can and is just as hard on the husband as it is on you. I've never seen my husband so strong, so amazing. 

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#64 of 132 Old 08-05-2013, 10:34 AM
 
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I wish that someone had told me these things before my first pregnancy so I didn't have to learn them on my own:

-there's no research that indicates sound reason to induce labor unless there is risk for the mom or baby in the pregnancy going further or to term (or a couple of weeks past even)

-ultrasounds done late in pregnancy can show a huge difference in baby's size from what it actually is (often resulting in panic from the doctor at the thought of a woman delivering an 8-9 pound baby their first time out)

-episiotomies are only necessary for the doctor to make his/her job easier

-your husband will possibly irritate the ****out of you during labor, no matter how great he is and no matter how much you love him

-home is where birth should happen except in cases where there is high (and actual, not perceived) risk to mom or baby

-doctors don't know everything and neither do midwives, but midwives are more likely to admit that

-the "on your back, legs in the air" position is the worst to be in, is most likely to cause injury to you or your baby and is most likely to result in dangerous interventions

-women are built to tolerate the pain (when it occurs) of labor and as long as one isn't afraid of the work their body is doing and keeps changing positions or doing things to make it more bearable, labor and birth are experiences that even the wimpiest of females can handle.

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#65 of 132 Old 08-05-2013, 12:19 PM
 
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Parenthood. Exhaustion. Anxiety. Nothing prepared me for any of this. Though, 3 years in, and with chronic insomnia...I'm perhaps a worse case than others (if my thread is anything to go by, I'm nearly the only one on the whole board with this problem!) Psychologically, and emotionally - becoming and being a parent is the hardest thing I've ever done...and I don't know how I'm managing (sometimes, I think, I'm just not). I had vague thoughts about a second child, but these have been kyboshed, by being too exhausted and frankly, too old.

 

You are not the only one!

 

Parenthood has totally kicked my ass. I am so glad to have my DD, but there's no way I'd go through it again.

 

And I hope your insomnia gets resolved soon. It took me about 4 years to get back on track with sleep, and boy has that made a difference!

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#66 of 132 Old 08-05-2013, 12:24 PM
 
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I was not afraid of birth, I felt I knew my body very well, and I had an excellent doula and lots of support for changing positions and doing natural pain management. In spite of that, I ended up with a c-section.

 

I wish that someone had told me that strong, smart, well prepared, amazing women who want natural births can end up with c-sections. Shit happens.

 

[Actually, I think people did tell me this, but I just sort of tuned it out. I wanted to believe that if I did everything "right" I could avoid a c-section.]


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#67 of 132 Old 08-05-2013, 01:57 PM
 
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[Actually, I think people did tell me this, but I just sort of tuned it out. I wanted to believe that if I did everything "right" I could avoid a c-section.]

 

Amen.  I could say the same about breastfeeding.  I did everything "right" there too, and I still ended up being an EP'er who could only make enough milk to get through half the day at most.

 

Sh*t happens, indeed!


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#68 of 132 Old 08-05-2013, 02:13 PM
 
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Amen.  I could say the same about breastfeeding.  I did everything "right" there too, and I still ended up being an EP'er who could only make enough milk to get through half the day at most.

Sh*t happens, indeed!
I have known SO many women who have a low supply, despite extra pumping, round the clock nursing, and herbal/medicinal supplements. It really does happen! I wish the breastfeeding community would just admit that some women don't produce enough milk and that's it's OK to supplement!

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#69 of 132 Old 08-05-2013, 02:22 PM
 
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I wish someone would have told me that I could bleed through the whole labor. That was so annoying and I felt gross! And I should have went with a midwife because I do not want to ever labor hooked up to an IV again!

My sister wish she had known that if you have a baby girl she can absorb your hormones and get her own mini-period. My sister and BIL were freaking out in the middle of the night and they wouldn't tell them over the phone for liability reasons so until they went to see the doctor the next day they were worried sick. I'm sure I'll think of some more.
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#70 of 132 Old 08-05-2013, 02:28 PM
 
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Oh yeah the four months I sat in the living room chair sleeping upright with my son attached to my boob for the entire night until morning. My husband kissing me goodnight and going upstairs to sleep in a horizontal position was torture. Ha! That little baby would eat and eat and eat. He is now 4 and refuses to eat.
Also, the bleeding after giving birth. I didn't know about that. One thing that helped? Wearing Depends! So much better than a maxi pad! And the pain from the episiotomy. I wanted Vicodin for that! They looked at me like I was a druggie and said its usually only for c-section moms. I couldn't sit or lay down without being in so much pain. No more episiotomies for me :-).
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#71 of 132 Old 08-05-2013, 04:32 PM
 
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My sister wish she had known that if you have a baby girl she can absorb your hormones and get her own mini-period. My sister and BIL were freaking out in the middle of the night and they wouldn't tell them over the phone for liability reasons so until they went to see the doctor the next day they were worried sick. I'm sure I'll think of some more.

 

That's right! That happened with my daughter! I forgot all about that. I don't remember her bleeding but her breasts were swollen a bit and she produced milk. Only a drop, though. No flow.  This was on day 3 or something. Nuts, huh? 

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#72 of 132 Old 08-05-2013, 06:14 PM
 
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There are things about labor and delivery and birth and new motherhood that just can't be explained, that only can be experienced to understand.  Sometimes I want to tell my dd about all the negative things I didn't anticipate, just to spare her the surprise. But 1. I don't want to be like my MIL, who delights in telling every one of her pregnant daughters and DIL about all the little miserable experiences she had with each child, and 2. I don't want to alarm dd about things that she might not even experience.

 

I dunno. Speaking about the transition to motherhood, not just labor and delivery and postpartum experiences-  I kind of wish there was more common knowledge that becoming a mother can REALLY EFFING SUCK.  At least it did for me. 

 

But, 3. I don't want my daughter to conclude that I hated becoming her mother, specifically.  It was nothing personal, I just hated becoming a mother, period.


There's probably a balance you can strike there.  I get a little weary of hearing how great my MIL's pregnancies/births/babies were when I am in a rough spot.  She's great, and I'm glad she's so positive, but hearing how much easier the second baby is (or was for her) when you spent the day screaming at your 3 yo because he is intentionally hurting the baby for attention is just not so helpful.  :P

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#73 of 132 Old 08-05-2013, 08:30 PM
 
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I wish I had known that getting stitches isn't so bad. My midwife gave me the option for my 1st degree tear and i thought it would be better to avoid it. However, it's not the same down there and it took a long time to heal and much longer to be able to "use" it comfortably. I don't know for sure, but I think I prob should have been stitched and it might have healed better.

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#74 of 132 Old 08-06-2013, 07:19 PM
 
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I wish someone had told me about D-MER!  I hate breastfeeding even though I love the bonding, it just makes me feel so crappy!  Oh- and afterpains.  Oh those gosh darn afterpains, I wish someone had told me that it gets worse each time and that there are things you can do/take, instead I was up in the middle of the night crying my eyes out in worse pain than labor!  Other than that...I love birth & I love being a mother :)

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#75 of 132 Old 08-06-2013, 11:25 PM
 
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As a first time mom I felt like I was really disconnected from my unborn baby all the time. I really didn't have the capacity to fathom what was really in there. I felt guilty about not feeling that connection my yoga instructors would go on and on about. Maybe it'll be there next time around after having been through the whole experience. It would have been cool if someone had said "if you don't feel all magical and blissed out, that's normal." 

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#76 of 132 Old 08-07-2013, 05:48 AM
 
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As a first time mom I felt like I was really disconnected from my unborn baby all the time. I really didn't have the capacity to fathom what was really in there. I felt guilty about not feeling that connection my yoga instructors would go on and on about. Maybe it'll be there next time around after having been through the whole experience. It would have been cool if someone had said "if you don't feel all magical and blissed out, that's normal." 

For me this is absolutely the case. With my first I really didn't feel that close, intense bond until she was months old and her personality started to show a bit. It didn't help that she had reflux during the first few weeks and spent every single night from 2-4AM screaming. I felt really disconnected from her during the newborn stage, even though breastfeeding went really well for us and I didn't have any PPD. But i can absolutely relate to feeling like it was all kind of surreal, like I didn't really process that a Baby--à little PERSON--was growing inside me. I mean, she moved all the time when she was inside me and I felt her kicks a ton, so I *logically* knew what was going on, I just didn't *emotionally* know, or connect those movements to the reality of OMG BABY!

Now with the second it's been completely different. I have felt really connected and attached from very early on, an it actually makes me feel a bit guilty about my early relationship with my older girl.
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#77 of 132 Old 08-07-2013, 05:57 AM
 
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That you can plan plan plan and BAM! Nothing goes as planned. 

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#78 of 132 Old 08-07-2013, 08:27 AM
 
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As a first time mom I felt like I was really disconnected from my unborn baby all the time. I really didn't have the capacity to fathom what was really in there. I felt guilty about not feeling that connection my yoga instructors would go on and on about. Maybe it'll be there next time around after having been through the whole experience. It would have been cool if someone had said "if you don't feel all magical and blissed out, that's normal." 

 

 

I had very little bond with my first pregnancy and have found it to not be much different with my 2nd pregnancy, either.  Despite that, from the minute my son was born I was transformed in a way I can't describe, and I expect the same with my next baby.  Don't feel guilty if this is how you feel, or even if you take a while to bond with baby after it's born.  Everyone processes emotions differently and today I can tell you that nothing has ever given me more joy and intense emotion than just seeing my son's smile.  

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#79 of 132 Old 08-07-2013, 03:28 PM
 
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I wish I had known how much pregnancy hormones affect your brain.  I found at the end of my pregnancy I was much easier to convince to do things I did not want to do.  I wish I had had someone there to remind me that I had more control.  I also wish that someone had told me Zofran causes constipation.

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#80 of 132 Old 08-07-2013, 06:36 PM
 
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As a first time mom at the age of 39 I felt that I had experienced enough of life and had so many friends with babies that I'd be okay. Here are the things that really threw me for a loop:

Spend less time preparing for the birth and more time preparing for the post-partum. The birth lasts for 24-48 hours. Post partum lasts for weeks!

Breastfeeding is hard and impossible to prepare for. If you have trouble, get help from an IBCLC immediately.

Nursing your child may not be the 'beautiful bonding experience' you'd hoped for.

You will go from being a confident woman to an emotional mess of self-doubt.....constantly wondering if you're 'doing it right'.

Your first post partum poop seems so terrifying but it's really not that bad.

Kegels do not necessarily prevent tearing. My DD had a nuchal hand....no amount of kegels could prevent her little elbow from tearing my girl parts.

When people tell you "it gets better" they are right.....

Talk to other moms and try to get out of the house a couple of weeks after the baby is born.

Prepare for the unexpected....nothing will go as planned. I had visions of taking DD for walks but found that the hated her stroller and just about any baby carrier I tried. 8 weeks of age she started to come around.

Have faith in yourself!

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#81 of 132 Old 08-08-2013, 01:59 AM
 
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As a first time mom I felt like I was really disconnected from my unborn baby all the time. I really didn't have the capacity to fathom what was really in there. I felt guilty about not feeling that connection my yoga instructors would go on and on about. Maybe it'll be there next time around after having been through the whole experience. It would have been cool if someone had said "if you don't feel all magical and blissed out, that's normal." 

 

I really wish someone would gather all the normal reactions women have to their babies after and document them for all moms-to-be. I have two friends who felt like this and now I make a point of telling first time pregnant moms that it could happen and it is absolutely normal.

 

I had a different weird reaction. It took me a while to see my daughter as a separate human. For the first few weeks I felt weird referring to her by her name and kept calling her "baby girl" until my best-friend asked me "why are you not using her name".

 

Something else I wish someone told me about is all the horrible vivid imagery I started having of bad things happening to my baby. I was freaking out a bit if this normal but some moms online said they had the same things. Probably nature's way of keeping our babies safe?

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#82 of 132 Old 08-08-2013, 05:18 AM
 
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Lily Kay the disturbing imagery sounds like it could be post partum anxiety or post partum OCD (I think technically it's a form of anxiety).  It is more common than people think, and can be treated whether by medication or counseling.  If it is still ongoing or it happens again and you find it distressing, know that you don't have to just live with it.  People talk alot about PPD, less about PPA or PPOCD. 

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#83 of 132 Old 08-08-2013, 05:20 AM
 
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Also. I totally refer to my babies as "Baby!"  With exclamation point. I think at first it is so new and they have just become separate.

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#84 of 132 Old 08-08-2013, 05:31 AM
 
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Just seeing those things happening to baby as possibilities to prevent is a mom instinct watch out for trouble thing. It keeps on when they're older too so you know what dangerous play to warn them about and how to protect them from predators and such. Obsessing over them or feeling like you could cause something is postpartum mental illness stuff. Big difference and I hate to see one lumped in with the other.

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#85 of 132 Old 08-08-2013, 08:49 AM
 
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I really wish someone would gather all the normal reactions women have to their babies after and document them for all moms-to-be. I have two friends who felt like this and now I make a point of telling first time pregnant moms that it could happen and it is absolutely normal.

 

I had a different weird reaction. It took me a while to see my daughter as a separate human. For the first few weeks I felt weird referring to her by her name and kept calling her "baby girl" until my best-friend asked me "why are you not using her name".

 

Something else I wish someone told me about is all the horrible vivid imagery I started having of bad things happening to my baby. I was freaking out a bit if this normal but some moms online said they had the same things. Probably nature's way of keeping our babies safe?

 I had a similar thing. For the first couple of weeks, every time I held my daughter, I felt like I was holding myself. Like, she was a baby version of myself. Even though I understood that it made no sense logically, I couldn't shake the feeling until she was a few weeks old.

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#86 of 132 Old 08-08-2013, 09:05 AM
 
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I really wish someone would gather all the normal reactions women have to their babies after and document them for all moms-to-be. I have two friends who felt like this and now I make a point of telling first time pregnant moms that it could happen and it is absolutely normal.

 

I had a different weird reaction. It took me a while to see my daughter as a separate human. For the first few weeks I felt weird referring to her by her name and kept calling her "baby girl" until my best-friend asked me "why are you not using her name".

 

Something else I wish someone told me about is all the horrible vivid imagery I started having of bad things happening to my baby. I was freaking out a bit if this normal but some moms online said they had the same things. Probably nature's way of keeping our babies safe?


It took me a while to start calling my babies by their names too.  We've never known the sex before birth, and have never been really sure of a name before birth either, so I spend the entire pregnancy just calling them baby, and the transition to a name just feels weird for a while. 

 

I also had some weird anxiety images, especially after baby #2, only it was about any member of my family.  Some of the accidents my brain came up with were truly preposterous too.  My dh would be a little later coming home than expected and I would be thinking about horrible car accidents and how I was going to raise 2 kids by myself etc etc.  I didn't really realize how much it happened, until it tapered off after 4-5 months and I realized it was probably connected to the postpartum hormones. 

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#87 of 132 Old 08-08-2013, 11:20 AM
 
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I also had some weird anxiety images, especially after baby #2, only it was about any member of my family.  Some of the accidents my brain came up with were truly preposterous too.  My dh would be a little later coming home than expected and I would be thinking about horrible car accidents and how I was going to raise 2 kids by myself etc etc.  I didn't really realize how much it happened, until it tapered off after 4-5 months and I realized it was probably connected to the postpartum hormones. 

 

I had completely forgotten about this, but yes!

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#88 of 132 Old 08-08-2013, 11:44 AM
 
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Just seeing those things happening to baby as possibilities to prevent is a mom instinct watch out for trouble thing. It keeps on when they're older too so you know what dangerous play to warn them about and how to protect them from predators and such. Obsessing over them or feeling like you could cause something is postpartum mental illness stuff. Big difference and I hate to see one lumped in with the other.

 

It depends on if it is distressing or intrusive or not.  If it is not distressing or intrusive it is not a problem to have such thoughts.  If it is distressing or intrusive, then it could be a problem.  It's not shameful to have a mental health issue - the issue is whether or not what your brain does impairs your ability to enjoy your life, be safe, etc - and it's good to know that you treatments are available for thoughts that are distressing or intrusive.


DD1 6/2009 DD2 5/1/2013-5/5/2013 (HIE) DS 3/2014
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#89 of 132 Old 08-08-2013, 12:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cyclamen View Post

 

It depends on if it is distressing or intrusive or not.  If it is not distressing or intrusive it is not a problem to have such thoughts.  If it is distressing or intrusive, then it could be a problem.  It's not shameful to have a mental health issue - the issue is whether or not what your brain does impairs your ability to enjoy your life, be safe, etc - and it's good to know that you treatments are available for thoughts that are distressing or intrusive.

 

I also had images of my baby being hurt and it was EXTREMELY distressing, but I was able to quickly change my focus.  I'm not able to even contemplate serious harm coming to my son without getting a very sick, panicy feeling,  But yeah, if I was unable to control it or had recurring thoughts, I would lump it in with my mental health issues that I have.  My son is already two and I still avoid any news articles involving harm coming to children.  I mistakenly read a few things that had me in hysterics.  But I think what I go through is on the fringe end of "normal".

 

That said, I still consider myself a lil' bit of a nutball:-)

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#90 of 132 Old 08-08-2013, 12:50 PM
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That lying flat on my back (with or without my legs in stirrups) and pushing as hard as I could while counting to ten is NOT the natural way to give birth!!!  

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"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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