amazing birth secrets REVEALED! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 50 Old 12-13-2005, 01:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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...and you mamas get to help me reveal them!!!!!

The recent Natural 1st birth and NOT for subsequent? thread included a post by flyingspaghettimama alluding to the urinary catheter that epiduraled moms require...and she talked about how A Baby Story shows the epidural placement in detail, but never mentions the catheter.

so yeah--let's reveal:

During my first birth, it sucked trying to pee in a bedpan, lying down with my coveted epidural in place. Later, it sucked having the urinary catheter inserted.

I watched in the mirror, and dh watched the OB as he stuck my perineum with a syringe filled with Novocain. Dh reported how swollen and full the tissues became, and then the scissors snip-snip-snip with copious blood as my routine episiotomy was cut.

During my homebirth, yep, I pooped a wee bit on my birth ball. I was thrilled; I knew it meant the baby would be the next thing coming out.

I "doula'd" for my cousin's birth (med-free intervention-free hosp. birth) and she puked during transition.

I know there are TONS of other "secrets" out there...what is it again, that my cousin who has had two c-sections was saying? No food post-partum 'til you fart, shunts to drain fluid from the surgical wounds, etc....(Things aren't so "easy" for the women who take the "easy" way out, with epidurals and planned cesarians, methinks....)

Share your tales from the front lines!
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#2 of 50 Old 12-13-2005, 01:15 AM
 
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After my section for dd being breech, i really wanted to breastfeed but i couldn't because i kept throwing up from the drugs. They told me that they could give me something to stop it, but that i would be sleepy. Hmmmmm, throw up and not breastfeed or sleep and not breastfeed? The choices....

No one told my husband why i was shaking violently during my section. He thought i was scared and wouldn't admit it. Not that i wasn't but that wasn't what was making me shake.

The urinary catheter gave me a uti both times!
And i could see a big bag of my own pee

Indeed, c-sections aren't the glamorous alternative that Britney Spears would like to have people believe they are

Midwifery Student and Mama to 2 daughters and 3 sons.     
ribboncesarean.gif vbac.gifhomebirth.jpg I have given birth a variety of ways and I am thankful for what each one has taught me.

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#3 of 50 Old 12-14-2005, 03:00 AM
 
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Those stitches ITCH when they are healing and if you were 'lucky' enough to get an extra stitch or 2 you get some added discomfort for months.

Don't forget about not eating anything at all for the entire duration of labor just in case an emergency arises. As if giving birth wasn't tiring enough, we're expected to accomplish this feat with no nutrition for what may be many hours.

Lochia is present even after a c-section.

I yell some pretty strange things in transition. Sometimes I can even get violent. (I punched DH HARD when in transition with #1 and kept yelling about needing to poop in transition with #2) Transition is an unpreditcable time.
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#4 of 50 Old 12-14-2005, 07:45 AM
 
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If you are trying for a natural birth in the hospital or have a MW attending your birth, many nurses will scoff and put down your choices. It's hard to overcome that psychologically when you're in active labor and feel unsupported.

They make you get an entire bag of IV fluids before they will give you an epidural. That takes a while. You are often more swollen AFTER the birth because of the excess IV fluids.

It is impossible to rest well in the hospital with all the nurses coming in and out, telling you that they need to check your "bottom". It basically involves the nurse coming in during the middle of the night, turning on the lights, taking your temp and blood pressure, and then asking to see the pad that you're bleeding onto.

Some hospitals have policies they don't tell you about upfront. Like what happened to me, "The lights must be on while the baby is in the room." If you want to turn the lights off and go to sleep, you must send the baby to the nursery.

They often feed your baby formula while he or she is in the nursery, even if they have explicit instructions not to. I woke up and found them doing this, and filed a complaint against the hospital.

You will sometimes have a roommate after you are moved to a recovery room. Roommates are not what you want to have while recovering from childbirth. Avoid at all costs.

Babies are often taken to the nursery for a several-hour observation after birth. They get a bath, an examination, and get "warmed up" on the warmers, while you wait in your room.

The catheter they give you either during labor or after the birth while you're waiting for the epi to wear off causes urethral irritation, so even if you don't get an infection, it will still burn for several days.

Hospital beds and pillows are extremely uncomfortable.

It is often lonely staying in the hospital at night.
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#5 of 50 Old 12-14-2005, 02:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tinyshoes
...I know there are TONS of other "secrets" out there...what is it again, that my cousin who has had two c-sections was saying? No food post-partum 'til you fart, shunts to drain fluid from the surgical wounds, etc....(Things aren't so "easy" for the women who take the "easy" way out, with epidurals and planned cesarians, methinks....)
Yeah - there's nothing quite like waking up from general anesthetic, a sleeping pill and major surgery to find that your breakfast tray consists of two cups of tea...

It's also a crock. Even my OB told me that the most recent studies show no difference. Some women will experience extremely painful trapped gas, but there was no correlation between the gas and whether or not the patient had farted before eating solids.

For what it's worth:

1st section: I was a good girl for 3.5 days - then I lied and said I'd passed gas, because I was weak as a kitten, and had to go home with my baby the following day. No problems.

2nd section: I lied after a day and started eating. No problems.

3rd section: Dh went and got me a bunch of fruit at the grocery store, and I was eating about two hours after the section. I didn't have to lie, as my second tray of liquids was taken away and replaced with food. No problems.

With my mom's first section, in 1963, she did what she was supposed to and waited for solids. She had some trouble. My sister had a section in 2003 (after a vaginal delivery - twins) and waited for solids. She had absolutely excruciating gas pain for a few days.

My mom thinks it used to help if the mom waited. But, she thinks that was when they were still doing routine enemas. Her theory is that the problems were often caused by the introduction of air into the digestive system.

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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#6 of 50 Old 12-14-2005, 02:47 PM
 
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It is often lonely staying in the hospital at night.
Not at all. You have the nurse to keep you company. In fact, they have a sixth sense and will invariably come to visit just as your eyes close. (I love being woken up by my door slamming against a wall and the lights all turned on, only to be told that the nurse will be "right back", because she forgot the machine to check my bp and pulse.)

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Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

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#7 of 50 Old 12-14-2005, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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But, she thinks that was when they were still doing routine enemas. Her theory is that the problems were often caused by the introduction of air into the digestive system.
OMG, nice. That makes total sense.
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#8 of 50 Old 12-14-2005, 03:33 PM
 
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After the birth, every time you stand up for the next several hours you'll experience a torrent of blood that runs down your legs and puddles on the floor.

And those puddles of blood are slippery. But the bloody footprints (and perhaps ass-print if you're not careful) leading to the bathroom are cool in a horror-movie sort of way.
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#9 of 50 Old 12-14-2005, 04:18 PM
 
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they knead your abdomen to get rid of clots. this is very painful and i doubt the usefulness.

even if you have gotten pre-'approval' of your birth plan and it is included in your charts, don't count on anyone giving a sh!t that you have opinions or preferences.

babies get circed 'by accident' all the time. keeping him in your site at all times isn't paranoid, it's prudent.

vomiting and shaking are normal during labor

your state of mind can influence the rate and progress of you labor. if you are freaked out being in the hospital (you may not even realize it until later!) your progress will likely slow. this is why they tell you to be well into active labor before you come, so your anxiety and stress being there will have less impact on your progression.

they can run all of the tests and pokes hours after birth, they don't have to do all of that right away. so make sure that the doctor hand the baby to you or your doula or partner, not to a nurse. then your partner will hand the baby to you for nursing right away. don't let them take the baby until you are ready. they can't make you stand in the corner for disobeying, they can't arrest you or forcibly take your baby. you need to start bfing as soon as possible, seconds after birth is best (or whenever the baby will open and start, it's up to you to keep trying, the hospital may not care).

lactation consultants are wonderful and nearly every woman should see one, but they are not goddesses and if their advice seems to be off or not working for you, get a second opinion or go see a speech language pathologist for extra help.

you will bleed and drip through much of labor. bloody show, they call this. lovely.

nurses don't really need to keep checking your cervix unless you want them too. it hurts, avoid it.

some people can eat during labor, some can't. make that choice yourself, don't let the docs do it for you. you don't need to have an empty stomach to get a c/s, emergency or planned.

you will poop. it's no big deal, they clean it up lickety-split.

the placenta will generally come out on its own. you don't need counterpressure and you REALLY don't need the ob digging around trying to pull it out to 'prevent hemorrage' that's BS and is assault.

you can push in any position you want. I found the nifty bed to be a great position as it had a drop out bottom and had me upright with my knees up, just how i wanted. but you can push however you want. forget about the ob, he's can't strap you down into the position he wants. get to where you want to be and push there.

keep your voice low and deep when you're crying out through contractions, this helps keep you from clenching your pelvic muscles.
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#10 of 50 Old 12-14-2005, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by LeosMama
nurses don't really need to keep checking your cervix unless you want them too. it hurts, avoid it.
Good point--I did have a baby without having my cervix checked! He's right here!!!! Really! It can happen. It's such a big ol' secret most OBs & L&D nurses don't even know about it!
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#11 of 50 Old 12-14-2005, 04:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaChel
Those stitches ITCH when they are healing and if you were 'lucky' enough to get an extra stitch or 2 you get some added discomfort for months.
Yup. Ask me how I know. Funny how I'm tighter where I was stitched. :



Pitocin labor is MUCH harder than going into labor naturally and the IV will have you leaving the hospital weighing 5lb less than when you went in- except you birthed a 6lb baby, a placenta and of course the blood loss.
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#12 of 50 Old 12-14-2005, 05:06 PM
 
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reading all this has brought back very bad memories of both my c/s's (and i dont think i had particularly bad c/s's...i just think they are horrible experiences to begin w/).
IF something happens with this birth and i end up in the hospital, there wont be any hesistation on my part to tell all of them to go suck eggs! i don't want to go to the hospital with a negative attitude, but if i go there, i wont be like i was the first 2 times.
the first time, i demanded the baby be left with me the entire time (15 years ago). they "had" to take him every 4 hours or so (NOT this time). each time they brought him back, they had changed his clothes and put that stupid hospital shirt on him and he had a water bottle w/ him and a pacifier - 2 things i demanded they not do. i remember demanded him after i was FINALLY sent to the maternity ward. i was shaking (from the stupid drugs) and remember demanding to have my baby and 4 ppl (nurses, drs., and my stunned dh1) telling me i couldnt have my baby until i stopped shaking! give me a break! i told them if they didnt give me my baby RIGHT AWAY i was going to discharge myself! a mama who just gave birth should not have to fight that hard to hold her baby!
the 2nd time was different since he was in NICU - i really dont even know what they did to him there as i have not read through all his medical records. my c/s didn't have anything to do with him being in NICU though, so i still consider it to have been not medically necessary.
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#13 of 50 Old 12-14-2005, 09:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride
Not at all. You have the nurse to keep you company. In fact, they have a sixth sense and will invariably come to visit just as your eyes close. (I love being woken up by my door slamming against a wall and the lights all turned on, only to be told that the nurse will be "right back", because she forgot the machine to check my bp and pulse.)
ah yes the "right back" that is really 30 mins.

and the.. you can't get up to pee unless you call a nurse because they are worried about you walking by yourself and they need to measure the pee, but it takes 30 min to get to your room.

the intermintent monitoring is really 20min of monitoring every 20min. Fine if your contractions are 20 min apart and you have no problem laying in bed for 20 min but if you've found your "rhythm" it can be a major hindurance.

that bag of fluid may very well contain pitocin without your knowledge, nurses have been know to inject a bag of "basic fluids" with Pit to "move things along"

when they raise that bed up so the doctor can see comfortably from his stool it can feel pretty precarious.
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#14 of 50 Old 12-14-2005, 09:39 PM
 
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: Great list.....this should be a sticky! :

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#15 of 50 Old 12-15-2005, 11:28 AM
 
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Morphine for a C/S makes you throw up - and the anti-nausea meds don't always work! I had my C/S in the early afternoon and threw up the whole rest of the day.

Sometimes the nurses aren't so bad. I had a really sweet nurse who helped me pump and syringe-fed DS so he wouldn't get nipple confusion. She helped balance out the bad vibes from the nighttime nurse who complained about my refusal to let DS have a binkie because he took "so long" to go back to sleep after I nursed him.

The plastic blow-up things they put on your legs after a C/S SUCK! They're supposed to keep blood clots from forming in your legs. They made me have them on the whole rest of the day AND overnight! The meds were making my legs sweat and they were so itchy I couldn't stand it. I finally made the night nurse unstrap them for me so I could get some air to my legs, and every time I tried to lift my legs (I could move them just fine : ) to get air to the bottoms of them, she pushed them back down.

The first moment you see your child will be the most amazing moment of your entire life. I will never forget when my husband walked over to me with a bundle of baby in his arms, looked down at me with tears in his eyes, and whispered "I have a son." It makes me want to cry just thinking about it.

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#16 of 50 Old 12-15-2005, 02:08 PM
 
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If you need a drip they stick the cannula in the back of your hand which looks like its far away from you wrist but the tubey bit really is across your wrist so you can't bend it.

Also once you are on a drip it is very difficult to get from lying down into hands and knees because all the drip stands and mo itoring sruff in on one side of the bed and *can't* be moved to the other so you are stuck.

Constant foetal monitor straps leave bruises on your belly and fall off if you get upright so nurses may want to use a foetal scalp monitor instead of a handheld doppler to check the baby's heart beat. Make sure you say no as many times as you can between contractions to prevent them thinking that you agree with any of their mad thoughts.

And Pitocin is horrible horrible stuff and should be avoided at all costs. (I had it to turn a transvers lie in stalled mid labour but it was that or a cs so....)

If you are sick of being in the bed ask to pee, they may bring you a low stool with a potty thing on it. Once you are seated refuse to move. (but beware of the monitor issues above)

If you feel pushy and actually say so, someone will want to poke your cervix and find out if you are telling the truth. Don't tell them anything.

And OB care here in the UK means that you never see an Ob during labour, you just get a sleepy registrar and midwives so you may as well be at home.
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#17 of 50 Old 12-15-2005, 03:18 PM
 
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And OB care here in the UK means that you never see an Ob during labour, you just get a sleepy registrar and midwives so you may as well be at home.
What does a registrar do? Is that a nurse?
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#18 of 50 Old 12-15-2005, 03:20 PM
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After you gave birth, and they've taken away the baby to the nursery ("we *must* take him now!") and your hubby went out of the room to make some calls, you feel damn lonely. Just imagine, 9 months of being together and within a few hours he's out and shipped off to the nursery.

Same thing at night. Don't think you'll be able to sleep or anything. Besides hospital staff walking in and out (if you're lucky they're even bringing in a new roommate in the middle of the night), your adrenaline levels are so high that you're basically dancing in your bed, with the birth events going through your head over and over again. But the baby is joining the other babies' crying choir in the nursery...

And that brings me to the next point: those hot flashes. Also due to shocking hormonal changes, your body won't know if it's hot or cold. So you're sweating cold sweat with 3 blankets on top of you, still shivering and wetting your nightgown.

Be prepared for the awful feeling that the hospital gives you about the fact that until discharge, the baby is *theirs* and not *yours*.
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#19 of 50 Old 12-15-2005, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by LeosMama
nurses don't really need to keep checking your cervix unless you want them too. it hurts, avoid it.
Besides that, it also increases the risk of infection the more they do it, especially if your water has broken.
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#20 of 50 Old 12-15-2005, 03:54 PM
 
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And that brings me to the next point: those hot flashes. Also due to shocking hormonal changes, your body won't know if it's hot or cold. So you're sweating cold sweat with 3 blankets on top of you, still shivering and wetting your nightgown.
No worries about that last time. They took me, an overweight mom who'd just had a c-section, and stuck me in front of a west-facing window...in late July. I poured sweat for three straight days. The first was the worst, though - I was still catheterized and hooked up to an IV, and couldn't get out of the sun. When they put me in the bed, I still didn't have full feeling in my legs (from the spinal), and I was stuck...hot sun pouring down on me and sweating like the proverbial pig. Is anyone surprised that my incision got infected? There were two beds in that room that weren't in the window (mine was also farthest from the bathroom) and one of my nurses tried to bully me into closing all the windows, because the baby was cold!

And, people wonder why I dread the "pampering" part of a hospital stay...

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#21 of 50 Old 12-15-2005, 06:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by minkajane
Morphine for a C/S makes you throw up - and the anti-nausea meds don't always work! I had my C/S in the early afternoon and threw up the whole rest of the day.

Great- so I absolutely CANNOT ever ever ever end up with a c/s because no matter what pain meds I get I'll probably be sicker than a dog. I think I just have something in my body that rejects medications of almost every kind. When they gave me demerol (with anti-nausea meds) during my kidney stone episode, they just stuck it in the IV and I swear within 30 seconds I was puking everywhere. I puked until there was nothing left, was in a drugged stupor all day from that one dose and didn't eat until later the next day. The people who visited me in the hospital thought I looked pitiful! Can you imagine all that on top of a c/s?

I guess you can minkajane! How awful.
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#22 of 50 Old 12-15-2005, 11:22 PM
 
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It was so creepy cuz no one told me that after FINALLY getting my newborn to nurse for FIVE WHOLE MINUTES at 5 am and managing to stop staring at his perfect little face and fall asleep...two hours later I woke up and was confronted with my OB's face staring at me from the dark. Also no one told me he'd be *dropping by* anywhere from 6-7:30 am for an early morning *pep talk*...he never actually did anything just made sure I was feeling stronger and to ask a few questions so he knew what perscriptions to write. (lucky me I turned my lights out whenever I felt like it and was VERY vocal with ANYONE who dared turn them back on without my permission)

One thing I wasn't expecting was for my OB to be so pro-breastfeeding. He advised me to throw out the formula i'd get from the hospital and to get on a pumping schedule asap for the hospital grade breast pump he prescribed me. my insurance paid for it every single month until he weaned (unfortunately that was only four months )

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#23 of 50 Old 12-15-2005, 11:40 PM
 
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just wanted to add a nurse's perspective to the not eating after a cesarean (or any abdominal surgery) before passing gas. (btw i am a natural birth advocate when possible). anyway, anytime the intestines are touched/moved/tampered with during any surgery, their natural reaction is to stop movement/persistalsis. it may take several hours to several days for them to start their forward march again.... and sometimes longer which is then usually classified as "ileus" or "obstruction" which typically resolves itself in an empty stomach (and occasional tube in your stomach with suction on the other end!) If you eat before your intestines are ready, you will probably just end up puking everything up or feeling really uncomfortable.......

i say if the nurse can HEAR "bowel sounds" you are good to go! (even if no farts have exited!)
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#24 of 50 Old 12-16-2005, 12:20 AM
 
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How would a nurse hear bowel sounds?

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#25 of 50 Old 12-16-2005, 12:23 AM
 
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For the record...not eating for three damned days after labour and surgery is also extremely uncomfortable.

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
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#26 of 50 Old 12-16-2005, 12:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by reader
What does a registrar do? Is that a nurse?
It's someone who is in training to become a doctor. :

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#27 of 50 Old 12-16-2005, 01:05 AM
 
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Ooh, how exciting, I was cited at the beginning of this thread. My long and illustrious career as a MDC academic can start here! Hee.

Other things I wasn't told:

*Magnesium sulfate makes you feel not "a little hot" as the doctor said, but like you are swimming in Hellfire and Damnation itself.

*Pitocin is much worse than natural contractions, IMO. Instead of the gentle valleys and peaks your childbirth instructor told you about, you get the ThunderCoast Mountain rollercoaster version with plenty of loop de loops and 60 foot dives.

*Someone may and will repeatedly ask to wash your windows right after you've given birth because they're on a schedule, and room 200 is next on his list. And he will be back to ask again.

*EVERY nurse who walks into your room will ask you if you're allergic to medications. Even if she's been in there before, you've chatted, thought you'd gone beyond the small talk. It's like a rule or something to not read the freaking CHART.

*The nurse will not believe you are having a contraction unless it shows up on the machine. "I'm sorry, honey, but you are not having a contraction, because it would look different on my machine. I'll have to up your pit. There. Now there's a contraction! Why are you turning pale? You want your epidural now? Oh, that's not a nice word, not nice at all."

*After they break your water, you're on your very own Amazing Race against time. She's got 24 hours to get that baby out or she's getting a c-section. Will she make it? Yesss, 6 minutes under the gun.

*The pitocin-epidural combo leads to some very interesting fetal heart rhythms on their machines. Which can lead to some very interesting C-sections and other very interesting ideas if you're not careful.

*Being ensconced in tubing, IVs, and machines makes you feel like you are now one of the Borg. It is not as relaxing as it looks on Baby Story. Dang!

*If you start to hemorrage, you will be visited by the No-Mercy Nurse who will nervously knead the uterus into a nice bun shape from its previously unwieldy and too-messy dough shape. On an hourly basis. Helllllo, No-Mercy nurse!

*Find a nice, crunchy nurse when you check in and give them treats. Because you don't want the other kind.

Hmm. These are the things that popped into MY mind at least when remembering my first birth. My second was um, way cooler for me.

The only thing they didn't tell me in the homebirth-waterbirth case is that not all babies look around the room with blissful contentment after being born with the love of happy hippie waterbirth. Mine looked around the room like he was seriously discouraged at the turn life had taken; and only started nursing after glaring at everyone in the room. He is getting used to things now, although I imagine that babies have their own version of this thread...
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#28 of 50 Old 12-16-2005, 01:45 AM
 
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The gawd-awful pain of pushing through crowning! My doula even said most women prefer to birth without help until then, then they want some words of encouragement. That was my experience too.

Oh, and I have to agree about the Mag Sulfate hot as hell flashes! The things I forgot until reading this thread!
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#29 of 50 Old 12-16-2005, 02:15 AM
 
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Oh yes, the mag sulfate. Liquid pain.

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#30 of 50 Old 12-16-2005, 02:22 AM
 
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thanks for sharing!


My hospital must've been nicer in some ways. Lights off, even though they woke me up at midnight to get a vitals. WHat? I JUST fell asleep!

They also let me sleep with my babe on my chest.

We had a private room with a sofa bed ( although crappy) for DH.

I too was rushed into the c-sec.
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