Unassisted birth after vacuum-assisted birth? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 12-21-2005, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
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DS is now a little more than 2.5 and we're considering having another child, but frankly the idea of recuperating from childbirth again terrifies me.

My labor was pretty good and very fast (8.5 hours from water break to delivery), but because DS' heart rate kept dipping during contractions (the cord was next to him in the birth canal & compressed with each cx) my OB used the vacuum to get him out. (I should also mention that he had a large head, which didn't make his entrance into the world any easier.)

No one told me that vac- and forceps-assisted births can cause massive bruising of the vaginal & rectal muscles, and the 3rd degree episiotomy didn't help matters. I was in pain for a minimum of six months following DS' birth, and it was at least a year before I could have sex without crying.

Because no one told me about the possibility of such a long recovery, DH & I spent DS' first year thinking I was just a huge baby with a low pain tolerance. I was depressed and hurting all the time, and I have no desire to go through that again.

So . . . I'd love to hear about your birth experiences after a vac-assisted one -- both positive and negative. Odds are our second child will also have a large head . . .

Daughter since '68 ~Sister since '72 ~Wife since '97 ~ Mama since DS 5/03& DD 10/08
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#2 of 5 Old 12-21-2005, 11:18 PM
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Well, I don't know if my experience will be helpful to you because my subsequent births after my first vac-assisted were in a hospital with epidurals....but...they went soooo much faster and easier than the first. My first took 2 hours to push and still ended up with the vac--his head was not quite facing all the way south. Baby #2 took all of 15 minutes to push out. I felt very victorious after that one! Baby #3 did take 45 minutes to push, but he was posterior until pushing and part of pushing was spent getting him to turn over, which he did and was born anterior after all.

Your body has done this once already...second and later babies almost always pop out faster than the first, no matter how hard that first one was to get out. Think of the blowing up a balloon analogy. The first time you blow one up it's tough, after that it's a lot easier. And consider this is true even when a lot of mom's subsequent babies are still larger than their first.

Baby #4 (due in one month) is going to be born natural at a birth center with a midwife. At least that's our plan. I've never gone totally natural but I'm looking forward to getting the chance to work with my body and baby to facilitate the birth the best way possible. No nurses shouting in my face to push until the count of 10, and certainly no flat-on-my-back laboring strapped to monitors and IV's either.

Hope this helps you. If it makes you feel any better, there is more than 3 years between my first and second...for the express reason that I was terrified to have another birth experience like his.
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#3 of 5 Old 12-22-2005, 03:50 AM
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I'm in a similar position - ttc# 2, #1 was 34 hrs labor, ended w/ vacuum.

They gave me a 2nd epidural (long story) before checking if I was dialated, so when time came to push, I couldn't feel ANYTHING. I'd had the 2 epidurals plus a narcotic plus pitocin. His cord was squished and so he missed oxygen during contractions, and his little arm was waving over his head, so it made it harder to get him out.

Enter the vacuum, the freakishly huge episiotomy - and the feeling that I wasn't able, my body couldn't birth my son properly.

I'm planning a midwife assisted homebirth for our 2nd, when the time comes. And, in may ways, I'm terrified that I won't be able to do it, that I'm somehow defecient or defective.

But then I look though the women, through the ages, who birth just fine, at home - and know my body is not inherently different than theirs. The situation I was put in with my first made it almost enivatable that there's be complaications, and there were.

I think, for me, the biggest obstacle I'll have in my homebirth isn't that my body won't perform like it should, but that I need to have the confidence in myself to allow it to do so.

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#4 of 5 Old 12-22-2005, 04:06 AM
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Well, I sorta fit this category. Baby #1 was a vacuum attempt - he was pretty big and posterior, and would not come down. They tried the vacuum repeatedly, to no avail and I had a c-section. So for recovery, it felt like I had both a vaginal birth, due to all the intervention trauma, and a c-birth. It was very difficult, emotionally and physically to heal from this experience.

And the good news is, I went on to have two amazing VBACs after. No need for vacuums or any other type intervention. Just keep telling yourself that every birth is different and that second births are almost always easier than firsts. Good luck mama friend. Stay positive.

Happy mama of four Wild Things
"And now," cried Max "let the wild rumpus begin!"
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#5 of 5 Old 12-22-2005, 11:31 AM
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My first birth was a forceps assisted birth with a resulting 4th degree tear. The recovery was horrid. The baby was 8lbs 14ozs

I went on to have 3 homebirths. I never even had a tear. All of the homebirthed babies were 9+ pounds. The recoveries were cake walks....like night and day.

You can do it too. Read Birthing From Within, and work past your fears. You are a strong woman.
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