Talk to me about pitocin induction! - Mothering Forums
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Birth and Beyond > Talk to me about pitocin induction!
*GreenMama*'s Avatar *GreenMama* 04:07 AM 11-21-2007
x-posted in my ddc...

Can anyone here who's been through a pit induction school me a little? I just read the amniotomy vs. pit thread, but didn't want to hijack it with pit only questions so... how bad is it compared to natural labor? Did you need the drip the entire labor, or was there a point that you were able to have them stop it? Were you heavily monitored? Able to move around? Anyone have pit and not have pain meds? Is it doable?

Just getting nervous with the induction talk over here. Still hoping that I'll just go into labor like last time, but also wanting to be armed with knowledge for next weeks sono and mw appt.

Also, what about pit vs. castor oil?

wannabe's Avatar wannabe 04:13 AM 11-21-2007
I think it'lll depend on your caregiver a lot.

But my experience was that yes, once the pit starts you need continuous EFM. Yes, you're able to move around if you have telemetry monitoring, but you've got drip, IV stand and monitor belt, so you're not really totally free - you can go in the bath, etc. They did adjust it up and down, and at one point they suggested turning it off and sending me home to sleep (couldn't - my waters were broken). Just tonight someone told me they did that - turned the pit off and came back a week later.

As for comparing it to normal pain, I can't, and I did get drugs with the pit.
SquibsNCrackers's Avatar SquibsNCrackers 04:20 AM 11-21-2007
I'm hoping you want a straight answer. Disclaimer, this is just my experience ... I was induced with no pain meds and felt like someone pushed me in front of a train and shoved me down the track at warp speed to the end. It was nothing like natural labor; it was worse. Contractions were more intense, felt "jacked up," and unnatural somehow. I felt panicked, nauseous and like I was getting dragged along for the ride. Um, that's about it. Sorry it's not more rosy. Maybe there are some other mamas out there who had a better experience with it.

ETA: Maybe if your caregiver is working with you to turn it up/down, off/on, etc. it might not HAVE to be like I described it.

Btw, I never tried castor oil, but would pretty much try ANYTHING natural before a pit induction.
mija y mijo's Avatar mija y mijo 04:23 AM 11-21-2007
I'll be honest with you.

My first birth was induced using pitocin due to low amniotic fluid. It was hell! I had no idea what to expect, which I strongly believe led to the craziness of it. Labor came on hard and fast. I had constant cramping, monitoring that didn't work, and felt like I had no control over my body. I also spent a lot of the labor in bed. : One positive, it was amazingly fast start to finish!

Knowing what I know now, and having had a very different birth with DS, I don't think a pitocin induced labor would be quite as intolerable. However, I pray that I never have to test this theory.

I hope I didn't scare you! I'm just being honest because I wish I would have known what to expect when I was facing my induction. My advice would be to expect it to come on fast and hard and MOVE, MOVE, MOVE! And the birthing ball in your friend.
ebony_vbac's Avatar ebony_vbac 04:24 AM 11-21-2007
i wasnt induced, i was augmented. i labored 17 hours before i went to the hospital was at the hosptial 4 hours before i had the pit, 2 hours with the pit before i was forced to take the epidural. i was 6cm the whole time the ctx with pit at 6cm were worse than my ctx this time at 7 with no pit. i probably could have done it without an epidural but since they coerced me i'll never know. i dont know if hospitals require cfm for pit but if they do, and dont have telemetry units then youre stuck in bed.

i dont know why youre considering induction but just know that your chances of having a cs go up by about 50% when you induce. my friend had an induction cuz her doc was going out of town she was on pit 37 hours and ended up having an abruption, her baby was dead for like 5 min, had an emergency cs and he was revived and flown to another hospital. he's a healty 5 year old boy now, with autism, and anyway that's why i dont believe in inductions unless medically necessay. and if theres really a need to get the baby out asap wouldnt you just do the cs in teh first place?
grumpybear's Avatar grumpybear 04:25 AM 11-21-2007
Hi,
I had a Pit induction and I really cannot compare it to non-induced labor because I've never had one!
But the other questions, I can probably share my experience:


Turning it up or down - mine was constantly being turned up (every 15 minutes) because I think the hospital felt that I NEEDED to give birth soon because my waters had already broken 28hrs past.

EFM- I had one attached to me the whole time. Even for my shower. They had one that was waterproof and wireless so I was able to make use of that.


IV - had one for antibiotics because I was GBS+ and chose to have abx. It was taken off when I needed to move around and I was on a break from the abx.

Moving around
- yes, I was able to do that. Honestly though, because of the pain, all I wanted to do was curl up and stay still. But I tried to move and walk as much as I could to help with the labor.

Castor oil - prior to being induced at the hospital, I had about 3 servings of castor oil at the midwifery. It didn't seem to do anything as I was nowhere near dilated after 28 hours. I was 90% effaced though so maybe it did. But we did the whole shebang of castor oil, homeopathics, teas, walking, nipple stim. I like that castor oil cleaned me up though.

No pain meds - I think it's doable. I did it. It's very hard but do-able. Not to say that I did not go insane and ask for epis, pain meds and even a c-section! At some point I asked my husband and believed in my heart that we could go home and not have the baby at all. But I think this is where the support system really comes through. I have to give it to my husband because he kept it together. He did not force nor discourage me from having an epidural. He was JUST THERE bearing with my insanity- which is what I needed at that point. And of course our doula and midwife who was with me at the transfer are just Godsends. At the point where I felt that I could not take it anymore, I really insisted on an epidural and as the nurse walked away to arrange it, I decided that I would go on maybe for another hour. Sure enough, I gave birth towards the end of that hour. I guess it is true what they say about when you feel you can't take it anymore, birth is imminent.
*GreenMama*'s Avatar *GreenMama* 11:35 AM 11-21-2007
bumping to the top to hopefully hear more experiences on pit induction!
georgia's Avatar georgia 12:20 PM 11-21-2007
My experience: worst experience of my life, and I've had a pretty rough life My two subsequent water homebirths (both with babies two pounds heavy) were LIGHT YEARS more managable and not even in the same universe as my Pitocin "augmentation." IME, Pitocin caused horribly intense and extremely painful, unrelenting contractions. I begged to die. I couldn't handle the pain. Nothing at all like normal, natural contractions. I wouldn't wish a Pitocin experience like mine on anyone. Sadly, in my research since, I find that my experience is absolutely not uncommon Sorry to be a downer, but I'd hate for someone to have a similar experience and not have been warned, y/k?
TanyaS's Avatar TanyaS 12:28 PM 11-21-2007
Another bad pit experience. Horrible, abnormal contractions compared to my two natural labors. Unfortunately, it is well-known that pit causes fetal distress. I had a c/s because of fetal distress. Pitocin significantly increases the risk of c/s and jaundice in the baby. The affect on labor is important, but it is also important to have all the information.

http://www.motherfriendly.org/Downlo...fact-sheet.pdf

http://www.kingpharm.com/uploads/pdf...Pitocin_PI.pdf
Lilipop's Avatar Lilipop 12:38 PM 11-21-2007
My first 3 labors/deliveries we all med free, totally natural (although in the hospital). I had a few stitches with my first, but none with the others and recovery was fast. My labors were very short (3.5hr, 2.5hr and 2hr)

With my 4th at 42+ wks I was induced with pit. When I went in I was not even a fingertip dilated and about 60% effaced. The OB managed to break my water when I was 1cm. After that the contractions came FAST and furious, totally on top of each other. Very erratic and intense. At 4cm I asked for the epi, but by the time it was put in I was done and ready to push. I ended up with many stitches (outside, muscle and deep muscle tissue), babe's heart rate was dipping, it was very stressful all ways around. My waters were broke at 9am, I had the baby at 1.43pm.... VERY long labor for me!
georgia's Avatar georgia 12:40 PM 11-21-2007
Fetal distress here, too. Internal monitor, external monitor, flat on my back, not allowed to move (you don't want the baby to die, right?? O2 mask, baby passed meconium, meconium aspiration, deep suctioning, oral aversion, breastfeeding horrors, dehydrated, $25,000+ NICU stay for several days, fed formula against my consent when my milk was available, etc., IV in his little head.....etc. etc. etc.

So, when I say Pitocin isn't a happy drug for me, I mean it.
GooeyRN's Avatar GooeyRN 12:46 PM 11-21-2007
My labor was augmented with Pitocin. They wanted the baby out within 12 hours of my water breaking. : We agreed to 24 hours... Anyway... I labored naturally for a about 18 hours. It was painful, but tolerable. Its pretty much what I expected. It was like SEVERE menstrual cramps. It hurt, but like I said, doable. I did not wish to die.

Then the pitocin started, and they cranked it up every 15 minutes. I BEGGED TO DIE. At that point, I didn't care if both my and my dd died. : It was that bad. I was able to move around and get into the bath, I had tele monitoring. But within 45 minutes of it being started I could not handle the pain anymore and retreated to bed for the remainder of my labor. I could not move even to get up and go to the bathroom. It was THAT bad. I can't even describe the pain. They weren't big on vaginal exams since my water was broken. I caved and asked for pain meds and an epi. I got the Stadol, and it did nothing for the pain. NOTHING. It just made me hallucinate. It did relax me some though. Within 15 minutes of that, I got the EPI. The epi was like a little slice of heaven. It did not take all the pain sensation away, though. But it was much more tolerable and I was able to relax. Obviously, at that point, I was no longer allowed out of bed. I then began having terrible decels, the nurse then decides to check me to see how long I have to go/see if I need a c-section. I was fully dialated. I was able to push my dd out within 15 minutes, even with the epi, thankfully.

I hate to be such a downer on Pitocin, but I am not giving in this time just because of the clock ticking. I really didn't mind the IV or monitor since I could still move around/shower/bathe. It was the pain of the contractions that I don't want to go through again. It was really THAT bad. I wish I could describe it. It was almost like imagining all of your internal organs being put through an old fashion wringer washer with each contraction. I think I would ask for a c-section before having Pitocin again.
katsam's Avatar katsam 01:37 PM 11-21-2007
I was faced with a possible pit induction, but was able to avoid it by breaking my water and using an electric breast pump. Labor was totally manageable. This may not work for everyone, and breaking the water has it's own risks, but I was so happy for the alternative.
cyclone's Avatar cyclone 01:49 PM 11-21-2007
I was induced with pitocin. I chose to be induced at just over 40 weeks. I knew DS was going to be a large baby so I was afraid that if I went too long I wouldn't be able to push him out and end up having a c-section. I guess I just didn't have any trust in my body. When I went in, I was 5 cm dilated. I had been dilated like that for about a week with no signs of labor. The nurse turned the pitocin on to the lowest setting. She said that usually they bump it up a bit every 15 min but with me she could probably just keep it on the lowest setting. I did have to be monitored but I was still able to move around (not very easily though). I tried walking down the hall and that's when things got bad. The contractions came on very fast and very hard. I couldn't handle it. I slowly made it back to the room and begged for the epidural. It took over an hour to get the epidural and by then I was fully dilated. The epidural didn't take away all of the pain but it made it bearable and I was able to rest for 1-1.5 hours before pushing. It ended up taking 2.5 hours to push him out. During the pushing, DS would have decelerations in his heartbeat so I was given oxygen and turned on my side. Every time I was turned to my side, I puked. It definitely wasn't the labor and delivery I was hoping for, but in the end I got a wonderful and healthy DS. Hopefully, next time around I won't get too worried about the size of my baby and be able to go into labor naturally.
sunnymw's Avatar sunnymw 02:00 PM 11-21-2007
I was augmented with pit because of water breaking. It started out okay, but after the rest of my water was broken (small pocket), it was hell. There was no gradual flow of contraction, it was more like every 4 minutes, 10 men would come and violently beat me with baseball bats for a minute, and then stop suddenly.

I survived it for 9 1/2 hours though w/o pain medication.
grumpybear's Avatar grumpybear 02:11 PM 11-21-2007
A few things I forgot to mention...

(1) I heard from friends who labored naturally how it comes in waves - the ctx and pain. IME with Pitocin, it didn't come in waves, the pain was there CONSTANTLY. So much so that I did not know when I was having a contraction because it seemed like I was in a state of contraction forever, KWIM? Doubled-over-kill-me-now type of pain like PPs mentioned.

(2) By the time I gave birth, I was soooooooooooooo exhausted that when I was being given my baby to nurse and cuddle, I seriously was thisclose to passing out and falling asleep. At some point, I asked them to stop and please just allow me to sleep. Not exactly the most touching birth scenario.

(3) I only had about 6 hours of Pitocin after which I pushed for 25minutes. I understand that it was a relatively short induction and am very thankful. I seriously don't know if I could've taken any more without caving to pain meds.
SublimeBirthGirl's Avatar SublimeBirthGirl 02:13 PM 11-21-2007
I think like Dr. Odent on this. I believe Pitocin is causing irreparable harm to all of humanity, and that we will someday be very sorry for our all our meddling. You do not have to have an ultrasound, and you do not have to induce.

http://www.motherfriendly.org/resources/
Scroll down to induction fact sheet
tinyshoes's Avatar tinyshoes 02:48 PM 11-21-2007
I had an elective induction at 39 weeks w/ my dd. The pit contractions were very intense and painful, and I had an epidural as planned.

The epidural, however, didn't take the first time around. Luckily, my RN took pity on me and turned off the Pit. I got another epidural, and the pit was "cranked back up" as my OB would say. I was hooked up to the fetal monitor and contraction monitor the entire time, and in preparation for my epidural, a bag of IV fluids was dripped in along w/ my pitocin. 1 time I went to the toilet with my IV pole of pitocin--it was very difficult to move those 8 feet out of bed and to the toilet. I was stunned to be so tethered, so immobile; I had no idea it would be like that.

I also had a blood pressure cuff on my left arm, a requirement for an epidural. Lastly, a bladder catheter was inserted, because of the functioning epidural--you cannot feel when you need to pee.

Fast-forward to my second pregnancy, when I contemplated homebirth--I wasn't afraid of the pain, because I had endured the pain and agony of my pitocin-induced labor. My med-free homebirth contractions were, as I suspected, much easier to handle and cope with.

I am now planning my third birth, and of course, Pitocin has no part in my plans.

It is difficult to describe the difference in sensation btwn pit ctx and natural ctx. My L&D RN during my first birth explained this to me, and showed me what the two types of contractions look like on a graph.

I wish I could just draw you a sketch, but I can't, so bear with me. A pit contraction looks like a triangle, with a steep rise leading to a point, and a slower decay as the contraction ends. It's like a lop-sided pyramid, if you can imagine that, with the right side being drawn out.

That is the graphical representation that will show up on your printout during a pit-contraction labor, and the sensation is that of a contraction of the largest muscle in your body, your uterus, being gripped by a very strong tightening, and then it lets go.....sorta....very slowly...down.................and then you get hit with the next one.

In contrast, a natural contraction will be graphed looking like a symmetrical hill, with a rounded top. Gradually, the contraction builds, it reaches its peak and whooo..........then it goes away.

Comparing the two styles of contractions, it's easy to see why pit contractions are harder on a baby....babies were designed to endure a gradual build and a quicker decay of squeeze than you get with an artificially stimulated contraction pattern.

During my homebirth with ds, I was most suprised at how "quickly" the natural contractions ended, because all I could compare it with were the pit contractions. I was also suprised at how normal and fine I felt BETWEEN contractions. If you're contracting every 5 minutes, and they're long contractions, like, a minute or so, that's 4 minutes you're not contracting; 80% of your time spent NOT CONTRACTING, a potentially comforting thought.

I think it is possible to endure a pit labor without pain meds. I also think those are the women who deserve the medals in childbirth. I do not know if I could tolerate a pitocin-induced/augmented labor without pain meds, and I concider myself very pro-natural birth, I promote home birth, I choose home birth for myself, I am a doula and know the many non-drug comfort measures that can be offered, and I just think if the MDs were using pitocin on me, I'd need to use some pain meds to counteract that.
Veritaserum's Avatar Veritaserum 02:58 PM 11-21-2007
I was induced with pit with my first baby. It was one of the worst mistakes I've ever made. The contractions are exponentially more difficult than a natural labor (which I've had with my last three). I ended up with a whole slew of other interventions to correct or catch the problems that come with pit. I was strapped to the bed with various monitors and wires protruding from my body. My mobility was severely restricted. It was a horrific experience.

Pitocin inductions should only be done with a very, very clear medical reason to get the baby born. Simply going past your due date isn't one. A "big baby" isn't one. I'm skeptical of all the low fluid/too much fluid hype going on, too. It's like people are grasping to find any kind of psuedo-medical reason to induce.

Carefully consider the risks involved with pitocin use. They are significant. Be aware of the hidden risks as well (the risks that come with the tag-along interventions).
DragonflyBlue's Avatar DragonflyBlue 03:18 PM 11-21-2007
I had a prost. gel induction that ended up being a 4.5 hour labor. I was not dilated nor effaced, baby was a little over 4 weeks early.

I had no pain meds at all. I was having external monitoring but the baby was moving too much, I was moving too much - standing, squatting etc to get a good reading so I opted for internal monitoring. That gave me a little more freedom of range and a more secure knowledge of how my baby was tolerating labor. (induced for medical reasons)

When I had my twins I had my labor augmented with pitocin. I had external monitoring, was able to walk a bit, sit on a birth ball, squat, pretty much what ever I wanted to do.

Hope this helps!
library lady's Avatar library lady 03:26 PM 11-21-2007
I didn't read all of the other responses because I am sharing my experience. With my first daughter, I was induced with Pitocin. I had the IV drip, fetal monitoring, blah, blah, blah. I really wanted it to be natural but I just couldn't handle the pain and the fact that I was confined to bed. Technically, I could move around but I had to take the IV with me and deal with removing all of the other "junk" that they had tied to me. Moving around or not moving around were both hell. I ended up relenting and having an epidural because I couldn't take the pain at all.

Having said that, my other two babies were born at home with no interference or intervention. I will take a natural birth where I am in control any time of day. I could handle natural birth. Induced birth was way too much for me to handle because the pain was so intense and it did not feel productive if that makes any sense at all.

This is just my experience. I would never ever allow myself to be induced with pitocin ever again.
ani'smommy's Avatar ani'smommy 03:31 PM 11-21-2007
I don't want to scare you, but there really NO comparison between a pit induction and a natural labor.

I was induced at 40 wks for pre-e with DD. I was on the drip the whole time, with the doc turning it up every few minutes. I was out of my mind in fear, tension and agony for upwards of four hours. I couldn't talk, not between contractions and certainly not during. The contractions seemed to last forever and were just blinding pain. The only thing I managed to say was to ask for drugs. I changed my mind and made it through without any pain meds, but it was pretty bad. Finally, I just decided that I couldn't take it anymore and started to push. I didn't push for too long, thankfully and it was over. I had a few stitches, but other than that, I was okay.

I did insist on a machine that would allow me to move around, but I couldn't support myself for much of the labor. The IV made it very hard to move even to roll over in bed. It was also annoying when i wanted more or less clothes on. I actually ripped it out of my hand in transition because it was bothering me so much. I also was pretty sick during transition -- throwing up and sweating/chills.

I had DS at home two years later and it was a completely differnt experience. When my midwife checked me, I thought I was going to be at about a three or four, since that's how I feld with DD. I was at 8. I was in transition and I didn't even know it. I was smiling and talking and laughing between contractions. A very very different experience.

Like others have said, on PIT I didn't care about myself or my baby. I wanted to die and several times thought I actually WAS dying.

I wouldn't wish it on anyone, and I really really hope you don't have to go through it.
pixie-n-hertwoboys's Avatar pixie-n-hertwoboys 03:41 PM 11-21-2007
I haven't read the other replies so might be a repeat.

Induced with my #1. No cause for it ... no distress, not 'overdue' but by a few days from their dates. being a first time mama the doc used scare tactics that unfortunately worked

I went in a 7. They hooked me up to all kinds... belly moniter, blood pressure, internal, cath, the works They started the pit around 8ish? and I didn't get to move at all. I tried for 4 hours to deal with it but having cx from the devil I had to get and epi and after that it was impossible even for me to move myself.... even with all that he was born at 3 that afternoon after 2 hours of pushing. so a 7 hourish labor? oh and was dialated 2cm when I went in.
delfin's Avatar delfin 04:34 PM 11-21-2007
just last week. I labored at home for 8 hours, ok, intense but i was actually enjoying it, feeling the contrax coming in waves, knowing how each one was one less and my baby was closer and closer.
The doc attending my hb didnt show up and i felt i needed to know for sure what was happening. The baby had the cord around his neck, twice, so we went to the hospital, pushed for 4 hours, i was doing good, with great support, but the baby wasnt descending. So they gave me pit to augment and see. It was HELL no breaks, i was twisting in pain, sweating, way too intense, like having habanero chili shot into your system, i spent another hour pushing and since the baby wasnt coming down, they figured out the cord was too short. And it was. It ended in a c section. Im sooo sure i can go trough labour naturally, i would do anything to avoid that pitocin again.
JanetF's Avatar JanetF 09:50 PM 11-21-2007
I like studies because they show the experience of thousands of women. We know from studies that about 30% of inductions end in a c/s and you can raise that to about 60% if you add in an epidural, which many of us do because of the violent pain involved. What you need to remember is that your baby is also experiencing this drug. It's oxygen is likely to be compromised, it is not experiencing the gradual build up of most labours or anything like what evolution has intended babies experience and thus what they're physiologically designed to manage. There is no such thing as overdue. This is why these drugs cause foetal distress. Why do that to your baby? There is only wrong careproviders. You don't HAVE to have any drugs but if you're choosing to birth in a hospital or with a medicalised careprovider, that's what will be pushed. Unless you or your baby are sick, why induce at all??
*GreenMama*'s Avatar *GreenMama* 11:07 PM 11-21-2007
Thanks to everyone who has been responding postively and sharing experiences. Its really great to hear from people who have had pit inductions what to expect if it comes to that. I'm still hoping to just go into labor soon.

I'm not going to go into reasons why or why not to have pitocin. Respectfully, I was not asking to be talked into or out of taking pitocin, just to know about experiences. As I said, I wanted the info so I can be armed with knowledge. I've already turned down induction once, so clearly it is NOT something I want to do.

Most of the respondants have been EXTREMELY helpful, and have given me good ammo to come back at my provider with. I'm getting really really fed up with her, and have already told DH that we are NOT going with her for the next baby.
tallulahma's Avatar tallulahma 11:14 PM 11-21-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgia View Post
My experience: worst experience of my life, and I've had a pretty rough life My two subsequent water homebirths (both with babies two pounds heavy) were LIGHT YEARS more managable and not even in the same universe as my Pitocin "augmentation." IME, Pitocin caused horribly intense and extremely painful, unrelenting contractions. I begged to die. I couldn't handle the pain. Nothing at all like normal, natural contractions. I wouldn't wish a Pitocin experience like mine on anyone. Sadly, in my research since, I find that my experience is absolutely not uncommon Sorry to be a downer, but I'd hate for someone to have a similar experience and not have been warned, y/k?
could have written that myself.

I almost cry when I hear of someone willingly going in to be pit induced.

This, as georgia put it, was the worst thing I have ever experienced.
sal42's Avatar sal42 11:36 PM 11-21-2007
Wanted to share my experience with Pit, as long as you're finding them helpful!
My water broke, and I didn't go into labor, so after awhile I was augmented with pitocin. Nothing seemed to happen for almost an hour, and then they hit me all of a sudden and labor really got going fast. I was able to move around, I was told that if I wanted to get in the shower or tub I could, because they had a water-proof monitor available. I didn't end up getting in the water, but I moved around a lot: on all fours in a variety of positions from the floor, the bed, and over a ball. My RN did have to hold on the EFM, it wouldn't trace everytime she let go, but I was honestly not even aware of her. (I should add that I work at the hospital I delivered at and my labor RN trained me when I first started there, so I was very comfortable with the staff I was working with) Active labor lasted for approximatley 4 hours total, including just under an hour of pushing. I did not get an epidural or any pain meds. I didn't tear either. Also, my daughter came out very alert and latched on to nurse within 15 minutes of being born. Looking back, I think that the contractions were very intense, but I still felt they were wave-like (for me anyway).

I am happy to read experiences from those who have done both and say that without is easier and how they compare. Though I found it doable, it wouldn't be my choice to do again.

Oh, I must also say, my husband was an amazing labor support. Always reminding me to breath and stay in the moment. If I could stress anything it would be to STAY IN THE MOMENT. That helped me the most.
SublimeBirthGirl's Avatar SublimeBirthGirl 11:52 PM 11-21-2007
It is never, ever too late to switch providers. This baby only gets one birth-don't stay with an attendant you don't trust because switching sounds too hard. Switch. You will not regret it.
grumpybear's Avatar grumpybear 12:01 AM 11-22-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by sal42 View Post
Oh, I must also say, my husband was an amazing labor support. Always reminding me to breath and stay in the moment. If I could stress anything it would be to STAY IN THE MOMENT. That helped me the most.
I think that's very good advice because when I found myself thinking about the "average" rate of dilation (1cm/hour), I immediately thought, "that means 10 hours of this!!!" and was very scared and very sure that I would not be able to do it. But when I started to let go of that and just "be", though it was still very intense, it became more bearable.
I did tear though but only just a little. It was about 1/4in and I hardly even felt it postpartum. I think the lack of pain-numbing medication really helped with that because I was able to feel the burning and not push beyond the burn. Towards the end, I felt that I did though just because I am a very impatient person, hence the tear.
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