Starting to be anxious about labor ... words of wisdom? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-09-2008, 10:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD's birth was really wonderful, although for a few months I had to work through my disappointment in myself. After 45 hours of labor, I was only dialated 7cm so we started pitocin and I asked for an epidural. Before meds, I really felt I was handling the pain well, mostly the reason I opted for the meds was because I was so intensely exhausted and I was very afraid how much longer I had and whether I'd make it through pushing.

DC #2 is due in a month and I plan/hope to have a drug-free birth. But I'm starting to feel very afriad that I won't be able to handle the pain. I felt much more confident about labor going into DD's birth. With DD, though, my water didn't break until after the epi was in. From what I've heard, contractions end up being much more intense after waters break and I've started worrying that since I never felt that, maybe I can't handle it?

Anyone have words of strength? Advice on how to prepare myself again for labor? Thoughts on how I can feel strong and confident going into this?
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:58 PM
 
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Have you read any books this pregnancy? I would recommend Birthing From Within and Ina May's Spiritual Midwifery or Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. They have renewed many doubtful minds!

Beyond that, please remember that every birth is different. Your second birth has an advantage over the first, your body has already done this once, and is far better prepared to do it this time Try to ignore the early part of your labor and focus on resting and taking care of yourself, preserve your energy for later...a short nap in early labor will take you a long way. If possible, snack on nutritious foods and keep yourself hydrated...your body will work more efficiently this way...Try to stay in the moment and not predict what is ahead...we are most often wrong, and underestimate our own strenght...one contraction at a time is all you need to do...

And pee often...full bladders get in the way!
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:05 PM
 
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I really respect and honor your birth experience. I think you are amazing to have gone to 7 cm and I think if you remind yourself about transition, what it is, and how it makes you feel, you can do it this time if you want!

I don't know about the water breaking. But I can identify with how you felt--I labored at home for 2 days (got sent home from birthing center on day 2 when they said I was a 4cm not a 7cm) and got to a point where I was really worried I wouldn't be able to do it anymore. Not the pain, but the tired. I told my mom and DH to take me to the hospital and get an epidural. I was so afraid I had another 12-15 hours of labor ahead of me. My mom said, "let's go to the birthing center and have the MW check you. If you havne't progressed like you feel you should have, then we can take you to a hospital" Thank god for her--we got to the birthing center an hour later, my water broke immediately--I was a 10 and started pushing. Never mentioned the epidural again.

It really is true that the worst part (transition) is just before the best part (pushing) And if you can just hold out during that transition you will be fine. It's the not knowing how close you are that can make this stage of labor seem so impossible. And I know if I had been in a hospital setting, I would have asked for it, and gotten it

Maybe work with your birth support people (partner or doula) to recognize transition and get you through it. Help them come up with a way to help you separate the emotions of transitions from the true desire for medical pain relief. Like, I don't know--make you wait 1/3 hour before getting the epi. Or make you ask 3 times. Or make them offer several other pain relief options first (diff. position, shower, birthing ball, massage, lower back compression) Just get through transition! Let them bargain with you. I know my DH did not feel confident enough with birth #2 to "deny" me the epidural when I was asking for it. So I would work this out ahead of time for sure and make him feel comfortable about helping you resist the urge for medical pain relief.

You made it all that way last time--you did the super hard part so I have no doubt you can do it. Also, OMG, you had Pit. I never have, but I've heard that can make the pain more intense (I know not for everyone) But perhaps this time if Pit. doesn't enter the picture you will feel the pain in a different way? You also might look at some of the threads here talking about Pit because some women have done it without an epi., and while some have and that is totally understandable, that may make you feel more confident, too, if you should get Pitocin again.

Oh, and avoid vaginal exams! They only discourage and can't really give any useful info!
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Old 05-10-2008, 02:14 AM
 
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It is true that every pregnancy and delivery is different. I don't have much experience, I only had one child so far. What really helped me though is the knowledge and assurance that God created me perfect and my body can do it. I was not scared and expected an easy delivery and that's what I've got. Be strong and believe in yourself. Transition is not always painful. Mine was like a blessing. I was waiting for the pain to go stronger but it just ended once the baby started to go down the passage.
I believe that your expectations make a lot of difference. Many women did it and do it every day, you can too. Don't forget that it's the fear factor that makes delivery and labor so frightening.
I didn't have epidural. Like I said, I was waiting for the pain to be unbearable and only then get some kind of anastesia. While I was contracting I tried to sleep. I told myself that it may take a while so i need to rest and i actually made myself sleep between contractions. What i didn't realise at that time is that i was very close to pushing, so i was sleeping through the strongest contractions. After few hours i started to feel an urge to push and i pushed. i couldn't hold it. my nurse couldn't believe that i was fully dialated and the doctor came in just in time to catch the baby although they all thought i will be there all night.
you never know how long it'll take but think of an easy delivery and it will be easy.

During my labor I also thought of my cervix as a beautiful flower (i actually tried to imagine it) that opens up gracefully to bring a new life into the world. It helped.

About water: i had mine intact until transition. It was really nice pushing the baby with the water- this way the baby goes down smoothely. They say it's hard to push a baby when dry, so don't let your doctor to break your water before time.
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