How well do you handle emergencies? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-05-2008, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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In birth or just in general, are you able to remain calm and levelheaded if something goes wrong?
If yes, how do you keep yourself calm?

This is a problem I have had for a long time - I tend to freak out and get panicky in emergencies. And it is one reason my dh has given me for him not wanting us to do a UC.

Anyone out there have this problem and still UC? Did you manage to teach yourself how to remain calm and not panic? How?
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:51 AM
 
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Does he think birth is an emergency? That'd be my thought - it's not terribly relevant if you freak out during emergencies if you trust yourself and the process.

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aspiring midwife Mama to Declan - 7/14/00 and Bastian - 11/20/07.
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:29 PM
 
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what kind of emergencies have you been in and didn't stay calm? i find that if it is not a true emergency, just a stressful situation, i might not be handling it very calmly. but when i unfortunately had a true personal emergency, i surprised myself at how calm i was. it just happened. i knew instinctively what my priorities were, i was able to assess the situation, and distribute my attention effectively. we weren't completely alone, we were waiting for an ambulance, but if you had a true child birth emergency you'd be calling for help as well, i assume.

dh had many emergencies in his life and he prides himself at being super calm, but in our only true emergency i was calmer, actually, even if i was the one being hurt. dh didn't do anything overtly panicky, but he wasn't as level headed either and tunnel focused on me, and not on DD who was with us.

i think that unless you had a true emergency, you wouldn't know how you'd handle it. knowledge and information is helpful, i think. so you don't need to panic over small things. for example, we could have panicked if we didn't find a phone to call for help. or if we didn't know who to call. if most "minor" things are under control, then you focus on the main emergency, and the focus keeps you calm.

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Old 03-05-2008, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He's thinking about in case there is something that goes wrong. I tried to explain to him that with someone there that I'm uncomfortable with, we're more likely to have an emergency.

You know, I feel pretty strong in trusting my body, it has already shown me, in my last birth, that it knows what to do and I can trust it. I think his attitude is interferring with that trust. I wonder what'll happen if I tell him that!

My original question is still valid though, because there are those rare cases where something is wrong, even something small and fixable. Is there anyone who has had a UC where there was a problem, where they either breezed through it calmly, or panicked and freaked out and made things worse?
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:51 PM
 
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Have you read 'Emergency Childbirth'? I printed it off and read through it and that's what helped calm some of my fears, that if there was an emergency, I had this manual that I could go straight to and it'd tell me what I should be doing. There'd be no freaking out wondering what to do, just doing what the instructions tell you to. It also tells you some things that you might think are a problem, but they're not really.
HTH!

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Old 03-05-2008, 02:20 PM
 
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I handle them well. I used to be a tech in the hospital (hospice, er, med/surg) and an EMT, so emergencies I can handle. Dh can NOT handle them, so that worried me. I figured he'd pass out at the sight of blood! But he was a trooper and I didn't go into the birth thinking of it as an emergency.

I ended up with a pph due to retained piece of placenta with my UC. I was outwardly calm about it, but honestly devastated and depressed more than scared.

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Old 03-05-2008, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I do have that book, and it did help me to remember how low risk birth truly is, but I don't know if I want to be reaching for a book in a situation. I feel like I should *know* what to do, rather than look it up.

My dh is usually the one who stays calm, so I think his concern is that he's going to have to take over and be like a midwife, and he's not ready for that.
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Old 03-05-2008, 03:18 PM
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well, in the case of a true emergency, he wouldn't have to take over and be "like a midwife" but rather would have to do the basic things that most people do in an emergency: get you to the hospital or call emergency services.

that's it. nothing more than what he would do if Abigail or Geneva broke a leg or what have you. he wouldn't need to 'be the doctor' and set the leg, he'd just have to get them to help or get them help to come to them.

right? so, what's so scary about that?

beyond that, i don't consider birth to be all that inherently risky or emergent, and i am calm in emergencies because i focus on the task at hand--what i can do and what needs to be done within what i can do--and then i wait until the people who can help arrive (or when they're ready to help at the hospital, etc, once i arrive).

and so, that's that.
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Old 03-05-2008, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is really helpful. Thanks everyone.
When we talked the other night, he compared birth to rock repelling, saying he would never repel without a saftey line, but he never had to use it.

He says he's worried about the baby's safety, but he refuses to read anything about birth. I'm just so frustrated with his approach.
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Old 03-05-2008, 03:53 PM
 
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When it doesn't matter, I get all flustered and anxious about totally unimportant stuff.

But when it does matter, I'm efficiency personified.
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Old 03-05-2008, 04:41 PM
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to use the sporting analogy--what would happen if he had three safety lines attached, or four? would it not get in the way of the repelling, such that the safety lines no longer create a safe situation, and in fact create a more dangerous one?

in my mind, asking you to be in a hospital/birth center or to have a midwife there is asking for more safety lines than necessary, and therefore negating the benefit of a safety line.

to me, the fact that there is a hospital within driving distance and ambulance services via 911 is enough of a safety line. that's it. if we need it, it is there and we can grab it.

but if we don't need it, then it's still there, and we didn't have to grab it.

no need to clutter up the house/repelling line' with more safety equipment than necessary. if one does, the equipment now creates risk, rather than mitigates it.

(i rock climb myself, and i'm admittedly quite scared about it. i only do top rope and bouldering, while i have friends who lead and free-solo. in a birthing way, you might say that what i do is a hospital/birth center birth, and my friends are more to the homebirth/UC situation. but we're all safe--it's just a matter of what YOU feel safe with. my friends often feel "held back" by the top rope, and that it gets in the way of "pure climbing"--and i get that. but i know what my comfort level is, and right now, that's top rope climbing).
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Old 03-05-2008, 08:28 PM
 
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I didn't have any emergencies. My UC baby had the cord wrapped around her neck a couple of times but she came out crying and fine and I just unwound it.

Laura, CBE and mom to Maddiewaterbirth.jpg ( 06/03/04) & Graceuc.jpg (  09/10/06)
 
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Old 03-06-2008, 03:42 PM
 
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If I cut myself with a knife in the kitchen I have to sit down or my head starts to spin and I feel shaky even if it is just bleeding a bit. It's not the sight of blood so I am not sure why I am like that. But when I gave birth I felt shaky but calm and not at all dizzy. The hormones and such really kick in and give you strength to do what you wouldn't think possible after just pushing out a baby.

Wife to DH, Mom to my Intact Boys DS1: Born 02 Pain Med Free Hospital Birth, BF'ed for 9 Months, Partially Vax'd DS2: Born 06 via UC, BF'ed 3 years 10 months, and UnVax'd
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:05 PM
 
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The two What Ifs that hold me back from a UC are:

What if there's shoulder dystocia?

and

What if the baby is doesn't start breathing?


I know that there are answers to both of those questions: I know about the Gaskin maneuver, etc. But I don't know that I trust myself to think of all those things on the spot.

DS (10/03), DD (11/05) and expecting a new one (July 2011)
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StillWaters View Post
The two What Ifs that hold me back from a UC are:

What if there's shoulder dystocia?

and

What if the baby is doesn't start breathing?


I know that there are answers to both of those questions: I know about the Gaskin maneuver, etc. But I don't know that I trust myself to think of all those things on the spot.
Actually, for the first, shoulder dystocia is pretty uncommon when women are free to birth as they will. It's another one of the problems that tends to be caused by interventions--particularly inductions and coached pushing.

But really, if you won't be able to move past those fears you'd be more hindered alone and will be better off with someone to take care of them for you.

Oh, and welcome to MDC!
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, I agree with shoulder dystocia, as I've read a fair bit about it, and I'm not worried about that. The second one, moreso, I suppose. A member of a UC group (either yahoo or facebook, I forget) mentioned neonatal resucitation classes, but I've never heard of that around here.

Oh! I just realied this was your first post, StillWaters, so Welcome!
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pam_and_Abigail View Post

My original question is still valid though, because there are those rare cases where something is wrong, even something small and fixable. Is there anyone who has had a UC where there was a problem, where they either breezed through it calmly, or panicked and freaked out and made things worse?

Being intuitive and not freaking out and staying calm will serve you well!


My friend is a calm collected non panic type of person, when she intuitively felt something was "wrong". It was gut intuition, no panic, no real outward sign something was going wrong. She had an overwhelming feeling she needed to follow her instincts, not her husbands instincts.

She followed her own intuition, in her laboring fog she got dressed and left the house to hail a cab, she decided she wanted to be in a hospital for her baby's arrival, she got to the hospital, the baby was born alive but died shortly afterwards.

She never gave birth in a hospital before, her other two children were born at home and she just felt this overwhelming compelling pull to a hospital.
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