In any event, I was looking for some stories from mamas who refused cervical exams. If you refused, how did you know when to push? Isn't there a risk that you'll start to push before being fully dialated? I guess I'm just confused about what I'll feel and when its time to push since I didn't get that far with DD.
Hope its not too early for this question! Thanks mamas!
The reason I didn't let the mw check before was that I wanted to give birth in my own time and I felt that any countdown of dilated centimeters would just annoy me. I also figured my baby would come when he/she was ready.
I honestly don't regret having gone down that road, because that way I had a really relaxed and calm labor. I don't even regret that it was that long. Personally I would also find any exams during labor extremely evasive and contra-intuitive.
As for the knowing when to push part I obviously can't talk from experience. Even though I was fully dilated I never felt the urge to push. But as far as I know there is a natural reflex caused by the baby's head touching the pelvic floor. Once the baby is down there the cervix is fully dilated anyway or else the baby wouldn't have got that far, kwim? Before that you shouldn't feel the need to push.
Franziska , DW to )oi , SAHM to Noah 06/2008, Sophia 08/2010, and Junis 11/2012
Ina May describes the cervix as a sphincter meaning it can (and will) go backward in dilation when your body is telling you that you aren't in a safe place. Getting checked, for some women, can slow or reverse progress. It certainly did for me!!!
Talk to your care provider about their take on it. If you are having a hospital birth, the hospital might have certain policies they 'need' to abide by. But you can still get minimal checks. Like one when you arrive and one right before pushing. If you stay firm with no checks, you can always change your mind in the course of labor if you want. That is what I did, but it didn't have a favorable outcome for me. So be cautious because while in labor sometimes you'll be anxious and curiosity will get the best of you.
As for pushing, chances are you'll know when it's time to push. In a non-medicated, non-intervened with birth, the pushing stage should be a natural urge. Sometimes you won't even realize your body has begun to push baby down. The 'pushing' faze that is referred to is generally speaking of moms who have had epidurals. Lying on your back, unable to feel means your pushing needs to be coached, and baby isn't going to just slide down on its own. When upright and not medicated, baby usually does the work, and mom starts pushing little pushes with contractions. For me, DD was crowing before I knew it. She was out about 2 minutes later. I never even actually 'pushed' that I remember. At least not in the sense that I had a choice in the matter. There was no conscious decision made to begin pushing. My body and my baby just knew what to do and when to do it. I'm not saying that some women don't have a hard time with pushing. You won't know that for sure until you're there and in the moment. But generally speaking, it shouldn't be something to worry about.
Happily unmarried to DP Parenting: DD (March '06) , DS (August '10) , and our furry kids Guiney Pig, Po the POlice, and Mrs. Puff. Loving WAHM life in the Mortgage Bizz with DP.
I was never checked with DD - I started pushing when I felt the need to. I started pushing very slowly and worked my way up to full strength. I tend to believe that the body will certainly know when it is ready to push.
That being said, I was and L&D nurse for several years, and it may be best to have SEVERAL conversations with your OB regarding this BEFORE going into labor. As soon as you get to the hospital, make sure you say it several more times to the nursing staff and any residents/med students you encounter. When it comes to hospital birthing, there are a lot of guidelines that are followed and most of the time the staff gets a little confused when you refuse things. There may be some eye-rolling and sighs, but they will do (or not do) what you ask if you mean it.
Proud Mama to DS1 09/07 , DD 07/09 , and DS2 06/11 . Feeling more and more blessed with each day!
I know this isn't going to be a popular opinion, but IMHSHO most healthcare providers who start doing routine checks even before labor just have a curiosity as to what your cervix is doing and abuse their status as a HCP to satisfy that curiosity (whether it's a conscious thought or not). The information serves absolutely no purpose in 99.9% of cases, and you wouldn't drop trow and spread your legs if your next door neighbor wanted to know.
Bubba (9) Lukey (5) Fat Baby (2) Me
Also, you have the absolute right to refuse any treatment or procedure you do not want for any reason whatsoever (even though doctors and hospitals frequently confuse "standard of practice" with "law"). If anyone gives you a hard time, demand the liability release forms. The term "assault and battery" can also work magic. An informed mother is extremely difficult to coerce into anything she doesn't want!
With my second baby, I labored 8 hours but early labor took most of that time. When we finally called the midwife, she barely had time to set her stuff up before I pushed him out. I was worried that I was pushing before my body was ready, but when the midwife saw me sort-of-pushing, she saw that I was really close to having the baby and suggested I come to bed and take off my pants Two pushes later and he was out. So I was sort of in pushing denial. I was never checked. But that feeling of having to push wasn't something I could ignore with either baby.
I do have very supportive OBs (their practice is comprised of several OBs and 2 midwifes and I am guaranteed that it'll be one of the OBs or MWs during labor). During labor with DD, a midwife was there with me and she always asked me if I wanted to be checked before she did anything. I guess I just didn't realize the negative effect it would have on me until afterward. I am definitely going to talk with them about this issue and make sure we're all on the same page. I just don't want the same stress again.
Then again, discussing this choice with DP makes him very scared. Being a man (god bless him), he doesn't really grasp the whole concept of labor since he wasn't physically going through it and he's just concerned for me and the baby. He's very supportive, I just need to be able to explain to him how and why it'll be okay just to labor and try to have the baby without being checked every two hours.
To that end, I've ordered Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, Birthing From Within and The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth. I hope we can read some of this stuff together.
Any other suggestions about how to make DP feel more comfortable and assured that things will be okay without a zillion cervical checks?
I mean, what's going to happen if they don't check you? It's not like the baby will just stay up there.
I understand that it's hard for him to really grasp that though since he has never experienced it. I'd just teach him or give him resources he can look through himself that talk about the process and how things happen. Can't hurt.
And I know I'm late but just to add to the Mama Power, go you!
My midwife does not check me unless I want her to or there is some complication that warrants checking. I like that. I won't feel so stressed I think or pressured.
Mama to DS [05/21/08] & DD [09/16/10] 43 weeks 1 day!
There's an excellent article in Midwifery Today called The “Rule of 10” Versus Women’s Primal Wisdom. I very highly recommend reading it!
Franziska , DW to )oi , SAHM to Noah 06/2008, Sophia 08/2010, and Junis 11/2012
and you wouldn't drop trow and spread your legs if your next door neighbor wanted to know.
My first was born in a hospital and I couldn't believe how many times the nurse checked me! She kept saying not to push the Dr. wasn't there yet! I went into the Hospital at a 7 within 3 hours was at a 9. I really wanted to push. An hour later(seemed longer than that) the Dr. came in and said, "Let her push it will happen naturally. I was really glad the nurse was not around when I gathered my senses about me. As soon as I started pushing, five minutes later she was born.
Second and third were born at a birth center with a hands off midwife. I kept asking her if I could push with the second child and she said, "whenever you feel like it hun."
|Stream-I actually had some difficulty giving myself "permission" to push, I think because was a little hung up on needing to know I was complete|
|An Interview with Unassisted Birth Advocate Laura Shanley~Most people can relate to this sexual analogy (which I am borrowing in part from Michel Odent) Imagine you’re having sex and everything is going beautifully. The energy is flowing and sexual excitement is building. But suddenly someone walks in the room, taps you on the shoulder and says, “Excuse me, what’s your social security number?Instantly you would come out of a creative, intuitive, artistic frame of mind and go into a rational, critical, thinking one. As a result, most men would instantly lose their erection, and sexual desire would probably cease for both partners.
This is exactly what happens when medical personnel are timing, measuring, counting or even simply observing a woman giving birth.
Observation changes all natural bodily functions.”
Wife to Dh and homeschooling, mother to DD16 DS12 DS9 DS5 DS3. Due with 6th child in March 2014.
My third was born at home and my midwife never even offered to check. In my own space on my own ground, it came very naturally--I began feeling the urge to push, reached down and could feel the babe's head. I waited to actively push until the urge was unbearable and then called my crew (MW's) in. My 9 lb dd was born three huge, ouch! pushes later. My water broke with her head crowning and that hurt. But pushing is always such a relief to me.
At one point my mw said, "You're doing so well that I have no idea what stage you are in (I was in transition) so you're going to have to tell me when you need/want me and when you need to push." It was such a different experience from my first birth and it made me really confident in my own ability to call the shots.
that's my experience!
caution: one-handed nak
I'm going to the same CNMs at the same hospital this time, and I so wish I could have a home birth, but insurance doesn't cover it.
With my second I was at home and the midwife asked only once if she could check. I was almost complete, but I knew that anyway. When the urge to push came, it was unbelievable and undeniable. And dd was (bellowed) out in two pushes.
I probably won't have any checks this time. The mw I'm with now, is kind of opposed to them (she would do it if asked, but since I won't ask, and I know she won't offer, it isn't likely to happen).
As far as how you can help your dh understand, personally, I think the best solution is a doula. A good doula is as much, if not more, about helping the birth partner help you as she is about helping you directly. Many men seem to find that "authority" helpful and calming and she also can help mediate between the pressures a hospital staff is applying and a husband's fears. I think doula's are worht their weight in gold at a hospital birth (and no, I'm not a doula!)
Also, in my experience, reading is only sorta helpful. My dh, and the male partners of most of my friends, tend to leave the woman to do the reading and then get the abridged version from them. So, read all those books. They are wonderful. But, I guess if I were you, I'd be prepared to be consolidating, streamlining and filtering the information for my dh!
she said 'I don't know if you need to be checked~ I think you're hitting transition~ and you know that' God I love her
Sure enough I was 7 and I was in transition and in my I can't do this stage and for me my body hits 7ish and pushes baby down and out ~ my body starts pushing at that point and I go 7 to crowning quickly. I've never had to 'know when to push', I have no control over the matter . I have heard othere mamas say they never have the overwhelming urge but for me I am completely at the mercy of my body and Baby .
Though I say I go quickly from 7ish to crowning~ I do not have fast and furios labors, intense, long and furious YES. I've been induced w/ all 3 births for different reasons~ only the last being truly neccesary and they were 21, 17 and 14 hour labors, pain med free. Baby comes very quickly for me once I hit 'my point' and transition.