How have your previous births influenced this one? - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 13 Old 06-27-2005, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quite simply, I'm doing everything different! =) #1 was a planned natural hospital birth that ended in a c/sec. I've since read and joined a birth support group for moms with traumatic births, and read some more. I wrote out a huge journal of what I remember from being pregnant, labor, the surgery, and post partum that ended up being 10 pages long. All of these things have been very healing.

This one is a planned homebirth attended by midwives. I'm afraid that some unresolved fear and/or anger from DS's birth will hinder me this round, so I'm reading more. Having a midwife to talk things over with makes me feel so much safer. I guess that's the huge difference; the first time, I was walking into "enemy teritory" and I knew it and did it anyway. This time I feel safe. Even if something happens and I need another c/sec, I won't have the "what if?" and "I wish I had..." like I did before. Those are just poison.
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#2 of 13 Old 06-28-2005, 01:02 AM
 
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Melissa, have you read Birthing From Within? Reading that or better yet taking a BFW class series could be very helpful in working through the remaining issues with your first birth. Kudos to you for doing so much research and reflection this time around.

I'm such a worry wort and conspiracy theorist that I planned an out-of-hospital, lay-midwife assisted birth with my first. It was long and there are things I'm hoping will be easier this time (like not pushing for 4 hours) but overall I'm pleased with how it went and that gives me confidence for this birth. I'm leaning toward a homebirth and feel prepared to handle most of what labor and birth typically throw at you, and I think I owe that knowledge and confidence to the gentle experience at the hands of experienced midwives with my first birth.

However, due to some friends' experiences and my training process for becoming a Birthing From Within mentor, I am also more knowledgeable about the fact that things actually CAN and DO go wrong no matter where you plan your birth or how "ready" you are. So instead of entering blindly, I now know that the best I can do is make the decisions I feel will improve my odds of certain things happening/not happening, and the rest of it is up to the universe. I'm not that much of a "surrender" type person, but I am learning.

Oh, and the one thing I really hope to do differently this time is this: should my water break a week early, at 11:30 at night, I will NOT run around frantically packing and thinking, "I'm going to have a baby, I'm going to have a baby!" I'll lay down and actually rest this time, maybe have a glass of wine to calm myself.

Carol
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#3 of 13 Old 06-28-2005, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have read BFW and loved it. =) I didn't actually do the art exercises, but did mentally plan out what I would do if I had the supplies. There are some midwives who teach it out here and I'm tempted to take it, but things are really adding up. Although it'll be a tax right-off for next year, it still has to come out of this year's checkbook.

I too have come to the realization that I can prepare, I can learn, but I can't know everything. I have to have some faith and let things go. I guess I'm already relaxing because although I've been interviewing midwives, I haven't actually had a prenatal check and it's already 7.5 weeks! Last time, I was in the OB's office at 4.5. =) (what a waste, for the record!)
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#4 of 13 Old 06-28-2005, 12:09 PM
 
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Have my previous birth experiences shaped this one?
Oh yes, absolutely.
Charlotte was a planned natural hospital birth attended by a gp. (I felt an ob was more care than I needed and there were no complications) Didn't realize that midwives were a viable and state covered option until I was in my 7th month at which point I couldn't change providers. Had an absolutely wonderful child birth educator (she is also an LC and a doula and a national LLL leader). She opened my eye's and my dh's about so many things. It was just a completely wonderful expereience and I made two incredibly good friends in that class (four years ago) that I still talk to almost daily. These people all shaped my birth expereience with Charlotte (which was very positive) and made me aware of choices that I could have regarding birth, treatment and nursing. I am proud of the choices that we made and know that I couldn't have done it without any of them (Charlotte was late, they wanted to induce on the 8th day, I went into labour the day I was scheduled to be induced, managed my own labour on my own terms at the hosptial and delivered her drug free 18 hours later. She wouldn't latch to nurse (I had virtually flat nipples she had a small mouth and a short tounge) There was a 'heat emergency', took her home tube feeding expressed bm, finally latched her at the end of the sixth day with a nipple shield and used that to nurse until she weaned at 10 months) She is a very emotional child and was an opinonated newborn. She gained on the low side of average (its a metabolism thing, she's just skinny) and has always done everything on her own terms from being born to sitting up to walking to talking. She is a challenge and a joy every single day.

Silas was an unexpected pg, born when Charlotte was just 18 months old. We were attended by midwives but he was an unplanned home birth with the midwives arriving to attend me five minutes before he arrived on the floor of my living room. In fact two minutes before his arrival my midwife told me I was 5cm dilated and we hat lots of time to go to the hosptial. Then she let me push and that was that. We just stayed home with him after that. He was also late, I chose to resist interventions and obviously wasn't medicated. Again there were no complications and dh and I were able to 'discover' his gender for our selves (which we had done with Charlotte as well but more by accident). I spent the first ten minutes after the birth just giggling. The situation was so completely hillarious and unexpected (I'd wanted to go to the hosptial in the early stages of labour becuase I"d thrown up in labour with Charlotte and didn't want that to happen again with Silas so to have ended up at home long enough to have actually had the baby was just absurd. And Charlotte had been napping in her bedroom above us until 31 minutes before the birth at which point I'd given her a little kiss on the cheek and she'd gone out with her Grandma)
Silas is a mellow agreeable child. He latched and nursed before he was 24 hours old (no nipple shield!!!) and was a sensational gainer (which defninitely influced my confidence regarding the quality of my milk and its supply.)
He is the polar opposite of his sister (sometimes a good thing, sometimes not) but he definitely reinforced the choices that we make and continue to make with Charlotte

This time through we're planning a home birth. Since Silas's arrival was so rapid I'm not sure why we'd bother with the hosptial. We will again be attended by midwives and I do not forsee any nursing problems, It was so incredible to manage the expereience of nursing without a shield ( I was so sick of the 'pity' looks I'd get from moms when I was nursing Charlotte. It made me want to rage and say "HEY I'm nursing her just like you're nursing your baby. We really had to work to get here and I'm PROUD of us so I don't need or want your PITY but I'd be happy to talk about how much we're each enjoying nursing our babies" )

So ya, you could certainly say that my experience has coloured my expectations.
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#5 of 13 Old 06-28-2005, 01:49 PM
 
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Yes, I had a CNM/OB planned natural hospital birth for DS. My water broke first and I had back labor, as he was posterior. I had a doula, but I should have interviewed more b/c she didn't turn out to be very good.

Long story short, ended w/epidural (back labor sooo awful) narrowly avoided c-sec, had vacuum extraction w/episiotomy. This was not the worst part.

DS was pale and breathing badly when he was born and I only got to hold him about 30 seconds before they took him to the NICU. 8 hours later he was dx with a severe congenital heart defect. It was the worst night of our lives. He spent 3 weeks in the hospital, had one heart surgery, came home, had another surgery at 3 months old.

My doula took off right when they took him away so we were alone. I have a lot of anger and resentment about that.

When I was PG with m/c #1 last summer we did a lot of research on our options, saw a genetic counselor, finally decided on HB with a midwife that several moms recommended to me. Once I met with her she seemed so professional and caring and experienced that I totally trusted her. She even showed us a home video of one of her births where they had to recussitate the baby--that was my greatest fear, what they would do. She said she doesn't usually show that video to new clients, but she thought we could appreciate it. It really sealed it.

I will be getting concurrent care for a while until we can diagnose any potential heart problems. I am hoping that being at home (hospitals always terrify my) and being in the water with a competent midwife will help me manage the pain better, although I am desperately hoping for NO BACK LABOR!! Good gawd that was awful.

But my #1 concern is that the baby stay with me, unless in dire emergency, for several hours after the birth. I feel like if I went to a hospital, no matter how much prenatal testing ruled out a heart problem, they would be taking the baby away for an echocardiogram as soon as they could. I missed so much of DS's first hours and weeks, and I can't bear to miss that again.

Sleepy mom of two (DS-11, DD-8). 5 lost: 9/2004, 3/2005, 4/2013, 8/2014, ectopic- rupture @7w, lost right tube 11/14
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#6 of 13 Old 06-28-2005, 03:52 PM
 
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Hey Steph, I didn't know Iain had been posterior.
Charlotte was, born looking right at us. I hear you on back labour it was the WORST.
Silas was also posterior but flipped right before I had the sudden omigod I need to push sensation before the midwives got there and was born face down.

Do they think that they could have found Iain's problem prenatal with more screening?
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#7 of 13 Old 06-28-2005, 04:03 PM
 
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I'm glad you have read Birthing from Within. It is an amazing book. I was going to suggest it then I saw your second post. The first time I read it was after my first birth. I was in training to be a certified birth doula and it was one of the books on the reading list. While reading it I realized how much healing I needed from the first birth. My second birth was better, so much less intervention, no epidural, no pitocen, no IV, still in the hosp. though. I would much rather be at home in MY comfortable space. I am reading BFW again and would love to find an instructor in my area. I am also reading Gentle Birth Choices again by Barbara Harper. It is a wonderful book too that I highly recamend for anyone considering a home birth for the first time.

I definetly thing my past experiences shape my desires for something different this time. I know we have a long time before birth, but I am looking forward to it already. With so many homebirthers on this thread we are bound to have some amazingly great birth stories.

Laurie, wife to James, mom to 3 girls: 8,5 & 4 and 1 handsome boy,2: planning May 2010
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#8 of 13 Old 06-28-2005, 04:08 PM
 
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Yep, we tried everything to get him to turn around, but hands & knees was about the most horribly painful position, and I thought it was supposed to help back labor!! My ctx were 3 min apart or less the entire time--22 hours--and I got the epi after 16 or so hours of that. I had a really hard time pushing him out b/c of the positioning, and probably the epidural and the fact that I had the flu (I was totally wiped out). He was +3 station when they did the vacuum.

If they had suspected something about the heart when I had my one 20 week u/s, they would have sent us for a fetal echocardiogram which would have likely diagnosed it or at least given an approx. diagnosis. But they don't always see heart defects unless they are really obvious, like an underdeveloped chamber or whole side of the heart. Iain's problem is a little more subtle, dealing with valves and placement of vessels and the septum between the ventricles. They are mostly just looking for major stuff on that 20w u/s, like is the spinal cord closed, does the baby have 2 kidneys, etc. I do know of other diagnoses of TOF in utero, but I'm guessing an actual doc did their u/s, not a less-trained u/s tech like I had.

The high risk OB told me that he will be able to do a u/s around 15-16 weeks that will tell them whether there are major deformities, and I will have a fetal echo around 20-22 weeks that will be much more conclusive.

Sleepy mom of two (DS-11, DD-8). 5 lost: 9/2004, 3/2005, 4/2013, 8/2014, ectopic- rupture @7w, lost right tube 11/14
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#9 of 13 Old 07-06-2005, 03:14 AM
 
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I had my firstborn in a birthing center with a midwife. It was a good birth but there were some things I would've changed. In particular, another woman came in who had previously requested a water birth, so I had to get out of the tub. At that point, labor went from very manageable to something I just tried to survive (back labor).

With my daughter, we had moved to another state and had planned a mw-attended homebirth but when I was 2 weeks past my due-date with what we knew was a fairly large baby who was still floating around high and unengaged, my mw said she'd be more comfortable at the hospital (turns out she was 90% sure I would be having a c-section...I'm glad I didn't know that at the time). The birth ended up being wonderful...labor was a revelation. There's just no comparison between back labor and normal labor, and at no point did I feel like the pain was more than a 7 on a scale of 1-10. I was shocked when the mw said I was at 10 and could start pushing...I didn't even realize I'd gone through transition. The baby finally moved into the birth canal and she was out in 20 minutes...all 11lb 3oz of her.

With this baby (we're due Feb 28th, but I expect s/he will come around March 14th or so...my little ones like to procrastinate) I'm not sure what we'll do. I'm using the same group of midwives I used with my daughter....but I'm not sure if we'll be delivering at home, the hospital or the birthing center. It's nice to know that the hospital my mw's have privileges at is respectful of their ways and their patients...and only makes a woman stay 6 hrs after giving birth.

Maureen
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#10 of 13 Old 07-06-2005, 11:54 PM
 
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I loved the book Active Birth by Janet Balaskas.

My first birth was medicated, induced and I felt scared of how long I could endure the pain. After that I educated myself. With #2 I hired a doula, labored at home (when I was admitted I was a seven already ) and gave birth less than 2 hours after walking through the door. Unmedicated.

This time I am interviewing the CNM at our hospital and considering using her instead of my OB. Mainly bc with my first he was not available at the birth. With #2 he made it. I like him fine just don't really want to deal with his partners. I would consider HB if we had midwives near us but noone is close enough for my comfort level. In my heart some days I consider UC. Totally alone even My dh still sleeping in the other room. LOL If I had not woken him up last time to go to the hospital. He would have never known I was in labor :LOL
THAT was empowering.

I feel that the less you fear the less pain you will have. That was so true for me last time. Being scared and tense makes things stop and hurt. I always tell people I love giving birth.
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#11 of 13 Old 07-09-2005, 12:15 PM
 
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Well I am the one dissenting person who is not planning or focusing on a natural birth. With my son I had severe pre-e and he was born by emergency c-section at 34 weeks, no labour. With my daughter I spent the pregnancy fighting for a home VBAC. I ended up transferring after 25 hours because I couldn't take the pain but then they bullied me into a c-section. This time I am planning a hospital birth, fully allowing myself the option of an epidural. All I want is for the baby to come out vaginally, I don't feel like being in agony while I do it. I can still remember the pain from her. Horrible!

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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#12 of 13 Old 07-09-2005, 12:38 PM
 
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Heavenly would you be able to hire a doula? I just can't sy enough about how they advocate for you in the birth process!
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#13 of 13 Old 07-10-2005, 01:16 AM
 
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Heavenly, I teach birth classes based on the book Birthing from Within and your story reminds me of one of the lessons they really stress in the training. You should use the "rule of compassion" when considering pain coping as a whole. If all the breathing and pain coping practice and massage and so on isn't working, then it isn't working. Sometimes an epidural can really, really help a laboring mom. Getting one at 2 cm because you prefer to avoid any pain is generally not the best overall idea, but getting one for true necessity (mom is exhausted, baby is in a very painful position, labor that's been going on for a long time, or whatever.) is perfectly appropriate. There is a difference between "pain" and "suffering." Suffering doesn't help move you toward the end result of birth - it causes you to wear out and/or labor to arrest. The "normal" pain of childbirth DOES help move you toward birth. The trick is to have enough appropriate support by trusted people to be able to tell the difference between the two, and to help you know how and when to move toward whatever additional support is needed.

So I totally understand what you're saying and am supportive of your approach born out of experience and perspective. We none of us should discount any procedure or drug wholly...because you just never ever know what labor and birth are going to bring.

Warmly,
Carol
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