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do you have time for some support?? (long)

463 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  courtenay_e
hi! i am seeking some knowledge and support right now from you
due in september, my dh and i are planning a hbac. i know in my mind that this is the safest option for baby and me. that being said, i still have some lingering doubts about my body's ability to birth. why? i tell myself everyday that birth is natural and my body knows instinctively what to do.

my first labor was long. it started out really well. slow, but progressing. the ob broke my water when i was about 4 cm (baby was still pretty high, maybe a -2). labor got going much stronger. at 7 cm i was desperate for some relief. i caved and got the epidural. my labor completely stalled after that. the ob mentioned a 'size issue'. so, pitocin was administered to see if contractions would pick up again. sometime the next day, i made it to 9cm with a lip. so, the nurse suggested that i 'push' through it. feeling no urge to push, i tried to find the energy. finally complete, i really began pushing with the direction of the nurse. but it seemed like nothing felt 'right'. the 2 positions that i tried (the semi-sitting and laying on my side with one leg in the air- how nice) were so uncomfortable and unproductive. over 2 hours, and nothing. the nurse and ob would just say, " isn't descending. it looks like a size issue". so, i gave up. i felt completely defeated and unsupported. i just said, "i can't do this anymore". i then had a section delivery to a beautiful 7 lb 9 0z baby boy. i am so thankful for the labor that i was able to experience before hand.

soon after, i completely felt like i had given up. the whole pregnancy, everyone said that i would have a c-section since i am under 5 feet tall and 88 lbs pre prego. plus, my dh is over 6 feet tall. but i always felt like my body COULD do it. the ob said that the c-section was necessary due to my 'small pelvis'. but for some reason, i just didn't believe it. the operative report said that my ds was 'deeply wedged into pelvis'. i remember how molded his head was after the delivery. could this be if he couldn't fit into my pelvis?

please tell me some of your experiences and knowledge regarding this. i read 'pelvises i have known and loved' and it really made sense. i want this homebirth so bad for our next baby. another c-section really scares me, but not as bad as something bad happening to our baby.

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Did they turn the epidural off and give your body a chance to HAVE the urge to push? Many women will find that, with directed pushing, the baby barely moves...but once they get the actual urge to push (ie, when baby and body are ready), baby is out in VERY little time. Your pelvis is very moveable at the end of pregnancy due to hormones making tissues soft and pliable, and allowing tendons and muscles to give and be mushy. It is extremely unlikely that the baby wouldn't fit, had they just given your body the chance to do it's job the way it WANTED to do it's job.

My grandmother was 5'2 and 100 lbs sopping wet, had 13 unmedicated vaginal births, and four of them were with babies eleven pounds or over...the difference being that she really had no other information but that women had babies vaginally. That's just how it's done, and so she did it. You will too.

I'd see a chiropractor through this entire pregnancy, to be sure that all bones and guts are in the optimal position for labor and birth...then, if you have time, I'd get adjusted the day you go into labor, too.

I'd also read "Birthing From Within" to lose your fears resulting from the last pregnancy, and be absolutely adament to every person with whom you come in contact that, unless they have totally positive things to say about birth in general and your upcoming birth in particular, to keep their comments to themselves.

On that topic, get yourself a copy of Spiritual Midwifery, by Ina May Gaskin. It's full of positive birth stories. Fill your head and heart and being full of those.

Lastly, and this is extrememly important, get thee to a Hypnobirthing instructor. They will teach you how to completely relax through every contraction, allowing your body to do its job...encouraging your body to do what it was made to do. Some good compliments to this are the Bradley book and "Active Birth"(another book), along with a good shower head and a deep bath tub.

You can do this. You will do it at the speed and intensity that your body needs, in the time it needs to take. You will relax in early labor and during and between contractions, conserving energy. You will have the opportunity to push in upright positions(the ones YOU choose), when you are READY to push, with all the necessary hormones being allowed to do their job (which they couldn't totally do with an epidural, by the way), and you'll birth a healthy, pink, happy baby. You can, and you will. Change the tape in your head to this one!

Happy gestating, and have a beautiful birth!
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Dear Woodstar,

I am sure you have read that body size is rarely, and I mean rarely, an issue. Yet large and small women continually have to suffer this antidotal tale, even in 2006 when there is rarely medical evidence to support this 'diagnosis'.

There are instances where malnutrition (famine, eating disorder, severe poverty) can affect the pelvis at the time of development, and if you feel you are at risk for this, have your midwife do a pelvemitry. Also, very rarely, genetics is involved in a particular pelvic type shape that might make the process of decent longer. You may ask your midwife to do a pelvemitry to help you feel better about your size.

Your pelvic bones are held together by cartalidge which softens with pregnancy hormones, particularly at the end of pregnancy, to allow room and movement to help a baby come down and out. This is why you see women waddling at the know they will be having their babies in the near future!

Then babies head, as you know, molds for this purpose as well.

There are a few things that come to mind when I am wondering about baby decent. Gravity (walking, squatting, and dancing) can be so important to this process, especially if a baby is slightly crooked or posterior. For other babies lying in bed does not matter and they come right out. It is hard to say what was the issue of decent at that time.

Anyway, gravity is harder to utilize when you have an epidural because this usually means you are in bed for the remainder. (Please do not think I am judging you for this because it sounds like you really needed the epi and the hospital staff usually does not offer the kind of support it takes to get through painful labor without one. And besides that, you should embrace that that is what you needed, and that is fine!) So, this is not your fault because if the staff was willing to recognize and take the time to deal with an issue of baby's positioning/non-decent, they would have had you walk and do squats (they would have had to offer to turn down gradually your epi so you could do this and that never happens in the hospital so this is not your fault) But, again, like I said it is hard to say if this was it.

There are so many plausible issues when I read your story besides a baby position.

There is the fact that many more mom's than not have long labors with their first baby. Period. And in many hospital practices the excuse of saying that your pelvis is small is what they will use just because of your looks instead of having let the labor continue and take the time it need, esp if there was no mom or fetal distress with vitals.

Here's another very good possibility. Directed pushing. Just because you are complete in no way means you are ready to push...especially if the labor had not had the time it needs to let the ctx push the baby down further. Hence you can push for a long time and zap your energy, and more importantly, the practitioners time (I am being sarcastic of course) and they will just say lets section... In my practice we don't check people too often, if at all, in labor (we can read the outward signs) and then we wait until mom is grunting ...which means she could have been complete for quite a while but we wait until baby is low and causing a natural pushing reflex...this way we don't zap her energy and start pushing too soon.

These are a few thoughts...I could be wrong on all of them...but, if I were you I would continue with your daily mantra of "I can do this, my body was made to do this". And do reading.... And talk about this with your midwife and I am sure you will be very reassured in time.

Power to you woodstar!!! Paige
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courtenay_e and paige- thank you so much for the encouraging words. it really means so much to me
. your advice and wisdom all makes so much sense. i do remember the nurse actually saying that she was going to 'cut the epidural up' so that i wouldn't feel any pain while pushing. she said that she didn't want me to be afraid to push (which i thought was strange since i didn't express any fear of pushing).

you have both given me some wonderful suggestions, which i am ready to implement.

thank you again
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I'm so glad to be of help to you. Please, just remember that birth is not an emergency, it is not an illness, it does not need to be FIXED! You were meant to give birth, you were made to give birth, and you grow babies of the proper proportions for your body to birth.
You'll do great, I know you will!
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