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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a first time Mama, and I am beginning to accept that I will actually be giving birth to this little one. And, I am starting to get very anxious. . .

So, has anybody actually tried the perineal massage thing? Or the red raspberry leaf tea? What else can I do now to help get my body ready for the labor?

I just started hypnobirthing last night, my best friend and her husband paid for the classes for us for a baby shower gift, and I am SO grateful!!! But, I have some massive anxiety about the birth. Anybody else?

I am very, very, very anxious about being given any narcotics, particularly opiates. I used to have a drug problem, there I said it. I have been clean for three years, but I am really, really afraid that during the birth that I'll end up being medicated for pain during the labor. I am nervous that I won't be able to tough it out and do the natural thing. I am having a hospital birth. (Sigh). I usually see the midwife in their practice, but she won't commit to being there. So I'll probably have an OB. (Sigh). I think between DP and I we will most likely be able to ward off the meds during a vaginal birth. BUT, I am terrified of having a C-Section. With a C-Section comes all kinds of drugs that I DO NOT want in my body, in my baby's body and I really don't want to start the postpartum baby-moon hung over!

I feel pretty good about the hypnobirthing. I think it is really going to help!

I am just wondering what tools and ideas you guys have to help the birth go as smoothly as possible. And, to avoid a C-Section. I talked to an OB about my concerns and she said the main reason for a C-Section is failure to progress. I am definitely writing up a thorough birth plan. My DP totally gets it and, I think, will be a terrific advocate, but I just feel so helpless right now . . . .
 

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With Blissborn - another type of birth hypnosis, we do a LOT of visualizing. Maybe take half an hour every day to get very comfy (good luck! ;)), relax your whole body and mind and then visualize how you want your birth to be.

I always end up in the green birthing room in the tub with Dusty, mom's by the door in a chair, my doula is near the bed, the midwife is closer. I'm kneeling and leaning on Dusty and then when Charlie comes out - slowly, easily into the water - I sit back on my heels and pick him up and Dusty and I cry a lot ;)

The more you do it, the more detailed it is and when you picture your birth, you have a great image to look forward to. :)

That being said.. yeah, this is m first time ;)
 

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Here is my two cents (and take it for what it's worth).

You have a desire to go drug free. That's your first step and it's a great one! If mostly you're afraid/anxious of the pain give yourself a limit. Say, "I'm going to do it all natural but I do know I have my limits. If I feel like I need something to take the edge off my pain, I'll wait till I'm at least 5 cm." This will help. You don't want to set yourself up for a section by saying you want the epi as soon as it gets tough. But if you can hold out for 5-6-7 or even 8 cm, you might just find yourself in that window where the epi (or whatever else you might choose, Stadol or Nubain) helps you get some relief and you are rested and ready to push when the time comes.

You can also say to yourself, "If I make it to 8 cm then I'm going all the way with no drugs," and that'll help you, too. Why give up at the last stretch? You know?

This coming from a homebirthing mama who, the first go round, was incredibly naive and really debated an epi this time. Just so you know I'm not preaching.

And you can do it. It's intense but it's not impossible. And it's AMAZING afterwards. Watch some good birth videos on youtube!! It'll get you pumped!!
 

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A woman who recently had her baby avoided drugs by telling herself that it was just too late. She wanted them, but she'd progressed too far, so they were no longer an option.

It wasn't true, probably, but it worked for her :)
 

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GREAT advice- and well-stated. That sounds like my exact birth plan this time around. I also delivered pretty much unassisted at a Birth Cottage the first time- very naive- VERY long difficult labor and open to options this time around :)
 

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I'd get this book: http://www.amazon.com/Natural-Hospital-Birth-Best-Worlds/dp/1558327185. It was a great primer for getting ready for a natural birth in a hospital setting. Working with the staff, creating a concise birth plan, avoiding a c-section, etc. It gave me a lot more confidence in my ability to go natural without drugs!

Oh, and if you did need drugs, you can get an epidural and not narcotics (even with a c section). The epi is still drugs, but it's not system-wide. It's local from the waist down. Might be the better option for someone with your history. Of course, I personally think natural is the very best option! :)
 

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Oh -- and be open to other methods of pain relief -- using a tub, shower, massage, different positions, the birth ball, a squat bar. The hospital should have most of these things available, though you might need to ask.
 

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Ok, here's my two cents worth:

1.) those feeling are acceptance are normal!

2.) you're stronger than you might be feeling - after my natural birth in a hospital I kept saying to my husband, "can you believe I actually did that?!", because I was convinced I would give in or end up with a c-section like my sister

3.) labor at home as long as possible

4.) get a doula

5.) understand how your body works during labor! I know hypnobirthing and the like are VERY helpful for some, and if that works for you that's great, but the way my mind works, Bradley really helped me because I need to KNOW and UNDERSTAND what is going on with my body. And I did. I knew the stages of labor and what my body was doing, so even when I felt like I couldn't go on, I was able to remind myself that my body was doing exactly what it should be doing.

6.) Listen and learn about positive birth stories. Memorize those stories and remind yourself of them during labor

7.) Discuss this with your partner and make sure he's on board too, and let him support you and be your advocate to hospital staff/ob's

Good luck mama . . . you can do it!!!
 

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Here's a great little article someone passed on to me a while ago:

http://blogginboutbirthandmore.blogspot.com/2011/01/100-ways-to-help-achieve-natural-birth.html

Definitely make sure your providers know that you do not want to be offered medication, and why that is the case. Chemical pain relief is just one way to cope with labor: there are so many things you can do to manage labor pain. And yes, get a doula! If finances are an issue there are almost always new doulas who need to attend births to get certified, and they often do so for free or a very reduced rate.

Take it one contraction at a time. You can do it!!
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I agree with the other posts about getting a doula! And staying at home as long as possible, especially with a first birth. My first birth I felt exactly like you...fearful of pain medications, fearful of C-section, wanting to do it naturally, etc. I didn't get a doula because I thought I had myself covered with the birthing classes (I took Hypnobabies) and a supportive birth team. I had a posterier positioned baby (I didn't know it at the time) which caused the failure to progress (and terrible back labor)- I was stuck at 4cm and after 28 hours on Pitocin, I allowed myself to get the epidural. Things immediately progressed after that and I at least had the vaginal birth.

I think its important to come with a goal in mind, but also allow yourself a change of plan without beating yourself up. If I had a doula, I think she would have immediately known about the posterier issue and helped me to turn the baby around- I may have been able to go without the meds, I don't know. But regardless, give yourself some alternatives that you would be comfortable with just in case. You can get a very light epidural where you can still feel pressure, etc, and even forgo the narcotic that they normally give with that (gave me the "itches" side effect).

So I guess my main recommendations would be:

(1) Educate yourself on all the options - I really liked the "thinking woman's guide to birth" for this because it really went through all the options and any side effects, etc associated with them

(2) Write a birth plan and make sure your caregiver is on track with it (bring multiple copies to the hospital and give to each shift of nurses)

(3) Have a backup plan in your head for the "next best" options if something happens where you need/want an intervention

(4) Get a doula

(5) Stay at home as long as possible

(6) Use all the techniques up your sleeve that you can from the class

(7) Love yourself no matter what. You are doing an awesome job!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow, thank you guys so much! I love this community!

I knew that the epidural could be non-narcotic, but I didn't realize that could be enough for a c-section, so I feel SO much more hopeful now.

I just wish that I at least knew which OB would be there for the delivery, but they strictly rotate shifts and they all have families and commitments too, I get it. But, I still feel like throwing a temper tantrum about it, lol.

I am trying to find some place between reality and the hypnobirthing philosophy where I am accepting that there will be pain but not fearing it so much if that makes any sense. And still thinking happy thoughts about what the birth can and probably will look like. I really appreciate you all who talk about your previous births and future births so candidly. I feel much more empowered now, maybe someday I'll be an all powerful amazon warrior, but right now I am anxious AND hopeful and I am okay with that too.

joy.gif
 

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DDCC Just wanted to reply quickly--I haven't read the rest of the thread, but:

RRL tea is awesome! Start now, a quart/day. You can mix with nettles, oat straw & mint for a wonderful pregnancy tea.

Diet--lots of protein, fresh veggies and fruits. Drink tons of water.

Exercise--my routine is swimming once/week, yoga once/week, and the other 5 days I walk at least a mile (allowing myself to skip days as needed.) Just keep active--you will be in better shape and the baby will get into a better position.

Definitely stick with the hypnobirthing--it will help your state of mind a LOT!

Read happy, inspiring natural birth stories and stay away from anything that may upset you. Envision your perfect birth over and over.

Labor at home as long as possible before going in.

GET A DOULA! So so necessary for a hospital birth if you want to go natural, IMO!

You will do great.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katiemaeeee View Post

I feel much more empowered now, maybe someday I'll be an all powerful amazon warrior, but right now I am anxious AND hopeful and I am okay with that too.

joy.gif
Remember mama, even amazon warriors have doubts and fears. I don't have anything to add to the wonderful suggestions you've gotten thus far, but I would honestly be a little concerned if you didn't have some anxiety. It's normal, healthy, and what helps to keep us and our babies safe. I'm glad that you're feeling okay with your feelings, but don't be afraid to think of yourself as a mama warrior too. Warriors can have feelings -- it is our courage DESPITE those fears that makes us powerful mama warriors!
 
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