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During my first birth, a planned homebirth, I never went past 2 cms, and the pain was so excruciating I finally begged for a hospital transfer.<br><br>
My son's head was pressing down on the side of my vagina near the front, no where near the cervix. You could feel his head just an inch inside my vagina.<br><br>
My midwife had no suggestions other than to try an pull the cervix over the head during contractions, but the pain was blinding.<br><br>
I felt very unsupported during this experience, as my husband shut down and watched TV most of the time, and my midwife stopped by periodically to check me and nothing else, so I was mosty alone. I thought perhaps this was my problem, and now that I am pregnant again, I am interviewing doulas and new midwives.<br><br>
One is a master herbalist and has plenty of suggestions for preparations I can make. However, she told my friend (whom she just assisted with a successful home waterbirth) that I may just have to learn to tolerate more pain because she will also want to stretch the cervix during contractions.<br><br>
This is disheartening because I don't think people realise just how painful this experience really was. I amnot a wuss with a low pain threshold. This was so awful that when I found out I was pregnant again, I cried for hours because I never want to experience that level of pain again.<br><br>
Is this my only option? Is there nothing else I can do except resign myself to torture or else give in and birth ata hospital under anesthesia?
 

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Well.... I don't think you have any reason to assume this will happen to you again. Your son's head was probably asynclitic and his body may have been generally poorly positioned for labor and it doesn't sound like anyone supported you enough to help you try to do anything to change it. I'm sorry you had such an unsupported experience, I think a doula will definitely help you.<br><br>
If I were in your shoes I would start by believing this birth will be smoother and I would reinforce that belief by reading up on optimal positioning. I would also think about checking out Hypnobabies as a way to help you deal with the pain. Also Birthing From Within if you have not already read it... and Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.<br><br>
I really don't believe you will have the same experience again. {{{hugs}}}
 

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OUCH! That can cause some damage. Did you have a lip? What was her reasoning for stretching the cervix? Does she always do that?Did she ask your premission and tell you why she was doing it, or that it can cause damage? I find that quite invasive if she was doing it with out a good reason, but I cant think of any besides a lip. I find it best to keeps your hands out of there unless the mother wants to be checked or you find a valid reason. You can tear the cervix, make it swell, let alone the pain it would cause.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>alisaterry</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7908420"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thank you. I really needed to read that.</div>
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I really meant it, not just waxing positive. You'll have a great birth this go round.<br><br>
I was assuming that what that midwife was trying to do was swing the os forward, like it was too posterior to be well applied. I can't allow myself to believe anyone would attempt to stretch a 2cm cervix. Shudder.
 

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I've now seen a few swollen cervical lips (usually that past 2cm tho) and a few cervixes tucked way behind baby's head like that, and it is a slow labor. When the os (cervical opening) is quite a bit posterior (ie if you check pre-natally, or early in labor, or are worried about a repeat of a long painful labor) I've seen better results if mom is not laboring upright until that cervix is really opening & 'front & center'. Otherwise it's as if the downward force of contractions is pushing bby agaisnt your lower uterus, not your cervix, and it's not helping dilation.<br>
The best labor I saw was with a mom with a history of posterior os, swollen anterior lip, etc with all 3 previous births. Her 4th labor she refused to be upright. Labored in bed on one side or the other until the end. (She had a high pelvic bone & her cervix loved to get pinched between head & pelvis & swell even at the end...) She had a smooth easy-going birth that time.<br>
I know we all think walk to speed things up- but if the cervix isn't under baby's head when walking, it's not helping quite so much.
 

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As has already been said, expecting a better experience is important. I'd also encourage taking time out of your days (every night before falling asleep?) to visualize your labor: baby's head well-applied to cervix, cervix opening, you coping well, surrounded by love, light and support. I think a doula is a GREAT idea, not only for you, but to help DH know how to be present for you as well.<br><br>
Do you have a history of cervical surgery (leep, cryo, cone, etc) or of endometriosis? These are things I've heard associated with experienced like the one you've described. I'd ask the new midwife (once you find her) what her thoughts are about evening primrose oil either as a dietary supplement or applied to the cervix as your time draws near. Excersises for getting baby into a good position, including the cat-cow yoga posture/pelvic tilting, would not only help with baby's position and tone your body, but also help you feel proactive -- there are things you can DO, and that can feel good.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> to you, mama, and blessings for a peaceful birth the second time around!
 

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Thank you for all your feedback. I don't have any history of cervical/uteran problems, but I did have a sexually abusive relationship, so I suspect that might be one reason being checked was so painful. She neer actually got to stretch the cervix - she had to push so far into me to reach the cervix and the pain was so awful I wouldn't let her try.<br><br>
I think hypnobabies would be beneficial because It would help with the psychological aspects, especially now that I am plagued by so much fear. I just want to know that it's not that my body just isn't designed for birthing, that I can do something proactive to have a less traumatic experience.
 

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I don't let people put their hands in my vagina. Your body knows what to do - don't hire a midwife who thinks she has to manually stretch you.
 

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I think that, if you talk to mamas who have birthed naturally, you'll find that many times, each of their births was different. There is really no reason to believe that you'll have anywhere near the same labor this time around. ESPECIALLY if you continue to be proactive during your pregnancy. Pp's have made great suggestion with things to read, and things to do with your body. Too, along with the hypnobirthing (I used it and LOVED it...and I DO have a low pain tolerance, so if it worked for me, you KNOW it can really work!), to get your dh involved, I might consider taking Bradley Classes. It simply seems to really encourage dads to be empowered and active in the labor and birth process. So, for the relaxation parts, practice the hypnobirthing, and otherwise, take the Bradley classes? Worth a try. And, yes, I definately second the suggestion of reading "Birthing From Within."<br><br>
And yes, I would look until I found a very "with woman" midwife, AND a great doula who knows how to be present, emotionally, and physically supportive. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
You'll do great. You will.
 

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Oh, and by "with woman" I don't <i>necessarily</i> mean one who will give you herbs or check you...but one who will be near you when you need it, and talk quietly in your ear if you need it, who will suggest other positions if you need them...but you may not need them, because if you're <b>well supported</b> emotionally, and "allowed" to do what your body tells you to do, you might just find that you birth just the way your body and your baby need to birth...that said, she might do all of that and THEN ask to give you herbs, too, if that is what you need then. Just a thought.
 

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Nicley put Courtenay. I would seek a midiwfe & or doula combination who is happy to give you whatever level of supprt you decideyou need or want when you go into labor. Not all doula's & midwives are alike (obviously!) and just because most (ie) homebirthers don't hire doula'sdoesn't mean that you will get all the labor support that you may want from a hb midwife.<br><br>
(Not to say you intend on homebirthing... sorry I've read to many threads tonight to keep everything straight)<br><br>
And don't shy away from the support you want due to costs... if you want 5 doulas and a midwife, make some calls, you may find a few volunteers, an affordable doula & a midwife. It happens. Start with what you want, and see what you can find.<br><br>
And then have a birth that surpasses all your expectations! Look forward to it, it will be different this time. Being proactive, no matter how small an action it seems, does change things. I've done it too, and seen it time & time again.
 

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I had TWO doulas and a midwife at my homebirth and it was great! My husband, who loved me dearly had his own issues. I felt totally supported and loved and knew that my husband could be involved at the level that was comfortable to him. It took the pressure off of him to have to "act" while helping me be assured that if he was there holding my hand, it was that he really actually wanted to be there at the time.
 

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(((HUGS))) I'm so sorry your first birth was not supported and was tramatic.<br><br>
I've read through all the other post, and I agree with all of them. Find lots of <span style="text-decoration:underline;">real</span> emotional support and someone who's not going to intervene.... most likely this birth will be totally different.<br><br>
As for the past sexual abusive realationship, seek help for that. (This is a great place: <a href="http://www.committedtofreedom.org/" target="_blank">http://www.committedtofreedom.org/</a> ) Make sure your midwife and doula know about it. It's important that they understand where you are coming from and don't accidently set off one of your triggers. (Fear/ flashbacks make labor and birth much more painful/ difficult.) I haven't read it, but I hear the book <span style="text-decoration:underline;">When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Early Sexual Abuse on Childbearing Women</span> by Penny Simkin is a good book.
 

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I definitely recommend "When Survivors Give Birth;" I read it as a birth professional, but I've never thought about reading it as a birthing mom & survivor. Certainly I would ask your mw/doula if they've read it, and if not, ask them if the could check it out before your birth. This is not, IMO, asking too much, as we'd expect our care providers to do research into any health issues we brought with us to birth, and this is just as important to the birth expience as any health issue.
 

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The only thing I would add to the above posts is that some women experience more pain and have a hard time dealing with the early part of labor when they are dehydrated. I have seen a first time mom at a very posterior finger tip dilation and in horrible pain go to fully in 6 hrs after being given an IV. Not to say you would need an IV, but this allowed her to catch up on her fluids and give birth at home. Resting frequently and keeping up with nutrition and hydration late in your pregnancy can go a long way in terms of endurance. Congradulations on you pregnancy!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>CMcC</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7912779"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">(((HUGS))) I'm so sorry your first birth was not supported and was tramatic.<br><br>
I've read through all the other post, and I agree with all of them. Find lots of <span style="text-decoration:underline;">real</span> emotional support and someone who's not going to intervene.... most likely this birth will be totally different.<br><br>
As for the past sexual abusive realationship, seek help for that. (This is a great place: <a href="http://www.committedtofreedom.org/" target="_blank">http://www.committedtofreedom.org/</a> ) Make sure your midwife and doula know about it. It's important that they understand where you are coming from and don't accidently set off one of your triggers. (Fear/ flashbacks make labor and birth much more painful/ difficult.) I haven't read it, but I hear the book <span style="text-decoration:underline;">When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Early Sexual Abuse on Childbearing Women</span> by Penny Simkin is a good book.</div>
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That sounds like the perfect book! Thank you!!!!
 

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i'd ditto sounds like malpositioned baby,<br>
have you seen a chiropractor during this pregnancy? get everything all aligned and be meticulous about your OFP <a href="http://www.spinningbabies.com" target="_blank">www.spinningbabies.com</a><br>
A labor that is progressive is much less torturous.
 
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