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Need advice- sorry so long... PIOG

Posted by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 10:20 AM
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Hello all,

I am 20w pregnant with my second. My first was born at 37 weeks (no induction, no complications just came early?!) I was really wanting to have a natural birth (no induction, no epi, no artificial breaking of water) with Alex. But after seriously laboring for 48 hours and 2 hours of fitful sleep when I went to the hospital and was STILL only 3.5cm dilated. I gave in asked for the epi and got 2 hours of the best rest I have had till I had to push. Looking back I have mixed feelings. Had I known I was only 2 hours away from pushing I probably would have elected not to have the epi. But at the same time I really feel that the rest before hand was well needed.

BUT going in to that labor. I knew what I wanted, and was determined, but not prepared. My mom had all 3 of us natural but all she said was "you just do it and it sucks but it will be ok" and "epis aren't worth the risk". My MIL who has been most helpful in many things had 3 c-sections. And I know of no one else who had all natural birth. This time I want to be educated. And prepared. I am (hoping, praying,) anticipating that with my second I won't be in active labor for like 2 days.

My DS had a LOT of problems nursing at the begining due to a variety of things (I had flat nipples, he was early etc.) And he wouldn't suck on ANYTHING for 3 days. I don't know if any of that could be contributed to 4 hours with an epi? But I don't want to risk it ... it wasn't particularly joyful.

My OB is wonderful. Big supporter of natural birth (all of his 4 children were delivered naturally -no intervention no pain meds) And he has a big rep at the hospital for being able to avoid c-sections unless absolutely needed. So I do have that on my side. The hospital has an unmovable policy of IV when they admit you, but does encourage you to walk/move if no epi.

I can't afford a doula, any classes or honestly any books. I need resources, advice and websites I can go to. Also tips for how to get my DH on board with being a support person other than "holding my legs while I push :-) " How do I get him to understand that I need his help during labor? That I can't do it by myself.?

Thanks so much!


Kalia Brielle is on her way...pregnancy

by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 10:20 AM
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by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 11:13 AM

I have had 2 naturalish births at a birth center and 1 completely natural birth at home.  I have never prepared to do it any of them.  Did your mom give birth in a hospital or away from them?  For many women, the best way to never give in and give up your plans is so completely remove the possibility. 

With your last, when did you go to the hospital and for what reason?  Many people will tell you to stay home until you are about to push or pushing to keep the possibility of interventions at a minimum.  You didn't say when your water broke, but know that as long as you are monitoring your temperature and keep everything out of your vagina, there is no need to rush to the hospital if your water breaks.  There have been women whose water has been "broken" for days or weeks who went on to have completely natural labors.  They normally will put you on a clock in the hospital because they won't keep their hands out of your vagina (which introduces the possibility for infection). 

You have to remember that how ever many cm you are doesn't matter.  I'm sure you realize that if you went from 3.5 to ready in 2 hours.  Some women move slowly and steadily, some are more like you (and me), and take a bit to get going, and then its done.

You say the hospital's policy of IV is unmovable.  However, you can refuse anything done to you, and since that is being done to you, you can refuse it.  It is something you would have to fight for, but worth it in my opinion.  Especially since if you were to give in again and opt for the epidural again, then they would have to start the IV (most hospitals have that policy) which would give you more time to opt back out of it.

You said that you can't afford a doula.  However, if you look hard, you might be able to find one that hasn't gotten their mandatory births for certification.  If you can find a doula in training (which is better than no doula), they are supposed to charge nothing as you are helping them to get their certification. 

As far as your husband, I don't know your husband, but with mine, as pro-natural and pro-homebirth he has become, he still isn't very good at being with me through my labor.  With our son, he slept through most of it in a chair in the corner of the suite at the birth center (we have pictures LOL), and with our daughter, he was on the phone outside smoking a pack of cigarrettes while he called everyone he knew.  Is there any way you can get your mom to come?  Some women don't want their mothers there or whatever, but my mom has always been my best labor support.  She also had all of her children without pain meds.  We also do family births with the entire family around and all giving support in different ways (except for my last birth which was too short for everyone to get to my house except for my mom). 

Perhaps you can watch some birth videos on youtube.  There are apparently bunches out there.  You want him to see homebirths and birth center births to see what it is you are asking of him.  If you can go through and find some that shows him what you want him to do, show him those.  The reason I say you want him to see the out-of -hospital births is that you want him to see how to support a woman who is laboring naturally, which is the same regardless of where you are.

Mommy to Mara (November 1999), Marty (March 2006), Chrissy (November 2008) and Baby ? due June 2010.

by Group Owner on Jan. 25, 2010 at 12:52 PM

i was also going to ask if your mom could be a kind of doula for you. 

my husband is supportive of natural birth but also scared of birth.  during my son's birth, he just stood around, super nervous, blood pressure through the roof i'm sure.  he never said i should get an epi or anything like that but he wasn't particularly helpful either.  i'm not sure what i would have wanted him to do that he didn't though to be honest.  i did have a wonderful nurse who was with me the entire time i was at the hospital who i consider a doula-in-disguise.  but it can be hard to know if you will have that until you get there.  she said encouraging things, only once said "you know you can have an epidural if you want one...?" i said no and she didn't say it again. 

and for this birth, i have my husband again, and a free doula-in-training!!! 

i honestly do think epidurals can cause nursing problems in the beginning.  one of my nipples is somewhat flat so i can see how that can too! i  always had more trouble nursing on that side.  anyway...

on the IV thing.  i had an iv with my son, and i was able to move around loads, labored in the tub for a long time, and everything.  that being said, i am doing all i can to avoid IV this time around.  i agree that you can always refuse but i also know how difficult that can be.  the OB will have it in your chart orders for you to have an IV.  you can decline and decline and decline and there still might be that nurse there trying to stick it in your arm.  this happened to my doula at her recent hospital birth.  right now my plan is to go to a hospital over an hour away so i don't have to have an IV.  2 other hospitals closer by "require" hep loc, and the 1 in my town "requires" the IV. 

sometimes the library will have good books.  some will be the crappy ones with stuff that makes birth sound scary etc.  at my library they had a kirtzinger pregnancy book that was good, and a couple ina may gaskin ones i think. i don't know of any really good natural birth sites but you could probably just google like crazy stuff like "natural birth", "risks of epidurals", "prolonged labor and natural birth" stuff like that and eventually get to something good. maybe google "relaxation techniques during birth"

i went into my birth not having ever known anyone who had a natural birth!  everyone tried to scare me to death.  i can't honestly say that if my labor had been 48 hrs i still wouldn't have gotten an epi.... but this time i feel like i have educated myself so much more, have talked to wonderful ladies online about natural birth, so i hope that if i do have a 48 hour labor, i can go without pain meds again.  :)

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