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June 30th, 2006, 11:18 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Hmmm...I'm wondering if you had some malpresentation issues with your first? It's not unusual for malpresented babies to have early water breaking, intense UC and not much progress. 9 hours of contractions 3min apart that you couldn't talk through isn't really what I would call a normal labor. Yes, I've seen moms do it, and I've done it for 8 hours, but still...I wouldn't say it's normal. In my case, I stalled at 4cm because there was an unexpected wrench thrown into my birth plans. In other cases I've seen, it was almost always malpresentation.
I think that you should do some practice with relaxation and positive thinking during intense pain. In my childbirth classes, I accomplish this with a ziploc baggie filled with ice cubes and a tiny bit of water (makes it colder). Focus on relaxing and thinking postively during a 2 minute time period where the ice is in your open hand. Think things like "this is one contraction closer to my baby. I can do this. I am doing this. My body knows exactly how to birth this baby. I can relax and let it do the work. There is nothing wrong with me. I trust my birth team. They know what they're doing and I don't need to worry. I'm going to get to hold my baby soon." And so on...
In class, I do this exercise after a 1 minute exercise of tensing up and thinking negatively: "oh my god, this is so intense. Is it over yet? How long am I going to do this? I can't. I don't want to. There has to be some way out. I can't. This is not worth the effort. I don't know how I'm going to make it. I'm only 3cm and I'm already so tired. I just want to be done with this. It hurts so badly" and so on. UNIVERSALLY, the mothers are SHOCKED that the positive thinking exercise was actually 2x longer than the other. If I ask them before I reveal the time, they all say that the negative contraction was longer.
I mention this because you said you weren't "able to move 1 inch. w/out dreading the next ctx that it would bring." When dread enters your labor vocabulary, things need to change, whether that's an epidural or baby's position or your position or your support team (maybe you needed a MIL to leave the room?). I think practicing relaxation and knowing what it feels like to relax will help a lot. You also have to plan your birth carefully and make sure that your desire to have a natural birth is protected by a DH and/or a good doula, ESPECIALLY if you plan to birth in the hospital. Nurses barging in and demanding to adjust the monitors can really mess up your focus and cause you to tense, when a good doula can realize that the fetal tracing isn't what the nurses are going to want and just reach down and rearrange the monitor in between contractions, ya know?
Charlotte, midwife mama to Samuel and Atley, mourning the loss of our "March Baby"
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