No Vaginal Exams?
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February 23rd, 2011, 12:08 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
My last two were homebirths so I had none.
My first homebirth was a 6 hour labor. (4th child) I never even got curious about dilation as I measured the progress by how things were feelings. I noticed with each contraction, how they changed with intensity, brought the pressure lower and lower until it was deep in my pelvis. I never even had to wonder I could feel hom getting lower and lower and knew right when it was about to be time as the contractions changed. They went from intense pressure that seemed like it was just everywhere, to very deep, low specifically concentrated right in my pelvis and vagina/rectum and with each contraction, my body started getting pushy, like a bowel movement you are trying so hard to hold back but it is trying to come out. It only took 3to 5 contractions like that and then my body was pushing full force without me. I knew that meant I was complete.
My previous birth was in a hospital and they had just checked me, told me I was 7cm, I turned onto my side and instantly, by body did the involuntary pushing. I yelled that it was time and they didn't believe me as they just just been inside me 1 minute before and I was only 7. So, they checked again and you bet, they couldn't even get to the cervix to check his head was past it already.
It's amazing to be so intune and trust your body and not have to have someone tell you that you are ready to push or that it is okay to.
With my last HB, my water had broken 36 hour before my first contraction. However, when they started, it came on full force. I had 2 maybe 2.5 hours of contractions and then it was time. He was out so fast the midwife didn't catch him and had to scoop him our of the water.
Now, I must say though, this comes from having several natural childbirths under my belt and having learned by body (though any woman can tune in and trust her body with or without experience) but I would probably get curious too if I had been laboring for 12 hours or so, nothing seemed to be changing, no signs of anything. I would be afraid though that I could get checked and not be as progressed as I would like and would get disappointed.
I do think though it is more fun not to get checked and just go with your body and go by the other signs that make you have to tune into your body and really experience all of it and notice as things change ever so subtley. I think because the cervix can be very unprecictable (as I experienced, going from 7 to pushing in under 1 minute) or some who spend over an hour at 9 cm, the other ways to acess progress are much more accurate anyway.
Student midwife and Homebirthing mama to the brady bunch! (3 boys, 3 girls)
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