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BTDT moms: birthing big babies


Forum: May 2013 Playroom

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  #1  
March 1st, 2013, 09:18 AM
EverydayJoy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Hey ladies, I'm thinking this baby might be a big one, based on the fact that big babies run in the family for DH and that my belly is measuring 2 weeks ahead. DS was small at birth (6lb 8 oz) but I was induced at 40 wks, I bet he would have put on a lot of weight if we'd left him in there a little longer.

Anyway I was wondering if any of you BTDT moms have any advice when it comes to L&D for big babies? Or just anyone who wants to throw some advice out there. DS's delivery was good but I never got the urge to push, it was all directed, hold-your-breath-and-push kind of stuff. I got a deep 2nd degree/almost 3rd degree tear. Anyway I am going to go for no pain meds, no pitocin, no nothing this time around if I can! And want to do my best to not tear horribly.

TIA
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  #2  
March 1st, 2013, 09:55 AM
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Is a water birth an option for you? I've heard that helps drastically with tearing. It's my plan, especially since I also think this baby is going to be giant (I was giant, I've gained a lot of weight, the measurements always seem to be a little bit ahead, general paranoia, etc..).

I saw a quote from an OB once saying that, in his experience, baby size wasn't at all related to difficult of labor and birth... he'd seen really quick and easy births with 10 lb babies and really difficult births with 6 lb babies. That's actually how it was for my aunt and mom... my cousin was tiny at birth and my aunt was in labor forever and ended up having to have an emergency c-section, whereas I was 9lbs 4 oz and was born with no complications a few hours after getting to the hospital.
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  #3  
March 1st, 2013, 10:55 AM
EverydayJoy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I thought I was going to be able to do a water birth, the hospital I'm going to allows them. But I just found out yesterday my OB/provider is not "accredited" or whatever to be able to do them. So if I wanted one, I'd have to change OBs at this late stage in the game. I'm not sure having a waterbirth is worth that for me. The hospital did say each room has a whirlpool tub. Hopefully that will help!
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  #4  
March 1st, 2013, 11:16 AM
ashj_1218's Avatar Hiya!
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Truly, my 8lb, 4oz 37-weeker was easier to push out than my 6lb, 10oz 37-weeker. It's mostly positioning. Your son *might* not have been optimally positioned, thus creating an uncomfortable (and ultimately tearing) angle.

The key, I believe is to move around as much as humanly possible during labor to get them into the pelvis in a good position. And wait until you feel the urge. I pushed for half as long with my second, only had to get two stitches for a "skid mark" and his head was a whopping 2.5" bigger than my smaller baby.

I do know that Kieran was better positioned than Liam. Kieran came out face-down in a more "desired" presentation. Liam came out facing my right side, which ultimately made the circumference of the head coming out larger, since it didn't squish down as much that way. And, like you, I pushed on command with Liam and it was very uncomfortable. I let my body do at least 80% of the work with Kieran and it was so much shorter and less difficult.

Plus, you have the added benefit of being your second. The body does a *bit* better with muscle memory for that second birth and tends to "get the drift" a bit quicker. So that should be helpful to ya!
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  #5  
March 1st, 2013, 11:29 AM
markswife's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I am terrified about this. I had an epsiotomy and a 4th degree tear with DD and they had to vacuum her out. She was only 8 lb, 8 oz which I didn't think of as being that big. We had a couple almost 11 pound babies in my PR. The doctor said the vacuum can cause tearing. I never got the urge to push either. I'm not even sure that I was doing it right to be honest. I pushed for two hours so I hope to be a little better at it this time. I would like to put together a birth plan but I just freak out even thinking about experiencing the same thing. It makes a scheduled c-section sound so appealing.
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  #6  
March 1st, 2013, 11:39 AM
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My biggest baby was Cheyenne, she was a big 8lbs 12ozs. The labor wasn't so easy on me or my body so thank god it was only a 30 min labor. Pushing her out was no problem what so ever Birthing was real easy.
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  #7  
March 1st, 2013, 11:41 AM
selenamdz's Avatar Veteran
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My babies are not big,
but I was born at 10 pounds 12 oz.
I asked my mom how awful it must have been, especially because it was adrug free labor. She told me it wasn't anymore painful than her others
I was her 3rd of 5 babies and the only one that was that big.
She said, the hard part is getting the head out, and after that they help pull out the rest, so it wasn't that much different. Thought that was interesting!
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  #8  
March 1st, 2013, 12:03 PM
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My last baby was 9 lbs 14 oz

I think the biggest thing is avoiding pain meds, which results in you haveing to birth on your back, that can be a terrible way to give birth and results in a lot of tearing. My last 4 have been waterbirths, but we moved and unfortunately will have a "land" birth this time. But I've never done pain meds and haven't tore with 6 of them.

My babes have ranged from 6 lbs 11 oz to 9 lbs 14 oz and anywhere from 38-42 weeks. But waiting for nature to take it's course, avoid pain meds, and labor at home as long as possible will set you up for your greatest change of success in my opinion .

That said, I am scared to give birth again to number 10. I think the more I have the more anxious I get
You can do it!
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  #9  
March 1st, 2013, 12:09 PM
Purrrrrrr's Avatar Semi-crunchy Mommy
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My son was long and skinny, but he was a PITA to get out (he was holding his ears the whole time), but from I understand, getting your body in the best position for you makes all the difference in the world no matter how big or small the baby. Talk to your doctor about how you wanna labor and push.

I spent a good chunk of my last appointment just going over different positions to try.
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  #10  
March 1st, 2013, 12:59 PM
Ryan and Alex's Mommy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I don't have any advice...they made me push forever and then finally decided to give me a c section with my first because he wasn't even near to coming out. He was born at 8 pounds 10 oz. I measured 2 weeks ahead with him as well. My second also measured 2 weeks ahead but was only 7pounds 12 oz...i had a schedualed c section. Once again i'm measuring 2 weeks ahead and will have a schedualed c section. I'm in awe of all those momma's that can push out all these babies that are 8 pounds or more!
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  #11  
March 1st, 2013, 01:02 PM
EverydayJoy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Thanks ladies. I was induced with DS so I'm pretty sure that had to do with the tearing, I just pushed because I was 10 cm and it was "time to push". I never got that urge so I wonder if I started pushing too soon, or my body just wasn't cooperating because of it being medically induced instead of just happening naturally. I am definitely going to avoid all pitocin this time! And no pain meds either. I will have a doula too, and she should have lots of tips and techniques too. Hopefully that will help! Thanks for the advice and insight!
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  #12  
March 1st, 2013, 01:26 PM
Rhonda66's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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My situation was very similar to markswife. DS was over 8 pounds, but the problem was he had a giant head and big shoulders against my narrow birth canal so he got stuck. I could not feel anything pushing, I was totally told when to push and when not to. With all the freaking people in the room thanks to letting med students be present, I felt so under pressure that I just wanted him out asap. Then even more people came in when he got stuck and his heartrate started to decelerate. They gave me one last chance to push before they were going to try the forceps or vacuum, which I knew I did not want under any circumstance, at that point I would have preferred to have gone for the c-section. I was totally out of control by then, I think I was yelling and/or screaming and writhing all around, not a pleasant memory now. I know I got the friggin hemmorhoids then because I just beared down so hard. They had to do an episiotomy, which I didn't feel, but would have preferred not to have one of course and I tore. The only saving grace for me I think that didn't make it quite as terrifying as Markswife's experience is that the whole thing was super fast - and I didn't have to have the forceps or vacuum. I think I pushed for maybe 10, 20 minutes max, it was not very long - and the whole l&d from mucous plug lost to delivery was about 7 hours so I couldn't really complain.

DH has expressed concern because the delivery Doctor said I should have a c-section if I ever have another baby due to having a narrow birth canal. He had a better view of the whole ordeal than I did and it was scary for him. This time I won't be giving permission for students to be present for sure, I've already done my part there and I want to try to be more relaxed and not rushed. I don't think that the weight of the baby is necessarily an issue, it's the head circumference, shoulder width, the size of your birth canal and the position of the baby. Some large babies come easy and some small ones are difficult. I wish there was some way to predict how things will go for all of us, but it seems it's just a crapshoot...

I do agree that while the pain meds are s savior in many ways, they probably often cause more tearing in the long run, especially with larger babies. I wish I could go med-free, but I'm just not that brave...My current Doctor is aware of the situation and we're going to take it one day at a time, but so far, like with DS, I am measuring big and afraid that this will be a repeat...I am happy that this baby seems to be very low and am hoping that means it will be a fast birth too, but hopefully not any faster than DS.
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  #13  
March 1st, 2013, 01:57 PM
EverydayJoy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markswife View Post
I am terrified about this. I had an epsiotomy and a 4th degree tear with DD and they had to vacuum her out. She was only 8 lb, 8 oz which I didn't think of as being that big. We had a couple almost 11 pound babies in my PR. The doctor said the vacuum can cause tearing. I never got the urge to push either. I'm not even sure that I was doing it right to be honest. I pushed for two hours so I hope to be a little better at it this time. I would like to put together a birth plan but I just freak out even thinking about experiencing the same thing. It makes a scheduled c-section sound so appealing.

I would say that despite a 4th degree tear, which I can only imagine is very painful and takes a long time to heal up from, in my own personal opinion a C section would be more painful and take longer still to heal from. They have to cut through your skin, muscle, abdominal wall, etc to get to baby and it takes quite awhile to recover from that...although with a scary birth like that I can only imagine a scheduled C would seem quite peaceful. When I read articles about pushing, the biggest thing I hear is not to push until you feel the urge. Or even, until you basically are pushing involuntarily because your body has taken over. I plan on waiting to push this time! Even though those contractions are horrible and you just want baby out. Of course doctors never tell you that, they just say "PUSH!" and so you do.

Rhonda...I hope this second time around goes better than your first!
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  #14  
March 1st, 2013, 02:02 PM
markswife's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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for as awful as L&D were, the recovery was a piece of cake. I don't think major abdominal surgery and a toddler are a combination I want to tackle. I've told each doctor I've seen that I will try just about anything to avoid a c-section.

We are planning on an ultrasound around 36 weeks to check on size and to plan from there. I'm still nervous that those ultrasounds are inaccurate so I'm not sure how helpful that will be.
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  #15  
March 1st, 2013, 02:10 PM
EverydayJoy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Well my doula tells me that you're more likely to tear if you're induced, because the contractions are stronger, the baby comes faster (generally) and it can happen too fast for your skin and perineum to have time to stretch. I've read that laboring lying on your side can slow down the descent of baby if they're coming very fast. They say using oil (like olive or coconut oil) and having your partner massage it into the perineum in the weeks leading up to delivery can help too. You can also have your SO help by stretching the vaginal opening during those massages to help prepare the area. I'm not sure my DH would be totally on board with all that (it might seem weird to him) but I bet he'd do it if I asked him to. Anyway, here's to better births for you and me and any ladies who had a rough time of it!
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  #16  
March 1st, 2013, 02:39 PM
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Two things:

1. This is your second child. That alone will make this time way easier, even if the baby is bigger. My second was 3 lbs bigger than my first and still easier.

2. Don't deliver on your back. Hands and knees is the best for big babies. My last 3 have been between 9.5 and 10 lbs and the last two I did hands and knees. Ten minutes of pushing and no tears.
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  #17  
March 1st, 2013, 02:41 PM
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Sorry you ladies have had some rough birth experiences. I hope all goes better this time. And while I'm not a fan of the pain of l/d, it has made recovery a lot easier. I didn't have any side effects from meds or anything. So I would encourage natural births.
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  #18  
March 1st, 2013, 04:24 PM
EverydayJoy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Erin---good advice. I have heard the squatting position is good too for opening the pelvis and allowing the baby through. I definitely don't plan on being on my back---I tried that for a little while with DS and it just felt unnatural. With him I gave birth on a birthing chair/stool. I wish the hospitals around here had those! Nobody seems to have anything like that.
Here's a link to the particular birthing chair they had up in Alaska:
BirthRite Birthing Seat
Just for curiosity's sake and because I thought it was pretty cool.
I think what I worry about is being on the bed, getting into the best position and then my body tiring out fast from supporting my own weight. I almost would rather just throw a Chux pad on the floor and deliver there so I could have hubby or my doula help hold me up. I don't have a lot of muscle strength because I have not really exercised at all this pregnancy aside from a few walks. In between the exhaustion and the heart palpitations/breathlessness I haven't felt like I could do much. I know my uterus will be toned though from all the BH I have! At least it will be up for the job!
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  #19  
March 1st, 2013, 04:56 PM
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^^ That's how it went with my last son. I knelt on the floor beside my bed and rested my upper body on the bed. Worked great and I didn't have to support myself for long (was only there for 15 min before he was born). So that option could definitely work. But I can totally see squatting being really hard to support yourself for very long!
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  #20  
March 1st, 2013, 04:57 PM
Purrrrrrr's Avatar Semi-crunchy Mommy
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I am in love with that birthing chair! I see they do rentals. WAAAAAAAANT! I wonder how much it is...
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