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36 weeks pregnant and planning a natual childbirth... What am I REALLY in for?


Forum: Natural Childbirth

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  #1  
July 24th, 2009, 12:08 PM
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Posts: 139
BACKGROUND:

With my first child I went in simply following instructions. Not realizing that I had actual choices. I thought having a child without an epidural was something that was only done if you got to the hospital too late or you had something to prove.

So being one week over due I arrived with my overnight bag, got hooked up to the pitocin and soon afterwards an epidural and laid there on my back for twelve hours while family members sat and stared at me as if watching paint dry and conversed among themselves about random topics. Looking back it reminded me the movie scenes where people who aren't really close to the deceased stand around at the wake chatting and getting to know each other. Not really bothered by the dead person in the room.

They finally got bored and went home and 30 minutes later the frustrated doctor shows up, checks me, and says "Finally your ready. I was just about to go ahead and set you up for a C-Section." I pushed (I assume). My body was so numb I had to take the nurses word for it. Then the doctor did a quick episiotomy, unfortunately I had never heard of an episiotomy until he told me he was about to sew mine up.

So I've made the decision to have a natural childbirth this time with and a ground rule.

GROUNDRULE:

I've made sure my husband understands that no one except him and necessary hospital staff are allowed in the room until after I've had my baby and we've had some time alone with her.

ABOUT MY NCB:

I had hoped to take some NCB classes but my money just wouldn't do it. That also removed the possibilty of hiring a doula. And though I want a NCB I never considered a birth anywhere other than a hospital because I know I would not feel comfortable this time around (maybe next time though).

So my preparation has been to study every bit of information I can get my hands on about NCB and avoiding interventions (unless truly necessary). I've made sure that hubby understands what I want in hopes that he can back me up when I need a supportive voice. And after explaining the effects of interventions to him and showing him a few pics that made him uncomfortable (such as diagrams of episiotomies and how forceps work) he's on board to take my side.

THE PROBLEM/FEAR:

The one thing I keep worrying about is the fact that I keep reading that NCB classes and/or a doula can mean the difference between success or failure when it comes to avoiding un-necessary interventions. Especially in a hospital. And everyone that I've met personally has shook their head and either gave me the "Don't be a Matyr" response or replied with "Wow you must have a high tolerance for pain or something?" And the only person I've known that had a NCB told me it wasn't on purpose and she had nightmares for weeks afterwards.


THE QUESTION:

I'm determined to do this. My doctor is aware that I want to avoid interventions but I also can't assume the nurses on duty will be as knowledgable or supportive about NCB as I would like them to be.

How else can I prepare myself?
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  #2  
July 24th, 2009, 12:19 PM
PixieQueen's Avatar Hi-Tech Hippie
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Have you read any books on dealing with labor? I had never taken any NCB classes, but I'd taken yoga and used the meditation techniques.

As far as what you are actually in for, that differs so much from woman to woman. Your friend probably had nightmares because she was unprepared and taught to be terrified of childbirth. I'm sure fought it the whole way instead of going with it and letting her body do what it needed to do. But I personally had an awesome experience with my birth. I didn't tear (or have an episiotomy) and was ready to have another baby days later, I felt so good. I never felt out of control or really in that much pain. But I know I am an exception. Just make sure you keep moving and don't let them make you lay flat on your back!
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  #3  
July 24th, 2009, 12:37 PM
Del4's Avatar Super Mommy
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First and foremost, if you are determined, that means more than any childbirth class or book can give you. I had no classes with Reicher, no midwife, no childbirth classes -- I, too, couldn't afford them -- and I had a NCB in a hospital with nurses who looked at me like I had three heads. No one was really supportive, not even DH. He kind of just stood there, staring at me in pain and feeling bad, instead of doing his job. (It was his first experience with it, though, so I wasn't too upset about it after.) The only thing you need is trust in your body and the determination to see it through.

I definitely do not have nightmares from my NCB experience. It's one of my proudest moments in my life, to be quite honest. Yes, it hurt. It hurt a lot, I won't lie, but it was soooo worth it and SO MUCH BETTER than my epi/pitocin birth.

Good luck!!!

Oh.. and because of that experience, I actually can't WAIT to go through it again. Yes, I'm tired of being pregnant, but I've also been waiting this whole pregnancy to experience it again. That seems crazy saying that, but it's true. It was just such an incredible experience. I hated the lack of support, but I loved that I got to do it my way and it was what was best for my baby.
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  #4  
July 24th, 2009, 12:56 PM
moon~maiden's Avatar Cheryl~ birth truster
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You say you have done a lot of research, so I assume you have read the Bradley Method book? I like that book because it clearly explains the stages of birth and the emotional stages that you will go through. I think that's important info....especially when you think you can't do it anymore, it's good to know that it's because you are almost done!

It's VERY important for your husband to also understand the stages of labor and the emotional stages as well. There are some simple things he can do to really help you. If he has the time and enthusiasm there is a book called "the birth partner" that is great. There is a chapter in the Bradley book as well especially for husbands.

check out this link, I am sure you can find something in here helpful- http://www.justmommies.com/forums/f3...hildbirth.html


Have you looked into a student Doula? That could be possible.

and finally, stick around here, we can help you the rest of your pregnancy!
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  #5  
July 24th, 2009, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PixieQueen View Post
Have you read any books on dealing with labor?
Every one I can get my hands on! I feel like I'm suffering from information overload at the moment. LOL I also spend all my spare time surfing the web for every tidbit I can find and use. I've been learning from my information and birth stories overload that EVERY birth is soooo different. And that I MUST be prepared and firm to avoid the stuff I don't need yet still flexible to accept what I do need.

As far as my friend is concerned she had her child just a month before I had my first and she was only 19 and just as uneducated about the whole process as I. I agree that we tend to be "taught" to fear childbirth.
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  #6  
July 24th, 2009, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Del4 View Post
First and foremost, if you are determined, that means more than any childbirth class or book can give you. I had no classes with Reicher, no midwife, no childbirth classes -- I, too, couldn't afford them -- and I had a NCB in a hospital with nurses who looked at me like I had three heads. No one was really supportive, not even DH. He kind of just stood there, staring at me in pain and feeling bad, instead of doing his job. (It was his first experience with it, though, so I wasn't too upset about it after.) The only thing you need is trust in your body and the determination to see it through.
That's exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you. I really am determined.

I've tried to get hubby to read some of the books but he doesn't feel we need books to tell us how to birth a child. "Women have been having babies since Eve" were his words. So I've had to settle with striking up mini-conversations to slip him information a piece at a time. Not the best scenario but it will have to do. Hubby attended his other kids births but they where all epi-births and all he did was watch the deliveries and cut a couple of cords And I don't think he even believes that I can go through it with out an epi. But I also know that when I do go through NCB I can depend on him to be supportive even if he isn't as prepared as I would like for him to be.
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  #7  
July 24th, 2009, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheryl33 View Post
You say you have done a lot of research, so I assume you have read the Bradley Method book? I like that book because it clearly explains the stages of birth and the emotional stages that you will go through. I think that's important info....especially when you think you can't do it anymore, it's good to know that it's because you are almost done!

It's VERY important for your husband to also understand the stages of labor and the emotional stages as well. There are some simple things he can do to really help you. If he has the time and enthusiasm there is a book called "the birth partner" that is great. There is a chapter in the Bradley book as well especially for husbands.

Have you looked into a student Doula? That could be possible.

and finally, stick around here, we can help you the rest of your pregnancy!
I haven't read it but I'll go look for it tonight on the way home. I've only hit the Half Price Bookstore shelves and I haven't came across that one. I'll definately go look for it. And thanks for the links. I'll check them out.

I seriously doubt I can even afford a student Doula. Hubby lost his job two weeks after we found out we were pregnant and has yet to find a job with comparable income so we're seriously scraping at the moment. But the upside is that we've made enough adjustments that we'll be back on track financially by the first of September but it'll be too late Doula by then.
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  #8  
July 24th, 2009, 02:00 PM
PixieQueen's Avatar Hi-Tech Hippie
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Information is your best bet, even if you can't take a class or afford a doula. Sounds like you are doing everything in your power, so just believe in yourself and stick around here with us. We believe in you, too!
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  #9  
July 24th, 2009, 02:18 PM
Sk8ermaiden's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I haven't read all the responses yet, and I am probably not qualified to answer, because my intended homebirth ended in a section. But, I did do my entire labor and then push for 6 hours at home before heading in. I would say that taking the Bradley classes did help a lot, but the instructors I have talked to have referred to the book Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way as essentially a class in a book.

Really, personally, the #1 reason I was able to labor so easily at home was my husband. He was SO supportive and SO involved, giving me counter pressure and bringing me water. I could not have done it without him. I had 18 hours of natural labor including pushing (with back labor since she was sideways) and the pain was bad, but honestly forgettable. I am not scared of labor pain anymore for the next time. I know I can handle it.

And yes, I have been known to cry when I whack my elbow or stub my toe. I do NOT have a high pain tolerance in every day life. It is true what people say, it is different. I think when you have prepared for natural labor and when you really, really want to succeed and understand that of course it will hurt, it is just handle-able. The pain was forgotten the same day.

You can do it!
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  #10  
July 24th, 2009, 04:48 PM
moon~maiden's Avatar Cheryl~ birth truster
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you might be able to find someone who is willing to doula for free, most programs require a few births for certification. Where do you live? I might be able to get you some names.
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  #11  
July 24th, 2009, 05:25 PM
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A few notes:

If you change your mind, it might not be too late to switch to a birth center. Not sure about your insurance situation

Also: The most important time is transition. When you feel like you CANT it's because you ARE and you are almost there. Your DH needs to know this and needs to TELL you this when the time comes, because likely you will forget (I remember when transition hit, I wanted to get out of the birth tub and go to the hospital and get my epi. The baby was born within 20 minutes of that feeling.
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  #12  
July 24th, 2009, 05:42 PM
tygrss's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Location: Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipaintwithwords View Post
A few notes:

If you change your mind, it might not be too late to switch to a birth center. Not sure about your insurance situation

Also: The most important time is transition. When you feel like you CANT it's because you ARE and you are almost there. Your DH needs to know this and needs to TELL you this when the time comes, because likely you will forget (I remember when transition hit, I wanted to get out of the birth tub and go to the hospital and get my epi. The baby was born within 20 minutes of that feeling.
I sooooooo agree with this. The only time I remotely thought that the idea was insane was about 15 minutes before DS was born. You and your husband have to both be ready for this.
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  #13  
July 24th, 2009, 06:12 PM
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It sounds like you are really in agreat place to make this happen . The best advice I was given before my first dd was born (totally beautiful water labor,natural birth) was to keep in mind that the "pain passes" and Release during contractions and Relax between.Oh and if you feel like movinga round...MOVE.

You CAN do this!!!!
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