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Choosing what's right for oneself
Choosing what's right for oneself

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#26 Jaws

Posted 10 May 2003 - 02:38 PM

No, I certainly wasn't insinuating anything about what had already been remarked on this thread original.gif - on the contary, I think this debate has been very civilised, mature and respectful, with everyone seemingly interested in others' experiences, which is terrific.

Happy motherhood everyone!


#27 Jeneral

Posted 10 May 2003 - 09:08 PM

For those who think that a natural birth is doing it the hard way, I would like to say that this is a falacy!  From 10pm I had little twinges in my belly, by 2am, they were bad enough to get me out of bed for a shower, I arrived at the hospital in good spirits at 5am with contractions still mild.  I was only 1 cm dilated when cheaked so I thought I was in for a long hard labour.  My mother and sister both had really short quick labours so my birth plan reflected this - natural all the way!  Anyways, the midwife gave me some panadol and sent me to the ward to sleep until morning (7am).  I had another couple of mild contractions and almost fell asleep!  Please note that so far the contractions had not even been painful enough for me to lose my breath or stop walking!  Then all a sudden a jumped off the bed and began screaming in utter agony! For Drugs!  the midwife, who come running into the room at my screams, kindly informed that it appeared to be too late for drugs (7.30am)!  Within a minute that contraction was over and I was on my way to the labour ward! I jumped on to the bed, my waters broke and three pushes and that was it (7.56am)!  Not to say it didn't hurt, but the pushing was more a purpose then pain!  So the only unnatural part of my birth was the bed bit (which is most likely why a tore and needed stiches).  Within two hours (I had a sleep) I was completly back to normal apart from a little tenderness from the stiches.

This is what I call an easy labour!  I am terrified of having an epidural as I don't react well to drugs (I get panic attacks) and the thought of a ceasarian - pain!  I think natural birth is the way to go in that you can recover most easily but hey, a ceasarean is easier to recover from then a broken pelvis so it is just a case of waying up probabilities!

I know how lucky I am that I had such an easy birth (comparitely!) but I have such admiration for the courage of those who, for whatever reason, don't choose this path or have that choice taken from them!  

My next birth plan will allow for more possibilites of what might go wrong!  Such as, if I have to push for more then half an hour I want the position cheaked and a if necesary a ceasarian!  I don't want to be pushing for hours and hours before they figure out baby is breech or something!

I am certainly not brave for going natural, just lucky!
The brave ones are most certainly those who have to make life and death choices while giving birth!

DH: David (30)
DJ: Dyllan Jacob (4)
Belly: ?? due August

#28 TheGang

Posted 12 May 2003 - 10:07 AM

Hi All

I thought I would throw my experiences in here.

With DS#1 I had a 8 hour labour every type on intervention known to man due to extremely high BP during labour with an episiotomy and forceps delivery.  He was only 6lb14ozs and born at 39 weeks. I had pethidene and an epi.

DS#2 2 hour labour no pain relief and I'm sure he just "fell out" LOL.  He was 6lb4ozs and was born at 39 weeks.

DS#3 6 hour labour and the most excrutiating pain I have ever felt.  My body needed to push for the last 3 hours but I wasn't dilated enough and my cervix was swelling around his head.  He was 8lb2ozs with a 38cm head and born at 38 weeks. I had no pain relief.

DS#4 I had a niggling suspicion that something was wrong throughout the preg and thought that the 18 week scan had the answer - placenta praevia.  The 32 week scan said there was no probs.  At 40 weeks 3 days after 6 weeks of constant agony (felt like all I did was whinge) I hemorraged at home and was rushed to hospital by ambulance.  Seth was born by emergency CS to save his life.  While the labour and delivery was easy the recovery was difficult due to 3 infections in my uterus.  

We are considering #5 in the future and I'll want to labour and deliver as naturally as possible but will keep an open mind about pain relief.

Hope this has added value to the debate.

Take Care

Mum to:
Brendon John 28.10.88
Andrew Joseph 01.03.91
Isaac Henry 23.03.01
Seth Charles 29.07.02

#29 bbnmax

Posted 12 May 2003 - 12:34 PM

As a friend of mine said recently 'Maybe we just know too much these days'. She and I both have bub #1 my DS born 3/1/03 her DS born 7/4/03. WE are both older first time mums (36/37). Prior to both our labours we had read a gazillion books, attended antenatal classes, written our labour plans and basically had very definite ideas about what we did and did not want during the birth. I was induced, had an epidural and an episiotomy all of the above on the 'prefer not' category of my birth plan. I even had a debate with the Obs over my splayed legs about the need for the episiotomy. He just said you are not stretching any further and you will tear. He gave me the choice and I then agreed to it. DS was born after a 4hour labour. I had stitches, I cried all night due to the emotional drainage and having caved on most of the birth plan.

My friend during her labour wanted to stand and ended up pushing for hours. As soon as she agreed to try the reclining position suggested by the midwife out popped baby! She did however have a 3rd degree tear and spent 2 hours being stitched back up. She ended up with a catheder due to not being able to wee and this led to urinary tract infection.

Looking back I am glad I agreed to the interventions as they happened. In hindsight I may not need an epi next time as I think I will recognise my body's 'signs' but who knows? If episiotomy was suggested next time I would just agree to it as my experience and recovery from this was not so bad. My friend swears she is having an elective c/s as there is no way she will go through that again. She does wonder if she had agreed to the final labouring position earlier whether the pushing stage would have been shorter and if she would have torn so badly.

Perhaps the midwives and obs do know best. Perhaps all we really need is one we trust. I would go back to my obs in a flash. Perhaps being faced with so many choices and options and knowledge does not really do us any good or maybe not the first time around anyway.

#30 Shebee

Posted 14 May 2003 - 02:27 PM

Wow, what an amazing debate! I think its actually become less of a debate and more a really good quality share session. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to share their thoughts and experiences. I know it has only expanded my understanding of the whole labour/birth journey.

There are a few people that I would especially like to respond to. Cat12, I‚??m really sorry that you seem to have felt that you ‚??couldn‚??t cut the grade‚?? before you had even tried. I guess what I‚??m really sorry about it that any of us perceive that there is actually a ‚??grade‚?? or standard that we are being compared to and that there might be other women out there actually holding that up to mums-to-be. More and more I understand that birth is such an individual thing and that we all have to find our own way. You didn‚??t say how you actually felt after the birth of your child? Despite doing it differently to others around you, I hope that it was an empowering and positive experience for you.

Isis ‚?? you go girl! It is fantastic to hear you say that you trust your body implicitly and have enough knowledge to agree/disagree with suggestions from your caregivers. I truly believe that knowledge is the key to shaping our decisions and experiences of childbirth. Knowledge is power and even if nature does throw us a curve ball, we can at least make educated decisions instead of ignorant ones. That makes them truly our decisions.

Liz367 ‚?? A girl after my own heart. You sound just like me when I was planning for the birth of my son! I think its great to aim for exactly what you want from this experience. I guess there are probably other women who planned for similar labours/births and it didnt work out that way. I don‚??t know what it is that makes the difference. I still hold fast to everything that I said in Sebastians birth story and believe that it will get me through next time as well (I‚??m as clucky as any old chook and cant wait to do it again!). Stick to your guns, go with your instincts and if this thread has shown us anything, I think its that we all deserve to celebrate the births of our children and not give ourselves a hard time for deviating from our plans or not attaining some perceived standard.
I‚??ll look forward to hearing how you get on!

Lara ‚?? Wow, you are a HERO!!!!!!!!!! After all you‚??ve been through and now going for number four, huge pat on the back to you! Really sorry to hear about the cracked pubic bone and am not at all surprised you‚??re scared. You didn‚??t say what positions you were in for giving birth to each of your children, especially the third. I know that the upright positions, standing squatting and kneeling on all fours are praised as the best to birth as the pelvis and everything else are at their most open position and there is the most room for the baby to come through. I don‚??t know if you were active (walking about/staying upright) during your labour. From what I understand of how it all happens, I would imagine that your body, having had three children and especially number three with a large head, is now actually equipped (so to speak) to deal with this. I would try to stay upright, stay active and stay away from the vacuum and forceps if you can. Maybe have a good look around EB, I‚??m sure there are other women who have experienced the same and could help.

Bbnmax-  I don‚??t agree that any of us know too much. If there are any women who apply to the ‚??ignorance is bliss motto‚?? then by all means don‚??t read a thing, don‚??t talk to anyone and whatever will happen will happen.
It must be hard to plan to labour and birth a particular way and than have it happen differently. But, at least with the knowledge that you had you can say that your decisions to follow the advice of your caregivers were educated ones and that is empowering. They were your decisions to make and they were not easy ones. Do you honestly believe that you‚??d prefer not have known what they were talking about and have had the decisions made for you? Being an older Mum I don‚??t believe that you‚??re the kind of woman who has her decisions made for her? I doubt there are many (if any) important decisions that you‚??ve made in your life without all the relevant information to back you up.

Lastly I just thought I‚??d like to add that I don‚??t believe women have adequate access to USEFUL pain management information. Sure we all do the classes and devour every book we can get off the shelves and from our friends and family but they offer so little in the way of useful techniques and support for the actual event.

There is so much that I could say here but I would like to HIGHLY RECOMMEND to anyone having a baby to get themselves a copy of the book;
Birthing From Within ‚?? by Pam England & Rob Horowitz. I found a website devoted to it and had to order the book in as could not find it in any stores in this country. It cost me $48.50 and was easily the best investment I made while pregnant.
It really does go through all the stuff that you need to know and wont find in any of the mainstream pregnancy and birth books in the shops. It goes into USEFUL pain management techniques that you can learn to do before hand, it looks at the physiology of pain and its purpose, it looks at the pain and exhaustion that women go through and tells it like it REALLY is. It has a fabulous section for Dads and shows their role and purpose in this process. If you‚??re into art it gives numerous projects that you can do to celebrate and record the pregnancy (I had a wonderfully fun night with friends and sisters making a belly cast and now cant imagine that I was ever that huge lol!).

One of the things that I found most useful (and revealing) were the exercises to explore my fears surrounding the labour and birth. It helped me to get a clearer perspective on what I feared and what my real hope and desires for the experience were. I was pleased too, to find that many of my fears were dealt with as I read further through the book.

For those of you not interested in going ‚??natural‚?? it also has essential chapters on giving birth by cesarean and the compassionate use of drugs and epidurals.

I really cannot recommend it highly enough. If anyone does happen to get a hand on I‚??d been really interested to find out what you think. I‚??m happy for you to pm me.

Well I‚??ve definitely said enough.

Again, thanks for such a high quality discussion.

Me 27
dh 30
ds Sebastian 16/02/02

#31 shushh

Posted 14 May 2003 - 03:16 PM

Wow, thanks to all the mums who wrote in. It has been wonderful reading about everyone's experiences and expectations.

I think bbnmax might have hit the nail on the head. As much as you read and equip yourself, you can't gain the vast experiences that midwives and obstetricians have in 9 months. Perhaps, alongside empowering ourselves with onformation, we should should also learn to trust our healthcare givers a bit more!

And as a few writers have pointed out, the hard work begins after the birth!!! and we all should give ourselves a pat on the pack for delivering a baby, no matter how it was done!

Belinda, mum of
Elliot 26 December 02

#32 bbnmax

Posted 14 May 2003 - 05:03 PM

Hey Sheebee by knowing too much I meant that we go into this life changing experience stridently thinking we know what we are up for having read a few books, seen few videos, talked to a few friends. I found the whole experience very humbling as my ideas of what I could and could not do became quite clearly defined. I wanted the no interventions natural birth and went in with the lofty and noble opinion that I could do it 'cause a billion other women had before me. Ignorance is not bliss and you are right that I don't like decisions being made for me which is where the birth partner + the birth plan come in handy along with the plethora of info gleaned from all the books. Whilst I could still remember every agonising minute I wrote down what I would do differently 'next time'. I'll let you know if I succeed.

#33 ~CJ~

Posted 14 May 2003 - 10:28 PM

Just thought I'de share too original.gif

Edited by ~CJ~, 13 December 2006 - 05:17 PM.

#34 Skaramoosh

Posted 16 May 2003 - 10:25 AM

What an interesting disscusion.
I had a 'textbook' vaginal delivery with no drugs with my son in September 2002. My labour was 16hours, most of which I spent standing beside the bed as this was the only position I was able to cope with the pain. When time came to push I sat upright on the bed and after an hour or so of pushing my son was born. I did feel euphoric and amazed at my body's ability to just take over and do it's job, but I am really confused about what I would do if there is a next time.  I was terrified about having an epidural and hated the thought of not being able to move around afterwards and of the catheter, but I would definately think seriously about having one next time. I've done the 'natural' delivery, and afterwards I was lavished with praise from everyone involved, including the OB several times, but I really don't want to do it again. Now I feel like I'd be letting myself down if I had anything less than the birth I had last time.
I know every birth is different and things rarely go according to plan, but it's all a bit scarier now I know what I'm in for!!

mum to Jack William
See Jack at www.babiesonline.com/babies/j/jwh02

#35 Skaramoosh

Posted 16 May 2003 - 10:35 AM

What an interesting disscusion.
I had a 'textbook' vaginal delivery with no drugs with my son in September 2002. My labour was 16hours, most of which I spent standing beside the bed as this was the only position I was able to cope with the pain. When time came to push I sat upright on the bed and after an hour or so of pushing my son was born. I did feel euphoric and amazed at my body's ability to just take over and do it's job, but I am really confused about what I would do if there is a next time.  I was terrified about having an epidural and hated the thought of not being able to move around afterwards and of the catheter, but I would definately think seriously about having one next time. I've done the 'natural' delivery, and afterwards I was lavished with praise from everyone involved, including the OB several times, but I really don't want to do it again. Now I feel like I'd be letting myself down if I had anything less than the birth I had last time.
I know every birth is different and things rarely go according to plan, but it's all a bit scarier now I know what I'm in for!!


mum to Jack William
See Jack at www.babiesonline.com/babies/j/jwh02

This message was edited by kylie28 on Friday, 16 May 2003 @ 10:49 AM

#36 rinky

Posted 17 May 2003 - 08:04 PM

I intended to have an epidural, but labour was quick, there was no time, and I didn't really feel I needed it.  I did have pethadine early on in my labour.  I don't remember all of my labour clearly - the first two hours were a bit blurry, but the last hour was very clear.  I am proud to have given birth, but don't really see the birthing as a life changing experience.  My life changing experieince came from my little boy and when he was put in my arms.  Don't get me wrong, labour was pretty important and certainly was an experience that my husband and I will always remember, and has definitely added a dimension to our relationship.  
Maybe I missed out on the whole labour experience, but I would love another labour the same.  I believe I remember all the important bits - just some of the early bits were a bit blurry.  But seeing my son for the first time definitely wasn't blurry, and that was the important thing for me.
The thing I was happy about was that I was relaxed and felt entirely at ease and happy just after the birth, even with 7 stitches (and by then the pethadine had worn off!).
I think anyone who gets through labour is great and I think all we aim to do is be at our best for our baby's sake.

#37 Shebee

Posted 27 May 2003 - 02:57 PM

Hi, yeah, its me again! I just cant seem to keep quiet on this thread lol!

Just quickly, bbnmx, I too have been thinking and writing down how I would like to do things differently next time. Having a baby is such a huge physical and mental task. We can plan until the cows come home before hand, but it really is one of those experiences that "you just have to be there" for to really know what its like. I dont think there is anything that we do in our lives and expect to get right the first time we do it(or even the second or third...). Getting it "right" is entirely subjective too. What is right for me may be completely different for everyone else. I still think the old saying has merit though "practice makes perfect". At least having had our first children we have a more realistic perception of what it is like. This can make it even scarier on the one hand (knowing just how tough its going to be) but it also means that we can better prepare ourselves as well.

Cathryne, I am so sorry to hear that your experience has had such a lasting negative impact on you. Obviously I dont know your situation but I really hope that you are, or will get, a really good counsellor to help you get through this. Whether you have more children or not, it is not beneficial that you should continue to carry this pain around with you. I too did not experience love at first sight with my son. I felt guilty about this but apparently it is quite normal and it certainly did develop for us but it sounds as though you are still in shock from the experience and it is still affecting your relationship with your daughter.
Please do everything that you can to heal what has happened because your little girl deserves your love and you deserve all the love that I'm sure she has to give you.
Just on a curious note, you mentioned that you were not scared when preparing for the upcoming birth of your daughter. In all honesty I was scared stiff at the prospect of the pain and truly expected it to be physical torture that would require mental strength unlike anything I had ever experienced. Perhaps there is a place for fear in this process? Maybe because you werent scared you were hten not prepared to BE scared?
I dont really know, it was just something that caught my attention.
Again, please make sure you get help to overcome the pain you are still experiencing. There are people who can help you come to peace with it.

Thats me for now. Best wishes to everyone.

Me 27
dh 30
ds Sebastian 16/02/02

#38 Tepe

Posted 28 May 2003 - 12:09 PM

I want to let shushh know that i totally agree with her!
I walked into the labour ward with every intention of having a drug free birth and i did untill 7cm dialated. At this time my contractions were extreamly painful and no matter what i tried i could not stop pushing. This just stopped my cervix from dialating and the midwifes only suggestion was an epidural so my labour could progress.
I feel i went from an uncontrollable mess to a relaxed, confident birthing mother in minutes.
I felt i could concentrate on the birth rather than the contractions! I also remember the birth or second stage very clearly but the hours of contractions and the first stage are a messy, painful memory!
This time round I will again try to have a drug free labour but will not hesitate to have an epidural if i feel i am losing control!

#39 Oblique

Posted 28 May 2003 - 03:06 PM

Isn't it sad that the push for 'natural' birth often results in mothers feeling that they are failures  sad.gif

It had never occurred to me that I may not be able to birth 'naturally' - having had a perfect pregnancy.

I had no choice but to be induced - waters had broken over 48hours and labour had not started. I had no choice but to have an emergency c-section - fetal distress after 10 hours, plus not engaged (38cm head!).

I may have had no choice, but I did have a very healthy (rather large) baby boy.

Not everyone wants their birth to be an 'event', many of us just want to hold our healthy babies in our arms - please don't make us feel inferior for not doing it the 'right' way   sad.gif

Lyndal and 'the Big Man'
DS Stephen 26/01/02

See the Big Man at www.babiesonline.com/babies/t/thebigman
Last updated 04/05/03

#40 Guest_sputnik_*

Posted 28 May 2003 - 06:43 PM

Yes...ummm...the natural birth debate...I just want to say that before medical advances over the last century a lot of women died during childbirth....I think this is some how forgotten by the natural advocates.  I think if you have a low risk pregnancy etc. and have a high pain tolerance and can manage it...I say go for it and feel proud of yourself for doing it this way...but...it don't always work out that way and no woman should be made to feel she is a lesser woman because she didn't do it the natural way.

I went in wanted to do it the natural way but was flexible enough to realise that it may not work out that way.  I was sooooooo tired after over 24 hours of contractions which as a result was making the pain worse...that I went for the epidural (and both the midwife and my OB respected the choice I made...no issue).  Like Shushh, the epi made my birthing experience an enjoyable one which I doubt it would have been with out it.  I know it doesn't always work out this way but the epi speeded my labour up because I got a rest and was relaxed.  It wore off in time for pushing and I moved that critter out in 30 minutes.  I found out later that my OB and the midwife were worried prior to my epi that I may not have had the energy to push the baby out.  SOOOOO the epi (although an intervention in itself) saved me from possible other nastier forms of intervention.

Any how...whatever works best for you and gives you the best outcome I say!!!  Here's for a healthy, happy mum and baby.

#41 Mandyqld

Posted 30 May 2003 - 10:44 AM

thanks to everyone for sharing their stories.
I am due to have my first child in September and while I feel great, my preg is not what you would call straightforward. At 10 wks I was diagnosed with hyperthyoidism, which raises my pulse and if Im not careful, my baby's. I also have high blood pressure, and at 20 wks, my thyroid prob cleared and meds stopped I have been diagnosed with diabetes. I am resistant to insulin injections and have to take tablets increase the effectiveness of the injections.

My med hist includes 5 perianal abscesses all surgically drained and the most recent, life threatening.  This means firstly, if I were to tear or have an episiotomy during the birth the consequences for me could be more surgery, a colostomy bag or worse.
Secondly, this history means I am no stranger to pain, I know I could do this and would love the opportunity to put my high pain threshold to a positive use.

My husband and I, together with my OB have decided the best option will be a c/s yet I feel guilty choosing not to try to be warrior woman. Thankyou for reminding me of my reasons for choosing a c/s.  I don't need a medal, or admiration from others, just a healthy baby and a healthy body.

Mandy 36
DH 32
EDD # 1 25/9/03

#42 Christo

Posted 30 May 2003 - 11:16 AM

First of all, congrats on bubby Elliot.  Interesting name you chose.  Used to be a very popular name once, but in my generation, rarely heard of.  Could be time for a revival!

I think it is very interesting the response Cathryne gave.  I had a work-colleague who had a similar experience to her's, but she had a trouble ridden pregnancy from the start, had a horrible birth experience too - so took her a very long time to bond with her first child.  She said she hated her DD when she first left the hospital, and didn't really start liking her until she began to show independence (toddler age).

I think this a very sad story.  Not only for my work associate, but for Catheryn too!  These women didn't choose to dislike their children, it just happened that way.  Without making you feel like a specimen in a petrie dish, why do you think you reacted this way Cathryne?  I'd also like to hear from other women with similar experiences.  

I find it interesting that we often talk about the birth, but somehow assume that everyone goes home 'happily ever after'.  We forget that our bodies are still a lethal cocktail of hormones, just because the baby is out & the pregnancy is over.

I think this debate on birthing experience is wonderful, but what happens to the women after they go home...?


#43 Bonnie

Posted 01 June 2003 - 12:59 PM

My experience sounds very much like Kylie28's.  

I am not someone who focussed a great deal on what I wanted to gain from the experience - just wanted to have my baby and get on with out lives as a new little family.  I was more concerned with how we were going to adapt when we got home - I knew the midwives/ob could take care of the labour side of things!!

I did it the 'natural' way first time around (although I was induced by drip).  Major praise from all involved and relatives and friends for being tough, strong, brave, in charge of my own destiny, etc etc.   Great - but what did it actually accomplish?  Nothing more than if I'd accepted pain relief or had a caesar!!!  A gorgeous healthy baby!  

This time I have decided I don't have anything to 'prove' (to myself or the rest of the world) and will be having an epidural early on during the labour.  (I will enjoy not being quite so tired at the pushing stage)

Strangely, because I've 'done it the right way' once already this seems to give me the 'right' to choose a more managed birth this time - according to the many EXPERTS who have an opinion on my next labour!!!  I am hearing comments like "Well, of course you should have drugs this time, you did it the hard way before.  You don't have to be so tough this time around - we all know you could do it naturally if you wanted to."

Gee, thanks - glad I have the world's permission to take some control over my own life!!

My personal philosophy is (especially for first time mums) and it is only MY opinion - don't get too focussed on writing birth plans and having idealistic expectations of what you hope to get out of the experience.  Things don't always go to plan.  

Far better to do a lot of reading and asking others about different experiences/methods of pain relief/birthing styles and positions/hospital vs. homebirth vs. birthing centre and just being AWARE of what the options are, so that you can make INFORMED decisions as things happen. (This way, you are making decisions with all of the facts - ie. How you are really feeling as opposed to how you thought you might feel when you wrote that really detailed birth plan 10 weeks before the big day) My personal opinion only.  

Good luck to everyone out there who is approaching a first or subsequent labour.  However anyone chooses to do it is not the point - the aim (having a baby) is always the same!

#44 Guest_Nikita_*

Posted 01 June 2003 - 08:08 PM

I actually agree with what Shebee has said as far as my own experience has shown me in that there is only one woman I know who prefers natural and drug free childbirth. In fact I'm reluctant to speak up when the topic comes up because I get branded with the 'natural birth' stick and often feel bullied into not saying anything at all for fear of the 'what are you some kind of hero or something' accusations. It's nice to see women agreeing to disagree without resorting to name calling or insults original.gif

For my third birth I was scheduled for an elective c/s if labour didn't progress within the first 4 hours (long story) so went into the delivery feeling really calm about it knowing everything was going to be fine. As fate would have it I delivered in 3 hours, no time for pain relief and no tearing whatsoever! My calmness and lack of fear is what I attribute to my ability to give birth naturally and I firmly believe that many of us are so frightened of birth that we can't relax enough to let nature take its course. Of course we all end up with a baby in the end and that's the most important thing but I still believe that the easiest births are the intervention free ones for both mums and babies original.gif

Hope I haven't offended anyone either!

#45 shelllt

Posted 02 June 2003 - 11:37 AM

I would like to relate my birth stories to shushh' s posting. I have been in the situation where I was denied what I wanted during the process of labour. With my first child it was an easy labour, no drugs, no stitches and only 5 hrs from start to finish.When I fell pregnant with my 2nd child, I was often told that this one would be easier this time around and probably quicker - yeah right!!
My labour with #2 started with my waters braking, and after 7 hours in labour  with pethadine and reaching 8cm dilation the pain became unbearable and therefore uncontrollable. This labour felt wrong . I repeatedly told the midwives and doctors that I would like a c section as I felt I couldn't cope and plus I was told that for my size  the baby was quite big.
My requests were refused and I was offered an epi instead, which of course I took as i was so desperate. The pain relief was bliss but it seem to slow everything down and when it wore off a couple of hours later the pain was more severe. I reached full dilation after 12hrs of labour and was told to push. For the next five hours I really struggled, the baby was now stuck and doctors used the vaccum. After 3 attempts #2 was finally born, I was so exhausted I couldn't at that stage even hold her let alone turn to look at her. The top of her head had been scalped  due to the suction slipping off and became badly infected later on.Even though it was the most agonising experience it was still worth every moment from then on!
I am now pregnant with #3 and I am absolutely petrified to the point where for the first 2 months I tried to deny that I was actually pregnant! Don't get me wrong i love being pregnant and I adore motherhood, but I am so terrified of what will occur this time and whether if I do get to the point of not coping due to being small whether my request will at least be seriuosly considered.
I hope that this one will be 'natural' and unassisted like the first, and there is a good chance it will be, but the experience of #2 will always haunt me. I had nightmares for months after, postnatal depression , and my insides, especially the bowel muscles, still haven't fully recovered and that was 3 years ago!
But I am trying to remain positive and hopefully everything will be okay and I have a heathly and strong baby.
I know this is a bit of a whinge, but looking back I should have really focused on a birth plan with options for different situations, therefore my support people and myself could have been more adament about what I needed. I suppose really it isn't a matter of whether you are a 'hero' or'strong' as a person in the event of labour but what the baby is like and how your body reacts to the process of giving birth to that wonderful little human being. I suppose that is what makes us all so unique as individuals.
Anyhow I would like to finish with saying it doesn't matter really how you get through it, as a healthy baby and loving relationship for eternity is all that matters.
PS: getting this all out has made me feel so much better!


#46 Guest_Nikita_*

Posted 02 June 2003 - 06:44 PM

ShellT, I can totally relate to the fears you have as my second delivery was traumatic too resulting in 4 hours of second stage (it felt like one never ending contraction and I got to the point where I was begging for them to kill me) and a high forceps delivery with loads of stitches for the tearing and cutting that went on. I had nightmares about having another child and fully believed that another birth would be the end of me.

That's why I agreed to the c/section as a back up after a trial labour as our plan for birth no.3. What was also really important for me was when my ob listened to what happened in my second delivery and explained why it happened i.e. I was fully dilated then everything stopped, rather than wait for the baby to get into the right position (he was coming face first) the midwife encouraged me to give it a little push - I ended up pushing the baby into a transverse lie and there was no way I was going to be able to deliver naturally after that as he was completely stuck.

During my third pregnancy, because I was so afraid initially I read everything I could get my hands on about transverse lie and pushing and found that pushing should never be done before the urge to push and that failure to wait is the biggest reason for intervention in childbirth. I learned how to push properly for the first time from a Sheila Kitzinger book and realised why it took so long to birth my first child which helped me immensely. By the time I went into labour with my third child I really did feel calm about what was going to happen because a. I knew I'd get help if I needed t and b. I wasn't about to start pushing until my body did it involuntarily - at one stage the midwife said "Why don't you give it a little push?" and I resolutely refused to do so until the urge came - after which I gave three productive pushes in total before the baby was out original.gif

#47 Sleepless

Posted 03 June 2003 - 10:35 AM

Personally what you decide to do in labour and how you go about it is totally up to you and you alone.

Being my first time I kept an opened mind and thought I will see how I go during the labour, well as it was I had every drug known to man kind. ( I figure if someone took the time to invent these drugs then I might as well take them)My labour started at 5am and seemed to progress quickly, I was dilating very fast but then all of a sudden nothing, so I had to wait until the drugs wore off as I couldnt feel anything to push, so after 2 hours of pushing with nothing happening, I knew I wasnt going to be able to get the baby out as from the start of the pregnancy I knew I was having a big baby, I asked for a c - section and what seemed like an eternity I was finally able to have one and at 11.37pm my baby boy was born.

Ive never once felt I have failed, I mean who cares how you deliver as long as you and the baby are healthy that is all that matters.

#48 amberz

Posted 03 June 2003 - 05:16 PM

I have had 5 children with births so different but so much the same in a way.
When my DD was born I was 19 years old and scared witless....., I started leaking amniotic fluid 4 days before she was due and was introduced to the horrid drip.. that day, it didnt work, so they turned it off and started again, the next day they started it up and whammo, within 1/2 an hour the cx were on top of each other,I just layed there and screamed, I was given an epidural eventually (as apparently I was upsettin the other patients) and  they had to pull her out of me...
I simply had NO idea what so ever.
My second DS decided to come 7 weeks early, My water broke on the Tuesday night , I was hooked up to the drip that night and he wasnt deliever (be CS) until the thrusday morning, 36 hours of agony...I also had a 40c temp when he was born and he was what is classed as a blue baby, he had to be revived a number of times.
was an even worse experience.
My 3rd came 7 years later , and she decided that she may make an entrance at 23 weeks when my water broke, I stayed in RNShore hospital till I went into labour naturally  5 weeks later at 28 weeksI laboured for 14 hours with her, using gas, pethadine and a blotched epidural (only worked down one leg) so they decided to knock me out and do a CS
My 4th DS was a birth I was really looking forward to , I had done a fair bit of research on VBAC, and my doctor assured me I could try, I also researched alternative methods of pain relief...My water broke at 37 weeks and cx  started thick and fast, I was 3cm by the time I arrived at hosp. and spent the next few hours rocking and moaning.BUT really enjoying this labour, it was as I wanted it to be..by 7am I was still 3cm dialated and the dr (read fool) decided that I needed a CS, I said only if I could be awake, so they tried insert the epi, (DH says my back looked like a war zone, he made 8 attempts and had a massive bruise down the length of my spine for ages after) , they wheeled me off to surgery with the prospects of  General, when at the door an intern (or someone like that asked if he could try a spinal block) and viola ! It worked...I was with it totally (except totally paralysed and didnt feel the "unzipping feeling when they cut me") and cuddled him as soon as I was able.
My last birth (definately!) was 3 years ago and was booked in for a CS, but fate had a different idea, I had bad GD (gestational diabetes) and also developed really high BP, so they hospitalised me at 37 weeks, Bill decided he would come 4 days later...
I had an awesome labour with him, the nurse had called DH at 11pm and said that they were going to try and knock me out for the evening so I could labour slowly so not to come in. The pethadine didnt do a real lot for the pain anyway, but sent me intoa  dream like state. I spent 4 hours sitting in a massive bath justme , my contractions and my gas mask....was heavenly.
Alas I didnt dialate AGAIN and at 8am the doc decided to do a CS (I opted for a general this time as I was having my tubes tied at the same time)
I did eventually get some semblance of a birth I wanted.
I wish I had been more prepared with my first (all mum told me is that it would hurt ...i didnt realise atthe the time it would feel like I was going to DIE

mum to
Ashleigh 16
Jack 14
Sarah-Louise 7
Joshua 6
William (Bill) 3

#49 katpaws

Posted 03 June 2003 - 05:18 PM

I've been debating whether or not to add to this discussion as my experience from birth is one that I would hope no woman would ever experience.

My baby was two weeks overdue and I went into hospital for an induction. To start labour my OB had to break my waters manually. I was given the choice of having a caesarean or a vaginal birth. To have a VB I had to have an epidural. The epidural hurt like hell. I had not wanted an epidural as I did not want to have the monitors on all the time or a catheter or drip but I was told the best thing for the baby would be to have a vaginal birth so I said ok to the epidural.

A few hours later I was fighting for my life in an operating theatre after being struck by a condition called amniotic fluid embolism. Some of my baby's amniotic fluid had gone into my circulation and caused my body to shut down. The coagulants in my body stopped working and I could not stop bleeding. My baby was born by emergency caesarean in about ten minutes. I did not see her being born. Surgeons worked on me for several hours and I was kept awake throughout the entire operation as a general anaesthetic could have killed me. AFE has a mortality rate of 80%. Of the 20% of women who survive, 83% will have brain damage. Babies have a mortality rate of 50% and a 70% chance of being born with brain damage. In recovery I was told I was facing total renal failure and a hysterectomy. By some miracle my kidneys regained function and the internal bleeding stopped and I did not need a hysterectomy. I spent over two weeks in hospital. I lost memory from when I went into hospital and for the first week. Thank god my baby is okay, although she was born with an APGAR of 3. I was in special care for over a week, after spending 12 hours in intensive care, so I could not look after her. I couldn't even hold her. I can hardly remember her for those first few days. Five months later we are both doing well, although I still experience problems from the AFE.
AFE is a rare condition that cannot be predicted. It can strike a pregnant woman anytime during a pregnancy and even during an abortion. No-one knows why it happens and there is little known about it but its affects are devastating. It accounts for 10% of maternal deaths. But no-one tells you about it and no-one tells you that you can die in childbirth. I had a perfect pregnancy and was healthy. I did not have pre-eclampsia or any other problems.

Without medical intervention I would be dead. If the AFE had struck me at home I would be dead. It is only thanks to my OB who had read about the condition and was up to date in medical procedures that I am doing as well as I am and that my daughter is a healthy and happy five month old baby. It is also thanks to a world class theatre team and hospital that I am still alive.

Discussion about vaginal vs caesarean birth does little to help people who have been in my situation or in some of the situations mentioned in the discussion. Having a baby is hard: for some it is harder than others. It doesn‚??t matter what route I chose as the AFE would have hit me anyway. All I can say is thank goodness it hit when I was in hospital with my OB near by.

No matter how much you read or prepare, having a baby is one of the things in life you can‚??t control. You don‚??t know how you will feel or how you will react. However, no woman should be forced to undergo pain needlessly. And no woman should be made to feel guilty if she takes up pain control. And no woman should be made to feel guilty if they have a caesarean, regardless of the reason.

Comments like if you don‚??t go through labour then you haven‚??t given birth are cruel. I didn‚??t have a labour. I don‚??t feel like I gave birth to my baby and it hurts like hell; I can barely remember what she was like the first week. But I did give birth, regardless of how it happened. A vaginal birth would have left permanent damage to my child and I probably would not have lived through it.

I‚??m glad that some women have good birth stories but there are others out there who don‚??t and their feelings should be respected and understood. Yes, there are many options out there but sometimes your options are taken from you and you have not choice in the way your baby is born.

To those who have responded with positive birth stories I hope you know how lucky you are, lucky that you have good memories of your baby‚??s birth and your baby as a newborn. Not everyone has this: treasure your memories. For those with sadder stories, my heart goes out to you and I hope that things get better for you. Catheryne recommended a very good site for women suffering from post traumatic stress from bad birth experiences: http://www.tabs.org.nz/.

Kathryn (aka katpaws)
Mother to Camryn Ann (16.01.03)

#50 amberz

Posted 03 June 2003 - 05:26 PM

"Comments like if you don√Ę??t go through labour then you haven√Ę??t given birth are cruel. I didn√Ę??t have a labour. I don√Ę??."

My sister has also had 5 children and has had VB's for them all...me I had 4 CS,and she tries to tell me that I have no idea what giving birth is really like....
personally I couldnt give a rat's, my kids are here are healthy and I did it the best way  Icould...

No one ever experiences the same thing and no two births are the same...we should just be proud that we created these wonderful creatures and have nurtured and loved them!

mum to
Ashleigh 16
Jack 14
Sarah-Louise 7
Joshua 6
William (Bill) 3

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