Saturday, July 31, 2010

Why Would You Want a Natural Birth?!

If you would have talked to me a few months ago or a year ago I would have laughed my butt off at the thought of having a baby without pain medicine or interventions like Pitocin. I was one of those moms who recovered great from c-sections, happy to have not "endured the horrors of birth", and figured that unless the hospital gave new cars to moms who went natural, drugs were ok with me. So why the change of heart?

Well, reason #1 is totally 100% selfish: I react bad to pain killers and all forms of anesthesia. I mean vomiting for hours upon hours, blacking out from drops in blood pressure, shaking and feeling just horrid. Just remembering pressing a towel over my newly cut tummy while throwing up is enough to make me run for the hills.

Reason #2: The more I read the more I know that these medicines are soooo not good for the baby. They make the baby sleepy therefore making labor longer, they increase the intensity of contractions which affects what the baby is feeling, and using them improperly increases your risks for a c-section.

BUT, if you express your desire for a totally natural birth be prepared for people to look at you like you just suggested that you snort some cocaine while birthing. In this day and age, when there is so much science and technology, people are very quick to point out that the doctors made drugs to relieve birth pain for a reason. "You won't make it through birth without drugs", "You say that now, but I bet you will be screaming for drugs soon enough", "The drugs don't hurt the baby, they wouldn't give them to you if they did"- these are all things that I have heard just in the past month or two. But I have to wonder if all these birth horror stories make women reach for the epidural faster than the women who know how to manage labor pain?

Here are some things that I will be doing to manage my pain during labor:
1. No induction- Pitocin is NOT your friend!
2. Move around, use a birthing ball, move as your body tells you to.
3. Eat and drink as needed: Would it make sense to starve an athlete before a huge race? No! So why starve a pregnant woman who is working the hardest in her life?
4. Have a great labor support system- your partner, friend, Doula, anyone who knows what you plan for this birth and supports your wants and needs.
5. Use non-medicinal tools to relieve pain: Aromatherapy, music therapy, acupressure, breathing and visualization, and water especially a nice warm bath!
6. No laying down on the job! Let gravity do its thing and push in a squat or on all fours.... have you ever seen an animal birth on its back with its legs in the air? No! It makes no sense and makes labor go so much slower than need be!

If you are hoping for a natural birth I would highly suggest Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.... what an inspirational book that is!

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Catching Up

Obviously a lot has happened in the past few weeks to send me from just going along with what my OB told me to do without question to considering a homebirth or laboring at home until the hospital couldn't section me. I have been blogging about it on my other blog- Creative Bubbles- up until this point.

** The first post, here, is really the smoking gun for this whole thing. I saw the movie The Business of Being Born. I sat there, mouth open, watching my first birth experience happening on TV and realizing that none of it should have happened as it did. I saw women in hospitals, scared out of their minds and drugged up. But I also saw powerful, brave, serene women giving birth so peacefully and confidently.**

I had no idea that birth could be like that. And then my head started going over conversations, or lack there of, that I had with my OB regarding the possibility of a VBAC with AJ and now a VBA2C with this little one. I reeled from the fact that this professional that I trusted and hired had sorely misled me and I had almost let myself be operated on AGAIN for no good reason!

** At my 20 week appointment I tried to talk about my new found knowledge with my OB, posted about here. Needless to say that no matter what, I will never see that doctor again regarding my health. In researching I realized that I had been fed a bunch of scare tactics, as read here, and that they partially worked on my husband and myself.**

So now I have been searching for a new OB, one who will support my decision to VBA2C and will tell me the real risks of both a repeat c-section and a trial of labor. I blogged about it yesterday, here, and today I *think* that I may have found a place for me to have this baby that is safe and supportive... *think*... I am trying not to get my hopes up too high because I have been lied to enough and misled enough. But me, being me, will keep a positive outlook and just know that karma will lead me where I am needed.

UPDATE: I found an OB who clearly states that he supports VBAMC and has patients travel as far as 2 hours away to deliver! I have an appointment on Monday where he will look at my surgery records, look at my scar, and really be honest with me in regards to the risks of me birthing vaginally, which is all I am asking. I am both excited and scared to be excited because I don't want to go in with high hopes that this OB is going to "let" me birth naturally and with as little medical intervention as possible. But at least it is a start!

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Start of a Journey

I have only been on this journey, a journey to fight for my rights to give birth in the manner in which is best for my baby and me, for about 2 months... but it seems like forever.

To all of you reading this, thank you. I have a feeling that I was put on this path for a specific reason and it is my sincere hopes that my fight will help someone else not have to fight as hard.

So where do I begin? I suppose the best place is in the beginning, when I had my first c-section and unknowingly put myself in the position I now find myself in.

When I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, Gabby, I didn't do anything in preparation for her birth. For some reason I work best when I "wing it" and believed that all I had to do is let the doctors let me know what to do because they had my best interests at heart... right? So after having some horrible Braxton-Hicks and being downright miserable, my OB decided that inducing me at 38 weeks was probably the best thing since there was a good chance that the baby would be too big for me if I went full term. Mind you, I was not dilated, engaged, or in any stage of being in labor.  This, my friends, was mistake #1. What should have happened is me sent home with some suggestions on how to cope and wait it out. 

So on August 16th I went into L&D at 5:30am, fully prepared to be induced and push out my baby. What no one told me was how the Pitocin makes your contractions wayyy hard, wayyyy fast and I was totally unprepared and scared. All I have heard my entire life was how painful childbirth was, there was no way to cope without an epidural, etc. So of course when the nurses offered me an epidural I said sure, even though I was only 2cm. Mistake #2- no one told me that the epidural, given so early, makes labor stall and increases your chances for a c-section.

Another thing that I didn't expect was for the epidural to make my blood pressure to drop so suddenly that I would black out... not a fun feeling I assure you. So there I was, numb, not progressing, and just waiting for my body to do something all while laying in a hospital bed. Silly me! Well, about 4:30pm I had still made no progression, was only 3cm, and doing just fine.

Then my OB came in and said that she thought a c-section was appropriate because my body just wasn't progressing according to their charts. And me, being a totally trusting soul, agreed with them. I didn't ask if it was necessary or anything, just went along with the nurses that this was the best thing.

And there you have the start of this whole mess... a naive soon to be mommy, who was scared and unprepared to argue with "doctors who knew best". Looking back I am so upset at how little I knew about birth, natural birth, not this "factory-assembly" type process that is touted in the hospitals. But that was then, and now I have the knowledge to fight for this little girl's birth, the right way and not through an un-needed surgery.

Tomorrow I will catch you up to speed on why this blog was even started!

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