Learning from first birth — The Bump
Natural Birth

Learning from first birth

I'm pregnant with my second child. The first time around, I was hoping (studying, preparing) for a natural hypnobirth, but I ended up getting an epidural at 8 cm. I "blame" this on several factors. My contractions were not unbearable. I was able to breathe through them and even though I'd been in labor for 19 hours (at the point of my epi) I was holding up OK. I believe the reasons I decided on an epi were:

1. My mother being in the room. I wanted her there, initially. But, as I got more into the idea of natural birth, I began to feel uncomfortable about it. She's a nurse and very much of the "why suffer if you don't have to?" mindset. She acted very strangely during our hours in the hospital. Typically, she's very take charge and vocal, but she sat quietly in the corner. I think she was trying not to intrude, but I was SO aware of her there.

2. The nurse kept telling me my bag of waters was bulging with every contraction. She just "couldn't believe it hadn't broken" and I "should let her break it for me." I'd been stalled at 8 cm for what seemed like a long time, and "moving things along" started to seem enticing. BUT - I was very freaked out about them sticking a metal instrument in me to break my water unmedicated. Which, I know is silly since I was willing to push a baby out.

3. The requests to lay down to be monitored for 20 minutes every hour. The nurse did try to let me sit on the ball for monitoring, but she wasn't able to get the baby's heartbeat that way.

Now, numbers 1 and 2 I feel like I can easily fix. I can ask my mother to wait at home (or in the waiting room if she insists), and I can refuse having my water broken. But, I didn't get the sense that I could refuse the monitoring. So, I might have to just suck it up.

Now, as I think about giving birth to DS #2, I keep focusing on his size. My son was 9 lbs, and this baby is measuring big (I'm 27 weeks currently). I know plenty of women give birth naturally to big babies, so I'm looking for your experiences. Sadly, the doctor gave me an episiotomy with DS. I initially refused, and said I would prefer to tear naturally. But, she told me the problem was that I wasn't tearing. In her defense, after I got upset at the prospect, she gave me almost an hour to try and push him out and tear, but he wouldn't budge. So, I'm also nervous about that. I don't want one at all, but especially when I can feel her cutting.

I apologize for the most rambling post. It sort of got out of control. I'd love to hear your stories, advice, warnings, encouragement. Whatever you've got. Thank you!
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Re: Learning from first birth

  • I've had 3 pain med 3 births. Numbers 1 and 2 were completely natural, but number 3 was induced with cervadil.

    I'm not sure I understand the concern over having your waters broken. With all 3 of mine, as soon as my waters broke baby was born 15 minutes later. It really can move things along when you're right near the end. So maybe if you can get over the metal instrument thing consider that.

    I've not had an episiotomy, but with #1 I needed a couple of stitches after which they used a local anaesthetic for, and I didn't feel a thing. I assume if you need an episiotomy and you haven't had an epi they use a local.

    I'm a huge believer in the mother feeling relaxed, so it sounds like a great idea to have your Mum be out of the birthing room if it felt like her being there was inhibiting you.

    You absolutely can refuse the monitoring, because you're the patient and it's your body. It does sound like the midwives are willing to try and work around you, so hopefully next time baby is in a more convenient position to track the heartbeat. 

    I really just wanted to say, that I've had great natural experiences, and wish you the very best.
    Elizabeth 5yrs old Jane 3yrs old

  • Hope I am not too late but if so maybe this will help someone else -- I was able to make it through my one and only with an unmediated childbirth. YOU CAN DO IT! After all, you were so close last time! The "why suffer" camp is hard to shut down sometimes - just remember it is YOUR choice alone. 

    I echo the previous poster in that I also had my water broken. I was dilated to a nine and it still hadn't broken and when they did it was a strange relief and made labor easier. Didn't hurt what so ever. I also tore on my own and needed stitches. I understand if it was a risk to the baby having them give you an episiotomy but otherwise your thinking was correct - let your body do what it is going to. 

    I had to be monitored quite a bit at the end as well and I just did what I had to and sort of went inside my own head -- tuned everything out. 

    I also had a great experience going natural. <3

    Me: 29 DH: 35

    Married: 9/29/12

    DS #1: 3/8/15

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