please help me with my paper :)

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  • #25625
    twinkletwinkle
    Participant

    Hi All,

    As I posted in another forum, I am writing a paper on the birth process. I need some help!

    I will be shadowing an OBGYN on Monday as part of this assignment. First of all, what do I wear? I have no idea what is appropriate in this situation. Also, I will be witnessing one or two C-sections. What should I expect? I am worried I will faint or do something embarrassing. Any tips?

    I also have an interview component to my paper. I am interested in what you ladies have to say about the birth process since medical training provides a different spin. If any of you have given birth in a hospital, I would greatly appreciate it you ladies could help me by answering some questions. Please feel free to email me at [email]trishie@uclink.berkeley.edu[/email] if it is too personal to post. I will not use your name in the paper. And for those of you who posted your birth stories elsewhere, would you feel comfortable if I took quotes from those posts? Thank you very much!

    Here are the questions:

    -What is your age?
    -How many children do you have and how old are they?
    -What is your ethnicity/race? How closely do you identify with the culture associated to the ethnicity/race you have indicated?
    -What is your socioeconomic class/occupation?
    -What is your marital status?
    -Do you feel you represent those characteristics when people meet you?
    -Did you have a birth plan prior to having your baby? How closely did you feel that it was implemented?
    -How different was the birth experience from what you expected?
    -What is your birth story?

    Thanks again for helping!

    #25626
    mommd2bmommd2b
    Participant

    What is your age?

    I am 33

    -How many children do you have and how old are they?

    I have 4 children, ages 8 (about to turn 9 in less than two weeks), 7 1/2, 4 1/2 and a newborn.

    -What is your ethnicity/race? How closely do you identify with the culture associated to the ethnicity/race you have indicated?

    I am white. I don’t really associate myself/classify people based on racial group/ethnicity….I do associate myself though with my german heritage due to the fact that my husband is a ‘pure-bred’ 😀 and we have a lot of family/relatives there.

    -What is your socioeconomic class/occupation?

    My husband is an ID doc and I have my MS in molecular biology. I teach part-time at the local State U.

    -What is your marital status?

    married for nearly 10 years.

    -Do you feel you represent those characteristics when people meet you?

    Probably not. I am likely to be found in baggy pants, a long sweatshirt wtih spit-up and old children’s paint stains on it with my hair in a pony tail and no make-up. (I’ve been watching the TLC make-over marathon and I’m ashamed of myself…I need to start taking better care of my outward appearance)

    -Did you have a birth plan prior to having your baby? How closely did you feel that it was implemented?

    Yes…with my first child I was so terrified of losing the control that I had a rigid birth plan which included me basically planning the delivery from beginning to end. I envisioned giving birth by candlelight in a bathtub with soft music playing in the background, etc. :rolleyes: (all ob residents please gag here!). I was completely anti-episiotomy etc, etc and was vehement about my views. I planned on having a beautiful natural birth…hopefully in a tub with a midwife. The result? Over 35 hours of unproductive labor with an epidural that worked on the right side and not the left…a c-section after I had not slept in nearly two days where I was so exhausted that I just cried :rolleyes: . I felt very disappointed in myself after it was all over because I felt that I had not ‘really’ given birth…I literally felt like less of a woman.

    So for baby #2 I insisted on a vbac…which went ok until the cord tightened around her neck and she was delivered via vacuum assist with an apgar of 3 😮

    Baby #3 was also a vback and the birth went well, though the epidural did not hold on until the end and I was shocked at how painful it was…and embarassed a bit by the fact that I cried out in pain. I had wanted to be ‘strong’ about the whole thing. Baby #3 was a meconium aspiration and I hemmorhaged after delivery and was taken back in for surgery.

    Baby #4 started out as a vbac that quickly become a section. The spinal was a bit freakier than the epidural….but baby and mom had the best outcomes of all of the deliveries.

    I did not feel that my ‘birth plans’ were executed the way that I had hoped, BUT…what I learned through the course of these 4 very different pregnancies and deliveries is that your really do have little control over what happens. Making a birth plan does give you a feeling of control, but it is not always possible to stick to one. The best thing to do is to be flexible and recognize that the most important outcome is indeed a healthy mom and a healthy baby. My birth plans changed dramatically from the first pregnancy to the last. With the first I had a very rigid viewpoint and had it all planned out. By baby #4 I recognized that I was potentially setting myself up for disappointment and frustration…so my birthplan included things that were more likely to stay within my control..ie bringing in a favorite pillow from home, wearing my favorite socks, bringing in a tape of my favorite songs to listen on my walkman, etc. I knew by this point that I probably wasn’t going to be delivering via candlelight in the bathtub :laughing: though there are women who are lucky enough to be able to do this.

    What I liked the most about my last delivery is that my OB gave me some flexibility and choice. She advocated a section the entire pregnancy, but at the end of the day she offered me a trial of labor (w/o pitocin because of previous hemmorhaging issues) and let me make some of the decisions. She later told me that unknown to me I was always going to have a c-section…but that she let me have some of the control/say-so in order to give me some choices and control. I appreciated that. The outcome was a c-section, but I felt that I had been involved in the process instead of simply being told what to do.

    -How different was the birth experience from what you expected?

    What was different is that things never went as I had ‘planned’ for them to. I had to be very flexible with my “birthplans” (basically toss them out the window :p ) and it was very hard to feel that I had so little control over my body and what was happening to me.

    -What is your birth story?

    Already mixed up in there, I think….

    I hope this helped.

    Kris

    #25627
    EM momEM mom
    Participant

    Trish-
    As far as shadowing, wear something professional (pantsuit or skirt and sweater, doesn’t have to be too dressy, but in case you go on rounds you want to be prepared) wear comfortable shoes and bring shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty since you will be watching a section and they can get messy. The OB should find you scrubs prior to going into the OR so this shouldn’t be a problem-they’re available in almost all doctor’s lounges. I wouldn’t worry about feeling faint, you’ll be so interested in the whole birth process you probaby won’t even notice, but if you DO start to feel faint, breathe deep, tell someone and sit down ASAP-don’t feel ashamed, happens to everyone at one time or another and everyone will understand. Eat breakfast before you go this can help a lot!

    As far as my story, you can definately take any quotes from previous posts but here are a few more answers:
    -What is your age? 28 (27 when I delivered)

    -How many children do you have and how old are they? One, 15 month old daughter

    -What is your ethnicity/race? How closely do you identify with the culture associated to the ethnicity/race you have indicated? I am caucasian and I’m not sure exactly what the identification would be since caucasian is a huge melting pot of so many different ethnicities. I am irish, english, spanish, Czech, German, and Norwegian. We have pretty much adopted our own traditions that are a mix of all of these.

    -What is your socioeconomic class/occupation?
    Surgery Resident, my husband is an engineer. We’d probably be considered middle class or upper middle class. We both have good health insurance, and I delivered at the private hospital associated with my residency program. (My OB uses residents only for weekend rounds in a pinch, so I did not have any residents present for my section which since I know them all I was happy about, but wouldn’t have minded a resident that I didn’t have to work with later!)

    -What is your marital status? Married for 5 years, with my husband for almost 9 years

    -Do you feel you represent those characteristics when people meet you? I’m with Kris on this one, my outfit of choice is usually scrubs or jeans and a sweatshirt, I haven’t worn makeup since my wedding and my hair is usually either pulled back or straight and not fussed with. I look very young so I get a lot of the “you’re the doctor?” from my patients and their families.

    -Did you have a birth plan prior to having your baby? How closely did you feel that it was implemented? No birth plan, every friend that I have ever had that has had a birth plan has always ended up with the polar opposite of what she wanted. I decided to just keep my mind open, my only thing was the health and safety of the baby and myself, oh yeah I was anti-version (turning the baby) if it was breech (why? Who knows, irrational I guess…wasn’t an option in the end anyway since I didn’t have enough amniotic fluid left).

    -How different was the birth experience from what you expected? Luckily, I had no preconcieved notions…

    -What is your birth story?
    Not only was my daughter breech, I also had gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and oligohydramnios. I had to see two OBs-my normal OB who did my section and a high risk OB for frequent ultrasounds to check the baby’s weight, my fluid levels, and the placental flow and also to manage my insulin. I had a very civilized scheduled C-section at 37 weeks that was almost painless (epidural previous to pain and NO labor) and I recovered extremely quickly. I think not having any preconcieved notions about what I “wanted” really helped with accepting everything that did happen. The end result was a very happy, healthy baby and a very happy, healthy mom. I plan on having a scheduled C-section for the next one (whenever that is!) since I had such a good experience the first time and VBACs can be much more dangerous and complicated. (I wouldn’t be against other people doing them, I just have no desire to actually experience labor)

    #25628
    ReneeRenee
    Participant

    – What is your age? 39

    -How many children do you have and how old are they? Girl-7; Boy-5; Boy-almost 3

    -What is your ethnicity/race? White How closely do you identify with the culture associated to the ethnicity/race you have indicated? Pretty close

    -What is your socioeconomic class/occupation? I have a BS degree and work in business for a major chemical corporation…middle to upper-middle class I believe.

    -What is your marital status? Married for 13 years

    -Do you feel you represent those characteristics when people meet you? Pretty close

    -Did you have a birth plan prior to having your baby? No, not for any of them. Interestingly enough, the actual birth was something I didn’t focus too much on during the pregnancy. I had pre-term labor and bedrest w/ all three. With the first it showed up at 23 weeks so my focus for much of my pregnancies was in getting the baby to at least 30 weeks when it was more in the safe zone. I don’t know if the birth would’ve been more in my mind w/ a normal pregnancy. I took the childbirth classes w/ the 1st, but already knew I was okay w/ medication if the pain got to be too much. I agree w/ some of the earlier posters that you should plan around those things that will remain in your control. Not much about this process is actually in your control so undertand that up front. A safe Mom and Baby is the ultimate goal…not how it happens. How closely did you feel that it was implemented? Not really applicable as I didn’t have a plan to begin with

    -How different was the birth experience from what you expected? For me, the biggest surprise was how much difficulty I had keeping them in when they were supposed to stay in and getting them out when they were supposed to come out. :rolleyes: Quite ironic when you think about it.

    -What is your birth story?

    [i]The first was a C-section after almost 3 hours of pushing. This was after having to be induced after 3 months of bedrest & 3 weeks of the doc saying “I can’t believe you’re still holding on”. Absolutely no pain as I believe the epidural was doing too good of a job. Because I didn’t have any preconceived ideas about the “perfect birth”, I wasn’t disappointed by the C-section. I didn’t feel like I had failed at anything.

    The second was 7 weeks premature and a VBAC. I was absolutely astounded that in no way did the “3 hours of pushing and getting to the point of seeing the top of the head” experience from the first delivery prepare me for what it felt like to go through it w/ an epidural that wore off and an actual vaginal delivery… a little over 1 hour of pushing. This little guy showed up face first, meaning his lips crowned first. According to the doc, not very common and quite difficult. The second piece I knew. Once the doc knew that’s how he was coming out, I had a cast of thousands in the room. The doc was associated w/ a medschool and it was a Friday afternoon, so a number of nurses, residents & interns wanted to get a look at this particular presentation.

    Number 3 was also a VBAC and we had just gotten to 37 weeks so all okay. Even being the experienced Mom I was, on the trip to the hospital, I remembered the 2nd delivery and turned to my husband with, “Oh my God…this is going to hurt!”. Why that didn’t occur to me before then, I have not a clue. The epidural didn’t take because I progressed so quickly after it was given, sooo I was right. I asked the doc how long she thought it would be to deliver. Reply…10-15 minutes tops. An hour & 1/2 later, this little guy showed up facing the ceiling. Not as unusual as the face first, but definitely not the preferred presentation.

    Looking back on the first one, I bet she was turned funny too and that was in part why I couldn’t get her out. In that case, I didn’t have the encouragement of pain to push her out regardless.

    I can honestly say that all three births were very different experiences. The one consistent theme was the exhilaration I felt post birth (particularly w/ the VBAC’s) for roughly 2-3 days and then slight blues for the next couple of weeks. [/i]

    #25629
    LaramisaLaramisa
    Participant

    -What is your age?
    48
    -How many children do you have and how old are they
    one 7 year old
    -What is your ethnicity/race? Mostly caucasian with mixed American/ background (Scotch/Irish, Swedish, English, Cherokee)
    How closely do you identify with the culture associated to the ethnicity/race you have indicated? Not particularly I guess – I enjoy living in a very multicultural environment. And I grew up in an urban area that was very multi-ethnic, where the majority of my schoolmates were not only caucasians of European descent.
    -What is your socioeconomic class/occupation?
    Middle class. BS Chemistry & music/ PhD in Neuroscience. Medical research manager.
    -What is your marital status?
    single/divorced
    -Do you feel you represent those characteristics when people meet you?
    Not sure.
    -Did you have a birth plan prior to having your baby? How closely did you feel that it was implemented?
    Not really. Since I was living in a foreign country and wasn’t sure what to expect compared to the US, I took advantage of all the hospital tours and birth orientations, and I took 2 childbirth classes (one couples group that discussed options in English and one childbirth exercise class in the local language and read alot, so I had opinions but an open mind. My hospital had all the latest options – special birthing chairs, water birth etc… so I was looking forward to trying some of this, but the birth was so quick there was no time.
    -How different was the birth experience from what you expected?
    Not so different, since I didn’t go in with fixed expectations other than trying to use as little pain medication as tolerable. Just that it was one month early so I was a bit unprepared.
    -What is your birth story?
    I had my baby in Europe. She arrived one month early and my partner (and other family) was out of the country at the time, so I was a bit unprepared and on my own during the birth. I had worked until 9 or 10 the night before she was born trying to organize my work for the person who would take over for me during my leave. I’d had what I thought was indigestion all day but it never occurred to me that it was labor. Just before my water broke at 2 in the morning I realized the indigestion was coming about 10 minutes apart and thought aha… maybe this isn’t just something I ate! I called a taxi and they wouldn’t guarantee they’d get me to the hospital in time so I called a work colleague to take me in. Labor was going pretty quickly. In my hospital you are free to move around as you please which seems to keep things moving. For support there are midwives and the doctor just comes in to check progress periodically. When the pain got to be too much for me I asked for an epidural but in retrospect I regret this a bit and wish I had held on a bit longer, since it really seems to slow the labor down. And when it came time to push I found this quite difficult because I couldn’t feel anything. But overall it went well. Baby finally born at 12 noon, after 12 hours of ‘indigestion’ and 10 hours of labor.

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