Preg., Labor, Birth Decisions

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    Lets make this a new topic!
    Tell YOUR birth story or a friend’s
    lend us your knowledge and experiences
    What about interventions?
    What effects do they have on mother and infant and breastfeeding?
    What are the stats?
    AROM (artificial or assisted rupture of membranes)
    Induced labor
    Narcotic Pain Releivers
    IVF (Intravenous fluid)
    fetal monitoring
    I told some of my story in the other post- after AROM and having to lie on my back- my doc wanted to speed up labor, so after few hrs and only 2 more cm,(to 6cm) wanted pit- I was afraid of the pain so agreed to epidural- which he said would relax me and make me open more- I don’t know b/c after that last exam I suddenly had much more painfull contractions (this is before the pit) probably transition should have had him check again, had to wait for anesth. to come- wanted it “light” he laughed at me and said it was a ‘walking” epidural- which should mean ligh- but I still had to lie down afterwards- I have to say- I got very light headed and giddy- they started pit- must have been very strong b/c they kept turning it up and down since my daughters hrt rt would drop- I felt absolutely nothing, in less than 2 hrs they paniced b/c my daughter’s hrt rt dropped- actually I don’t know if they had a remote in the nurses station (it is a tertiary care center) but I was the one who told them the hrt rt was in the 80’s (so much for fetal monitoring) they checked me and I was fully dilated -if not I probably would have had a c/s- pushing in lithotomy even though I told my OB at every visit that I wanted to be up and squatting- my baby’s head was stuck- they gave me a big painfull median episiotomy and she came out in only 20 min- about 10 pushes or less- the worse part was that I didn’t feel her coming out at all! very surreal- I looked at the clock when he was done stitching and joked that he would get home in time for dinner (it was 6:00 pm) I had gotten to the hosp at 3 am, they waited till 5 to call him- after getting me set up- he came at 8 am went to his office hours at 9 came back at 12 thats when he did the AROM- epidural was 3:30 and pushing 4:40 birth at 5 was that really a labor that was too slow? I went through 3 shifts of nurses, it was the last one who I knew for about an hour who did the anoying counting for my pushing- okay bottom line- thankfully healthy mom and baby- gotta go she’s calling me


    Thanks Amy for voicing every concern that I had when i made my decisions. My first son was born at a birthing center in Florida. We were 2 blocks to the hospital and, like you said on the other site, there were 2 midwives present- one was the head of the center and the other was finishing her training. There was a physician who over saw all of the patients from the center and was on call for any emergancy. Also, the center was set up to handle nearly anything that could go wrong, except the obvious like the c/s. I didn’t make this decision lightly, after all of the research and finding all of the information that you posted before, this was the only way for me.

    The second one, I had at home, not because I really wanted to have him at home but because I REALLY didn’t want to have him at the hospital after the great experience of having my first. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find a birth center in Texas. This lead to the at home birth. There, we were also near the hospital and had friends and family near us who were or were training to be physicians.

    I am very satisfied with the ways things went but I have to say that I would have prefered, in the begining, to have them in the hospital but I really didn’t want to feel pressured by the doctor. Going the way that I did, I was able to be with my family, have them in the best position for me (my contractions also slowed or stopped when in bed) and they weren’t carted off to the nursery. Of course there were other reasons but those are the most memorable. :cloud9:


    Oh also, no episiotomy and no rips!

    We were up and walking right away (went LIGHTLY shopping within a few days)!


    I guess the last thread did get a bit off track. I don’t disagree with “natural” birth. I can’t say I agree with home birth, but to each her own. The only point I’d really like to get across is that elective c-sections are the most desirable method of birth for some of us, period. As mentioned, there are pluses and minuses of both methods, and we have to live with our choices…complications from the method we choose included. If I decide to have a vaginal birth at home, and something goes wrong, and my child suffers, that’s something *I* have to live with. If I have a vaginal birth, and I tear (and some women do…statistics mean nothing to the individual) I have to live with that. If when I’m 40, and I’m leaking urine, I don’t want to think to myself “this wouldn’t have happened if I had the baby my way.” We have to live with the results of our choices…so let me choose. That’s my entire point. I don’t mean to sound as if the birthing process is completely screwed up and everyone should opt for elective c-sections. Afterall, we’ve been having babies since the beginning of man/womankind…and it works well without intervention (usually). But there are many factors to consider, and to say that one way is better for everyone is very closed minded. As mentioned, being closed minded sets us up for misunderstandings, intolerance, hate, frustration, and lawsuits. I’m just passionate about my choice…and am simply stating another (very valid) method of childbirth.

    BTW, I didn’t have a complicated pregnancy. I am an ER trained physician working at an academic institution here in California, and my sister is an OB (maternal fetal medicine subspecialist attending) at John’s Hopkins. I know what I’m talking about, and have great references. But, no matter, because the medical literature doesn’t speak for MYA. I speak for Mya. I must live with these choices.


    I just went back and reread Amy’s last post on the previous thread. I agree totally with the progression of events hospitalized women typically go thru when having a baby. That’s right on target…and many of the interventions are premature (in my opinion). But, I guess I don’t see an elective, planned, desired, c/s as an unneeded intervention, always. I totally agree with more “natural” vaginal delivery process. It makes lots of sense that supine positioning, IV’s, NPO, AROM, pit, etc is not (?usually) the best thing for mom. Studies are showing that an epistiotomy is probably more detrimental than allowing a woman to tear naturally. I know all of these good things, and of course a simple vagianl delivery beats intervention of any sort. However, if I *choose* intervention…

    I think Nature (God) made us well…and I don’t doubt that many of the things we do to “help” people actully don’t (in many, many areas). When I was pregnant I thought I’d have a NSVD…we took Lamaze, we looked into birthing centers, the whole deal. And in the end, I requested a c/s. I had my (many) reasons. Sure, if a pleasant, vaginal, uncomplicated delivery happened to me, that would have been great. And women can strive for that. I don’t have a counter argument that can oppose this. But, this isn’t everyone’s experience, and when it doesn’t happen this (perfectly natural) way my arguement becomes valid.


    The age of elective C-sections is def :boggled: initely coming down the pike…and soon I would suspect…not sure whether that is good or bad but it is coming.
    Witnessed my girlfriend’s vag delivery ( only time I’ve been in a delivery and NOT BEEN the MD)….she did not want any “residents touching her, much less FP residents” – she is a pediatrician- so her RN checked her 3pm and said she was complete- got an epidural sometime in there …I had to run to a class to teach…called at 530 knowing that of course I had missed it- no, they said ” NO baby yet!” ?!?!?!?!
    I arrived at 6 pm…still no baby. Turned out she was never complete at 3pm…she pushed for an hr for nothing….finally at 545 she really was complete and we had a baby finally at 615 pm.
    And I def watched the OB cut a second degree that perhaps could have been skipped- heart tones were fine…but you know, she “was in a hurry…”
    I have never ever spoken to this friend about what happened bc honestly I do not know if she realizes the big screw up…once again, healthy MOm healthy baby so who cares…BUT…


    When I had my first, my daughter, I was young and so very unknowlegable about what was supposed to have gone on…had the baby at night, didnt see her until the next day, had a routine episiotomy.
    When I had my second, was in the healthcare prof., had pitocin, contractions were too close together lasting more than 2 minutes, saw fetal decelerations, pressed the call light and the CNA, who did not know I was a nurse, said it’s okay, nothing’s wrong… I couldnt help it, but I said ” Can YOU read the monitor?!” I mean come on, dont come in here not knowing the seriousness of what is going on, and not have the education to tell me everything is OK, a person who does that is stepping way out of bounds. The pitocin was turned off, I got in epidural, the nurses forgot to connect it to the drip, so when I started to deliver, I felt EVERYTHING. Oh, and the ultrasound was off about 3 weeks as far as the due date.
    My last pregnancy was with a stubborn IUD, who refused to come out and give my baby some room. It finally came out at 8 mos, so in a month’s time I delivered an IUD and a baby. Opted not to get episiotomy and ripped upward laterally in opposite directions. So much for not opting the episiotomy!


    Love the topic!

    My first birth, 1996 was interesting. I had a great preg and loved my OB. My due date was May 12, 1996 Mothers Day! How great is that. :boggled: :weeping:

    Thanks, can not wait to read more!


    My birth experience was wonderful.

    Like most of us, I initially planned for a vag birth. My husband and I took a Natural Child Birthing Class, we purchased all of the gizmos to help with the laboring process (big balls, soft music, soothing pix) we toured the L&D suites of our local hospitals. We even considered birthing centers, but found that they were too far from our home, and the quite expensive for us at the time.

    I had a “window” of time off in which to have the baby, so I was pretty anxious to have it “on time.” At 40 weeks gestation I began to feel very anxious and physically very uncomfortable. I tried various techniques to induce labor “naturally” such as nipple stimulation, and walking miles a day. :yes: I even went swinging on a swing because I heard that helps. :no:

    The reason I’m in favor of elective c-sections is because, had I not “convinced” the OB to perform one, I feel I would have ended up having an emergency c/s (eventually) thereby placing myself, and my fetus in greater danger. As it worked out, I had a couple of weeks with my baby before having to return to work (residency). I was able to *plan* for the birth. And best of all, in the future, I can plan the birthday from the beginning. 😀


    I was truly blessed on this subject, twice.

    With my first, by the time we realized I was in labor and got to the hospital, the nurse could see my daughter’s hair! So, I walked through my whole labor, including into the delivery room while fully dilated. I had always thought I’d have pain relief, but there was no time, and while it was uncomfortable, it was a beautiful experience. I had only a teeny tear or two that healed quickly.

    With my second, I decided to tell them to encourage me not to have pain relief, but to provide it if I should really need it. My water broke early on, so I knew what was happening that time. The resident on call had seen me several times throughout my pregnancy and knew my history, and she was comfortable just watching me and judging my progress by what I said (she checked once only). Later she commented that I must have been the only patient all year not to even have an IV! I feel really fortunate — I was in no way pressured to have intervention, but I felt good being in the hospital if something should go disastrously awry. I feel this was possible because the doctor knew my history and wishes and respected them (even at a place that tends to do a lot of interventions).

    It sounds like this is a rare situation, which is too bad. Do you think birth plans help with this at all? I didn’t have an official one, but it did really help that the doctor knew my preferences.


    I had my daughter at Duke and it looks like my expereince there was a lot better than I originally thought.

    I went to the hospital twice (a 30 minute drive from our home) because the Nurse said I was laughing too much to be in true labor, I guess I’m natuarlly too happy, laughing in between contractions. So of course by the time I got home, we had to turn right back around because the contractions were just minutes apart. My ex-husband rermarked that I was mooing like a cow while in labor, a thought I still find hilarious to this day :rotfl: .

    So I get to the hospital and BEG for an epidural which was given by an nurse anesthetist (SP?). The time is almost 12 hours since my first trip to the hospital at 9:00AM, and I had my daughter at 9:59 PM. No tears, no major complications for the vaginal birth but I did have a cather becasue I couldn’t urinate on my own. I did have to INSIST on this which is a shame. I also breast fed for 3 months, with bottle feedings also.

    Overall, it was a great experience but becasue I’m now considered high risk at age 37, I’m VERY concerned how the next pregancy(ies) are going to go.


    I think Nature (God) made us well

    Well, a lot of us are made well, but not all of us! I’ve been enjoying these stories, and feeling a bit envious of your “natural births”!
    I have so much gratitude for all of the interventions available to me during my 2nd and 3rd pregnancies.
    My 2nd: At 30 weeks into a pregnancy accompanied by daily N&V and incredible fatigue, I was suddenly surprised by fluid retention and just a little elevation of my BP, then within 24 hours, WHAM, I started bleeding and had a c-section (no labor, just pain) due to placental abruption with full-blown preeclampsia, delivering my tiny 2 1/2 lb daughter. She’s 9 now, healthy and normal, but we had a tough first year, esp being in full-time private practice in internal medicine.
    My 3rd: We thought … that can’t happen again. So after I sold the practice, joined a group, had coverage all set up, I started another miserable pregnancy (constant nausea) … then at 27 weeks my husband noticed my ankles were swollen, I checked my BP at 150/100, and my ultrasound showed my little daughter with very little amniotic fluid and a very little placental blood flow, so 48 hrs after having IV cortisone, she was delivered by c-section, only 1 lb, tiny tiny. She’s 6 now, and also very healthy, but needing various interventions esp during her 1st 2 years.
    I feel such gratitude for these interventions, knowing that I would probably not have survived my 2nd pregnancy, and that both of my daughters are here today, healthy and happy.


    I sit at the other end of the spectrum! For three nights prior to the birth of my son, I had been up ALL night (for THREE nights) with false labor. By the third night I had had enough…I was SOOOOO tired I couldn’t even think strait…so off to the hospital we went! Within minutes of arriving AROM (yeah from my point of view!!) Then several hours later when in full blown labor I requested an epidural (yeah!!!!) and SLEPT for three hours strait!!!!! When I awoke the nurse in my room told me that My contractions were “piggybacked” and I probably hadn’t progressed but that they decided to let me sleep since I needed rest so badly. However, when I was checked I was at 9cm.!!! What a way to go!!!!! An hour or two later I was fully dilated and never felt a contraction! …two pushes later and “He” arrived ….no cuts no tears. He was born at 5:20 in the evening and we were released at 11:00 the next morning. What a WONDERFUL experience!

    I hoped to repeat the experience with my second, and for the most part did. However, the epidural only “partially” took so I didn’t get the nap 🙁
    However, it was a short lived labor and after ONE push “SHE” arrived. Since she was born at 7:20 in the morning, I stayed until the next morning…but that was MY choice. I wanted to take an afternoon nap without my three year old and figured that my insurance was already paying for that day so I might as well take advantage of it!!!


    It’s so great to read everyone’s birth stories! I ended up having a wonderful birth experience–in a hospital with my family all around, doc, nurse, and a resident. No pain relievers, but some pit to move things along when walking failed (my water broke and labor didn’t pick up on its own for 12 hours). Making all our birthing decisions was a nightmare! My husband’s family believes firmly in home birth (at the hospital “they’ll” just try to knock you out, get the baby and hide it in the nursery): they thought it was men trying to take the birth experience away from women. At the other extreme, my aunt was insistant that no one should even try natural birth–a woman doesn’t need to go through such pain: natural birth was men trying to make us uncomfortable! No one could believe that I could feel safer in a hospital and that I trusted my OB to work with me or, conversely, that I could not take the painkillers! When did this become a feminist issue? I found that my nurses and doc really cared about how I wanted the birth to go and respected my choices.
    I’m with Mya–it’s all about choices, not “The right way” to have a baby! I found what worked right for me because I was relaxed and comfortable (as comfy as possible during contractions that is) and I know some other people have hospital phobia and could never be that comfortable there, hence disturbing their birth process! Isn’t the most important thing to have a healthy baby whatever way you think you can best accomplish it? I got so tired of natural birth nazis and epidural nazis! We each choose what is best for us!
    Sorry for the ranting, I just had to get that out!


    By the time I was ready to deliver, I was starting to get really nervous about the hospital delivery. Starting to think I should’ve hired a doula, and had sneaking thoughts about homebirth (even though I wouldn’t have done it, too risky for me). As it happened, I had everything the natural-birth books warn you about just short of episiotomy and c-section. Turned out fine & I’d certainly do it again this way.

    I’d been pretty open to drugs, since I had no idea how painful this might actually be. I think “disembowelling” is probably about the right pain level. My contractions came really fast, too, before I was dilated much at all, and there was no rest. I got the epidural in ASAP and think I may put the anaesthesiologist in my will.

    That said, all the “cascade” stuff short of c-section did happen to us. Got stuck in bed (fine with me, by that point); my contractions slowed, and the midwife got the pitocin started…though of course with the drugs in, it wasn’t the intensely painful experience I’d read about. After a while my temp started rising, and after a few hours I started shaking uncontrollably, which didn’t help the rising temp. That went on for a couple of hours. Eventually my midwife told me to get this baby born and start pushing, and I suspect that if I’d gone a whole lot longer I’d have been in for a c-section. I was greatly annoyed that I was pushing without feeling anything — it just felt dumb — and I was in the semi-reclined position & doing Valsalva maneuvers in the way all the books tell you is just plain horrible and puts your child at risk. Didn’t matter, though; Liesl slipped out after what must’ve been an hour or so of pushing. (Kind of lost track of time for a while). But I felt fine, afterwards. Wasn’t exhausted during the pushing.

    While I still like the idea of birthing centers, I’m pretty sure I’d be an epidural girl again if the pain was anything like what I went through this time. And at that point I guess you may as well be in the well-regarded tertiary hospital down the street. (Unless someone can correct me?)

    The two things I’d change: More frequent bladder draining (who knew I could hold over a liter?), and put a loud baby in the nursery much faster and more often. Liesl was a screamer from go, and we got practically no sleep. Nursing staff and peds teams coming around every 1.5 hours didn’t help. The second night we were such zombies I asked the 11 pm nurse to take her to the nursery, and the nurse _still_ stayed to chat and hand out advice till I basically told her to leave. Yep. The two days’ recovery was heinous, but the actual L&D were just fine.


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