Sunday, April 26, 2009

Birthing Options

This just may become a mini-series on my blog as I sort through all the information I'm soaking up like a sponge. And it may become long, so bear with me. I've been following a few L&D nurse blogs- ones that I find incredibly empowering and informative. You can find them on the right-hand sidebar at the bottom.

My first two births were strikingly similar in many ways. A lot of interventions were used that were never even needed. For those of you who aren't aware, or don't have a Birth Plan, you have these huge bands wrapped around your belly. One to measure baby's heartbeat and the other to measure contractions. They will put a blood pressure cuff on your arm and leave it there (it will automatically measure your BP at intervals). You'll have an IV placed right away as well.

You'll be left in your room like that. As your contractions get harder you'll get really hot and the worst thing when you're hot is to have all this STUFF on you. Did I mention that you're also easily agitated when you reach the final stages of labor and your sense of touch is on overdrive.

So my hope is to... :

♥ ... labor at home longer before I go in. We'll call Daniel's parents to take our girls, of course. It is actually encouraged to labor at home as long as you can because once you enter the hospital you will have many interventions (breaking the water, Pitocin, etc.) unless you have a Birth Plan stating otherwise or it is deemed medically necessary.

I am finding out that many laboring women are treated the same, instead of as unique individuals with different needs.

♥ ... to avoid unnecessary interventions if possible, or at least hold off on them. Like having all these things all over me the whole time- I am very sensitive to touch and get easily agitated if that sense goes into overdrive. Some things, like monitoring the baby, are required for a certain amount of time and I have no problem with that. Once that required period is over, and all is well, I want to be free to...

♥ ... walk, slow dance with Daniel (helps with back pain and contractions), try a shower/bath, etc. I may end up asking for an epidural. My labors come hard and fast. My babies are born usually within 3-4 hours of having the water broken.

Because I am a "seasoned" birther I can reflect on previous experience and get a feeling for what may be similar in this upcoming birth. I feel more comfortable laboring at home for awhile. And I know that I want to be in the hospital when my water breaks.

I'm not trying to start controversy or tell anyone how to birth. I am merely trying to sort through my feelings about how I would like my personal experience to be (pending there are no probs- I understand things happen and I am all for emergency intervention).

I'm not a hippie who doesn't believe in modern medicine. Quite the contrary! I love labor and birth. I love hospitals. I love the entire experience! And I can't wait to see how this little one makes their grand entrance into the world... in a hospital (no home births here).

I've even entertained the idea of a water birth but I don't think that's an option at my hospital and I don't like the idea of sitting in my own blood and fluids. But water births are so much better and easier on the baby. I watched a video of the most peaceful water birth. Baby just laid in the water, as though sleeping, as the mom held him. There were no screams, bright lights, coldness, being rubbed down with a rough blanket, etc. It was very, very beautiful.

What about you? It may be early to think about the labor and birth (especially as a first-time mommy who doesn't know what to expect) so I encourage you to read the nursing blogs I'm following. Each has her own style and philosophies, which I love. Knowledge is power, so read up and good luck deciding how you'd like your birth to go. Nothing is ever set in stone and may not happen the way you envision but it's good to have an idea of what you want going in!

Here are some helpful articles I've recently read that may make you laugh and also help you sort through your own feelings about how you would like to create a birth plan!

It's Your Birth Right!
Top Ten Lists (funny/informative)
Birth Stories from the 70's


Elephant Steps said...

You know towards the end of my pregnancy I kind of wanted to do a water birth but it was too late to look into it. I told my husband if we have another kid I want to look into it.
And for the blood pressure thing, oh geez I remember a couple times when I was pushing as hard as I could the thing would go off and it would get really tight. I remember clearly saying at one time " Are you freaking kidding me? It has to go off now!!!!!!!" My nurse was so awesome, she kept saying I know I know and making jokes.

Amber said...

Wonderful post, Joy! I had two totally medical births, with more interventions that I like to remember. Though each of my labors were induced for specific dangers to the babies, I got to experience the difference of "natural birth" from the side of a birth doula. The most beautiful birth I assisted in was a woman who wanted no interventions... only, she was being induced. So in went the cirvodil and after half an hour, we started walking. I massaged all her pressure points and did relaxing imagery with her. The doctor came in to check her after about an hour and she was still 4 cm (had been for 2 weeks), but her water broke. She was mad at this unintended intervention. The doctor walked out and the Nurse agreed to keep her off the monitors for awhile since she still had a ways to go. I started massaging those pressure points again, and suddenly, her expression changed. She hopped off that bed and started pacing. Literally 19 minutes later, she was holding that baby in her arms. They got rid of the equipment, she relaxed, and that baby was here before they even had time to put in an IV. The most beautiful, natural, pleasant birth I've ever witnessed!!

Mel said...

The beauty of having a child is you get to do whatever you feel is right/best for you! My SIL is a doula and had my nephew at home and I admire her strength. I personally went the route that I felt most comfortable with and what I thought would be best for the baby. Your birth will be exactly as God intends it to be no matter what!

The Mommy said...

I feel the sameway you do about labor and elivery. I had hoped to labor at home and have few interventions with The Muffin. Needless to say, it didn't work out, but I got my baby. This time I'm hoping for the same things as before and praying that I get to have them.

Reality Rounds said...

I had wanted a natural childbirth with my first,but alas, that did not work out. My second birth experience was near perfect. I would love everyone to have the birth experience they dream of, but to not be inconsolable if they do not achieve it.

Anne Elizabeth said...

Even though I was induced this time (AGAIN) I didn't have to have the dumb blood pressure cuff on the whole time. It was wonderful not having that. My nurse came in and took my blood pressure when it was time to check it.

Raising Olives said...

I'm going to enjoy reading about your birthing thoughts. I'm a bit of a birth junkie. Um, I would have to be to have done it 9 times already, right.

Our births have run the gamut from fast to slow, complicated to simple, epidural in the hospital to homebirth. Been there, done that several times. :)