{on my mind}: labor and delivery

I have had this post putting itself together in the back of my mind for awhile.  You see, I've really immersed myself in all things baby-particularly when it comes to the labor and delivery part.  Pregnancy is hard on me and focusing on the end goal really helps.  And the fact that this baby has started moving and I can feel her!  MMMMmmmm...I love.  It's the best.  Anyway, I've started to string together some philosophies/ideas/and such and I want some suggestions and feedback.

I really want to go drug free this time.  Honestly, it's not even so much about being able to say that I did it, or to prove my womanly-ness or anything like that.  The more I've studied statistics the more it seems that doing things drug free cuts down on recovery time.  It also seems to help prevent further intervention (which I really want to avoid).  I also want to try and deliver standing up or squatting.  This paints such a weird picture to most of us western-cultured women...and I really do still think it's weird.  BUT every birth I've watched standing they don't have to push!!!  Gravity works it's magic and the baby has the opportunity to descend gradually (ideally doing less damage).  This sounds nice.

Now, with Paisley I really had minimal damage.  I walked away with 2 tiny stitches and no real tearing.  I was lucky too because I made it to transition before getting an epidural and only needed that epidural for an hour (so it wore off right after).  I have no complaints.  Things went so well with her and I was so happy with both my nurses and Dr. Benham.  I actually had a lengthy discussion with my mid-wife because I felt so bad leaving my Doc because he did such a good job.  One of the things that sold me on Dr. Benham back when  I was interviewing OBs for Paisley's delivery is that he is compared to a midwife the most of all the doctors in town-he's a very patient man, he doesn't like to induce, he has the lowest c-section rate and he doesn't see a need for women to receive episiotomies or to tear.  He considers delivery a success not just because you produce a healthy baby, but because you have minimal to no damage.  I worried that without him massaging my perineum I would tear with this one but she reassured me that this is highly unlikely-especially if I'm free to be in whatever position I want.   

Ultimately I switched to Katie because she's my cousin and she's awesome.  She was with me as I was delivering Paisley and I loved having her there.  I'm also super excited to have her there continually while I deliver this one.  I had great supportive nurses-but they get switched over at shift changes and you really don't see your Doc much until the fireworks start.  I think having a constant support from when I get there to the end will be a big help.  

Something else that has got me super excited is that our hospital is installing tubs in 2 of their rooms!!  Yay!! With Paisley they wouldn't let me get into the tub because my water broke at home so I spent my time bouncing on a ball in the shower.  The thing that was so hard about this is that I would just get comfortable, find my happy place, relax...and they would come get me to get all dried off and get into bed to be monitored.  I wanted to be monitored BUT having to sit still in a bed is not super fun when you're in labor.  Bouncing on a ball with the nice warm water on your belly IS super fun when you're in labor.  After a couple of cycles of this I got overheated as I was getting out, had the strongest contraction of my life, and started puking at the same time...which led me into a panic ( I hit transition), ultimately into a downward spiral (Oh my gosh I can't do this for 10 hours!!!) and then to an epidural.  OOOooohhhh and that epidural was the best thing that ever happened to me...it really was.

So here's why I'm excited.  They've changed some rules at our hospital so that if I want to get into the tub, water broken or not I can.  Awesome.  Because I have opted to go with a midwife, she isn't as concerned with continual monitoring and can check me WHILE I'M STILL IN THE TUB!!  Yay!!  This, I'm hoping, is my ticket.  Water was my friend and my happy place and I think if left alone in my tub, not having to leave I may be able to make it.  Unfortunately our hospital isn't on board with the waterbirth thing, but I can literally just stand up above the tub and deliver if I want...so that's not too bad.

So basically, I've tried to set up everything as ideally as I can based on what I went through with Paisley.  I know that water helped, I know the length of my labor (which I think will help me a ton this time because it's usually shorter the second time around, right?), and I know I needed and appreciated continual support.  For those of you that have had babies, what helped you?  Even if you ended up with drugs or not, what kept you going up until that point?  What classes did you take?  Was breathing helpful?  What techniques?  Did music help you?  Distraction?  

I don't like hypnobirthing.  They lie too much (labor hurts, it's not in your head)  lol.  I have studied up on the Bradley Method, but I haven't taken a class...has anyone?  Was it beneficial?  I've watched tons of documentaries, online childbirth education classes, and at this point I think I've read every single book our library has on the subject.  I've also started keeping up on a couple of amazing blogs that have really offered some great tips.  Probably the most important thing to me is looking for techniques that recognize the pain (because it's real!) and help you deal and work through the pain.  I think water is going to be a big factor for me, but I feel like it can only take me so far.  Soo, thoughts??


  1. Yeah, hypnobirthing was more or less a waste of time and money. Distraction (i.e. Zoolander) did nothing for me, and the breathing techniques I learned didn't really do anything for me either. My aunt had all five of her kids using the Bradley Method, and she just raved about how well it worked.

    Honestly I think being allowed in the tub after my water was broken would have helped me a great deal. If it's an option the next go around, I'm definitely doing a water birth. But since our awesome state isn't for those (my doctor isn't either), I think the key will be keeping calm (meditation can do wonders) and doing whatever you can to stay off pitocin. Since she's your second I doubt you'll need it.

    If anyone I know is going to do a natural birth one way or another, it's you. <3

  2. Hi. Wandered over from FB. I've had all four of my kids sans drugs and I'd say that the thing that worked the most for me was different breathing patterns to give me a focus and a husband who would do them with me to keep me focused. It's all about that support from someone, in my case it was my hubby. And, supportive nurses and midwife.

    What really helped me too was squatting through contractions, and/or hanging on my husband/a bar/a chair, etc. allowing me to squat into the contraction. This did amazing things in moving the baby down, in my opinion.

    As far as tearing, I always tore because I got impatient and pushed like a maniac. On my last baby, I actually did what the midwife said and backed off when she told me to, pushed a little when she said, "Gently" and just generally obeyed her. I think I ended up with one little stitch that didn't necessarily have to be there. So, obey your midwife! :)

    And practice whatever technique you decide on.

    As far as squatting while pushing, I never did it. It didn't feel right to me. But I always did during contractions, like I said, and I KNOW that gravity helps immensely with bringing that baby down faster. (Plus your pelvis opens more that way, so BONUS!)

    Anyway, there's my two cents. I'm only saying any of this because you asked. I don't usually go off like this, especially to someone I don't know super well. :)

    If you have any other questions or info you'd like regarding my experiences, feel free to ask. (I did do pitocin on my last one and still did it without any drugs. And it sucked, but it can be done.)


    Good luck to you!

  3. I think you're on the right track. I was in the tub with Julius until transition and it was heaven. I did do some hypnobirthing, but I never did believe the no pain thing. However, it did help me relax which really made things more bearable. If I was tense it hurt. If I just let go and let my body do it's thing I honestly don't even remember it hurting. What is important, though, is that everyone is different and every labor is different. What worked for Paisley might not work for this one. I would do what your doing, learning a lot of different techniques. Then when the time comes you can pick out what works and go with it. If it happens to be the epidural, go with it! If you really don't want all the lovely interventions and your nurse is pushing them, ask for a different nurse and don't feel bad about it (or stay home until transition). I forbade my nurse from even mentioning drugs and encouraged her to keep me moving, and she did. And remember, you can refuse anything, ANYTHING. But you'll do fine and I think you are in a good place.

  4. In a hurry, so it will only be a quick note. Yes natural delivery cuts waaay down on the recovery. I felt super-duper after having the natural ones. Like I could get up and dance a jig. I did not follow through, but I am pretty I could have done a bang up jig! For me, breathing was absolutely the key. Hopefully the water will be yours...

  5. my advice: get all the medicine and drugs you can because pregnancy and newborns are a BITCH! hahaha but seriously, its kinda true isn't it? being a mom is a pain in every way, so why go through extra pain if we don't need to? no, but i support your wanting to do it natural- its cool. my friend cierra, did the bradley method. if you want, you can email her about it. i think she liked it :)

  6. I COMPLETELY agree with this post... so you must enlighten me as to which blogs you're reading as you come up with your birth plan!


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