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natural birth

Posted by jayme24baby (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 15, 02 at 14:04

I had a non-med. birth and i was wondering who has had a natural birth (no IV's, medication, nothing) and what was your experience like?
It was my choice even though i asked for pain med. when i was about 7cm all the way to 10cm. then i pushed for a whopping 5 hrs. i'm so glad i did it natural though:)
what's everyone elses story?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: natural birth

natural, with midwife, in hospital, never considered drugs, pushed for 1 hour, no epi but slight tear with stitches

total labor was only 6.5 hours and the contractions were every 2 minutes in car. sat in inprocessing for 45 minutes and wouldn't keep the fetal monitor on so they wouldn't check me by time they did I was 10 cm and we had to rush down to delivery

very happy; did Bradley Method and felt like I was in control most of the time


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RE: natural birth

I've had 2 boys, both were very similiar. With both, I went into pre-labor 5 weeks early. With my midwife's care (bedrest, lots of water, glass of wine at night to stop contractions) I was able to hold off the labor each time for 2 weeks and so both my children were born 3 weeks early at about 7 1/2 pounds each.

Both were born at home as a planned homebirth. The first was a breeze, 5 hrs labor total from the time the contractions started to the time the baby popped out : ) The second was even quicker, 4 hrs!! but painful. My theory is my 2nd was so riding so low inside of me, for weeks and weeks, causing me lots of pain and making it hard to move. When I did go into real labor, I was already sore and worn out. But fortunately, labor was quick and when my little guy popped out, all the pain was forgotten.

I loved having homebirths. After each boy was born, I get him all to myself. Get a warm shower in my own bath, climb into my own bed (midwife changes the sheets while I'm showering) to snuggle with the baby and dear husband. Didn't have to plan on bringing the baby home, he was home! When my second was born, didn't have to worry about how to take care of my toddler. He got to see his new brother right away.

Wonderful experiences both times. My midwife had 10 children of her own, plus has delivered hundreds of babies. I trust her experience over the OB I was first assigned. Midwife is also an RN and has hospital privelages. She constantly moniters my progress and the baby's heartbeat, ANY question of a problem and we're off to the hospital, only 10 mins away.


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I had a all natural birth using a midwife in a hospital. Legally in GA you have to be in a hospital setting, although I don't think I have the guts to do it at home. No meds, no epi and it was a great experience. My husband and I had gone to a natural childbirth class (Bradley) which educated both of us alot. My labor began on a Wed night and I had him early Friday morning. Hard labor was only about 5 hrs and I pushed for 45 mins. I couldn't have done it without the support of my husband, the nurse or my midwife. Once I had him I was up and about within 30 mins. I liked being in control of my body!! I look forward to my next pregnancy and delivery.


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Both of my boys where born in the hospital with no medications. They did give me an episiotomy. I had no idea what they was doing, was never ask. Never even heard of it. I think that was the best thing for me though. I am pregnant again and would like to have an epidural. I did ask for it with my other two but was too far along. I am very much dreading the pain of this one. If I find out inusrance wint pay I'll try my best to not ask for it! I would love to have a midwife. Can't find one. I've only seen my doctor 1 time! I just started my 7 month! Can you believe that? "Oh, he doesn't work at this clinic on MOndays.", When all my appointments are. Geez. Though I did like him when I did see him. I am the only one I know that hasn't had an epidural.


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RE: natural birth

Prettybutterfly-

Who do you see at the clinic, just the nurses? That's crazy. Ask them or the hospital about midwives.


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RE: natural birth

no meds and no epi. this was 7yrs ago and labor lasted a while but that pain did not compare to them checking dialation - which they had to do about 5 times. why didn't anyone warn me!!!!!! LOL


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RE: natural birth

I am a currently a stay home mom of 3 which I love but prior to I was a labor and delivery nurse. I am all for women going "natural". My only quirks are if you are planning the bradley method in which you want no monitoring even periodic checks, and you refuse to let the nurse assess you and the babies well being. In this case I ask that you do not come to the hospital and put your nurses license on the line. As long as the periodic fetal monitoring shows signs of a healthy happy baby in the throws of labor then there is no need for continual monitoring. On the other hand, if you refuse to even let the nurse listen with even a doppler, you need not be in the hospital setting. As far as home births... go for it if you are a risk taker. I feel that yes in most cases a home birth is going to turn out just fine, but what if something goes wrong and you have to be rushed to the hospital for an emergency c-sec. Time is so important. I think of it like this...how long can you hold your breath? 10 minutes? Not me, only about 1minute. To me, the risk is too great and I could never have forgiven myself had there been a complication that could have been remedied in a operating room had I been just down the hall. In the grand scheme of things what's more important a healthy baby or a vaginal delivery? I did deliver all of mine in the hospital with an epidural and narcotics and had a very peaceful, enjoyable, restful, vaginal delivery. I am no less of a woman. I must say though that I have been blessed to assist, support, and encourage many women to deliver without drugs and every time come out of there thinking wow, they are some tough women!!! The bottom line, do what you feel is best for you, safe for the baby, and doesn't expect any health care professional to set themselves up for a lawsuit.


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RE: natural birth

Tama, I admire your comments. DH and I are planning to conceive soon, so all of these things are going through my head right now. I just changed doctors because the first one was at least 45 minutes away, with delivery privileges in a hospital I'd never even seen yet (we've been here 1 1/2 years). I wanted somewhere closer to home. There is no way I could or would deliver at home - we live in a dormitory! and I just wouldn't want to take the risk. SIL just delivered, with a midwife, a meconium stained newborn two days ago. Baby is fine and at home but on a monitor. I guess a doctor could be called if something had happened, but...you never know. My mom's best friend is a respiratory therapist who treated a newborn, meconium stained infant - friend witnessed the birth by a midwife, no doctor present, and the midwife left the infant in the care of the resp. therapist. Just too scary for me.

I guess I'm the only one who thinks the birth is a beautiful, yet personal experience to be shared with only your closest family - like mom and husband (aside from medical personnel) and not a room full of family members. I also wonder if younger children aren't scared by the fact that mommy is screaming her lungs out and wondering why. For those who have delivered this way, how did your kids react? Just curious.


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RE: natural birth

I agree about the roomful of family members. I see some of the TLC baby stories, and there are some women who want all their girlfriends, Uncle Bob and Aunt Sue and everyone in there. To each his own, though.

I will say that my friend just had baby number FIVE!!! Yep. She's 41 years old. All used an epidural. BUT this was her first with a midwife assisting. And it was her first with no tear or stitches. She said she wished she had used a midwife assistant in the other ones.

I, however, had an easy pregnancy but tough delivery. My pelvic bones didn't do what they are supposed to do when DD got to zero station and I was 10cm. And so she got stuck for hours, with her heart rate dropping. So I had an emergency C-section. I am not sure what a mid-wife could have done differently, but it does make the prospect of a home delivery a bit scary.


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RE: natural birth

My last was a natural birth in the hospital..Almost the truck!
It was the second most scary instance in my life. The first being the emergency c section of my first who was in fetal distress and early.
Maybe if I had been prepared for a quick labor and was "planning" on natural, it may not have been so absolutely nerve wracking! I admire those that plan quiet non medicated births.
I've had a baby just about every way possible.
#1 emergency c
#2 same kind of situation as 1, but caught sooner, so was given pitocin to get the contractions useful, and an epideral to give birth.
Pit was administered at 1 pm, he was born at 3:14. Hard labor was 15 minutes with 6 series of pushes to deliver.
No tearing. L&I nurse was perimassaging through last 30 minutes of labor.
Felt incredible after his birth.
#3 Natural, quick...scary!
he was born just under 2 hours from the first contraction I felt. On call doctor was sure, that I wasn't in "real" labor. "There's a natural progression, and you haven't completed all the stages."...(and I'd never been in "proper labor" anyway, so I didn't know...
My delivery hospital is 45 mintutes away. We had to detour to a hospital 25 minutes away. He was born about 1 minute after I entered the ER doors.
Un nevering to say the least.


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Gosh Terri, that sounds scary! You remind me of my best - she nearly delivered her second at work. Thankfully there was a nurse there to help her out. The baby came half way out on the floor where she worked and was a month early. Yikes.


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My best friend, that is! Can't speak today. ; )


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I had a homebirth... loved it... glad i got to experience what it feels like to be a woman and give birth... It was the best experience of my life... For the woman who said homebirth is for risk takers... I think hospital birth is for risk takers.. :P :)
I wish you the best.. (keep the hospital for the emergencies.. and have a normal birth at home.)


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RE: natural birth

Sally,
My husband's cousin decided to do a homebirth. Totally normal pregnancy, and during delivery, the baby inhaled muconium - a pretty routine thing, but in a hospital, this can be addressed quickly.

Unfortunately, there was not enough time to get the newborn to a hospital in order to save him.

A lot of avoidable heartbreak.

My opinion: Use a midwife or doula as well as a hospital. All the hospitals here in Atlanta metro area allow it. Get the best of both worlds, and if everything ends up routine, super! But even the smallest of complications can end up in heartbreak, and it seems to be irresponsible to suggest that ensuring good medical care is making a mom "a risk taker".

We moms carry a great deal of guilt on our own without our fellow women making us feel somehow less worthy because we chose to have our babies in a hospital.

In my own case, a non-hospital birth at first glance would have seemed low risk but my daughter ran into serious complications during delivery that were handled fine because we were in a hospital setting.


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trekaren,
I'm sorry if i made you feel somehow less worthy.. but you should also not peg me as being irresponsible for having a home birth.. i did extensive research before coming to the decision. if you look at statistics alone, homebirths are much safer. i also know of a woman who had a homebirth who's child inhaled muconium....very scary, but after being treated in the hospital for the emergency (for serveral weeks) the baby survived and is fine.
My comment about women being risk takers who go to the hospital was only in fun because of the other post that mentioned home birth is for risk takers... i didn't mean it to be mean.. .If a woman feels more comfortable in a hospital setting, i think she should be there...( with a doula of course so she won't have to worry if a nurse or someone is trying to unnecessarily intervene.) I know plenty of women who had their babies in hospitals naturally and it was a wonderful experience...
For me... I will never go to the hospital unless the emergency first arises. Shrug.... That's just me.


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I admire everyone who has had a natural childbirth and I have had friends on every end of the spectrum, from homebirths to lots of drugs at the hospital. My first child was induced at the hospital with drugs, epidural, the works. Eventually ending in a vacuum extraction. The entire process lasted 48 hours and it was AWFUL! I am 6 weeks away from delivering #2 and will hopefully be able to deliver in a much more natural way. This time I will definitely try to hold off on being induced (last time they were worried that the baby was getting to large to deliver vaginally- might happen this time as well, but I hope not) and I will try my hardest to hold off on any drugs and possibly an epidural. It was very hard on my body last time I think largely due to the fact that my body hadn't naturally gone in to labor, it was being forced by the pitocin. It would be great to have a 3-8 hour labor and I really hope I can have that this time. I will have the baby in the hospital, but I admire the homebirth crowd. I would be too scared to do that though.


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emmhip...
you may want to pick up the book, "Ina May's guide to natural child birth".. she is the nation's number one midwife and is a huge advocate of homebirth but she dedicates a large section of the book to what you can do to ensure the birth you want in the hospital if that's where you feel the most comfortable. It is such a fun read that you will want to read it over and over again.. The stories are very heart warming.. and the book is very informative. She also goes into detail about a woman's body's ability to stretch and open in ways you can't imagine. When you read about the countless stories of women who have birthed huge (I'm talkin' 12+ lb.) babies naturally after being told they were too small, you will be thrilled. I wish you the best!! You must be super excited!


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I will have to check out that book! Always looking for a good pregnancy read, and it sounds like this one could actually be helpful to me. I am very excited about this new baby, especially since this time the sex will be a surprise. I am a bit terrified about labor and delivery. After I had my DD three years ago I SWORE that I was never doing this again (don't we all do that?) but of course we decided that we did want another child. Hoping that things will go more smoothly this time, I think I am better informed, and having actually gone through the process, I know what it *could* be like. Thanks again!


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hahaha.. I remember when I was in labor I thought to myself.. "I could never do this again.. or it will have to be a long time from now so I can forget what this is all like.." Then the moment he was born I wanted a hundred more babies.. hahah.


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I picked up the natural childbirth book by Ina May Gaskin and it is fabulous! I am actually feeling a lot more secure and hopeful as far as my next birth experience. It is a really great book and I am speeding through it. Will be passing it on to other pregnant friends as well when I am done. Thank you for the suggestion sally25!


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emmhip, when is your due date?


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I am due March 8th, but hopefully I will go a little earlier. I feel like I am ready now. LOL! Having Braxton Hicks pretty regularly. Seriously LOVING that book! Even I can't have a completely natural childbirth (which now I am considering) it still has tons of techniques for getting through labor in general. I can't thank you enough for the suggestion.


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One very frustrating thing for hospitals and medical staff is when these homebirths suddenly have problems, they show up at the hospital expecting the medical staff there to fix everything. Then if things don't go right and the baby can't be saved, the hospital, nurses and doctors can all be sued for something that could have been prevented had the birth been at the hospital (as in cases like Trekaren's cousin).

Also, having had one child with an epidural and one without, I think the experience of the birth of my child was definitely better with the epidural. When I had the epidural I was focused more on the actual birth and the child, and much less on the pain and myself. I was able to spend the time thinking of my baby and not me or how much longer will this pain last. Since I had very little pain, I remember most of the details of that birth. I was up and walking an hour after his birth (as soon as I was cleaned up), so that was not any different. When I did not have the epidural I was in so much pain at the actual delivery that it is hard to remember many of the details of those last few pushes.


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I will be having the baby in the hospital, but it is good to know that there are other options besides induction, drugs, episiotimies, and vacuum extractors. I am not ruling out getting an epidural, but it is good to be informed on the actual risks all these procedures come with (something I was NOT informed about with my first baby). The first time around, I just let it all happen, whatever the doctor or nurse suggested. This time I feel prepared with actual information and statistics on what will be happening to me. Last time I went along with being induced, even though I was only 5 days late, little did I know I was about to endure the most painful 48 hours of my life following this decision! I admire people who can make it through a natural childbirth, and the book sally25 suggested really is informative, no matter what you decide as far as your delivery decisions. I'm still not ruling out an epidural, lol!


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I don't understand what is so admirable about natural childbirth (as opposed to women who have c-sections or those who have epidurals or intrathecal anesthetics). Is something more admirable just because someone chooses to do it a more painful way? I've never really understood this when I hear it from people. I don't think tolerating pain really proves anything. It definitely wasn't the worst pain I've ever experienced. What makes it admirable?


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I find natural childbirth admirable because it is not the easiest thing to accomplish, but it may just be the healthiest option for you and your baby. It is only the last 50 years, that hospital births, drugs etc. have become the norm. Before that, babies were born the old fashioned way because there was no other way. Just recently I became aware of certain induction drugs that actually increase your risk for dying during childbirth, as well as endangering your baby. Also, I became aware that many c-sections are preformed with only one suture closure to the uterus, when a two layer closure is much safer. A one layer closure could increase your risk for all kinds of problems. Recently I was talking with a pregnant aquiantance and she said she was considering being induced at 37 weeks so her mother could be at the birth. While I admire having your mother present, and can understand why she would want to do this, I don't think this girl understands that there are very serious risks with being induced (especially early induction). We don't hear about maternal mortality rates in this country, but people still die in childbirth. I just want to give myself and my baby the best chance. I will try to have a natural childbirth (in a hospital). If I need to use drugs or an epidural I want to KNOW what I am getting myself into before doing so. I feel like planned c-sections (while the thought of it is tempting to some degree) are actually riskier than doing it the way nature intended. I want to come away from the birth of my second child in control of my situation, which I felt I wasn't with the birth of my first. That is all I'm saying. Just an opinion. I don't begrudge anyone who has chosen a c-section, been induced, had an epidural or done anything like that. I had drugs, and an epidural with my first, so I don't even know if I WILL be able to have a natural childbirth. It just seems like a better choice, if I can do it.


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RE: natural birth

C-sections have been around a little longer than 50 years. They are called Caesarian sections after Julius Caesar , who was said to have been born by c-section.

A bit of information from one site I found related to the comment about "choosing" to have a c-section. Some women do choose a c-section if it's their second birth and the first one was a c-section. Believe me, after 18 hours of labor with my first child, it obviously was not my first choice.

Cesarean Section by D. Ashley Hill, MD
OBGYN.net Editorial Advisor,
Associate Director - Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology,
Florida Hospital Family Practice Residency, Orlando, FL

Why Perform a C-Section?

After reading about all the problems, one might ask "why do we do C-sections?" In some cases, the afterbirth is too close to the opening of the vagina, called a placenta previa, and vaginal delivery would lead to life-threatening bleeding. Other indications for C-section include a dangerous drop in the fetal heart rate for many minutes, a cord prolapse (where the umbilical cords falls out of the vagina and constricts the blood supply to the baby), heavy vaginal bleeding from a torn afterbirth, many (but not all) breech babies, babies that are in an awkward position in the uterus (for example, sideways), and active genital herpes. Triplets almost always require a C-section, while many twin deliveries can be safely performed vaginally. Arrested labor, where the woman only dilates to a certain amount then stops, accounts for many C-sections. Contrary to popular belief, this does not mean that the next pregnancy must end in C-section, because, just as all children are different, all pregnancies are different. Just because, for example, a 6 pound baby will not fit exactly right and needs a C-section, does not mean that the mother will need one for her next pregnancy, where the baby is 8 pounds. Each baby fits differently.

Finally, probably the least common reason for a C-section is because the baby is too big. Almost all pregnant women believe their baby is "too big," yet this is almost never the case. Medical research has not shown that C-sections are better for most large babies. When doctors advise a C-section, they are aware that it is preferable to deliver vaginally, but that sometimes it is necessary to perform a C-section. As always, when considering which way to deliver your baby, discuss this issue with your doctor or midwife until you are sure you have enough information to make an informed decision. You may find that you have preconceived ideas about either a vaginal delivery or a C-section and that you change your mind after discussing the issue with your doctor.


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Emmhip, I'm glad you like the book! When I read it, I wanted to run out and buy a hundred copies to hand out to people.. haha.. I never did.. :) I came to my senses. I hope everything goes well with your delivery! It sounds like you have all your bases covered! Good job! I'll be lurking in and out of the forum to see how it all goes!


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Emmhip, P.S. I hope you know... if you are wanting to go early, that only means you will end up going late.. haha.. I was 2 weeks over due!! grrrrr... soooo uncomfortable.. When the baby was born, the midwife estimated him to be right on at 40 weeks gestation.. so don't you listen to that due date.. :P


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I am pregnant with number six and planning my sixth home birth. The first one was horrendous. He was large and three weeks late. But also, hard just because he was my first. The others were just average births as far as duration of labor and pushing. My midwife had said that I could be 95% sure I would never have another birth like the first and so far she was right.

That being said, if I had been in the hospital, I would have demanded every drug possible. Heck, I probably would have even said, "just take this baby by C-section!" I am extremely glad I was home and didn't have a choice. Of course once the babies are out, you completely forget the pain. It's a miracle really.

My point is that childbirth is painful, period. I am not touting myself as better than anyone who has a hospital birth. It is almost surreal how I got thru it. In fact as my due date approaches, I don't really worry about something going wrong, I am just getting really nervous about the pain. I do take the attitude that if for some reason I have to have a hospital birth then that's okay as long as the baby is healthy.

My children always had a choice as to whether they wanted to be close to me as I was in labor. We did try to keep them from seeing anything graphic. I am pretty sure my kids haven't suffered any negative side effects, LOL!


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houseful,
I'm not sure how folks on this thread have heard that women choose to have C-Sections. Women don't choose it or say "I can't stand the pain just take the baby out". That is never how C-sections happen.

They are only done for medical reasons where baby or mom is in jeopardy, and only after non invasive options have been fully exhausted.

Trust me, it's not an "easy" way out. I was in pretty bad shape, having been thru 18 hours of hard labor, and major abdominal surgery, and then since DD did not have a vaginal birth, she had mucous in her lungs that caused her breathing distress. My pregnancy was completely routine and there was no sign that it would end the way it did. If her heart rate had not dropped and remained seriously low the way it did, they would not have decided to do the c-section.

Hope this is helpful. And please don't propagate misinformation that somehow we chose to have a c-section or that somehow it was the easy way out.


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I didn't mean to imply you or anyone here chose a c-section. My point was the DURING labor, I just wanted it over so bad that I probably would have asked for one. I guess the part where I wrote, "I am extremely glad I was home and didn't have a choice," sounded wrong. That part was regarding the drugs. I apologize.


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trekaren- Actually.. there ARE people who CHOOSE to have C-sections.. I know several... one girl I work with scheduled hers several months prior to the birth, without medical reason/emergency... she openly admits this..When the doctor was taking the baby out, he had a hard time because the baby had already decended into the birth canal and was close to being born naturally if the mother had only chosen to wait. Another woman I know, did the same with all three of her children because she was afraid of natural birth... In a birth video I watched (from my local library), there was a woman in labor in a hospital who was trying to have a natural birth and after several hours she was offered a C-section in which she denied in the end and had the baby naturally... So, you see, she was given a choice to have one, when she was perfectly able to have the baby vaginally.. IT DOES HAPPEN... I'm sure your experience was a true emergency but that is not always the case. In fact, I know one doctor in the city where I live who regularly tries to convince his patients to schedule C-sections by saying things like, "you don't really want to go through all that (meaning natural birth), do you?" I'm sure if you research the statistics a little more, you will find a lot of "convience c-sections" being done. You shouldn't try to down play this truth.


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I find it hard to believe, as the c-section really wasn't all that convenient in reality. I would have rather been able to have her vaginally. I don't know anyone who chose to have a c-section, and I have never heard it discussed in my birthing classes. I will take your word for it, though, but trust me, it was far from easy and it resulted in hardships for myself and my newborn.


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I'm with sally25 on this one, the elective c-section is more and more common, and Hollywood is a prime example. Britney Spears (can't believe I am referencing her, but whatever) had a scheduled c-section because her mother told her how painful birth was and she decided she didn't want to go through all of that. I have also seen scheduled c-sections on TLC's Baby Story, when basically the mother said the same thing. Obviously, your case was different and medically neccessary. Still counting down until my delivery, feeling huge and enduring comments from strangers daily. Don't you just love that?!


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emmhip.... just remember.. breastfeeding makes the fat disappear... heheh. I gained 65 whopping pounds and it all went bye bye with the breast milk... :) woo hoo!! gotta love it.


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There are cases where a woman cannot deliver vaginally. Please don't make assumptions about those of us who have had c sections and/or used medication. I had every intention of going natural with no drugs when I had my son last year. I had a perfectly normal healthy pregnancy when my water broke 5 weeks early. I went to the hospital where I labored for 12 hours (no epidural) before I was 10 cm dialated and could push. During that 12 hours my baby went through fetal distress several times. I myself was given oxygen several times. It was very scary. I pushed for over 3 1/2 hours after that in every conceiveable postion. I was exhausted and my OB was frustrated. He could feel the baby's head and I was pushing effectively, the baby simply would not descend. As a last resort he tried forceps and the vacumn, still nothing. Finally after 15 1/2 hours of labor they rushed me in for an emergency c section. (The baby's heart rate was becoming more and more erratic and I was making no progress). During the c section the doctor and nurses in the room kept commenting that they couldn't believe they were doing a c section on a 35 week pregnant woman. (The thought was a woman should not have trouble delivering such a small baby as a 35 weeker). When they were doing the c section they saw the problem. My pelvis is very small and the baby was really wedged inside of it. So much so that they had problems pulling him out during the c section. (My son had an "egg" on his head for a week!) My doctor told me after the surgery that I should never attempt a vaginal birth after this because of the way I am built. It is called Cephalopelvic Disproportion. So no offense to whatever the experts say, but there ARE cases where a woman can simply not deliver vaginally. And a VBAC is out of the question.

C


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carolineb-
If I came off sounding like everyone "wants" a c-section, I did not mean to sound that way. It sounds like you did everything possible to avoid one, I understand that medically they are sometimes neccessary (like in your case with the Cephalopelvic Disproportion). My only point was that sometimes I've heard of people electing to have a c-section, and I think those people are uninformed about what is involved. I absolutely respect anyone who has had a c-section as it is major surgery, and definetly not an easy way out. But given the choice, I wouldn't CHOOSE to have one. Like a co-worker of mine, who is around 21 weeks pregnant, said to me that she thought maybe she would just get a c-section because it would be easier. She is from India and apparently it is very common in India for the "well-to-do" over there to schedule c-sections. I tried to explain to her why I thought this was a bad idea. Just gave her my opinion.


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Emmhip, Thank you for clarifying and you are certainly entitled to your opinion. Having been through one, I don't feel that csections are the evil they are sometimes made out to be. I personally had no problems with mine. It was performed at 4pm. I was back on my feet walking around at 7am the next morning. Other than some minor pain the first week, I have had no problems with it. In some ways I am glad I did not have to go through a vaginal birth. I have heard some horror stories from friends about tearing, epis and later incontinence problems. That being said, since I don't know what it's like to have a vaginal birth I can't say for certain which I prefer. It seems to me like many people judge women for having csections. The harshest judgements seem to come from those who have never had a csection. As long as a person is *fully* aware of the risks, I personally don't have a problem with even elective c sections.

C


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WRT to the OP - I had 3 children, the first was with a midwife and planned homebirth (the hospital is a few minutes away) after 18 hours I wound up at the hospital with an epidural that only froze 1/2 of my pelvis. I delivered a direct OP (aka sunny side up) baby vaginally which is practically unheard of in a first timer. In one word OUCH! but my experience at the hospital was very pleasant.

Child #2, 13 months later was planned to be at the hospital with our midwife and finally was induced without epidural (16 days post dates) The whole thing was over in under three hours 2 minutes of pushing incredibly painful since the pace was too fast for my body to build endorphins and those pitocin induced superhuman contractions. OTOH very fast and recovery was also fast. I left the hospital 3 hours later.

Child #3: 15 days early, all natural, with our midwife in hospital again under three hours but no induction. Still was a lot of pain but it was over quickly. Again I was out of the hospital within hours. Somehting like this admitted at 6:30am delivered at 7:30am back home making lunch at 11am...then I had a nap!

WRT the other posts. I work in a natural health care field and I have seen all types and I will say for sure that a lot of people elect to have a c-section for non-medical reasons. To each his/her own. My only issue is the misconception that c-sections carry very little risk when that is not the case. There are increased risks with c-sections. When those risks are weighed with impending danger then it may make it a good choice, not so sure it is a great elective.

For me it all boils down to doing what is best for my child and for myself. I firmly believe that a birth with as little intervention as possible translates into better health for everyone
Here is an excerpt from an article quoting the WHO.


Risks to mum

Risk of death is 3-6 times higher
Risk of infection is higher 20% of women may develop infection and fever
Increased use of painkillers and antibiotics by Caesarean mums during their recovery period
Longer recovery time few women are fully recovered by six weeks post-partum
Increased risk of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy next time around
Increased risk of placenta praevia (the placenta covering the cervix) and placenta abruptio (the placenta prematurely separating from the uterine wall) in next pregnancy
Increased risk of uterine rupture in next birth
Increased incidence of post-natal depression following a Caesarean

Risks to baby

Increased likelihood of premature birth, since elective Caesareans are often booked in a week ahead of the due date. This is because its easier and safer to cut a non-contracting muscle (the uterus) and do an operation when all the theatre staff are on site and prepared.
Significant increase in respiratory distress syndrome (RDS)

Here is a link that might be useful: Interesting article.


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RE: natural birth

Emmhip,

I KNOW you must have had your baby by now, LOL! What did you have (plus all the other stats)? and how did it go?

Mine was born March 31st. Only 5 days late, which is very early for me. Baby girl, 8.5 lbs., 21.5 inches long.


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RE: natural birth

Hi All-
I did have the baby, a boy, born March 14! I really thought I was having a girl...but I am so glad that I had a boy!!!!!! We named him Egan Jensen (first name was my husband's choice, middle name is family last name), he was 7.5 lbs. and 21inches long.
Unfortunately I was induced (I was 5 days late), of course I totally protested and tried to put it off, but then I just relented and went to the darn hospital. This birth was so EASY! I only pushed 11 times and he popped out, no episiotomy or anything. It was great!!! My hospital stay was very nice too. The whole experience was great. Now I am super busy with my two kids... hope you all are doing well...


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RE: natural birth

How wonderful for you! Congratulations!


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RE: natural birth

Hi everyone!
I am so glad so many people have chosen a natural birth. My first two babies were born in a hospital with epidurals started at 2cm the first time, and 4 cm the second. I had long intense labors. With my third, I decided that I would like to do things naturally, so long as the baby was healthy. I had a midwife and a homebirth. A water birth, actually. Labor was quick--4 hours start to finish, I pushed three times, did not tear or have an episiotomy. It was a fabulous experience. Not painless, but do-able! Hubby and I got to rest undisturbed in our bed. I also noticed a difference in the alertness of the baby immediately. I would recommend this to anyone.


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RE: natural birth

My twins (second and third babies) were a natural birth, in 1968, and the doctor and nurses mostly didn't understand and thought I was nuts. I had high blood pressure so was given one dose of meds for that, and they broke the first baby's amniotic sac to speed thing up, but everything else was natural.

In those days the father was not permitted in the delivery room, but my husband managed to peek in--but it was inbetween babies so he didn't see anything!

I remember saying, as they were transferring me from the labor bed to the delivery bed, that I had changed my mind about the whole thing and would like to go home now. The nurses and doctors cracked up. And there were bets going on about would they be 2 boys, 2 girls, 2 big babies or 2 small babies (this was before sonograms, etc). It was 1 of each, so nobody won the pot of money. Total labor was about 12 hours. They were 10 days overdue, and my uterus was so stretched out it had a hard time working efficiently. They weighed 6 lbs 15 ounces, and 5 lbs 1 oz (my daughter was just small, still is as an adult, barely 5 ft tall and weighs about 95 lbs).

This was a peak experience. Lamaze didn't exist yet, at least in this country, but I had taken a class in the Grantly Dick-Read method with my first, and that got me through. It was a huge amount of work but really didn't hurt that much.

The boy nursed till he weaned himself at 8 months, and the girl till more or less 2 1/2 years. The local La Leche League group had a twins sub group and we were good support for each other.

When my daughter had her baby 25 years later, she had to be induced, for what I think were good reasons (she had developed a leakage of amniotic fluid and started running a fever). She had to have an epidural as a result, and so missed out on the experience I was fortunate enough to have. But she had a healthy boy whom I was able to see shortly after his birth. She also nursed him for several years. I was so pleased to see how different her labor/delivery room were, with the father expected to be there, and a chair bed supplied for him to stay overnight. There have been some improvements, and that was 13 years ago. But the baby had difficulty latching on, and they sent her home the next day, before he had succeeded, which made the next few days very difficult.


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