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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I am just trying to get an idea of what labor is like, and how anything from pain medication to episiotomies(did I spell that right? I'm talking about the thing where they cut you a little so that the baby doesn't tear you up.)
I am planning on having mine in a hospital (that is all my insurance will cover), with no pain medication at all whatsoever; oh yes and what are your opinions on vaccinations, doctors, midwives, birthing chairs, etc. Anything that comes to your mind. Thanks!!!
 

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I had an emergency C-Section, so I couldn't give an opinion on labor etc.

But - if you want some tips on getting through a C-Section (since you never know......) Here are some pointers:

1.) Get up and walk around BEFORE the anesthesia wears off (insist because they don't like you to) - this will give you confidence.

2.) Don't lay around in bed and feel sorry for yourself - get up and move around as much as you can - as soon as you can. This the nurses will support. If you get up and walk around the halls a lot you'll have less pain.

3.) Hold a pillow on your tummy whenever you walk around (having a c-section makes you feel like your guts will fall out any minute.....they won't of course....but holding the pillow supports that area so it doesn't feel so weird)

4.) Drink lots of HOT apple juice or tea - anything hot. This helps with the "after-gas" pains that come (which are almost as bad as actual labor).

Probably more than you ever wanted to know, but I have time on my hands (not really......just avoiding actual work right now)
 

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When I had my son, I too had to go to a hospital ( insurance ) and I planned on going naturally. I was in labor for 25 hours before having a c-section. My son's head was tilted back, and wouldn't come through. I had an epidurial after 15 hours. It's all a matter of personal choice. I did not have an episiotomy and would have prefered to tear, more natural healing. Just be prepared for anything. I thought I had a high pain tolerance, but I wanted to run away ( I don't want to scare you, this is just my experience ). There are some great articles and info at www.mothering.com. Every woman is different. My son was 8lbs 14oz (vegan pregnancy!-vegan baby! ) and I have forgotten the pain enough to want 5 more kids! My friend had her daughter at a birthing center, no drugs and spent most of her labor in a tub. Her daughter was 9lbs 13oz ( again another vegan pregnancy,vegan baby ) and she had no problems.

Sorry for the long post, good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys and don't worry about telling me too much, or if the post is long, I need to get as much information as I possibly can just so I can know what to expect. I know that everybody is different, but hearing other peoples stories really helps me out. Also I haver gotten a few responses from vegan/ vegetarian mothers and a few have had big babies!(8-9 lbs!!!) Just goes to show that you can get all you need and thensome from a plant based diet!
 

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i would encourage you to tear instaed of having an episiotomy--usually there are fewer complicvations this way. often times women are pressured into getting on b/c it makes it easier on the med. "professionals". i would be wary of a doc pressuring you to get one "just to make sure you do not tear"--run the other way. same with them pressuring you about pain meds. after 30 hrs of labor with twins i had emergency c-section as the babies heart rates had dropped and i had a high fever. i had wanted an unmedicated vaginal birth, but that was not in the cards. i opted for an epidural, not because of the pain of the contraction per se, (i have had worse menstrual cramps) but because both babies feet were being pushed upward with each contraction and pushing on my ribs so hard i thought they would break, adn all the while my husband was applying counter pressure to try to prevent that. well, i got the epidural (which was a complete nightmare) and it did not help as it did not go high enough up to do any good. it left me shaking like a leaf for hours tho. i delivered at 40 weeks with a 7lb4oz girl and a 7lb boy--yeah those veggie diets sure dont produce big babies!!!HAHA just weigh all of your options carefully and be flexible--you do not know how you will respond to it all. if for any reason youneed to be induced i strongly advise you to ask about the drugs being used. i had to be induced and was given a drug called cytotec to get it going. the FDA did not approve of the drug to be used in this manner--it is a drug manufactured to treat gastric stuff, a side effect is softening if the cervix. the manufacturer sent a letter to the physicians stating that the drug was contraindicated for use in pregnant women. it really messed up my labor and i had some nasty side effects and almost died--i was lucky as i have read many horror stories of women that have had it much worse for themselves as well as their babies. just educate yourself and do not trust the docs--my jaded opinion of course. most of all good luck!!
 

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I've never had a baby but I am in the medical field. I wouldn't go as far as to say "do not trust the docs" but be an informed patient. Most doctors are good and they are there to help. There are a minority that should probably get their license revoked but that's another topic. Ask your doc questions and voice any concerns you have. Ask them about the pros and cons about the different birthing methods and medications. And about vaccines...vaccinate your baby!!! There are a number of childhood diseases that can be prevented with few shots. For example, if you prevent your child from getting chickenpox, then she/he won't have to worry about getting painful shingles later on.
 

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My Thesis was in the area of pregnancy. Before doing the research, I had no strong feelings towards the subject but after reading all the research, I am such a strong advocate of natural home birth. There are so many practices that happen in the hospital that are medically unncessary. Furthermore birth has the power to be such an empowering experience for the woman but the medical staff takes over this power.

If you want to read more about this topic I would suggest reading a book by Robbie E. Davis-Floyd Birth as an American rite of passage.

When I have children, I am doing it at home with a midwife and doula. The only way I would set foot into a hospital would be if my life or my child's life were in immediate danger. I know I have strong feelings on this topic but I think it's well researched.
 

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drveg--i know my opinion is sveerly tainted, and i do believe you are correct. however, i have been to many docs over the years and i have not had ONE that seemed to know what he/she was talking about. my current family physician of course cares for my children. he was wondering if she was drinking enough milk as she was a tad bit anemic and low on iron--WTF uh hello doc--NO F"N IRON IN MILK!!! and this was after a three day hospital stay for breathing problems when she had not been eating at all--i am thinking she was a little low on just about everything right about then!! AARGH!! yes tho, one truly needs to be informed. i would love to switch docs, however insurance does not permit it--how messed up is that?
 

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I am of the other opinion, but that is because my pregnancy was high risk and problematic.

I LOVED my OB. AND I needed her. I was very much into the Bradley thing, but I didn't get a choice about it all. My blood pressure went to 200/110 and I had to be induced. I was determined to do a drug free natural birth. After 18 hours of the most horendous pain I have ever felt, I got the epidural, and I was so happy. I never did dialate and after 30 hours of labor, I was C-Sectioned. I LOVED the c-section.

Even though I an Amazon, but pelvis is small, and my daughter was 9 lbs., 12.5 oz. 100 years ago we would have both died in childbirth. I was simply unable to deliver her naturally. I was very glad that I was in a hospital with staff around who was familiar with these problems. They were very kind and concerned....the best.

This is the thing, and I am going to sound prejudiced here, but this is the way that I feel:

I would never have a male doctor be my OB/Gyn or deliver my child. I will never trust a system invented by a men (Bradley) again. Men just don't know what a woman is experiencing. No matter how compassionate, no matter how caring, no matter how knowlegable, men just don't truly understand what we experience.

Truthfully, I always wonder what compels a male into becoming an OB/ Gyn, or more specifically, a Gyn in the first place. I find it strange. Why would a man, who has no vagina, no uterus, no periods, no menopaus, who will never be pregnant, and who will never truly understand birth because they will never, ever experience it first hand, become someone who spends their lives dealing with women's crotches and women's issues?

I loved my OB (who is now just GYN) for a lot of reasons. She was compassionate, kind, understanding, and really wanted to do what I wished. She told me to do what I wished (regarding the Bradley stuff) and all that, but to realize that pregnancies and births are unpredictable. That, in fact, they were getting you ready for the unpredictability of childrearing.

I really was interested in underwater and home birth, but she said, and I really appreciate this piece of advise, that they were all wonderful, BUT if something DID go wrong, something that no one might forsee, she wanted me close to where she could do whatever was needed. In other words, if something went wrong, she wanted me 5 minutes from emergency treatment, not in a place where emergency treatment would be minutes or hours away.

My sister-in-laws sister had 4 kids and home with no problem. But more of my friends DID have problems with childbirth and needed to be in a hospital. In a couple of instances, being at a hospital was the difference between life and death.

In history, childbirth has consistently been one of the leading killers of women in the childbearing age. We can avoid that now because we have very good care.

When you decide what to do, make sure that you consider this: if there was a 1 in 100 chance that you would lose your life or your babies life because you weren't near emergency care, would you take that change? How about if the chances were 1 in 1000? How about 1 in 10,000? How about 1 in 100,000? What about 1 in 1 million? Would you risk your life or your childs life on a 1 on 1 million chance that either of you would die due to being away from a hospital?

I know that I am going to get lots and lots of s*&t for these opinions. I know that tons of women are going to tell me how wonderful their male Dr.s were, and all. I fully expect to have all kinds tell me how great the Bradley method is, and how wonderful home birth is.

I agree with you, however, would you risk you or your child's health if the chances were only 1 in 1 million, so that YOU could have a home birth experience?

BTW, I bought into that whole natural childbirth thing. For me, it was complete and utter BS. I wondered how I ever bought into a system that was designed and perpetuated by a man, who would never experience childbirth firsthand.

so, OK, bring in the lynch mob. I fully expect it.
 

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"The only way I would set foot into a hospital would be if my life or my child's life were in immediate danger. I know I have strong feelings on this topic but I think it's well researched."

AuroraLily, that my point....what if, during your home birth, something happened and you or your childs life WERE in immediate danger? What if your child was partially out, and something happened that needed an immediate C-Section? This is what happened to one of my friends in the hospital - her child was partially out, but they couldn't tell that the umbilical cord was actually wrapped around the baby in a very strange manner. They had to C-section her immediately, and even that was a problem because the baby was partially born - he almost died. They, literally, had minutes to get the C-section done.

Are you willing to take that chance? It might be a 1 in a million chance that something like that would happen (although I would think that it is actually much, much higher), but what if it does? What if you are 30 minutes from the hospital? What if the EMS can't get there soon enough?

I am very homepathic, but I would never take that chance. Never. I wouldn't even have an amnio because the chances of it causing a serious problem were 1 in 200. I wouldn't put my friends out in the middle of a street if there was a 1 in 200 chance that they would get hit by a car.

I understand that you have strong feelings about this, especially with your research, but if you find the right OB, you will find your fears put to rest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I haven't had kids, but I can say what I'd like to happen, in case I do have them.

I would have a hospital birth (for sure for the first one), but only at an hospital that I felt comfortable at. Being Canadian, I don't have to worry about insurance and such, so I'm not forced into a doctor/hospital I don't like.

I would want a semi-natural birth. I want to choose my own positions, I want to drink and eat, I don't want drugs (unless I ask for them), I don't want unnecessary people in the room staring at my crotch, I want to wear my own clothes, I want to tear, I want my baby on my belly with the cord still attached...

With that said, if my life or my baby's life became endangered in any way, obviously, all that goes out the window. I would have an advocate in there with me, however (husband) and he would be in charge of making my wishes known, in case I'm unable to do so (ie unconscious, screaming from the agony of it all and don't know my name).

Now, if I had a few normal births and again was having a normal pregnancy (btw, I would never ever be hitting the "few" stage, but this is an if), I would consider an at-home birth. I would still have a doctor, hire a nurse if I could, have qualified people around me, so if anything happened, we would have a doctor to call immediately and get to a hospital. Still, I would only do that if I had a history of normal births and the current pregnancy was normal.

Pregnancy has been one of the most dangerous events in a woman's life throughout history. It was one of the main reasons women had children so young; easier to live through them. The views of needing the pregnancies while young still rippled in our culture today. Pregnancy is a scary thing for women. It killed many of our foremothers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I agree with you Equi- 100%. Actually, your post made me feel so much better about my opinions on childbirth and Bradley.

One of the first books I read about childbirth was Misconceptions by Naomi Wolf. In it she is a huge proponent of natural childbirth with no drugs. So I decided that is what I wanted as well. I researched natural birthing houses, and at home births, but unfortunatly the area where I live has very few choices, and the only good midwife in the area was going to go on vacation the week I was due. I didnt want to go through my entire pregnancy with her just to have her out of town when I went into labor. Plus my mom and husband were pressuring me to have the baby in the hospital. I was also concerned about an at home birth for the reasons Equi mentioned- what if something were to go wrong?

I did Bradley as my birthing method. BIG MISTAKE! Now, I know people who LOVE Bradley and swear by it. They claim to have a 90% rate of women not 'giving in' to epidurals. I hated it and it didnt work for me at all. However, my husband loved it. It is very male in its approach and is even called ' the husband coaching birthing method'. It really annoyed me that so much of the birth process was geared to prepping my husband and not me. Next time I am going to try Lamaze. If it were my first time again, I would go to both classes and see which one I felt worked better.

When I finally went into labor it was 8:00pm. My husband went to bed but I was too scared to do anything. I spent some time in the bathtub, but frankley I was really bored and really scared. The fear of the unknown was my biggest problem with the whole labor. And the PAIN!!!! Around 1:00am I told my husband it was time to go to the hospital. When I got there I was only 3 centemeters. I checked into my room and then waited. We walked around and it freekin HURT every time I had a contraction. It felt like a vice was around my spinal cord. It was both a hard pain and a sharp pain at the same time. My husband would use a tennis ball on the area it hurt the most, but I wanted him to do it so hard that I ended up having a HUGE bruise on the small of my back. The positions Bradley reccomended were a joke. Not a single one worked for me. And as for relaxing, there was no way I could do that.

The only thing that made me feel better was a very hot bath they had at the hospital. I ended up in that bath for like 5 hours. After 14 hours of labor and throwing up six times from the pain, I cried to my husband that I just wanted the pain to end. He was so torn up from the 14 hours of torchure, that he would have done anything. So we got the doctor to do an epidural. Oh, did I mention that at 14 hours I was only 4 centemeters!!!

I have never been good with narcotics-they make me barf. So when I got the epidural, the shock to my body and my fear that I was harming my baby and all the horror stories they tell you in Bradley class caused my body to shake uncontrollibly-like I was really cold. But at least I didnt have the pain. My legs numbed up and felt like dead animals. The first epidural wore off and they gave me another.

Then it was time to push. They tell you you just know when it is time and I did. That is when the second epidural wore off. I went into an alternate universe and it was one of the most amazing and painful times in my life. I actually went inside of myself. I closed my eyes and imagined myself next to my baby's head. I just talked him through it and tried to 'open up like a flower'. I would push when the nurses said to push. I cussed and pushed and spit and did everything in my power to GET THE BABY OUT!!!. Finally, his head was at the hole. And then THE RING OF FIRE!!!!!. Pain, blood, ripping, and then-nothing. He was out.

I didnt look at him, I didnt move. I just wanted to die. My husband took him with the nurses and cleaned him up and cut the cord. I felt nothing.

It turnes out I didnt have an episiotomy, but I ripped so badley I need twenty stitches. I didnt rip in my vagina, I ripped around my clitorus, through my labia minora on both sides. My mother and husband saw it tear and blood squirted about a foot out. Neither of them will talk about it, it tramatized them so much.

It took 8 weeks for the stitches to heal. And they itched like you wouldnt believe. It was almost worse than the birth.

My son is now 10 months old and the most amazing thing in my life. He is currently crawling around the room and yelling at the top of his lungs, just because he can. I laugh every single day with him. I cant wait to have another one.

I know this is an execptionally long post and very graphic, but I wish I had read a true experience rather then the fairy tale births they show on the Learning Channel, or tales of c-sections. Not that I have anything against C-sections, but I wanted to tell my story of a crappy regular birth.

So here is my advice-read everything, learn as much as possible. Go with your gut feelings and dont be afraid to ask for pain medication. Bradley made me very suspicious of my doctors and the hospital which only caused me to be afraid and not trust the people who were trying to help me. And DONT read MOTHERING magazine. The women in that magazine are like the ultamate perfect women and you can never compare to them. And if you do read the magazine, dont freak out if you make different choices. Every mother has to do what they think is best.

My Reccomeded Reading:

*The Baby Book-Dr. Sears

*The Pregnancy Book-Dr. Sears

*The Baby Whisperer- Hogg

*The No Cry Sleep Solution-Pantley

*Misconceptions- Wolf

*What To Expect When You're Expecting

*The Nursing Mother's Companion-Huggins

My best advice- Sign up for a Mommy and Me class in your area. Get a vibrating bouncy chair. Take a breast feeding class. Get a really good breast pump. Good luck!
 

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I had an all natural birth with my son. Funny though, because I went in *determined* to have an epidural and fully open to any other pain relief. I also went in utterly terrified of the pain. Turns out it wasn't even close to being as painful as I expected and I didn't need anything. My fear was WAY worse than the actual labor & delivery. Everyone is different though and my heart goes out to the women who have hard times with it all!

I loved my ob/gyns- 2 male drs actually. I had nothing but good experiences with them. (well as good as it can be under the circumstances!) I had a hospital birth, and at the time wasn't thrilled about it but saw it as my only option. Now I'm really comfortable with it and wouldn't want to have a baby anywhere else. I felt really safe and well taken care of there. No unnecessary people/machines/anything. I didn't want an IV or monitors (unless necessary) and I didn't have them.

My sister had a baby 2 weeks ago...and after being in there with her during her 4 pre-term labor visits and then a very hard delivery, I have alot of faith in hospitals and our dr (she had one of my ob/gyns- not the one that delivered my son though). I also came to the conclusion that I will never have an epidural. I watched her get hers and it was just scary.
 

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Because I was Bradley brainwashed, I was scared to be induced, I was scared of the epidural, and I was miserable abou the c-section.

I couldn't have done anything about the iducement. If I had taken the epidural when I started to have pain, I would have been so much happier. I don't remember anything about the epidural except the amazing pain relief. While they were putting it in, I was have such painful contractions (with no relief because of the induction) that I felt like those people that they used to draw and quarter in the old day. I didn't think that I could take it anymore. The epidural was heaven.

The C-Section was wonderful, too. If I hadn't been so scared of the c-section from Bradley, I would have had it SO much sooner, and saved both me and my daughter a lot of misery.

BUT, if I had had the c-section earlier, my daughter might not have been born on my husband's 40th birthday! Very wild!

If you think that watching an epidural put in is scary, I should get my husband write what he saw during the c-section!

Trust me, the epidural didn't hurt a bit, and neither did the c-section. After the c-section I was sore, but it was SO much better than being sick with the pregnancy that I was elated.
 

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BTW, I hated "What To Expect When You're Expecting". Probably because when the started in on the weight thing, my starting weight wasn't even on the chart - and I was THIN at that time (size 12). I guess they don't think that women weigh more than 150.

I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED "The Girlfriend's Guide To Pregnancy". It was so funny and so true. It was my pregnancy Bible. If you get one book be sure to get that one. By Vicki Iovine.
 

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Hi Aeonmoon,

My experiences w/ labor were fine, I went through my whole labor naturally. The pain never heightened, It stayed the same throughout the whole labor and the pain was very sharp. Nothing I've ever really felt before. It really hurt but it was bearable.

As for vaccinations, I know there's lots of informative sights out there. Either way you choose, there are risks. I did not vaccinate my daughter. Instead I offer her a natural defense against disease with healthy eating, lifestyle and lots of immune boosting breast milk.

Quote:
Also I haver gotten a few responses from vegan/ vegetarian mothers and a few have had big babies!(8-9 lbs!!!) Just goes to show that you can get all you need and thensome from a plant based diet!
As I have mentioned before, my daughter was 10 lbs at birth. I'm not so sure that was healthy though. I drank a lot of cows milk as I wasn't vegan then and I regret that tremendously. But I guess other than that I ate really healthy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The reason I reccomend "What to Expect When You are Expecting" is because it is a nice gentil book and it does answer a lot of questions. But I also reccomend Dr. Sears book and I used both when I has a question or problem. Actually, I had like 5 books on pregnancy, plus Bradley, but those are the two I liked the best. Some women hate What to Expect, and I can see why, but when I got scared it was very soothing to read.
 

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Did you read the Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy? I got it about 3 months in, and when I read the first few pages, I had to be very careful because I almost wet my pants laughing. It was great advise done with wonderful humour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I found the Girlfriend's guide absoluately terrifiying and swore off any possibility of ever having children for about 5 years after reading it. Even now, I'm undecided.

I had a friend who read it while pregnant and found it too over the top for her. But, she had the perfect delivery. 25 minutes from first contraction to baby's head crowning. Little pain, ate her supper while pushing (as labor interrupted her meal and she brought it with her). In fact, her only complaint was that they put her in a room with a door window and had the bed facing it. The nurses were bringing staff (non-medication people, too!) around to peep in and watch her. She didn't like the idea of all the strangers staring at her crotch and screamed until they taped up the window.

Her mother said that she had the plate of food in bed with her and she'd take forkfulls at the time, push, take a forkfull, push. She was very hungry


Oh, btw, she was 200+ pounds when she got pregnant and about 1 week after having the baby, she was 130 pounds. LOL Cruz (yes, that's the baby's name) was over 9lbs, but she lost a lot of weight while pregnant. She had horrible eating habits and completely changed them around as soon as she found out she was expecting. She eat everything her nutritionist told her to eat and no junk food.

Perfect pregnancy. All her female friends hate her for it
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by beachgirl

After 14 hours of labor and throwing up six times from the pain, I cried to my husband that I just wanted the pain to end.

I went into an alternate universe and it was one of the most amazing and painful times in my life.

Finally, his head was at the hole. And then THE RING OF FIRE!!!!!. Pain, blood, ripping, and then-nothing. He was out.

I didnt look at him, I didnt move. I just wanted to die.

It turnes out I didnt have an episiotomy, but I ripped so badley I need twenty stitches. I didnt rip in my vagina, I ripped around my clitorus, through my labia minora on both sides. My mother and husband saw it tear and blood squirted about a foot out. Neither of them will talk about it, it tramatized them so much.

It took 8 weeks for the stitches to heal. And they itched like you wouldnt believe. It was almost worse than the birth.

Oh. My. God....I love being a man. That sounds like hell.

Anyway, being a man there is little I can contribute here except that I hope all you expectant mothers will refrain from circumcising your son (if you have a son). Circumcision is unnecessary and makes sex less enjoyable. Good luck with your pregnancy.
 
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