One born every minute - I just can't watch it!

(21 Posts)
Neiffer Thu 03-Jan-13 10:29:20

And I used to love it! I'm 13 weeks with dc2 and I think I'm starting to freak out about labour (already, great) and its aftermath. I had an epidural at 6cm last time as I just couldn't hack it. This led to being put on a drip as contractions slowed down then a close c section call with baby eventually pulled out by forceps. I had a deep episiotomy and tear which still hurt on and off now (1 year later) and took 6 months to heal.
Originally I'd wanted a water birth but the thought freaked me out at the time. I was constantly sick during labour which didnt help and contractions were 2 mins apart from the beginning which was awful.
What I'm basically asking is how can I make it better next time??!! I really want to avoid an epidural (gas and air made me more sick and pethadine was just hideous) and just generally feel more in control. My partner was very passive and I think maybe him taking a more active role might help. I like the idea of looking at hypnobirthing but my nearest class is 2 hours away. Has anyone got any advice/ideas about how I can try to avoid mass intervention and damage next time?? I'd rely appreciate it. Thanks

AlphaBeta2012 Thu 03-Jan-13 10:34:32

I loved it when pregnant with DC1 and watched it fascinated - now I have been there and done it, and like you had the most horrendous experience (very similar to yours) I can't bear to watch any of those programmes!
I am 20 weeks and worried about labour this time around. I just don't want to lose the control element and if i am honest, this time I am scared. last time I felt completely out of control and had no idea what was happening. I am looking into hypno-birthing and water births.
I also try and take comfort from the fact that no two labours are the same, so hoping and praying I don't have a repeat performance!
there are some good books out there as well which I have been recommended which may help on hypnobirthing and calm labours.
I'll be watching this thread with interest!

Lizzy1975 Thu 03-Jan-13 10:46:43

Hello Neiffer and AlphaBeta, I am a huge advocate of hypnobirthing after using it when pregnant (my LO is now 8 months old). I took classes but if they are too far for you the Marie Mongan book and cd is a good place to start. We went for hypnobirthing as I was really worried about getting through labour (thanks to shows like OBEM!), but also because I wanted the birth to be something my husband and I went through together, rather than something I experienced whilst he watched. Hypnobirthing is all about getting your partner to learn techniques to help you stay calm, relaxed and in control. It really brought us together and we worked together to birth our baby. I had a 6 hour drug-free water birth, which I know is very fortunate. But had my labour progressed differently I had the tools there to remain calm and relaxed whatever may have happened.

ImKateandsoismywife Thu 03-Jan-13 11:26:30

I find it difficult to watch even after having a lovely birth with dc2 - I was treated really badly when I was giving birth to dc1 and still get upset at any reminders of it.

Some reassurance though - my labour with dc2 was quicker and much less painful! I went for a homebirth and hired a doula which made a huge difference, I was in control all the way and treated with kindness and respect which were sadly lacking first time around. I second what Alpha said about no 2 labours being the same, mine couldn't have been more different!

Speak to your mw about your fears, she should be able to reassure you and suggest things to help. I would also really recommend considering homebirth - in your home you are the boss and it is much easier to be assertive in that situation. My dh was much more involved in dc2's birth which he said is because he felt more able to be involved at home. Doulas are also wonderful for support and encouragement and mine made sure my birth plan was followed to the letter!

Good luck to both of you smile

honeytea Thu 03-Jan-13 11:38:25

I had a mobile epidural when I was in labour. It is a low dose epidural that just took the edge off the contractions. I could still stand up and still feel the contractions but they were much more manageable.

I had my active labour standing up and then pushed on a birthing stool, I really found it a positive experience despite having an epidural.

MoonHare Thu 03-Jan-13 11:46:29

Hi first of all do take comfort and confidence from the fact that second births are very often quicker and more straightforward since you have done it before and you will understand what's happening to your body much better, even though your first experience wasn't quite as you'd hoped.

I've had 3 babies and thoroughly recommend JuJu Sundin's book 'Birth Skills: proven pain management techniques for labour and birth' I found reading this book and putting the techniques into practice really helped me feel in control and gave me confidence that I could achieve a straightforward vaginal birth without interventions or drugs. All 3 births were positive experiences, hard work and painful yes - but still positive. Get your DH to read it too. It's available on Amazon.

I never tried hypnobirthing so can't comment but I know many women swear by it. The JuJu techniques are mostly very practical, simple and therefore easy to focus on when you're in pain. Mostly they're about distraction.

I also used a TENS all 3 times and would not contemplate birth without one, not everyone gets on with it but might be worth a try, you can hire them for around £25, try Boots. You can't use them in a pool though, obviously, but might still help in the earlier stages.

Drink gallons of raspberry leaf tea in the last 4-5 weeks before your due date, it's meant to make contractions more effective (not bring labour on as some say), an old wives tale but I feel it worked for me.

Some stories on OBEM are so inspiring and positive, you might like to select just the ones that you feel will help give you confidence and watch them on their website. Last night there was a woman, Sarah I think, who gave birth without drugs in the 'active birth' room having had a tough time first time around. She was amazing, though her partner was a bit useless!

Best wishes, remember a straightforward birth is normal not lucky, you can do it.

izzyhasanewchangeling Thu 03-Jan-13 11:48:52

Have nb - Google evening primrose oil, Clary sage oil, raspberry leaf tea.

I went from vacuum and forceps to 2.5 hour home birth labours using them

I had a pretty much identical birth to you. I don% mind watching it as the babies always just seem to pop out!

I would quite like to do hypnobirthing and pool this time round as well and already decided on a homebirth. I am just under 12 weeks <they think>.

Beware the smell of clary sage oil btw! It is rank.

MoonHare Thu 03-Jan-13 12:00:22

BTW DCs 2 and 3 were both planned home births.

izzyhasanewchangeling Thu 03-Jan-13 12:02:07

Have a hand free a sec.

I took raspberry leaf from 32 weeks.

EPO from 34 Then internally from 36.

I made a massage oil of olive oil, lavender and geranium and Clary sage which I rubbed into belly and around uterus area from 36 weeks, gradually increasing the Clary sage strength and pregnancy got later.

All of this meant that when I did go into labour it was fast and strong.

I wad terrified after traumatic birth of dc1 and determined not to have a repeat so went to mlu so as to avoid epidural at all costs - can't have what they don't have.

Dc3 accidental home birth delivered by DH.

Dc4 planned home birth.

I think the key is education nothing that happens is as bad if you understand what is happening to you.

And remember no 2 births are the same. Next time will be fine.

izzyhasanewchangeling Thu 03-Jan-13 12:02:56

And yes Clary sage smells awful!! And everything is cheaper online than Hollandand bBarrett

Holland and Barrett refused to sell me rasberry leaf tea without a letter from my MW!

Neiffer Thu 03-Jan-13 16:03:53

Thanks for all the ideas and positivity smile I wanted a mobile epidural last time but they don't do them at our hospital. I really don't know why. I'm definitely going to get looking into hypnobirthing, I think if I can claw back some control ill feel more positive. A visit to holland and barratt is on the cards, and a tens machine I reckon!
I think one problem is last time I went overdue to 40 + 12 and went into labour on my induction day. I went in for my appt anyway and therefore laboured at hospital from 2cm. Hoping if I can stay at hone longer I might be able to keep more perspective...or lose it!

NAR4 Thu 03-Jan-13 16:52:25

I was induced with all 4 of mine so spent the entire labour in hospital, each time. Each birth was very different though, so don't be put off by 1 bad experience.

Just the opposite to you, since getting pregnany this time, I really like watching one born every minute. It kind of confims in my mind that most labours are straight forward.

I watched it alot on 4OD when I was about 7-9 months pregnant. Don't know why, just got obsessed with it!

1944girl Sat 05-Jan-13 19:46:04

I never watch any TV programmes about childbirth.I do not consider it to be a form of entertainment.

Ushy Sun 06-Jan-13 15:45:42

Feel the same way about obem - YUK.

I chose an early epidural after a traumatic first birth and it was brilliant. Totally calm, in control, gave birth upright with no intervention needed. (Most of the epidural risk for instrumental deliveries is for first births - the increase in risk for second or later births is tiny).

I know you said "This (the epidural) led to being put on a drip as contractions slowed down then a close c section call with baby eventually pulled out by forceps." but I would keep an open mind about the epidural being the cause of all that.

First births are linked to much much higher complication rates whether or not you have an epidural and epidurals definitely don't cause caesarean sections.

I did try hypnosis but found it totally useless - I just couldn't 'believe' it - I think you need to be suggestible and imaginative to respond to hypnobirthing and I am not. hmm

There have been some trials of hypnosis and they are inconclusive and don't show much advantage www.bmj.com/content/292/6521/657.reprint?ijkey=3d97d4b3475e4946501ad9e8a1ec2b0bc77d0a84&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha

It is really interesting because everyone on MN seems to say hypnobirthing is great. It could be that if, like me, it didn't work for you, you don't want to say so because it seems negative. (I'm feeling the pressure not to type this right now but may be it is important to resist because otherwise it might raise expectations too high for something that may not work).

Only my experience though - wish you luck whatever you choose.

Neiffer Sun 06-Jan-13 16:27:18

Thanks for the different perspective. If I'm honest I'm totally skeptical about hypnobirthing which makes me think it won't work for me anyway!! When you say that you had an early epidural, what do you mean? Was it a mobile epidural as well? If I could have an epidural and know I could have an unassisted delivery I'd be there with bells on! I hated having to lie down all that time too. Perhaps my hospital will allow a mobile one now...something to ask the midwife I guess.

Ushy Sun 06-Jan-13 19:03:10

I had it at 3cm Neiffer - but apparently the cut off - where it is likely to increase problems or fail is after 7 cm. I had to be quite forceful to get it but after the previous experience that wasn't difficult.

I could move my legs all the time although I didn't walk around after the epi - may sound daft but because I couldn't feel anything I was worried the baby might suddenly fall out on the floor.

Most hospitals let you have a chat with an anaesthetist prior to the birth. The anaesthetist I had said it was part of all obstetric anaesthetist's role to discuss concerns about pain relief with any woman who wanted this but that he hardly ever got asked.

Good luck and hope it all goes well for yousmile

Neiffer Sun 06-Jan-13 19:39:46

Did you have to justify wanting it so early? I was pleading from 2 but took until I was 7cm and 10 hours later to get it. I didn't know you could talk to the anaesthetist, thank you for that as I'm definite going to start doing my research. A mobile epi would be a perfect pain management plan for me!!

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