Sunday, June 19, 2011

So Many Decisions. Not a good situation for an indecisive person.

I think I've put off researching labor and delivery too long. I know I have like 11 more weeks before my due date but just now delving into the abundance of information out there has made me feel really overwhelmed. After talking to a lady at church today I got a bee in my bonnet, so to speak, and realized there were a lot more decisions that I would have to make than I ever really thought about. She asked me a lot of questions that I really didn't have an answer to. Up until this point here is where I have been in my thought process, or imagined labor and delivery scenario:

I'd work up until I went into labor, or some other circumstance made it impossible to do so any longer. I'd have a hospital delivery with my OB delivering Noah, my mom and dad in the room with me, Chad waiting close by, I'd take an epidural, I wouldn't need an induction or any other drug-related help. Labor may be difficult, possibly long since it's my first child, but overall a pretty positive experience and vaginal delivery. I knew I really really didn't want a C-section, I really didn't want to be induced, I really didn't want to use pitocin. These were wants, but I always maintained that depending on the circumstances whatever needed to be done to ensure a safe delivery and healthy baby would be fine.

What I'm thinking about now:

Still planning on working up until my water breaks unless instructed otherwise. Still have a hospital delivery with my OB delivering Noah. If the situation allows for it then having my mom and dad in the room with me, Chad waiting close-by. Except now I'm thinking about the fact that my parents are 13 hours away-hopefully everything will go as planned and they'll be there, but they might not be. Chad's parents are several hours away so same situation with them, and Chad no matter how bad he may want to be in the room with me feels very certain that he wont be able to due to the fact that he does not physically handle hospitals, blood, etc well. (think nausea and fainting) SO, basically I am risking not having a family member with me or anyone I feel comfortable with to help me through labor/delivery. I still think I'd like as little pain as is possible during child birth, but now I'm worry about being completely numb. What if the epidural affects me weirdly, what if I'm too disoriented to enjoy the beauty of the experience, what if I'm sick from the medicine? I want a vaginal delivery, but what if something goes wrong, am I willing to allow a c-section without a second thought? What if my doctor says I need to be induced? She told us upfront that she uses Pitocin with inductions, am I going to be ok letting that happen?

Things I'm looking into at this point:

A Doula. I'm super busy- I work a full week, so does Chad. I work every other Saturday and observe the Sabbath on Sundays. That leaves me 2 Saturdays a month to tour the hospital, go to birthing classes, nursing classes, check out day cares, etc. All of that is not going to be feasible between now and September 2nd. With a Doula I could have someone to call any time any day, who can present me with all of the options, information, and give me an unbiased education on certain things so that I can make an informed decision. I can have someone in the room with me that has no other interest than my comfort and my wishes being executed and it wouldn't be a family member that I may be inclined to flip out on (you tend to be harsher to those closer to you in times of stress). Also she can make sure my wishes are executed without the passion/risk of losing their temper with the doctors or nurses that my mom or dad might succumb to seeing their daughter stressed out or in pain. With a Doula I could get birthing instruction on my own time, and one on one nursing lessons.

I have never in my life thought I'd consider a natural birth, but is the potential of such great pain during a possibly long labor and delivery worth it to be "present" for the experience. These are things I'm contemplating. I still have no idea. My husband says I in no way would be ok during a natural delivery. Maybe not. Do I have time to dedicate to a birthing plan, meditation, hypnosis and calming music that is necessary to maintain pain during a natural birth? Who knows. Am I seriously even having this conversation with myself? I can't decide if I need to get a grip and stop being such a hippie or if I am finally on the right track of thinking. I do know I don't want any unnecessary medication, and would never opt for a c-section or induction just to limit pain or speed things up.

At this point, I'm going to get a library card and start watching some videos, and continue to read anything and everything I can find and that people send me. I'm also going to call my OB to chat a bit. She hasn't spent any time with me and does not know me as a person at all. This is not necessarily her fault, though, I'm sure if I ever voiced this opinion or posed any of these questions to her she would be more than available to me- which is what I'm hoping she'll say when I call this week.

All of you mommies out there, I'd love to hear your experiences, opinions, and get some references from you! A big disclaimer, unneeded negativity. I want to know your experiences and opinions, but I want them so I can make my own decisions. So please know that I want to here your bad and good information but I don't want to hear that I'm stupid if I do/don't do it the way that worked for you. With that being said- comment, email, message me with anything you think I should know! I'm all ears! Love, Layne


brandi said...

Decisions, decisions, decisions...I'm going to have to say that I agree w/Chad...NO natural births for you my friend :)Love the idea of a Doula know all ya gotta do is say the word and I'll be there for the whole thing boo!! Miss your face ;)

A said...

Firstly, you are a mom now and as a mom, you will always do what is best for you and your child. end of story.
Before I found out I was pregnant, I totally wanted to do an all natural water birth & I'm not knocking those who do, you're awesome, but when I talked to my boss & she told me she ripped end to end..that's not something I want to naturally experience nor experience under drugs. That was the deal breaker for me & maybe I am a weakling, but that's a delicate area.
As far as experiences go, I was induced & loved it. I was induced due to Bella's size vs my body AND I was Strep B positive (not an STD) so it was safer for Bella to be induced vs letting my water break naturally & rush to the hospital to avoid serious infection for Bella. I also had an epidural & LOVED IT! I was alert & able to understand & appreciate the experience of childbirth. I've heard horror stories about epidurals & what they can do to your baby but Bella & I were just fine.
It's good to have a game plan, I too, didn't want to have a c-section but accepted there is always a possibility. We decided beforehand if we needed "help" (which we did because Bella's cord was wrapped around her neck) that we would use the vacuum because we felt it was the least damaging & more gentle approach. I'm glad we did that because i pushed for 2 hours before my L&D nurse decided to get the doctor (she was the only nurse I was not a fan of) then he came in with the vacuum and Bella was out in 2 pushes. Her head was perfectly shaped &she only required a little bit of oxygen. I was SO worried because of all the work I did with kids with CP but I can tell you, BELLA is healthy, smart, and full of personality!
I was curious about the whole child birth things so I "you-tubed" (NEVER YOU TUBE CHILD BIRTH because I was scarred)... I was okay with the whole child birth thing UNTIL they performed the episiotomy out of nowhere & I then curled into a little ball in the corner & started rocking vowing that the baby would never come out! Mitch convinced me I had no choice, she was going to have to come out, but he promised everything would be okay. He was right.
Even though I did tear (which is better than the episiotomy because think of it this way, if you cut a piece of fabric its easier to tear it the rest of the way... vs just tearing it.... you get the idea) & it was not fun, I thankfully didn't feel the stitches due to the epidural! I've heard both side of the argument, episiotomy vs tearing, personally, I'd choose neither. And I apologize in advance, if that was TMI.
EVERYONE has a different birthing experience. What we planned on happening and what actually happened were two different things, but we are very happy in how things turned out. What we did worked for us. Honestly, from my experience, having a child is an extremely draining emotional, physical, and spiritual process. I've never been that exhausted in my entire life, but Bella was worth all of the hard work. You are so focused on getting the baby out, that nothing else matters (our birth plan went right out the window... all I wanted to do was get my baby... modesty went out the window too and that was something I swore by my whole pregnancy. When you get to that point, you really don't care.)
I think having a doula is a great idea. Mitch was very helpful & attentive to me during the whole process, but there were questions I wish he would have asked, but didn't (I totally understand, he was emotionally involved with me) but a doula can do those things for you. And they are very knowledgable.
Your not stupid for asking questions or not knowing what you want. Its normal. And its okay to change your mind, nothing is final. Like I said before, you will always do what is best for you and your baby, whatever that is. Trust your maternal instincts, they truly are a blessing.

Mrs. Trophy Wife said...

You know what I think ;)

Child birth IS natural, and going natural is something any woman can do if she prepares. As for tearing; it's probably going to happen no matter what. Tearing is much better than an episiotomy. Even if you don't have an epidural, you will not know that you've torn. The pressure from the babies head is all you will feel. And when they stitch you up, they'll give you a local anesthetic so you don't feel that either.

Some people have amazing induction/epidural experiences. I am not one of them. The recovery was brutal. I had to wait two hours before I could even more for the epi to wear off. I couldn't feel if I was peeing or not because of the cath they used. It took a good six weeks until I felt like myself again, and I still have pain where the epidural went in.

So...don't let anyone discourage you no matter what. If you decide that the epidural is for you, GO FOR IT! You may have an amazing experience. If you decide natural birth is for you, GO FOR IT!!! Again, your experience will be unique, and ultimately, you and Chad are the only ones who can decide your best birth.

The Branham Family said...

It is a way good thing to be knowledgable about it girl. To be honest I learned the most from other moms and talking about it with them. The epidural is amazing -- it doesn't hurt when you get it because they give you the pre-shot to numb the area and YOU get to control how much you get. They give you a little button and if you feel like you are feeling too much pain than you click it and it gives you a little more. So you don't have to go crazy with the dose and still feel pretty much whatever you want lol. Plus I could actually rest some during labor, so when baya arrived i was tired but I wasn't unbelievably tired ya know? That's how I felt at least. I am not going to lie though... any plan I had went out the window and you just do what works best for your situation. SO you can try to plan everything you want before and after noah but i garentee you that your plans will indeed change. Just be easy and go with the flow girl.

Heather said...

After reading some of these comments it just proves that what is better or worse for one person won't necessarily be the same for you. I became educated on all my options and then decided to "go with the flow" during labor and delivery. Your body and your instincts will tell you what to do- what is BEST for YOU. The best and most important advice I can give you is to TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS- during labor and delivery and also throughout motherhood. It can be very frustrating as a new mother with a crying newborn, not knowing what to do, but as a woman you're born to be a mother. Trust your instincts and the Spirit will guide you.

That being said, I have done this twice and had different labor and delivery experiences each time. I also delivered at different hospitals, and the doctors and nurses at each one have different ways of going about things. So you may benefit from hearing my stories and my perspectives from both sides of the spectrum.

I had an epidural both times and still remain convinced that this is the only way for me to go (I didn't have a button to control my dose with either delivery). My epidural with Nathan was a good one that went off without a hitch. It didn't even hurt to receive it- in my opinion starting an IV hurt worse. I was still in complete control of my body but felt absolutely no pain. They cut off the epidural after Nathan was born and the doctor stitched me up. I then was bed-ridden for a few hours until the effects wore off. I had no postpartum problems with it, either. My epidural with Lucas was a bit different. It still didn't hurt to receive it, but it effected me a bit differently. This time my legs went completely numb and I had no control waist-down. Matt and the nurse had to hold my legs up when it came time to push. This time the epidural ran out before Lucas was delivered and I opted not to receive another bag. I knew he was coming soon and I would still be numb for about an hour. This way I did not have to wait as long for the effects to wear off. Also, this time I think I had some nerve damage from the epidural because occasionally I'll have a tingling, numbing sensation run up my spine if I move a certain way. Either way, I'll still opt for the pain-free delivery.

I had an emergency induction with Nathan due to pre-eclampsia and they gave me a Pitocin drip. I've heard that Pitocin brings on contractions faster, harder, stronger, etc, than they would if you went into labor naturally. Thankfully none of that mattered for me because I had an epidural and couldn't feel contractions anyway. With Lucas I had a date scheduled to induce labor, due to my gestational diabetes, but thankfully I went into labor all on my own 4 days before that date. Pitocin or no Pitocin, I was still in labor for about the same amount of time with each child.

I tore very badly with Nathan. Afterwards I couldn't even sit down for DAYS it hurt so bad. I had an episiotomy with Lucas and could comfortably sit as soon as 24 hours later. It took much much longer for me to heal with Nathan. My stitches with Nathan took 8 weeks to go away, whereas with Lucas they were gone after 4. Think of it this way: a clean-cut wound from an episiotomy is easier to stitch and heal than a jagged wound from a tear.

...I'm trying to think if I have any other opposing experiences but nothing is coming to mind off hand. I hope these stories help, but if there is anything else you want to know, call me any time. Obviously I don't mind talking about childbirth or sharing my experiences. I think it's fun learning and hearing about others' stories.

I'll say it again: it's best to go with the flow and follow your instincts. Love you, girl!

Heather said...

I thought of something else...
I had vacuum assistance with Nathan which left a big nasty bruise on his poor little head. And I honestly believe that the bruise contributed to his Jaundice and is the reason is spiked so high. I'm very glad I didn't need any assistance with Lucas because I would have wanted to decline it for that reason.