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Old 06-11-2013, 09:34 AM   #41
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Re: What would you do differently?

No visitors at our home for the first 2 weeks.

I will allow a few hospital visitors because it is so easy to shoo away hospital visitors after 15 min.

No breast pumping!

No freezing meals! I'm much happier with stocking up on fruits/veggies/cheeses & calling in delivery meals.

I will be chattier with my nurses. It's so much easier to ask weird questions or make requests from nurses I have gotten to know better.

I will not hesitate to ask anyone to leave my hospital room immediately - such as the last lactation consultant I had who thought it was ok to reach into my robe & grab around without asking or warning - she even reached to take a nb away from my arms without asking!

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Old 06-11-2013, 10:01 AM   #42
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Re: What would you do differently?

I learned to say "no" because my first two births in hospitals when I said "if necessary" they took that and ran with it. Truth was, my OBs did routine episiotomies. As in basically everyone got one. Obviously, if the baby is not coming out and in danger, I'll do what needs to be done, and that includes slicing me from one end to the other. But here has been my experience.

#1) 9lb 2oz. As soon as she crowned doctor said "I'm going to help you out" and cut me open. After she was born, I was being stitched up what felt forever. I could barely walk for 2 weeks and I was in pain the whole time. I put ice packs down there and took pain meds I really wanted to avoid because the recovery was awful.

#2) 9lbs 10oz. I told my OB I didn't want an episiotomy this time. He argued with me a bit (this is before I was even in labor). Then he looked at my husband and said "when you look down when that baby's coming out and see her tearing, you are going to beg me to cut her." He didn't. I did get stitches. But the pain wasn't any where near comparable. I had no idea I could feel like that after a birth.

#3) 9lbs 12oz I used a midwife and a birth center. I talked to her about my previous experiences and baby sizes. She told me to do perineum massages, especially where my scar was, starting a few weeks before birth. When the time came, my midwife was very hands on, and I didn't need a single stitch. At most what she called a small "skid mark".

#4) 8lb 12oz Midwife in another state. Leading up to the birth I didn't really do the massages, maybe once or twice. My midwife said she's never had to give a woman a single stitch. She was right. No tearing. My last two births have been like being in a different world, knowing it really doesn't have to be the way it was.

Now, I'm not anti-medical intervention. If I believe I need an intervention, I'd be there in a nano-second. But having had so many things, I know I didn't need pushed on me because it's the way the OB likes to do it, I just find it's easier to say "no" rather than "unless it's absolutely necessary". We'll cross that bridge when/if we get to it.
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:04 AM   #43
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Re: What would you do differently?

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Insist that they bring the baby to me every 2 hours at night to nurse. They didn't with dd 2 even though I asked them to and she got dehydrated and we had to supplement with formula for a minute.
Why not keep the baby with you?

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I'm new to all this too, and I'm curious why you're so strongly against episiotomies? It seems that there would be instances where they would be quite helpful (ie in situations where baby can't get out or a significant tear looks inevitable)
Research seem to say that cuts can be alot more serious (more layers of skin) than tears. Also if then end of a cut tears it can really go where you don't want it. In general tears are less of a big deal.

In my situation my body didn't tear when it should have. They had to cut me 3 times (in the same spot) first one the lady was a wimp. The second one a different lady did it and really had to work hard to get through. That lady ended up needed to extend it. I apparently have a strong perineum. They all hurt like hell.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:41 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by catnap
I'm new to all this too, and I'm curious why you're so strongly against episiotomies? It seems that there would be instances where they would be quite helpful (ie in situations where baby can't get out or a significant tear looks inevitable)
Episiotomies are not standard any more as, in general, tearing is better than being cut. But there are exceptions. I didn't plan on having one but my DS was delivered very quickly. He was a bit stuck, so I had to be cut as my body wasn't tearing to allow him out. For me, the episiotomy wasn't a big deal, honestly. I ended up with a 3rd degree tear and stitches but my recovery wasn't too bad. I was a little sore for 3-4 days but I didn't take anything but Ibuprofen. And the itchiness of the stitches healing was worse than any pain I had. I trust my OB did what was best for me in that instance, although I hope I don't tear or need to be cut with this baby.

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Old 06-11-2013, 01:58 PM   #45
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Re: What would you do differently?

My biggest is probably to labor down until I just can't stand it anymore, and then push. I had a very unnatural/medicated birth with #1, so wasn't really sure when to push when my MW said to do whatever my body told me it needed...now I do.

Other than that, I pretty much hope for a repeat of #2. It was an awesome birth experience at a freestanding birth center - this one will be at home, different MW, but same feel.

And, at least my DH knows now that if he invites his parents over shortly after birth, that's fine, but me and baby won't be seeing them until I feel up to it. (Big issue after #1 - he learned his lesson.)

So, what I LOVED about my second birth, that I plan to repeat:
1. NOT a medical event!!!!
2. MW let me do what I needed/wanted, and only stepped in when she sensed I needed something.
3. Labor in the water (got out to push last time - I'm okay either way)
4. No "hurry" to deliver the placenta - it'll come when it's ready
5. No cord clamping until it's time to weigh baby
6. Immediate skin to skin
7. natural healing of a tear
8. Skin to skin with dad when I need to go clean myself up
9. birth photographer
10. placenta encapsulation
11. everyone knows I won't really be leaving the upstairs for the first week or so
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:11 PM   #46
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Re: What would you do differently?

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Episiotomies can keep from having a CS, as a previous poster said, but that are contraindicated in many instances. You are more likely to have a severe tear with an episiotomy, during the current birth and subsequent births. They're painful to heal and in a "you were going to tear anyway" it's actually better to tear. A jagged Scar is harder to tear again, since scar tissue doesn't knit like skin. A straight cut is convenient for the doctor to stitch, but that's about where the benefit ends. Except, of course, when there is shoulder dystocia and you need the room in the perineum to unstick the baby.
What she said. If you think about trying to tear a piece of cloth when it is intact, it's almost impossible if it's a nice new cloth. If you put even a little nick into the fabric, though, it tears very easily and often can be torn right in two. The same principle applies with tissue.

My midwife does not believe in episiotomies, and she works with another midwife who has been in practice for a long time and coaches her moms to not rush pushing. She has a whole sheet on what you can do to aid stretching and prevent tears, which I can post if anyone is interested. In that midwife's practice, she has never had a tear that required stitching, and most of her moms don't tear at all. The common practice with Ob/gyns is to tell you to push now and push hard as soon as you are 10 cm, and that leads to a quick birth that often leads to tears because the tissue was not ready to stretch yet. If they allowed the mother to push at a more natural rate and work with what her body is telling her, then there would be a lot less tears and very few that need stitching. Yes, it's possible that some women don't stretch as well, but if you do perineal massage to help keep your vagina supple & with good blood flow and then don't rush pushing, you give your body time to stretch at the rate it needs to. There are very few instances when the baby is so stressed that it needs to come out NOW (and usually associated with interventions such as epidurals & Pitocin), and if that were the case, then a Cesarean would be the more likely intervention.

The studies that have been done on episiotomies show that they do not improve infant outcomes and prolong healing for the mother.
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:04 AM   #47
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Re: What would you do differently?

Fun thread. I'm not having any more babies, but it's fun to think about...

I am no longer a candidate for an epidural. My first epi was fine, then my second one caused damage to the point that I could never get another. My 3rd birth dind't include pain meds, so I at least know what it's like now. So I'd probably want to try all the super cool, all natural stuff mamas on here talk about all the time. A water birth sounds like heaven!
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:38 AM   #48
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Re: What would you do differently?

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Fun thread. I'm not having any more babies, but it's fun to think about...

I am no longer a candidate for an epidural. My first epi was fine, then my second one caused damage to the point that I could never get another. My 3rd birth dind't include pain meds, so I at least know what it's like now. So I'd probably want to try all the super cool, all natural stuff mamas on here talk about all the time. A water birth sounds like heaven!
Do you mind saying what happened that you can't have another epi? Sorry if this is super nosy I am just really curious.
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:32 AM   #49
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Re: What would you do differently?

I changed a few things from my first babies until now.

1. Care by midwife. Love the midwives. I had a very nice GP deliver my first two, and those births went fine, but the whole care-giving atmosphere with a midwife is so different. They get to know you, explain things to you, respect your choices and wishes, help you make informed decisions, and the post-partum care is also GREAT. Home visits for the first week or two, so you don't have to pack your baby up to go out anywhere. I also had home births with my later babies, and that has been great.

2. Water birth. Using water in labor and birth has been WONDERFUL! So relaxing and helpful for coping!

3. Becoming more fit. I started doing a prenatal exercise DVD and it has changed my whole life, honestly. I now get 40 min of exercise 5 days a week, pregnant or not, and I have SO much more energy and less stress. I can cope better with pregnancy and parenting now than I could when I only had 2 or 3 kids. It makes for an easier pregnancy, delivery, and recovery too. (My favourite is Erin O'Brien, BTW.)
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:44 AM   #50
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Re: What would you do differently?

Such an interesting thread!

I had a great birth experience, relatively speaking... especially for a first birth. Water birth at home, no tearing, 5hrs "active labor", water broke naturally, 15min pushing, healthy baby.

I just didn't really know what to expect. It took a couple of days of contractions to actually start dilating & I didn't think "early labor" was supposed to hurt so much (maybe I'm just a wuss). Next time will probably be a little easier for me to deal with everything, just because I've done it, and I know that I CAN do it.

I would do this differently:
• Don't read any birth stories about "painless" labor & delivery. I'm not the kind of person who can accomplish that. LOL.
• Stay in better shape.
• Eat better & stay hydrated
• Splurge & buy a few outfits that FIT and actually look good on me. Also, just spend more money on a couple of GOOD bras, instead of buying a bunch of cheap ones that end up not working at all.
• More Kegels!
• Have the instruction manual ready for the birth tub (AquaDoula) so the people helping put it together correctly... LOL.
• Make sure I have a comfortable swimsuit top or bra to wear.
• Just pay my midwife do the heel stick tests instead of doing it at the Dr. so the insurance will cover it (it was just more hassle than it was worth).
• Get papers from MW so I actually have something to give the Dr. on the baby's first check-up.
• Have some newborn-size cloth diapers so I can cloth diaper, if I feel up to it.
• Get more decent pictures of me & my husband w/ the baby.

Things out of my control that I HOPE are different next time:
• Early labor not lasting so long!
• My state allowing CPMs to carry oxygen & drugs, in case they are needed (that probably won't happen).
• No mastitis!!
• Losing less blood (I lost a bit more than normal, and was lightheaded for the next few days).
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