Very timidly dipping my littlest toe in

30 posts / 0 new
Last post
Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427
Very timidly dipping my littlest toe in

Hi ladies!

My name is Alissa, and I am 20 weeks pregnant (well, tomorrow I will be :p) I had kind of a bad birth experience with my son (now 4) because basically the epidural stopped working after they turned on the pitocin (which of course they had to do since the epi stalled out my labor) and once the epi is in they won't let you get out of bed no matter how much you kick your legs and wiggle your toes and flat out whine and cry to show you can move and feel. So this time, I am thinking about going natural so at least I won't be stuck in bed if it's going to be awful and painful anyway. (I have a great attitude, don't I? :lol:)

With my first, I took all of the childbirth classes offered at my hospital, and they did do a little bit on some relaxation and pain management techniques, but not a ton.

I would love to go with a midwife this time around, but I am too high risk because of gestational diabetes and a history of recurrent loss (2 first tri m/cs).

And all of the natural childbirth classes in my area are like $200-$300, which is quite a bit of money.

So, I'm feeling kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place, and feeling like I don't know where to go to get myself prepared for a natual birth. Also, scared out of my mind to actually do a natural birth. The birth sucked soooo bad last time.

I'm thinking about buying the Hypnobabies home study course, even though that is still like $160.

Other than that, I guess I'm just looking for some other resources that anyone knows of, or short of that, maybe a "Go Alissa, you can do this!" LOL

AkMomma07's picture
Joined: 07/04/07
Posts: 1159

Glad to see you on this board! I'm currently doing the Hypnobabies homestudy and I'm very hopeful that it will be amazing! That's a bummer you are too high risk for a midwife Sad I hope you are able to find a NCB friendly OB!

Joined: 04/30/09
Posts: 2257

Congratulations on your pregnancy and welcome to the board! It's a little long winded, but I'll share the gist of my NCB experience with DD in a hospital being high risk.

I decided early on in my pregnancy with DD that I wanted to go natural. I was high risk (ICP and had some PIH symptoms the last couple weeks, PTL twice that had to be stopped and PTD at 36 weeks) and my OB and MW team (an office that works through my local hospital) were completely supportive and encouraging of having a NCB. With DD, I took the free child birthing classes. I got lucky in that my teacher was very NCB friendly (had three herself) but having to cover everything, she didn't get to spend a ton of time on NCB.

I was on bed rest for the majority of my pregnancy, and didn't want to spend the money on classes so I just familiarized myself with as much as I could and really practiced my focused meditation and breathing/centering techniques. I don't mean to downgrade any NCB studies, but this ended up working out really well for me. I got the birth I wanted and am feeling really confident about repeating the experience despite being high risk again.

I think the most important thing is being comfortable with your medical team and having everyone be on the same page. With your past experience you can better prepare yourself to handle things and feel/stay more in control of the pain. Perhaps you can find a practice that has OBs and MWs who are MCB friendly? Let us know how things go!

tink9702's picture
Joined: 09/28/08
Posts: 2977

Hi!

I have no experience with the high risk issue, but I do recommend Hypnobabies. I've used it twice and other than right in transition it really made a huge difference to manage how I was feeling and stay in control. I always have that point when I say "I can't do this anymore" and the MW checks me and I'm basically fully dilated! LOL!

I think you'll find that "regular" contractions without pitocin are also a lot easier to handle so stay at home until the contractions are coming along! Mostly, have faith in yourself that you CAN DO IT!!!!! Smile

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Thanks ladies!!! Biggrin

I like my OB a LOT (he has seen me through 1 successful pregnancy, 2 m/cs, and now hopefully another successful pregnancy and has been completely supportive and helped me get my issues with blood clotting figured out) so I don't want to leave his practice, but I have an appt next week and will ask him for recommends about NCB.

I am also going to call the hospital and see what "ammenities" they have to help. Maybe they'll have a tub or something.

Good to hear great things about Hypobabies. I think I will go ahead and take the plunge on that then. Shauna, I can't wait to hear all about your birth experience. Smile

Danifo's picture
Joined: 09/07/10
Posts: 1377

You can do it Smile

I didn't do anything other than what I learned at my baby class and I didn't use any of it. I breathed through the contractions the first time. I thought nothing could hurt more than those contractions until I had my second Smile

Both times I asked for an epidural right as it was time to push so I never got it. My labours are fast and I can't imagine going longer at my pain level without an epidural.

I find pushing an easy stage because it is the only stage I feel like I have the ability to make the baby come out. As soon as the baby is born, I feel great and that is why I would try to do an unmedicated birth again.

I have nothing against epidurals and think they have their place. I hate how anesthesia makes me feel and with my first I was concerned about it lowering my blood pressure because it was low through the pregnancy.

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

Welcome! I've been doing the hypnobabies home study too! Will be putting it to the test soon. Wink It came with a lot of helpful info, not just using hypno, so it's been helpful over here with getting past my fears, gaining confidence with information (reading Ina May helps! lol), and feeling confident that I'm going to have a great birth! I had a cascade of interventions including pit and epi with my son that ended with a c/s, so I'm doing everything I can to avoid all of that.

eliann's picture
Joined: 04/19/11
Posts: 2439

Go Alissa, you can do this!!! Haha.

I'm scared of natural birth too, but I'm going for it. NCB prep classes are SO expensive. It's crazy. I'm going to do these Birth Boot Camp? Natural Childbirth Education Classes - Online and Instructor-led because my doula recommended them and she's giving me a coupon for them.

Well best of luck to you! I will keep cheering you on!

Cherrychip's picture
Joined: 01/31/09
Posts: 1134

I think this is my first post on this board as I generally lurk, but I wanted to chime in with my experience regarding the natural childbirth classes. I gave birth to my dd without an epidural or any pain meds and my prep consisted of reading every book I could find on natural childbirth from the library, reading natural childbirth stories online and also watching videos of natural childbirth online all for free, so I don't think you have to spend money to attend natural childbirth classes to be able to do this. I didn't use the hypnobabies (didn't use anything really, just went along with my body) but I know a lot of people have good things to say about that so I think would be a good one to use. And stay at home as long as possible when you go into labor-it is much easier to relax and not have to worry about the hospital policies at home so definitely stay as long as you are able!

tink9702's picture
Joined: 09/28/08
Posts: 2977

After reading others responses the key thing I'd add about Hypnobabies is the Fear Releasing aspect. there is a whole section/CD on it and for anyone who has a fear of either what birth is like, can I stand the pain, or a fear that you really can't do NCB I highly recommend that track specifically. Hypnobabies believes/teaches that fear inhibits birth and that you should release your fears in order to have a better/smoother birth. HTH!

I also highly recommend a tub if there is one available. it's more relaxing and for many women does reduce the intensity of the contractions.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Thanks again everybody. Great tips!

Elizabeth and Cherrychip, so excited to see two people from my bb on here!

Mel - you're right, a big aspect of this for me right now is just the fear factor. I am definitely hoping that being better prepared will help me let go of some of that fear. I'm also hoping that it won't be quite *as* painful without pitocin. I don't have anything to compare it to, and I'm sure they are always painful, but that was the suck. So, hoping to avoid pitocin by avoiding the epi. That's the plan. Wink

Looking forward to getting to know all of you NCB ladies and hearing your stories. Smile

eliann's picture
Joined: 04/19/11
Posts: 2439

This might make me sound like an ultra hippy. But I meditate regularly, its especially helpful for me when I have aches and pains. It has taught me to be in control of my body and breathing. I'm hoping that this helps with my birth. So if you don't want to spend too much money, you could get a guided meditation MP3 album. Some are as cheap as $5 on amazon. I have Deepak Chopra, Beth Freschi (which are both guided) and some Tibetan Singing Bowl albums when I'm not feeling in the mood to be guided. Haha. I keep telling DH that everyone is going to be very sick of Deepak Chopra when this baby is born.

I'm also reading Birthing from Within, also very hippy. Even makes you draw how you feel about birth. Haha. I rolled my eyes the first time I read about the drawings. I went to bed and woke up and started drawing. Kind of fun actually. The author always reminds you that "its ok to have fear." And it seems honest about the pain of labor. But guides you to cope with it. I'd say pick a natural birthing book that suits your personality the best. If I have time I might pick up Ina May's book. But I'm going the hospital route, and I hear its very anti-hospital...so I am not sure.

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

You can do it! Biggrin

I did Hypnobirthing (slightly different from Hypnobabies) and while it was amazing in many ways and helped me feel educated and prepared, helped make my DH into a stellar birth partner, and helped me relax and sleep and be more comfortable in those uncomfy last months of pregnancy, I will say that I used almost none of it during my actual birth. Well, I used the education, of course, but all the relaxations and visualizations were far from my mind. My NCB was nothing I'd call easy, but I know for a fact that had I been in the hospital (I was at a birth center) without that background and confidence, I would have been an intervention-cascade story for SURE. (Lying down was a total no-go for me--made my contractions WAY more intense but also spaced out...I was also in active labor for 24 hours, "stuck" at 5-6 cm for most of that time. No way would a typical hospital have let me hang out in that stage for so long.) Instead, with the help of some solid preparation, good old fashioned stubbornness, and an amazing birth team that had my back every step of the way, I had the natural birth I dreamed of.

I am a total physical wimp. If I can do it, anyone can do it. We were MADE to do it. Just get your head in the game with whatever method makes the most sense to you, get a good, solid birth team on the same page (or as close as possible), and go have that baby Biggrin

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Thanks for the tips! Leigh, I will be having this birth at a hospital since I can't have a midwife, but I am hoping that they will allow as few interventions as necessary. I do know that my hospital is pro-mobility (before the epi, anyway) because I was allowed to get up and walk the halls as much as I wanted last time (before the epi.) Was also thinking we could bring our own birthing ball (it's just a balance ball, right? I have one of those) to have in the room with me. Does anyone suggest any other "gear" other than maybe my iPhone and headphones for music or meditation tracks?

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

Pro-mobility is a good start! Yep, a regular yoga ball will work for a birth ball. My most comfortable positions for most of my labor were either sitting on it on the floor with my head resting on the bed, or kneeling on the bed with my head/chest resting on the ball. Music is good...I had mine playing in a dock, not headphones, but I was in and out of tubs. The only other prop I needed was my husband Biggrin

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

Urgh, I just lost several of the paragraphs I had written!! First, I wanted to say congrats! And welcome to the board.

I did do a NCB class, and the cost was something like $200 or $250 I guess, but it was also eight 2.5 hour sessions (8 weeks). It was much more than just a quick "here are some coping techniques". Every session had graduates from the previous class in sharing their birthing story and answering questions, which was hugely inspiring- especially as they sat there with their generally 1-2 mos old baby, and a success to share. We also covered nutrition, we had homework, she taught us stretches and exercises to do during pregnancy to prepare ourselves for birth, and then we also learned coping techniques. And we learned in detail about the stages of labor and what happens at each stage, etc, so that we would be better able to recognize what was going on, and where we were at. We also watched birth videos, practiced relaxation techniques in class, she gave us inspirational quotes, and so much more. One class session we even spent having a practice labor, where she threw circumstances at us, and we had to deal with them. That was good because it got most of us out of our "I'm just going to have the perfect birth" mindset, into the reality of sometimes having to choose the least invasive path, or whatever. Basically, none of what she did with us or gave us would be impossible to do on your own, but, it would take a heck of a lot of reading and motivation and time, etc, etc... and frankly, I know if I hadn't done the class, I wouldn't have done most of it. So, I will always say that was a great $200 spent!

I had an arsenal of techniques in my back pocket and I ended up being the stay still, don't touch me, turn the lights out and don't make any noise kind of laborer. So some might say I didn't use what I learned. But I don't think that is true. I think beyond all those coping strategies, what the class gave me was confidence to do what MY body was asking for. I went into labor dead set on not even BEING on the bed, because I just wasn't going to go there. Then I ended up being on the bed almost the whole time- on all fours or lying on my side.

One other thing I was going to say- in our very first class our instructor asked us to tell her how we deal with a headache or a stubbed toe. 10 minutes later, we had a whole white board full of coping techniques that are just as applicable to labor as they are to a headache or stubbed toe. Of course labor is generally more intense, and definitely more intimidating, because it's much more unknown- but it's just pain all the same. So if you're a jump around and swear kind of person when you stub your toe, maybe you'll be loud and active in labor too. Maybe you're a "if I don't move it won't hurt" kind of person (like me). Anyway, my point is there is no right answer, and knowing lots of options and having the courage to trust and honor what your body is telling you makes all the difference.

Obviously, we are all different, and we learn differently, and find our strength differently. I suck at home study kind of things- have always done better at learning in a group, out loud, etc. So whichever path you choose, I hope you find what works for you! And certainly, this board is always here for a, "you CAN do it!" and any other support you ask for. Smile

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

Wow, Mara, I love and agree with everything you said there! I hope you don't mind if I copy most of it when people ask me this question in the future Biggrin

LOVE the "how do you deal with normal pain" question...would have given me a clue about what an obnoxiously loud and restless laborer I would turn out to be Blum 3

BuckeyeK's picture
Joined: 10/23/06
Posts: 3087

I also used the hypnobabies home study course. It was absolutely worth it, and I think the main thing it did for me was to change my perception of childbirth pain and help eliminate fears. I had a super fast labor, so I didn't have time to turn on my hypnobabies tracks (or even to think about hypnobabies at all) but I do think that the weeks of training went through still served me well. I was calm, and even now I do not think of my birth as painful. Intense, yes, but not painful.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Oooh, Buckeye, I would love to be able to call this birth "Intense but not painful." Biggrin

Marite, that is a great point about how you deal with other kinds of pain. I'm a go very still and silent kind of gal myself - that's actually how I dealt with my last birth too. My mom came in and tried to talk to me, and I literally couldn't speak to her, I just panted "Can't talk right now" and went back to being dead silent and still. So maybe that is something I will use this pregnancy, just knowing that I feel that way. Hmmmm, very interesting. Smile

I am bidding on a used copy of the Hypnobabies Home Study Course now, but if I lose the auction (I'm only willing to go up 5 more bucks on a used copy, and there is 2 days of bidding left!) then I will probably just buy a new copy from Amazon this weekend. I think homestudy will be the better choice for me simply because with work and taking care of T and my hubby being gone a lot (he is a teacher, but he is involved in a TON of after school clubs and activities) I have a hard time getting to regular classes.

Anyway, thanks for all of the encouragement and input. I am already feeling a lot more positive about this. Smile

annierose's picture
Joined: 03/27/06
Posts: 333

Congrats on your pregnancy! I can really relate to you. My first birthing experience was in a hospital, terribly painful and long. I was terrified during my next pregnancy. Unlike you, I was too scared to try to go natural the second time around and ended up getting an epidural right around transition time. Doh't!

With my third, I decided to go natural since my previous labor and delivery wasn't that bad. There aren't any nearby NCB classes and no midwives in the area. We decided to read as much as we could (we being mostly me Lol ). The Bradley Method was our method of choice. It's a husband as coach method of relaxing and going with the pains. I also worked out a few times a week throughout the entire pregnancy.

On the day I had my little Simon, I knew I was in labor, but I was able to cope with the pain very well. My husband was there to remind me to keep my face loose and my body relaxed. We labored at home in the tub together, talking and joking around. The goal was to stay at home as long as possible. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I was able to handle the pain/work to such a degree that we didn't make it to the hospital delivery. I ended up having a homebirth assisted only by my husband. Now that may sound scary from the outside and it definitely wasn't planned, but it was the most awesome, beautiful experience of my life. Biggrin

I thought I was a wimp and didn't know if I could handle a natural labor and birth and ended up handling it so well that we missed our window of time to go to the hospital. You might surprise yourself with your strength!

If you'd like to read more about my journey, my lodge is down below. Good luck to you!

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

Check Craigslist for a used copy of Hypnobabies & also post an "ISO" in case someone has a copy they're ready to let go but didn't know what to do with. Wink Call your local midwives and ask if any of their clients are willing to part with a copy.

I got a used copy of Hypnobabies and I credit it with getting me through three days of labor and two hours of pushing with no pain. When a cervical lip didn't budge, I breathed through pushing contractions for another three hours with no pain while my midwives tried every trick they had. I didn't so much use the tracks as just remember them, kwim? I did listen to a couple of tracks a couple of times during labor, but I didn't rely on it as much as I was expecting. I can actually say that I wasn't in any "pain" until I finally went to the hospital to try some Pitocin and got an epidural. Which didn't work. :rolleyes:

And check with your local midwives about their policies on GD. Here, if your GD is controlled with diet & exercise, you can still qualify for homebirth if you have no other risk factors.

knhoward's picture
Joined: 04/22/08
Posts: 999

Good luck. I hope you get to have the birth you want. I had a natural birth earlier this year (my first drug free after 2 others with epi) I didn't take any NCB courses or do self study. i just did a bit of online research and tried to breath and stay relaxed and upright throughout labour. I had a midwife, so there was support that way. I also hired a doula, and she helped me just get through the labour. Maybe a doula would be a good option if you have to be in the hospital due to health concerns?

Joined: 05/15/08
Posts: 413

If it helps at all, remember that birth the second time takes (on average) about half the time of the first. If it's natural, it will also probably take less time than one that stalled and had to be enhanced with pit. Pit also, for many women makes the contractions irregular, more intense, and constant; so going natural may well be less painful than your first experience.

I've gone natural twice, and my main advice is to refuse to be scared. Getting scared or unnecessarily stressed will increase your perception of pain as well as tense up your muscles and make labor actually more painful. In the heat of the moment, your body will probably tell you what it wants you to do, and anything you learn in a class will be less helpful than you expected. Your best bet is to stay calm and focused so you don't miss any cue your body sends.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Thanks for all of the tips and stories ladies! I love hearing about your experiences. Smile

Stacey - I have contacted several midwives in my area, and they have all said that my GD makes me too high risk for a midwife. Which I'm mostly okay with, I honestly do love my OB. He's awesome.

I ended up just buying a copy of Hypobabies Home Study on Amazon. I lost the auction for the one on ebay, but that one went for I think $130 and the others on ebay were all going for around the same price ($115-$120). In the meantime, Amazon was having a sale on new copies for $140-ish, so I just bought it from there. Should have it soon. Smile

AkMomma07's picture
Joined: 07/04/07
Posts: 1159

I think if you feel that good about your OB that that is what matters. Plus the more informed you are before the birth happens the better you will be equipped to consent or not to things he/she wants to do during labor.

Yay for buying the Hypnobabies homestudy! I have no labor experience with it yet but it is so d@mn relaxing even just laying there listening to it! Smile

Andy1784's picture
Joined: 09/18/08
Posts: 1372

No additional tips, but I wanted to wish you the best of luck in your journey to a natural childbirth. I didn't use hypnobabies, but I can totally attest to the fact that frame of mind has so much to do with what the experience becomes.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Thanks Andy. Don't I remember you from the Debate board? Smile

So I talked to my OB yesterday, and he said that the hospital I will be delivering at has 4 rooms with special tubs (although they are not prepared to do actual waterbirths, but just for pain relief) and birthing balls can also be provided on request. I just have to hope that 1 of the rooms with the tubs is available when I go into labor since they are first come first served. I'm excited to hear that; I hope one is available. Smile

Andy1784's picture
Joined: 09/18/08
Posts: 1372

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Thanks Andy. Don't I remember you from the Debate board? Smile

So I talked to my OB yesterday, and he said that the hospital I will be delivering at has 4 rooms with special tubs (although they are not prepared to do actual waterbirths, but just for pain relief) and birthing balls can also be provided on request. I just have to hope that 1 of the rooms with the tubs is available when I go into labor since they are first come first served. I'm excited to hear that; I hope one is available. Smile

Yup that was me for a brief while. Then I had login issues, then I was just lazy and got away from pg.org for a while.

Yay for birth tubs, the more options the better! Hopefully you go on a day that isn't very full. With DS they were very hesitant to admit me from triage because they had 1 room left. Then my water broke on them and they had no choice. With DD, there was 1 other mom on the whole floor.

kvo
kvo's picture
Joined: 12/18/06
Posts: 902

"AkMomma07" wrote:

Glad to see you on this board! I'm currently doing the Hypnobabies homestudy and I'm very hopeful that it will be amazing! That's a bummer you are too high risk for a midwife Sad I hope you are able to find a NCB friendly OB!

Shauna has my Hypnobabies from my pg with Liam. Maybe she will pass it along ;). I didn't start it until I was nearly 30 weeks.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Kristen, great to see you! How are you doing?

I actually bought the Hynobabies set. Did you find Hypnobabies helpful?