Monday, July 18, 2011

Thoughts on Childbirth for Bub Number 2

The Jellybean at 19 weeks

Well, I'm almost 22 weeks pregnant now, over half way - where is the time going?  We have a revised due date of the 22nd of November (one day earlier LOL!) so lets hope this little one doesn't keep us waiting like Skye did!

Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I would do differently for this birth – which is frighteningly fast approaching!

I think that having “been there and done that” once before, you are LESS scared of the actual birth process itself. But having said that, it doesn’t mean I’m not scared!!  In a few ways I'm MORE nervous, because I know whats coming!  When we first found out I was pregnant, I found myself trying to sleep, but having flashbacks of the birth, and started wondering "What the hell am I doing this again for??!!"

I had a relatively “ok” birth the first time around. Skye had been posterior at around 34 weeks, but by 36 weeks she had turned around the right way. By the time I went into labour at 41 weeks, she was back to posterior again! A lot of babies turn themselves during labour, but not my stubborn little monkey. So she came out face up and mummy had to have a ‘snip’.

The doctor at the hospital asked me last week whether, if I had the choice, if I would "do" another posterior birth without the epidural, as I did last time.  Hmmm, will have to think on that one.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about whether having one posterior baby leads to a likelihood that the second baby will also be posterior. The last doc said there was about a 30% chance - but a lot depends on mums body and how the pelvis is built. I found it particularly frustrating, because the “cure” for getting a posterior baby to turn is to spend a lot of time on your hands and knees so your belly swings down, sitting forward on chairs (and not slumping back into couches when watching TV etc), to make gravity do its job and get the heaviest part of bub (their back) to naturally fall towards your front.

BUT – here’s the frustrating and difficult part – how do you manage that when you have edema (swelling of feet, ankles, legs and hands) as well? Because whenever I complained of that to the docs/midwives, the recommendation is to “put your feet up/recline, lie down/have your feet higher than your hips” etc. Which contradicts what you’re meant to do for a posterior bub.  So you do both - and neither helps the other.

Anyway, maybe I’m counting my chickens before they’ve hatched, but its something I’ve been thinking about.

I was relatively active in my first pregnancy, still exercising regularly until about 26 weeks, I worked full time in a busy role until 35 weeks pregnant too, along with packing and moving house when 7 months pregnant. I’m probably less active these days – not as much exercise as I’d like, and my job involves walking from the lounge room into the study and sitting down at the computer for the entire duration of Skyes naps. So I guess I’m concerned that a posterior birth is more likely.

For the actual birth process, I have a few ideas.

Last time I hated the gas, and so I’m going to tell them this time to bugger off with it unless I ask for it. I didn’t have the strength or knowledge to say no last time, every time I cried in pain, the midwife would say “USE THE GAS, USE THE GAS!!” and I just dutifully obeyed when it was shoved in my face. I found the gas annoying more than anything. Plus it gave me a dreadfully dry, sore throat for a couple of days afterwards – it hurt to swallow!

The other thing I’m going to ask for is WATER!! I drank zero water during my last labour. Hubby didn’t think to give me any, nobody else thought to give me any. And honestly it was the last thing on my mind, but I was so parched and dehydrated afterwards that I really wish I had. So that will be hubbys job this time around – to at least keep offering (even when I’m swearing at him LOL!).

I’d also like him to take a few photos this time around. Not of the ‘gory’ bits, but just the environment in general. I don’t remember much of anything except pain from last time (hazy memory due to the pethidene I think), and the only photos we took were AFTER Skye had entered the world.

And I’d like to have a bit more of an active birth this time. Last time I was so caught up in my own little world, I just wanted to lay down and grip the bars of the bed and squeeze my eyes shut and not think about anything. But I think I should try to do some breathing exercises this time, stay on my feet more (or at least just lean on the bed, rather than lie on it). Hopefully that might let me have more of a sense of reality, rather than just be in a bit of a haze the whole time. I guess the pethidene didn’t help with that though, as it makes you doze off between contractions. Maybe I can avoid it this time!

And finally of course I'm hoping for a shorter labour this time - although I cant really complain too much, Skye took about 14 hours "unofficially" (or 9 hours if you go by the hospitals records of "official" length of labour) - so I shouldn't really complain I guess!


Andrea said...

Hi Hilary,

I think it is great that you are thinking about how you would like the birth to be. Your first experience sounds very similar to mine. I did a lot of mind-body connection work the second time around. Two recommendations for you -
birth Skills by
Ju Ju Sundin - it is a book and the active birth skills really work - they are what got me through drug free. The second is a Birth Skills course -
i did one with Shari but there is her book you can buy as well as the birth skills course run by other practitioners. The relaxation and positive self talk was so valuable as was the breathing techniques. Go back through the archive of my blog and read my Birth story for B if you want some more concrete examples.

good luck!

Shar said...

Having got to very fresh births in my head and having been through two prior, I would definately advise, satnding, swaying, squating as much as possible.
The births that I was upright, leaning ver bed, walking, rocking side to side etc were definately easier and more copable.
Also do you have the option of a pool/huge bath? I can highly recommend it for a natural pain relief and also labouring (with no. 2 i went from 3 to 8 cm in 1 hour, just labouring in the water, i relaxed that much), I nevee fancied birthing in the pool so got out when ready to push.
Sorry i could go on for ages with little bits and bobs but those would be be my top two.
Regarding being posterior, I would deal with that as and when and not allow worry to creep in just yet?
Shar xx

Kelly said...

Hi Hilary,
I also have fresh memories from having Finn only 6 months ago. Everyone keeps asking, when will number 2 arrive? I tell them I need to forget the birth first!
I used a TENS machine and I liked that. It wasn't any use during the actual pushing stage though, however I was aware it was there, so guess it was still a distraction. I didn't have any drugs at all. Don't know if I'd do that again though. But I was going to mention that I did stand, lean on the bend, bang my leg on the ground and squat for as long as possible. I would have loved to have delivered squatting as this felt good, but I would have teared a lot the midwives told me as he was coming so quick. I did deliver on my hands on knees as laying on my back was agony to me.

You know, I guess we can all share our experiences and give you different ideas, but follow what your body wants. Labour is very natural and when you listen it will tell you - bugger what other people say.