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Thread: For those that had a drug free labour and birth

  1. #19

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    It's much easier for some carers if you have something Dee! They like nice and quiet managable women, its less work and is easy Sad isn't it!

    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
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  2. #20

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    That is really sad Kelly

  3. #21

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    I read A LOT - sheila kitzinger, janet balaskas, articles on BB etc. I had a mother who birthed all three of us naturally so i believe being raised believing that birth is natural made a huge impression on my psyche. We did the hypnobirthing course and the best thing was my water birth. As soon as i got into the tub i got enormous relief. Our labour was 4 hours 20 mins with no drugs, no tearing nothing. It was perfect.

    p.s perinial massage from 34 weeks every second day!

  4. #22

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    Default drug free?

    I was at home, so no drugs at hand - but actually it never even crossed my mind. I was in labour for 24 hours. I used a nice deep birth pool later in labour when things were intensifying. I found I really craved comfort - I just wanted people to love on me! Their kind words, massage, touch and hugs - that's what helped. Lots of love and comfort. Walking around in early labour helped. Swaying from side to side during the really strong contractions at the end helped - I could manage the pain better that way than standing still and tensing up. Breathing slow and steady helped. Vocalising helped. Also, I stayed hydrated with Labour Aide - lemon juice, honey, pinch of salt & baking soda, and dissolvable calcium tablets - calcium boosts your pain tolerance apparently - and also, I think staying hydrated just helps you cope better and not end up feeling so wasted and stressed by all the effort.
    The preparation and reading did help my state of mind - fear feeds on ignorance and knowledge grows faith and confidence. So, reading about Active Birth, Undisturbed Birth, Home Birth, and reading heaps of other women's birth stories helped me develop my own philosphy of what I thought would work for me.
    I also did the Optimal Fetal Positioning very diligently, I really wanted the baby to be anterior, because I knew that would be quite a bit easier and less painful than a posterior labour. And the perineal massage! I found that helped because I could feel myself how tough and stretchy the tissues are - and how much more stretchy they got as after a few weeks of massage - with all those good elastin hormones kicking in as well. It made me feel more sure that I could stretch and wouldn't tear.
    Warmest thoughts and wishes your way for a wonderful experience when the time comes.

  5. #23
    Fire Fly Guest

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    I didnt have any drugs with either of my labours and cant say thats how i planned it either. I just got on with it and made every pain positive, i didnt fight it.

    With DD i did bodybalance classes which was fantastic, its a mix of yoga, tyeche, and pilates. It was great.

    I certainly wont be takeing anything with this next one either. Just go with the flow.

  6. #24

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    Just thought of something else. I found this book by a herbalist called Nan Koehler. She had a recipe in it for "birthing tea" - from Raspberry Leaf Tea, Basil, Lavender and Nutmeg. I tried it, plus a whole heap of RLT as well. I figured it couldn't do any harm, might help and at least it's got lots of vitamins in it. Also in a book called The Birth Book by William & Martha Sears (they're from the US, encouraging of attatchment parenting etc), they had this drink called 'Labour Ade'. So I used their recipe to make some, chucked it in the freezer and had it to sip on icy cold during labour. It made sense that if you're working as hard as that, if you're starving and your blood sugar drops, and you're dehyrated and feeling edgy & irritable like you do when you're slightly dehydrated, that might make it harder to hang in there and persevere for the hard yards. I reckon, well I've got a days hard work to do, might as well make everything else as nice & easy as possible. The calcium is supposed to help increase pain tolerance!
    It's made from lemon juice, honey, pinch of salt & sodium bicarb, water, and 1-2 calcium tablets - I used the kind that dissolve.
    They reckon drinking heaps and peeing heaps helps to keep things progressing well.
    I didn't walk much during my first labour, I wish I had. I had this idea that you're supposed to be all quiet and relaxed, so although I stayed upright & used gravity and swayed my hips, I didn't go walking for miles like I did during the last two labours. I had this dream of myself walking up and down the lanes of Ireland (where we were at the time), leaning on those stone walls when a contraction came. My instinct was trying to tell me what I needed, but I wasn't so confident about listening then. Staying quiet & chilled out works a treat for some personalities but since then I've realized that the active style, charging around the place hardly staying still much at all until it's time to push, works better for my kind of body and temperament! 2nd labour 3 hours - babe born in shopping mall. Walked until pushing. 3rd labour - 2 hours - babe born at home. Walked miles every day as I was "kind of" overdue - walked until pushing.

  7. #25
    paradise lost Guest

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    Hi there,

    I had gas during the last hour or so of my labour. I hadn't intended to have anything but things moved very fast and i wanted to push before they thought i was even in active labour, so i took it to avoid rupturing my insides. If there's a next time i will listen to my body before my midwife LOL.

    I had a homebirth so the drug options were very limited anyway, a little pethidine, a little morphine, the gas tank. THat's all. I had all the stuff in my flat but mainly because i felt that taking them and putting them in the fridge "in case" allowed the midwives to feel i was a flexible sort of person and stopped them worrying that i'd refuse to transfer to hospital in an emergency.

    I read a lot of Sheila Kitzinger, and also Spiritual Midwifery and Pregnancy and Birth, both by Ina May Gaskin. Those Ina May books contain dozens of stories from women who've had natural labours and births without drugs. After reading so many accounts you start to really see that, given the chance, almost every woman can labour naturally with massive success. In my own circle there are 3 homebirths but far more hospital, with drugs or even surgery births so it's easy to feel outnumbered in seeking a natural birth.

    I drank Raspeberry leaf tea and took the tablets, though somewhat erratically. I did perineal massage about twice but reaching was difficult and i couldn't be bothered. I did have a small tear but it healed without stitches and i'm yet to have problems with sex or anything so it turned out to be far less bothersome than the apprehensive worry of tearing!

    I walked in early labour which helped to get things moving. I changed positions a lot up until the last couple of hours (by then i was fighting the pushing urge so hard, and moving AT ALL brought it on stronger, as i say, next time i will simply push) and i spent a good bit of time in the bath which REALLY helped.

    I tried to only think of that contraction and at each peak said "down baby" or similar in my head. Outwardly i apparently seeming incredibly serious, but inside i felt it was rather amusing that i was giving birth and this was what all the fuss was about. I tried not to think about the hours ahead and also, strangely, my fear of the pushing urge, stemming from thinking i wasn't really ready to push, made the contractions seem, by comparison, very easy to deal with. Looking at it now, with hindsight, i went into transition (and told DP i'd need an epidural to prevent pushing) about 20 minutes after being found to be 3cm dilated, so i must have just SNAPPED open after my first internal.

    Overall i would say:

    Stay positive and try to keep your sense of humour - your baby and your pelvis will take care of the birthing, your carers will step in to prevent disaster, all you need to do is put up with it and experience the ride, and WHAT a ride it is.

    Keep moving and even if you're just changing position slightly, stay aware of your body and what it's telling you - if it feels unbearable, move until you're feeling it's bearable again. A change IS as good as a rest.

    If you want pain relief, tell yourself you can have it after the next contraction. THe last hour or so i could only cope with ONE MORE, but i only ever had to do one at a time, so it was okay.

    Have a supportive birth team. I say team, Jen really helped fill in when DP needed a break and vice versa. You need someone who will tell you in the face of pain and fear that you're bloody brilliant and are doing beautifully. SOme midwives will do this - if your partner isn't too convincing on the "everything's fine" lies, draft in a friend who is, or GET A DOULA. The words of an eager, loving assistant can make such a difference.

    HTH

    Hana
    Last edited by paradise lost; December 19th, 2007 at 10:33 AM.

  8. #26
    CaughtGypsy Guest

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    I had my first drug free. I used a midwife program which was largely responsible for my success - it made me aware this option was possible.

    I am alergic to sutcher material and was petrified of tearing. I had done the reading and discovered drug-free helped you be aware and made tearing less likely - that was all I needed to know. I certainly didn't want infections and the like disturbing my efforts to BF.

    My prep was copious amounts of walking. Mum kept me shopping from 9-4 the day I went into labor. When ever I felt the contration wave I just focussed on the fact it was helping me not to have stiches. By turning it into something postivie it became more bearable - you just need to find your positive thing...

    The other thing that was immensly helpful was that my mum found a pressure point on my back (purely by accident) that cut the labour pain in half. There were times when she couldn't re-find it or she was too tired (no one else could find the tisky little spot) and I had the full pain-wave. I would definately look into this as it was a godsend (needless to say mum is coming to number two in Feb!).

    Good luck!

  9. #27
    kerry Guest

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    I wanted a drug free labour and was well on the way to achieving it despite the best efforts of the midwife to get me to have gas, and epi, pethadine. My problems started when I began vomitting (something I tend to do when in extreeme pain, last time was when I had dislocated both hips at once) and couldn't stop. Here I was lying on the floor of the shower and violently heaving with every contraction. I knew at this stage the only way to stop the vomiting was with maxillon so I requested it, unfortunately the midwife decided that she would only get the maxillon if I had the pethadine... so I held of.. I hate pethadine and have had wounds packed with gauze drug free so new I could do labour as such... anyway I kept vomiting... after a while I began vomiting blood and in despiration to have the vomiting stop I consented to the pethadine, to get my hands on the maxillon.. to this day I feel cheated and bullied into taking something I didn't want and it is the only negative aspect of my daughters birth. I think you need a strong birth partner/advocate who will say what you want when your brain stops making the words you need.

  10. #28

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    Kerry, how damn rude that your stupid midwife did that to you with the pethadine. I would have complained to the hospital or nurse in charge.

  11. #29
    kerry Guest

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    I had bigger things to complain about when it came to the discharge, from the hospital not my body.

    Will have to post my birth story.

    However besides all the dramas I would still have my next at the same hospital and with the same ob... just refuse 2 of the midwives... everyone else was fantastic.

    Also next time I will not be signing a drug consent prior, I only did as there were some complications with me (my kidneys, eds) that could have resulted in an emergency cs but my body held together.

  12. #30

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    Some good birth support or your own private midwife would be a great idea Jo. Most people dont realise the power they do have - a hospital cannot take your pulse without your permission. If they do perform a procedure that is not consented to, they can be in BIG trouble. Its worth contacting the Maternity Coalition or when you write to the hospital, always CC your letters to Bronwyn Pike, the health minister. Then they will take action LOL.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
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  13. #31
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    i tried so hard. Active laboured at home in the birthing pool and shower and around the house for 29 hours, this was back labour, supported by wonderful midwives. Then came the time dh had to call the ambulance. Then came the day of medical intervention in the labour ward (from 10am - 6pm) having stuff done to make natural labour possible (epidural and oxytocin - just what i DIDN"T want, all with people i had never met before,), but nothing worked - my body was stuck and baby was distressed - so at 6pm emergency c-section was done to us. When open, it became obvious to medical staff that the problem had been the muscles of my uterus spasming, constricting, so baby couldn't move, dilation couldn't happen, contractions couldn't be regular - everything going against me having a live birth.

    Exact opposite of what i had planned and worked towards, tiny bilby was born in the stainless steel environment, breech c-section, forceps, not breathing - instead of the room i had decorated with candles, incense, rainbow coloured lanterns, bilbies, positive messages printed out, our home environment, lovely birthing pool.

    i wanted that home birth so bad.
    tiny bilby had been anterior, perfect position since 35 weeks
    we were both very fit going into the end of pregnancy

    I fought to feed her 2 hours after birth, from the guerney, wheeled into the nursery on my way to the labour ward, i got my wish, no formula in the nursery for her, as the midwife on duty in the nursery understood how desperately i wanted our skin on skin time and our first feed after birth to be as soon as possible. i was so scared that i would be too groggy to be able to do it, but the recovery nurse and the nursery midwife facilitated me to do it. I can never thank them enough.

  14. #32

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    Gigi - i have a sense of what you had - I wanted the natural birth so badly too, and ended up having a baby in a theatre, but I was happy that at least I didn't need the c/s. Vaginal forceps rotation birth, and all the jazz that went along with that are bad enough.
    What you have been through is an education process. You know now what your body's limitations were with this baby, (not saying with evey baby) and you can do everything in your power to research, study, and get all the help you need to get your home birth, or at least natural birth next time.
    Your body can do this, and in the meantime feel very proud that through it all your intentions were respected and you had the contact you wanted with your little girl afterwards. I had midwifes helping me too with Jenna's first 3 feeds (ie they tried to attach her, and when it wasn't working they expressed the colustrum to feed her with a syringe) and while it felt horrid at the time, I am so pleased they took the time to do this too.

    Be gentle with yourself. It sounds like you have a lot of healing to do, and guilt wont help you at all.

  15. #33

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    Awwww Gigi huge hugs hon, I second what Fi said. I hope you are able to talk this over and de-brief with your midwife. First births can be tricky, many of us find our first to be a particularly trying labour, with things not going to plan, but next time it will be different. Your body has been there before, its been labouring before and you know what it feels like etc.

    Its not always this way, but you ask any mum what they would do differently or what they would like to be different after their first and the list will be long for most of us. Perfectly normal.

    I am also concerned about your signature, 'we are just glad she came out alive.'

    Don't beat yourself up hon. You don't have to prove to yourself or anyone that you are at least grateful for the fact you have a live baby, despite having been through hell and back yourself. Its okay to say or write down (or even yell out aloud) that you had a **** experience or are angry that you didn't get that experience you wanted (or whatever the case). It's a perfectly normal way to deal with grief and your feelings DO count in this. Yes its lovely that you have a healthy baby but if mum is falling apart at the seems, don't hide behind a statement to protect yourself and your feelings. If someone judges you then they don't deserve to be in your company as they obviously have pre-conceived biases and don't care about your best interests. That said, many people just dont know how to deal with it and look at the 'bright side' or 'bigger picture'.

    It's okay to express sadness and disappointment and it doesn't mean you are any less of a mother or person. Let yourself cry, scream, be angry, be it in private, or even here, you'll have great support. We understand.

    Do get onto some birth trauma support groups too, check out www.birthrites.org and they have a list of others on there too.

    Thinking of you sweety. You gave it your very best, you trusted your body and you are a strong, powerful woman and a great mother.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  16. #34

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    Gigi I dont even know you, only read a couple of your posts and all i wanna do is give you a huge smooshy hug.Been thinking about you heaps tho...
    I agree with what Kelly said, you gotta let urself feel about this. And if people arent letting you, then dont surround yourself with these people.
    I dont see anything wrong with wanting something so bad and then being upset, disappointed and ****ed up about it after. It shows that you are passionate and were well researched in what you wanted. Just think how amazing you are going to be as a new mummy with all of your strong and heartfelt emotions. Dont push them away for anybody.
    Take care lovey....
    Gill
    xoox

  17. #35
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    Thanks Kelly, Gill and Fi, i do feel very #%@*(&# off - angry at my uterus for spasming - as silly as that sounds.

    I had met lots of women at the HOmebirth Network who had had the crap first birth experience. I stupidly thought i could circumvent that, be educating myself before the first birth, i thought i could avoid heaps of that stuff. Instead, i went thru similar stuff to what they did, first time round. I thought i could avoid it with reading, supportive midwives and going to birthing groups. was i deluded or what.

    I had planned to celebrate her birth, you know, post the birth story online, put up the "Tiny Bilby is Earthside" type posts on these forums. I have no desire to do that now. I don't even feel like i birthed her, i feel like she was removed from me, like an appedictix or something. We never opened the bottle of the champagne in our fridge (for the midwives and dh not me) that was that plan for straight after her birth.

    There is a meeting for CARES in my city on Dec 13th, which i really want to be at, but i had forgotten, dh is back at work now and i can't drive until January, so i can't go afterall.

    I wanted to be happy about her birth, thinking about it makes me dissolve into tears, i feel grief about it, not joy. She is so lovely, but how she got here is not lovely. Just simple questions from people who know i had a baby "so when was your baby born" - stick in my gullet, cos i don't actually feel like she was born, she was removed from me artificially, she wasn't born. Strangers cut her cord, before it stopped pulsing. Strangers got her breathing. After all my plans, i became a thing on the operating table having stuff done to me, instead of being actively involved.

    I actually AM relieved Jacinta is alive, when she was removed not breathing, i was so frightened i was going to be told she was a still born. It was so difficult for the medicos to get her out, it was a very complicated c-section.

    I am trying to look for positives.
    1. I did not have an episiostomy.
    2. I went thru this with the support of my dh, i have no idea how single mums cope with c-sections and the whole baby thing, i am in awe of single mums.

  18. #36

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    I just want to say I know what you are going through and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately for me though I had no idea I had issues with my birth until Paris was about 6 months old. Right now I know the place you are at is hard, and its still fresh and you are still angry. You need to go through that. No one is ever deluded sometimes with all the best intentions birth doesn't go the way we would like it to and thats when we need to let go of the blame. Talk Talk Talk. And write it all down, no matter how angry you are or how silly you feel in saying it. Get out there and get amongst others who are grieving after their births. Its easier to relate and share amongst those who really understand. It does get easier and I can look back at my daughters birth now and instead of seeing red, and feeling ripped off I am now overjoyed. This was my baby girls birth, it was special to us, she was my first and her birth was unique and I will never forget it. Its hard to see the good things now, and when someone tells you to look at the positives you want to choke them or scream at them LOL but one day you will and thats ok and in the mean time if you need to grieve you do it. Just know you don't have to go through that alone.

    You did an amazing job. You ARE a birthing goddess, and your beautiful baby is safe and in your arms. And she is truly blessed that you gave up your dreams and your hopes for the birth you wanted for her life instead and that is true motherhood, you sacrificed for her. Be proud of that. That is true love.

    If you ever want an ear or or a shoulder I am here. As I said please don't go through this alone.

    *hugs*
    Cailin

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