Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The More You Know...L&D Edition (Part 2)

Now that you know how Superman's birth went, let me tell you how I think it could have gone differently.

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What happened:  I was hooked up to fetal monitoring as soon as I was admitted.

Why I didn't like it: This meant that I was stuck by the monitors the whole time.  I had been able to walk around before I was admitted, but once I had the monitors on, I couldn't.  Walking is supposed to help with dilation and since I wasn't dilating, I feel like I missed out on a helpful strategy. 

What I would like to see happen this time: I want intermittent monitoring so that I can move around, walk, whatever feels right.

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What happened: I couldn't use the tub. The doctor said that I couldn't use it since my water had already broken and there was an increased chance of infection....which isn't true according to the midwife I met with on Monday.  I was allowed to take off the fetal monitoring straps to go into the shower for a little bit though. 

Why I didn't like it:  I think I may be part fish.  I love the water and am so much more relaxed when I am in it.  The shower felt good, especially when my husband put the sprayer on the part of my body where the contraction was, but I don't think it was the same as the bath at all. 

What I would like to see happen this time:  If available, I would like to be in the tub for much of the labor.  Thankfully I have been given permission to stay at home (even once my water has broken, as long as it is clear) until my contractions pick up.  I plan on using our giant tub during this time.  Then once I am at the hospital, I know that the midwives will let me use the tub, as long as it is free. 

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What happened: I got an epidural too early.  I figured there was no reason to be uncomfortable.  If I was eventually going to get one, why not do it as soon as the pain got a little bit much.

Why I didn't like it:  I was only about 3 cm dilated at the time.  The epidural slows things down so I then had to have pitocin to speed things up.   I believe (based on information told to me from a lactation consultant) that the pitocin delayed my milk coming in.  It is merely a speculation, but my gut says that this is correct. 

What I would like to see happen this time: I want help to relieve the pain of contractions without medication.  I am pretty sure I still want the epidural, but I want to wait as long as possible to avoid the need for pitocin.  We were given a bunch of techniques to help with the pain during our prenatal classes with Superman and I am hoping that some of them help.  The midwife will also be there to help make suggestions. 

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What happened: I started pushing when they told me I was 10 cm.  I didn't have the urge to push, but they told me if I wanted to start pushing, I could. 

Why I didn't like it:  There are a couple parts wrong with this.  First, my epidural may have been interfering with my ability to know when to push.  Second, I think I wasn't really fully dilated.  Many women dilate to greater than 10cm and it is more important to wait till you get the urge to push.  Basically I did a whole lot of pushing for no good reason.  That would be like me pushing now, 3 weeks before my due date- it doesn't do anything. 

What I would like to see happen this time: I want to wait till I get the urge to push.  I am hoping to utilize the epidural in such a way that I can still feel the contractions and get the urge to push.  I don't know how realistic this is, but I do know that it is possible. 

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You would think that I might have this very long and detailed birth plan given the fact that I want this birth to go differently than it did with Superman.  Interestingly, my birth plan is going to be pretty simple...with even less on it than I had with Superman. 

Why you ask?  Because last time I had a doctor delivering my baby.  This time I have a midwife.  I made this change just recently thanks to the recommendation of my ob.  She is going to be on vacation around the time when I am likely to deliver so despite the fact that she and I are on the same page (she wasn't the one that delivered S), many of the other doctors in the same office aren't.  Fortunately, there is a team of midwives in the same office.  They meet each week and coordinate regarding the patients that are close to delivering so that I won't hear one piece of information from one midwife and then hear something different from another.  This also means that a whole lot of the things that I want to see happen during labor are standard practice for them already! 

After my last appointment with one of the midwives I am actually excited about this labor.  I can't wait to see how things turn out this time.  While it may not go completely smoothly, I have no doubt that I will have fewer (if any) things that I will look back on and regret. 


So do you have any regrets from your labor and delivery of your child(ren)?   What do you want to see go differently with your next labor?  If things went really well, what (or who) do you credit for this? 

Can't wait to hear from you all!

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