Author Topic: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth  (Read 17184 times)

Offline my sparkle instinct

  • Gingerbeer Goddess
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,959
  • Bi-WINNING
Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
« Reply #15 on: Apr 07, 2010, 08:41:44 PM »
Ratbag - can you explain a bit about how things might be different if the baby is early (before 37 weeks)? The shortage of information in pregancy/childbirth books on that subject is possibly why I felt unable to ask for particular things during my labour - I knew the rules were different (probably) and I knew I wasn't going to be able to have my home water birth, but I didn't have any idea what the rules were re. monitoring etc. That sort of information would have really helped me. Thanks.

Offline missmarple

  • Gingerbeer Diva
  • ****
  • Posts: 351
Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
« Reply #16 on: Apr 07, 2010, 08:55:11 PM »
i know every birth is different
and my lovely one did hurt
but we had it/him at home and it really was the best thing ever did so empowering and i know its not for everyone..opportunity, medical, emotion other expectations etc
but if you have the opportunity in your area look it up

DancingRaindeer

  • Guest
Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
« Reply #17 on: Apr 08, 2010, 12:38:11 PM »
I would say use your appointments with your midwife and consultant to ask questions for all eventualities so you are prepared. My hospital shows you round the labour ward, birthing pool and premature baby unit so ask. The more you know what to expect the easier it will be.


Offline Sherpa

  • Gingerbeer Goddess
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,301
  • Swinging!
Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
« Reply #18 on: Apr 09, 2010, 01:05:30 PM »
Ratbag, this is fantastic, thank you.

One thing which strikes me, the more I talk to people and watch One Born Every Minute etc, is that people's experience of pain in labour is quite varied - it seems to be talked about as if everyone has the same feelings, but some "tough it out" and others have an epidural, but I don't think that's right (correct me if I'm wrong!).

I have had some friends (including yesterday one who had two home births) telling me how really the pain was quite bearable, and you have to think of it as being natural and not something wrong, and be positive etc, and it made me quite annoyed because the implication is that women who don't find the pain bearable are "doing it wrong". I'm not intending to have an epidural if I can avoid it so it's not that I felt personally judged, it just seems a bit smug .... I have another (midwife) friend who had home births but said that (for the first one at least) she really found the pain during the first stage hardly bearable, and didn't think she was going to manage without more pain relief (though she found second stage better) - her mother had to leave the room as she couldn't bear to see it.

/rant!

Zooey

  • Guest
Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
« Reply #19 on: Apr 09, 2010, 01:44:56 PM »
Ratbag, this thread is so good!

I don't have children yet - planning to do so in a couple of years once career and house are sorted out, but I am pretty obsessed with child birth.

I train a lot in martial arts and the one thing that strikes me from watching One Born Every Minute is how similar the feat of endurance is. Always in sparring and grading kumites, I am yelled at to breathe, breathe, breathe - I hold my breath when I spar and it's a nightmare. A couple of women who train with us who've had children often talk about how their training in martial arts - particularly to do with endurance and training their breathing - really prepared them for child birth! That concentrating on breathing is such a simple thing to do but when you are in pain, you hold your breath - which just makes it worse! Breathing calms you down, makes you focus and I've gone through six rounds before with a split lips, cracked ribs and a fractured hand before just by focussing on my breathing - I just to sing quietly to get myself to breathe.

Total naivety speaking here but the one thing I am focussing worry on is the burning when the baby comes out. I'm guessing that's the tearing? My mother has assured me that it's the last bit and doesn't last long and that the contractions are far worse...but I can't find much information about the last bit and it feels a bit intrusive to ask women - "oh how much did it actually hurt - and what did it feel like when you tore?"

Zooey

  • Guest
Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
« Reply #20 on: Apr 09, 2010, 01:52:51 PM »


I have had some friends (including yesterday one who had two home births) telling me how really the pain was quite bearable, and you have to think of it as being natural and not something wrong, and be positive etc, and it made me quite annoyed because the implication is that women who don't find the pain bearable are "doing it wrong". I'm not intending to have an epidural if I can avoid it so it's not that I felt personally judged, it just seems a bit smug .... I have another (midwife) friend who had home births but said that (for the first one at least) she really found the pain during the first stage hardly bearable, and didn't think she was going to manage without more pain relief (though she found second stage better) - her mother had to leave the room as she couldn't bear to see it.

/rant!

Completely agree about that awful competitiveness and how it can make other women who experience a lot pain like they did something wrong!

But...I do think there's something in not being afraid of the pain, that each bit of the pain is another step down the path to giving birth, that the pain is there to get your baby out, in changing your view of the presence of pain - basically, what I'm trying to say is to think of the pain as needed and not something to be afraid of or resent or not deal with at all. So it can hurt an insane amount and at times you need help with it - but the two aren't mutually exclusive - you can view the pain as needed and still need something to take the edge off!

On One Born Every Minute, there was a girl who was crying and screaming and just not dealing with the pain in any way, shape or form and eventually her mum had to step in and tell her she needed to deal with it and focus on getting the baby out. And it really brought it home to me that the mental aspect needs to be on top form as well - that the child is coming out one way or another and not dealing with it - in the way this girl was - can just make something that is so very hard, much harder!

Zygote

  • Guest
Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
« Reply #21 on: Apr 09, 2010, 04:00:31 PM »
Labour's one thing, I've got this whole fear that no one's really mentioned on here to my knowledege. I'm absolutely petrified of not being in control... being preganant you lose all control and you're just a slave to your body and at the mercy of the medical profession. Not to mention the whole thing about having a parasite inside you, stealing your nutrients, causing you untold discomfort for 9 months culminating in a 2 day long pain-athon.

I get into all kinds of distress about going to the bl00dy dentist. I had an awful down-there infection for over a year causing all kinds of physical pain as well as emotional trauma. The constant trips to various doctors was just awful. My mental state rapidly worsened and it's taken me a long time to recover. I don't like or trust doctors, some are fine, some are w@nkpots with a god complex at best and misogynistic at worst.

Nope. My fear of being pregnant/childbirth is so strong I don't think I'm ever going to be able to do it.  :( I'm not cut out for it.


Jet

  • Guest
Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
« Reply #22 on: Apr 09, 2010, 04:43:03 PM »
^ Your first paragraph is something I struggle with a LOT. Especially when I literally spent three months in utter misery, trapped in my flat by the incessant morning (all day) sickness and exhaustion. I am not enjoying being pregnant physically at all and feel quite down sometimes at how restricted and ruled by my body I am now. But, honestly, biology is clever and everytime it starts getting too much to bear something amazing happens- a kick, or a wiggle, or a rush of endorphins, or a great sleep when you really really needed it and it all seems worth it and bearable again.

I'm even considering having another!  :-X

Skyler

  • Guest
Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
« Reply #23 on: Apr 09, 2010, 05:56:11 PM »
i really like your idea ratbag of looking upon contractions as stepping stones and noting that the pain does not come back. That was really how it looked watching E labouring and I think thats a helpful way of looking at it. Thank you, I shall try to remember that for if I get pregnant.

Skyler

  • Guest
Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
« Reply #24 on: Apr 09, 2010, 06:06:37 PM »
@ zooey I dont think everyone tears but maybe ratbag can correct me on that? you can 'prepare' your perineum pre birth by massaging it daily (basically putting a finger in your vagina and stretching it if i recall and sort of rubbing) but how much of a difference that makes i dont know. again ratbag's the one to know.


Offline Sherpa

  • Gingerbeer Goddess
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,301
  • Swinging!
Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
« Reply #25 on: Apr 09, 2010, 06:11:48 PM »
@Zygote - I had a worry related to yours I think before I got pregnant - not that I have any particular fear of doctors, but I am somewhat intolerant of being patronised or told what to do without reason (at least that is properly explained). Plus I felt pretty horrified by the way that women seemed to become public property once they are pregnant. But to be honest, I haven't found it a problem - except for one comment by a consultant, which I didn't like at the time but in retrospect felt was justified, I haven't had any problems. 

It does still strike me that I have a little alien inside me, but it's not freaking me out too much!

@zooey/Skyler - I agree, I think that you get that stinging whether or not you tear (it's the flesh being stretched to it's limit - whether or not it breaks, so to speak). I've heard that massaging your perineum with almond oil in the weeks beforehand can help ....

Offline Rala Rwdins

  • Gingerbeer Goddess
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,588
    • Refuge
Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
« Reply #26 on: Apr 09, 2010, 10:02:32 PM »
One thing which strikes me, the more I talk to people and watch One Born Every Minute etc, is that people's experience of pain in labour is quite varied - it seems to be talked about as if everyone has the same feelings, but some "tough it out" and others have an epidural, but I don't think that's right (correct me if I'm wrong!).

I don't think that it could possibly be the same for everyone either.

When I was my pregnant my boss regaled me with horror stories from her own labours and her sisters'. That she could hear her sister screaming from two floors below etc.

I had two paracetamol and a warm bath. Partly because I was a lucky cow and partly because the labour went from go to whoa so quickly (2hr 30min) that there wasn't time for anything else. Towards the end I did ask for more pain relief but I was told there wasn't any time. I had a second degree tear because it all happened so quickly.
"Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are."- St. Augustine

Offline my sparkle instinct

  • Gingerbeer Goddess
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,959
  • Bi-WINNING
Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
« Reply #27 on: Apr 09, 2010, 10:13:52 PM »
I didn't find the actual pain frightening or unbearable at any stage - in fact my back pain from osteoarthritis was far more trouble than the contractions themselves during monitoring, when I was unable to move from lying on my back.

The last hour or so before pushing, I couldn't concentrate on anything but the pain and movement/force within my body, but I never felt that I couldn't bear it - it was just as much as I could bear, and that was with her being back to back aswell. I had gas and air and two paracetamol. I am sure everybody experiences labour differently.

Because of my osteoarthrtis in my spine I knew I could not have an epidural, so not having that option available to me meant I didn't consider it even from when I was first pregnant. I can't honestly say if I would have had one otherwise. My mother didn't, and I grew up knowing that, which probably added to the assumption I wouldn't, but who knows.

Offline Hayjay

  • Gingerbeer Goddess
  • *****
  • Posts: 800
Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
« Reply #28 on: Apr 10, 2010, 05:50:11 PM »
I am somewhat intolerant of being patronised or told what to do without reason (at least that is properly explained)

It does still strike me that I have a little alien inside me, but it's not freaking me out too much!

I've heard that massaging your perineum with almond oil in the weeks beforehand can help ....

Its funny because I quite hope professionals will "patronise" me a little bit.  I don't mean patronise me but I guess I mean treat me as if I don't know much (I don't).  Generally there seems to be a presumption that because you are a doctor you know everything about it all.  I prefer to be treated like a nervous first timer that needs lots of reassurance.  My midwife always asks me if I think the heartbeat sounds okay????  ::)  You tell me.

I have the alien thing and I never thought that I would - I thought it would all be so natural - I love it but its stranger than I ever thought it would be.

I am going to do the massage thing from 34 weeks,  Basically like a clockface 3pm to 9pm (via 6pm) back and forth for 5-10mins every day. Use one finger about 3-4cm in with oil.  You can also practice pushing down so you know how the stretch feels.  Good if you can get a partner to do it so you can lean back and relax - or not, lol!  :o

I am not too worried about the pain. Famous last words.  I know it will be painful but generally I can cope fairly well with pain if I understand it.  I have a prolapsed disk so the back pain thing worries me a little because that stops me moving - so far so good with the back though.  I have had gallstone colic and that was hell so as long as its not worse than that.  I am apprehensive about the stinging burning ring of fire (thanks friends) pain but hopefully the adrenaline will push me through it.  :-X



Having a child is surely the most beautifully irrational act that two people in love can commit.

Offline charliest3

  • Gingerbeer Scene Queen
  • ***
  • Posts: 150
Re: Ratbag's Reality Check - How to have a good birth
« Reply #29 on: Apr 11, 2010, 09:48:31 AM »
This is a fab piece of work  - very kind of you to give your professional advice. There are a few things I really want to concur with from my recent birth experience (my wife gave birth to our daughter in March)

keeping things normal - we carried on the whole day doing what we always do on a tuesday right up until the contractions got too intense, then we set off for the hospital. I'm not saying cooking dinner and watching tv are any good for pain relief but keeping to a routine makes whats coming a bit less daunting.

being a birth partner -i can see why you say that lesbian partner (as with dads) may not be the best people to be there. The delivery room is scarey and watching a woman you adore in pain is very frightening no matter how much you will love the end result! but my advice to anyone in this situation is to just get a grip and get on with it. I guess that might sound harsh but it worked for me and stopped my legs from shaking!