Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pregnancy ramblings

As the pregnancy ticker ticks further along, I suppose it's no wonder so many of my thoughts these days are swirling around the pregnancy and upcoming birth.

Overall it's such a perfect summer. Slow, lazy days, all the children on vacation, playing together. Me making so many wondrous discoveries along with my daughter, watching her grow, make her first steps, and learn to talk. It's so fascinating to watch her personality unfold more and more with every day that goes by. We're having such a wonderful time it's hard to imagine things are about to get even more wonderful through the addition of this new little one who is due to join us in a couple of months!

* I love my maternity clothes. By the way, most of my maternity clothes aren't officially labeled as such. I try to save up as much closet space as possible, so a lot of my clothes can be and have been comfortably worn during pregnancy, postpartum, while nursing, and beyond. I look for femininely draped styles which are loose at the tummy, stretchy items or wraps. I have skirts with wide elastic waistbands which fit equally well when I'm pregnant or not.

* This time around, I hope to prepare some meals to freeze before the baby arrives. Last time, I was blessed to receive the thoughtful gift of many homemade meals from practically everyone who lives on our street – but only a few of them were meatless. I plan to make items which freeze well and don't lose their taste after freezing, such as quiches, lasagna, and pizza. I'll look for more ideas in a month or so. Now that I know I tend to lose weight while nursing, I plan to eat well – really well, and as much nutritious healthy foods as possible. I started this pregnancy weighing less than first time around, and only recently stopped seeing all my ribs. I'd like to keep it that way.

* I so look forward to going through all the tiny baby things, washing them, and making space for them in the children's closet. We'll also need to air out the infant car seat, the pram, the bouncer and the mobiles. I already put in some extra stuffing into my nursing pillow as it got a bit deflated from extra use.

* This time, when I pack my hospital bag, I intend to take at least one nursing cover or little blanket with me. Last time around, I didn't think of that, which wasn't very convenient when visitors (some of them men) came by.

* So far, the baby has not turned – unlike last time when baby remained head down pretty much constantly since around 25 weeks. I realize I still have time, but I've been thinking about breech births a bit ever since my sister-in-law had one 7 months ago. I was so happy and proud of her that she avoided a c-section, despite the doctors' pressure. There was only one hospital in Israel that was ready to admit her for a regular birth, because she was a first-time Mom. I think another hospital or two do that for Moms who have already had one baby or more. But most hospitals will push for an automatic c-section. I don't know yet what the policy is in the hospital that would be my first choice. It's a religious hospital and most religious women try very hard to avoid c-sections because they think about future pregnancies, so I have hope. We'll find out if there's need to, and decide accordingly. I know it's also possible to help the baby turn by outside intervention. We have not yet looked at how safe this option is. Again, I do realize there's still plenty of time for the baby to turn and some babies do it at the very last moment.

* Speaking of time, my doctor refused to update the gestational age despite the medical evidence stating it should be updated, because it "would mess up the records". I'd be more worried about wrong records messing up the policy in the hospital where I eventually go to give birth, but hey, that's just me. Officially I'm 31 weeks along but I estimate I'm at least a week and most probably two weeks less, which means we won't even be expecting this baby to turn up before I'm at least 41 weeks along officially – and quite possibly more. Of course we might always be surprised. :o)

* I can't help but hope for a birth experience similar to my first one – beautiful, natural, magical, full of God's presence through and through… and healthy and uncomplicated. At the beginning of my first pregnancy, I was fully convinced it's impossible to give birth without the aid of epidural or other pain-relieving drugs. Or if you attempt it, I reasoned, you'd die of pain. I didn't pause to think how is it that humanity hasn't died out in all the generations preceding epidurals. :o) Thankfully, I have a thinker and a researcher for a husband – after the data we went through together, I wasn't just convinced I ought to at least try to go natural – I ended up doing the "impossible" natural birth and loving it. Believe it or not, it wasn't even the most painful experience I ever went through. Yes, labor was hard work, but all along, I didn't feel as though something wrong is happening to my body. It all felt natural and right. It's a bit hard to explain.

I also loved staying at the hospital during Shabbat. The staff and just about all the new mothers were religious (at least I didn't notice even one woman without a hair covering), and there was a beautiful Shabbat atmosphere. We had delicious meals, people shut off their cell phones, and there were no swarms of visitors – just the few who were within walking distance. Of course my husband was within walking distance, otherwise I might not have liked the arrangement quite so much. :o)  

* My goal is to constantly be with the baby from the moment of birth onward, and especially during the night – despite the well-wishers' advice that I should leave the baby with the nurses at night so I can "rest" (you know, it's really hard work when you have your baby in a bassinet by your bed – so you can constantly keep an eye and don't have to wonder whether the baby needs you right now - and all you have to do is relax,  nurse, change the occasional diaper, and sleep when your baby sleeps. Yes, having that tiny newborn by your side is really overtaxing). Last time, leaving my daughter with the nurses at night resulted in my right to exclusively breastfeed my baby being undermined – and after I learned this bitter lesson, I didn't separate from my baby for another moment. I do hope we can be adamant even in the blurry postpartum state, and remember that our baby is ours, not the hospital's, and no one can legally separate us against our will.

So, these are just some rambling thoughts from this expectant Mom. Expect another ramble sometime within the next two months!

26 comments:

Homemakers Cottage said...

Enjoyed your update, Anna! You and I are relatively close in our due dates, I think... I'm due at the end of July. My baby hasn't "dropped" yet, either... it's just as well, since I have 7 weeks to go and it gets pretty uncomfortable once Baby moves into the birthing position!

I wish you many blessings as you continue to enjoy these last stages of pregnancy! I'm planning another natural birth as well... 2 of our 3 chilren were born without the aide of pain mediation... you're right, it's not impossible!

Kristy @ Homemaker's Cottage

Gothelittle Rose said...

Turning the baby from outside, the External Cephalic Version, is fairly safe. There is a 1-2% risk of umbilical cord entanglement or membrane rupture, which is why the procedure is usually done at around 35-37 months, when the baby can survive outside the womb just fine if he has to be born that day.

The worst thing that can happen is an emergency c-section.

You'll feel a lot of pressure, and then an odd feeling that reminds you of a key turning in a lock. That's the baby turning. A good doctor will never force it. He just sort of rubs and coaxes carefully.

It is possible for the baby to turn back around. Didn't happen to me. She got turned and immediately dropped into position. A friend of mine at church, though, had one of her babies turn back after being turned multiple times and finally was born breech.

I got extra monitoring after mine was done, and the midwife did have to accelerate labor because the cord was around the baby's neck. (This wasn't an issue until all the squeezing and fluid loss that comes with labor.) My baby was born blue, but didn't need any help taking her first breaths. She's completely healthy.

They say spending enough time with your pelvis above your head is a pretty sure way of coaxing the baby around as well, and I do know that when the doctor's first turning attempt wasn't working, he had me tipped with my feet up and my head down and that time it worked.

Laura Spilde said...

My second birth was so "easy" compared to my first labor. It went very fast as I labored much at home and did laundry while in labor ;) That definitely kept my mind off of the labor. I simply didn't "resist" my body's changes through the labor. It didn't seem to be any more painful than the flu with no medical intervention. Calcium and Magnesium as well as an herbal labor prep. formula supplements may have contributed to that easy labor as well.


PS. We birthed our second in a home birth without midwife OR doctor.......

Karen said...

It's hard to believe you are so far along!! But it has been such a blessing having my 1st two so close together. I found being a mom of one depressing and difficult. I LOVED having two.

I've always had very long, painful births so it isn't the same for everyone. However I don't think I would do a hospital birth again unless absolutely necessary as I think it messes up my groove.

Anyway baby still has some time to turn!! I hope things go well for you! Did I mention I'm having a boy?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you had a great birth experience first time 'round, Anna, and hope you will again this time. Just a note, however. Giving birth in general _has_ indeed resulted in many deaths throughout our species' history--evolution doesn't mind losing a lot of mothers if it gets enough living children out of them. No, it was not pain, per se, that killed so many women--and of course, you very wisely are not refusing the fantastic medical help and intervention that have allowed the developed world to see rates of maternal and infant mortality fall drastically in the past sixty years. But giving birth with or without drugs _honestly_ is a matter of romantic choice for a lot of women; it simply doesn't make any difference to a child's long-term, or even short-term, health. Indeed, the vast majority of women currently of childbearing age in the developed world will have been born to "drugged" mothers--and the mothering that came long _after_ the birth will have determined all but a bit of how healthy, and happy, they are. :-)

Just pointing out that we should always make distinctions between our own preferences and what is really, scientifically, a reality.

Best of luck!

Mrs. Anna T said...

Karen, I totally understand what you're saying about the hospital messing up your groove. It messed up mine, too! I was lucky I had a friendly place to go to when progress stalled, and get things going naturally, instead of signing up for an induction. My mistake was going to the hospital too soon in the first place, but how could I have known, with contractions that started 5 minutes apart?

Yes, I did read the big news on your blog. A boy after 3 girls, that's really exciting!

Jordin said...

I'm excited for you, Anna. When Samuel (my second child) was born, I felt much more at ease. I was already a "pro" at mothering, I knew what was going to happen, and I didn't have all of the little worries and concerns that I had with Johnathan. The second time around is a lot more fun, in my opinion! :)

You're such an inspiration, Anna: gentle, intellectual, spiritual, and you've got quite the backbone, too--such a quiet, confident strength. Just wanted to take a minute and thank you for the inspiration. :)

Mrs. Anna T said...

Anonymous,

No one denies modern medicine has saved many, many lives of mothers and babies, and for that, we should be ever thankful. My first birth wasn't attended by a doctor, only midwives, but I was glad to know that should anything happen, I'm in a hospital and within quick reach of good doctors and any necessary help.

I think the key here is to distinguish between necessary and *un*necessary interventions.

Giving birth without drugs isn't simply a romantic back-to-nature choice. It's a matter or keeping the mother alert and actively participating in the birth, which is statistically (and logically) associated with shorter labors, fewer cases of needing inductions and c-sections, more successful nursing and quicker postpartum recovery.

Inductions are seen as very routine practice around here. I was offered an induction simply because I was a few days "overdue" (a miscalculation that repeats itself this time, as my cycle isn't average) and my contractions slowed down. When I said I prefer to go home, wait (since I wasn't given any obvious medical reason *against* waiting), and let nature take its course, I encountered raised eyebrows. "Don't you want it to be over already?" I was asked. For me that was entirely missing the point - but not for the doctor, who had many more women to attend and wanted the delivery room free. He tried to act in his best interests, not mine.

Epidurals, inductions and c-sections are very staff-friendly. Doctors feel much more in control when they have the laboring woman hooked to pitocin and strapped to the bed with constant fetal monitoring, than to have her monitored while she's hopping on the birthing ball and the monitor keeps sliding off her belly. Of course if the woman can't freely move around and do things that make it easier for her, most likely the pain will become unbearable.

The doctors are emotionally detached from their patient, whom (at least here in Israel) they most likely don't know, have never seen before and will never see again. They don't care if their induction will lead to a rougher labor, tougher time nursing, more painful recovery, and possibly a c-section which might put the mother in higher risk during subsequent pregnancies. Doctors don't care about your future, they care about not getting a lawsuit.

Epidural and other forms of pain-relieving medication do carry risks. There are a few women who remain forever crippled because of badly performed epidurals, and there is a vast number of women who complain about back pains for months after an epidural. Inductions carry risks, and most certainly so do c-sections. All of the interventions above should be used sparingly, carefully, thoughtfully, and for purely medical reasons but that is not the case.

Doctors allow elective c-sections for no medical reasons. I'm not sure what the case is where you live, but here in Israel, hospitals are all government-funded and all get a hefty sum for each woman who delivers her baby there. Of course they are interested in a large number of deliveries in their hospital, which means abuse of inductions and c-sections. Personally I don't think c-sections for no medical reason should be allowed, just like no decent doctor would allow me to have my appendix take out just because I feel like it.

Serenity Now said...

At 36 weeks, my little man was in a "frank breech" position and my doctor said they'd either have to schedule a c-section or do what's called a "version". Neither one sounded good to me so I went home and hit the midwife message boards! Full of great suggestions for helping the baby turn, and the one that worked for me? Getting into a pool and doing headstands (or somersaults) while trying the nudge him out of my pelvis. All the people at the pool thought I was insane, but I went swimming at 7pm and by 10:30pm he had flipped over. Felt like an octopus in my belly and it kinda hurt, but a couple days later my doctor confirmed he was head down and ready to go. Just wanted to share in case your little one doesn't turn - there are options! (I ended up with a c-section anyway, but that's a long story)

Rose said...

It's so good to have a nice big update from you Anna dear. Re cooking ahead: even if you don't get round to cooking full meals, maybe cook some beans or pulses and freeze them in meal size bags? If I lived a bit closer I'd cook for you. :) Hugs

Analytical Adam said...

Mrs. Anna wrote:(at least I didn't notice even one woman without a hair covering

Regardless that is not what makes a woman religious or not. A head covering is a custom and some women who do cover their hair I don't think love or fear G-d which that is what religion is about. SOme may just do it because they see a lot of people do it in the hospital but don't always. Regadless it is a custom and plenty of women who "cover their hair" dress immodestly while some who don't don't dress provacatively. That SHOULD NOT be the factor that decides if a person is religion or not.


Regarding C-Sections Mrs. Anna I agree with your husband. In the Untied States C-Section are now 33% of the births. The reason is because of bogus lawsuits that if a child is born with a disease like Cerebral Palsy a lawyer will claim well if the docotor would have done a c-section this would not have happened. So Doctors started preforming C-sections do avoid lawsuits. However, 20-30 years later just as many babies have cerebral palsy but the lawyers still use bogus lawsuits. In the US OBGYNS have extremly malpractice insurance becaue of these bogus lawsuits that a lawyer will show a gulible jury a sick child and blame the parents and say well if Doctor did a C-section this wouldn't have happened. I guess you have a lot of greedy lawyers in Israel as why else would a Doctor do a C-Section. It is a surgury although some women are brainwashed and think they can outsmart G-d but from what I have read a C-section is more painful.
I am not a doctor but I have read doctors that have said this and they sound sincere.

Regarding people who call themselves religious are they less likely to do C-sections. I don't know. I do know my cousin who has 9 kids her brothers wife had a C-section on the first child and my cousin who has the 9 kids just shrugged it off and had no problem with it and actually she herself had a C-section with her twins. She also had fertility treatment after she had 6 kids which led to these twins above. SHe had no problem with the C-section and didn't put up a fight at all when she talked about that her brothers wife had a C-section on the frist child. In my opinion they are phonies (as her husband is from a Rabbinc familiy yet they have fertility treatment after 6 kids)and they work to make sure other people don't have children and her husband works to help single women get gov't benefits among others. They also support my parents who taught my younger sister to focus on a career and to hate normal men. They are good friends with my parents and send them leters. They aren't bothered that my sister is unmarried and now 33 and has "zero" children.

So I would think some women are having C-sections who are religious and I woiuld bet it is those who believe in G_d and are more indenpent are the ones who are more likely to resist having C-sections.

Also sadly I don't look forward to Shabbos because I have no where to go. I don't trust the Rabbi's and this mistrust develped over time as in my 20's I was very respectful and they were mean and nasty to me many, many times that I no longer trust them. And I know they teach in the shuls foreign religions on the Shabbath. The religion of Self-Esteem and focusing on oneself, new age ideology, and feminism and of course that means you blame the easiest targets which in todays time are reank and file men since politicians and others are more interested in women then men. I don't think G-d is happy either with this and the prophets did say how G-d hated the festivals and holidays because they were times to promote horrible things and not really true G-dly torah ideas.

Analytical Adam said...

Also my cousin with 9 kids supported a woman that wanted a divorce and wanting to destroy and form of patriarchy.

But here in the US the main reason for C-sections seem to be lawsuit related although all the studies show that it is junk science.

Julie said...

Anna, I've followed your blog for at least a year now, and it was upon reading your first birth experience once I found out I was pregnant that led me to want to birth naturally. I was initially terrified of child birth, but reading of the potential side effects of epidurals was more terrifying than the pain of birth! Your shared story of birthing naturally gave me the confidence to pursue natural child birth. I signed up for the Bradley method classes with the hope it would ease my fears - I wanted the best for my baby since birth and a natural birth was that first step in my eyes! Any how, I finished the class less frightened and much more confident about giving birth. On my baby's birth-day, I could not have imagined the intensity of contractions I had, yet while they were very, very painful, I was able to resist giving in to the offered (several times!) epidural. Giving birth naturally was empowering... and I'm so glad I decided to go that route - all because I had read your birth story and saw it was possible! Thank you. :)

Also, my son hadn't turned until about the 8th month. I had been concerned about a breach birth, and actually had one appointment in my 6th month that left me extremely concerned as the midwife said if baby doesn't turn, they'll just do a c-section, no problem. Just as the epidural was undesired, a c-section was, too. But both from my Bradley instructor and midwife, I did the recommended exercise each day - I did a stretched out version of pelvic rocks - on my knees and leaning forward on my arms/elbow as far as I could stretch, to tilt the baby into position, almost like an army crawl position, bottoms up. It was very encouraging to learn at a visit close to due date that baby was engaged, head down at last. It can't hurt to help tilt baby into position, and positive thinking about getting baby head down can help, too. ;) My birth instructor also recommend me to http://www.spinningbabies.com/ to help in the process of turning baby.
I'm thrilled to know you are expecting another little one and hope you will post about your birth experience again. I love reading other mothers' birth stories. It's such a happy thing. :) Blessings on you and your family,
~Julie
*sorry for such a long reply!

Jessica said...

Anon,

I'm not sure where you are located, but in the United States (where birth technology is the most advanced and we spend FAR MORE than any other country in the world on birth), we currently stand *46th* among industrialized nations on infant mortality. As in, 45 other equal, first-world, industrialized nations lose less babies than the US.

I see this as proof that "fantastic medical help and intervention" has not really "allowed the developed world to see rates of maternal and infant mortality fall drastically".

Of course I am ever so grateful that G-d has allowed us to discover those wonderful and fantastic interventions for emergencies *when necessary*. However, it is the *un*necessary interventions, such as our 33% c-section rate and nearly 80% pitocin-use rate, that kill babies and momma's, not save them.

Respectfully,
Jessica

Mrs. Anna T said...

Adam, of course there are religious Jewish women with no hair coverings. However, if I see a woman wearing a hair covering I can be pretty sure she won't use her cell phone during Shabbat. Here, all I meant to say is that practically, I had a much more relaxed time in an environment where cell phones were turned off and visitors were few.

Julie, thanks for the tip about pelvic tilt exercises. I'll look them up. Surely can't hurt!

Betsy said...

"They don't care if their induction will lead to a rougher labor, tougher time nursing, more painful recovery, and possibly a c-section which might put the mother in higher risk during subsequent pregnancies. Doctors don't care about your future..."

Doctors who think this way won't last long, especially in the OB world. The men and women who sacrifice years of their lives to school and then make themselves available to come in at all hours to deliver babies don't do it just for the paycheck, because it wouldn't be enough. The ones that "make it" as OBs do because they care about their patients, and there are a lot of these fantastic care providers out there.

As the wife of a *volunteer* EMT and medical student, I can tell you that there are some amazingly caring and sacrificial medical practitioners out there who seek to glorify God in all that they do - in the medical office and throughout the rest of their lives. Let's not paint them *all* as simply calloused and financially motivated practitioners.

Michelle Potter said...

Anna, it's so lovely to see you taking a simple, natural, and evidence-based approach to childbirth. I'm so glad that your husband did the research and that you were open to hearing what he had learned! I wish that I had listened when my husband wanted me to use a midwife for the birth of our first child. I was fearful and wanted to do the whole doctor-hospital-medical route "just for the first one, just until I know what I'm doing." I ended up with unnecessary surgery, which effectively closed my options with subsequent children.

I want to encourage you about so many things you said in this post. I think it's very wise that you choose clothing that is good for pregnancy, nursing, and all the other times, too. While it's important to have clothes that fit comfortably and modestly through all of these changes, there's no reason to spend a ton of money on specialty clothes. I remember after one of my children was born, one of the nurses was so amazed that I wore the same skirt home that I'd worn to the hospital. Stretchy waistbands rock! ;)

I have never had to try to turn a breech baby, but I have heard that there are exercises one can do to encourage a baby to turn, and that external versions are pretty safe as a last resort. Prayer is probably the best option, obviously. My MIL had an ultrasound that showed one of her babies to be breech. My FIL prayed over her, and the baby immediately turned! And if nothing works, you already know that often a breech baby can be born the normal way. It's best, though, to be attended by a care provider who is experienced with breech birth and knows how to help baby maneuver out if there are any difficulties.

Of course there's always the chance that baby will turn all on her own at the last minute -- my middle daughter did that to us! The only thing was that my darling daughter turned from being head-down to being double footling breech, giving us absolutely no warning that she intended to come into the world feet first, or any opportunity to do anything but birth her as she was! As I understand it, double footling breech is the rarest presentation for full-term babies, and the most dangerous due to the increased risk of cord prolapse and head entrapment, and I probably would have consented to a c-section if I'd had the chance. But she didn't give us a choice. ;)

It's too bad that your doctor is being stubborn about your dates. My cycle is irregular, too, and I can empathize with what it's like to go past that magical due date, knowing that your baby is just not ready yet. I used to get a lot of comments like: "I can't believe they're letting you go so long! Aren't you worried?" I also wonder when I hear other moms say that their bodies just "don't" go into labor naturally and they "always have to be induced." Makes me wonder if maybe those moms are just like me, and just need to wait a couple of weeks longer. (But I don't like to assume; I could be wrong.)

Finally, I'm so glad to hear that you are going to insist on keeping your baby with you. I've always had a hard time with this, since the nurses here seem to be constantly trying to take the baby for all of their little routines and procedures. IMO, a baby doesn't *really* need anything just after birth except his mother's breast. And of the things that hospitals *prefer* to do after the birth, they can be delayed a bit, and then most can be done while baby lays on momma's chest. So it drives me crazy that they're always insisting that the baby *must* go to the nursery, that this or that *cannot* be done in my room. I find that if I hold my ground, they always find a way to do the impossible and weigh the baby right there in my room. ;)

Katie V. said...

That reminds me when I was in the hospital with the birth of my first son. It's amazing how the nurses want to whisk your baby away "so you can get some rest." And although pediatricians recommend that women breastfeed for the first year, the hospital offers you all of this free formula, offers to feed the baby for you etc.. No one is on hand who is even educated about breastfeeding! It's amazing. I really think discouraging breastfeeding and encouraging bottles is another way of encouraging moms to keep working, not allowing them to emotionally attach and create a bond with their baby. If we can get the baby on bottles, then there is no need for mom to stay home with the baby, mom is easily replacable by dad, grandma, daycare etc...all of whom don't have the God given nuturing gift of breastfeeding!! God has his reasons that he designed breastmilk as the best for the child, emtionallly and physically!!

Rachele said...

Dear Anna,

I was just reading through that your little one is breech. I remember in nursing school one of our instructors, a second generation nurse midwife, said her mother had a 90% musical version success rate in her practice (unofficially of course). She would instruct women during some quiet time during each day to put soft music on and put the headphones on at the base of the belly. The volume should be just so that you can barely hear it, as sound travels better through water. She also recommended hands and knees cat stretches to make breech babies uncomfortable. Its worth a try although most babies turn all on their own!

Peace,
Rachele

Gothelittle Rose said...

Jessica, I must point out that in the U.S., they count all babies that are born alive and subsequently die as infant mortality statistics, even if they only live for minutes, while other countries do not count a birth as live until the baby has survived for hours or even days.

So it artificially inflates the infant mortality rate in the U.S. compared to other countries.

See, if Baby A is born alive and dies two minutes later, and Baby B is born alive and lives to the ripe old age of 97, the U.S. reports an infant mortality rate of 50% and most other countries report a rate of 0%.

Other health care comparison statistics across countries face similar problems. The U.S. isn't nearly as bad off as it appears.

Tonia said...

I just wanted to offer a quick encouragement that IF for some reason you had to have a C-section, it is certainly possible to have future "regular" births. My second daughter was breech and couldn't be turned due to extremely low fluid levels. In the US, that's pretty much an automatic C-section, which I had. However, I was able to forego a C-section with my third daughter, with no problems. Not all doctors here like this option, but mine was perfectly happy with it since I'd previously delivered with no problems. I was also blessed to have one of the "right" doctors at the hospital when she was born, who also went along with this plan. Of course, I'm also 41 and not likely to have more children. In your case, I can certainly understand wanting even more so to avoid a C-section, but I did want to give a hopefully encouraging example of a normal birth after a C-section even in a highly medicalized setting.

Tonia

Mrs. Anna T said...

Tonia, I do know it is possible to deliver naturally (or at least vaginally) after a c-section and I know women who did that. However I also know from the stories of those women that doctors are VERY prone to do another c-section after you already had one.

For example, my neighbor had a c-section the first time (I don't know her history, so I'm not sure whether or not it was justified. They claimed the baby had "fetal distress", however, there were no signs of it after the baby was extracted from the womb. Many times fetal distress is misdiagnosed. I was told something is wrong with the baby's heartbeat, too, and that I'd better go for an induction, but after I insisted they check again, it turned out the monitor probably just slipped). Anyway she fought tooth and nail to avoid another one. When she approached the end of her second pregnancy, she was told that she is "overdue" and therefore would normally need an induction - **however**, because she had a previous c-section, they can't give her one out of fear of uterine rupture. So they wanted her to have another c-section, despite her claims she is NOT really overdue. She stood her ground and eventually did not have a c-section.

Basically, once you had a c-section, you remain at increased risk until the end of your childbearing years. It's highly likely you'll be pressured to have another c-section, and after two of those, you can pretty much kiss goodbye any chance of natural birth in the future. Your family size will be limited then - I have never heard of anyone who had more than five c-sections. The complications grow more frequent with each one, so most women will probably be forced to stop after two or three.

The conclusion? If it's an emergency, and a c-section is truly needed, no arguments. Otherwise, do *anything* possible to avoid a gash in your uterus, for the sake of yourself, the baby, and any future children you might have.

Jules said...

" My goal is to constantly be with the baby from the moment of birth onward, and especially during the night – despite the well-wishers' advice that I should leave the baby with the nurses at night so I can "rest" (you know, it's really hard work when you have your baby in a bassinet by your bed – so you can constantly keep an eye and don't have to wonder whether the baby needs you right now - and all you have to do is relax, nurse, change the occasional diaper, and sleep when your baby sleeps. Yes, having that tiny newborn by your side is really overtaxing)."

Here in Norway it is now "the norm" to bed with baby, as in, have the baby with you at all times. The only reason a baby is took away from the mother is if there needs to be medical intervention or the mother asks for a rest. Having he baby around all the time is wonderful but i would not have survived in hospital if i could not have left my baby with the nurse sometimes to rest or go for a walk outside. I was in hospital a week due to nursing complications and was extremely tired from trying to nurse and pump milk every 1-2 hours. My child also had colic which meant that after every feed she would cry for 2 hours due to stomach pain (the colic cleared up after 3 months thank goodness). I am expecting my second child now and hope that it will be more successful this time around but i dont think that leaving the baby with the nurse some nights should cause guilt. The mother also needs to rest and recover from the birth and even in the past usually someone has been around to look after the child for short periods of time so that the mother could rest (for example, a grandparent or an aunt). Not everyone had an "ideal" birthing or nursing experience and i feel the need to say to these mothers not to feel guilty about it, there is plenty of time after leaving the hospital to be with your baby the whole night through :=) G-d bless and apologies if the English isnt great.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Jules,

Oh, if only this was the norm in Israel as well.

I do realize sometimes a mother must rest after a rough birth, and not everyone are/were as lucky as I was, with my baby so peaceful and quiet by my side, allowing me plenty of time to recuperate. It's also true women were always cared by someone in their surroundings who could take care of the baby for a little while (and I mean for a little while, because a newborn cannot and should not go for a long time without nursing). However, there's a world of difference between handing a baby over to a granny, an aunt or a caring midwife supporting a woman after birth, and wheeling the baby off to nursery where 50 babies are supervised by 3 nurses who let them cry for prolonged periods of time before tending to them. That's how nurseries typically look in Israeli hospitals. Definitely NOT good for baby - OR mom, who later gets back a crying, restless baby.

Jules said...

Hi Anna

Thanks for your reply, i totally agree :=) Luckily in the "nursery" here there are only 3 or 4 babies at a time and it is helpful that they do not feed the baby themselves but bring it back as soon as they can/the mother is well enough for nursing. I wish you luck in your second pregnancy and birth!

Katrina said...

Hi Anna... I was just catching up on some of your posts after not visiting for awhile and read that your baby is breech. Perhaps he/she has turned but thought you might be interested in reading my birth story. I had a perfect breech birth 6 weeks ago!

http://redheadmusings.blogspot.com/2010/06/story-of-miriams-breech-homebirth.html