Monday, June 08, 2009

Can of Worms, part 1

Here is where I start opening up that mommy blogging can of worms...okay? I am starting to have a lot of birthing and baby questions, and I am not satisfied by what Google is telling me. So I am asking you, the blogosphere, for your opinions. You can tell me I am crazy, and I won't hate you...much. You can give me your honest-to-goodness-scare-the-crap-out-of-me truth. I think I'm ready to hear it.
Are you ready? I'm not.

But here it goes.

I am currently looking into my options of how to get this child out of me when* (hopefully around Nov 20th) it is done cooking. My mom has always advocated for the epidural and my sister in law had scheduled c-sections for hers (because of health problems). So I started asking around and I have several friends that are Bradley Method completely natural...and at first that just scared the pants off me. But now, it seems like there are some benefits that I can get on board with...and maybe I might be able to do it? Ugh, I don't know. The one thing I do know...I don't want to limit my options. People have said that if you have a midwife or a doula that your likelihood of not taking drugs/pitocin go way down. But is it necessary? How do you find one?

I am currently looking for a new doctor when we move to GA, and I didn't really interview my last one because I knew she wouldn't be the one at the end. So, do you "interview" doctors? How do you do this? Even though this move to GA may not be our final move before the baby comes,* I think I should treat it like it is...right? Blerghs, this is all so confusing.

So if you can shed any light on the following areas:
-What birthing option did you try for/end up with? Like or Dislike?
-How instrumental was your doctor in keeping with your birth plan?
-Did you use a doula/midwife?
-Did you interview doctors (or midwives)? How did that go?


*if--yeah, I'm still too scared to be is a quirk of mine. Call me superstitious or crazy. I just want to let God, the baby, and the universe know that I KNOW I am not in control and nothing with this is 100% for sure.


Piece o' Coconut Cake said...

First of all, don't worry-you and the baby will be just fine! I was planning on having a natural birth-no drugs. Most Dr.s don't tell you but the drugs CAN affect the baby. That's why they have you sign all those papers right before you're giving birth (which i don't think is that kosher), so when you do decide on a Dr ask him about that. YES, interview your Dr! I was working on self-hypnosis and one of the partners actually said to: Oh, that's a bunch of crap!
Okaaay, let's hope he's not the one I get when I go into labor! Also note that they rotate so depending when you go into labor, you never know who you may get. That's why it's good to go with a smaller group-better chance of getting your "actual" doc. I happened to meet all the Drs in my group and liked them all (except the old guy who said that to me) and was lucky enough that the day I went into labor, my Dr was on call. Unfortunately, my amnio fluid was low so I had to be induced (2 things that make it more painful) so I ended up with an epidural after a few hours. If you can get a doula, get one. She will be a big help. When interviewing Drs, ask them to recommend some. If they have names for you, you know you're on the right track? If they look at you funny and say "Huh?" RUN, don't walk outta there! The most important thing to me is that you find a Dr that is willing to work WITH YOU, not the other way around. YOU are the one in charge, not the Dr. Remember that!

amanda said...

my birth plan was this - there is no such thing and be prepared for anything. this worked for me bc beans didn't come according to anyone's plan. she was breech up until the very end and came five days before our "scheduled" c-section.

this worked for me bc this way i wasn't disappointed. i had no expectations. and i have had too many friends upset over the way their babies arrived bc it didn't go according to plan.

and in the end she was healthy and i was fine. what more could you ask for?

Erin said...

Email me about the doc. I need to know where you're living.

The Mrs. said...

I'm not of too much help to you here (not that I'm ever of much help!), all my kids have come courtesy of military medicine and well in the military we don't get to interview our doctors, you get who happens to work in the department and who you are scheduled with.

It is so important though to be on the same page as your doctor, be it birth control after the baby, breastfeeding vs. bottle, pain meds vs. natural. I had one dr. who spent every apt trying to talk me into something and well, I don't budge easily and I certainly didn't appreciate it.

We don't have midwives or doulas at our military hospital but honestly the L/D nurses were wonderful and I felt totally comfortable but I've heard people say great things about them.

I was all for trying natural with dash -1 but wowza, its painful. I didn't have the option of an epidural, not enough anethsialogist on staff, so the best option was the less effective step sibling a TAC line. Yikes. It wore off after 45 mins and was pointless. With -2 it was even less effective and I essentially had a natural childbirth. It hurt, but I must say, as soon as you deliver that's it, the pain was over. But I'd still like a little reprieve from the worst of it! I say go with the epi if you can get it!! Hell, have two, one for me one for you!

Krystyn said...

Good luck finding a doctor.

I wanted to go all natural..and did for about 18 hours with #1. When they told me they were bringing in the pitocin, I caved in and got the epidural. And, I had to have pitocin again with #2, so I caved then as well.

No matter what, you are the only one that can make the final decision.

Anonymous said...

You are one smart cookie for thinking about this stuff ahead of time! I think a lot of people assume that all midwives/Dr,'s are created equal, and the truth is that like people, medical proffesionals come from lots of different perspectives.

1) I did an intervention-free, all-natural, midwife-assisted birth with all 3 kiddos. It was really important to me to be able to labor as normally and intervention-free as possible, so I sought out information and people who could help me do this. Just about anyone CAN do a natural, med-free delivery; it's more a question of do you WANT to. For me, I knew my medical history (chronic low blood pressure, blood sugar issues, and a VERY bad reaction to pain meds), and I knew that an epidural would likely lower my blood pressure, causing the doc to have to give IV fluids, which would screw with my blood sugar, which could put baby in distress, which could place me at risk for a C-section. No thanks.

2) My midwives were totally instrumental in keeping the birth plan. Each time, they served as a liason between me and the hospital policies/personnel to give me the experience I wanted. And, at the end of the day, it's your doc/midwife who is going to be responsible to communicate to you about what's going on (like, for me, it was really important NOT to have an episiotomy cut. I kept telling them to let me tear if I was going to but not to cut me. Because my midwives knew this and were on board with it each time, I never got cut, and I never ended up needing stitches for a tear until Judah. I only had 1 stitch with him. Beats a 7+stitch episiotomy any day!)

3) Used a certified nurse midwife and a super-supportive hubby each time. In the state of GA, the only midwives who are licensed by the state are nurse midwives. Home births and lay midwives are *technically* illegal in our state. Don't even get me started on why this ticks me off. Research shows that employing a doula is correlated with fewer interventions, greater maternal satisfaction, etc. although I chose not to employ one. They are pricey!

4) I did interview midwives. I asked things like, "How large is the practice? Do you have 100% midwife coverage for all births, or is there a chance I will deliver with an OBGYN? What sort of relationship do the midwives and OBGYNs have at this practice? Under what circumstances do you cut episiotomies? How do you feel about drug-free deliveries? How do you feel about epidurals? What options for medical and non-medical pain relief are offered to patients? How much time can I expect you to spend with me during labor and delivery? How do you feel about water birth? What is the C-section rate of this practice? This hospital? Etc." It pays to do your research up front, ask some questions, and get a feel for the person's personality.

Most importantly, don't stress too much! Your body was designed to give birth! Have confidence in it! Do your homework and figure out the pros/cons to a whole array of interventions and formulate a plan A and a plan B :) Try to enjoy the process!

Anonymous said...

P.S. I also live in GA, so you can talk me up too if you want!

*jimaie.marie* said...

I made a birth plan with my first and then discovered that my birth plan was made just to make me feel like I was in some sort of control of the situation ;)
In regards to pain?
Child #1 I opted to wait on the epidural and get Demeral b/c I had read it "takes the edge off." Umm, NO. When you are in labor there is no such thing as taking the edge off. I begged for the epidural about an hour later. The only prob is the Demerol made me feel horribly drowsy and overall not so great.
Child #2 I went all natural. It wasn't on purpose tho LOL! BUT I will say that I felt SO MUCH better and healed worlds more quickly after having my second baby with no meds than I did the first time.
There was no foggy haze after giving birth like there was when I got the demerol and the epi.

Good luck finding a dr! Everything will work out tho, try not to stress ;)

Susan said...

I can give a doctor rec if you'd like one. I've lived in Atlanta for almost 20 years and have the BEST OB/GYN EVER. I had a really crazy pregnancy with my 2 yr. old. My doctor was SUPER. Email if you'd like to know the details.

Liz said...

How exciting! I love pregnancy/birth questions. I have a TON of links saved in my favorites if ya want to see them (email me--I think my address is on my profile).

First of all, you've got some wise friends here. Lots of good advice!

Second, if you do want to try Bradley method, read the book through cover to cover ahead of time. The very best "weapon" in your arsenal is to be totally educated about what to expect, how the birth process will go, etc AHEAD OF TIME. I think many moms go into labor & just kinda freak out b/c they lose control of everything...they're in pain, they can't make it stop, they want to speed it up (or slow it down), they're not sure what to expect during the different stages of labor, etc. If you KNOW what to expect, you feel more confident & aware of what's going on with your body & the whole process. So read, read, read. Watch videos online, look at pictures, get over the heebie-jeebies of watching a birth. If you can do all that, birth will be SO MUCH easier! Nothing will be a big surprise. (but only if you want all sorts of births!)

And like someone else said, be prepared for anything. I had a birth plan w/ #2 & #3 and both docs (& both hospitals) were totally OK with sticking to my wishes. I felt empowered to know that I had a say-so in how things went. But at the same time, build things into your plan about situations that MIGHT arise. (Don't focus solely on vaginal birth issues...ya never know when an emergency Csection might come up!)