Monday, 22 July 2013

Labour Problems

All the talk of the Duchess of Cambridge's labour and delivery has got me thinking of my own impending delivery
Ok, so I might not be at the stage of putting together a birth plan yet but I am slightly concerned I have no idea how to go about this labour.
As many of you have read from my previous birth story, it did not go exactly as I had imagined.  It has however given me plenty of idea of how I would not like to do my next labour.  Unfortunately it has not given me many ideas of how I would like to do it.

With Celeste I wanted a water birth, however unfortunately I was not allowed one due to being in premature labour.  
With C I wanted to more around and try different positions to overcome contractions but I was not allowed.  
With C I wanted to give birth on all fours as it felt a more natural position but I was not allowed.
Instead I was forced to lie on my back for over 12 hours, attached to a multitude of machines while they monitored C's heartrate.  I was forced to give birth laid on my back for the same reasons.

From early in the labour I was offered "gas and air" (a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide gas).  This not only made me feel nauceous, but also lightheaded and I found it difficult to understand what was going on around me.  This is the pain relief of choice for many wanting to undergo a "natural labour" however I would be concerned about using it again.  I do not feel it was beneficial to my labour experience.

At 5cm dilated I was offered an epidural.  This was not in my birth plan, however having been refused permission to try out many of the natural pain management techniques I wanted to try, I felt I was left with little alternative.
I was lucky and had a very positive experience with an epidural.  I could feel my legs the whole time and was up and moving shortly after the birth.  On the downside, it definately slowed down the progress of my labour and resulted in me having to be administered pictocin along with various threats to cut me to get the baby out.  All in all, not ideal!

Of course, the fact of the matter is, no two labours are identical.  With Celeste I did not have normal contractions that came and went, where I could gather my energy inbetween.  The pain was constant.  The numbers of the machine monitoring my contractions went up to 80 and stayed there indefinately.  There is only a certain amount of time anyone can manage that kind of uninterrupted pain.  If I am lucky, my second labour will be shorter however, assuming I carry to term, this baby will be a lot bigger which in some ways could make labour harder.

I think I would like to try for a water birth again this time however I am worried about the prospect of giving birth with no pain relief at all if I refuse the gas and air.  Alternatively I go for the other extreme and have an epidural, may be letting it wear off slightly before the second stage of labour to allow me better control when it comes to pushing.

I will come back and readdress this again in a few weeks.  In the meantime I would be interested to hear any thoughts you might have.

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