Labor Repose

Labor Repose
LaborPayne during her 6th homebirth (9th baby) at age 44

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Stand and Deliver

We were having dinner with three other couples from my church the other day. The hosts were a sweet young couple having their first baby. After dinner we played a pictionary type 'parlor game' that involved drawing a picture of a woman having a baby. I was very proud that my husbnd drew a picture of a woman giving birth standing upright! When I pointed out his drawing in contrast to everyone elses of a prone woman with legs elevated, the hostess asked, if that's the best way to give birth, why is it done lying down? When I said for careprovider convenience, I got dead silence. I dread conversations about birth anymore. I never say what people want to hear. It's all bad news. A couple of weeks ago when I asked a co-worker how his baby's birth went (I need to stop asking that question), he gleefully told me all about his wife's induction and how wonderful the whole thing was. I smiled politely and nodded. I can't speak nicely about birth, and I can't write nicely about it either.


KBH said...

oh man! i struggle with the same thing. i often just avoid the topic with new mothers. i'm not sure that's the best way to go about it, but at the same time, i think, people just aren't ready until they're ready (to hear the truth) and that may be never.

Diana said...

Your thoughts are my thoughts - I struggle with this so much! It is such a Catch-22.... I go through the same thing every time the subject of birth comes up in conversation.

LaborPayne said...

Amen sisters,
Sometimes I take a deep breath and launch into my spiel, but other times it just seems unkind to do so.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to thank you very much for your impact on me even if it's through blogland. I had my 7th baby at OPRMC...the dreaded place where I had my last and had so many issues with the nurse. I did find out early on that the nurse was not on the floor at all, hopefully not in L&D anywhere in the usa! I did also change from OB to family doc...then finally to CNM. I did have monitoring, but was able to stand during labor no problem, drink at will, use the bathtub, etc. We discovered baby was OP and just didn't want to move though we tried different positions. I was not sure what was going on, we did have problems with legit decels and slow accels (I could hear it myself though the midwife kept turning it down). She wanted to stop monitoring and apologized, but baby was showing signs of being tired a bit I think (I'd been having back labor for two days and waited to go in until I was less than 4 hours from birth). I was only in the bed for the last bit when we were trying side lying and flipping around to get baby to move. I had a fear of being on my back at all so the midwife had me sitting up but baby was NOT budging. I let her break the water, my mistake, but this was after decels etc....again, my mistake. The midwife stayed calm and the nurse put oxygen on my face as I began pushing. Because baby was op/asynclitic the midwife tried to move her head (too late in the process)...and the baby had actually moved during labor a lot but would keep landing in that same position. I pushed very hard for ten minutes, it hurt, but I had my OP asynclitic baby over an intact floor. One very tiny tear but no stitches. I again wish I had not consented to the water breaking...but I did get my baby right on my chest skin to skin and I didn't get eye junk put in her eyes. I also gave her the first bath until I couldn't see (I think it was the hard pushing...I was seeing some sort of colored geometric shape in my center of vision). They returned my baby right to me, and I was at peace nursing her.

The midwife helped my husband rub my back, and encouraged me to move and sway hips...whatever. She did seem to be concerned about keeping the hospital happy so she could use the facilities (I think she's new at this hospital) but didn't restrict me in any way. She asked before doing anything. I am sadly very suggestable, so if I get to have #8 I will request her not to suggest breaking water unless baby is tanking and that's the only way to avoid a c-section. I will also request her to use her best judgement on if I need to to position changes to turn the op baby that put me on my back for a moment. Because of my fear I restricted myself.

This was my biggest baby at 8 lbs 6 oz and with the head tilted, was the most difficult to push out in terms of pain. I felt she was stuck, but then again it was only 10 minutes (and a few little blood vessels on my face as well as swollen baby). I was told I could have had more time by the midwife, but because she seemed serious I was thinking there were real problems so I pushed like a momma bear.

Though there were things that could have gone better, there were no really big issues in my mind. Much better than being abused by the nurse for 5 hours and trapped in bed with the monitor on me...and not being able to go to the bathroom or drink. I was given much freedom and made my own choices. My husband even felt a part of it all instead of pushed out. He was involved and was also acknowledged by the midwife the whole time.