Yesterday afternoon during the boys nap I got the chance to watch THIS DOCUMENTARY. It was made in 2007 I believe and is called “The Business of being Born.”
I will try to keep my thoughts on this a short as possible… but this may turn into a longer post by the end :)
I think the documentary was very well put together. Although I must admit I didnt really enjoy seeing so many women give birth LOL… I mean I dont mind watching women give birth but there were just boobies all over the place! That is one thing I don’t get about natural birth… if you are in fact going for a natural birth… does that mean you have to be totally naked? I understand you can’t have pants on :) but do you have to be topless 2? I just find that interesting. When I give birth modesty is obviously out the window… but I never once felt comfortable laying there totally butt naked… I had a cami or hospital gown on… something… to at least cover myself some.
I’m curious? do you all prefer to be totally butt naked during birth? lol or do you like some cover up? Maybe its just me….
One of my favorite parts of the movie was when they explained the cycle done so often during labor….
You go in to be induced…
They give you Pitosin (aka Pit) to help speed things along… start labor quicker.
You are a first time mom and after being injected a dose of this stuff… things begin to get really intense!
The documentary does a fantastic job explaining what it is actually doing… and why it ends up causing so many women to get an epidural or other drugs.
I never really thought about it the way they explained it before… and think every mom thinking about getting a medicated birth should watch this to understand it better.
When I was in labor with Caleb heres how it went down…
Midnight - started feeling what I thought were regular contractions (as a 1st time mom you are never to sure)
Since we lived a solid HOUR from the hospital we decided to be safe and called the hospital.
1am or so we get to the hospital.
From the time I got to the hospital around 1AM in the morning… to 6AM they monitored me… kept me on my back… (which isnt the best position btw for pregnant women)… and of course the entire time I was to anxious to sleep… so I stayed up all night…
At 6am the Dr. came in and “checked me” to see if I was dilating.
Because I was (mind you I was only at 3cm)… they decided to keep me.
BUT told me that they wanted to give me some PITOSIN to help speed things along.
When I was told I was going to be given this to “speed things along” I thought that was a good thing! I mean, quicker… means less time in pain right?
So I was absolutely for all the PIT they could give me.
I immediately noticed a difference but wasnt in to much pain until they…
Came in around 9am and said they needed to break my water and up the PIT to help things go quicker…
SO THEY BREAK MY WATER.. which Im not against… but then after breaking it give me another dose of PIT.
After that point it was insanely hard… I couldnt even speak it was so painful. I remember thinking my uterus was going to explode.
The Dr. then checked me again.. I was only 4cm..
I thought I was going to die! 4cm!?!? and I was in this much pain…
So they began to drain the fluid in me needed to give the epidural… it took exactly 1 hour.
When I got the epidural I was in so much pain I didnt even feel the needle going into my back. So to those who think that needle hurts… well… I wouldnt know, didnt feel it LOL. I think when you are in this state a needle in your spine is like a finger prick.
So after my epidural… around 11am
I FELT NOTHING.
This epidural was extremely strong. I was numb up to the top of my uterus (so right below my chest).
I couldn’t even wiggle my toe.
They of course kept pumping me full of PIT to help things speed along… because one thing the epidural does besides ease the pain… is slow down labor. Each time they would come in and id hear the Dr. said “up the Pit” I never thought anything of it… after all, they are doing this because its the best thing right?
When I was in labor with Caleb I had no clue it would do this. All I knew the epidural had a chance of doing was making it harder to push… besides that I knew of no other side effects.
What happens so often in labor with epidurals though…. is the baby gets stressed from the contractions caused by the PIT. What they fail to tell you is that with the PIT your contractions become STRONGER and LONGER, which is why its so difficult for women to get through naturally… they also cause a lot of stress on the baby… Thankfully with Caleb he never showed any signs of stress in labor…
Lets fast forward.
I had to have a CATHETER (the thing that empties the bladder… ). I was so numb there was no way to go bathroom. So that was joyful… ick.
3pm rolls around… Dr. comes in to check me.
“Ok its time to push.”
Travis and I both were like “what?”
I had NO CLUE I was 10cm. I felt nothing.
The pushing for me was long and tiring…
and I was very confused because I couldnt feel my body…
With Caleb it took 2 hours to push him out…
I am so thankful he came out with no problems… and was a healthy 7lb 11oz baby boy.
It really didnt feel like I had given birth though…
It was a very strange feeling to me.
Yes I had pain at the beginning… but the entire experience felt very controlled and medical.
After labor for me was just as hard as the labor experience.
Because I had an epidural they had to take this TAPE off my back.
The tape held the epidural in place… It felt like I was being skinned when they took this tape off… I cried and cried… it hurt SO MUCH. They actually had to give me oxygen after taking the tape off… while the ENTIRE LABOR I had no oxygen given… if that says something.
Then I had to have blood taken… by this point I had been given 5 IV’s because none of them would take.. so my veins were very bruised and unwilling to give any blood… yet they still proceeded on sticking me more.
So here I was… Numbed for hours..
Birthed a baby I couldnt even feel…
Skinned with tape.
Jabbed with needles…
And after all this I think I maybe held Caleb 5 minutes?
I was done… and so emotionally exhausted the last thing I wanted to even attempt was nurse Caleb.
As you all know Caleb didnt nurse. He wouldnt even open his mouth wide enough to nurse… and I was so “DONE” with these Dr’s telling me what to do that I just gave up.
I hated nursing.
The thought of it was misery to me and I think it really affected the bonding process I was suppose to have with my baby.
I loved Caleb more than anything… but looking back on things there was something there that was lacking…
Im not saying that if you dont nurse that means you care less for your baby… I think in many cases it just doesnt work out because the mother isnt producing like she should or other complications come up.
But when I think back on the birth…
I wonder sometimes what if…
What if I hadnt of had all those meds
Would Caleb of latched on?
What if I wasnt so emotionally drained from the needles, IVS, and epidural issues, would I have wanted to nurse?
Ok this post is getting long…
2nd time rolls around.
I must say… he was way easier to birth.
2pm - went into hospital with regular contractions.
3pm - they broke my water
4pm - they gave me PIT (but a tiny tiny tiny dose, because I was dilating quickly on my own)
I felt very in control with Taites birth…
and made it to 6cm without anything and very little PIT.
I dont recall what time it was but it was only a few hours before he was actually born…
The Nurse comes in and tells me during his labor “Ok… you are 6cm… if you want that epidural you HAVE to get it now.”
I looked at Travis… and I remember thinking to myself “I think I got this under control… but what if I cant do it?!”
I remember very well during Taites labor having a sense of control with my contractions…
They’d come… id breathe… Id get through them.. and felt a sense of power each time I did.
I dont remember being at the point I was during Calebs labor… where I felt I had no control and needed the epidural.
BUT… because the Nurses were pushing it.. and telling me “you have to get it now” I folded… and got it, out of fear.
THANKFULLY with Taites epidural it didnt take nearly as strong as Calebs.
I was able to move my legs.
Wiggle my toes…
I think some may of called it a “walking epidural?’
I never had to have a catheter… I was able to feel my contractions come and go… and knew when It was time to push.
So for me… his epidural was PERFECT.
I wasnt given any more PIT either…
And I think the reason I didnt need any more, was because the epidural was so weak…
My body still seemed to know what to do.
With Taite it only took me 45 minutes to push… and after the birth the epidural tape was a minimal issue, because I TOLD THEM before giving it to me to put very little tape (and they did).
I was up and walking within an hour of having Taite…
Where as with Caleb it took around 3-4 hours for the epidural to wear off.
When Taite came in to nurse the 1st time I actually wanted 2… I didnt have a sense of dread…
But the one thing that did hinder Taite and I was the IV in my arm. It was on my right arm and I had trouble holding Taite well… he did however latch!! He was very alert.
As you can see my birth experiences were similar but the 2nd time around was so much easier… and it gave me a desire and hope that with the 3rd I wouldnt need that epidural.
After photographing my 1st birth this past Oct 2009… and seeing a 16 year old girl give birth to an 8lb baby without the epidural…. and witnessing her ability to do it without that… gave me a sense of motivation. If she can do it, why cant I?
I want to experience a natural birth…
Do I want to feel the pain? not really lol… but I dont want to experience things like I did with Caleb either… I dont want to be under so many meds that it doesnt even feel like a birth.
My online friend Dixie wrote about her birth experience and what it feels like to have a natural birth, etc..etc… and the difference between 1st time births and 2nd time, 3rd and so on. I think her post described things VERY WELL. So if you like reading about this, continue reading on HER BLOG HERE.
The Documentary really is good…
It can explain things SO MUCH BETTER than me… I tend to explain things poorly :) and be taken wrongly… but all im saying is… if you are pregnant… know your options… understand what these drugs actually do…
and realize, you can say no!
That is one thing I realized when I was in the hospital a week ago with pre-term contractions.
They kept wanting to give me all these drugs to stop the contractions… and while I understand the importance of that at the point I was (30 weeks then)… what I didnt understand was why they wanted to give me certain ones..
At one point they said they wanted to give me NUBANE (a pain killer used in labor) and an AMBIEN to knock me out basically… and that this together would relax me so much that the contractions would stop.
But why nubane??
I mean seriously… they could of given me a CHILD sized benedryl and that knock me out enough to sleep.
When I was put into this situation I didnt immediately say “ok”… I asked questions.. and asked for time to think about it and talk to a few friends. Just because the Dr. says “ok lets give you PIT” doesnt mean you have to let them…
I ended up telling the nurse I didnt want the Nubane… and that if I was given a sleep aid that I wanted to take HALF the normal dose… because I KNEW MY BODY.. and I knew that a full dose of ambien would of been to much. I am easily affected by sleep meds and it scared me to think how that may affect me and more importantly the baby.
Did my contractions stop??
I didnt need the full dose of ambien…
I didnt need nubane….
I had to trust my intuition… and trust God that this was best… I remember praying and not feeling a sense of ease with what they wanted me to do… and I think there is reason for that.
Going into this next labor experience I do plan to ask more questions…
I do plan to speak up… and take control of this birth.
Unless baby comes early… and there are obvious complications of birthing a premie… I hope to go totally drug free.
I even want to see if I can go without an IV… so that I can move around better….
I plan to ask a lot of questions at my next mid wife apt. on Feb 2nd.
Hope some of this made sense.
The photos used in this post were taken by me :) at that birth I mentioned above… Lindy you were AWESOME!!! and such an inspiration for so many young moms who think “they just cant do it.”d
If you want to give LINDYS BIRTH SLIDE SHOW you can HERE
I encourage you to watch the documentary. I do think some of the Dr’s they showed were a bit extreme… I never felt my Dr’s were that pushy… I think I was just uneducated towards everything and I just did what everyone else told me. I have learned the importance of educating myself about these things… and learning I do have a choice…
Im not sure if you can RENT this movie… but I know through www.netflix.com you can watch it off the internet. You have to have a membership though… for us it cost us $9 dollars a month to use netflix. We love it and watch movies online all the time through it. If you really want to see the Documentary NOW but dont have netflix… go ahead and sign up! you can always cancel your membership after a month…
FORGIVE TYPOS!! I DIDNT HAVE A CHANCE TO READ OVER THIS WELL AFTER TYPING IT.
Again… this isnt a “bash those who have medicated or csection births”
I dont want people to think that.
I dont think moms love their child any less if they use meds… or have a c-section.
I understand in many situations it is a must to have them.
But I just wanted to post about this to help explain things from my experience.