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  1. #41
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    I love the oh I chose a natural birth, yeah all well and good when your body goes into labour!!!!

    I was natural birth all the way, had Ina May's Spiritual midwifery book, avoided any info on drugs during labour and CS like the plague and waited and waited and waited. At nearly 2 weeks over and no signs at all of preparation for labour or impending labour I succumbed and went into be induced armed with no info whatsoever. It was crap, went nowhere so I ended up with a cs under a ga as I was terrified of needles in my back due to traumatic experiences with lumbar punctures when I was little.
    With DS2 I was totally informed down to the enth degree, met with aneathetist even though I was still planning on a natural VBAC (at home preferably) and asked him every question under the sun. So over 42 weeks again waiting waiting waiting, natural induction methods nothing, in to be induced, nothing, in for a cs. This time though I chose a spinal for the benefits not only for bub but for me (ga recovery was crap) and didn't rely on pethidine post op.
    So for me the knowledge I had for my 2nd was vastly superior but didn't make a lot of difference to my outcome although I am forever grateful I had a spinal over a ga. Now reading peoples opinions about the choices you make and the impact on your baby I am feeling somewhat guilty that I insisted on being induced the 2nd time instead of going straight in for a cs as was suggested at the hospital, because of my selfish need to have a vaginal birth I exposed my child to one more drug than was absolutely necessary.

  2. #42
    Phyllis Stein is offline Winner 2009 - The most politically correct member award
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    I researched the risks as well as I could at the time - the problem is that you 'don't know what you don't know', so there's often gaping holes in your knowledge that you don't know exist; that's where careproviders should come in.

    I went to the antenatal classes at the hospital and they were absolutely appalling. The midwife ran through the options for pain relief, without reference to any of the risks. She also framed the information in a way that very much assumed all women would use some kind of pharmaceautical pain relief and the only issue was which was more effective. It was really disheartening and made me feel like a freak for wanting to have a natural birth.

    There was *no* mention of the hormonal interplay that occurs in undisturbed labour, no mention of the various kind of other supports available that might help someone cope without synthetic drugs. And the sad thing was, of the group of maybe 10 or 12 couples, DH and I were the only ones who asked any questions! Not that there was much point to doing so: when the midwife stated that you "will" be given an injection to help birth the placenta and prevent hemmorhage, and DH simply asked "why?", he was answered quite coldly with "because that's the way it's done". There was no mention of the risks at all.

    My private OB gave me the standard handouts from RANZCOG on pain relief, C/S etc; these offered selective information that really tried to manipulate you into decisions that conform with their highly medicalised ideology around pregnancy and birth.

    During the actual birth, I was offered pharmaceutical pain relief non-stop, despite stating my desire to *not* have it offered. I was very noisy during labour and they seemed to take that as an indication that I couldn't 'cope'. At one point, which I now know was transition, I finally accepted the pethidine the midwife offered - of course I did, I was in extreme pain and feeling like I couldn't cope. If only the midwife had supported me through that instead, told me that I was in transition and that meant the baby would arrive soon (which he did), that as much as I felt that I couldn't, I in fact *was* coping, then I may have avoided the disorientation and fogginess of the drug and my memories of his birth, the most joyous moment of my life, wouldn't be so hazy and detached. I was never informed of those possible risks, of course.

    Both my OB and the hospital I birthed at have excellent reputations, which makes me think that either my experience was an aberration or that others might not have as high expectations of the information provided (and the treatment that flows from that), so believe they're being 'fully informed' when in fact, the information provided is only that which conforms to the care-providers priorities.
    Last edited by Phyllis Stein; 03-01-2011 at 08:52.

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  4. #43
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    No I wasn't informed as well as I wish i was for my first and second. I read 'musconceptions' by Naomi wolf so I had a small idea and knew I didn't want an epidural but I didnt care much about gas and peth, had I known more about the risks to my baby's long term health and that having those drugs would make me pretty much unable to be active (I was so spun out all I could do was lie there wishing I could reverse it) I wouldn't have had it. Like Phyllis said I was continually offered peth. I was more informed for my last and it was beautiful!
    Last edited by Annabella; 03-01-2011 at 09:24.

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  6. #44
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    I was very informed. I had a great midwife for my 2 children. With ds's birth it was similiar to pinkzy's except theatre was full so i had to have a removal with only gas. An epi would have taken too long to work.

    with dd, i was booked into have an elective ceaser at 37weeks. She decided to come at 30 and its hospital policy to vaginal delivery in premmies. I opted for an epi straight up. I knew if i had the same problems with dd and i did with ds, i would have to have emergency surgery which would have meant a general.

  7. #45
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    With DD, no I was not informed. Many things surrounding her pregnancy/birth I was not informed about, and stupidly, I just trusted that my care providers would do the best by us. That was not the case.

    With DS1 and DS2 I was absolutely informed, about everything, but only because I took it upon myself to be informed and this is why I opted for drug free, vaginal births.

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    I birthed at a private hospital with a private ob and I had an epidural for the birth of my son. - I attended the antenatal classes, which covered the different types of pain management (drug and non-drug); I spoke to my obs about it and she gave me some info to read; and I did a bit of research online.

    I *think* I knew the risks and benefits of drugs in labour, but reading these sorts of threads makes me doubt myself in a way. Like the implication that if I really was informed I wouldn't have chosen an epidural (not from anyone in particular, just something that I sometimes feel).

  9. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phyllis Stein View Post
    Both my OB and the hospital I birthed at have excellent reputations, which makes me think that either my experience was an aberration or that others might not have as high expectations of the information provided (and the treatment that flows from that), so believe they're being 'fully informed' when in fact, the information provided is only that which conforms to the care-providers priorities.
    ^ this is what I meant in my post about feeling like I was informed but doubting myself

    btw I did a bit of research on natural birth and non-medical pain management too

  10. #48
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    In short yes. I did a lot of reading and researching. I decided to avoid drugs in labour and particularly pethidene

  11. #49
    Phyllis Stein is offline Winner 2009 - The most politically correct member award
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    Quote Originally Posted by BB000 View Post
    ^ this is what I meant in my post about feeling like I was informed but doubting myself
    That truly wasn't the intention. Birth is incredibly personal and there's so much subjectivity involved that I wouldn't ever say there is only one right way to do things - I don't know anyone who would say that, TBH. I do know what kind of birth is good for *me* (natural, drug-free etc) and I believe every woman should at least have the opportunity to have that kind of birth if she wants it and that includes having access to a much broader range of information than many careproviders seem to provide (IME).

    To me, being fully informed also means having an idea of the context of the information we're given. If we're being exposed to one 'type' of information (i.e. the medical view) as though it's the only legitimate type, then our choices are more constrained than if we understood the various other ways of looking at birth, pain, risk etc. I was lucky enough to be exposed to these things by members of BH (most of whom are no longer here), and I'm very grateful that such forums exist for women to share information in this way.

    FTR, I don't feel intrinsically bad about taking pethidine in my own labour; it's just that I can see now that it was unnecessary and I was really much more able to cope than how I felt at the time (during the most difficult but shortlived part of labour). I have that knowledge now and won't make the same 'mistake' again but I do feel angry and sad that the mistake need not have happened if the care provided had been better and less about what was good for the caregiver.

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  13. #50
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    I feel like I was moderately informed. As my entire pregnancy was spent moving cross country, then moving back and being without a home, I had no continuity of care, so I kind of took it upon myself to read up. I also have a pharmaceutical background, so that made it slightly easier from a side effect standpoint.

    I also decided, having never experienced labour before, to just get there and gauge how I was feeling. I absolutely wanted to avoid an epi unless it was an emergency. Aside from the side effects, I'm not crazy about the thought of big needles near my spine.

    My first choice was a water birth. However when my waters broke they were very green, and the midwives wanted me hooked up to a CTG. Bubs was posterior, so there was no way I was lying on my back A hot shower helped for a while, but after a bit I felt like I need to take weight off my legs and back [just where a birth pool would have been divine!]. At what I estimate to be about 9cm [was well into transition] I used gas for about an hour. It was enough to get me to pushing, and then I found I didn't need anything. Luckily I had a wonderful midwife as well, and when I had the typical "I can't do this, give me the drugs!!" feeling, she said "but you ARE doing it! In fact, you're nearly done!"

    I don't regret using the gas, it helped me have a wonderful, drug minimal birth. And of all the drugs I'd read up on, it was the more preferably one for me. Next birth will be a drug free waterbirth, circumstances permitting!

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