Do smaller girls have smaller vaginas? Or is it like the foot size penis thing? Do I need to measure an extraneous body part to know my vagina size?

When people ask me: “Where are you having this baby?” I usually say, “through my vagina”. Then they look at me for a few seconds before they realize I’m not a person they would enjoy speaking with any further. 1) because they usually mean which hospital and 2) because people still aren’t that cool with saying vagina over a plate of salad and mimosas. Oh and 3) because they always think I’m going to have another automatic C section.

But today at our 26 week midwife appointment, she measured my belly as usual. Which, by the way, they should totally do like for not pregnant times too be  like dude you are measuring huge, easy on the gummy penguins. And when they measure your preg belly the number is supposed to be like the amount of weeks you are, give or take. So at 26 weeks you should measure around 26 (I forget if it’s centimeters or inches. One is probably ridiculous but what the hell do I know about math). Anyway, I was at 28. Apparently this is a moderate problem.

If I was 29 mystery measurement they would send me for an ultrasound to be sure I didn’t grow a secret twin or some baby with a pound of extra body hair (total possibility). So I’m close. But what this really means is that the baby is big. Because my weight is normal. And I’ll tell you this: G was born 8lbs 4oz, 2 weeks early. I was a 10lb baby and B can’t buy hats for his abnormal watermelon head. THAT math I can do. THAT math = vagina war. Our midwife said I should have measured all of my prospective husband’s heads before I married them. THAT math = a smart woman.

Obviously as you all know I’d like to have a natural birth. Many of you know that I struggled with my c-section and post partum depression and mourned the loss of having that super love moment that usually happens when a baby is born. So for me personally, it was important to try for a vbac. Hence me driving to another town to see a midwife who delivers in a hospital that isn’t built yet. It’s a whole thing but it’s important to me. And yes, I did consider a home water birth:

**SIDE** Did anyone see the homebirth on the Kardashians this week? **DOUBLE SIDE** I love Khourtney Kardashian. But dudes, that home birth was no joke. Everyone tells me not to watch crap on TV where women are screaming and dying while giving birth, but I can’t help it. I watch like 4 episodes of a Baby Story every day. And this Kardashian episode, I died over. Although I sort of wish that Khourtney would have given it a shot at home. If I wasn’t a VBAC I probably would have.

But I am choosing to have this baby in a hospital, with a midwife and a doula. I figured it was the best of both worlds. Those worlds being Planet Safety and Planet Hippie.  I can’t be in water because I’ll have to be continuously monitored and I’m going to have to tough it out big girl style. But I’ll be totally honest with you. I.AM.NERVOUS.

There was a point around hour 24 during my last labor where I found out that I was ONE CENTIMETER DILATED and the nurse told me that it would probably be another TWO DAYS before I could have the baby and I really would have stabbed her if I had a weapon. At that point I said to B, I can’t do this. I need help. I can’t do it naturally. About an hour later I started bleeding and they had to do a c-section anyway. I never did get an epidural. But I remember at that point there was a SMALL part of me that was relieved. I didn’t have to do the work anymore. And that feeling I am sad about.

And that scene keeps replaying in my head as I think about this birth. How am I going to do this? Am I strong enough? Do I have enough will power and desire to do this naturally? I mean I really thought I did the first time but I did not expect to feel even a tiny twinge of relief when the words c-section were said. I should have been a wreck. I worked my hypnobaby birthing center ass off to get that baby through my vag. And here I am asking where’s the knife?

But this time I know the consequences. I know the recovery of a c-section. I know how much longer it took for my milk to come in. And I know the god awful PPD that I dealt with. I know that you can have PPD without a c-section but your chances are higher. And dudes, I will birth this baby out of my eye socket if it lowers that chance.

And now I feel like a first time mother who is thinking about birth. I mean I really don’t know what I’m in for. I don’t know what to expect and I don’t know if I can do it. And I don’t know if my baby will be eleventy three pounds.

I’m not writing a birth plan. I’m not digging up my hypnobabies. I’m just trying to go in with an open mind. But I do feel like I need to know what I want. Like really know and at least drum up some determination behind it. Because those contractions are tricky little friends. They make you forget all reason.

I’m not the expert here. But I think I know what I want. Do you wish you could have changed your birth? Do you have regrets? Do you have gummy penguins?

xoxo

MODG and the big girl.

 

 

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{ 289 comments }

Lisa August 8, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Okay, that nurse that said you’d have another 2 days really does need to be stabbed with a fork. Talk about completely useless yet horrifyingly damaging information! Bitch. Second, that baby is half your DNA, and your body won’t grow a baby too big to give birth to. My first birth was eh, only because I was in the hospital with a preemie and submitted to every medical intervention there is short of a c-section. But I didn’t know any better, so I didn’t really care. Then with my second I knew better, so I had him at home. Along with my 3rd. My big sticking points were being in control, so I knew there’s no way I could be in a hospital with people telling me when I could and couldn’t eat, when I could and couldn’t walk, continuously sticking their hands up my hoo-hah because it’s “procedure”, and forcing me onto my back yelling at me to push. Nuh-uh, homey don’t play that. And they were both great births, on my terms. That’s what’s important. You need to decide what you will and won’t compromise on. I’m glad you have a doula, and I’d even suggest talking to other midwives just to get different opinions from different people. See what resonates with you.

And screw the “big baby” ultrasounds, they’re completely inaccurate and just fill your head with crap worry.

Scully August 9, 2012 at 10:19 am

I wish I could upvote this.

christy August 27, 2012 at 5:52 pm

I’m not a big girl, but my tummy measured large in my first pregnancy. They filled me with horrors of “She’s going to be huge! Ten or eleven pounds!!! I was horrified. She was 7lbs, 1 oz! Don’t worry! Just stay positive and take care of yourself. I had natural with my first girl, c-section with my second girl (kicking and screaming the whole way! I did not want one!) She was butt first, and stuck- so they said they had to do it. I still question. I HATED having a c-section. It ruined everything. My first was ideal. So i hated that i had to compare the second to having an amazing experience the first time. =( But just remember, you sometimes have to do, what you have to do. But as long as you end up with a healthy baby, you’ll be ok in the long run. Just stick with it as long as you can and do everything you can do, and you won’t have anything to regret.

Bryanne October 6, 2012 at 2:26 am

Completely agree with the not worrying stuff but one thing: your body can definitely grow a baby too big for you to give birth to. My pelvic bones were closer together than the size of my baby’s head and I had to have a C-section after two inductions, one of which lasted 16 hours. My milk came in almost immediately, so maybe that just depends on the person. The midwife is a good idea, ideally she can help advocate for you and make sure the birth goes in a way you can handle. Good luck!

ES August 8, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I think you are forgetting, but not really forgetting, about just getting an epidural. You seem to think natural labor OR c-section. But if it’s too much, you totally have the epi choice! i don’t mean it to be discouraging of your natural birth. I know exactly the pain you were feeling, my birth story with my son was VERY similar to yours except I 1. Never was planning on a natural birth, so I didn’t mourn that and 2. I pushed and failed. :(

If you hadn’t started bleeding an hour later you would probably have gotten an epidural and hopefully you would have taken a nap. Then you would have woken up rested (hopefully) and pushed the damn baby out without feeling a thing.

And remember, there’s nothing wrong an epidural. Only 10% of babies are born without one!

larissa August 8, 2012 at 9:46 pm

I beg to differ. There’s nothing wrong with an epidural in some cases, but of the 90% that have one how many lead to unneccessary procedures, including c-sections?? A LOT!

Rachel August 8, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I was aiming for an all natural birth with as few interventions as possible, but ended up with almost the exact opposite, mainly due to a damn cyst on my fallopian tube that hurt worse than any contraction (even the back to back pitocin contractions). I’m hoping the next time will be different since the damn cyst has since been removed.
I know it doesn’t work for everyone, but hopefully your VBAC will be a success!

Katie August 8, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Ok, so I totally get it, and I totally feel the same way. A week ago my BFF had her 4th baby…and she did it standing in the front seat of a moving car 3 blocks from the hospital. All her other babies, she has had epidurals – in fact I was there once, and she begged for it. Point of the story, besides being a generally awesome story, is that you will do what you need to do. If that is swear and shit on the nurse, then so be it. If it is decide to have an epidural or whatever…you will take care of business. And no matter how much it sucks, you will find a way to entertain US with the story!

Alison August 8, 2012 at 11:41 pm

Holy crap, that story IS amazing. I really want a vbac, but trying to find a dr. that will do one is stressy. Do you think I could just “accidentally” deliver in my (husband’s) car???

Courtney August 8, 2012 at 2:11 pm

I’m 27.5 weeks pregnant with our first. Ob did an internal exam at my 12 week appointment and declared that I “could handle a small to medium sized baby.” Um… WTF. Doesn’t shit *spread* during 40 weeks of pregnancy?

I want natural, vag birth too. I’m terrified of a C-section (our house has stairs!), and want to do what I can to avoid interventions. Met with a doula yesterday (her fees are about the same price as an epidural…), and am considering that route. We’re taking the childbirthing class at the local hospital this weekend, mostly to expose my husband to the shit I’ve been talking/ thinking/ worrying about for the last 28 weeks. I’m not sure if I’m mentally strong enough either, but I’m not sure if hypnobirthing/ Bradley/ Lamaze is going to make a difference. At some point, I’ll do this the old fashioned way and just grit my teeth and bear it, right?

Sara August 8, 2012 at 2:16 pm

I started reading this blog when I was still in my first trimester, and I read all the preg and baby shit you wrote. And your birth story was one of my reasons why instead of a birth plan, I just drew a picture of me throwing my hands up in the air. I totally feel like what is the point of being dead set on how your birth is going to go, when you really have zero control over it? Being faced with three days of childbirth is some serious, top of the line horse shit, and at that point I would have just said FUCK IT. NOT DOING THIS. WHEEL ME OUT. You know what women did with a three-day birth before modern medicine and epidurals and c-sections? They probably died. That’s my community college educated guess. So thumbs up on not dying and for not having to do that shit for three days.

Also, at my 38 week appt, I’m getting an ultrasound so the OB can get an idea of how huge of a baby we are dealing with, because I’ve been measuring 2-3 weeks ahead for months. So you can find out how big Yoshe is and then you can decide if it’s time to wave goodbye to your girl parts or not.

Julie August 8, 2012 at 5:18 pm

A birth plan can be a great way to practice positive visualization. It may not work out exactly the way you plan but you’re MUCH more likely to get where you want to go if you know the general direction you’re heading in.

Sami August 9, 2012 at 10:03 am

I had an ultrasound to see how huge my baby was at 41.6 days, and that shit said she’d be 11 pounds. ELEVEN. POUNDS! Holy freak show, my vag hurt just thinking about it! But, I’ve decided ultrasounds are bs (I also “grew” a second cord artery in 48 hours after being told for 30+ weeks that I suck at life and only made the poor baby one artery), and pushed a 7lb 14 ounce two days later. BS. Don’t worry if they tell you Big Foot’s coming out of that shit!

Emily August 8, 2012 at 2:17 pm

My son’s birth was very, very similar to G’s birth story. Six weeks ago, my daughter was born via a natural VBAC and it was amazing. She was 8 1/2 pounds and I am 100 pounds not pregnant. Every single thing about her birth was the opposite of his. We didn’t have trouble breastfeeding, I felt great physically and emotionally. I got to pee and EAT right away- you know, important things.

Before she was born though, I went over everything I hated about my first c/s (being separated from my son, being strapped down, etc.) with my new OB and we discussed how we could do things differently to make it a more positive experience. I felt so much more confident after that appointment because I knew that no matter what happened, it was going to be a better experience this time.

Alisha August 8, 2012 at 2:18 pm

My first child – 40 hours of labor, never dilated past 8, spiked a fever, and then c-section. I did not want one going in. I saw my doctor the week before my due date, and he told me my pelvis was very small and that my chance of needing a c-section were high. I powered through labor, thinking BS. I can do this. After 40 hours of labor, including horrible transition with lots of vomiting, I was ready for the c-section. I was relieved that I would not need to deliver my son. I had not slept, not eaten (because they were sure I was going to need surgery), and I was exhausted. I had no idea where the strength to push would have even come from. Yes, recovery was hard, because I had such hard labor. When I got pregnant with my daughter, I happily picked a day for her delivery and showed up for my scheduled c-section. My recovery was not bad at all. I was up and walking the next day and my milk came in quickly, as though my body said, “Oh yeah, I remember this”. I had no desire to labor again or try a vbac. I have no regrets about that decision. I had a miscarriage in between and was just grateful for a healthy baby. I didn’t have the PPD, so I can’t relate on that issue. Either way you have that baby girl, try to focus on the end result = healthy baby.

MODG August 8, 2012 at 2:20 pm

I do understand this perspective Alisha, but trust when I tell you having PPD is ALMOST like not having a baby. At least I didn’t feel like I had one. I felt like I was babysitting. I can’t emphasize enough how awful that is. And I do credit much of that to the c section.

Carrie August 8, 2012 at 4:20 pm

She was trying to offer perspective, which you do not have at all. Your comment having of having PPD is almost like not having a baby is so insensitive and insulting. You have no idea how hurtful it would be for a woman who lost her baby to hear this, and no idea how much they would want to throat punch you after hearing you utter those words.

Lisa August 8, 2012 at 7:20 pm

So you experienced exactly what MODG experienced and have the authority to tell her what she felt is wrong? No? Then you’re a bitch. Shut up and go away.

anne August 8, 2012 at 8:14 pm

No need to get violent there Carrie, until you have or know someone close to you who has had PPD you might want to keep harsh judgmental comments such as those to yourself as they are hurtful & inappropriate.

Martha August 9, 2012 at 12:51 pm

I don’t think MODG meant “having PPD is ALMOST like not having a baby” = having PPD is like a miscarriage. I think she meant “having PPD feels as if YOU don’t have a baby, there is a baby there but it feels like it belongs to someone else.” That’s why she said “I felt like I was babysitting>”

Allison August 8, 2012 at 4:40 pm

I agree with you on this. I didn’t really consider what I had PPD, but it very well could have been. After my c-section I didn’t feel like it was my baby either. Like, they just handed me this baby and I was supposed to take it home. It took me quite some time to actually feel any emotion towards my daughter or my husband. I was just kind of meh inside about everything.

Emily August 8, 2012 at 7:41 pm

I felt that way, too, with my son- there was a disconnect. Like “um, where did this thing come from?”

Candace August 8, 2012 at 5:45 pm

MODG, I felt this way for a few weeks, too and I had a natural birth. I also know many moms who didn’t have the “love at first sight” experience. We all come around eventually and I think that having been through it once, we will love our seconds from the get-go. One way or another, you will have a beautiful, sparkly YoSHE in your arms!

MODG August 8, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Carrie: chill out. There is always more than one perspective.

Melanie August 8, 2012 at 10:36 pm

I had two very normal vaginal deliveries with epidurals. The first was a bit over 9lbs and the second was 8.5lbs. Then with my third, had to have emergency csection because baby was in severe distress. He weighed 7.5 lbs. I had PPD with the first and only a light case of the blues with second and third. I did not want a section but if I hadn’t my baby likely would not have survived. Recovery from a vaginal birth for me was nothing in comparison to the section.
All that said simply to point out that each woman and situation are different and unique. The important part is that you are using an OBGYN, midwife or doula that you trust with your safety and your baby’s.

Casie August 13, 2012 at 2:12 pm

I also felt this way after my natural, unmedicated childbirth. I can imagine how much worse it could have been if I’d had a c-section.

Hotmommy82 August 8, 2012 at 11:08 pm

MODGy I had horrible PPD and I had a natural birth! I didn’t feel attached to my son till he was like 3 months… I mean I KNEW I LOVE HIM… But I didn’t feel that crazy limitless mommy love till way later… And my kid an his 8 pounds 10 oz came out of my vag… Having a first kid is pretty overwhelming, a lot of our idea of a perfect births and perfect motherhood come from Hollywood, where the mom pushes three times, then smiles while delivering a kid, holds baby and they all live happy forever after… Births are messy and difficult and becoming a mother is the hardest yet most rewarding thing I’ve ever experience

JJ August 9, 2012 at 12:50 pm

I also felt like I was babysitting, like if someone came and took the baby away I would have been like, that was one weird dream. Is that the diagnosis of PPD? I was still able to find joy in other things, but it just took lots of TIME for me to fall in love with my gal. And it’s still a process I’m learning to enjoy. I love her more and more every day. I think it’s normal and not all moms get that “immediate, death defying love” at first sight. Just like any other relationship, your relationship with your baby can take time to develop.

Sarah August 9, 2012 at 11:23 pm

I had a rough (induced) labor with my first (same birthday as G!), but an easy delivery- pushed for maybe 15 minutes. I loved her instantly, but definitely had PPD for several months. With number two, I went into labor naturally- it was WONDERFUL, had the easiest delivery ever- one push- and STILL had PPD, and even had the “that’s not my baby..” feeling going until I got on some meds. So for me, I think I am maybe just prone to PPD no matter what my labor and delivery are like. Seems like keeping an open mind- as you said- is the best perspective. That way you are less likely to have to mourn the loss of the labor and delivery that you thought you should have. But after the labor you went through with G, I am pretty sure you will make it all the way with this one. :)

Erin August 10, 2012 at 12:28 pm

I’m sure PPD is terrible, but I can’t imagine it’s “almost” like losing a baby. I was in the delivery room when my 30-minutes-old nephew died after being born full-term. PPD is something you can recover from — you can grow to love your child as I’m sure you love G. You don’t recover from losing a baby.

demi August 12, 2012 at 4:56 am

Erin first off I am so sorry for your loss-that is unfathomable for any mother or relative. So, so sorry. But I think what everyone is trying to get across is that the feeling is actually very real, and it is an actual sickness/condition that can happen to any mother. Everyone has different reactions to PPD, and how they handle it, but it can be very, very extreme if left untreated.

km August 8, 2012 at 2:19 pm

i am 8 weeks pregnant, had a totally unwanted c-sec that horrified me with my first baby 15 mos ago, and am going for a vbac at home with this one, and yes i am terrified and totally riding on the midwife’s confidences… and am now considering waking the boy up from his nap so i can go get gummy penguins- they will probably help drown all the fear.

Jessica August 8, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I totally wish i could change my birth with my son. He was 9.14lbs which resulted in a 4th degree tear and using forceps to get his huge body out of my tiny body. My son is almost 5 months old now and im just feeling better after the damage that he did down there! my OB has highly recommended that all future babies are c-sections. which i am totally okay with! even with a vaginal birth i still didnt get that lovey dovey moment of baby on chest etc. because he wasnt breathing right away and they were more worried about the amount that i was bleeding than having that cute bambino on my chest! Child birth is just one of those things that you really have very little control over when it really comes down to it!

Christi August 8, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I ended up having a c-section with my first son after 2 days of labor. I know that sigh of relief that you are refering to all too well. I decided to do a scheduled repeat section with my second and I couldn’t have been happier with my decision. As a crazy planner person I found so much peace in knowing exactly what to expect the second time around without all of the drama of labor and i could care less if anyone thinks that i “took the easy way out”… :)

JenR August 8, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Dude…you got this. Everyone freaks out about birthing no matter how many kids they have pushed out. I did have my son natural…and he ended up with meconium aspiration and I missed out on my lovey after baby is had moment too. I’m not gonna spew all that “the only important thing is to get them here healthy so the way you have them isn’t important” crap that everyone else says because you’re not a dumb ass and you already know that, but I will tell you that everyone I’ve ever talked to had SOME regret about the way their child came into this world. Whether it’s that they got an epidural when they didn’t want one, or they had to have an emergency c-section, or their kid came out with a ridiculously hideous cone head and 3 eyes. Shit never goes according to plan, but Yoshi will get here, you will love her, G will probably throw things at her soft spot, and it won’t really matter if your plan worked out or not. Like I said, you got this no matter what :)

Lessons in Life and Light August 8, 2012 at 2:23 pm

As you know, I would have given anything for my natural birth plans to come to fruition. But I know with 100% certainty that nothing I could have done would have changed the outcome of having to have a medicated birth. I know I had too much scar tissue to dilate on my own in a “normal” amount of time. I know that after 3 days, I was EXHAUSTED. I know that I would have been in labor for at least another day or two before I had that baby without medication. Do I wish it could have been different? Hell yes! But it’s not. The only thing that brings me comfort is that I truly know I did everything right. I was totally in charge and made all my own choices. And I know that my knowledge is what saved me from a c/s.

Hoping YOUR natural birth pans out this time!

Taryn D August 8, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I feel for you! I was very lucky to have a regular delivery. Only regret I have is that I got an epidural. I hated curling over during the process because I was still having contractions and after it was over, it didn’t even work! All it did was paralyze my left leg. Needless to say, I had to have someone hold up that leg while I was pushing. I went in thinking that I didn’t want nor need an epidural, but like you said, the contractions got the best of me. Next time, I will not have one no matter what! I did without last time and I can do it again!!!

I think you should remain determined to have your little girl the way you want. The doctors will let you know if it isn’t possible, but at least would have still tried! Hang in there! You are a HUGE inspiration to us all. Thank you for writing such meaningful words. After I had my baby 10 months ago, I was told about your blog and read as much as I could to know that my way of thinking wasn’t crazy. We are women and mothers creating life. We have hormones and contractions to deal with but we have our friends and family to support us. Good luck!

Mary August 8, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I had my first baby 5 weeks ago and am now just making peace with how it went down. I’m blogging about it to help me deal with all the anger, regret and sadness. I attempted a home birth but had to head to the hospital 17 hours in. The hospital was the WORST experience of my life. And I needed to be there. But I was unprepared for how I would just roll over and accept all the interventions and medical stuff I initially didn’t want. I kind of lost my mind and even asked for half of them. I’m still very disappointed in myself. But I have a beautiful baby girl to focus on and am thankful she made it out OK. Research your hospital and their protocols (I didn’t do much research there since it was our Plan B and I didn’t think we’d be there), fight for your birth plan and make sure your doctor knows what you really want (not what you’re asking for in the heat of the moment). And then just let it all go. What’s important is that she arrives safely. Pulling for you to have the exact birth you dreamed of!!
http://thebumpdiary.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/my-birth-story-part-1-a-home-birth/

Jo August 8, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Oh, MODG, yes, yes, yes! I so very wanted a natural birth too two years ago! My son decided to make his appearance 6 weeks early through an emergency c-section. I have never gotten over the fact that I just feel so cheated for all the reasons you listed above. I didn’t even get to see him until about 8 hours later, but he was also in distress and landed in the NICU for a couple weeks. But I would give anything to avoid that same scenario again–to have a vaginal birth and be able to bond right away. So I’ve been enjoying butt shots of progesterone weekly to keep him cooking. I am 3 weeks behind you in my pregnancy now, and I am hoping and praying on having a natural VBAC. I want a doula so badly–why are they a million dollars? You will totally be able to do this–I have faith in you, and can’t wait to read about your amazing, perfect birth–with a small-headed baby. I will do it too. I don’t have gummy penguins, but I have other things like chocolate chip cookies, and I am also measuring 2 cm ahead. Is it because of the cookies?

Jasmine August 8, 2012 at 2:28 pm

I have had 3 kids and my first and 2nd babies were very long and rough deliveries. But that 3rd child weighing in at 9.4 lbs rolled out. Piece of cake! Best wishes for this time around and hopefully it goes the way you want it too. I know several people who had c-sections and came back to have a v-bac.

There always has to be one nurse that needs to be stabbed. But I will tell you that every time I think you can not do a better MS paint picture BAM – there it is. This one is hysterical!!! Fingers crossed for small heads and shoulders!!!

maidup August 8, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Honestly, no two births are the same, just like no two children are the same. Given the circumstances we chic’s have to go through to give birth do whatever you want at the time you want. 24 hours of labor and contractions? I would of gladly taken that knife ;) I for one am a pussy and I got that damn shot at level 4 with my first! My second came a little quicker….stronger and quicker contractions I had to flipping WALK to my floor while I felt like my vagina was shooting and protruding down to my knees…but guess who got a shot on that too when 4 mins apart I probably coulda stuck it out if I really wanted. Hell no I chose comfort ;) I think you need to feel a sense of estrogen and duty to our roles in nature. I can personally say…without the pain, I didn’t feel that baby come out, I didn’t want to watch my va-jj being ripped in two…I still felt just as much relief and love when I saw the wittle head all the way down to the wittle feets! I was just ready to start lovin on the baby. The other part…just freaking work. Like going to work to get the end result you really wanted. The mula! That baby is the mula!! Who gives a crap about the work? ;) Good luck with it all!! And be ready to accept other options DURING labor :) And just fyi…don’t be afraid of the ppd. I didn’t get any with my first, I did get a spell of it with my second. I think it can come on anytime it wishes no matter how you gave birth.

Lauren @ T&G August 8, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I had a somewhat discouraging appoitnment with my doctor yesterday. I am 32+ weeks and am hoping for a natural/unmedicated birth. My doctor seemed cool with me saying that and is on board, but as the conversation went on, he made it very clear that he didn’t really believe that I would actually go without pain medicine. And after reading that in major, urban hospitals (like that one I’ll be at) that the epidural rate is commonly upto 90% these days, I guess I can’t blame him for thinking that. He did say that as a first time birther, that I will most likely find that labor is both longer and more painful that I am expecting. Now I am just feeling deflated and second guessing whether or not I WILL be able to do this. I have had myself really pumped up that I will be able to handle labor naturally, but now part of me is wondering if I should just give in to making birth a lot easier/more pleasant on myself. (My main desire for no epidural is wanting to be able to move around to progress labor and not having a catheter in my pee hole). I read something yesterday that made me feel a little better that went something like this: the main point of birth is not to make it the most rewarding experience possible for the mother, it’s to get the baby out alive and healthy. I hope I can have both.

Julie August 8, 2012 at 5:28 pm

I was induced with Pitocin and managed to deliver my daughter without an epidural just fine. Yes, it is absolutely painful but it’s also the most amazing thing you’ll ever experience. Giving birth is natural but hospitals make it a medical procedure. Your body was made to do this – don’t let some doctor convince you otherwise.

Carolyn August 9, 2012 at 1:17 am

Lurker here but I wanted to ditto Julie’s comment. I was also induced with Pitocin due to PPROM and I had a vaginal delivery with no epidural. You can do it, if that’s what you choose! :)

Krista August 9, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Obviously the baby coming out healthy and alive is the most important thing, but so is your experience. 90% epidural rate or not, you CAN be in that 10%! First babies might take a little longer and might seem more painful, but a lot of that comes from never doing it before. First time moms are nervous and that slows things down a bit. Don’t be scared – it will probably hurt, but not forever and at the end of it you will have that healthy baby and you will feel great. Not just great because you accomplished something, but great because you will be able to get up and walk around and won’t have to worry about a single side effect of medication.

Don’t let your doctor discourage you. Show him what natural childbirth looks like, because he probably forgot how amazing it can be!

Ashley // Our Little Apartment August 10, 2012 at 8:00 am

Lauren! Your doctor is probably a super nice guy, but he is being such a downer in this situation.

My biggest reason for avoiding an epidural was because I wanted a water birth (mission accomplished!) and because I didn’t want it to lead to a c-section and impede breastfeeding.

Yes, it WAS painful and not easy. But it was really worth it and preparing for a natural birth and reading a ton about natural birth was one of the best decisions I ever made. I felt so empowered by the process.

You CAN do it. Ignore your doctor and stay positive!

Rosie August 8, 2012 at 2:33 pm

You’re measuring ahead in cm, not inches (inches would make you scary big!). When I was about 36 weeks with my second baby, the midwife told me I was measuring ahead by a couple of cm, and that the baby was a BIG ONE. Unhelpful. My first baby was just 6lbs 5, so I no idea how I’d give birth to a BIG BABY. I was planning a home birth and so spent the last few weeks of pregnancy freaking out about the baby’s size and how I’d cope. When it came to it, the delivery was so fast and I was so in the zone, that nothing and no-one could have stopped me pushing that baby out. It hurt like crazy but I did it. And wouldn’t you know it? The baby was just 7lbs 8oz! Not sure how helpful this is really, but just to say midwives can be wrong about size. I don’t think they realise the power of their words sometimes. Bodies are amazing and they know what to do. But if you need help you’ll be in the exact best place to get it. You can do it and so can your vagina.

MODG August 8, 2012 at 6:36 pm

you’re right 28 inches would be like 2 feet plus. I’m dumb

Meredith August 8, 2012 at 2:36 pm

I tried super hard for a VBAC with my #2. Failed. He broke my water at 4.5 weeks early with his big body. I labored for 18 hours, but they prepped me for a c-section, so I did not eat or drink for those 18 hrs. Probably a mistake. Sip the water, dude. My little giant was a 7.2 lb.er and he was healthy as a horse when they cut him out. And guess what? I think c-sections are slightly easier second time around. I’m the worst patient ever, I like to scream and cry, but this time I just did not. I had my soon to be 2 year old at home, I was a breast feeding expert (haha) and I could do anything. Knowing what goes on is so empowering and the beauty of the 2nd kid is you just do it. Like, feed, sleep, run around like a maniac like its no ones business.
So, if at the end of the day if you’re staring up in those bright lights, just know, you got this, you’re an old pro.

Rachael August 8, 2012 at 8:48 pm

This made me tear up a little. I am terrified to get pregnant again because I hated my first csection so much (screaming, crying, throwing up, flipping out… being sedated, all of it…) and this just made me feel a bit better. Thanks.

Dawn August 9, 2012 at 11:21 am

Me too! My C was full of all those things Rachel mentioned. I am a bad patient too. But this time around (I’m 23 wks), I am more educated about my choices. First time? Not so much. So BRING IT ON, MAN.

Elizabeth August 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I totally agree. My first c-section was unpleasant and I was in a lot of pain. My second c-section was planned and it was so much easier. I hardly had any pain and I went home with an infant and 15 month old and had hardly any problems moving around. There really was a world of difference between the first and second c-section. Also a world of difference between my emotional state after the first, versus after the second. The second time around I knew what to expect and everything just went so much smoother.

Anne August 16, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Just to chime it, I too had an unplanned c/s with my first (heart decels), and while the recovery was not as bad as I thought it would be, the actual process was pretty scary. No idea what was going on, was my baby ok (she was fine the whole time), throwing up, low blood pressure so I couldn’t lift my head up for 4 hours, blah blah blah. My second baby was a scheduled c-section, and I was breastfeeding and calling my parents to announce the birth a half hour after she was born. Cracking jokes, drinking a diet coke, easy-peasy. My 3rd was the same way. All very peaceful and civilized. The worst part of all is the 2 hours in pre-op getting yourself all anxious, but everything after that is a breeze. Including actually having a newborn again. So. much.easier. Like everyone else said, if it ends up going that way, it will still all be ok.

Darbi August 8, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Dude, I have no clue because I don’t have kids. But I just want to say good luck with all of that. And know that we are here to listen to you vent/whine/complain/cheer/scream/shout/ when it is all over. Hugs and Sparkles! :)

kennedy August 8, 2012 at 2:37 pm

I had two induced births and I went in with an open mind about epidurals and I think it helped me not get one because during the tough contractions I didn’t have it in my head that I couldn’t have it, I just wasn’t ready for it yet. By the time I reached the point that I really really wanted one, they told me it was too late and it was time to call the doctor. I feel like if you forbid something it’s more tempting, if you know it’s no big deal then it’s easier to do without.

Katie R-G August 8, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Okay, we’re kinda in the same boat, so here goes. My first baby (9 years ago, vomit), my water broke a week late, I hung out at home for a while, no contractions, was only a few centimeters when I got to the hospital, follow with epidural (because I was afraid and I do reget that) and pitocin (because doc said so and I knew no better and I regret that), and 23 hours later and 2 hours of pushing later, I had a c-section. 7 years later, I scheduled another c-section and had horrible PPD, problems with myself out the wazoo and now I’m 20 weeks along and planning a vba2c. I’m stressing over what I eat because I don’t want baby to get too big even though I read it really doesn’t matter, mother nature has her own plan, and I’m scared to deathers that I won’t be able to handle birth. Going in armed with a doula, and midwife, and my (shakey) backbone, ready to tackle this. I’m not willing to die trying, and I’ll be ready for the knife if something’s crying out a warning about baby stressing, then he knife, but I’m just going to try. What else can we do? Right? I mean, my sister had a natural childbirth, and she’s a big asshole, so I can totally do this. I AM planning to stay home with the doula as long as possible and hopefully not leave for the hospital until transition so that I’m not locked to the hospital bed the entire time. But we’ll see.

Stacy August 8, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Im due with twins two weeks after you (not that they will let me see 40 wks). I delivered my first via a vaginal delivery and even though they will let me go vaginal if both are head down I’m already having c-section nightmares. Because what are the chances they will both be head down??? I’m nervous about not being able to nurse them right away too.

You can do this, believe in yourself. I’m tired of people telling me I wont be able to breastfeed and cloth diaper these baby girls. Just go with it and be in the moment and when you want an epidural think how much you wanted this the last time and how close you are.

Leslie Johnson August 8, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I don’t really comment and I am reading this so soon because I am home for my last two weeks of summer break before I go back to teaching and leave my baby boy again :( He is napping, don’t judge me :)

I did not want a C-section and happily I didn’t have to have one! I never planned on going natural, but after our birthing classes I wanted to be strong enough to try it, but I did not commit to it ahead of time and 7 hours of labor in, I got the epidural. I like to think maybe next time I will go natural, but those stitches were worse than any of the contractions! I could feel a lot of the contractions after because they had to turn my epidural down. I was able to move my legs mostly and get up pretty soon after, but those stitches make me NEVER want to do it natural! I commend you for your plan and I hope you can do it the way you want to. I don’t regret getting the drugs. I will try again next time for no drugs, but I won’t be sad if I don’t again…..

I am no expert, I have only had one vag birth, but to me the important thing is don’t go in with too much of a plan and you won’t be disappointed if it doesn’t go that way!

sara August 8, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I sort of wish I could have toughed it out without an epidural, but my water broke at home and my little one had poop in his uterus home… so I had to have all these monitors hooked up to my belly and I couldn’t walk to halls like I planned or bounce on the exercise ball. Also contractions after your water breaks are INTENSE, or maybe it was just mine. Lasting a minute only 90 seconds apart, I could only take a few hours of that and I gave up and got an epidural. Which was HEAVEN. My whole body and mind finally relaxed. but the thing I am glad for is it wore off… yes WORE OFF.. who knew that happened!!??!!? but it wore off just in time for me to push so I felt all the contractions before the pushing and I felt all the beautiful pushing pain. So actually I think I had the best of both worlds. but next time I’m still going to try for no drugs again but go with an open mind and whatever happens – happens. So cliche but as long as my baby is healthy I’m happy. :)

Kate August 8, 2012 at 2:40 pm

I wanted a natural birth as well, but in a hospital (because like you I would also like to reside on Planet Safety when it comes to my child). My water broke two weeks early and in our panic at four in the morning (googling “What Does It Look Like When Your Wife’s Water Breaks?” and “Am I Peeing Or Is My Water Breaking?!”) we forgot the birth plan that I had slaved over, so that was out. Even so, I had said all along that I wanted to just **see** how far I could go. I had this overwhelming need to see what my body was capable of. Yes, I preferred no epidural. I preferred to have the baby in the birthing pool with Enya playing and the lights dimmed. I preferred that, but I prepared myself for the fact that it might not happen.

So, you can guess that it didn’t happen like that. My labor didn’t start, they had to crank Pitocin up to a level 24 before I got any contractions at all. His heart rate was funky because he had the cord around his neck, so the only way they would allow me to continue to labor “naturally” was on my left side (this position relieved the pressure on the cord). So instead of floating in a pool of rose scented water while my family sang kumbayah, I labored eighteen hours on my side with enough enough pitocin to kill a horse. I made it to seven centimeters before I broke down and had the epidural. I think I could have made it further if labor had progressed quickly, but there was no way to know if that would be the case (and in fact, it took another 12 hours. I would have been in progressively worse pain for 12. more. hours.)

But when I look back at my son’s birth, I don’t feel particularly gypped or robbed. It happened the way it was supposed to happen. I can honestly say I tried as hard as I could and my body did the best it could. I re-watch the first 25 seconds of his life – they pull him out and the room bursts into cheers. People are crying and shouting about how beautiful he is. I look exhausted and shocked instead of saintly and glowing, because fuck…that shit is hard work. It’s crazy loud and not at ALL the peaceful hippie birth I imagined but it is **wonderful**. It’s how it was supposed to happen.

Don’t over prepare for anything. You are not in control of your birth. Something takes a hold of you and you’re just along for the ride. If you keep that mindset, whatever happens will be, and you’ll be ok with it :)

lynet witty August 8, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Ha! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post! This is why I read your blog!!!! You are so funny {sometimes :)} and now I know what to answer nosy people who ask where am I going to have this baby at. I delivered naturally, on my own, in my own home, with a midwife, OUT OF THE WATER, my two boys. I wish I could have had better stamina for those last hours {{it’s fucking exhausting dealing with positions & contractions}} I wish I had been in better shape…and more patient with my second one. I don’t know the correct terminology but he was born with shoulder displacia, where his shoulders get stuck in my pelvis, and I was pushing when I wasn’t supposed to. THAT made it harder. THAT fucking hurt. So yeah, I wish I hadn’t done that and just been patient. SOO many times I just wanted to just get it over, SOO many times I freaked out! And you know what I feel most shitty about? That I’ve had 2 births, at home, and I sucked at both of them. That gets me down, hardcore. With a possible 3rd, I find myself questioning whether I can do it again, whether home-birthing is right for me, and basically doubting myself like you are right now. Anyways, I know our bodies can do it. But our minds play with us and make us fail so miserably so that’s where we have to be most strong.

Steph in PA August 8, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Well for me my 1st daughter was 3 weeks early and weighed in at 8lbs 2 oz. My 2nd Daughter was 6 days early and weighed in at 9lbs 5 oz. If I had gone “on time” with either of them I shudder to think what weight they would have been at. I STILL (9 years later) have nightmares about how big they *could* have been.

I delivered them both vag style. I was in labor for a very short about of time, both times, less than 4 hours the first time and 1 hour the 2nd. Actually, my 2nd was *this close* to being born in the car…as it was she was born as I was wheeled into the ER…in the hallway. My Dr. talked to my husband on the phone the whole trip to the hospital because my labor progressed from zero to ohmygoodnesshereshecomes in less than 10 minutes. She met us at the ER door and was there just in time to “catch”.

For me that 2nd birth was terrible. It was scary and I would not wish that on anyone. The best way I can describe it is that everything happened so quickly that I felt totally out of control…like my brain just couldn’t catch up to what was happening at lightening speed.

I wouldn’t change much because everyone in the end was happy and healthy. For me that was, in the end, all that mattered.

Katie August 8, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I just had my first baby and I’m in school to be a nurse midwife (so I have some cred). I’m 5’1″ and my baby was a hefty 9#1.5oz when he was born, and my mom is a similar size and had similar sized babies. My husband also has a giant head (like can’t buy normal sized hats), and his son has inherited that trait. All this to say that it can be done! I’d ask your midwife for tips on making sure she is in a great position when you go into labor (check out spinningbabies.com). You might also want to ask her about whether or not she thinks a chiropractor would be useful prenatally to help with optimal positioning and making your pelvis nice and loose.

Now for full disclosure…I’d planned a homebirth and we ended up going to the hospital after two days of crappy labor because I wasn’t going to get a baby that big out without some pitocin and an epidural. I also pushed for four hours, and it helped that our L&D nurse was a fucking champ and kept the doctors out of the room so her and my midwife could do crazy midwife voodoo on my vag and help me get him out. But you have a CNM and not crappy OB residents at a crappy hospital, so you should be golden on that point.

Also, because I know this is what people are really wondering when they hear a woman had a baby that big, I only tore a tiny bit and I’m pretty sure my vagina is in working condition. Of course the baby won’t ever let me put him down, so that hasn’t really been tested, but I’m sure no permanent damage was done.

Kiera August 8, 2012 at 2:46 pm

After 24 hours of labor, after being induced, only getting to 6cm and staling, the baby never dropping… I too ended up with an unexpected c/s. I’m with you NEEDING this VBAC for this pregnancy (I’m 19 weeks right now), but my body has other plans and right now I’m fighting complete placenta previa. (god willing that changes and my VBAC option can go back on the table).

Your question – do I wish I could change things about my first birth experience? Somedays yes. When I really think about it (I was induced at 37 weeks because of pre-e) I know my body was not anywhere near ready to give birth & it all just went wrong because of it. But I’m glad I tried because I think if I would have just hopped on the c/s table from the get-go I really would have regretted it.

Obviously I wish enough that I could change things because I’m plowing down the VBAC trail, but I know it my heart of hearts that if a c/s becomes needed it is just what I’m going to have to do.

I hope you get the birth you want. I hope it’s everything you imagine it will be and I hope you are happy at the end of it all.

As for the gummy penguins, sadly no, I have none … but I have plenty of mini crunch bars to go around!

steff August 8, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Soooo…..my whole damn birth plan went to hell with my now 7 month old. He was supposed to be born at home in the tub, with my husband and my two midwives, all peaceful like. Well, you know what they say about plans. I was in labor for 3 days……went through transition in the tub, by myself, in the middle of the night while hubby slept in bed and midwives were at another birth. When the midwives got there, I was 9 cm ( i was praying to be at least 4 cm!)….but my son wasn’t descending and was posterior. I spent the next 10 hours at 9cm at home squatting, lunging, doing everything in my power to get the damn baby out! Finally we all admitted defeat and I had to go to the hospital to get a c-section.
What I want to get at though is….. I would do it all over again for triple the amount of time of labor if it meant I could have my son vaginally. I hated the fact that I missed all those things that happen right after you get to push a baby out. Labor was not fun….. especially transition, but girl you can do it. I look back now and think…. holy shit, I handled that. I took hypnobabies too….. and I didn’t use ONE DAMN THING I learned in those classes. Good for some people. Not for me. My mantra during contractions….. “You can do anything for 1 minute”. And YOU totally can. I would never knock anyone that wanted an epidural…. cuz yes, contractions can be the devil, especially in transition, but if what you want is a natural vbac, and your mind is set, I feel like that is half the battle.
By the way, I should admit, I am afraid of actually “pushing” the baby out, when it is time for the next one (hopefully I will vbac). I know I can dominate labor and contractions, but the head coming out and the possible tearing and all that mess….. eff, now that is a little scary.

P.S. They estimated my son to be a 10 lb’er….. yeah, he was only 8lb 1 oz.

MODG August 8, 2012 at 7:05 pm

wow 9cm and had to have a c section. That is a tough hand. Good for you and your attitude about it. Makes me feel wimpy

Jessica August 9, 2012 at 9:46 am

I made it to 9 and 3/4 apparently but his head was turned just enough he couldn’t make it out. After two hours of intense pushing without an epidural (as it had worn off and I didn’t want to re-dose) I headed to a C-section where we found out his cord was wrapped around his head and could have caused major damage if not for the C-section. So hang in there.

Katie August 8, 2012 at 2:48 pm

I just had my first baby and I’m in school to be a nurse midwife (so I have some cred). I’m 5’1″ and my baby was a hefty 9#1.5oz when he was born. My husband also has a giant head (like can’t buy normal sized hats), and his son has inherited that trait. All this to say that it can be done! I’d ask your midwife for tips on making sure she is in a great position when you go into labor (check out spinningbabies.com). You might also want to ask her about whether or not she thinks a chiropractor would be useful prenatally to help with optimal positioning and making your pelvis nice and loose.

Now for full disclosure…I’d planned a homebirth and we ended up going to the hospital after two days of crappy labor because I wasn’t going to get a baby that big out without some pitocin and an epidural. I also pushed for four hours, and it helped that our L&D nurse was a fucking champ and kept the doctors out of the room so her and my midwife could do crazy midwife voodoo on my vag and help me get him out. But you have a CNM and not crappy OB residents at a crappy hospital, so you should be golden on that point.

Also, because I know this is what people are really wondering when they hear a woman had a baby that big, I only tore a tiny bit and I’m pretty sure my vagina is in working condition. Of course the baby won’t ever let me put him down, so that hasn’t really been tested, but I’m sure no permanent damage was done.

Celina August 8, 2012 at 2:48 pm

I did a VBAC for my second son and felt exactly like you do now. Everyone was stacking the odds against me since I had gestational diabetes. Even my husband wasn’t completely behind me. But I stayed off the Internet and checked out a bunch of library books on vbacs and natural birth. Reading other women’s stories about having natural births put it into perspective. When I did go into labor and started to panic I remembered all of those women and just repeated that everything I felt was normal. My body could do it. Women did it every day. I did end up with an epidural since my contractions were on top of eachother and I couldn’t catch my breath. BUT I made it to 8cm all by myself and that was plenty of progress for me to proceed with a VBAC. It’s all the rainbows and sunshine hormones you could dream of! Good luck!

Shannon August 8, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I also ended up with an emergency C-section after getting all the way to 9cm due to a stupid fever. I had hoped to avoid having a Csection but knew it was a possibility. What I didn’t expect was that I would be able to feel them cutting into me and needing to be knocked out during the delivery and missing the birth of my child because I was asleep. Talk about missing that lovey dovey bonding moment! I didn’t get to hear his first cry or see my husbands reaction to seeing his son for the first time. Still breaks my heart.

If/when I have another I do want to try for a VBAC just for fear that the same thing will happen again during a Csection and I will miss the birth of another child. However, I also know the risks involved with VBACs so I could very easily change my mind before that happens.

I really hope you get to have the birth you want.

MODG August 8, 2012 at 7:06 pm

oh my god. I’m so sorry! I was terrified to feel the c section.

Shannon August 8, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Fortunately I don’t remember feeling much, the last thing I remember is saying “I feel a little prick”, supposedly after that I started saying “ow ow ow” and they knocked me out but I don’t remember any of that, thank God! I guess whatever they give you to knock you out also gives you amnesia.

I blame the anesthesiologist for effin this up for me, it was the same one that gave me the ridiculously painful epidural that morning.

Charliegirl August 8, 2012 at 2:51 pm

MODG…i stalk your blog but usually don’t comment…love ya and you crack me up. just wanted to say, i love the natural birthing world and worked hard to achieve my own a few months ago (it really was so very horrible and amazing.) BUT i don’t love how much sadness and guilt occur when it doesn’t work out. i think it’s more important to go in with PRIORITIES in place, like you’re doing, than an iron-clad birth plan. thank god we’re liberated from having to die while birthing. thank god we can hold healthy babies spared the trauma of a difficult birth, whatever passage they enter this world through. i wish you the best, but keep those hands wide open…work hard, prepare hard, expect little, be gentle. xo!

Charliegirl August 8, 2012 at 2:51 pm

MODG…i stalk your blog but usually don’t comment…love ya and you crack me up. just wanted to say, i love the natural birthing world and worked hard to achieve my own a few months ago (it really was so very horrible and amazing.) BUT i don’t love how much sadness and guilt occur when it doesn’t work out. i think it’s more important to go in with PRIORITIES in place, like you’re doing, than an iron-clad birth plan. thank god we’re liberated from having to die while birthing. thank god we can hold healthy babies spared the trauma of a difficult birth, whatever passage they enter this world through. i wish you the best, but keep those hands wide open…work hard, prepare hard, expect little, be gentle. xo!

erin August 8, 2012 at 2:54 pm

hey modg, just wanted you to know you have a ton of support for this vbac – I can’t wait to read your perfect birth story. You said yourself all the interventions that led to more interventions last time. When we know better, we do better. You can do this. Your body was MADE to do this. Don’t let big baby fears get in your way.

Victoria August 8, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I wish constantly that I could change the way my son’s birth went. I realize now that there are so many things I would change, but I just went along with what the doctors and nurses told me to do. I went into my 37 week appointment 6 centimeters dilated, they sent me straight to the hospital, broke my water, started pitocin and then 10 hours later I had to have a c-section. By that point I was exhausted (they made me STOP pushing for 2 hours) and I just asked the doctor “how fast can you make me not feel anything” and we were off. I feel that if I had been able to go home, or at least just labor naturally at the hospital that I would have been able to have him naturally and it makes me so mad that I just let the doctors and nurses tell me what to do. Next time around I’m definitely hiring a doula and trying for a VBAC. You’ll do great, you for sure have the determination for it! And you’ll have such a supportive team around you, and thats the most important thing.

ilikebeerandbabies.com August 8, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Hypnobirthing will help if your baby does not have a head the size of Kelly Ripa. Also, the angry vag picture may have made me pee a bit and I know that PPD is no joke: http://www.ilikebeerandbabies.com/2012/08/depression-sucks-donkey-balls.html

Wounded vag hole warrior August 8, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Just go with the flow and know your options. Once you get in there you’ll know what to do. I had a midwife and had a (almost) natural birth. Get in the shower, bring a yoga ball and sit on the toilet. For real. The toilet gets things going and it hurts like a motha!!! I ended up having two doses of narcotic for the pain, but it had been a long two days. Trust your instinct, you’re a smart woman!

Hannah August 8, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Woah. Girl. I tried to have a v-bac with my second. My water broke on its own, I got all the way to an 8 and then the baby was all, “Haaay! You think I’m putting my head through that pube infested hole? Gross, woman. Ever heard of a razor?” And just decided to camp out in the northern states of my uterus. I got out my cell phone and played Word Mole on the hospital toilet while eating chili cheese Fritos until I lost feeling in my feet because usually doing that makes whatever is inside of me come out but the nurse told me to get back in bed, what do you think this is, Mexico? So, I was (tearfully) off to the OR. Now, what I’m about to say is probably going to make some people all mad. But imma say it. I have three beautiful little girls. And you know how much I care (now) about how they were born? Zero. I SO wish I would have spent less time with my second worrying about whether I was going to be able to do a vbac and more time… well… not worrying about it. Plus, my stomach muscles were totally thrashed from the first c-section and the recovery was WAY easier. And… you get a five day hospital stay vs. a two day hospital stay, which is a lot more days of people bringing you chicken fingers while you lay in bed watching the Kardashians. So just keep rocking that hot pregnant bikini body and try not to think about it – however she gets here will be beautiful.

Angie August 8, 2012 at 3:10 pm

I had both my kiddos via c-section and yes, sometimes I still mourn the just-born mama/baby moment. But when I think about whether or not I would do it all the same way, I have to say that I would because the path I took brought me happy, healthy babies. There is no perfect plan and I think you’re doing the absolute BEST thing you can do by just going in with an open mind. Try to plan the birth as close to your heart’s desire as possible but stay open to changes. And the hardest part of all…don’t beat yourself up later for the choices you made. *love & hugs*

Laura August 8, 2012 at 3:14 pm

I think it is pretty hardcore that you are going for it naturally….you are stronger than me!

On a sidenote. I think that was the best episode of the Kardashians ever. Khole didn’t know what to do with herself and was on her hands and knees cleaning some strangers house, I was dying.

Nicole August 8, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Modg, Although i did have my baby through my vagina…i can honestly say that i do wish some things about the birth were different. I was in the hospital for about 1 hour, when they gave me the option of the epidural. AND I FREAKEN JUMPPED ON IT. Reason being, everyone kept saying—”oh, if you don’t get it right away, it takes time to get it!” so i did.
I really do wish i could’ve waited a little longer, but the pain was a little TOO MUCH. Also, i didn’t get to BF him the second he was born…and that was a little upsetting too. I also didn’t have much privacy after he was born—due to the fact that EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHERS Came to see me…but i really do wish i could’ve put up a DO NOT DISTURN SIGN…because i really needed some time to myself. I know you’re going to do just fine with the delivery of yoSHE…i can’t wait!! ;)

Sarah August 8, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Dude I feel you, I am hoping for a VBAC in a couple weeks and I am scared to death. I never had labor with my first (emergency cs) so I am super nervous it just wont happen and I’ll be another CS. Plus paired with all my other preg crap, I’m just ready to be done so I hope I don’t cave for the knife. Sending happy thoughts since I totally know (well at least as much as you’ve shared) what you’re going through.

Laura C August 8, 2012 at 3:24 pm

No matter what happens, you’re probably not going to be 100% thrilled with the shit that goes down. I was blessed with a totally normal (if two-epidural 27-hour) labor and vag birth, but it’s taken me a year to stop being sad about the way some of it went down. We had the meconium baloney happen with my daughter, so I was LITERALLY the last person in the room to touch her, and, seriously, when it took two weeks for her to latch and suck, I totally believed it was because we had no bonding moment. (Hello, probs PPD?) Birth sucks, and it’s gorgeous, and Yoshe will be gorgeous, and your vag will be fine. Don’t chicken out of the vbac. Oh, and my hubs has an enormous head and was an 11 lb baby at birth. My baby was totally teeny and normal. Girls are littler than boys YOU’LL BE FINE.

Maggie August 8, 2012 at 3:27 pm

my second daughter is 4 months old and was born via VBAC 1 week past her due date in April. I had a midwife and had her in a hospital, and I got the epidural around 4 cm. (from an asian anesthesiologist! she was awesome.) anyway, I never labored the first time around (I had an induction gone bad, and my c section happened about 5 seconds after they started the pitocin because the baby’s heartrate dropped), so I did not know what to expect in terms of labor, etc. This time I had a pretty textbook labor and delivery (apparently?), and the fact that I was a VBAC was no big deal to anyone except the evil doctor they called in to “monitor” me and warn me every five seconds that if anything changed she would have to do a c-section. F her. My point is, you can do this. You can even have an epidural if you want. I wasn’t wild about the idea, but it made things so much nicer for everyone, especially me, since I was not screaming and writhing around. I even got to reach down and pull my baby out JUST LIKE KOURTNEY! Just listen to yourself, and your gut feelings about what is happening with your baby and your body. I walked out of a scheduled c-section (that the evil doctor made me schedule) 3 days before I went into labor. I knew it wasn’t right, and I listened to my crazy self. You can do it too :)

Marla August 8, 2012 at 3:28 pm

I had my first son naturally and it was so severely traumatizing that I was too in shock to bond immediately with my baby. 14.5 months later I gave birth to my second son and I gave in and got the epidural. This baby was sunny side up and two pounds heavier and I don’t regret the epidural for a second. I have much more positive memories of his birth including immediate bonding and no trauma.

I’m much more of a wimp than I imagined.

Lisa @bitesforbabies August 8, 2012 at 4:26 pm

I just happened to stop scrolling down at your post…sorry to hear that! I was adamant about having a natural birth and (to my surprise) everything went extremely well (meaning NO trauma! Lol!) Good for you though for not stressing yourself out about having to go natural and opting for the epidural instead. A lot of women, (including myself!) have too many expectations and then end up feeling guilty or get depressed for changing their initial “plan!” I intend to have a natural birth with my second, (also because I am deathly afraid of the epidural!) so for that reason I hope I can get through it! ;-)

Lacey August 8, 2012 at 3:29 pm

I had a C/S the first time and a vbac with a semi failed epidural the second time with a midwife, an OB, a nurse, in a hospital, and it was beautiful. Email me if you would like to talk about it b/c I am not as brave as you to talk about vaginae out in the open.. or I can email you, whichever you prefer. Btw, spell checker thinks vagina(s) is not a word..

Marlee August 8, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Hi MODG/Amanda,
I read your blog and love it (of course), but never comment. But today, I wanted to give you few words of encouragement/vagina sparkles and rainbows! I had a natural childbirth in the hospital with a midwife, and it was hard, but amazing. I labored at home for 13 hours, got to the hospital, labored in the tub for 3,pushed for 1, and delivered an 8lb8oz baby. I don’t think you need to worry about missing the water birth part, because for me, that was horrible and the pain was much better once I got out of the tub (at the time I was scared to get out of the tub because I thought water was supposed to be much better to labor in for natural births). So don’t sweat that. Also, don’t get caught up in how big the baby might be. A girlfriend called me right after I delivered and said, “You gave birth to an 8lb8oz baby without drugs?!?!?!?” I mean, 8.5lbs isn’t 10lbs, but he was still big. And the truth is, I didn’t know he was that big when I was pushing him out, and you and your vagina and your doctor won’t know exactly how big Yoshe is when she is coming out either. The size of the baby did not even cross my mind. You and your body will just want to push her out and you will. Then you will just be impressed with yourself when it’s all said and done. Good luck! You will be great!

Jess August 8, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Smaller girls do have smaller whoohas. They have to use like a child’s speculum (spelling?) on me and I used to get discounts when I had brazillians done because the surface area was less than your normal person. Also, i’m not weirdly sized just very short- five feet.

MODG August 8, 2012 at 7:11 pm

this is valuable vagina info.

KB August 8, 2012 at 11:11 pm

I think the fact that they give discounts for less survace area on a vagie wax oddly disturbing, but good to know.

Ginger August 10, 2012 at 11:59 am

my doctor told me that the ultimate size of the birth canal/how wide your hips open has NOTHING to do with your “outside size” and that it can’t be determined until you are in labor. the size speculum you would need at a GYN appt or the surface area of your vagina aren’t the same thing at all.
I’m 5’1″ and a size 2 and delivered vaginally, though I did need a small episiotomy.

Toni August 14, 2012 at 2:18 am

Well…. I am 6’2, weigh 71kgs, and have had 3 kids naturally, (8lb 8oz, 7lb 13oz, and 7lb 7oz), and the last 2 were both 3 1/2 weeks early, and I have to have the smaller speculum used when I have a pap smear. Vagina’s stretch… and shrink again.

sheri August 8, 2012 at 3:35 pm

I had natural child birth in the 80′s (it was expected then lol) and it’s no joke, but obviously I and my daughter lived through it. I had a C section with my son so I know about both…I was also small..weighed about 120, baby was 9lbs. Yes it hurt like hell, yes I had to be cut…BUT it was all worth it in the end of course. I bonded with the baby better after the natural birth, after the C section I was just too out of it and I still feel bad about that but my son is just fine (he was a 10lb breech)
You’ll be fine which ever way you go, just do what you feel is right for you :)

amy August 8, 2012 at 3:37 pm

I had 2 c-sections, the recovery on #2 was much easier. Do I wish I could take back the 2nd section? Hell no, cuz I am a hair over 5 feet tall, my hubby is 6 foot 5 and my kids were born at 24 inches~~ way too long to move around and for my contractions to be effective…….but that’s me.

Now, I am also a nurse (that works in OB). We don’t do vbacs at our hospital, but it makes me smile to hear that you want one. I know plenty of people who have had vbacs and said the recovery and aftermath is so much better. You just want to keep that in the front of your mind with every contraction because the little devil sitting on your shoulder is going to be whispering the whole time “get the knife, get the knife”. You just need to spend the next several weeks preparing for those contractions and tell yourself that if they don’t hurt then they aren’t doing anything for you. You WILL get through this, you WILL have a beautiful baby and you WILL get to have that “I’m in love” moment when she comes out of your va-jay-jay!!! And, before you know it you will be home breast feeding your little one while unicorns dance under a rainbow just outside your sparkley front door!!
Best of luck to you!! Amy :)

Sabrina August 8, 2012 at 3:38 pm

So I had a natural birth in a hospital with a midwife (no doula, but my husband and I took a class where he learned to coach me through– it’s called the Bradley Method in case you are interested). It was hard– the class helped prepare me to a degree, but I will tell you this– now that I HAVE pushed a baby out that way, I STILL wonder if I can do it again (I had a big baby too). But I did do it once, so I can theoretically do it again. The fear is worse than doing it, swears. It was like two weeks after I had PTSD where I was like, OMG that was hard! I can’t believe I did that! Right afterwards it was like, oh hi baby I’m fine (lovely hormones!) Research lots of ways of coping– for me, walking and walking and walking in labor helped more than being in the tub. Good luck, you can do it. And if you don’t for whatever reason, no one will judge you. If they do they are assholes.

Pickle August 8, 2012 at 3:41 pm

I just had a home water birth in April, and my baby was 10lb 10oz. Not even a skidmark and I’m 5’2″. Even though you’re not going that route, there are lots of birth videos on YouTube with no screaming. Heck, I’ll send you mine if you think it will help. You also might want to give your Hypnobabies a shot because I think it helps with confidence and peace of mind overall.

You got this!

Jamie August 8, 2012 at 3:41 pm

I’m a FTM (only 7 weeks along) and planning a natural birth too (God willing!) Have you looked into The Bradley Method? that’s what I’m going to pursue to cope with the pain. We’ll take some classes or something, i’ll be asking our midwife about it at our first appointment next week. Hypnobabies/birthing has worked well for a couple friends of mine, but I am skeptical as to how well it will work for me. I don’t really believe in hypnotism, and I think your mindset determines a whole lot about how you cope with the pain and process, and how well certain methods will work for you. You can do a natural birth, MODG!! We all can :) But I’ve heard time and again how it’s all about mindset and if you go in with any doubt or any thoughts about using an epi or any pain meds as backup, you might not make it through as well as you could if you go in guns blazing saying “I can do this!”. You’re a strong woman and I know you can do it :)

MODG August 8, 2012 at 7:12 pm

I tried to get into a Bradley class but the timing didn’t work out. Those bitches are like 12 weeks. I was too far along

Leyna August 9, 2012 at 11:02 am

If you’re still interested in Bradley, ask the instructors in your area if they’ll do private instruction. I didn’t have enough time for the 12 week course, either. It really wasn’t that much more expensive, and our instructor came out to our house twice a week at 8pm (meaning no hassle of finding a babysitter for older siblings). It was a great bonding experience for my husband and me, and I at least got to use my Bradley relaxation techniques while they did the external version to try and turn my breech baby before the c-section. Worth looking into.

Gini August 8, 2012 at 3:42 pm

I had a c-section because my son was breech. I was HEARTBROKEN to have to have it, because I’d spent pretty much my whole pregnancy researching and preparing to go totally natural. I mourned the loss of the transition, the evolution of regular Party Gini into someone better– Mama Gini. I considered birthing him breech but my doctor really scared me and my husband was super uncomfortable with it anyway. So we scheduled the section and the whole day was surreal. I never felt like I was in my body, even as they inserted the epidural, even as I swung my legs up on the table, even as they pulled out my squalling baby. Even as I threw up in a pan at the moment my husband brought him over to meet me and I had to wave him away. I hated everyone at that moment– that was supposed to be MY super love moment with my beautiful son and instead I was throwing up the nothing I’d been allowed to eat for the last eight hours! I felt totally robbed.

So MODG…I feel ya. There ended up being an abnormality in my uterus that was the reason my son couldn’t move vertex and that would’ve been life-threatening if I’d tried to deliver vaginally, so I’m actually very grateful I went through with thr section now. BUT, my point is that I understand why you feel the way you do about your c-section! It’s not exactly what we dreamed of, is it? I’m SO rooting for you and a VBAC! I highly recommend encapsulating your placenta– it was the only granola-mom thing I was able to do, and I TOTALLY notice a difference if I forget to take the pills.

Erin August 8, 2012 at 3:44 pm

I had a c-section with my first son last year. Completely unplanned, he turned breech at 39 weeks and when I showed up for my 40 week check up, they sent me to the hospital and I got in the c-section line for the day. It sucked. I let myself cry for 2 minutes at the loss of my natural, hypnobirthing birth and then I let them do it. I didn’t have trouble nursing or PPD, so I have no advice there. I’m so sorry that you felt like you were babysitting. Because having your own baby rules but babysitting is terrible and that would be an awful way to live. I’m glad you got it straight.

We’re trying for number 2 now and I would also like to naturally vbac. And if not natural, epidural vbac. But I also feel like if I have to have a c section, meh…I have to. My plan is try and turn off all the bullshit during my pregnancy. I’ll listen to my doctor, I’ll take my doula’s advice and turn off all the other people in my life who want to offer their “advice.” But I’m trying to go into it with an open, hopeful mind. I’m not going to kill myself over my hypnobirthing practice again (I didn’t love it, I wish I did, I just didn’t. My brain works too much) and I’m just to wait it out. Either way the baby is coming out, through my stomach or through my vagina! I worry that breast feeding won’t be as easy for me the second time as it was the first time. I worry that the second won’t sleep as well as the first. I worry about the where F we are going to put all the kid shit in our house. But it all works out. It does. So that’s my advice. Turn it all off. Ignore that “big baby” stuff. Either you will vbac or you won’t.

Jane August 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm

While I didn’t have PPD, I did have a super, super hard time attaching to my son after he was born (which was unexpected because I loved being pregnant). We did have a c-section and I also had to mourn the loss of the “Oh, my….here HE IS!!” moment and that was tough. And, until he was about 4 months old I really didn’t have that “Throw yourself in front of a train for my baby” feeling that I heard so much about. I mean, I WOULD have thrown myself in front a train because I knew I was supposed to and I would look like a huge asshole if I didn’t, but I didn’t even feel like I had had a baby. Like I wasn’t a real woman for not having pushed one out which is stupid. Fast forward to my second son, whose pregnancy I was SO over by 20 weeks and didn’t feel too attached to and BANG! The second they pulled him out (another c-section) I had all those mushy-gooey feelings you hear about “Being so in love with the baby” and all that. While I was not digging on my pregnancy with my second, I knew I would love him how you stereotypically should because this was my second time around and I had already done the mom thing. I knew all the fun things that were going to happen in the future rather than being kind of blind sided with the 99.9% work and .1% reward. A vbac wasn’t an option for me and I think it’s great that you are looking in to it. My recovery this time around is, well 11 weeks out and still a slow process. Because who is going to lift your kiddo into their carseat/shopping cart/crib when it’s just you? A stranger in the parking lot because “you can’t lift something heavier than the baby”? Yeah, hi. You’ll do great.

netty August 8, 2012 at 3:50 pm

MODG…. I was measuring 2 weeks ahead up until this past visit…. Now I’m 35 weeks and measuring 36…so just because you’re ahead now doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Not to worry girl! Your body is making the right size baby for you and you can TOTALLY DO THIS!

melissa August 8, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Did you say 24 hours? 24 hours?! and 1 cm?! Do not feel sad. You did so much. Thank goodness for modern medicine’s ability to get that enormous, stubborn bebe outta you after 24 freaking hours of trying it nature’s way.

Carla August 8, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Oh lady, I so feel you on the big baby plus a husband with a huge head thing. I spent my whole third trimester staring in rage and disgust at that giant noggin. As for the birth, I pushed an almost ten pounder out of my vag, no vacuum or anything weird. I had a lot of stitches to show for it. My only regret? The stupid epidural that only sort of worked on one side and left me with the worst head ache EVER! So if you can, skip the epidural and save yourself a lot of post delivery bullshit. An open mind is key, and as long as you get a healthy baby out safely that’s all that really matters.

Carly August 8, 2012 at 4:03 pm

I am new here. I had an all natural birth. The only pain meds I had was a small dose to take the edge off. I felt EVERYTHING. Granted, it was fast. But very painful. If I had to do it again, I would have prepared better for a natural birth. I had no clue about breathing and such. Next time, I don’t know if I’ll do epidural or not. It doesn’t make me a better mom or a better woman! Good luck!

Becky August 8, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Ok. First. I don’t wish I would have changed anything about my birth except (if I could) the nurses and midwife that labored with me. They were awful. Like, seriously. I went into my birth with a plan of no epidural or drugs until I reached 7 cm at least and would like to go completely natural if I could make it. Well. When I was 14 hours in and no water break, only 1.5cm dilated, and contractions off the charts every two minutes, I changed my mind VERY quickly. Looking back, it wouldve been nice if I progressed a little quicker and I probably wouldn’t have had the epidural so early or even at all if I did progress on my own, but I can’t make that happen, my body has to.
Second, my son will be three months on Sunday and I definitely have a case of the gummy penguins going on. People tell me it takes time to get your body back, more time than three months, but
I thought breastfeeding would’ve at least helped me out a little by now.
Third, don’t fret. At one point around 24 weeks, my midwife measured me at 29 and sent me for an extra ultrasound that determined she forgot how to properly measure that day. Apparently sometimes the way the baby is laying can throw measurements off… Thank Jesus, because I seriously had myself convinced I was having twins and no one told me. (you should’ve seen my husband try and calm me down on that one. Bringing home an extra bassinet as a joke is NOT funny)

In the end, YOU are the expert of YOU. You know what you want, you’ve done your research and if you can get through what you did with G, you can totes get through whatever YoSHE has to throw at you.

Emily August 8, 2012 at 4:08 pm

That whole pushing a baby out of your vag thing is not the glorious LSD-like experience Ina May sold it to me as. My daughter was born naturally after 42 hours of early/f-ing annoying labor, 3 hrs of hard labor, and 2 hours of pushing. And holy balls. That shit is hard, not matter which way you slice it. We just did lamaze class and I read the shit out of Ina May’s books. The last time I asked to be checked, I had already made up my mind that I was getting an epidural, screw all that hippie business about “spinal cord injuries” and “natural birth.” No matter which way you have a birth, natural, epidural, c-section, pregnant man, whatever, it is HARD. Don’t sell yourself short.

PS – Did you try standing up during labor? It got my focus off the contractions and made my baby shift down. Not that you probably need advice on labor positions. It *might* have also made me tell the nurse I thought I pooped on the floor. (Turned out it was just go time)

Ann August 8, 2012 at 4:09 pm

This makes me want to cry… I know what you are feeling. I was in labor for 12 hours when I was 37.5 weeks pregnant bc my dr induced me as he believed my baby was too big and that if I wanted a natural child birth this would be my only opportunity before he got even bigger. So he induced me and guess what… my body wasnt ready, I dilated but he would not drop and ultimately had to have a c-section, baby ended up 8lbs not too big (he did have a gigantic melon though – 100%). I then suffered with postpartum – bad. And spent day after day researching vbacs bc that was how #2 would be born… fast forward to #2, I was all set to move forward with the vbac but my Dr said it would be impossible bc of how big this baby was as well and convinced me to move forward with a c-section. YOU ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING – you are seeing a midwife, someone who respects your baby and your body and you WILL have a successful vbac – especially bc you are surrounding yourself with the right people. that is key… I wish I listened to myself more and dropped my OB but I was scared, scared to buck conventional medicine and I will forever regret it. You should be so proud of yourself. I cant wait to hear through your words how #2′s birth goes – I hope its everything you want it to be. OF COURSE – the baby’s and your health come first in an emergency but I have faith nature will take its course here!! I wonder if I can have a vba2c’s?

Carrie August 8, 2012 at 4:10 pm

I understand women being unhappy with their birth experience – to a point. Just as I understand being disappointed by the sex of your baby at first, but if you’re not over it in a day or two, you’ve got some serious issues to work through. I’ve been through a miscarriage and it was the worst experience of my life, I was very depressed, my husband said it “destroyed” me and I did not like who I was during that point in my life. I can’t imagine what losing a baby during delivery would be like – and it does happen. Just lurk on some internet support message boards to get some perspective. I get that you want things to go a certain way – I do too and I will write out a med-free birth plan (I’m due just days after you). But my number one worry about labor and delivery is my baby arriving safely and healthy. I hate to say it, but frankly, it’s not about you. Women have turned pregnancy and birth into it being “their time” and “their day” and it’s f-ing rediculous. If you ever lose a baby you’ll realize what’s really important.

MODG August 8, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Listen Carrie, I get it. I didn’t have THE WORST experience that any woman had on earth. I’m not saying that I did and I’m not comparing myself to those. I am however allowed to feel how I felt (VERY depressed) and struggle with that. I was in counseling for a very long time. I would never say to someone who is struggling, “well you should cheer up because other people have died”. That’s just insensitive. And if you’ve read anything else I’ve written on birth I ALWAYS say the safety of the baby comes first. I’m sorry for your experience, but it sounds like you still have a lot of anger and issues to work through, which I understand. But it’s not fair to direct that towards others.

Monica August 9, 2012 at 1:34 am

Somebody will always have it better/worse than you. It doesn’t discredit your feelings towards your birth or whatever else.

Lin August 9, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Listen, I have lost a baby, had a horrendous pregnancy and PPD, so I welcomed a c-section with open arms. You can’t compare losing a child to ANYTHING. I saw some of the comments you made about PPD and losing a child. I had both and they are not the same at all. MODG, you are allowed to feel how you feel but I don’t think you should be giving out advice saying somebody has anger issues. Miscarriage is not something you ever get over. There will always be a piece of it that haunts the back of your brain. I think she was just offering another perspective and maybe help you try to put things into perspective. You have a happy healthy kid, what more could you ask for? Honestly, I don’t see why women want to punish their vaginas or at the very least, feel their vagina being punished. Bring on the drugs.

Laura August 9, 2012 at 12:47 pm

I don’t think you’re qualified to say if someone has anger issues still to work through or not. I didn’t read Carrie’s comment like you weren’t allowed to feel depressed. I think the disconnect between what Carrie is trying to say about delivery and how you are interpreting it is you are placing so much of your PPD blame on your c-section, when it may or may not have had anything to do with it.

Jessica August 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Carrie is openly saying that MODG is being selfish (“I hate to say it but it’s not about you”). MODG is saying that it’s about the birth and the baby (we all know an unmedicated, natural birth is healthiest under normal circumstances but thank GOD for medical intervention when it’s necessary and saves everyone’s lives like the superman it is). Carrie is offended because she has been through something really traumatic and horrible. MODG is saying her offense is misplaced because MODG is really just trying to work through her own fears about birth and PPD, NOT compare her experience to someone else’s. Everyone goes through tough stuff. Some people’s stuff seems tougher than others. But let’s all find a way to be supportive. MODG is asking for some help and advice, some words of encouragement. She didn’t ask Carrie to get over her experiences, she asked her not to direct her anger at MODG. In fact, she never in any way indicated that Carrie’s anger over her loss was unjustified. MODG did not say that PPD was like losing a child. She compared it to not having a baby (as in I was never pregnant/I don’t have kids, NOT as in I was pregnant and am grieving the death of my baby). My point – everyone’s feelings are ok! It is valid for MODG to feel totally whacked out about all of this, it is valid for Carrie to feel offended because her experiences with pregnancy and birth have been so different. Bottom line: If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

Lin August 10, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Jessica, go to the top of the comments and you will see a lot of ladies talking about how MODG compared her PPD to losing a child. That’s what I was referring to. As for the rest, are you her PR lady now? If she has a point to make, she can make it. MODG put her 2 cents out there and I criticized it. Yes, I think she has a right to feel the way she does about her “birth experience”, to a degree. Nobody was being mean, and when somebody is talking about a very touchy and controversial subject, they should be ready for criticism and other opinions. It wasn’t out of hate. If you want to see hate, then I suggest you look on GOMI. Cause those ladies be hatin’. Maybe let MODG defend herself, she’s a big girl. Because otherwise it just makes you seem kinda creepy and weird.

Morgan August 9, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Carrie — I can relate to both you and MODG. I’ve had a miscarriage and its dreadful, awful, heartwrenching experience that you CANNOT describe to anyone. I would never in my life wish it on anyone. But, Ive also experience very severe and serious PPD. Its not a “to be happy or not to be happy” condition that someone chooses to partake in. When I went through it (for over 6 medicated months, btw) I didn’t feel like myself. I wasn’t myself. MODG described it perfectly in one of her previous posts.. I hated my husband (nearly filed for divorce), hated myself, my family, my friends, I hated the way the dog looked at me, and I HATED (yes HATED) when my daughter cried. I don’t know that person today, and I have never thought of my family or daughter that way again. Its a disease.. you cant tell someone to just snap out of it.

Sarah H August 8, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Dude – I don’t care about what other people say about birth – I swear to gahhhh, it is NOT that bad! I am a HUGE puss – zero pain tolerance – and I thought I was going to be completely screwed going into the whole birthing thing – if I even burn my finger while cooking, or grate my knuckle while shredding cheese or something, I complain to hubs at like 7 times per day until the excruciating pain subsides. I figured the pain of childbirth might very well kill me. But ya know what? When it came time to pop that little bugger out of my Vagg, it was, well, not that bad. For reals.

Yes, its different for everyone, but I really think you just got shafted last time – birth shafted. It happens sometimes. Your story, and your after thoughts on what maybe contributed to all those the interventions – they’re all valid. That SUCKED. Clearly. But that’s it, its over. That was THAT birth, this one is all going to be sparkles, remember? Just don’t look back. Try to go into this KNOWING (not just hoping) that it will be a different experience. If it doesn’t work out naturally and turns into a c-section, whatever. You do your best.

I tried to stay natural for as long as i could, and then got an epidural at around 6+ cm, and it made the pushing pretty much completely pain free. I did tell them to go easy on the quantity of med, so I could still feel my legs, and get a little leverage. But I swear, I maintain that birthin ain’t shit but hos n’ tricks. You can do this. And for the love of chicken, turn OFF those TLC shows. (I watched em every day too, right up until I went into labor, one week LATE mind you, all the while imagining a huge noggin’d 11 pounder emerging from my hoo ha) – You have to keep in mind, they show only the crazy ones – the screamers – the emergency C’s, – because drama sells, and who the eff wants to watch something boring, like a woman giving birth relatively calmly? Yeah, no one. Certainly not me. I used to hit “record” anytime a scene was unusually horrific, and then force my husband to watch the particularly horrendous tidbits immediately upon walking in from work. Like, before he even put the laptop bag down. He’s a trooper, that one.

To summarize – you can do this – I have full faith in your vadge. Modge Vadge 2012 for president!!

Lluvia August 8, 2012 at 4:12 pm

I was in labor for almost 24 hrs. I was exhausted, hungry, and weak, but somehow pushed her out. I went in with a birth plan. I went in telling them right away I was going to require an epidural. I had the needle on my spine twice and it didnt work. I guess you can say I had to have her naturally. It hurt so much. But to be honest, it was not as painful as pitocin induced contractions, now those reaaally hurt!! But you know, the great part of giving birth is that however it is you do it, it only lasts for a while. Then you get to go back to your normal life. :-)

They too told me she was big when I was pregnant, but she was just really long. 22 inches. She is now almost 3, and is 40″ long!

Stacie August 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Gummy penguins I don’t have, but a whole tub of Cool Whip I do. Oh wait, I ate the entire thing on my 10 minute drive back to the office…

I’m a complete and total wimp. I used to cry when getting shots but being preg makes you eventually say whatev, stick it in me (that’s what she said). When I get a Charlie Horse I’m quite positive that I’m at near death. But somehow I was able to manage popping my daughter out, drug and intervention free.

I took Hypnobirthing and honestly, someone give me my $200 back. That shit didn’t work. What did work was my stubborness. I knew it would come in handy one day. I told myself I could do it. I was confident. I wanted to shut the haters up that said I would cave and get the drugs. I wanted to prove it myself. And holy hell, while I haven’t seen the Kardashian episode yet I bet I could scare the living daylights out of everyone during labor because I sure did a fantastic job terrifying my husband. It was a tough, painful, mind numbing experience. But it was also powerful and emotional and something that I’m fully prepared to do again in 7 ish weeks.

I birthed with a MW in a hospital while waving my 2 page birth plan around (I can’t help that I’m type A) and I got everything I wanted. No IV, very little fetal monitoring, no trying to sell me drugs like I’m on the street corner…couldn’t have been happier.

For realz, you and baby small head can do it.

I’m a natural birth story reading junky, so if you follow suit here’s some vag pushing details for your pleasure– http://sweetsunshinesofmine.blogspot.com/p/parkers-birth-story.html

christine August 8, 2012 at 4:15 pm

My #1′s head was HUGE and still is. Begged for a c-section to get him out but I made it. 2 long hours later. #2 was so much easier. Luckily. Good luck…trust your instincts and how you feel that day. You’ll be awesome.

Emily August 8, 2012 at 4:16 pm

I very, VERY much wanted a natural VBAC for my second child. I switched to a more supportive practice with Paoli (vs Bryn Mawr) and all but 2/8 were wonderful. I had a wonderful pregnancy, but always measured a bit ahead. (First baby was 7.10 a week early, breech only reason for csection,so was excellent candidate for vbac I was told). I was asked for a growth u/s at 39 weeks, to which I was adamantly against and heard how inaccurate/my body wouldn’t make a baby too large to deliver. I did a lot of research on growth u/s and found where I went (oaks,pa place) they had a scarily accurate rate. I am a patient, not a doctor, and my u/s had my baby at 10.3 at 40 weeks-yes, I put off going until then. And I cried and cried. Then I bucked up, stopped thinking of what I wanted and made a compromise-I would experience labor and baby could decide its birthday, but a csection again would be best. And although I had same fears as you–it turned out amazing. Paoli was accomodating in my csection wishes, baby placed on me almost immediately, stayed with me, milk came in FAST, recovery a breeze/left after 2 days. I did feel more empowered and every.single doctor/nurse said there was just about no way he’d be born vaginally-he was 10.2-just like they said. And shoulder 15in, the words “vaginal cesearean” were used, vom. My point is, you might have to tweak your ideal, which you said, but let some control go, because 2u2…controlling not gonna happen much :)

Lisa @bitesforbabies August 8, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Wow, you had me at “24 hour labour!!” I guess I should consider myself lucky…mine was relatively short! I don’t have any regrets with my first because everything (strangely) went according to the “plan” I had devised in my (OCD) head! I’m pregnant with my second (23 weeks along) and I am petrified about giving birth the second time..because the first time was literally too good to be true!!! My son weighed only 6 pounds 2oz so I can’t even imagine almost 9 pounds!! All I have to say is, have you heard of “perineal massage?!!!” It supposedly helps for a vaginal birth…I’d check it out! Good luck ;-)

erinisabel August 8, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Once again you’ve taken the thoughts right out of my head. You and I have very similar birth stories:http://erinisabel.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/introducing-maxwell-curtis-to-the-world/
I too struggled big time with PPD/PPA and I’m terrified of my next labor and delivery and I’m not even pregnant! But every time I do think about it I remind myself that it’s not going to be the same. You know why? Because no matter what, even if I end up with another C-Section, it can still be that magical ponies shitting rainbows experience that I want. You’ve had the worst of it, you know how bad it can get, but now you can take what you know and use the tools at your disposal, like a doula (I’m so going to have one next time), to make this what you want it to be.

emmy lou August 8, 2012 at 4:26 pm

I am sure some of your hippie friends have mentioned this book, but I am here to say it was what made me KNOW that I COULD physically give birth to a baby and feel confident that my body had that capability. Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth. The whole first half is stories of births (I read maybe half of those) and the second half is all about what your body does and how naturally capable you are – get it and at least skim it. It is the only childbirth/pregnancy book I even attempted to read.

hotmommy82 August 8, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Hi Amanda!

I also watched like 20,000 videos of women having natural births with and without epidural…When I had my baby I just kept an open mind, I just wanted to do the best for baby and myself. I had the simplest, most awesomest pregnancy but it all changed the day of delivery. My son decided that he didn’t wanna leave his temporary condo. I got induced cause my body never got into labor and even though I was contracting, my son refused to move… at all. After 3 hours of constant pushing and no baby the dr decided to use a vacuum to pull him out… NOT A GOOD EXPERIENCE… long story short, they pulled him so hard that they hurt his arm and head. I didn’t get to hold him when he came out because they rushed him to the NICU cause he was having trouble breathing and he was in shock. I had to wait 3 days to hold him in my arms. That felt like the longest time in my life.. I don’t know how I managed to don’t crumble into pieces, but 5 days and 25,000 dollars later I got to take him home. I didn’t write this to scare you, but what I learned of all this experience is that… it doesn’t matter how much we plan it, babies have their own plans since day 1, I learned that, and that US women are warriors that can survive all kinds of hard punches from life. I was thankful that finally my baby was at home with me, but I always kept asking myself if all this coulda been avoided if I had a c-section. I definitely wanna have more babies and I cringe just to think about labor again. I hope you have an awesome baby birth experience and it’s all happy memories for You and Yoshe, I’m sure that anything that life and science have ready for you, you’re gonna take it like the trooper you are. xoxo

Jenny G. @ We G Three August 8, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Well, I didn’t read all the comments because I’m lazy and I finally got my daughter to take a nap and I didn’t want to spend all of naptime reading comments. BUT, you do know that fundal measurement is pretty imprecise, right? Like, I would absolutely NOT freak out about measuring 2 weeks ahead. Those measurements are totally dependent on the baby’s position, too. I measured 2 weeks behind the whole time. Then one day the baby that had felt so low I thought she was just going to fall out, didn’t feel low anymore and I could feel feet in my ribs. That week? I measured on track. She wasn’t any bigger, she was just up higher (I also delivered her 2 days later and she was TINY, so don’t freak).

As far as the natural birth goes, you totally can do this. I took a Hypnobirthing class, and honestly that crap went out the window when I had Cytotec-induced contractions and back labor from an ill-positioned baby. But damnit, I was determined to do it the natural way, and that determination really got me through. You seem to have even more of that determination, which is how I know you will be fine. PLUS you have a doula (I so wish I had had one!). Extra smart. Just remember, when you feel like giving up, that’s probably the transition talking, and once you get over that hump Yoshe will just slide right out. Ok, maybe not, but you totally got this MODG.

Stacey August 8, 2012 at 4:33 pm

I had 4 babies:
2 natural no drugs, 2 natural w an epidural my last two. All I can say, is what was I thinking trying to be all brave and drug free. 1. the drugs do not affect your thought process nor did the affect my babies 2. I went from having 2 labors thinking I was dying to hey pass me the remoteand hey nurse I can feel some pressure in my vag so I think I’m ready to push, ps I was. Just because your body is numb doesn’t mean you can’t feel the pressure or desire to push you just don’t feel those awful contractions. Also, on one of those epidurals it only took on one side of my body – still so much better than feeling those contractions at full strength for hours upon hours

I’m not having any more kids but man my next phantom baby name is Anesthesia #justsayin

Katie E. August 8, 2012 at 4:37 pm

My OB/GYN is married to my sons’ pediatrician. And they are wonderful people. The very best thing the pediatrician told me about her husband’s attendance during the whole birthing progress after my very scary and difficult pregnancy: Don’t worry, he will get the baby out somehow, and if you think someone will judge you for how the baby came out your body, you can always lie, or give way too many graphic details and they will leave you alone. IT is advice I cherish, and will keep firmly in mind when we have kiddo #3. Also remember that birth isn’t some elevated moonlight and candles sort of event, it’s kind of gory, life at its most basic. Beware the romanticizing of it, because I made myself crazy and almost died because of being stubborn over some things because I wanted them so badly, and then I felt guilty and had PPD and it was all awful. Next baby will be different for me. Good luck, and the baby will come out somehow!

Allison August 8, 2012 at 4:38 pm

I totally wish I could have redone my birth with my daughter. But chances are, it would have ended the same anyways. I had a c-section too. And yeah, it sucks. Because I too wanted a natural water birth. But after like 2 days in labor I didn’t go past 3cm. I had horrid back pain because she was sunny side up. So I got the epidural. After pushing for 2 hours they tried to suction her out, which didn’t work either. So a c-section was a necessity. Turns out she was trying to come out with the side of her head, so if I had had her naturally, I would have been an awful mess down there. She had a huge blistered bleeding suction mark on her head, it was awful.

I’m not currently pregnant, but I’m hoping for a vbac next time too. It’s important to me to try. I’m not sure if I’ll do it natural or not. I know how much back labor sucks, and if I get it again, I don’t know that I could do it without the epidural. Contractions I could do. The back labor is 100x worse.

My milk took forever to come in too, it didn’t until the day after we left the hospital, at least this time I’ll know to tell the nurses to back off and not force me to give my baby formula like they did with my daughter. Seriously, I was hounded day and night to try to get her to suck. Well, if there’s no milk there, she’s not going to want to eat on the boob! Ugh, it was a mess.

I do think that if I end up with another c-section, at least I won’t be as depressed about it because I know that it’s necessary and I won’t have had this idea in my mind that a c-section is never an option. And I know what to expect recovery-wise.

Good luck, and I really hope you get your vbac!

Leyna August 8, 2012 at 4:50 pm

I tried to comment earlier, but I think my phone screwed it up. Just wanted to say–big cheerleader over here for you to get your VBAC and have an amazing birth experience and then blog all about it. I’m planning for mine in February (same deal–hospital & doula, scared of a ginormous baby since my vag is a birth virgin, yada yada), and it’d be awesome to finally have that sadness and regret and feeling of being incomplete as a woman somehow lifted off my shoulders.

I’m on an ICAN message board, and the ladies on it have been amazingly helpful and supportive. They insist that you CAN labor in water and still be monitored with a wireless telemetry unit, but you have to demand the shit out of it until a nurse in the know gets you one. Some of the older hospitals simply don’t have them available, but they say most of the newer hospitals will have that technology available. My plan is to 1) have my doula put on her bitch hat if necessary to get me access to water/moving around 2) tour the hospital more than once and find out the scoop on those wireless telemetry units.

Several of the mamas who had their dream VBACs swear by the chiropractic treatments and acupuncture starting at 37 weeks or so. Who knows if they would have gotten lucky anyway, but I’m willing to try anything to get my ladyparts primed and ready.

I also know that my doctor and 3 ultrasound techs WAAAAY overestimated the size of my son, and I’ve heard/read plenty of horror stories of women who wound up with automatic repeats for a “big” baby, only to have a 6- or 7- pounder sliced out. That said, even if Yoshe IS huge, it doesn’t mean you still can’t handle it. I think someone else mentioned–read all those Birth Without Fear success stories. You will find some teeny tiny ladies who had 10-pounders and finally got their much-needed VBAC, no regrets.

I read the success (and not so successful) stories so I can give myself daily pep talks. More importantly, I’m reading them to educate myself about every possible scenario. I take notes to give to my doula (e.g., don’t let them talk me into Cytotech, don’t let them do vaginal exams, don’t tell them honestly when my water broke because then they’ll force me into a section at exactly 24 hours, etc.). This time around I have no need for my old Hypnobirth + Bradley birth plan (that was all roses and sunshine and “bring my tennis ball and lollipops and my happy place music”–worthless when things started to go a little wrong). My birth “plan” this time is basically a list of all the things I KNOW can go wrong, and all of my options in those scenarios (although I anticipate being told I don’t have options, I intend to insist on options anyway to avoid the cascade of interventions). The great part about being in a hospital is that I actually do trust that if I’m seriously about to kill myself or my baby, my midwife, doc & doula will have shit fits and let me know I really REALLY don’t have any other choice than to get a repeat.

Okay. Good luck to you, girlie. Here’s to stretchy vaginas.

MODG August 8, 2012 at 7:24 pm

I will definitely ask about that monitor. Thanks for that

Rebecca August 8, 2012 at 10:54 pm

I don’t really know much about VBACs, but if there is ANY way you can get into water, DO IT. My doulas always referred to the magic of the “aquadural”, i.e. getting into a warm tub, and they were so right. I labored at home in our bathtub for as long as I could, and was at 9 cm by the time I got to the hospital to push. I was very lucky that things worked out so well, but you best believe that a doula, a bathtub, and a steady intake of coconut are definitely my list of “MUST haves” for the next time around.

Emily August 8, 2012 at 4:57 pm

I very, VERY much wanted a natural VBAC for my second child. I switched to a more supportive practice with Paoli (vs Bryn Mawr) and all but 2/8 were wonderful. I had a wonderful pregnancy, but always measured a bit ahead. (First baby was 7lbs week early, breech only reason for csection,so was excellent candidate for vbac I was told). I was asked for a growth u/s at 39 weeks, to which I was adamantly against and heard how inaccurate/my body wouldn’t make a baby too large to deliver, etc. I did a lot of research on growth u/s and found where I went (oaks,pa place) they had a scarily accurate rate. I am a patient, not a doctor, and u/s had my baby at 10.3 at 40 weeks-yes, I put off going until then. And I cried and cried. Then I bucked up, stopped thinking of what I wanted and made a compromise-I would experience labor and baby could decide its birthday, but a csection again would be best. And although I had same fears as you–it turned out amazing. Paoli was accomodating in my csection wishes, baby placed on me almost immediately, stayed with me, milk came in FAST, recovery a breeze/left after 2 days. I did feel more empowered and every.single doctor/nurse said there was just about no way he’d be born vaginally-he was 10.2-just like they said. And shoulder 15in, the words “vaginal cesearean” were used, vom. My point is, you might have to tweak your ideal, which you said, but let some control go, because 2u2…controlling not gonna happen much :)

Becca August 8, 2012 at 5:03 pm

I want to chime in with my recommendation for the Bradley Method. I’m 33 weeks along with our first, and we are 5 weeks into the 12-week series (don’t do THAT math, I’m not sure if I’m going to finish either). I’m seeing a midwife for my care, and I will be delivering in a hospital.

I’ve really enjoyed the classes because a) you do exercises that physically prepare your body for birth, b) you’re encouraged to eat a healthy diet so that you’re in the best shape possible to birth your baby (more options!), c) you’re provided with information that encourages you to trust your body and determine if what your provider is telling you is specific to your situation or just because “I saw this freak thing happen once” (YOU ARE NOT THAT CASE!), d) you’re clued in to all the ways that birth can be different — every woman is different, every pregnancy is different — and how to handle each situation so you’re not thrown off while you’re trying to relax, and e) most importantly, your husband is brought into the process.

It has been really special to have my husband be involved and learning to be my coach. I KNOW I won’t be able to get through it without him. We created this child together, and we will bring it into the world together. We can do it! And you can, too!

KT August 8, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Dude. I know it’s hard, but you need to try to stop automatically equating c-section with PPD. You’re going to psyche yourself out. My son was a super scary, dramatic emergency c-section and I had zero PPD. My daughter was a scheduled repeat c-section, everything that I felt like I missed out on with my son–carried her out of surgery, breastfeeding was a breeze, quick and easy recovery (recovery for me was way easier second time around), I even dropped the baby weight faster…and STILL I developed baby blues two weeks later. Total surprise. It wasn’t the c-section though, it was OMG I HAVE TWO KIDS NOW, I CANNOT DEAL. I SUPREMELY SUCK AT PARENTING TWO KIDS (and she was a WAY easier baby than my first. WTF?). It was hard, but it got better. And after a while, I got awesome at parenting again ;) What’s going to happen, is going to happen. I know you’re scared, but stay positive, keep your eyes on the prize and your chances of having the birth you’re dreaming of (whatever it may be!) will be way more likely. You can do this.

For what it’s worth, the size thing is bullshit. My son was born at 40 weeks, 8lbs. 14oz. with a GIANT head. They underestimated his weight by a pound and a half. My WHOLE second pregnancy, they told me my daughter was going to be over 9 pounds with a massive head. At 39 weeks, she was 7 lbs. 7oz. with a 12th percentile head. Second babies, especially girls that take after their petite mamas, can totally be smaller.

Sophia August 8, 2012 at 5:08 pm

I really really hope you get your VBAC and yoshe slips on out minumum fuss :)
I tried for a VBAC with my second but it didn’t work out for me :( Next time (don’t tell anyone but thee will be a next time but it is still a secret – not really a secret anymore but still – shhhhhhh peeps) I am going for an elective section. It’s sad but after 2 emergency sections I am not willing to go in for that trama again. I do know lots of girls who have had VBACs so it is definitely doable. Go vagina, go!

Jackie August 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm

I had an amazing birth story with my daughter (she’s 2)! Got induced, never felt a contraction until they broke my water and when it got really tough (I was dialated to a 5) I told the nurse, I can do this for another 2 hours but not 10. She encouraged me to get an epidural. I got one, took a nap and pushed my daughter out in one push.
BUT I feel like an idiot for wanting to go natural this time (I’m due in January). Even my husband is like… What the heck?!?! It was so great the first time around. Why mess with the program? Your story and all the responses are making me feel better about my determination to try this time. Thanks!

Rachel August 8, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Have you seen the movie “The Business of Being Born” ? You should check it out – it’s on youtube…

hillary August 8, 2012 at 5:16 pm

So I had a home water birth, hippie hippie yada yay, it was great, go me. However, you are totally 100% definitely absolutely making the right choice having this one in the hospital. I hope you have a great birth experience! And I hope your baby’s head isn’t gigantic. But even if it is, you will push her out just fine. Baby heads are kind of squishy at first (no really). And it’s your interior pelvic width that matters, which is not determined by your exterior pelvic width. You are gonna do great.

Tara Curley August 8, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Once I asked some people I was with if they thought the size of bellybuttons corresponded to vagina size. The two girls gave REALLY awkward laughs and nobody said anything for awhile. This was like two months ago. And I’m 26.

Julie August 8, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Modg – I think you need to start doing some positive thinking and re-read Ima May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth. Don’t let your fears and anxiety determine what kind of birth you’re going to have. It’s going to be amazing because you’re a fucking rock star!

I used Hypnobabies too and it really helped me redirect my thoughts during my pregnancy to start believing in ability to birth my child naturally, especially the positive affirmations CD. I’m a tiny 5′ tall, was in labor for 12+ hours, pushed for 2.5 and did it all without an epidural. No tearing. You can absolutely do it it too but I think your chances are better when you believe it.

Molly August 8, 2012 at 6:28 pm

My first son was born via emergency c-section- after 30+ hours of med-free back labor, my placenta began to rupture and into the OR I went. Luckily, my milk didn’t take abnormally long to come in but I did have mild PPD. When I got pregnant with my second son (at 10 mo PP- hello surprise baby), I was determined to have a VBAC. I had the best midwives at the hospital with the highest VBAC success rate in town, a doula/monitrice, a labor tub, read every natural birth book out there. I ended up having prodromal labor for nearly a week and after two days of no-shit, every 2 minute contractions, I consented to another c-section because my son’s heartrate kept dropping with every contraction. And it sucked, laboring for so long, not sleeping for days and then still having the stupid c-section. But my milk came in faster the second time, I bonded quicker with my baby, and no PPD. I’m not trying to scare you- I hated both of my birth experiences and still have issues surrounding them. I never entertained the idea that I might have a RCS, so when it happened, I was unprepared. I wish I had read stories from women who had failed VBACs- no one really talks about the heartbreak that follows those situations. I truly hope you get your VBAC, and someday that I can get mine.

Amy August 8, 2012 at 6:54 pm

You. Can. Do. It.

Try reading Birthing from Within (a bit on the Planet Hippy side)–it helps you to let go of your old experiences and expectations of birthing, pain, etc. and helps you to change your relationship to it.

Brenda August 8, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Both times the nurses and doctors were sure I was a c-section. I looked huge. I measured huge. 4 weeks big at one point with both kiddos (that could totally change by next week btw). Random people on the streets asking me at 28 weeks if I was having triplets. Then whispering (loudly) when I explained it was only one “did you see her? She’s HUGE!” Anyway, the point is I pushed both of my big headed children out of my vajayjay. My son with no epidural and my daughter I made it to 9 cm and 20 hrs of labor before I begged for a epi so I could have her vaginally. My daughter was so big and coming down the birth canal sideways, they stood at the back of my birthing room whispering (again not so quietly) about when to wheel me in for a c-section. But I fought. And I used a knotted sheet to push against. And I got her out. So moral of the story is, you can do it!

Amanda August 8, 2012 at 7:19 pm

I just found this blog and you are one of my new blog heroes…. just saying. Also, I wanted to mention that I have my first child via C-section and had what sounds like a very similar experience to yours. I have extreme PPD (to the point where I couldn’t watch TV because it was too loud, I couldn’t hold my son sometimes because I was afraid I would drop him or do something else to ruin his life, and spent about 12 months in a horrible foggy haze). I also experienced a sense of disappointment for not having a “real” childbirth. I felt like a failure and I felt like I really missed out on something crucial in my life. So when I got pregnant with my second child I was convinced that I would accomplish a VBAC – until I couldn’t and she was born via C-section. And by then I was too scarred (yes scarred not scared) to try for a VBAC with my third so she was born via C-section too.

I really hope that you can accomplish a VBAC, but if you can’t please take it from someone who has been there and try to forgive yourself. I still sometimes feel sad that I never did experience a vaginal delivery. But I also think that my driving need to have a VBAC the second time around make the C-section even hard to accept. Going into my third pregnancy accepting that my labor experience was real and poignant and powerful even while in the operating room really helped make the whole journey much more enjoyable.

Good luck!

Salli August 8, 2012 at 7:52 pm

OMG MODG hugs to you!! I’m also freaked out. Oh wait, you only said you were nervous. I’M freaked. I’m 31 wks preggs with baby no. 5 (no. 5 is aliiiive!!! sorry couldn’t help myself to a “Short Circuit” reference hehe )

I’ve got 4 kids, the darkies (number 1 and 4) were both emergency cesars and the 2 blondies in the middle were born vbac, go figure, my easiest birth was number 3 – and she was 9 lb 14oz!! all the bubs have been over 9 lb.
This time I’m not allowed to give birth where I live because of the 2 cesars, so I have to go back to my hometown where I had the other 4. Oh and its 4000 km away. doh. They’ll more than likely book me for a cesar but my sneaky plan is to stay at home (aka Dads house) until number 5 is just about to make an appearance. I KNOW now that going to the hospital too early is a baaaaad idea. I hope it works out for me cos I’m terrified of another cesar! Fingers and EVERYTHING crossed for you honey that it all works out just the way you want as well, because even though the healthy baby outcome IS what we all want, the process of how they get out is frikken important too.
p.s.
My kids dad also has a giant watermelon head and I was a 10 lb baby too!
hugs and sparkles to ya!! x

TC August 8, 2012 at 7:54 pm

I’m so glad you’ve had so much encouragement from your followers, but in case you need more, head to
http://www.naturalbirthandbabycare.com/birth-stories.html
They have lots of VBAC stories. I posted my two birth stories there so I could always relive them :)
http://www.naturalbirthandbabycare.com/eleu.html
http://www.naturalbirthandbabycare.com/aria.html
Good luck anyway! You’ll do great :)

Rae Rae August 8, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Let me just tell you about my friend who delivered 100% naturally at TBC. She gave birth to her baby boy, who was 10lbs. 3 oz. Hello. Not only that, but she decided to do it again a year later… gave birth to her second son at TBC, completely without drugs. Her second son was smaller than the first… maybe high 8′s. But she told me that both births hurt the same. So a pound here or there really doesn’t matter. It just seems scarier. My point is, having gone through it the first time, she still decided to do it the same way a year later. So don’t worry if she is big… You can do it because our bodies were created to do it! And if you need medical intervention, you’ve got it! Also, STOP watching those birth drama shows!!! They drove me insane as well! My midwife told me to stop! Stop! Stop!

amanda August 8, 2012 at 8:04 pm

I am considering natural this time. However, I was also happy with the epidural. I didn’t write down a birth plan because I figured I’d just be disappointed if things didn’t go as I had planned and then I’d go into shock and probably cut someones face off. So I went low key. Which was awesome. And everything was great! Except the part where my vag took like 10 weeks to heal because something didn’t come together the right way and then I super healed and then the foot size thing was a problem

Janet August 8, 2012 at 8:06 pm

I worried about the small girl problem too, mostly because the crazy midwife-in-training was like, “you have a small pelvis, and this is a big baby!” The real midwives were not thrilled (neither was I!) and it didn’t turn out to be true.

But, birth expectations. Mine turned out pretty well at the end, but it took a loooong time to get there. My daughter was 12 days overdue, and when they tried to induce me the first day it just didn’t work. LIke, I didn’t know that could happen. Didn’t work till they broke my water the next day. I had hoped to do natural but by the time things really started going somewhere, we’d already been in the hospital for 30 hours, and the pitocin was killer. No break between contractions but not much was happening. So I got the epidural, and for me, it was a great decision. It calmed me down, let me relax, and let me have a vaginal birth (though the nurse told me that if I’d had an OB rather than a midwife, they might have done a c-section, even though it wasn’t necessary). Anyway, I guess my point is that you will do great. You’ll try your hardest and if you need an epidural or another c-section, that is okay. No matter what, Yoshe will be there! So exciting.

Malea August 8, 2012 at 8:13 pm

I didn’t have a c-section, but came damn close. I was also going to try to go without an epidural but the back labor won. After 30 hrs of labor and 3 Hours of pushing (!!!), I was almost forced to have a c-section.  She was only 7 pounds, but she wouldn’t come out because when she dropped, I got SEVERE pain in my left hip that shot all the way from the left side of my ass and down my leg. 
I couldn’t deal with that leg being pulled back to push. I’m actually glad that I got the epidural just because it at least took some of the pain from the contractions, so that I could deal with the hip issue. I’m positive I would have had to have a c-section if I didn’t have the epidural to ease some of the contraction pain, seeing as how I was starting to pass out from the hip pain. 
I’m pretty sure everyone who witnessed my birth was traumatized after seeing me push for 3 hrs in every  position possible including on all fours. I can’t believe my husband is still attracted to me. I guess I’ll find out if he still is when I have my 2nd one (and bigger one) in 6 wks. I’m already having pain in that left hip..even worse than last time. God help me. 

Gabrielle August 8, 2012 at 8:25 pm

I haven’t read all the comments, so apologies if I’m repeating.

I’m 25 weeks pregnant with my second. My first labor was 71hours and I was terrified and it got really dicey at the end. I was super traumatized and literally had flashbacks for weeks every time I closed my eyes. Babe was perfect, so that was obviously a great outcome, but EVERYTHING in me said “I want a different experience this time” (ie unmedicated, without intervention and minus the 35 strangers telling me to push at the end lest I have an emergency-C), so, like you, I’m going doula, midwife and switched hospitals to try to make that happen. Along the road toward a “different experience” this time I have been doing some more reading and loved Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. By the time I was half way through I felt 75% more confident and committed to making this birth different than the first, that my body can and will do this. So, for what it’s worth, I think you can do it too.

Lisa August 8, 2012 at 8:29 pm

They do make wireless, waterproof monitors– you can’t wear them totally submerged in the tub, but you can wear them in the shower. Even then, in the shower, between contractions I had to turn my belly out of the flow of the water so they could properly hear the baby’s heart. In other words with the water pelting my belly they couldn’t clearly hear the heartbeat over the noise of the water hitting my skin. Still, even though it was a bit of a nuisance turning my belly in and out of the flow of the hot water– the shower was very helpful in the beginning stages of pain- it made the contractions hurt less! After a certain point, when the contractions are hard and fast, the shower doesn’t relieve the fierce pain anyway.

I was induced, which they say is a more painful labor– and I still went without pain relief/meds– only just. By the end I was begging for an epidural. My midwife said, “you can have whatever pain medicine you want, but if you can hang on a little bit longer, you will be able to push.” I said that I would try- and somehow the world went away, like I was on drugs, and I made it another hour. Finally I got to push, and WOW, pushing stops the pain, MDOG. So, just hang in as long as you can, and know that when you get to pushing the contractions pain will ease up. Then you have to deal with the “ring of fire” or the ripping- etc…and hell, that will hurt too, but you know that. There is no turning back then and you’ll be in the zone, and it too will just pass…. It’s all very exciting and you’ll feel so damn proud to have done it without medicinal pain relief!

One last thing- ask your midwife about sterile water injections to relieve back labor pain. Here is a bit of info, I’m sure you can look up more: http://www.bellybelly.com.au/birth/sterile-water-injections
I had this, and again- another great tip to lessen the pain without meds. Near the end some women get back labor, which feels like your back is having contractions too. It’s just as painful as the belly contractions! This sterile water stuff completely made my back labor go away. Maybe that’s why I was able to hang on.

You want it bad, and for that reason, I know you are going to be able to do it. I know it! That is the trick– just sticking with it, bearing it- and you’ll be able to do it because you WANT it. So arm yourself with the wireless monitors so you can lessen your pain in the hot shower, and also look into the water injections, which is also a natural way to truly lessen the pain. Know that pushing stops the contractions pain too!

Good luck, you’re going to do it, I know you will!!

Caroline August 8, 2012 at 8:33 pm

I had my son (my first child) a few weeks after you had G, and had a similar labor & delivery to you. . I was having real contractions for about a week- but never for more than an hour, so nothing was happening- I had been at 1cm for 3 weeks, even after she manually stretched me 3 times to 2 cm- and I kept going back to 1cm. I was induced at 40wks + 3 days . I got cervadil at 9pm on Monday night…at 6am Tuesday, I was still 1cm. At 7:30am they started pitocin- after that, my contractions were back-to-back, and I was having back labor because he was face down – and I was only 3cm by noon or so. Then they artificially broke my water to help get things moving more…and I made it to 4cm. Around 1 or 2pm I gave in and got an epidural because my contractions were constant, and not productive- that’s when I gave up on my dreams of natural labor (which you helped me believe I could do, BTW). By 9:30pm, I was still only 4cm. My doctor told me I didn’t have to have the c-sec YET, but she was strongly encouraging it, because I now had a fever and his heart rate wasn’t looking good. I was labeled with “failure to progress.” I hadn’t slept more than 2 hours, hadn’t eaten anything but chicken stock & apple juice in 24+ hours.
I agreed to the c-section because I was exhausted – an infection was brewing – and my baby wasn’t happy about all of the nonsense going on around him. It was, in the end, a true blessing because his cord was wrapped around his neck, and his shoulders were stuck (which was why I never progressed), on top of being face down in my pelvis. Had I continued and tried for natural labor, it could have been a much different story. The 6’4″ male surgical nurse had to get up on top of the operating table and pull several times to get my little man out of me- the docs and nurses couldn’t believe how hard he was stuck in there.
Even with all of that – knowing that it truly was the best option – I still struggled for a LONG time with thinking I was a “failure” at labor & delivery. Because- my mom did it 3 times naturally, why couldn’t I? My sister delivered vaginally, why can’t I? Why am I the “failure”? I too missed out on those magical moments immediately following birth of holding my little man on my bare chest – because they were stitching me back up and I was so groggy from demoral & morphine that I only barely remember kissing him before they went to clean and dress him.
My baby is healthy. My baby is happy. He nursed for 14 months. We bonded. Everything post labor & delivery has gone beautifully- I should have no regrets – but I still do.
I am not yet pregnant with my second (soon though I hope) – and I’ve already researched, studied, gone to seminars about VBAC. Talked with my doctor, looked at area Trauma 1 hospitals online. Because I desperately want to succeed the second time around. I want to do it naturally. I want to do it “the right way.” I want those moments after the birth in bed with my sweet baby & my husband.
BUT- there is a small part of me that thinks maybe I should go for a planned c-sec, for a few reasons:
1) My c-sec experience the first time was made more miserable because I was exhausted from a day of labor, with no sleep. If I go in for a planned c-sec, it will be after a night of good sleep in my own bed. I will be drugged differently, and less, and be more awake and aware.
2)I too am petite. According to my doctor I have “a small birth canal” (does that really mean I have a small vag?). My husband (and son) have very broad shoulders and a barrel chest – if we have another boy, odds are good he will to. My first was less than 8lbs when he was born…that’s not that big. Is it realistic for me to think that I can do it?
I know I have to A) wait until I get pregnant again B) talk to my doctor (whom I love) about it and C) wait and see how big baby is probably too- so I’m a long way from making the decision – but I like being prepared and planning ahead.
With all that (ALL THAT) said- I was glad that you got pregnant with #2 before me, because I am looking forward to learning from your experience (as I did the first time around) with labor and delivery. You sharing your story honestly and completely is an inspiration to me, and countless others – I’m sure of that. You will do what’s best for you and YoSHE. And I will read your labor & delivery story 900 times before I go in for my 2nd labor & delivery to make sure I’m as smart as you. :) And then I will do what is best for me and Baby #2 (yet to be conceived).

Christina August 8, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Ah delivery. The crap part of the bring a baby into the world.
I have birth vaginally with the aid of a vacuum after 36 hours. Apparently I was one vacuum attempt away from a c-section (there were 4 attempts) but the nurse only told my husband that luckily, and no one told me.
I got an epi after 19 hours. And after being sent home from the hospital once because I wasn’t dilating. Whatever. I needed two doses of the GBS meds, I got 4, so I knew I was in for a long night. After the epi I couldn’t feel a thing. My biggest fear was holding still during the epi but it wasn’t as hard as I had imagined. And I don’t recall any additional discomfort aside from the baby trying to claw through my belly button while using my ribs as a springboard.
I pushed for 2 hours, plus a few minutes, they totally count. My nurse mentioned the possibility of a vacuum assist at the beginning but I don’t remember why. I couldn’t feel anything but knew a contraction was coming because it felt like an air bubble was lodged under my left rib cage every time I needed to push. I remember being tired but amazed the 2 hours had gone so fast. When the dr got there she set up for a vacuum birth. I shit you not, she stuck that thing on his head, put her foot up under my ass for leverage and pulled with all her might. Three times that vacuum popped loose from the kids head. The fourth time he made it through. I didn’t feel a damn thing.
Here is what I didn’t expect. The super shakes. Well that and the fact that delivering a placenta hurts too. Anyway, we don’t know if it was my meds, the vacuum, or the length of labor but I could not stop shaking. Like they wouldn’t let me hold the baby until it stopped, 45 minutes later. So my husband held him and I watched. It was sweet but I remember thinking after that I may have missed a good bonding opportunity. But, like you, I had some baby blues which may have contributed to these thoughts. I feel pretty good with the whole experience now. I would be happy if the same happened next time.

Jell Jell @ I'll Sleep When They're Grown August 8, 2012 at 8:39 pm

I had a natural vag birth with my first and felt like it had EVERYTHING to do with my midwife. She was so supportive of me, said that the mama knows more of what’s going on in her body than anyone else, so trust the mama. Period. I didn’t hear one word of discouragement about big babies or bodies not being able to handle this or that. My midwife even joked that we don’t know how big the babies are beforehand so we don’t get freaked out and think we can’t do it. OF COURSE you can do it. And it’s so satisfying the moment you are done and you can move around, nurse immediately, and know that you did the BEST POSSIBLE thing for your baby. I have my birth stories linked below if you want a dose of positivity and proof that big babies can come out of vaginas just fine.

http://illsleepwhentheyregrown.com/2011/10/08/ebs-birth-story-part-1/
http://illsleepwhentheyregrown.com/2011/10/08/ebs-birth-story-part-2/

Meg August 8, 2012 at 8:41 pm

I wanted a natural birth. I went to the classes, picked out a D.O. for the doc who was down with whatever, made the Big Man swear to deny me so much as a motrin until after the kid was out and celebrating his first birthday. And then I found out two things: 1. I married a man with not only an unusually large head, but the body to go with it. Along with everyone else in his family. And 2. While I, too, have an unusually large head – I also have unusually narrow hips. So a natural birth was not actually an option. The baby never dropped. I was at 42weeks and counting, no dropping, no thinning of the membranes, no dilation, I was closed up tighter than a whore house at noon. So it was either carry the child in-utero for the rest of my life, or have a C-Section. Which scared the bejeesus out of me. And did again for my second child as well – even more so, since then I knew more of what to expect when being cut open while still awake. But now I have two beautiful children, and while I do have to admit that I feel like less of a woman for being unable to even go into labor, I do not feel like any less of a mom.

Elle August 8, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Hey MODG-
Because you helped me out A LOT right after the birth of my son (you gave me some wisdom in your follow up BF post about my reoccurring mastitis—word sister)…I’ll share my very positive birth story with you! My baby was 8 lbs 13 oz, 21.5 inches and also had a huge melon. I’m 5’2 and barely 100lbs. That was a surprise! The docs told me he would be around 6-7lbs…

Anywho, if you want, you can read it here. http://flabourg.org/?cat=31 Much easier than retyping!
I too wanted a home birth but i couldnt deal with my mom’s comments about it so went with a semi water birth in a hospital. I did hypnobirthing, or more like half assed it and it helped a little. But really the lesson i learned was just to relax. My body was meant for it. It’s not pain really (at least for me), more like intense pressure. I even broke out into chant like a Tibetan monk. It was awesome I loved every minute.

Hang in there!!

M August 8, 2012 at 8:49 pm

I am 36 weeks pregnant with my first baby, a boy. Every single time anyone has asked me if I have a birth plan, I say yes, I PLANto get him out quickly and safely, however or whichever that is. I want a healthy baby, not bragging rights about a natural birth. Also, can we accept that natural means coming out of your vagina, with or without drugs? Natural isn’t necessarily drug-free, it just means that you pushed them out. MODG, remember that, no matter what, You. Have. Not. Failed. You are bringing a miracle into this world, that is a monumentous achievement, no matter how she gets here. Being pregnant with my first, I obviously cannot attest to PPD. However, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 10 years ago and every day is a struggle, pregnant or no. These struggles will always be with me and it’s an extremely daunting thought. Thankfully, I have been able to stay healthy, both physically and mentally throughout my whole pregnancy, for which I am eternally grateful.But PPD is a terrifying and very possible outcome for me. I am doing everything I can to try and be proactive for after the birth, including therapy scheduled and mommy and me groups. What is working best though, for me, is just reminding myself that this isn’t about me. This is about my little boy and my husband and me and how WE are going to do this together. Remember, it is OKAY to need help and to ask for it. No reason to try to be a super hero. Be proud of the fantastic little guy you have and the beautiful little girl you’re waiting for and thankful for the great guy next to you helping you along the way. I am sure you will do a great job no matter what!

Michelle August 8, 2012 at 8:51 pm

I cant wait to go through all these stories! I have another baby due in two weeks. Here’sa link to my first birth story, I think I posted it incorrectly on your facebook page: http://www.ahuckleberryovermypersimmon.com/2011/06/march-twentieth-twenty-eleven.html

Best wishes to you!

Bek August 8, 2012 at 8:52 pm

My water broke before labour started, and let me tell you that is some gross shit! I had gotten up in the middle of the night to pee for the 73rd time, and i lay down in bed just to leap up again in a way I would have thought impossible for a 9 months pregnant woman! My first thought was “umm I just went to the toilet, how could I pee myself?!” of course I realised, so I called the hospital to tell them what was up and I had to go in to get all checked out, all was fine and they told me they allow 72 hours for labour to start naturally, after that they induce due to risk of infection. Well the rest of the day was pretty disgusting! Walking around feeling like I was constantly peeing my pants as more water leaked out! 24 hours after my water broke labour finally got going (I had been having random contractions throughout the day) and off we went! The couple of hours I found the worst, I was vomiting and felt really hot and miserable, but then I got to a point where everything was calm and I was actually sleeping in between contractions! Until the back pain got to be to much and I jumped in the shower (best ever!) when I got the urge to push I got up on the bed on hands and knees over a bean bag (mmm attractive!) and was offered the gas, tried it, couldn’t use it properly so continued on au natural. I had a similar birth experience to someone who commented earlier,9lb 4 baby boy and 4th degree tear. No forceps though because he just came flying out, hence the tear! I remember before I started pushing the midwife telling me there would be a point when she tells me to stop pushing and breath quickly (to try and stretch me or something..) well I kept waiting to hear that but instead I hear “HE’S HERE!” I was in my hands and knees so I had to wait to be “disconnected” before I could turn around and hold him. I only was with him for about half an hour before I had to go off to theatre to be stitched up, so I was gone for two hours :( that was the only really bad thing about the birth.. Well it sucked mucho that I couldn’t have a drink after pushing out a big bubba! And back labour was shit, that pain hurt more than the contractions! 
I was also told I would probably have to have a c-section and this terrified me! When I saw my ob a few weeks ago for this pregnancy she said 9 times out of 10 there are no issues having a normal birth after a tear, thank god! 

Oh and modg, all through my first pregnancy the midwives thought I would have a small baby because I was measuring smallish, guess he was just really squished up! Maybe YoShe is nice and stretched out, making herself comfortable haha

Jen August 8, 2012 at 8:58 pm

What I don’t really get is why people are so down on medication. I mean, if we have headaches we take tylenol right? We don’t suffer through toothaches or knee surgery without meds…..isn’t that one reason why it’s better to have a baby now than 100 years ago? Why do people feel like they are sgiving up or giving in or failing by accepting epidurals? I think they are the ninth wonder of the world!

I have three girls. I had two epidurals (one that didn’t work, one that did) and then my third kid came out too fast to have anything. As babies all three were the exact same in terms of health, development, growth stages, etc. I saw 0 % evidence that the epidurals had any affect on the two that I had under the influence, swear to god.

To help reassure a bit, I have lots of friends and a sister that had VBACs and lived to tell the tale. No one who has had a kid or has been in the same room where a kid has been born has any right WHATSOEVER to judge anyone else’s birth story. If they do, then they are insecure twits that you don’t need to bother with. I’m so sick of the birth judging that goes on. We are all rock stars…..

Clarissa August 9, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Yeah, I’ve never understood this. While I totally respect women who go through childbirth unmedicated, it has never been something I’m remotely interested in. I had an IUD put in last year and it was HORRIBLY HORRIBLY painful and I almost passed out and threw up. I asked my doctor if this is what labor felt like and she said, “Yes, but labor is more intense.” At this point I half-seriously asked her if it’s possible to get an epidural for one’s entire pregnancy.

I don’t have kids yet and probably won’t for a couple of years, but I just don’t think I care that much about how the baby gets here. I would never consider a woman less of a woman/mother/hippie/whatever for asking for every drug in the book, or even for booking a c-section. It sounds like no matter how you do it, birth takes some lady balls.

Mallory August 8, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Sorry in advance for the long story….

I had hoped for a natural birth with my son, but at 38 weeks we found out he was breech. My doctor said he had turned, but I felt nothing, so I truly believe this was missed. {especially since he was 9 lb 7 oz at birth!} I tried EVERYTHING at home to get him to turn, but 5 days later I was checking in for a c-section. I was already so sad about this. I didn’t even lose my mucous plug, or feel one tiny contraction. Other women say I’m lucky, but I really wanted that experience.  This just felt like checkin into a hotel, but i thought, at least in a few hours i will be holding our healthy baby. Anyways, I went in for the c-section and felt lots of tugging.  My ob, while practically standing on the table, remarked how lodged his head was in my ribs. When Landon finally came out he was blue and limp, not one cry. I felt nailed to the table when all I wanted to do was grab my child and help him…I wanted my baby, and he was whisked away. I kept screaming “what’s wrong?” until I heard a cry…but he was still blue and shaky, and his initial apgar score was a 3. He showed some improvement and I was able to kiss him. Then nurses and doctors swarmed in. The head nicu nurse stood at my head as I was being sewn up and explained that my large baby was having trouble regulating his insulin after his traumatic birth, that this is common with large csection babies, and he might need more monitoring. Then, they said they’d take him and my husband to my recovery room. I laid there in weepy silence, alone with the doctors, for what felt like an eternity as i finished get stitched up, and then was finally rolled back to recovery. Once in my room, I saw my husband sobbing, with no baby. After asking several times where he was, he said that he was taken to the nicu, and that they said he’d be back in an hour. (this was a lie – he had no idea how long he’d be gone but he didn’t want to scare me). I wanted to see him. I was told I couldn’t until I could stand on my legs. I said I will stand…not allowed. I was kept away from my son for the first 6 hours of his life. Instead, i had to rely on the pictures my husband would take of him as he ran back and forth between us during that long day, and the reports from the nurses that he was doing well. When I could finally see him, I felt like he wasn’t mine, like I had to ask permission to care for him. I know logically the nurses and doctors were doing what was necessary to keep him healthy, but the feeling was pure torture. He had already been given formula to help him to regulate his insulin. I wanted to nurse. Finally, the angel head md of nicu came and met with us, understood our fears, and understood what I was mourning. He guaranteed us our son would be ok, and that if I wanted to nurse, I would leave the hospital as a breast feeding mother. For the next 4 days we stayed in the nicu with landon, barely sleeping, just watching each blood stick, counting his levels, and praying for a discharge. Landon was discharged from the nicu completely healthy after 4 days, but this experience stayed with me, and I struggled with PPD for quite some time. I felt like I did something wrong during pregnancy to cause the NICU stay, and worse, I didn’t feel like a mom. I’m not sure what I felt. 

I believe I suffered PPD as a result of my feelings associated with a csection.  It is a horrible, soul crushing feeling when you feel like your child is not your own.  I sympathize with you as I completely understand what you went through.  Like you said our stories are not the worst stories ever, but they are personal to ourselves and our beginnings of our relationship with our children.

 I am pregnant with my 2nd, and am also hoping I have a VBAC, but same with you, being realistic about what I know can happen.  Here’s hoping we all deliver healthy babies and feel healthy as mamas afterwards.

Katie R-G August 9, 2012 at 8:45 am

I want to hug you.

Dawn August 9, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Ohmygoodness…Mallory, I want to hug you too. (my exact thought even before reading Katie’s comment)

Jen @ Ginger Guide August 8, 2012 at 9:04 pm

I pretty much knew I would be having a c section so it gave me time to realize that it’s ok. Sullivan was positioned arm down, refused to turn, and his heart rate dropped plus he was a hefty nine pounds two weeks early. My nurse kept making references to vags that look like old worn sweaters with the hole too wide and the sleeves all stretched out so for the sake of not having a shredded cooch, I was fine. I had a fairly easy recovery but the ppd was a bitch. I was already depressed before getting prego but it was awful. It took months of bad thoughts and self harming before I got on meds that work. I’m ok with having a second c section if need be (having a vag birth isn’t super important to me, i just want a healthy kid) and I won’t even be trying to breast feed so that I can go back on my meds right away. That part sucks as I would love to do it but my future kid needs a healthy mama in a good place mentally and I can’t go back to that dark place anymore.

Anywho…You can do it! You sound like you have a great team of people around you who know your wishes. If you know what you want, stick to your guns and do everything in your power to get exactly what you want. I hope rainbows shoot out of your vag for good measure, just to give you more of a lovey feeling.

KMW August 8, 2012 at 9:13 pm

First, and most important, I do not have any gummy penguins. Although I really wish I did.

I didn’t have much choice with my birth. My water broke and we went to the hospital. When we got to the hospital, we were admitted right away. I didn’t have any pain, or any contractions. I was only 1cm. Once they hooked me up to the fetal monitor, they immediately looked concerned. My daughter’s heart rate was very high and wasn’t coming down. The nurse was scaring me by constantly saying “babies can only go on for so long like this before they crash”. Reassuring right? Ah no.

They had the OB on call come in to talk to me. He reassured me that everything is ok but the baby is in some sort of stress so it would be best to have a c-section and to not subject her to what could be a long labor and delivery, as I wasn’t dilating past 1cm.

3 hours after arriving at the hospital, we had the c-section and it was a great experience. Everyone in the delivery room was calm and reassuring us that everything would be fine. My daughter was born and I heard her first cry and the nurse immediately brought her around the curtain so that we could see her. After a few short minutes (that felt like an eternity) they told us that she was perfectly healthy. The nurse told me she was just being a drama baby right from the beginning.

At that point, I didn’t care how my birth went as long as my baby was safe. And I don’t have any regrets, nor do I wish it went another way. I’m just happy she’s ok. I did have postpartum depression (MODG you helped me by recommending I seek help right away when you emailed me – thank you for that).

I know you’ll do perfect with whatever happens during your sparkle delivery. I’ll pray for glitter and rainbows out your vag.

Sparkle babies,
KMW

SpontaneousMom August 8, 2012 at 9:24 pm

My $.02-child birth is hard- regardless of c-section, VBAC, natural, epi, surrogate, adoption, at home, in the car, in the tub, on a bed- however you get that baby in your arms isn’t an easy deal. Doing one over the other- doesn’t make any of the others less. Make yourself happy- happy mommy = happy YoSHE- just as you have followed your instincts this far- your motherly instincts will lead you down the right path this time too. Do what you feel is right- do what you are comfortable with- make a rockin play list- and YoSHE will come out full Britney style- sparkles and all! You can do it!! (anyway you choose)

Kate August 8, 2012 at 9:30 pm

I had a regular vag delivery with my first, but had to get cut down in the vag area…ouch! My second was an emergency csection because my water broke, got to hospital at 5 cm and when they examined me she had turned breech! For me, I did enjoy the vag delivery, but recovery of the csection was cake compared to the pain (from being cut) and tons of bleeding after the vag delivery. My milk came in perfect with both babies as well. Having had both deliveries, I think it is def an experience you should have only if it is right for you and your baby.

I didn’t have ppd at all, but I would start preparing for ppd no matter what. My MAJOR prob after my second was feeling guilty for not spending as much time with your first…that was tough.

Just enjoy the experience…it is your experience/story no matter how it happens so smile!

Krissy August 8, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Ok,

I read your blog daily. In fact, I even read it to my husband sometimes. He doesn’t get the humor, but I keep trying. Men. So I’m 31 weeks along. This pregnancy has been full of misery. Puking, sciatica, hemhrroids, blood blisters, and now apparently my baby is huge. 95th percentile huge. My last baby was a pleasant 7 lbs 6 oz, vaginal delivery. Now the words 10 lb baby, delivery options, and shoulder dystocia are being thrown around. Oh, and just to add to the glory of pregnancy, I failed the 1 hour glucose screening and the 3 hour glucola nightmare…and now have gestational diabetes. My body hates me. Seriously. My friend always says, pregnancy is 9 months of no drinking…so go ahead and eat whatever you want. Well, now that has even been taken away from me. Over. It.

I can deal with all of this, I really can. But I’m really wanting to have another vaginal delivery. There is something empowering about pushing your own child out, something that makes you feel like a complete bad ass. But I also don’t want to tear to my asshole or have any other complications that come with big ol’ babies. I’m still on the “let’s wait and see what happens” train of thought, but the idea of a c-section is starting to become more of a reality.

So what I wanted to say to you is…I feel your pain.

Colleen August 8, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Yes, I totally have regrets about my daughter’s birth–but nothing you can do about it, right? I ended up with a beautiful, healthy girl, and that is what counts. But, after having the stomach flu at 37w5d, which put me into labor, I was at 64 hours of no sleep and no food when my water broke. I should have been given a C-section–I was weak, exhausted, and needed forceps and a vaccuum assisted delivery. 22 hours of labor, pitocin, a major tear, and 6 months later, I am still healing. I told my doctor that if I ever have another one (I’m one and done!) I will REQUIRE a C-section. That having been said, I totally get that the grass is always greener on the other side, and I hope you get exactly the birth you want :-)

Elizabeth August 8, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Dude, hypnobirthing works. I read (skimmed through the important parts) of a hypnobirthing book, took what I needed from it, & went to the hospital at 7 cm. I finally got an epi at 8 cm, but I think I totally could’ve done it without the epi if I had wanted to. That “breath the baby down” is no joke. Seriously, even after the epi I continued with my breathing watching the monitor and when I felt the pressure & was ready to push. 10 minutes later, 6 big pushes, and one tiny superficial tear and the baby was out. With my first I was at the hospital way too early & labored for 14+ stressful hours with heart rate issues and a fever. Nothing like that the second tim…I was calm & so was baby. If I go for a third I am investing in a balance ball. I swear it was the only thing that made the contractions bearable. No joke, I used my ottoman, but a balance ball would’ve been the balls. Good luck, you can do it.

Meredith August 8, 2012 at 9:44 pm

YOU CAN DO IT!

I had a c-section with my first, and what you said about the relief…I felt that too…even though I hadn’t even had one painful contraction yet. The fear can really really get to you. HOWEVER, since then I have had three VBACs. The first two I had an epidural. The last one, though…I asked for the epidural when I thought I couldn’t do it anymore. The anasthesia guy made me sit still for an hour while he DIDN’T give me an epidural. He finally gave up and went to get someone else, and as soon as he got up to walk away, my body started pushing and the baby came out less than 2 minutes later. So…basically, I was forced to sit very very still through transition. What I learned from this, and what I want to share with you, is that I CAN do it. I DID it. You can, too! Oh, BTW, that labor was also induced with pitocin, which is supposed to make contractions much stronger, and I had to have continuous monitoring, so there was no birth tub.

Regina August 8, 2012 at 9:51 pm

First thing- angry vagina drawing? That is amazingly awesome and I am still laughing.

I had all 3 of my kids via c-section and I would do it again. I am a giant wuss so would rather go through surgery recovery than my contractions or episiotomy pain. (Wait, I think I just heard a collective *gasp*) . I am small (5’2″) and my lower half is not made for bigger babies. At 41 weeks with my first, I wasn’t effaced at all, only 2 cm dilated and hadn’t had one contraction, so I chose to have a c-section instead of inducing. I think my body was telling me something, my son was 9lbs. 2 oz. I had PPD with the first, but with my other 2, I didn’t, so hopefully that will be what will happen for you too. I hope you can have the VBAC successfully, but if not, just try to be happy that you did what you could. You are totally doing the right thing by having the baby in the hospital, and I think that all the “size predictions” are usually a bunch of crap :)

Amy B August 8, 2012 at 9:58 pm

It took me a few days to fall in love with my baby too, and I’m an all natural birth center mom. I think you are wise to leave out over-preparing yourself, which is what lead you to be disappointed last time. I had a loose birth plan, which I didn’t follow. I was actually very much into myself and barely even knew my husband was there. I think its important to know your limits, but go in with the confidence that you are a rock star and you can knock that shit out. Z was almost 8 lbs 15 oz, so almost 9 lbs. He was big and felt big and has always been big. He was also facing the wrong way and I had to flip around during contractions to turn him around. My advice is: during labor, concentrate on how the baby feels coming down while you’re pushing and using the contraction. I found myself far more in touch with myself than I expected. Bring your your inner tough girl, you can do it!

Andi August 8, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Amanda- I’m not a commenter very often, but feel compelled to share. I feel very strongly about women being educated about birth and their choices….and I think everyone has the right to choose what is best for them. I’m so glad you are seeking out a VBAC. If I can offer you one suggestion, it’s to surround yourself with POSITIVE influences. I chose a natural birth with my daughter, and it was one of the best peices of advice my doula gave me. When you mention birth, 90% of people are eager to tell you their horror stories and how things “don’t always go as planned”. I totally get that it doesn’t always go as planned, but dwelling on that doesn’t help and thinking positively absolutely DOES HELP! You can do this!! It sounds like you have done the best you can to set yourself up for success. You won’t regret the choice of getting a doula. My daughter is 13 months old and I delivered her 100% natural after 29 LONG hours of labor. And, you know what? It was a great experience. Yes, it is crazy painful at times, but doable. Seek out positive natural birth stories (there are lots out there!) and get pumped!

Becky August 8, 2012 at 10:05 pm

I COMPLETELY regret that I didn’t go for a VBAC my second time around. My first was a set of twins and I labored for about 15 hours and only dialated 1.5 cm, babies were getting distressed so they did the C-section. Second time around was only one baby but the hospital and OBGYN I’d been working with don’t allow VBACs and what with working full-time and taking care of the 2-yr-old twins and a practically helpless husband, I just didn’t have the time to drive an hour every week to meet with the nearest midwife. HOWEVER, I really wish that I’d had the chance to at least TRY to do it the natural way. I mean, I have my mother’s hips, for crying out loud…I should have been able to push out a baby!!!

Also, BOTH of my sisters-in-law had VBACs, and one was a HOME BIRTH!

Stay strong, sister…you can do it!!!

Jill August 8, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Seeing as I am a single lady with no babies, I’m not sure why I’m feeling compelled to comment. But it really breaks my heart to hear all of these stories of guilt and disappointment! If the natural birth works that’s awesome. I was raised by a labor and delivery nurse, and after 20+ years hearing about child birth, I am all for an epidural when the day comes! And I don’t think there’s really any way to know if you’ll get PPD or not, but in my undergrad-pysch-degree-but-I’m-not-a-psychologist-so-what-do-I-know opinion, I think your miles ahead of people if you even have that awareness that it could happen. Women are in denial, ashamaed, guilty that it paralyzes them, but hopefully if you have that awareness, can be more equipped to take whatever steps are necessary to get back on track.

Oh yeah, and if you have a C section at least you won’t poop on the table and rip your vajay. So there’s always that.

Oh and one more thing. The Kardashian water birth was horrifying and awkward. But this water birth video made me cry and made my dried up, birth-controlled ovaries hurt a little… Enjoy. http://pacingthepanicroom.blogspot.com/2012/06/at-home.html

Denise August 8, 2012 at 10:13 pm

You will be great Modg. I also went with midwifes that did hospital births. I am the biggest wimp in the world, and I am also very petite. I did learn that even if you are petite you can have a wide pelvis or birth canal? Apparently it’s easier for them to come out. I don’t know. Anyways I do know that yes I did need an epidural and thank god I took one.
Pitocin can be a killer so I highly recommend an epidural on that stuff.
I had to be induced because of high blood pressure.
So I went from being 0 cm to 10 cm in about 30 hours.
Also I was measuring ahead and my baby was tiny, only 6 pounds and we all thought he was going to be a big boy. :)

Laura August 8, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Hi Amanda-
I commented earlier but only briefly and then I started thinking about something you said in the post. You have mentioned how bad your PPD was after your c-section. I had never heard anyone compare how PPD could be affected by vaginal birth and c-section so differently. I had a vaginal birth about 3 months after you actually and suffered some pretty bad PPD as well. I was in counseling for a while. I guess I was so engrossed in my own battle that I never took the time to ask about the chances of it it being higher after c-section? Why is that? Obviously this is something that changes your life and you never forget and never want to happen again so I am just super curious?

Laurie August 8, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Watch Orgasmic Birth. It helped me with my second baby. If you have experienced pitocin contractions, then you will sail through and ENJOY the natural contractions. But I am uncertain if you had pitocin before, because my brain has shut off and already forgotten what you wrote due to the ensuing CHAOS that comes with two kids.
I didn’t go in with a game plan with my second, after a crappy hospital birth with my first. I did a home birth with the baby I am holding in my arms right now. I dilated to a ten in 9 hours (whereas, with my first I was in labor 72!!! BLEEPING HOURS stuck at 2cm), and I did my hippie thang. Dance With Scarves, make everyone else dance too. Curse and Laugh…I thought the f word was pretty funny, given the circumstances. My two year old sure thought it was funny, too. Do what you want and keep that open mind, but be absolutely. certain. you have free reign, and allow yourself to be a dick and kick the nurses out. Make hubby do it if you can’t. “F” hospital policy and routine, you know how to get baby out, and having an IV in your hand isn’t going to help you get baby out, neither is a nurse that wants to check your vagina every four hours.
If the pain becomes too much, don’t be afraid to bring your open mind back in to the picture of a perfect natural vaginal birth. An epidural is what I needed to relax and get First Kid out. I was more relaxed with Second Kid, so I didn’t need it…obviously. Since we went all home-birth style on everyone’s asses.
I have confidence that you know inside you that you can push a bowling ball through your vag. I am a small, petite (or was) woman… 5’6” 120 lbs and my vagina stretched just fine. I am sure yours can, too. But if you are concerned, have Hubby massage you with oil all over down there. But tell him this is serious, and you will not tolerate any funny business down there.
Hope I helped, and I really hope this alleviates your fear, because I know I doubted myself on whether or not I could pull off a home birth till I actually had my baby in my arms, it’s natural human nature to doubt what your body already knows it can do.

RaeRae August 8, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Do you think the c-section would have been less traumatizing if it were planned? My little Nugget was a scheduled c-section because she was breach & I have uterine fibroids that were blocking her from flipping. My OB told me years ago that I may have to have c-sections, plus my sister and sister-in-law had c-sections for all their kids. So, I wasn’t bothered about my scheduled surgery; I was actually a little psyched to avoid all the pain (I’m a big wuss). Surgery went smoothly as did my recovery. My milk was a little slow to come in, but after a trip to the LC, breastfeeding got easier. We’re still nursing 13 months later. In general, I felt pretty good about the whole experience.

Then, I started comparing my birth experience to some of my internets friends. Something had bothered me about my delivery that I could never put my finger on. After reading some other birth stories, I figured it out: I was just another widget on the assembly line. No one in the surgical group really talked to me during surgery. No one asked how I was doing or told me what was happening. I had to speak up when I was having trouble breathing or to know where they were in the surgery. I was, essentially, irrelevant to them. I’m not cool with that.

We’re planning to wait until spring to try for #2, but I have some questions for my OB at my next appt in September. I’m not 100% sure I want to try for VBAC, but it’s on my mind. Yet another reason why I love your blog and will be very interested in reading about your experience.

Jena August 8, 2012 at 10:39 pm

MODG, have you read Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth? I feel like you probably have, and someone else has probably suggested it, but I’m too lazy to search for it on this blog. So, in the off chance that you haven’t, I really recommend you give it a read. Even if just for the birth stories. Some of them are sooooo incredibly granola it’s funny, but enough are only slightly hippy-dippy that it’s worth it. Before giving birth, I read 487 books on natural birth and this was, by far, the one that helped me feel the most mentally prepared to do it. Half of it is “instruction” and tips but the other half (or even three-quarters) is just women telling their natural birth stories in a way that is positive, honest, heartfelt and real. Too many people tell you the horrors of childbirth, this helps you understand how to embrace the challenge. Love love love this book.

http://www.amazon.com/Ina-Mays-Guide-Childbirth-Gaskin/dp/0553381156

Meghann August 8, 2012 at 10:55 pm

If there was a medal ceremony for birth I would give myself a silver (can you tell what I’m watching right now??).
I had myself a doula and a birth plan. Labored at home for 2 days, went to the hospital and was sent home b/c I was only 2 cm, labored at home for 8 more hours, went back to the hospital and was finally let in.
So after 3 days of labor (along with some pitocin to move things along), 4 hours of pushing, all w/o pain meds, I ended up with a c/s. And I can’t wait to try for a VBAC when I have my 2nd. And by ‘can’t wait’ – I mean that I am terrified. I know how much easier it would be to have another c/s, but I can’t just do that. I am one stubborn motha!

Colleen August 8, 2012 at 11:01 pm

You have a lot of great stories and advice here but I thought I’d share a bit from my experience anyway because I wish I’d been given this tip. Like you my first didn’t go exactly as planned (stuck at 8cm for 8 hours, pitocin for 2 hours, no progress, and then finally an epidural- and a baby an hour later) and i dealt with ppd after my first as well. My second was born a few months ago and here’s what I learned- the first time around I endured a much longer labor without seriously considering an epidural. The second time around since I knew there was an “easier way out” I was much quicker to want an epidural- and probably would have had one if I didn’t have an amazing doula. So be aware of that and talk about it with your midwife or doula- they can help keep you motivated and focused (and trick you of neccessary). I also found myself getting more and more nervous as we got closer and closer to pushing because I had an epidural for that the first time around. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to do it this time. That tension and nervousness slowed down my labor and I started to “get stuck” again. Things turned around for me when I started to try to relax with the contractions. It’s totally counter intuitive to relax because the contraction pain makes you want to clench everything in your body, but when I focused on letting go, imagining the baby moving down the birth canal and trying to open rather than close against the contractions my daughter made huge progress and was ready to push. It’s the same effect the epidural had on my first (my body could finally relax so he went from 8-10cm in less than an hour) but I didn’t have to have the epidural. And afterwards I felt great, nursing went so much better, and I felt more bonded with my daughter.

It’s totally normal to be nervous, and have that relief when a “way out” of the pain is offered. My advice is to be aware of this all ahead of time and try to stay as relaxed and open as possible and things can go smoothly. You can do it girl!!

Casey August 8, 2012 at 11:08 pm

That giant baby that you are scared of….. that is my son. He was 11lbs 4 oz and I was thankful for the C-Section. This size Small hoooha was not going to be able to pop that turkey out. The second time around I had hoped for a VBAC but #2 was just as big as #1, thus we did the C-Section repeat. Just a tip, the recovery was significantly easier the second time around. Either way you deliver YoShe, you will make the ‘right’ decision… you are the mom!

Leigh August 8, 2012 at 11:38 pm

I had a scheduled c-section due to a fairly mild back injury during pregnancy that left me panicked about making it worse pushing the baby in the traditional on the back positions docs like, which my doc would have required. I was ambivalent about choosing a section but to me it seemed the lower risk (my experience is colored by my sustaining a severe back injury 12yrs ago in my 20s) – I had this fear I would be ok vaginally after birth but my back would be even more f—ed up.

Anyway, my c-section was fine, and I had that emotional moment – I heard my son’s first cry, thry held him up, weighed, measured and cleaned him off and wrapped him up and gave him to me to hold. He was my first and I don’t have any sense of missing anything in those immediate moments post-birth. I also recovered quickly from my section – needing only advil by the time I was discharged from the hospital. It seems from anecdotal experience that it is much easier to bounce back from them if you do not labor much or at all first.

Leigh August 8, 2012 at 11:46 pm

I did not have PPD following my son’s birth, but I did just emerge from weaning-related depression, which sounds similar. I was distant, blue, crying a lot, no emotional reserves to deal with my son, just not very present and totally unable to pinpoint why. It finally just ended after a really heavy period, my mood just completely lifted, thank goodness. It is more in hindsight that I realize how low I was. When it was happening I was just drifting through it, lost.

That is sort of a tangent but maybe it helps…

What I get out of your post and reading all these comments is that you might want to have clear priorities for multiple birth scenarios. If you are very clear how a section should proceed it might make it more bearable as an option. I did not know what to ask for but have now learned I was fairly fortunae to hold my son right away. My cousin, following hers, was wheeled back to the recovery room holding her newborn! So there are ways to make it work, assuming Yoshe is healthy.

Good luck and try to give yourself a break.

Leigh August 9, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Also, for what it’s worth, I did everything “right” with weaning. It took 3 MONTHS to wean my son (he would have happily nursed til he was 10). We went slowly and finally stopped when he turned 14 months, and yet I still got depressed. I say this only because we may do everything we can to prevent things like PPD, but sometimes our hormones/bodies just have other plans. I hope very much for you that you do not suffer through it again this time.

Christina August 9, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Good point. PPD can hit even the happiest among us. I can totally see why Amanda links PPD and C-Section even partially in her mind. I linked mine to my sick baby and failure to breastfeed. Those issues may have played a role, but just like everything else in life, we can’t be certain that if we changed those things there would have been different outcome. We do what we can to try and make the best of everything. To Amanda, the best birth is a natural birth. I truly hope that happens for her.

Cara August 8, 2012 at 11:46 pm

First let me say that I love every second of your blog. Your honesty and humor always make my day. I wanted a natural birth. I did not, unless it was a dire necessity, want to be induced. Well, my placenta was starting to calcify towards the end of my pregnancy, so they (my regular OB and my Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist – I have a blood clotting disorder, so had to be monitored with monthly ultrasounds and stab myself twice daily with blood thinner shots – found out about the blood clotting disorder after two previous miscarriages) decided that I shouldn’t go past my due date. So, as it turned out, I did not go into labor early and ended up with the pitocin induction. F. I should also mention my baby was measuring quite large, in fact the ultrasound tech said numerous times (at my weekly non-stress test) “wow that’s a big baby.”…thanks…helpful. My MFM Dr. agreed that the baby was big, but even if she kept growing at the rate she was, she wouldn’t be over 9 lbs (lie!). Oh, and my Dr. had told me early on that I had a narrow pelvis and would not be able to have a big baby vaginally, like I could maybe birth a 7 or 8 pound baby, but nothing bigger. Challenge accepted. I went into my induction still planning on going natural, but open to the idea of an epidural if I needed it (I had heard that pitocin contractions were brutal – this turned out to be truth). I labored for about seven hours before I went ahead and got the epidural. I’m so glad that I did, because I ended up laboring for 17 hours and pushing for 3, and my baby girl ended up being 9 lbs 14 oz, and I ended up with a 3rd degree tear (narrow pelvis? I sure proved my Dr. wrong. Ha!). I am pretty sure that if my regular Dr. had attended the birth (it was the middle of the night, so I had the on-call Dr.) I would have ended up with a c-section. I was so thankful that the on-call Dr. was so patient with me and was willing to try all of our options before going to c-section. The thing that I kept saying throughout my pregnancy was that I was going to try my hardest to deliver vaginally and if it didn’t work out, at least I tried. You can do this MODG, and no matter how yoSHE ends up coming into this world, know that you are a strong and amazing woman and a wonderful mother. As for not being able to be in the tub, you should really talk to your hospital and find out what kind of equipment they have and what their policies are. I was able to have and IV put in, but then put a hep lock on so I didn’t have to be attached the whole time, but it was there if I needed it. I had a monitor that was able to be wireless, and it was waterproof, so I could walk the halls, be on the birth ball, and be in the bath tub with it on. It was awesome, because one of the things I really wanted was to be able to move around while I was laboring (pre-epidural, obviously).

Courtney August 8, 2012 at 11:46 pm

I think you have a good plan this time around, MODG, which is not to have a plan. You know what you want and you’ll try to achieve it, but you know that it doesn’t always end up the way you want it too. There are definitely variations to what you want to do, too. Maybe you have a vbac but you have an epi to deal with the pain? Is that so bad? You get to experience vaginal child birth with a little relief since you’re in a delicate state having a c-sec already.

Birthing a baby bearing the pain of every stretch and pull doesn’t make one woman more of a woman or mom than one who takes an epi. I went into childbirth knowing I was taking that epi because I personally didn’t feel the need to be in agony for hours on end if there was a way to have (In my mind), a better, less freaky painful experience. I was 41 weeks and in the hospital to get induced and shit just started happening before Pitocin came into the picture. I was like, GET ME THE EPI STAT! Didn’t see the needle and it felt like a bee sting, not scary at all — compared to the pain I was in! After that, I got very sleepy and went right to sleep. The nurse checked me a few hours later and I was 5 cm dilated (from 1 coming into the hospital). I went back to sleep and the nurse checked me again 2 hours later, told me I was 10 and it was time to push. No pitocin afterall! I pushed 25 minutes (4 times) and out comes baby. So aside from a couple horrid hours of contractions, I slept through most of my labor. I don’t remember feeling any pain in pushing the baby out and I like that. I don’t want to know what that feels like – I have no desire! Thank you, epidural! Promise you, it’s not bad and it doesn’t make you any less of whatever if you have one…and it may help you get over the “hump” if you need it in order to achieve that vbac. I’m not trying to talk you into taking an epi, just trying to de-demonize it.

I blogged my birth story if you’re interested: http://lifeatthirtysomething.com/2011/08/the-birth-story-of-annabelle-grace-my-new-baby-girl/

Anyway, no two experiences will be exactly alike. So I’m thinking you’ll have a much better go of it this time around. Good luck, girl!

LaurenF August 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm

I agree with you, Courtney, in that there are so many variations in the type of birth one can experience, and one doesn’t make a woman more or less “womanly” than another. I think (and of course I’m no expert) that one could become saddened and disappointed by her experience if it didn’t go just as she had planned. And that’s ok! It is important, like so many of you have said, to recognize that you are sad, know that it’s ok, and ASK FOR HELP!

MODG, you have a great support system around you. Whatever happens during the birth of YoShe, whether it’s according to plan or not, remember the end goal is the same. Good luck!

The Reset August 8, 2012 at 11:54 pm

am I the only one TERRIFIED of my uterine scar rupturing while trying for a VBAC? or is that just me right now? :-/

Heidi_Australia August 9, 2012 at 12:00 am

Many great comments above – particularly the one about NOT going in with an iron-clad birth plan. Better to go in with a few things that you know you would like (music, silence, epidural, gas, whatever). Less likely to set yourself up for a series of small disappointments that way.
I wanted to tell you about my friend who has a heart condition where any amount of stress makes it freak out in a not good way. She was told she would have to have a very early epidural (didn’t want to stress the heart with labour pains) and not be allowed to push and have to have forceps/vacuum to get the baby out. She was a first timer and that is not good news, often ends in c-section. HOWEVER, she got the early epidural and her body and heart behaved and she pushed that baby out. HAPPY STORY even when things weren’t looking good for her. She is a midwife and knew what drama could befall her. I too am midwife with large vag birthed daughter. Would do it all again. NO FEAR. Keep your head in the game. The internet is wishing you so many good vag birth vibes right now. Yay!

Ashley August 9, 2012 at 12:25 am

You can do it! My first labor was horrible. Of course it was wonderful because it culminated with my daughter being born, which was wonderful. But other than that- horrible. I was determined it would be different with #2. I had him last September with a midwife. It was amazing. I would have another baby just to experience the high I felt after having him. It was the exact opposite of the hospital.
We almost didn’t get to the birth center because I was sure that I wasn’t close enough. Having such a terrible labor the first time around, the contractions didnt seem strong enough and I didnt want to leave my daughter too early. We drove to the birth center while I went through transition (eating muffins between contractions- Im a pig) and I had him 45 minutes after I got there. Prepare yourself for pain, imagine your vag is a blooming rose, you can rock this! Your previous birth is no indication of this birth.

Kelly P August 9, 2012 at 12:30 am

Baby #1 was a c-section after 30 hours of fruitless labor, I made it to 6 cm. I’d never even thought the words c-section, but it was what it was. I had PPD as well, but have a history of depression so I jumped on my meds and focused on the positive – MY VAGINA WAS AN UNSTRETCHED VISTA OF VIRGIN TO THE DAMAGE A HUGE HEAD CAN CAUSE!! Yes, I had worried about it getting stretched out beforehand. I like sex, no I love it and so this was how I became cool with my c-section. Yucky 8 weeks of recovery afterwards was no fun at all and I figured if I had another baby (which we weren’t planning on) I would go VBAC because there was that twinge of regret of a “regular” birth. But baby #2 decided to put a kibosh on our plans to cease and desist procreating and was due to make her appearance a scant 13 months after baby #1 came into the world. I was told VBAC was a non-option so I set about looking for the positives of c-section #2. First positive, I would know when she was coming and ship baby #1 off to my parents the day before. Second positive, a pleasure dome of forever unstretched vaginal tissue. And thirdly, I loved the hospital food the first time around so an extended stay = more yummy food I didn’t have to cook myself. And there it stopped. Late in my pregnancy I was told that since she was not measuring massive (Daddy is a big, big dude and I am a 5’2″ peanut of a chick, so huge sigh of relief there) and if I went into labor I would be given the green light to try for a VBAC after all. Start up the merry go round of “do I want a VBAC, or don’t I” and I only really ended up wanting the VBAC because it meant she would vacate my swollen and bruised belly sooner rather than later. It was a non-issue because I never so much as dilated or became effaced so c-section #2 it was. But the difference was that I was ready, mentally and physically. No labor to abuse my body equaled a much faster recovery, I felt like me again in about a week. Awesomeness. Did I ever feel sad that I never pushed a baby out my vagina? No, not really. I realized that my irregular births were regular for me, they were the way the fates determined my children should join this world. Every time I think of their births I look at my scars and say, “These were the marks they left on my body, their version of “Kilroy was here.” and I treasure them. Perspective, perspective, it is what keeps the mental rollercoaster on track. I wish you luck and calm times ahead. I can’t wait to meet YoSHE!!

Kim August 9, 2012 at 12:41 am

MODG – I did not read the other comments – but thought I’d give you my 2 cents and tell you my story. Sorry if it gets long!

I have three kids – 2 vaginal deliveries, 1 csection. The first two were normal vaginal deliveries and were wonderful. I felt great after – and I was so shocked that I actually was strong enough to push a baby out! I’ve always believed I am kinda a wimpy girl physically, and I remember saying after my first baby was born “I did it!” and truly being shocked. I did have a bit of PPD with baby #1 – but I think it was the shock of having a baby. You go from no kids and planning the perfect nursery, buying cute little outfits, and just thinking its goign to be so perfect when baby arrives. Sure, you know you’ll be tired – but you don’t really KNOW how exhasted you are going to be. You have this picture of what motherhood is going to be like, and even though it CAN be like that – 95% of the time it is not. I went from working full time, to being home and nursing full time and just remember being overwhelmed. I loved it, I truly did….but I was tired, felt drained (literally), and just missed a bit of my normal life – pre baby. Selfish? Maybe. But it was hard seeing my husband run around and do his normal pre-baby routine every day and then swoop in at the end of the day and spend a few hours with baby before going to bed…where he would blissfully sleep all night long. Did he help during the night? Sure he did. But as you know when you are momma…and you are nursing, 99% of the time its YOU that the baby wants.

#2 was a great vaginal delivery, and it seemed like my body remembered what was happening. Labor went faster, recovery went faster too…and the adjustment of 1 to 2 was simple. You know what its like having a baby, so you are not near as nervous – so things just seemed much easier the 2nd time around.

#3….was breech. Try as I may – try as I might – that baby would not flip. I did not want to try aversion (or whatever its called where they take you into the hospital and try to flip the baby to be head down by pushing on the outside of your stomach) because the doctor wasn’t comfortable doing it, and I was a firm believer that perhaps baby was breech for a reason. Often times babies are breech b/c the cord is too short, etc – and if you try to flip the baby it can end up in an emergency csection – which is what I did NOT want. I like things planned and I knew I had amazing vaginal births – so I wanted that. I tried swimming, the chiropractor, propping my hips up, massage, etc. Nothing worked – she was breech. I ended up with a csection – but went into labor on my own so I actually ended up at 5 cm dilated b/4 the csection was performed. THey knew I was dreading being in the OR while they took my baby away – so different than my previous 2 deliveries where baby was laying on my chest and nursing right after! I did my best to explain my concerns to my nurse, and she did her best to try and make things as close to a vaginal birth as she could. In the end, yes – my 3rd delivery was my worst – but what mattered is that baby was born healthy and I was okay too.

I am really glad that you are trying for a VBAC. I hope it works out for you – but I am so glad you are doing it in the hospital. The fact that you didn’t progress and dilate much last time worries me, but I am sure things will be just fine. But its good to be in the hospital, just incase. You want to be close to an OR incase they do need to do the csection. I am sure that won’t happen though. Positive thoughts :)

And give yourself some credit! You are a great mom and went through 24 hours of labor! That is more than alot of women ever went through. You tried your hardest and it just wasn’t meant to be for a vaginal birth the first time. Lets hope it is this time! I have also heard that recovery from csections get MUCH easier after the 1st one – so just keep that in mind too. You’ve been through the “worst.” The pain of labor followed by a csection. The recovery from a csection (sucks…I know). PPD. A high maintainence baby. I know you love G so much and I’m not trying to say “the worst” in an ungreatful, negative way. I am just trying to say this isn’t your first rodeo, so the fact that you’ve done this before will help so much. Just visualize in your head: a successful VBAC, a cute little 7 lb girl, no PPD, and an easy baby who has no food issues. Its your turn to have all that :)

Also…it might not hurt to get on a low dose of PPD meds after Yoshi is born. Nothing major, but PPD is nothing to mess around with. Women can slip into it so fast, and if you’e had a history of it – it just might not be a bad idea. I have a friend who is an OB and she said that if there is a history of depression with the patient, she said a low dose of meds can be a good thing to keep PPD at bay.

Sparkles and belly rubs to you and yoshi. SOrry this got so long. You can do this – just remember that :) And go eat some more gummi penguins. Or fish. Or bears. Gummies always help make things better!

You will do great and Yoshi will be here before you know it :) Love reading your blog!

Miss Andi August 9, 2012 at 12:58 am

You are going to do awesome. Yoshe is going to do awesome.

My story is the reverse of yours. But before I begin, I must state for all to see that I LOVE my little man more than anything in this world, and I am so so so so happy he’s here. My hubby feels EXACTLY the same way. Anyway, my little dude was a total surprise. Turns out the pill doesn’t always work when taken as prescribed. I was told many moons ago that I should consider not having a child because I had this crazy disease that makes things explode… like my uterus. Exploding uterus is bad, right? So, I figured, if I decided that I wanted a child very badly, there were many little ones in the world in need of a home and I’d adopt.

Then, SURPRISE!!! Needless to say, there was a fair bit of scariness happening there. I got sent all over the freaking place for testing and specialists and more testing and more specialists. I found a great high risk OB who watched me very closely. I did a ton of research on what my options were, etc. I talked to a bazillion docs. It was all super stressful. I went to a birthing class knowing full well there was no way I would ever be allowed to deliver vaginally. Frankly, vaginally scared the pee pee out of me. It’s like I had vagbirthophobia. So, I went to the class and paid attention to only the csection part.

Two weeks before my csection date, we found out I was totally and completely fine. No crazy stupid sickness or syndrome. YAY! Jump for Joy!! YAY!!!… (there was a new test that had been recently developed that cleared of the crazy sickness that I was suspected of having).

Then, my OB said, “Ok, so I’m going to cancel the csection and we’ll do this vaginally!” She was so excited. I almost threw up I was so frightened. Then I realized that I had no idea what to do with a vaginal birth. She saw the look on my face and asked what was up. I told her that I was mortified and super scared, and I had totally not listened to ANY of the natural birth part of the class. I had no idea what to do. And I should be incredibly happy I wasn’t super sick (which I was), but really frightened about giving birth. I mean I understood that I was now totally fine, but at the same time, I’d spent 15 years thinking pushing would explode things. That takes a minute to sink in… then another minute to realize you’re going to shoot a bowling ball out of the va-jj.

She said, “Don’t worry. The overwhelming majority of our patients forget most of what they learned in the class anyway. We will coach you. You won’t be alone. Give yourself a little bit to digest this information. You will be fine. Women have been doing this for thousands of years.” She was really incredibly reassuring.

My actual birth went like this:
I was admitted because I wasn’t feeling my son move around, and it turns out my blood pressure was super high. I was not dilated at all. Zip. My doc came in and checked me and said, we’re going to induce you b/c of your bp, and your fetal stats. Then she tried to break my water, which had already broken, and I didn’t know it. AWESOME. So, onto pitocin I went. I wasn’t sure about the epidural. I wasn’t sure about the pitocin. i wasn’t sure about anything, really. About an hour later, I was in such pain, and not progressing. And it was really freaking me out. I kept thinking, Oh, no…something’s exploding. So, I got the epidural. My doc and nurse did not press it at all. In fact, my doc loves to do totally natural births (she’s a VBAC fairy, btw). After the epi, I took a nap and then played scrabble for 3 hours. I was told to expect it to be 12+ hours before I was really dilated to where I needed to be. So, when I started to feel like I had to use the bathroom, the nurse checked me. She literally jumped up and goes, ” DO NOT PUSH” as she runs out of the room to get the doc. 30 minutes later, my wonderful surprise was born. I didn’t get the lovey moment because there was meconium worries. But, soon I did. My whole L&D was 3.5 hours.

Also, I’m 5’5″ and weigh 110. I’m pretty long and lean (please don’t throw things), and my BestF who is an OB herself on a different coast said she never in a million years would’ve guessed I would have a fast and easy labor and delivery.

I typed my novella just to give a totally different perspective. I know you don’t want an epi or a csection. I completely understand those feelings of wanting things to go a certain way. My advice is to make sure you are super, duper comfortable with your people. Honestly, if the gyn I’d used before I’d moved had told me that I was now having a natural birth bc of the test results, I would’ve thrown a fit (please, hippies don’t throw things at me…it was a looooong scary health road). But, I trusted my doctor implicitly. I really think *that* trust combined with focusing on seeing those little fingers and toes helped me not completely freak out.

You are going to do awesome. And Yoshe will be beautiful and wonderful.

Monica August 9, 2012 at 1:26 am

I had an emergency cesarean at 27 weeks due to foetal maternal hemorrhage. My recovery was actually pretty easy. I barely had any pain afterwards. But that could also be because I was so worried and focused on my baby. So I don’t know if I could say the ppd was because of having a cesarean. It was probably a combo of everything. C-section, milk never coming in and not getting the chance to breastfeed, baby spending 57 days in the NICU with heart surgery and many other procedures… etc. etc.

I totally get the feeling of not having a baby. I was in the NICU every single day only going home to sleep and shower… So I did a lot of his basic care. But when I got home I definitely didn’t feel like I had a baby. I would say it took a good 3 months to feel that bond.

I do feel like we missed out on so much because of him being prematurely. Those first moments together, breastfeeding , leaving a hospital with a baby, Everyone being excited about just having a baby, and so much more….

With that said, I am at peace with missing out. It really puts life into perspective and while it’s a let down that we didn’t get to have those experiences… I am SO SO SO greatful for a happy, perfectly healthy 8 month old (5 months adjusted)! He truly is our miracle baby… Most babies don’t survive what he went through.

If I could change anything, it would be that my son would have had th chance to grow to full term safely in my belly.

Sugar August 9, 2012 at 1:36 am

I had my first and only baby at age 40. I’m a big wuss with no pain tolerance and was scared shit less of having a C/S. Sure enough, after 37 hours of labor, stuck at 4cm, they had to go in and get her. I swear, to this day, she’d still be in there if they hadn’t used the knife. My milk didn’t come in for days and I can still piss harder than than the amount my boobies produced. Totally suffered from PPT too but that too passed….right around the time I started taking LEXAPRO! Hang in there….an RN friend of mine once said to me, “We don’t get pregnant so we can go through delivery.” You’ll make it. You’ll do just fine.

Veralynn @ Joie de V August 9, 2012 at 3:49 am

I understand where you’re coming from about attempting to be go-with-the-flow-y in regards to a birth plan- that’s how I was when I was pregnant with my first baby last year- but when I was talking to a couple of moms at a party around that time, they asked what my birth plan was and I told them how I was trying for a natural birth but would be okay if I felt I needed to get an epidural. I remember them saying, “Oh, you’ll never do it naturally if you’re not 110% dedicated to that.” And I wound up having an epidural, which is 110% fine and I had an over-the-moon birth experience (no screaming, no tension- just laughter, and tears of happiness once he was born). If I’m ever pregnant again, I will likely still attempt a natural birth just to see how it is, that time being prepared with a doula and hopefully a tub (the hospital was out of tub rooms the day I was in labor- annoying).

As for breastfeeding, I was told (by the hospital lactation consultant) hours after my son was born that I probably wouldn’t be able to breastfeed because I had “the evil epidural”. To that I say, bullshit. It *seems* to me that the “hippie way” (AKA starting out with a natural birth is the only way to have good bonding + no PPD + a good breastfeeding relationship = success as a mom) is all or nothing, but let’s be real- nothing about parenting is all or nothing. There is a middle ground between the Tiger Moms and Britney driving her car with a child on her lap.

I see the love you have for G and I know you’ll have the same love for YoShe once she makes her descent. And I am keeping my fingers crossed that you don’t ever go through PPD again (time to bust out the placenta milkshake…blegh…okay, maybe just do the capsules again). You’re going to do just fine.

Plus, if I were you I’d be dreading the first trip to the bathroom post-partum. It is still my #1 anxiety if I ever get pregnant again.

Jeanne August 9, 2012 at 4:00 am

My impression reading all these is that the true suffering is in all the regrets, disapointment, if only…, i should have…, i missed out on…. All these expectations we put on ourselves. So many ideas of how it should be, too many movies of the baby snuggled up against the smiling mamma. Women are especially big suckers with expectations, so many ideas about how things should be. I feel like a wimp for bailing on the vbac and goung c. But after reading this i say … F- that. It just doesn’t matter i am not going to waste another second looking back. I say Know what you want but dont cling to it in the moment. Just let it be whatever happens. Dont resist., and you will be fine. I love all these stories! Just feel bad for us making ourselves miserable, thats what toddlers are for, we dont need to add more!

Brandy August 9, 2012 at 7:32 am

I just want to say I’m rooting for you so hard.

I feel like I’ve kinda followed in your footsteps.

I got pregnant with my first about 3 weeks after you had Gavin. I had been reading your blog for several months at that point and I was just eating up every part of your pregnancy journey. I learned a lot of things from you, like placenta eating (which, sadly, I did not get to partake in myself). I saw how you struggled and my heart ached for you.

Fast forward to my labor. I labored for 55 hours before going to the hospital. My contractions were steady the whole time but never closer than 10 minutes. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and just went. I was 1cm dilated when I got there. Her heartbeat was never up to par so they kept me hooked up to the damn monitor that I did NOT want for the next 7 hours. Just before 8am, ever so nonchalantly, this bitch nurse walks in and with no emotion goes, “We’ll we’re going to have to do a section. We need to get you prepped.” I lost it. I said no. I said I’d wait for the doctor. And they were huge bitches to me and my husband.

The doctor got there and said things were cool. He let me continue. An hour later he was coming in to tell me that things were looking good and, bam, I saw his face go blank and he said, “Is that real?” while looking at the monitor. Yeah, he actually said that. I didn’t know at the time but her heartrate plummeted and was not recovering. I just said take me. Go.

I had general anesthesia. It was an awful experience. Recovery was awful. I was in the hospital for a week and they couldn’t figure out why I had a fever. I didn’t want to ever have another child after that.

Avalyn is now 10 months and we’re gearing up to try to get pregnant again in a couple months. We want ours close too. I feel somewhat better about things and I’m ready to VBAC. Like you, I probably would’ve liked to homebirth….if it weren’t a VBAC.

You can do this. I can do this too. <3

I'm still following you as a source of motivation. But if you have to have a section, don't feel like you've disappointed anybody. Don't feel like a failure. You are SO not. Just yesterday I heard a girl say, before she went in for her repeat section at 42 weeks, that she felt like she had let down everyone in the birth group. It's not about them. Do what you gotta do. You're a super strong mama.

Oh, and women birth huge babies all the time :) Vaginas stretch! But sending tiny yoshe vibes nonetheless.

Jessica August 9, 2012 at 8:56 am

darling, wonderful, hilarious MODG – I know it seems like everything that could possibly said about this has been said, but this old hippie mama has 2 more cents to toss in. I won’t bore you w/ details, but my first birth was awful, I had undiagnosed PPD afterwards and I was terrified to birth my second 2 years later. Birth is a crapshoot, but I did one thing right the second time around: support. I am a very type-A personality and we were all TOTALLY SHOCKED that the moment my first labor started I became helpless and 100% inwardly focused. I could not make a single decision. I had done all the research and planned to be in control of everything but as it turned out I really needed someone else to do that. For my next birth, I surrounded myself with support. There were lots of people watching my hooha in that birthing room. I wrote a birth plan – but it wasn’t “this is my perfect unicorn-rainbow-sparkle birth” it was IF this happens, then I want THIS to happen. It was and if/than plan to make sure my support knew how to advocate for me (IF there is an emergency I want *this* person to go with the baby and their #1 job is to judo kick anyone who tries to give that baby formula unless I am DEAD…or IF I insist on pain medication here are the medications and the order in which they should be tried…or IF there is a csection here are the responsibilities of my support people). It was a huge relief to me to write that all down. It wasn’t for me, it was for my support people. Then I didn’t have to worry that they wouldn’t know what I felt like I needed them to know. And it was a ‘plan’ that covered just about every birthing method and possibility under the sun, so there wasn’t any way I could feel like things didn’t go according to the plan. LOL. I wept several times during and after my second birth of TOTAL RELIEF because I was actually able to do it. And now I am going to tell you the secret to labor. Relaxing. You don’t need a 12 week class b/c I’ve just summed it up for you. You don’t need hypnobirthing bc I’ve just told you how it works. If you’ve ever been an athlete you will know what I’m talking about; when you are pushing your body hard (think like when we decide we want to be skinny again) and you want to go a little farther/faster/have to make it 2 more min on the treadmill everything works better when you relax instead of tensing up. Every night when you go to bed, or every time you are feeling like freaking out bc it’s scary thinking of trying to vbac and NOT wanting the horrid PPD, practice consciously relaxing different parts of your body. focus on your leg muscles, then your hands, then your neck, etc etc and force them to relax. If you can do that, you can manage labor. That is the only secret. Having a good support system will free you of everything except working on relaxing every freaking muscle in your entire body except the one that needs to keep using energy. Your support peeps can tell you “You are tensing your shoulders, relax during the contraction.” You can tell them to touch you in the places they see tension to help you focus on and relax that place. Birth can be calm and centered and relaxing in this way allows your body to use all it’s energy to birth. Just be patient and relaxed and Yoshi will come. Also, ignore anyone who is comparing or invalidating your feelings. What you feel is right and true and everything you are going through is hard and scary. We crazed internet stalkers who love you like you are our own Kardashian of mommyblogs are here for you.

Jessica August 9, 2012 at 8:59 am

ALSO – the measuring is BS they thought I was having twins after the halfway point ALL THREE TIMES bc I was “measuring so big” so they’d squirt me and ultrasound me and *shocker* just one “big” baby. My babies were all born full term at 7.5, 8 and 6.25 lbs. I’m also a tiny gal. MY largest baby was the fastest birth. I never had any stitches. (Wait, I have kinda big feet compared to my height, does this mean my hooch is humongo?)

Kristen August 9, 2012 at 9:24 am

You can do it!!

I had my first almost a year ago. My “plan” was to be as natural as possible with OB, doula, and hubby at my side. At my 40 week appt… that damn fundal height measurement was less than 39 weeks. Apparently my water has sloooooowly leaked out and it was dry as a bone in there. Ooops. So after the ultrasound, OB gets on the phone “head to the hospital, you’re going to get induced tonight” whaaaa? baby? tonight? right now? shit, i have to shower.

I was only a centimeter when i got there, they gave me cervadil to dialate me… after 12 hours… i was a centimeter. damn. So they just start injecting that Pitocin like it’s going out of style. Obvi I have no idea what a contraction feels like, but pitocin contractions were a bitch and half. my “no need for epidural” idea was swiftly thrown out the window.

Pitocin contractions started at noon. Epidural at 3pm. Pushing starts at 5pm. Damn GIGANTIC headed baby was all twisted and so pushing lasted 2+ hours. Epidural wears off, and the second dose didn’t work. Episotomy, felt everything, and bam. baby.

Nothing as i had imagined, but that’s how these “plans” work. No regrets, because those are useless. I REALLY hope I don’t need to get pitocin with the second one, because that sucked a ton. feeling everything at the end was painful, but not the worst. And now my beautiful 1 year old has a head circumference in the 98th percentile. Who knew you should measure heads before contemplating procreation???

good luck…. you can do it.

Karen August 9, 2012 at 9:37 am

Another VBAC here – I never even went into labor with my first, who was delivered at 35 weeks due to a placental abruption. So I totally felt like a first timer with my second!!! The thrill of a vaginal birth more than made up for all the anxiety I experienced ahead of time about whether or not I could really do it. Your midwife/doula combo is definitely the way to go! As others have said, your body won’t grow a baby that you can’t push out, even though it may feel that way. I have a friend who is tiny like you and she had a 10 lb 3 oz VBAC homebirth. Plus I think Yoshe will cooperate – she will want to get out and get sparkly!

Dawn August 9, 2012 at 10:25 am

I’m going to go ahead and comment, then go back and read what others wrote you. So I hope I’m not repeating others…anyway…

I really sympathize with your struggle with Baby G’s birth. I did with my daughter’s. I went in with a pretty good idea of what I wanted. And *surprise* that didnt happen. I feel like we tried everything, enter complications, no progression, drops in baby’s heart rate, etc. We ended up with a C. Like you, I was a tiny bit relieved, but also batshitscared. You know what though? It is what it is. I had a pretty good recovery. I bonded and had awesome lovey moments. I was able to breastfeed after a few hiccups in the beginning (and went on do rock it for 13 months). I thankthelord did not have PPD (that’s not to say I didn’t cry my eyeballs out every now and then out of frustration). And my vag is still all good.

I’m now 23 weeks along with Baby Boy. I am nervous too. I’m not sure what I want. I want to do things as nature intended, but I am a big scared sissy when it comes to pain (not to mention I have nighmares about tearing). Yeah, and I like my vag the way it is (selfish, I know). I’m sure if my recovery was worse, I would feel differently. But I think we all struggle with what is best for us, our bodies, and our babies. So I guess what I’m saying is…. you will figure it out. You know yourself. You are educated and know your options. You will rock it. And you have all these awesome people (in real life and here) to support you no matter what.

You can do it.

Dawn August 9, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Just to clarify…I know my newmomfrustrationtears don’t come close to comparing to your PPD (or anyone’s for that matter). And I would never joke about that. I am truly sorry you had to go through that. Reading about your struggles made me so sad for you and really opened my eyes to what that’s really like. Big hugs, sister.

And I also want to say these ladies who have posted before me just BLOW. ME. AWAY. You chicks are ROCKSTAR awesome stuff. Just WOW. I have been reading this at work and crying, laughing, and wanting to give hugs to all these women.

Seriously – we are fucking AWESOME.

Sara August 9, 2012 at 10:42 am

I totally wish my deliveries had gone differently. I was completely prepared for a natural birth with my first. A c-section had never even crossed my mind! I don’t know why I didn’t think about that ahead of time. I guess I just thought that I would go in and labor and a baby would pop out of my vagina. Yeah- no such luck. My first son had the cord wrapped around his neck and his blood pressure went dangerously high and then low, so after having a monitor stuck up my vajay-jay and being put in every position known to man for 2.5 hours (I had already been in labor for 8), they called for an emergency c-section. I was so out of it by that point that I barely remember anything. I don’t even remember holding him for the first time. I don’t remember conversations I had with my husband, my mom….nothing. It’s so frustrating. Makes me very sad. The 2nd one, I talked to my doctor about a VBAC and she was totally on board with me. Then I went in for my 34 week appt. and we found out the baby was teeny tiny and my placenta was even teenier and poor baby wasn’t getting any nutrients. He should’ve weighed 5+lbs and he only weighed 3lbs. Needless to say- another emergency c-section occurred. Luckily, I never had PPD. Bless your heart for going through that. I’ve heard it’s so awful! Good luck with your VBAC. Sending lots of good thoughts that it all works out exactly as you want it too!

Wendi Kilbride August 9, 2012 at 11:39 am

My first two I had out the who ha the regular route, with an epidural…induced at 39 both times, since they were measuring big and did end up being 9+ at 39 weeks. Glorious time, I handled pitocin just fine and dandy and since I knew I’d like to have as comfortable a birth experience as possible, I got my epidural on time and it worked like a charm. I felt pushing, I felt pressure, I felt when their giant melon heads popped out so I felt every bit as connected as I could imagine I should. It just didn’t hurt like holy hell and I didn’t wish I were dead. Now, flash forward 10 years to my current baby. Since I’m old as dirt (41) they monitored me early and I had placenta previa from the get-go. They said it would probably move away from my cervix but it never did…stayed implanted right on top o my cervix. That meant absolute C-section which scared the hell out of me. I’ve never had so much as a broken bone much less any other real surgery. They had to do the csection as an emergency at 37 weeks since I started having regular contractions and had I actually started labor and my cervix started to dialate, my placenta would rupture and myself and baby would bleed out within minutes. Needless to say with that as the option, or even as a potential option, I accepted that the csection was the way to get my sweet baby boy into the world safely. He’s here and he’s perfect so how it happened doesn’t matter ONE SINGLE BIT. The whole ‘birth experience’ I think is hyped way to much and makes crazy pregnant women have one more thing to obsess over. It will be what it will be and as long as everyone is healthy, then I say make it as safe and comfortable as possible for everyone :) It isn’t a contest to see how much you can take, seriously

Katy August 9, 2012 at 11:44 am

I’d make my son smaller and labor shorter? No, not really. I’m glad he was also over 8 a week early. He was healthy. I WOULD make them hand him to me less than 45 minutes after I delivered. Perfectly healthy, no reason they didn’t other than they were short staffed and all left the room. But happy dust: My aunt delivered twins vaginally after a c-section with her first. Not naturally, but STILL. You can do it.

Jesse August 9, 2012 at 12:08 pm

This is embarrassing but here goes. I wish I had used a laxative or an enema before calling my midwife. I had a wonderful hippie crunchy home birth, but I was really worried about pooping while pushing and I think it held me back. I think I could have gotten my son out a couple hours earlier if I hadn’t been so anal-retentive (har har.) And by the way, if I hadn’t just given up on the notion that I could get a baby out without pooping, I’d be about 20 moths pregnant by now. Luckily, my midwife and her assistant quickly removed any evidence of poop before I even knew it was there.

Marjorie August 9, 2012 at 12:11 pm

I wish you the absolute best of luck with your VBAC. I had a c-section after 17 hours of labor with my first, so I can relate. My recovery was long and painful and the PPD was horrendous. Still, I opted for a repeat c-section with my second child and I’m glad that I did because the experiences were like night and day. My daughter was never taken from me. I was able to skip recovery and she made hickies on my stomach during our ride – TOGETHER – up to our room. I nursed immediately. My recovery was a piece of cake. There was so little pain, I couldn’t believe it. We left the hospital after only 2 days because I was feeling that great. I stopped taking my pain meds the day after we got home. I simply didn’t need them. I did experience some PPD, but it was nothing like the first time. It was manageable. I started a low dose of meds and got less screamy. I’m not telling you all of this to try to encourage you to go for the repeat c-section, I just want you to know that c-sections don’t have to be terrible, sad-making experiences. My first was, for sure, but my second was just as fulfulling for me as I imagine a vaginal birth would have been. I’ll be going in for my 3rd c-section in October and I’m not at all worried. However my babies come out of me, they’re mine, and that’s good enough for me.

Megan August 10, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Amen. I imagine there’s a world of difference between hard-labor-ending-in-an-emergency-C and a scheduled, non-emergency C. I had a scheduled C with my first (breech) and it was lovely. Really, and truly. I had never had surgery before, so I was nervous about that, but my doctor and all the nurses were awesome and relaxed and made me laugh while we were getting ready. I met the baby pretty much right away, and was nursing within half an hour. Milk came in in about 48 hours, no PPD, super easy recovery. I remember thinking that the C was the best instant gratification ever.

Which is not to sound all like “nyah nyah nyah I had a awesome delivery! C-sections are rad! Team Britney 4-eva!” but I’ve known a lot of first-timers who are *terrified* of having a C-section, and I just want to say, it doesn’t *have* to suck. Now, for someone who had a terrible C, yeah, I can see wanted to avoid a repeat. Heck, I had a great C, and I’m still doing a VBAC with #2 because I believe that’s the best option, medically. And I won’t be thrilled if it ends up labor-ending-in-a-C. But if they say “Oops, another breech! What day shall we schedule you for?” I will do a very happy dance.

Jen August 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm

As women we want to have control over the situation so we plan and plan and do crazy things.
I had a fantastic natural birth and a healthy pregnancy. But my son was born with a collapsed lung. It was terrifying. He was lucky not to have surgery but kept in the NICU for a week. My milk wouldnt come in either because I couldn’t hold him and I was stressed as hell. He didn’t feel like my own… I also feel robbed of that special moment. I wont say you should be happy for what you have and healthy babies and all that jazz because its obvious we all want that. Just go in there knowing anything can happen and hope for the best. Good luck Modg!

Laura August 9, 2012 at 12:26 pm

I’m trying to understand, I really am. But I’m having a hard time. I had a c-section. My water broke at 32 weeks (after 2 months of bed rest) and I had to take a helicopter to a hospital with a higher lever NICU in case they couldn’t stop my labor (they couldn’t). When you’re in an emergency type c-section situation, they don’t care about your feelings, they only care about the health of your baby (in my case, babies). They don’t hold up your baby once they pull them out, they wrap them up and run them out of the room to make sure they can breathe. I didn’t see my girls until 14 hours after I delivered them. I “bonded” with a pump so I could provide for them. My c-section recovery meant commuting to the hospital every day and walking a shitton so I could see and care for my babies in the NICU. I didn’t have PPD. The *only* thing I would change about my delivery was I wish I had carried my babies to term. I watched my girls struggle to breathe and eat for the 2 months they were in the hospital. I’m not a martyr, and I don’t think I’m better than anyone else. I met women in the hospital who had deliveries much more traumatic than mine. They say I’m a candidate for a VBAC, but honestly, I could care less. If I have more children I don’t care how they get here, as long as they are healthy (and FULL TERM). I respect that everyone is different and just because something isn’t important to me, doesn’t mean it’s not important to others, but I’m really having a hard time understanding. I wish all the judgement over natural vs. epi births would just go away- it’s really detrimental to woman. Put 20 10 year olds in a room and I promise how they were delivered doesn’t matter one bit to their health and well being.

Cristina August 9, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Thank you!

Krista August 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm

If there is one thing I feel strongly about it is natural, drug free childbirth. I know that it isn’t for everyone and every woman is entitled to the birth she wants and feels most comfortable with. Exactly two weeks ago I gave birth to my third without drugs. My labor actually hurt more than with my second, and I’m not sure why. I had a lot of back pain and thought he might be sunnyside up, but he wasn’t. I actually had the thought cross my mind more than once that I might not be able to do it this time. But I was committed and that’s what it takes. I know a lot of people are against specific birth plans, but I think it is helpful to be firm about what you want and make that decision ahead of time. Like you said, once contractions start you can’t be quite as rational. You can always change your mind, but that commitment at the beginning to do what you know is best for you and your baby can make all the difference. It sucks you can’t be in the water, but if there is a way to do it while being monitored you have to try it. My second was a water birth and it was sooo much easier. Also, stay home as long as you can. This last time I was at the hospital for about an hour before my son was born and I arrived at 10 cm. Not that scary – for the most part you have a little time between when you feel the pressure and urge to push and the baby actually coming out…unfortunately they don’t just fall out. Being home means you don’t have the chance to really change your mind about the epidural.

Do you see a chiropractor? There are studies that adjustments during pregnancy lead to shorter and easier labors. Everything is in the best position possible for the birth.

Jules August 9, 2012 at 1:08 pm

If I can do it, any broad can. My son is 2 months old and I did have an epidural, but I progressed from a 3 to an 8 within an hour and that was with NO epidural. It was contractions one on top of the other. Absolute worst pain of my life. But now I can’t even remember them really! Doc had to use vacuum since TWO AND A HALF HOURS of pushing wasn’t getting him out. Had a 2nd degree tear. Felt like I’d been hit by a bus to the crotch…but I would’ve done it all over again a minute later. Love my little guy! You can do it!

Jenny August 9, 2012 at 1:15 pm

I wouldn’t have changed anything.

Now bear in mind that I’m the anti-MODG…I was all for medicating childbirth. Good thing, because the girl child was 34 hours of labor and I was not amused, but after said 34 hours she arrived healthy and perfect at 7 lb 5 oz. And following an ultrasound on my due date with the boy child (at which the tech just said HMMMMM over and over, freaking out a gigantic pregnant woman who had not had her own shoes on for 16 weeks, literally I was barefoot and pregnant because my 12 pound weight gain equaled dimensions approximating a semi truck) the birth weight estimate was 12 pounds. Yeah, 12, with a 2 pound margin of error. C section? YES PLEASE. I’m not a hero, I wasn’t gonna even make an attempt at that, even had my OBGYN been in favor of it (he wasn’t, he wanted me prepped for surgery immediately, which apparently in Washington State is 4 days later). Boy arrived problem free at 10 lbs 5 oz. Looked capable of eating the other babies LOL :)

that 3 pound gain per child wasn’t a trend I was willing to test, so the bar was shut down after those two :)

julie s. August 9, 2012 at 1:16 pm

My first birth story is really similar to yours (and so many others), so I won’t bother with the details. I ultimately gave in to a C-section because they had to keep putting me on oxygen to keep her heart rate up. ANYWAYS…my midwife says I’m a great candidate for a VBAC this time around. And like you, I am excited because I don’t want another C-section, but I am also terrified because I’ve never actually pushed a baby out…and what if it ends up being another C-section? AAHH!!

BG August 9, 2012 at 1:20 pm

You probably know all about this, but have you tried Bradley Method classes or read either Natural Birth the Bradley Way or Husband-Coached Birth? This is my first pregnancy and I’m not even done with the classes yet, but I feel so much more prepared. They really take all (or most) of the fear of birth away.

Kristin Leigh August 9, 2012 at 1:28 pm

so I can’t type all of this again, but it is on my blog for you to read if you’d like. I was terrified of giving birth, but I think I had a great experience. I had a midwife at the hospital which was perfect! I had everything as I wanted and my hard labor was only 6 hours. I did have what they call a “walking epidural” which was fantastic as it numbed a lot of the pain, but I could still feel my legs, my vagina, my baby being born, etc. Also I could walk right away which was important to me. Anyway…here you go…it’s exciting to think you might be reading my blog…
http://droolontherocks.com/?p=15

Heather August 9, 2012 at 1:28 pm

So maybe I’m a big freak but I wanted a c-section. In my defense both my sisters and mom had bleeding issues. My sister’s were so severe she not only had an emergency hysterectomy but we almost lost her. I thought my c-section was uneventful and recovery was as I expected. The only hitch for me was BP. They put me on the most awful meds after that I felt hung over. I respect your desire to do a VBAC but know that c-sections are not the devil for all :)

Taylor Etchison August 9, 2012 at 1:32 pm

I was induced with Cervidil two weeks after my “due date” and had my perfect baby daughter naturally later that day. It was hard effing work, but with my husband putting pressure on my back, and The Killers blaring (loudly) in the background, I got into my groove and pushed that bulbous head out.

Sure, after having my Lucy bird, there was that fabulous connection moment, followed by the rush of drug-like happy hormones. But seriously, the even better part for me was how I felt about myself.

I don’t know if you like to run or climb or bike or anything, but honestly the pain and pleasure felt a lot like that to me. The pain wasn’t like I had broken my arm — it was like I was running a marathon. It wasn’t wrong; it was just hard as BALLS. But the payoff was huge. Like I had just run my guts out and was standing on the other side of the finish line. I’d never had that feeling before.

Moral of the story: YOU GOT THIS. And a sparkle baby girl! We’re all with you, MODG.

NMK August 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm

If you’re able try prenatal yoga, I went at least weekly and really focused on hip openers, squatting and pigeon pose. I was able to deliver my son naturally and I was able to labor most of the day sitting up in a chair, even with monitoring on which was required. My doctor started me on pitocin because my contractions were irregular, that was a bitch because I had back labor. My nurse also set my bed up so that it was more like a chair and attached a bar to it for me to hold on to so that most of my labor was upright. Do what ever you can to be upright and let gravity work. One of the nurses in my dr’s office who teaches lamaze just started teaching dancing for birth and I’ve heard great things. There is a dvd too, danchingforbirth.com
I am a nurse and I worked in a nicu, postpartum area for a couple years, so I knew about spinal headaches, delayed recovery, milk not coming in. I was and still am scared of epidurals, I’ve seen too many put in and I know too many people who had bad ones. I set my mind on natural and I did it. The pain ends and then you get to eat, I was hungry and popcicles weren’t cutting it!! My favorite pizza was waiting for me and it was the best I’ve ever had!!

Morgan August 9, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Oh hey, I’ll share.. why not, we’re in a safe place right? I’m one of those women who when I tell the basic version of my birth story, I get side eye and death glares. One day early, water broke at home, 6cm when I arrived at hospital (at 8am), epidural worked like a charm, and then only 20 minutes of pushing with baby arriving before lunch time. Except it wasn’t all roses and I regret A LOT about my daughters birth and I had MAJOR MAJOR PPD (which yes, its exactly as you described. I not only was convinced the child I was caring for wasn’t mine I also has serious animosity towards her and cringed everytime she cried. It blew.) I couldn’t handle the pain cause I didn’t prepare (at all) for it, so I got the epidural, but then I spiked a fever, which meant I had to have pitocin, which meant my labor progressed quickly, which lead to her heart rate dipping during pushing, which meant they had to use a kiwi and she had a big ole cone head, which meant she had fluid in her lungs because she wasn’t compressed in BC long enough, which meant she went to a pediatric team first and couldn’t nurse properly, which lead to 6 weeks of hellish “breastfeeding”. Insert pre-discussed PPD here.

And then, i found this blog and read your birth story and your realization about choices and knowledge and I felt re-empowered. Me and hubs are trying for #2 and I’ve already started interviewing doulas. And I think my next birth will be better beause I will KNOW. And guess what.. your birth will be too. Because even if it doesn’t turn out the exact way you’ve envisioned, you’ll know you’ve made choices for YOU and Yoshe not because some dr or nurse said you should.

Jess August 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm

I wanted everything to be completely natural..I thought I’d go into labor on my own and wouldn’t need any medication at all. Wrong! I was scheduled to be induced on 12 July at 8am and I felt terrible about it. Around 11am they gave me cytotek because I wasn’t dilated at all. Less than 30 mins later I was already having contractions. All the sudden everyone rushed into the room and started turning me over and put an oxygen mask on me…apparently the unexpected contractions caused my little girl’s heart rate to plummet to 30bpm. Once they had both of us stabilized they decided to see of I could progress without any other meds. Well by 4pm I felt like someone was ripping me in half and I was screaming for the epi….which my doc decided I didn’t need. Over the phone. Without anyone checking how dilated I was. Needless to say, if I hadn’t been delirious with pain, I would have strangled him! Luckily a nurse decided to check how I was progressing around 6pm and realized if I didn’t get the epi then I wold not get the chance to have one. The gave me morphine while I waited, which did nothing! While I was eating the epi I’m sure I put bruises on the nurse that I was clutching…sorry nurse Maria! The epi did provide some relief but I was still miserable…whatever happened to those ppl who get one and then feel great?! My doc finally arrived around 8pm and did a check and realized I was completely dilated and effaced so he broke my water…all the whole my husband is sitting there eating pad Thai. I could have killed him! My only regret is that while waitin for the doc to come back to start pushing I got a bump on my epi and it caused me to not feel when I should actually be pushing. Of course, all the things I worried about beforehand happened…yes, I pooed myself. Yes, I had an episiotomy. I’m a very small girl so my baby got stuck in the birth canal. All the docs were worried bc my amniotic fluid had lots of meconium in it, so they had to use a vacuum to finish getting her out…which did leave a huge raw looking ring on her head, but at least she was out! At 10:01pm my little Harper Sofia appeared and was the most beautiful thing that my husband and I have ever seen. Now that I’ve had time to think about it, I don’t know what I was thinking trying to go all natural. Get the drugs when you can!!!,!

Amy August 9, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Make sure B is totally on board with it and not “let” you cave easily (if that’s what you truly want). You’ll hate him at the time and love him later. My hubby hated to see me in pain and asked me a few times if I was sure I didn’t want any “medicine.” If looks could kill…

My mantra at first was to get through each contraction, then it was getting through each breath. Make yourself forget how much (or little) you are dilated or how much longer you may have to go, because that will funk you out.

Katie August 9, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I birthed 2 big baby boys (9lbs 4oz and 9lbs 11oz), and I birthed them through my vagina, with no drugs. At all. I went into each birth with this birth plan: Labor as long as possible with nothing, but get drugs if I feel like I need them. And be open to anything b/c who knows how this is going to go.

In the end, I got lucky with both boys – I dilated quickly, I focused on each contraction, one at a time and made it through without a problem. Yes, it hurts, but you are pushing a HUMAN out of your body, so you know…..that shit hurts. Pushing is HARD WORK but you CAN do it. It will be the hardest workout EVER but that moment when you push the baby out? OHMYGOSH that is the best feeling EVER. The pain and pressure completely stops and it is WONDERFUL.

Let the baby lead the way, and let your body do the work. Just breathe and focus on each contraction – and in between them, rest and SMILE. However, if labor goes on and on and on and ON, then get those drugs, no need to torture yourself.

Christina August 9, 2012 at 2:11 pm

I don’t know how this happened to me, because I am riddled with anxiety over the dumbest shit. BUT, I managed to be the zen, cool kid about the whole thing. And that was possibly the best thing I’ve ever done.

I took the birth class. I practiced the laboring positions with my husband, and we LAUGHED the entire time and probably ruined the class for the other couples. We did not take it seriously. At crunch time? It didn’t matter. I wanted no one touching me, near me, consoling me, moving me around. I sat in a rocking chair for 2.5 hours, until I gave birth on my hands and knees in a bed. Roughly 12 hours of labor, 4 hours of active labor. I wanted to die in that last hour. I screamed, pleaded for drugs. I asked the nurses, “WHY AREN’T YOU HELPING ME?! IT IS YOUR JOB TO HELP ME.” It happened incredibly fast. At some point, I just mentally crawled in a hole, and my body took over. Suddenly, I screamed, “SHE’S COMING OUT!” and the midwives jumped into action. (Sidenote: my husband was laughing through my entire labor. I don’t blame him. I was hysterical). I have a very tiny vagina, and frankly I don’t think that matters. Another pound wouldn’t have made me tear any more. And I tore like a mofo. Bonus: morphine during stitching. I got to make jokes about how much closer I felt to my midwife now that she had put her hands in not only my vag, but my taint, too!

The point of all of this is to say: go in with no expectations, other than leaving with a baby. That’s all you can do. It’s hard to hear, and even harder to do, but there is so little you can control about this process. So very litle. You did the very best that you could do with G, and you’ll do the same for Yoshe. And I can promise you this– after being physically torn up and very mentally shaken, I was OK– and you will be OK.

Emily August 9, 2012 at 2:20 pm

I had some “measuring” issues as well. I was assured that my baby measured about 6 pounds and definitely no more than 7 and my small pelvis would be up to the task. Not to mention neither my husband or I were over 6 pounds when born.

Well, I went into labor the date before my due date, and arrived at the hospital with my water already broken and at 5cm dilated. I was thinking, “oh my, I’m a birth story dream.” I’m about to shoot this kid out in under 12 hours and be on my way. Fast forward 26 hours, when it was determined that not only was my son’s head turned the wrong way, but that he was sizably bigger than expected. I’ll pause here to note that I’m a total pansy and had requested an epidural from the moment we hit the parking lot, and was then refused one because of my platelet count.

So, back to the big moment- I was wheeled into the OR and told it was c-section time. I promised I could do it, if they gave me one last chance (I had been pushing for hours). The poor anesthesiologist offered to hold my hand because he felt so bad about refusing me the epidural! With some unfortunate vacuum intervention (and a couple of “oh my she’s too small for this” comments), I delivered my son vaginally. Here’s what I actually regret- the vaginal birth. He was over 8 pounds and so severely tore me, that I was hospitalized for 4 days, didn’t heal for 5 months, and had to go to pelvic pain physical therapist to fix all the issues a vaginal birth caused.

I feel like in my circumstance, with the baby facing the wrong way, and so obviously too big for me, I should have gone with a C section. The trauma of the birth, I think, was a huge contributing factor to why I didn’t have a successful breastfeeding relationship (he would completely go ballistic with his mouth or part of his face being covered- and still nearly hyperventilates when having shirts pulled over his head). I was exclusive pumper for 6 months until my milk dried up, and lets be honest, I was resenting it at that point anyways.

Not sure what I’ll do the next time around! Thanks for sharing all your fears and hopes and laughs. I think it encourages all of us- whether our births went the way we hoped or not!

dara August 9, 2012 at 2:20 pm

i don’t know much about vagina sizes, but i do know that some of what OBs say can be careless and inaccurate. At least in my experience. At 28 weeks, I was measuring 3 weeks ahead, so my OB ordered an ultrasound. At 34 weeks, the u/s showed that I was measuring a whopping 4 weeks ahead. My OB immediately told me that we needed to start talking about c-section cause my baby was obviously humongo and was gonna be 10+ lbs easy if I went to term. She basically (and directly) said the baby would probably die if we tried to deliver a 10-lb baby vaginally. I frantically asked if maybe baby was coming early? Maybe my due date was wrong?? when she acted like i was insane and said no way, i spent a few days researching and trying to get comfortable with the idea of a c-section. and you wanna know what happened?

I HAD THE BABY 4 DAYS LATER!!! At 35 weeks, my water broke, contractions started an hour later, and within 7 hours I was fully dilated. An hour of pushing and my son was born – vaginal birth, epidural, no complications, 6 lb 15 oz, not one health concern…those doctors were full of hot, steamy shit. I’m still convinced my due date was wrong, and my OB needed a hard fist upside her simple head.

Oh, and I am totally down with the epidural! I am pretty crunchy in most respects, but after a few hours of the most intense contractions I could never have even imagined (I went from 3 cm to fully dilated in 7 hours so yeah…it was intense). It was laying like the fucking beach. I napped, I texted friends, I listened to reggae mixes. I’m not kidding, it was the effing bomb. It allowed me to get rest and relax for all that pushing, and I feel like I truly enjoyed his birthday. Matter fact, I want another one sitting here talking about it lol. Sike. But foreal, it’s a personal decision and you shouldn’t feel bad or like a failure if you get one.

The nurse you want to stab August 9, 2012 at 2:59 pm

As a labor and delivery nurse in one of philly’s finest hospitals for the past 7 years, I have seen birth from many different angles. And believe it or not, I opted for a med-free birth as well…until I prematurely ruptured at 1 cm on my freaking due date and had to get induced. I had a mental birth plan, was with a doctor I trusted and respected, had a 10 hour long playlist full of Bon Iver and The Shins and Jesse and the Rippers and all the jello I could possibly eat over my amazing labor course. I was pumped to go through labor. I was one of those weirdos that actually couldnt wait for it. What I got was 21 hours long, full of pitocin and birth balls and a lightning storm and totes ridic in every way.

I am proudly known as one of the “crunchy” L&D nurses and usually get assigned the med-free moms because I enjoy natural childbirth, and I enjoyed my own ‘natural’ childbirth until the pitocin got so high I started sounding like a nature documentary and scared my own nurse out of the profession, I’m convinced. From 4pm until 7am the next morning, I had not gotten into the bed except for exams – the pressure was so unbearable I could only stand up – and only dilated 4 cms, and finally said I would get the epidural. 3 hours later I was pushing. I realized that I was not coping or relaxing and what my body needed was just to relax. I was literally holding my cervix closed. And stupid me actually considered for a moment what my friends and coworkers would say when they found out I didn’t “go natural.” For about a second. Then I breathed for the first time in 6 hours, and let my husband fall asleep.

Funny…the one thing I regret about my delivery was the way I pushed. I had just presented at a conference on the second stage of labor (pushing stage) and researched ways to push that would decrease postpartum complications. Don’t hold your breathe more than 6 seconds, squat, change positions, breathe out while you’re pushing, wait until you feel the urge to push… And then when it’s me on the table, I’m on my back grabbing my ankles and pushing til I’m purple. 1 hour and 14 minutes later, I give birth to an 8lb 12oz replica of my husband and the biggest hemorrhoids I have ever seen in my life. 12 weeks later, I can feel my bladder falling out and the only sex my husband has seen is a half second of just the tip and then crocodile tears for a week. I feel angry that I knew better.

There are certain docs I work with that claim to try TOLAC but are so conservative, they don’t give moms a chance. But there are others that really do try to work with moms and give them the experience they want…it’s just some bodies don’t want to cooperate. My mom had a c-s with my fat head and then a failed TOLAC with my sister’s slightly less fat head. She never dilated past 5 cm with either of us. I have seen great success stories but just last Friday had someone get a hysterectomy from complications after her TOLAC failed. Her uterus was so thin you could see the baby through it. Having seen that…I am so afraid when I read that people try to VBAC at home. But I can also understand the desire, because even though I can’t even put a slim-fit tampon into the V right now, I can’t wait to try for a med-free birth next time.

LaurenF August 9, 2012 at 3:15 pm

I had an uneventful pregnancy, and at 37w3d, had my weekly appt. OB checked me – no dilation, not effaced, no contractions. They did a measurement U/S and he measured 7 lb 15 oz. Ob said to go home, exercise, have sex, eat spicy food. I did none of that. My water broke at 2am when I sat up in bed to go to the bathroom. No bag packed, no car seat installed, no clothes washed.

I knew all along that I wanted to try to have my baby vaginally but was going to ask for pain meds when I felt too uncomfortable. I agree that there’s no prize at the end of this, and I fully trusted my OB and the staff at our hospital. Call me naive – I haven’t watched all of the childbirth movies or “business of being born”-type things – but I trust modern medicine. And I have led a relatively pain-free existence. To date, childbirth is my most painful experience.

Got to hospital at 3, was admitted, had a dose of Cervidil around 6am to get dilation and contractions going since I was having neither, asked for pain meds around 3pm, opted for epidural at advice of my OB since he wanted to push pitocin to move things along more (I was only at 4cm), wanted to kiss the anesthesiologist, went from 4-10 by 5pm, had Jackson at 5:57pm. I had a catheter, which I HATED. It made pushing painful in both my urethra and vag. I had the nurse take it out. They turn the epi way down so you can feel the contractions and know when to push, so that was super fun. Had a 2nd degree tear. Oh and J was born at 8lb 6oz – about 24 hours after the U/S said 7lb 15 oz. :) Love the margin of error.

I was lucky in that I did have the baby-on-the-chest moment, husband cut the cord, etc. I was able to try to nurse right away (struggled for a couple of weeks, had to give bottles of pumped milk occasionally till he caught on, but am still going strong at nearly 15 mo – morning and bedtime only).

MODG, I’m wondering something (I read through the majority of comments here and don’t think I saw this addressed/answered, and I apologize if this is too nosy): through PP counseling, was it determined that the unexpectedness of the C-section and having your heart set on a med-free vag birth is what triggered your PPD? Just curious.

My sister, who is diagnosed bipolar, is due with her first in mid-September. She wants to bf but knows that her mental health after her bambino arrives is a top priority so that she can care for him the best she can. So she accepts that if she needs meds that aren’t bf compatible, she’ll stop.

Sorry for the rambling. USA soccer is on. :)

ashley August 9, 2012 at 4:10 pm

I was determined to deliver my son vaginally with zero interferrence of drugs. My mom did it for all 3 of her childern so I figure I was her daughter so therefore I could do it too. My douchey doctor told me the baby would be around 6lbs but I thought for sure he was going to be huge because his dads side all had 10lbs babies! Also my douchey doctor decided to cancel every single prenatal appointment of mine the last month of my pregnancy & he openly laughed in my face when I told him I wanted to deliver without an epi or any other kind of drugs, so needless to say I was angry at him. I forced an appointment on my due date. No sign of any baby coming, & he said oops your last ultrasound said your edd was the 2nd…it was now the 6th. He prodded my cervix to “get things started” & I went home. The next day I felt contractions starting…nothing serious, but consistent at 8mins apart. & at night they decided to stop, so I cried like a baby. I was for sure he was coming & I was so excited. I went to bed, & around 4am I woke to some really intense pain. I felt like I was peeing & I knew my water broke. I even was able to push out some poop in between contractions, I was stoked cuz I knew there would be no poop on the table YES! My contractions were coming on every 3 mins now & I was trying to breathe through the pain (haha no lamaze classes for me!) Checked in to the triage room, measured me, said I was only 3cms dilated. The nurse said did your water break? I said yes, she said I dont think it did…that pissed me off, & instantaneously it broke right then & it was so warm & nice & felt good. They were searching for his heartbeat, then I saw wide eyes, 4 more nurses came in prodded me with everything, Dr. Douche came in & they finally found it. The pain was so intense my body was uncontrollably convusing during every contraction & I couldnt rest when they stopped. I was bawling, my husband looking at me like I was dying. I couldnt do this, not for who knows how many more hours of labor (since your 1st child is always the “longest”) they asked if I wanted the epidural, & I said yes!!! Now Im a failure. They gave me some other drug to help with the pain that made me higher than a fucking kite but was still convusing per contraction. Dr. Douche moved my epi closer (I was 4th in line). Thank you Dr. Douche. I received the epi, easy as pie after what those contractions were like. My family joined me in my room & now that I was painfree & happy, I was like all you motherfuckers can stay in the room while I push, why not!? haha Just dont video my vagina, I told my moms lesbian lover ha! now its like 9am…4cms, wtf but Cool. Took two 2 hour naps. Got checked again at 1pm. 9cms! My gramie starts crying, I’m excited. The nurse says I’ll go find the doctor & we will start pushing. So she disappeared…..for a whole goddamned hour! I could feel pressure, I was like he’s ready dudes. My mom & grampie are running down the halls searching for someone, & finally they returned with a nursing staff & doctor. I started pushing at 2pm, they want me to look in a mirror at my war zone of a vagina while pushing, ugh no! I get his head out. Now here’s the thing, I had been pushing so hard up til then, they told me one last push. It shouldve been one more soft push, cuz I pushed as hard as I been for the last 10mins & that baby flew out of my vagina, tearing everything as he went, & the new practicing doctor caught him like a freaking football, along with a shit ton of blood that landed all over her shoes that she forgot to put plastic covers over hahaha. They hand me him, he’s beautiful & they try to sew up my mutalated, hannibal lector skin face vagina before I bleed out. The best part was seeing confused looks on the staff’s faces when I was pushing because I was going to orgasm but they didnt know that, they thought I was just fucking crazy, or still super high. So yes thats my birthing story…oh & I had some PPD. Not major like yours but it still lingers. I notice it when my son cries most moms are like ooooh it kills me when they cry. Normally I know I would feel the same way, but I dont get that emotion. I guess it affects us all differently. I am so excited for your baby girl to be here! I wish you so much luck!

Julialifeisart August 9, 2012 at 4:36 pm

I never fully convinced myself I could do a natural birth, so I decided to just keep an open mind. I labored at home as long as I could, then went to the hospital and labored naturally as long as I could, then got an epidural at 8 cm, laid around relaxing for a little while, then pushed for only 15 minutes and met my son. My vag was wrecked, but I didn’t feel a thing. NO regrets on the epidural AT ALL. I think the key to my great experience with the epidural was going as long as possible without it so that everything was already so far progressed and my body was already doing its thing.

Sherrie August 9, 2012 at 5:00 pm

I wanted to vbac, hired a doula, attended International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) meetings, etc. I was (stupidly) expecting a similar labor as my first born which I was able to manage extremely well until I couldn’t manage it well at all (if that makes sense). I continue to feel like the epidural started a series of events which made the csect more likely. The csect was an emergency. Labor #2 was completely different. I had the urge to push as soon as my water broke (dilated to 5) and that urge was completely overpowering. Like #1, I stalled at 7. I was so afraid that having an epidural would lead to a spiral effect of bad things that would lead to a csect. Unfortunately though, I honestly believe that had I had an epidural sooner, my cervix wouldn’t have swelled like it did from all the pushing that was nearly impossible for me to stop. That swollen cervix prevented a vaginal delivery. My baby ended up in distress, and a csect was necessary. She was born with pneumonia and required antibiotics for 7 days in the NICU. She was immediately hooked up to cords and machines because she was so sick (no cry in L&D sick). No one could tell me if it was because of the labor directly, but it was clear that the difficult labor was difficult on the baby. Having a doula during the first few hours post-birth was helpful…someone was with me while my husband could be with the baby. Healing from a csect while taking care of kid #1 and spending 15 hours in the NICU a day with #2 was incredibly difficult. It was emotionally and physically exhausting. I did, however, have the healthiest kid in the NICU after 24 hours and that was a relief.

I feel like if I hadn’t had a preconceived notion of what I should or would not do and instead, followed what felt right, I would have had the epidural when I couldn’t NOT make myself push when I wasn’t dilated which would have allowed my body to do the work necessary to deliver vaginally. The two labors were just night and day. I should have known better than to make any assumptions. I was afraid of failing to vbac. I was afraid of failing to deliver vaginally. (These are different to me.)

Trust yourself, trust your body, and do what feels right. Knowing the outcomes of both births, I would have done something different. A wise woman from ICAN told me that it is unfair to judge my decisions made during labors if at the time I felt like I was doing the right thing. In each case, I do feel like I was making the best decision at the time, but removing my preconceived notions beforehand likely would have changed those decisions.

Hiring a doula is an important step. Research shows time and time again that doulas lead to more vbacs. Good luck! Trust yourself! And, as my BFF says, who cares which hole a baby comes out of as long as it is healthy! (Spoken by a woman who delivered three GIGANTIC babies vaginally.)

B August 9, 2012 at 5:05 pm

hilarious as always! i don’t have a story to tell yet but this stuff has majorly been on my mind lately so i love hearing all about it. i believe you will have a good birth story with yoshe. :)

Kaili August 9, 2012 at 6:21 pm

L et your body delivery a baby like you let your body clear the stomach flu. Embrace your situation. You already know VBAC is safer. Just arm yourself with the reasons why.

Ann yates Pate August 9, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Whoa I couldn’t read all of those comments, but it looks like it may have gotten kinda heated! I had a suspiciously easy birth that I won’t bore y’all with but I wanted to let you know about a podcast that addresses so many topics that I think you’d be interested in. Go to iTunes and search for “Tribecast”. They also have a Facebook page you can check out!

Kristen August 9, 2012 at 7:08 pm

I didn’t read the novels above; sorry for any repeats.

1. When the nurse told me at 24 hrs in that I was 2 cm, I stabbed myself in the eye with a fork and opted for the epidural.

2. My second was born naturally at a birthing center. It was the f*ing most awful thing and most wonderful thing I have ever done; she was two pounds bigger than her sister with head circumference in the 95 percentile. Her fist was by her face. I am 5’2″ size 2. You can do it. Recovery (both emotional and physical) was bitchin’. Vaginal ground zero did not need stitches and healed enough for lovin’ in a few weeks.

3. I ate my placenta to combat postpartum depression. In fruit smoothies. It was delicious and it helped. A LOT.

Briana August 31, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Yes, I ate my placenta too and I think it helped a ton w/combatting PPD and energy in the beginning to nurse on-demand.

nevena August 9, 2012 at 10:57 pm

I just about flipped my junk when my obgyn told me my baby had gained 2 pounds in 2 weeks when I was 38 weeks along. I thought I was gonna give birth to a state fair winner. Turned out she was a reasonable 7lbs 6 oz when she was born. But before all that happened I had to stick my head between my legs and take deep breaths to keep from freaking out at the thought of giving birth to a ginormous monster. You’ll be ok. I promise. Women have successful VBACs every day. Hoping for a easy and happy and healthy delivery for ya! I included a link to a detailed birth story but you might be so over reading them that your eyes have dilated closed.

Cristina August 9, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Kinda sad. I love this blog but I don’t like the judgement that some are dishing out and I’ve been offended by a lot of it. I think everyone knows that the less interventions the better in an ideal situation, and most people don’t dream of that ‘you can’t feel that, right?’ moment right before an OB cuts your baby out, but I don’t get the reasoning behind making moms who had C-Sections feel guilty. I had a baby that I’m 100% sure was too big for me (so screw you whoever said your body wouldn’t grow a baby you couldn’t push out) and I’m pretty sure I’m growing another one right now, and no I don’t want to try a V-Bac because 14 hours of not doing anything productive to get the first baby out only to have him go into stress and have a C-Section at 9:30pm after a whole day of exhausting labor sucked enough the first time and I’m not up for trying it again. Don’t get me wrong. I wanted all natural the first time and I think I maybe could have done it if I’d been one of those lucky people whose whole labor and delivery takes like 6 hours. I cried when they said they had to hook me to the monitor because I knew being stuck in a bed wasn’t a good thing. I cried again when I gave in and got the epidural. By the time they told me I had to have a C-Section though I was ready to make sure the baby was ok. The bottom line is that I got a healthy baby (that might not have been healthy if I’d insisted on proving something to myself), I didn’t get PPD and I nursed him for a year(two things that in my opinion based on family members are independent from birth method). I was also up walking around the next morning and discharged a little over 24 hours after. I think this next time will only be better because I won’t be exhausted after the C-Section and since the baby hopefully won’t go into distress and have to be monitored in the nursery I’ll get to nurse within an hour in the recovery room. I just don’t get the whole idea that women somehow don’t get to talk about the birth when there’s a C-Section, unless the story includes how awful it was and how tramautized you were. I’m not saying you are hyping it up MODG…not at all. It just seems like I always see these women who talk about their natural births like they somehow are better than me or anyone else and that people who didn’t have a natural birth must be ‘weak’ or something. To that I repeat my point about being up and out 24 hours after major surgery. I think thats pretty tough too, and I still have my original vagina. (that last part is a joke…not a reason to have a c-section…but let’s face it not a bad part of the deal). MODG I really hope you get the natural birth you want but if you don’t I truly hope that it’s at least a better experience than the first time and you can have peace about it…and no judgement!!

Mrs. Plank August 9, 2012 at 11:27 pm

Wow! We love to talk vags and I think that’s great. I had a very similiar birth story. Wanted natural and ended up with a cesarean. I was also told I was going to have a big baby. And was induced when I hadn’t gone into labor before my due date. My gut told me this was wrong and I knew it from the git go. My daughter was delivered via c/s at 8lbs 1oz. She had severe acid reflex, requiring her to be on medications that could potentially make her retarded as a result. I believe that a due date is a guess at best. Seriously, I believe to be a good OB you must pass some sort of guessing and bullshitting test. I literally did not know the moment I became inpregnated and really could have been “off” on my guess by at least two weeks. Although, she was a healthy weight, her first six months of life were hell due to the meds. Luckily, she is genius level smart and all is well. But I had very very very bad PPD. I remember one night after a fight at a restaurant with my hubs, sitting in my car in front of my house with my newborn in the back wondering where I could take her and leave her (safely) so I could just check out for the night (I just went in and put her to bed btw, no worries). It seems like a lifetime ago, but I would never want to go through that again. But I don’t think my cesarean had anything to do with the PPD. But it definitely intensified how I felt about my delivery, which was like shit.

I think you need to realize that you can only control so much no matter what. It is your job to show up with your game face on, but other than that you have to be ready for anything. You will know what is best. Trust YOUR gut and advice from those you truly respect. Don’t listen anyone else’s bs. It is your vag and your baby girl. Period. Don’t judge yourself too harshly either. I hated my birth experience. But 4 years later, I am so in love with my little girl. I don’t care anymore. It does get better. And in time G’s birth will seem like a bad dream. But DO use the vitamin E oil to stretch your hole so you at least have a better chance of not splitting your vag into tiny bits. And maybe you should take a framed pic of Danny Tanner for motivation. Just thoughts. Good luck.

Here’s my birth story if you haven’t read enough of them lately:

http://planksinthe918.blogspot.com/2010/03/story-of-boops-or-how-i-shit-kid.html

Ashley L. August 10, 2012 at 12:02 am

No regrets with either birth, but I just wanted to comment that I was super nervous the second time as well. I had a vaginal birth both times so I knew what to expect but I think it’s normal to be a bit nervous. You’ll be fine!

Theresa P August 10, 2012 at 2:35 am

I hope it all works out for you! I’ve had two c-sections so far and I struggled with it for a long time. My story was more complicated… I lost my first two pregnancies followed by fibroid surgery which led to my first c-section (which may have been what some consider unnecessary but happened because of a conclusion both my doctor and I came to), then I had the choice for my second but I had suffered so much loss already I opted for a c-section because I felt it was safer for me and baby. And my babies came out perfectly and I did fine. But it was so incredibly hard to make those decisions. I would read about people who are so anti-c-section and it just really hurt, especially after the first. But now, a year and a half later after having my second baby, I can honestly say I know I did what was best for me and my babies. I am currently in medical school studying to become a physician and the world of medicine is just such a crazy, crazy thing. Nothing is black and white, doctors aren’t perfect, but most are pretty good people who really want the best for their patients. My babies are perfect, they are here, and they are mine. My deliveries have pretty much taken a backseat to that fact! I really hope you don’t have to struggle with PPD again and that things go your way!

Kasia August 10, 2012 at 6:58 am

I’ve been debating whether to tell you this or not because gawd, I hate to rain on someone’s parade. But it has to be said: natural birth is not always all it’s cracked up to be.

I had a natural vaginal birth (21 hrs of back labor, including 2 hrs of pushing) and that post-birthing “love moment”? Nuh-uh. More like extreme what the FUCK just HAPPENED?!? shock… which lasted for weeks and weeks. PPD? Had it. Boob hell? Had that too. Really shitty physical recovery? Yup. Sorry but natural birth is not always the best way. I am seriously traumatized. In fact, I am about to give birth to my second any day now and am absolutely terrified despite the counseling AND hypnotherapy I’ve been going to to deal with the mental trauma of my first birth. Just wanted to let you know, it’s ok to not go natural. Do what feels right but don’t try to convince yourself that if you just did it naturally you would not have had all those problems, and that going natural is the magic solution to a worry-free birth this time. Sometimes it can be, but not always.

Ashley // Our Little Apartment August 10, 2012 at 7:51 am

Holy crap, there are a lot of comments.

I just wanted to tell you not to feel guilty at ALL about feeling relieved by a c-section.

I had my son two years ago in a hippy-safe water tub birth and I totally would have let them cut that baby out of me. I even wrote that in my birth story.

Because birth is hard, hard work. It is definitely the best thing I have ever done and is TOTALLY worth aiming for doing it naturally.

My advice (you have a bajillion million comments, so feel free to ignore):

- Bradley Method. Take the class if you can (contact an instructor – they are awesome) or at least read Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way and make your husband read Husband-Coached Childbirth
- Intermittent monitoring – should be okay. Every hour for one contraction, I believe. Ask them. If you can make the water happen, DO. It was amazing for me.

All of that said, I only did this once naturally and it was HARD and I might even get the epidural next time but I wanted to do it without once, you know?

Kiki August 10, 2012 at 9:44 am

Reading all these wonderful birthing stories lead me to think of one thing — the hypnotherapy cd I listended to when I was pregnant encouraged me to listen to all the stories but to remember they are not YOUR story. What happened to someone else doesn’t mean it will happend to you. You will create your own unique story. And while listening to others may help you think through things and plan, let go of the worry that it will happen to you. YOU know yourself and situation better than anyone. You WILL do the right thing for yourself and your family. Trust in yourself and your instincts. No one else has to live with your choices.

Many good wishes to the MODG famiy through this journey and thank you for opening a forum for people to share. I remember how theraputic it was to be able to tell people my story. And to have others share theirs with me. And congrats on being able to buy pink things!!!

Jamie August 10, 2012 at 10:37 am

I ended up with an emergency C-section too and the recovery is a bitch! I didn’t even realize how hard it was and how much harder getting starting nursing, etc. was until my 2 best friends both gave birth 3 months after me! I never mourned my C-section until then. I do have to say that the doc, hospital staff and my doula were great and despite having to have every intervention I specifically didn’t want (epidural, monitoring, eventual c-section), I always felt in control of the decisions and that made a huge difference.
I ended up with a doc on call and it was the best thing since I know my doc and I weren’t quite on the same page regarding natural childbirth – he kept telling me that many women who say they want a natural childbirth end up with an epidural – way to be supportive asshole! Thankfully the doc I ended up with was happy to let me try it on my own and never suggested drugs. When I started pushing uncontrollably at 6cm I decided it was time and even though it wasn’t my plan, I don’t regret the choices we made (not much anyway).

Desiree August 10, 2012 at 11:03 am

I feel like the only piece of advice I’m qualified to give you is stay calm and hippie on. I was lucky with my first.

Anne August 10, 2012 at 12:06 pm

So, my birth story is quite a bit like yours and G’s. I convinced my doctor at 39 weeks that I couldn’t take it anymore, and he brought me in to the hospital to have me induced.

I also was close to preeclampsic, blood pressure was higher every visit, and I was so swollen with water weight I couldn’t wear anything except one pair of flip flops.

Went in, started on pitocin. I was dilating, not fast enough so they broke my water, and then things moved quickly. Got an epidural after laboring (hard, painful, pitocin contractions, every 2 minutes, for a minute and a half each) for 2 1/2 hours. I had told the nurse multiple times I did not want an epi, but to have the intravenous drugs available. I was screaming for the epi after an hour.

Got dilated to 10, and it was time to push. I had been in the hospital for 11 hours. Babys head was down, nurse told me 3 pushes and she’d be out.

2 1/2 hours later, no progress. I was exhausted, and my baby’s head was starting to swell. The nurse told me her head was turned just enough that she wouldn’t move down the canal so we could wait and see if she turned on her own, or we could opt for a cesarean. My husband was scared because of the swelling, and I had nothing left in me. I honestly don’t think I would have been able to push her out if we had waited. We decided to do the c-section, because her heart rate was still strong, and we were worried if we waited it might become an emergency that put her life in danger. I have no regrets whatsoever about that decision.

However, if I have another baby, I won’t try to induce again. I will let nature take its course.

Oh, and I had like 10 nurses and doctors parade through my room, each assuring me (without invitation) that I would have no problems with a VBAC later on, should I choose that option.

My hospital visit was all about me, all decisions were made by me, and while I couldn’t hold my baby right away after the c-section, my husband held her until I was able. Noone took her away, it was all about us, and making the best possible experience I could have in a hospital. I realize not all hospitals are like that, but I thought that should be shared as well.

I hope no matter what happens, that you are able to have the best experience possible, even if it doesn’t go to plan.

Bethany August 10, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Hindsight is usually pretty clear for me, and if asked, upon reaching the 36th hour of non-medicated birthing, I might have invoked time travel to make some different decisions. (I had no idea my midwife would stretch my cervix with her fist…surprise!) As it was, sleep deprived and unfed, a semi-delirious me blathered about “my own personal Vietnam”, bad acid trips and future vasectomies and consequently, was largely ignored. The old “You can do it, you’re already doing it,” bologna-crap line. One thing I wouldn’t change, however, was sneaking in some Powerbar gel energy chews. I don’t know if they really gave me any oomph, but in lieu of my daily requirements of candy and coffee (or any real food, for that matter) they were pretty rad. (And they retained their fruity flavor for their return trip up my esophagus.)

Kristi August 10, 2012 at 2:06 pm

I know you’ve had like 4,256 comments already but one more positive one can’t hurt right?

With my son’s birth it was so not the experience I wanted (although he was healthy and so was I so it wasn’t anything horrible) but I think I mourned that a little and vowed that with our second pregnancy it would be different.
I just had my baby girl 4 months ago and I did it without any pain meds – She was also considered a “big baby” at 8lbs 6oz.
I’m a total control freak and I knew that if I wrote a birth plan and it didn’t happen that way I’d be disappointed in myself…..So I didn’t write one. When the time came I didn’t do anything that I watched or read, I just listened to my body and I had a very simple mantra that my husband kept on telling me “You can do anything for a day” – if you think about it that way….it’s only 1 day (or a couple of hours-especially since it’s your 2nd, it should be faster then your first).

If you want to read my birth story here it is: http://applesandmilk.blogspot.com/2012/04/our-little-girl-made-her-first-decision.html.

Good luck – You can totally do this!!!!

Good luck and you got this!

Katie @ Mama the Reader August 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm

First time commenter here, but I wanted to chime in. I had a vbac exactly 12 weeks ago from today, and it was LIFE-CHANGING and perfect and I am so glad I did it.

That said, what you are feeling is totally natural. Allow yourself to feel those fears and acknowledge them and then let them pass and know that you CAN do it. I pushed for 4 hours with my first baby and he never descended through my pelvis, and I struggled so much with the “my body is broken” feelings. Then this time around, I pushed her out in less than 30 minutes time, and her head was a centimeter bigger than her brothers (which is saying a lot because his was 90th percentile!) Just know that every birth is different, and surround yourself with positive birth stories and images. You can do it! My VBAC story is here, btw if you want to read along with the others who have commented with their stories as well. http://mamathereader.com/2012/07/05/birth-story-a-letter/

Lori August 10, 2012 at 7:01 pm

OK I’m at work so I don’t have time to read all the 248 previous comments. But I thought I’d let you know that you can do it. That is, you can try for a VBAC.

I didn’t have your horror story of a first birth, but it did suck. It was 30 hours of labor, an epidural that didn’t do jack for my pain (except keep me from walking), and attempted vacuum suction that popped off the boy’s head until the doc said we’d have to do a C-section. Took my milk 5 days to come in, and we never did get the hang of breastfeeding (something I still feel bad about — but I pumped like a maniac for 9 months). And I had PPD too, but that may have mostly been because there was this little sticky thing that was wrecking my life and I was supposed to love it (he’s the light of my life now, no worries). So yeah, it sucked.

Baby #2 is now 10 months old, but I had a VBAC with him. The doctors didn’t want to say so but I knew they opposed it. I ignored them. You can do that, it’s not that hard. And it all went well and baby blasted off from the vagina just like in the movies. Yeah, it hurts like a bitch the second time around too. But yes, the recovery is faster and I’m glad I tried.

You can do it! Or at the very least you can attempt it — no telling what will happen once things get going.

adrianne@dreambookdesign August 11, 2012 at 12:30 am

I just had my 1st baby on May 10th. I am so happy to be able to say that I had him completely natural. It was the hardest and most incredible thing I have ever done! If you want some encouragement, AND the truth of it all, you can see my birth story here:
http://www.dreambookdesign.com/2012/05/braylens-birth-story-part-1.html
and here: http://www.dreambookdesign.com/2012/05/braylens-birth-story-part-2.html
I also did Hypnobabies! I talk about in the story too:) Hope it helps! You will do awesome.

demi August 12, 2012 at 4:44 am

wonderful post as always! I am def in for going in with an open mind. That’s what I did with both. 1st baby-epidural because the contractions were ridiculous and I was in labor for 30 hours. 2nd baby though-it wasn’t “that” bad contraction wise (now I know everyone is different). AND…I dilated MUCH quicker, with no drugs except stadol. Now here’s where things got hairy. during my labor-I DID in fact get an epidural with 2nd baby. But the number doctor put the thing in WRONG. So only my upper thigh was numb. Go figure. Then my blood pressure dropped and then my baby was in distress because of the fucked up epidural. So they turned it off. OMG the feeling of a baby coming out of your vag??! It’s like a bowling ball being pushed through. The pushing part-for me-was the most painful. But once the baby’s out-literally the pain is gone. So just push REAL HARD to get the baby out quick so you can have your super love moment. xo

Anne August 12, 2012 at 2:57 pm

You can do this!!! I know of a few women recently who had c/s for 8 lb babies then had VBACs with 10 lb babies. Having a care provider that is patient when your body might slow things down because you need a rest is huge. Laboring in the position you need to is huge. You can do it!! Or at least do everything you can to have a vag birth and feel at peace with the decision if you do have a c/s.

I had lots of interventions with my first baby. My second baby was born in a different hospital with a WONDERFUL midwife. I had a doula both times, but different ones. I was able to have a very low-intervention birth in the hospital and it was great.

Will you be able to labor in the shower with the monitoring? There are waterproof monitors, and you can often do intermittent monitoring. I found the shower with its detachable shower head aimed at the ouchiest spot (usually lower back, sometimes lower belly) helped a TON.

Malisams August 12, 2012 at 6:00 pm

I just had a monumental moment of panic after you said that your belly should measure about equal to the number of weeks you are along, because I grabbed my measuring tape and went around and it was like 37″ (I’m 29 weeks). Then I Googled how to measure your shit, and it’s fundal height, not belly circumference, and it’s centimeters, not inches. I hate myself. Anyway, it’s all good. Not that anyone gives a shit.

Anyway, I think you’re doing it right going into birth with an open mind…shit happens, as you well know after G’s birth, and all you can do is go in knowing how you’d like it to go, but cool with the fact that if it needs to go a different direction, it will. I want to go natural, too, but I have messed up hips and a narrow pelvis and rods in my back from scoliosis and potentially a curved sacrum, and my doc says we just won’t know how birth will go until we’re in the thick of it. Try not to stress too much. You’ll do your best and if you need to switch up the approach, you will, and then you’ll do that to the best of your ability too.

Yay for babies!

Rachel {at} It's A Hero August 12, 2012 at 7:56 pm

OK I know I’m pregnant with my first and all, but I totally trust my doula and whatever she says. So I’ve heard that there’s a 2-pound margin of error on an ultrasound measuring. So I’m doubting the measuring of the belly could possibly be anymore accurate. And that’s a HUGE freakin margin of error!

Also I know you’ve got this. If Ive got this, you’ve got this ;)

Suburban Snapshots August 12, 2012 at 8:57 pm

I knew this would have a ton of replies and I hope they’re all good ones that will help you.
When I had my daughter I knew I’d want drugs, and like you had a midwife at a hospital. It went great, really great. I mean, the pain sucked balls and I dropped the first F-bombs my precious child would hear, but otherwise I couldn’t have asked for better (except maybe not to poop on the table but hey.) Also, my husband has a small head and the girl inherited it, so huzzah.

LizzieBeth August 13, 2012 at 10:23 am

First off, let us lament on the explosion of the name Harper. I have been wanting to name my daughter Harper since like 2005 because it was my grandmother’s maiden name. Thanks a lot Bex and Posh. Now its the new Madison. dammit.

Props to you for going in with an open mind about natural vs. drugs. I think people get too hung up on going natural to the point they are causing themselves unnecessary pain. I wanted to be drugged as much as possible, but I dilated too fast and had to have a natural birth. Let me tell you, I’ve got a pretty high tolerance for pain, but I will NEVER forget that feeling. Holy hell. After the monster was out, I was in such shock that I never really appreciated the first moments I got to hold him.

That being said, I only pushed for 25 minutes, and I think a lot of that has to do with not getting the drugs. Plus you get like a badge of honor and you can use it to get stuff like “oh, you wanted to watch Sports Center? Well, I PUSHED A BABY OUT OF MY VAGINA WITH NO DRUGS so it looks like we’ll be watching Say Yes to the Dress marathon instead.”

Are you giving birth at the Einstein hospital they are building on Germantown Pike? I birthed my monster at Montgomery in October and I know a lot of the L&D nurses are going to the new hospital. Franny, Marge, Christine and Liddy are THE BEST– Franny especially. Good luck on birthing Non-Harper.

LB

Ashlee August 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm

I always measured about 4 cm bigger than my date with both of my babies and they were 8.5 lbs and 7.5 lbs. Not big to me, just right, and everyone I have ever known that was told by doctors that the baby was going to be big, every. single. one. had small to regular size babies. Nothing over 9 pounds. Everyone I have ever known that was told the babies were probably pretty small…10 pounders. No lie. The measurements and ultrasounds really mean absolutely nothing as far as size goes because no one knows a thing. They can’t see in your belly accurately enough for measurements. DO NOT WORRY.

Hillary August 13, 2012 at 8:42 pm

I do regret my birth in some ways. I did have a vaginal birth, but only because of the epidural (which they gave me after 17 hours of pitocin and only 2 cm of dilation). I still wonder if I gave in unnecessarily. I think to myself, if this was the 1800′s, I wouldn’t have had the epidural and then what? Would I have made it through? Yeah probably. Or maybe not. Maybe I would have died or my baby would have died because my damned body just wouldn’t dilate and it would have taken like days to get to the point where I could deliver and maybe then it would have been too late for us both. I know that sounds like a crazy chain of thoughts, but that’s what I tell myself to make myself feel better for wimping out and getting the drugs. Of course, I also had an induced labor, which I also wouldn’t have had in the 1800′s, in which case, maybe having a labor when I was good and ready and my big boy (same size as yours) was ready to come out, and then maybe it would have been easier. So, it’s been 16 months and I can’t help but want to get pregnant just for the sake of trying childbirth again (even though I don’t want another kid now).

Lindso-saurus August 13, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Dude, you’ve got this in the bag. It’s no big deal, really. I, like you, labored for a long ass time (26hrs), but mother nature has a fabulous way of putting you in a time warp during childbirth so it’s all kind of cloudy. It is statistically impossible for baby No.2 birth to be as hard as your baby No.1 birth. You will do great. And you will be so so so incredibly happy you chose to do it naturally. Have you ever heard a natural childbirthing mama say “I wish I had gotten that epidural afterall…?” Nope. GO FOR IT.

Katie @ mommy brain blog August 14, 2012 at 12:26 pm

I asked my doctor about measuring my belly because I read about it online, and he laughed at me. He said that it doesn’t mean anything. He also refused to give me an estimate of how big my baby was, saying that it’s just a guess and doesn’t mean jack shit. He was an older doctor, and he said that after 30 years of delivering babies, he’s learned that those measurements and estimates are not accurate. He was a great doctor and gave me tons of attention throughout pregnancy, delivery and after, but he called bullshit on a regular basis. He would also yell at me for not staying well hydrated and working too much. He told me that the two most important factors in how well a delivery goes are 1) how rested the mom is the weeks before delivery, and 2) how well hydrated she is. So relax and drink up! :)

Lara August 14, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Modg, you’ve got to read Ina May Gaskin’s Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. It will build up your confidence and faith in your own body’s ability to have a natural childbirth! Plus she is like queen of the natural birthing hippies and will give you major hippie sparkle points. I too had an unexpected c-section after training for a natural birth (and considered a home birth). Baby had taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque at the last minute, turning to breech position, so after 30 hours of natural labor at home with a doula, we had to head in and get a last-minute c-section. Doh! Now if I do it again, I’ll try for a VBAC like you. You are my vagina’s hero. Go, Modg and Yo-SHE, go!

Becky August 14, 2012 at 1:59 pm

I just did a google image search for something I was writing. My search was for “let’s talk about vaginas”. There’s a picture of your family that shows up. Just thought you might like to know. Exciting, no? Google famous?

danielle August 18, 2012 at 5:46 am

just another cheer for your vbac! I pushed out a 9#9oz baby with my VBAC last year, all natural. and I’m only 5’2″ 120# prepregnancy. I tore (third degree), but I still pick that over a c/s recovery. call me crazy. I can still hold my pee and my bowels, though it was a little bit of a potty dash initially for a few months with the bowels. I hope you have a successful VBAC, too!

Hayley August 18, 2012 at 6:29 pm

I had a vaginal delivery almost 7 months ago and had every intention of a natural labor and delivery. My labor and delivery was 52 hours…yep, 52, from the first real contraction to the moment I held the new little seamonkey. (These labor-a-thons run in the fam; I almost killed my mother…and she was brave enough to pop out two more after me!) After laboring at home for 39 hours, at the hospital for 4, and having contractions barely 30-60 seconds apart for 12 hours, I was checked for the first time. Drumroll please….4cm. 80% effaced. Two nights of no sleep, lots of vomit, LOTS of tailbone pain, and contractions that didn’t fully end before the next off-the-charts mountain hit me. I got an epidural, took a little nap, and 5 hours later I was 9.5 and 100%. I pushed for an 1 hr 45 min for what I was told would be a 10lb baby and got an 8#10oz “little” peanut. My biggest fear in the whole thing? THE AFTERMATH. Tearing. Bleeding. Lots of bleeding. Pain. Boob pain. Vag pain. Butt pain. Butt nut pain. But you know what? Even with a second-degree tear, it wasn’t NEARLY what I’d built it up to be in my head. And it was big time easier than the puke-filled 44 hrs of unmedicated labor. Conclusions: 1) Don’t let your own expectations freak you out. Your vaginal birth and the after party may not be as bad/painful/insert negative experience here as you think. 2) Olive oil. My mom and husband watched my birth and said that the midwife pouring olive oil on the baby’s head as she came out made a HUGE difference in stretchiness. 3) While I REALLY didn’t want the epidural, I’m convinced that without it I would’ve had a C-section. My body was fighting labor, despite my fairly successful use of hippie technique. 44 hours to go 4 cm without the epi, and 5 hours to go another 6 with it. Did I want all natural? Yes. But had I denied my less-ideal options, I think I would’ve ended up in my worst case scenario. I’ll try for natural again next time, just like you. But I can’t say I regret my decision, despite my die-hard commitment to natural childbirth. I think the best birth plan is the one where you make every effort to uphold your convictions while listening to your body and giving it what it needs, even if that need is an intervention. I’ve learned that natural birth takes more than grit; wisdom to know when to call in the reinforcements comes in handy. Good luck!!

Christi August 20, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Hi- I’m currently gazing at my son who is 2 weeks old. Two weeks ago I was able to deliver him naturally in the hospital with my midwife, doula and husband by my side. I started my pregnancy by going to a doctor, but with my natural birth plan and trying to prepare for it, I realized at week 32 that she wasn’t going to be able to be the person that I needed to deliver my baby the way I wanted to do it. So I switched to a midwife. Choosing a midwife is the best thing you could have done for yourself. Ours totally supported the natural birth plan, but kept stressing that they were there to try to my our birth experience the one that we wanted (med free or not). I never once had an ultrasound or internal exam, which was awesome because nothing indicated that I needed to have either one done. However, our baby was OP and poorly positioned up to the day he was born. I took a natural birthing class that was taught by a RN who is also a doula and lactation consultant. By taking this class, my fears of not being able to do it and my birth plan veering off course melted away. She gave me the tools to understand that my body was doing what it was made to do. The pain that you feel during the labor is your body doing you the service of pushing your baby out so you can meet him. She also taught me to think of labor as a marathon- early labor you need to eat, relax and sleep as much as possible. Active labor- work on positioning and making sure your body is in a comfortable position that helps the baby drop. Transition and pushing is racing towards the finish line. Just remember that each contraction is one less that you’ll have to go through and one more that will get you closer to holding your baby.

I was able to deliver a 9lb 13oz baby using this mindset. I didn’t consider any sort of pain medication- I trusted my body to do what it needed to do. I did practice some spinning babies and positioning exercises during early labor and the back pain wasn’t nearly as bad as I was anticipating because my baby was able to turn itself around in the OA position. I delivered my son in a tub, which was an awesome experience and having him placed on my chest alert and healthy after delivering him was unbelievable.

You can do it, your body was made to do it. It will be incredible. I promise.

Briana August 31, 2012 at 1:29 pm

HI MODG! I just found your site. I love it, btw. LOVE. I have an almost 11-month old daughter. She was born at home, after 24 hours of labor. And, I wouldn’t change a thing. Your vagina is awesome and will open as much as needed for your girl, and if you are in the tiny percent of women whose babies can’t actually fit through their birth canal (this number is literally TINY), you’ll be in a hospital and a midwife will be making that decision (which is a much more trustworthy person in this regard, to say we need to cut you open, doctors are way too willing to cut a laboring woman open). YOU CAN DO IT. Around 36 weeks I made the MISTAKE of wanting a 3D ultrasound. I was impatient and wanted to get a glimpse of my little girl. Well, all hell broke loose (in my psyche and with the MD that oversaw the ultrasound). The baby they said was already measuring 9 pounds, and she could be 12 pounds at full term. I’m very tall, so my “measuring normal” was discounted because obviously there was so much room for this giant baby. She was born a day after my due date, naturally, and weighed 8 lbs. And, my hubby has a HUGE head too. It sounds like your petite, that could explain why you’re measuring a little big–there’s not that much room inside your normal body so the baby and all her gear have to go out. My midwife thought I might have low-level gestational diabetes so I restricted my diet that last month to no sugar or carbs (terrible) and maybe that helped. But, I was so scared.

Then, my water broke and nature took over and I was like “game on.” Your instincts are amaing and help melt the fear. Your body knows you can do this, it’s in your genes, your evolutionary heritage. Don’t go to the hospital early–get the doula’s opinion about how far along you are. Eat potatoe chips and watch movies w/your hubby for as long as you can. This will make the hard part, at the hospital, seem not as long (and the temptation to give in to another C-section or pitocin (which will lead to a C-section) or other drugs will be smaller). GOOD LUCK!

And, I’m not sure where you are on the name, but I say go with your gut if you and your hubby both love it, screw the anon dissenters, or any disseneters. People can’t dissent once it’s a person. We named our daughter Himma, and it took my MIL two months to get it right (she kept saying Timma), but now she’s SO Himma and everyone loves it (or if they don’t, they shut up or lie, which is fine with me).

Briana August 31, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Oh, I also forgot to say that my baby never “dropped” and the ultrasound revealed “high fluid levels” and she came out as a “brow presentation,” which is hard to birth vaginally, especially naturally. But I didn’t know any of this in the moment, I mean I had the info but in the moment it was all instinct. And, I pushed out my little girl brow first, and the pushing was a RELIEF from all the back labor and constant 90 second contractions. And even those contractions weren’t unbearable in the moment. Nature/hormones/womanliness are pretty amazing and potent combo for labor.

Jamie September 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I have a hard time believing women who AREN’T at least a little nervous about birth. I only have one and I had him at home, all natural, and I would not want to do it any different the next time unless I have to, but I still get nervous just thinking about the next time and I’m not even pregnant again. I don’t know what else to say except YOU CAN DO IT! It will be the greatest feeling of accomplishment too. I know you are looking forward to a natural birth and I only hope that you get what you want, if for nothing else but to just experience it once.

I couldn’t comment on the baby name post but I just had to tell you, a good friend of mine had a little girl 2 years ago and they named her EVERETTE. That was the first time I had heard the name and I loved it. I now know that apparently it is fairly popular right now but for boys because I have heard it tons of times since but only for baby boys. I can see how it would be a boy name but I thought it made a beautiful girls name! I don’t know what you are planning for your little girl but I do know that whatever her name turns out to be it should be something that you and your husband love despite what anyone else says. She will love it if you teach her to love it but telling her how special it is and how much mommy and daddy love it and picked it because you knew it was her name.

Angie September 7, 2012 at 10:28 am

Big babies can still fit through vaginas. You can totally VBAC. My c-section daughter was 8 lb 6 oz and posterior – I pushed 5 hours with an epidural, then c-section. I had bad PPD and all the bad post c-section mourning mess. I had an all natural VBAC with my son, 9 lbs 6 oz. It was holy hell painful and awesome and lovely all together. The key was my doctor – I switched to a super VBAC supportive fella at 37 weeks! It made all the difference. That, and having my mom there as a doula support. Husbands are wonderful, but they’re worried about you, it’s good to have female support with experience. You can do it and it will be amazing. And if it’s not and doesn’t work out, you gave it every effort for you and baby. I hope you get that wonderful, painful, healing after c-section birth. It does wonders.

Megan September 19, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Girl – I don’t know if you’re even still reading comments to this post. But regardless, don’t worry! No matter how it goes down, it’s fine! With my second kid I decided not to decide what to do or not do, to just go with it, and it just really helped me relax. I also had a GREAT doula – which I see you have. I know your situation is different with the C-section, but I guess I’d say you can try drug free, or epidural, and if you need it, a C-section. Labor is totally unpredictable. And it’s fine, and MOREOVER, it’s no one else’s damn business but your’s and your husband’s how this kid arrives.

Andrea November 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm

i had a c-section and then a VBAC. most midwives wouldn’t take me bc they considered me high-risk so i had to drive from brooklyn to long island to see my midwife but it was worth it. i was in labor 48 hours, they threatened c-section every few hours. i had a doula to help me and i did take an epidural because i was so freaking tired and overwhelmed. when it was all over, my daughter weighed 10 lbs but I DID IT and it was the BEST feeling ever. the best day of my life. i am not kidding.

am crossing my fingers for you.

Rachel B - Busy Mama November 5, 2012 at 11:29 am

I so love your angry vagina. My son was induced and I do have some regrets about that but mostly because I ate way too much with my pregnancy and ended up toxic. No gummi penguins but I did eat gummi bears through most of my labor!

My doula actually said – ‘didn’t you know when you saw the size of your husband’s head that you’d be giving birth to a melon headed baby?’ I still feel it when I squat 2 years later. Sigh.

John November 26, 2012 at 8:53 am

I think every girls vagina is different….

I have slept with probably 20 women in my lifetime half of them being very tiny. I could only fit my entire penis in 2 of the small girls. They have vaginas that stop 4-5 inches in…

I prefer a girl with a bigger backside, a little weight to her, because the sex is better.. for me…

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