Category Archives: Pregnancy

My Current Medicine/Vitamin Regimen and the Finalized Birth Preferences

The Med/Vitamin Regimen

It’s been a while since I’ve updated you all on what I’m currently taking med-wise.  The good news is that right now the vitamins are outnumbering the drugs.  Hooray!  This means I can keep down vitamins!

Remember: I am taking all of these under the very specific guidance and direction of my midwives.  With any vitamin or medicine you need to consult your medical care team before starting.  Some of these interact with each other and must be taken on a specific timetable.  Always ask before taking a medicine, vitamin, or herb.  Especially if you are pregnant or nursing!

So, without further ado, here is what I’m on:

Drugs:

  • Nexium 20 mg – 1 tablet at night
  • Zofran 8 mg ODT – 1 tablet before rising in the morning

Vitamins/Herbs:

It’s a lot of pills and tablets to swallow, and I’ve really had a hard time remembering to take everything.  I noticed, though, that when I miss doses my body lets me know.  When I forget the cal/mag/pot I get horrible leg cramps at night.  When I miss the multivitamin and the iron I feel dizzy and out of breath.  Or at least more dizzy and more out of breath than usual.

To help me remember to take these, even when I’m out and about, I’ve started putting the day’s worth of vitamins into a little plastic gladware cup.  I toss the cup into my purse, and wherever I happen to be at vitamin time, I can break out my little plastic cup-o-vitamins and start swallowing pills.

Taking my meds and vitamins every day at the correct time has really helped improve the way I feel both physically and emotionally.

 

The Finalized Birth Preferences

In other news, we got the results back from my group B strep test which allowed us to finalize the loose ends of the birth preferences.

The test came back… NEGATIVE!!!!!!!!

I could not be more thrilled.  This makes things so much simpler.  No needles, no IVs, no extra stuff to fiddle with, and no need to put the gunk in the baby’s eyes.  We did find out that we did have a relative with a clotting disorder, so the vitamin K shot for her is back on.

I provided individual explanations in my original post on the subject: Writing My Birth Preferences, so if there’s something you wonder about, click on over to that post for the reasoning behind each item.

So, with that, here is the finalized version of our birth preferences:

  • I don’t want to know baby size until after she’s born.  
  • I don’t want to have internal checks until I am ready to push.  
  • Please feel free to suggest position changes! 
  • Please avoid using the word pain.  
  • Please no AROM.
  • I would like to birth my baby in the water.
  • Please no purple pushing.  
  • For the baby:  Yes to the Vit K shot.  No to the eye drops.
  • Please delay cord clamping.
  • I would like an unmanaged 3rd stage if at all possible and deliver the placenta on my own.  Would also like to avoid the shot of pitocin unless it’s really and truly necessary.

We’re ready to go.  Aside from a few general items like converting the crib into a cosleeper, installing the carseats, and remembering that I will need shirts and pants in the bin I’m packing to go to the birth center, we could have this baby tomorrow and we would be just fine!

So close!

Definitely Nesting

This weekend is all about getting ready for the baby.

We’re picking up the components to convert the crib into a cosleeper.  This involves bed lifts, high density foam, and bungee cords.  Expect a full post later.

We’re washing and sorting through all of the newborn and 0-3 month sized clothes that we have leftover from when Gabi was a baby.  We’re determining if we need to purchase any additional small items.  I think that aside from a few packs of onesies, we’ve got plenty.

I am trying to convince Juan to please go ahead and install the carseats already in case we run into a situation where they don’t both fit.  If that happens, I’m not sure what we’ll do.  He doesn’t seem to understand that getting this done is, for me, a biological imperative at this point.

I’m gathering the odds and ends that we’ll be packing into the bin to take to the birth center: the birth kit, clothing for the baby and me, and various other items like depends, dermaplast, aromatherapy kit, etc.

The nursing pillow covers are clean and I’ve put them on their pillows.  The drawers in my bedroom that I will be dedicating to the baby have been emptied and are ready to receive clothes, diapers, and blankets.  My nightstand has been emptied and is ready to become a temporary changing table.

And I’m feeling very satisfied sitting here listening to the washer wash its load of baby sheets, swaddling blankets, and breast pads, and the dryer dry its load of prefold diaper inserts for me to use as heavy-flow pads for my postpartum bleeding.

Happy Labor Day weekend everyone!

A Week of Appointments

This week has been full of appointments!

Well, I suppose two appointments doesn’t really count as “full” but it just seemed pretty busy.

On Tuesday, Juan went with me to the appointment with the midwives.  Since we’re getting down to the wire, I wanted him to go again.  The appointment went well.  We reviewed the birth preferences we had written up and there were no issues.  Everything was just fine, and most of the things I had listed were things that they either do or don’t do anyway. 

The only exception was the internal checks.  They usually do internal checks, but she said there’s no reason why they need to do them.  If I prefer to skip them, that’s just fine.  She even said that she wouldn’t need to check me if I suddenly feel the urge to push.  She said if I did a little trial push and felt the baby moving down, we were ready to go!  If I do a little push and it hurts, then we know I need to give my body more time to dilate a bit more.  So there’s no need to 3 nurses and 2 doctors to be reaching up in there.  That’s so refreshing and comforting to know.

Tuesday was also the day of my Group B Strep test.  We won’t know for a while what the results are.  Once we know, we’ll be able to finalize a few of the items in the birth preferences list and I’ll post the final draft so you can see it.

Aside from those things, it was a usual appointment.  I got measured and I’m measuring right where I should be.  We got to hear the baby’s heartbeat.  And feel her position.  She’s still head down, although, she did roll around while the midwife was feeling her so that her back was up against my back.  She seems to have rolled back into place later, though, and there’s still plenty of time for her to move around.  She’s doing great in other words!  Headbutting my bladder as much as possible!

Thursday, I had my first appointment with the therapist.  I won’t go into all the details here, but it went really well.  We talked a lot about feelings of powerlessness and where in my life I am powerful.  It was amazing how good it felt to have someone validate what I’d been through in the hospital that one really bad Friday night.  She’s a medical professional who works with people with eating disorders in addition to being a counselor, so she was able to point out why what I had been through and validate just how serious my situation was.  Hearing her tell me that, yes, I was actually pretty close to dying that Friday night really helped me come to terms with things and let go of the guilt I’ve been carrying for being angry over the lack of treatment I received at the hands of the hospital.

Anyway, it was a good experience.  I really felt like I was able to connect with her, and I appreciated that she didn’t try to logic me to death like the previous counselor I saw (way back in January).  I’ll keep going back to her for a while.  It’s really seemed to do me some good.

So, it’s been a busy week.  Tomorrow I’ll be 36 weeks.  I think I posted previously that 36 weeks is considered full term, but that’s not correct.  37 weeks is full term.

I’ve got 4 working days next week and 5 working days the week after.  Then I go out on maternity leave.  I can’t wait to be done with work!  One less thing that I will have to worry about.

Writing My Birth Preferences

This is one of those posts that I’ve actually been pretty excited to write about.  Birth preferences!

Writing out my birth preferences this time around is so different from writing my Birth Plan from when Gabi was born. 

The hospital where I had Gabi provided a template, so I based my plan off of that so that I could give them information in a format with which they were already familiar and comfortable. 

With the hospital birth, there was so much more to worry about.  The Birth Plan, while certainly not adversarial, was much more of a defense against unnecessary interventions.  I had to specify things like no episiotomies, no continuous internal monitoring, give the baby to me immediately instead of delaying with newborn procedures, don’t give the baby formula or pacifiers, etc.  Even using the format provided by the hospital, the Birth Plan was very much a defense for Gabi and I against the standard protocol of the hospital.

I don’t have to do that this time and it’s blowing my mind!  All of those things I have to prepare for and defend against?  Those are things that my midwives don’t do anyway.  This notion of having my midwives working with me as a team that I already know and am totally comfortable with as opposed to a nurse I’ve never met who may or may not respect my right to informed consent is just incredible.

I’m not The Patient in Room 326.  I’m me.  They know me, and they respect me as an individual.

Because of all of this, my birth preferences are much shorter than they were the last time around.  I’ll list them here, and include my reasoning for each one.  The preference itself will be bold, and I’ll follow with the reason behind it to make it easier for you to skim.  If there’s something that’s not on this list that you’re curious about, let me know and I can talk more about that item and why I didn’t include it.  I promise I’ll be better about responding to my comments this week.

So, without further ado…

My Birth Preferences

I don’t want to know baby size until after she’s born.  No estimates please.  I know I can birth her “big” or not.  Baby size estimates can be off by more than a pound, and since I’ve already had a baby vaginally, I know that I don’t have a pelvic issue that would prevent my pelvis from opening to allow the baby to pass.  At 8 lbs 6 oz, Gabi came out at a pretty respectable size.  Women have “big” babies all the time.  It’s just not something I want to have to worry about.

I don’t want to have internal checks until I am ready to push.  Last time, knowing that I was walking around for a month at 3 cm weighed on my mind, and when I got to the hospital I found I was “only” at 5 cm.  Knowing this just shattered my belief in myself, so I’d just rather not know.  Realistically, it’s perfectly possible to go from 5 cm to 10 cm in an hour or less.  I know this rationally, but emotionally, those kinds of cold, hard numbers can be disheartening.  If I’m in active labor, I have faith that my body is doing its job in its own time. 

For those of you who may be considering this as a preference, you may encounter a health care provider who just really wants to start doing internal checks once you reach a certain number of weeks.  They may do this just out of habit or they may tell you they need to “establish a baseline.”  This is completely bogus.  The baseline for dilation is… not being dilated at all!  This isn’t a subjective thing.  You’re either dilated or not.  This is a measurement on a ruler.  There is also absolutely nothing you gain from knowing this number as it will give you no indication of when you’ll go into labor.  You could go from 0 cm to 10 cm in the space of 8 hours.  Or you could walk around dilated to 3 or 4 cm for weeks.  There’s no value in knowing this number, and every time someone reaches up in there you deal with risks: introduction of bacteria, accidental rupture of membranes, the temptation to strip your membranes without your consent, etc.

So no thanks on the internal checks for me!

Please feel free to suggest position changes!  I tend to freeze up when I’m in an unfamiliar situation and don’t know precisely how things are going to go.  I know that everyone says your body will tell you what to do when you’re birthing, but I really do tend to freeze up.  I’m so glad to have a great doula and team of midwives who will be willing to make recommendations if they notice me getting stuck.  Last time I felt like I just sat on the bed and didn’t know what to do.  I asked for the epidural so quickly that I didn’t really get the chance to see what my body would tell me.  I’m just not sure what to expect, so I’m very open to suggestions!

Please avoid using the word pain?  Instead, I prefer to talk about things like “intensity” and “pressure.”  This is a Hypnobabies thing.  In so many of the Hypnobabies birth stories, it seems like the mom is doing great until a nurse comes in and asks about pain level.  Then, suddenly, she loses her focus and starts feeling out of control.  Since “pain relief” in the form of medication really isn’t an option, I just prefer not to visit this area at all.  We can use words like “intensity” and “pressure” instead.

Please no AROM.  AROM stands for Artificial Rupture of Membranes.  That’s when they go in and manually break your water.  There are about a gillion reasons why this is not a very good idea, but rather than list it all here, I’ll simply refer you to this article from Midwife Thinking in Australia: In Defense of the Amniotic Sac.

I would like to birth my baby in the water.  That’s right!  We’re planning to have a water birth!  There are many reasons why water birth can be a great option:

  • The warmth from the water serves as a natural way to ease the discomforts of labor.
  • The weightlessness that the water provides allows women to move and change positions easier.
  • The water helps to soften the tissues allowing the perineum to stretch more easily to accommodate the baby.
  • The warmth of the water provides a much more gentle transition for the baby from the womb into the outside world.

I’m just really pleased to have the opportunity to use the birth pool at the birth center to have this baby.  I know this will help me so much during my birthing time to stay comfortable and composed.

GBS+:  I’d like to get the IV line placed and the antibiotics run as fast as possible.  Then I would like to have the line pulled completely.  I just don’t want an IV hanging off me.  They’re distracting and upsetting to me right now.  I don’t know for sure if I am GBS+ (group B strep positive), but I’m operating under the assumption that I am.  This way, if I am, I won’t feel disappointed, and if I’m not I can feel pleased about having one less thing to deal with.  I am also exploring the options of hibicleanse during my birthing time to help with this.  It’s a bit up in the air at this point, but since I don’t know if I have group B strep or not, I think that’s okay.

Please no directed pushing.  I would like to follow the signals of my body and allow it to do its work gently and naturally.  Also please don’t count while I push or have a contraction.  What I’m really trying to avoid here is “purple pushing.”  That’s where you hold your breath and pushpushpushpushpush until they tell you to stop.  This can reduce oxygen flow to the baby, and it’s really exhausting.  On top of that, this kind of hard pushing can cause tearing as the baby moves too fast down the birth canal.  So I just don’t want to do it.  My body will tell me when to push.  We’ll just listen to that and go with the flow.  In Hypnobabies, we learn about “Aaaahing” the baby out.  That’s just what I intend to do.

Please delay cord clamping. Since we donated Gabi’s cord blood, delayed clamping was not an option for us.  This time, however, we won’t donate the blood.  Instead, we’ll be allowing all of our baby’s blood supply time to move from the placenta into her body.  According to this article, around 21% of her blood is in the placenta.  She needs all of that iron- and oxygen-rich blood.  It’s hers.  I often wonder if some of Gabi’s early sleepiness and weakness during nursing would have been helped by delaying the cord clamping.  For this baby, we’ll wait until the cord stops pulsing, and then we’ll clamp and cut the cord.

For the baby, no Vitamin K shots and (if I am not GBS+) no eye drops.  Vitamin K shots are really only needed if your family has a history of blood clotting disorders.  That’s not an issue for us.  Unless the baby comes out with significant bruising, there’s no reason to give this shot.  The eye-drops are only needed if the mom has chlamydia.  They’re also recommended if the mom is GBS+.  I definitely don’t have any sexually transmitted diseases, so as long as I’m not GBS+, there’s no need for the eye goop.

I would like an unmanaged 3rd stage and deliver the placenta on my own.  Would also like to avoid the shot of pitocin unless it’s really and truly necessary.  The 3rd stage of labor is the part where you deliver the placenta.  During a managed 3rd stage, the healthcare providers may tug on the cord or “massage” the mom’s belly to help the placenta come out more quickly.  The “massage” is pretty forceful and brutal, so banish the thought of a comfortable, relaxing belly massage.  Picture instead people shoving against the mom’s belly with all their strength to manually push out the placenta.  Really unpleasant.  The cord pulling and the “massage” can also cause increased bleeding, hemorrhage, and the risk of the placenta breaking up and leaving pieces behind.  Hello infection!  I’ll pass.  The pitocin shot is something to help curtail bleeding.  If I’m not bleeding heavily, I’ll just skip that as well.  As they say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

 

Those are my birth preferences.  It’s a fairly short list.  I’ll be talking about these with my midwife at my 36 week appointment later today.  It’s so refreshing not to have to worry about defending myself against unnecessary hospital policies.  I love that I am included as a member of my own birth team this time around.

Antenatal Depression? PTSD? Thanks HG.

I’m having a bit of a difficult time right now, and that’s hard for me to admit. 

This may be a short post.  I don’t really want to write it.  But Kat over at Love Makes a Family and I had a conversation recently about how important honesty is, so I need to be honest about this.  It would be easier to tell you all that things are fine, I’m doing well, thanks so much.  But that would be a lie.  And lies hurt people.  I’m not lying to myself anymore and it would not be fair to lie to you.

I’ve been reading some of the post partum depression posts and tweets from James & Jax which have really helped me get to a place where I can ask for help.

In case it’s not completely obvious from my obsessively detailed protocol, I’m just a teensy bit of a control freak.  I’m sure you haven’t figured that out by now.  Being a control freak means that I “handle” things way past the point of it being wise to do so.  It makes it really hard for me to ask for help. 

It’s not a pride thing.  It’s more like, I don’t feel like I should be a bother.  I don’t want to make a big deal.  It’s why I suffered for so long during the HG of my first pregnancy.  It’s why it took me years of writing and rewriting to be willing to show the protocol to my doctor and it’s why the long, gentle, and affirming conversation that I had with Dr. Awesome during my preconception visit probably saved this baby’s life.

So last week, I got up the courage to ask my midwife for the names of a few counselors.

But I didn’t call them.  You know, I just wanted to have them around in case I needed them.

Then, this past Tuesday, I ended up basically walking out of the office in tears for absolutely no reason.

Okay.  So that’s not good.  I called my midwife again and asked her to diagnose me with something because I just didn’t feel like I could handle work, home, pregnancy, everything anymore, and she very gently gave me the push I needed to pick up the phone and give those counselors a call.

So, I’ve made the calls.  I’m trying to figure out what’s going to happen with my insurance.  She’s out of network, but there don’t seem to be any in our area that are good for PTSD and pregnancy related mental health issues.  Dr. Awesome has also been kind enough to look into it for me as well.

I’ll be 35 weeks tomorrow.  I can’t wait to be Not Pregnant.

Third Trimester Grace

I don’t have it.

I’m not talking about physical grace.  Obviously I don’t have that.  It’s hard to waddle gracefully and moving around requires plenty of grunting and groaning.

I’m talking about social grace.  Emotional grace.  That almost transcendant zen-like glow that some pregnant women seem to have.

I want to stab those transcendent glowy ladies with a plastic fork.

(Gee, Molly.  Tell us how you really feel!)

Look, I’ve got heartburn, alright?  And not just heartburn.  Reflux, too.  Reflux is really special because it doesn’t hurt.  Isn’t that nice?  t just means my food comes out of my stomach and into my mouth when I lay down, bend over, burp, lean the wrong way, or forget to take my Nexium.

Also, my back hurts.  And my hips.  And my legs.  Especially at night when I just want to get some damn sleep already.  I lay on my left side and the left leg starts to ache.  I hoist my giant self over onto my right side, and my right leg starts to ache.  If I accidentally roll onto my back, I wake up dizzy and nauseated.

And you know what else?  The HG is STILL HERE!  Okay, it’s less like 1st trimester HG and more like a perpetual hangover, but it’s there and I am tired of it.

Apparently I’m also huge.  And my baby is going to be huge.  And aren’t I scared?  This is according to my coworkers.  Thanks guys.  Rule #1 of talking to a pregnant woman.  Tell her she looks gorgeous and leave it at that.  I’m honestly not worried about having a big baby.  Fat squishes.  I’ll birth this baby just fine.  My midwives are not concerned, and neither am I.  But nothing makes me feel like the love child of Humpty-Dumpty and a hippopotamus than being told how enormous I am.

All of this means that I am exceptionally cranky at the moment.  No, I don’t want to hear about your cold.  I’ve been living with a perpetual hangover (at best!) for the last 8 months.  I don’t care how sick you are, get out of my cubicle and take your germs with you.  I don’t want to hear about how tired you are because you stayed up late last night watching this really good movie.  I went to bed at 9 PM.  I couldn’t sleep.  I’m tired, too.

“Molly’s not here right now.  These are her hormone’s speaking, how can we help you today?”

Mostly, I’m just done.  I am so over being pregnant.  I’m at 34 weeks and 4 days.  At 36 weeks I’ll be full term and the baby is welcome to choose her birthday any day at that point.

I’m counting down.

Cue the Mommy Guilt

Now I know that I wrote about guilt last week, but this is less of a spinoff from that post and more of a spinoff from Tuesday’s post: All Things to All People.

Guilt that comes from the outside is easy for me to deal with.  Guilt trips are simply a way some people try to manipulate others.  When confronted by someone attempting to manipulate my emotions, it’s easy for me to mentally raise my middle finger in their direction and leave the guilt aside.

When the guilt comes from within as a result of me not living up to my own personal goals and ideals, it’s much more difficult to deal with.

Some things I currently feel mommy guilt about:

  • Feeding Gabi crappy food: Monday-cold leftover pizza and a bowl of honey nut cheerios; Tuesday-A ham, cheese, and mayo sandwich and ice cream; Wednesday-cold leftover pizza
  • Letting Gabi watch way too much TV – TV as babysitter?  Yup.
  • Not getting down and playing interactively with Gabi
  • Parking my butt on the couch and encouraging her to entertain herself
  • Taking her to daycare with her hair uncombed and her teeth unbrushed

Okay, most of these are seriously temporary.  Juan’s travelling for work for a few days this week (comes back today thank god!), and we’re in survival mode.  For the record, he usually cooks nutritious and tasty meals, plays vigorously with her at every opportunity, and makes sure her teeth and hair get brushed in the morning.  Also, for the record, she does have a toothbrush at daycare, so when she arrives, she can run back and brushes her teeth then.

Overall, I know that this is stuff that I can’t really control right now.  At the end of the day, we’re doing well if I can stick food on plates and get the dishes loaded in the dishwasher.  I’m proud of myself each time I have managed to get her bathed this week.  Reaching into the tub is hard.  I’m trying really hard to give myself credit for the little stuff like that.

But we do watch way too much TV.  I try to assuage that guilt by making sure we’re watching the kids channels that don’t show any commercials.  I just wish I could play with her more.  I wish this week could have been fun girlie time with walks/trike rides through the neighborhood with the dog, fun bubble baths, painted toenails, and special activities.

That’s just not in the cards right now.

Right now, we’re doing well to get out the door in the morning and eat food at night.

I can’t wait to not be sick anymore.  I hate the way HG is keeping me from being the mom I want to be.

All Things to All People

My midwife, bless her, gave me a bit of a gentle scolding last week.  I needed it. 

Lately, I’ve been feeling completely drained.  Not just tired.  More than that.  Sucked dry.  Wrung out.  Physically tired?  Absolutely.  Mentally exhausted?  Oh, yeah.  Emotionally worn out?  You bet.

When she asked me how I was feeling, that’s what I told her.  She pointed out that it sounded like I was simply trying to be too many people. 

I’ve written before about trying to do too much and how that causes the HG to flare up.  I’ve always thought of it as a physical thing.  When my midwife framed it in terms of being too many people, something clicked in my mind.

That’s exactly what’s been going on, particularly with trying to crank out an article every single day for World Breastfeeding Week.  It’s been completely exhausting.

My midwife suggested I think about my priorities.  Which Molly is the most important Molly?

Who do I try to be on a daily basis?  What facets make me… me?

  • Mommy to Gabi
  • Wife to my husband
  • Cook
  • Partial housekeeper
  • Good employee at the office
  • Keeper of the house schedule
  • Writer/blogger
  • Lactivist
  • Socially responsible consumer (now that takes some hard work!)
  • Pregnant lady
  • HG survivor/sufferer
  • Gardener
  • Fish-keeper
  • Dog mommy

This list goes on and on and on.

Which of those is most important right now?  Weeellll….  They’re all important.

Some things I’m already letting slide.  Juan already does all the cooking.  We’ve hired a housekeeper, and whatever she doesn’t do, Juan does.  The poor dog doesn’t really get walked right now except to go with Juan to get the mail.  Juan’s taken over taking Gabi to swim class, grocery shopping, laundry, watering the potted plants, and any other chores that come up as a part of home ownership.

He’s carrying so much of the weight of the household right now, and he’s holding up amazingly well under the strain.

My midwife is right, though.  I need to start shedding more roles.  I’m not sure what this means, though. 

I think part of it is that I need to let go of the notion of spending every day striving to be The Best Employee Ever.  I’m up to my neck in projects that I’m frantically trying to complete before I go out on leave.

My last day of work will be September 16th.  That’s a little over five weeks away.  That’s not enough time!

I think what I need to do is this:  I need to stop thinking of September 16th as a deadline and start thinking of it as a new beginning.  If I don’t finish every single thing that I wanted to finish at the office, it won’t be the end of the world.  Time passes.  They will find a way to manage without me.

I need to focus on what’s important.  My family, myself, and my baby.

I’m already reaching that stage of just wanting to hide in a cave.  I just want to be left alone to get ready for the baby to arrive.  I want to get the clothes washed and into drawers, the room set up, the car seats installed, etc.  I just can’t right now because of having to work.

So I need to start looking forward to September 16th, not as the drop-dead date for my projects but as the day that I can stop having to be everything but a mommy getting ready to have a baby.  It’s so hard to change that perspective.  I’m a natural project manager, so my instinct is to manage each task and account for all possible outcomes and potential stumbling blocks.  I try in every possible way to foresee every potential risk and develop a plan to minimize or deal with it.  I mean, look at the protocol I put together for the HG.  Sheesh.  Effective?  Useful?  Valuable?  Hell yes.  A little over the top? Weeellll….  I’ll leave that for you to decide.

I have got to learn to just let it go.

Birthing Positions and Water Birth Positions

I’m going to be sharing a full write-up of my birthing preferences a little later, but I wanted to take some time to talk about birthing positions.  This is a really important aspect of birth.

What you see in movies?  The woman flat on her back, legs up in the air, yelling her head off?  That’s a terrible way to push out a baby.  This position actually closes the pelvis off and forces the woman to push uphill.  No part of that is good for childbirth.  There’s only one reason to birth a baby in this position: to make it easier for the doctor.  You know, he doesn’t have to bend down that way.  He can sit on the chair or stand up.  Much more comfortable for him, right?  And that’s what’s most important after all: making sure your doctor is comfortable.

Before I go into this further, take a look at this article that lists the pros and cons of different birth positions.  Scroll down to the bottom to read the pros and cons of birthing on your back with your legs in the air.  Do you notice anything?  There are no pros for this!  That’s right.  There’s nothing good about this.  Only cons.

So you might gather from all of this that I want to push our baby out in a position other than flat on my back.  Honestly, I’m not sure how I will want to birth the baby.  On all fours?  Squatting?

I very much intend to use the birth pool.  So how does that work with birthing positions?  Honestly, I have no clue!  With Gabi, I had an epidural.  I was paralyzed from the waist down.  I was, you guessed it, flat on my back with my legs up in the air.

I have a hard time doing things if I can’t try it out ahead of time, or at least visualize it.  It’s why I never asked to use the squat bar at the hospital before getting the epidural with Gabi.  It’s why I asked my midwives to let me try out the birth stool during my second appointment.  It’s why I really, really need a doula.  If I’m not sure how to do something, I just freeze up.  I’m not sure why.  I just do.  So this is why I’m trying to familiarize myself as much as possible with water birth and various birth positions.

Like they say in my hypnobabies course, I’m having to retrain my mind to remove the flat-on-the-back, legs-in-the-air positioning from my concept of “normal” and replace it with a new normal which includes movement and various different positions.

To find out what birthing in the water looks like, I did some YouTube searching.  I’m going to post some links to some videos that helped me get some ideas on some of the different positions you can use if you’re in the water.

These are birth videos.  There is some potential for nudity.  I found the videos to be empowering and inspiring, but if you don’t want to see women giving birth, just don’t click the links.  And if you don’t want to see woman giving birth, but you click the links anyway?  Don’t come whining to me about it!

  • Here’s the first video I found.  It’s a home birth and a Hypnobabies birth (yay!), and she spends most of her birthing time outside the tub and only enters the tub to push.  Right around the 4:50-5:00 mark, you can really see the position that she is using to push her baby out.  She’s resting on her knees, leaning forward.  She actually partially stands up for the time when he was born.
  • Here’s one that is a photo montage.  She gets in the water at around 45 seconds in and from the look of it she’s on all fours, leaning forward against the side of the tub.  It’s difficult to tell, but it looks like she pushed her baby out in a seated position, leaning back against the side of the tub for support.
  • Here’s a third one.  This one is a hospital birth.  The dad wasn’t allowed to film during the pushing, but there are still photos and starting around 1:36, you can see that she’s seated, leaning back.  I also want to say that I love this dad.  He is so completely chilled out during this whole thing.  Completely calm and just allowing his wife to have a quiet, peaceful environment for her birth.
  • Here is a fourth and final one.  The thing that I find interesting about this one is how much the mother can move in the water.  She’s moving the entire time!

There seems to be an incredible variety in how women choose to birth in a tub.  I have to wonder if the water helps facilitate that.  I’m only 31 weeks, and already I feel huge and awkward.  I have to wonder if the weightlessness of the water allows them to move their bodies more easily for greater comfort during birth.

Seeing people actually giving birth in the water helps me so much to visualize what I want.  I think I may ever fill up our bathtub here at home at some point and do some of my Hypnobabies practicing in the water.  I really hope doing this kind of visualization and practice will help me to feel more confident during my birthing time.  I plan to talk to my doula and let her know that I do tend to freeze up.  I want her to be able to watch for this and give me a nudge if she sees this happening.  But I also want to find some empowerment on my own, and watching the women in these videos give birth really helps me to find that within myself.