Saturday, February 7, 2009

You are not in control of your birth

I've definitely heard this before, and yes, I do believe it. I also believe that preparing for the birth you want, and working towards that is important. But, sometimes things don't happen the way that you want them, and you have to be willing to roll with that.

Luckily, so far our birth plans are proceeding as planned. I don't know what will happen during labor, but I'm confident in myself, my midwife, T.J. and our doula. I know we'll all do our best to create the best chances that the labor and delivery will go the way we planned.

Yesterday I spoke with the hospital midwife about my platelet count some more. Luckily, it really does not seem like it will impact our birth plans. I think I mentioned before that the main issue in pregnancy (barring that it's an indication of HELLP) is that it is a contraindication for an epidural. The midwife explained that epidurals increase the risk of bleeding, so if I were to need a c-section, it's most likely I'd end up with a general anesthetic , which means that I would not be conscious.

I know this does not impact our current plans, but imagine if our plans included a "typical" birth, complete with epidural. I'm 36 weeks today. If I were planning a medicated birth, it'd be really late to start researching natural birth, alternative pain relief, etc... How devastating and scary that would be. The fact is that something like 90% of women receive pain medication for births, so this is a definite reality for some women.

So, I guess I just wanted to put that out there as a warning. Just like some people think we're getting in over our heads with our natural home birth, it can be equally "dangerous" to assume that you can get an epidural, or that it will "take", and that you'll have a pain-free labor and birth.

Sometimes things happen, and it's a *great* idea to prepare for the "worst", even while you expect the best. Whether the "worst" means a natural or medicated birth, we all need to be aware of the possibilities of either one happening. I know I'll now be doing a little research on c-sections and a LOT more reading on natural pain relief, because a transfer for pain medication is not really an option at this point. There are narcotics they can give you at the hospital, but none of them seem very "good" compared to the epi.


Amity February 7, 2009 at 4:03 PM  

You've got such a good head on your shoulders and a great outlook on birth that I know it will go well for you, even if it doesn't go as planned. You're informed and you're prepared, which is more than half the 'battle.' I wish you all the best in your journey.

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