Further Thoughts on Labour/Birth Plan

December 19, 2008 at 12:35 am (Baby Stuff) (, , , , , )

I’m reading this really excellent little paperback called “Easy Labor: Every Woman’s Guide to Choosing Less Pain and More Joy During Childbirth“.  It’s not so much about how to avoid pain during labour as it is about the available ways to cope with that pain, and it includes sections where various women (including ob-gyns, midwives, doulas, and anesthesiologists) relate their own childbirth stories that I’m really enjoying.

And moreso, I’m grateful to be reading it because it’s making me think.  My stance right now is that I’d like as natural of a childbirth as possible, attempting to avoid medication — but now I want to understand why I feel that way.  I’ve always been kind of a pansy when it comes to handling pain, so why do I feel like I need to experience labour pain?  I’m the type of chick who, on her period, pops a Motrin with her breakfast, inhales peppermint tea all day, has a heating pad ready to go at the least sign of cramping, and still bemoans this unpleasant state of being while thinking it’s really not funny that only women have to suffer this way.

Maybe I’m just incredibly stubborn and feel like I need to prove something — like I’m a tougher woman if I suffer labor pains (my mom tells me that I always take the hard way through life, which is so true it’s scary).  Maybe it’s because I’m still not sure whether this will be a homebirth, and if it is, there’ll be no such thing as an epidural, so I might as well not get used to the idea.  Maybe my deep-rooted hatred of needles paired with Chris’ aversion to the thought of one being inserted into my spine (he is seriously icked-out by that thought) can be blamed.  Or maybe I’m just trying to fool myself into thinking that I will be a superhuman while in labour, as if I won’t take the very first opportunity I can to soothe my pain.

Anyhow, rethinking things, I just don’t know.  As far as I understand from a friend who also used the same group of midwives as I am, the midwife will encourage me to undertake the majority of labour at home before heading to the hospital.  Her husband works with mine and when I called one day to talk to Chris, this guy answered the phone instead and was like “You wouldn’t even believe it — there wasn’t any time for an epidural once we finally went to the hospital, the baby was literally RIGHT THERE waiting to come out and putting in the needle and waiting for the medicine would’ve taken longer than just delivering him.”  It actually makes me kinda happy to think that might be the case for me, as well, if that’s the philosophy that this group follows.  It’d make things vaguely easier.  I just re-read their website and it says that the midwife will be in contact via phone for the first stage of labour, then will attend me once I reach active labour, which I guess is when I’d go to the hospital?  Dunno.  And the website also says that they can get me out of the hospital as soon as 3-4 hours after giving birth, pending no complications, which would be just phenomenal and make me very, very happy.

I think I’ve gotten a little off-track here.  It’s too bad I can’t just take a few shots of vodka for “pain relief” and deliver that way, eh?


  1. Cara said,

    I took hypnobirthing classes to prepare me for childbirth. It is about pain management through self-hypnosis. I was adamantly opposed to the idea of an epidural. In fact, my birth plan looked a lot like yours. I won’t tell you my story, because you don’t need to hear it now. Stick to your guns on what you want but be prepared to roll with the punches. You’ll never believe this until you’ve been through it yourself (although hopefully you won’t have to!), but epidurals aren’t so bad. And I HATE needles. Also, stay in the hospital as long as they’ll let you. Trust me, even if things are super smooth, you NEED that recovery time. I wound up staying for two days and I wish I could have stayed longer.

  2. amanda said,

    Go with whatever you think is right for you, but my biggest “advice” as a mommy is – don’t get entrenched that you need to do a certain thing or must stick to your original birth plan. if your midwife/ob is worried and wants to do something else, or if you change your mind and need/want an epidural, don’t sweat it. In the end, it’s your health and the health of your little one that is most important. Good luck 🙂

  3. Ms. Core said,

    I agree with the trying to go with the flow. My doc says let’s aim for this but please have an open mind. He also stressed that we should stay home as long as possible. One of the instances where I would consider and epidural is if I have one of those 3 day labors and I need my sleep. I know it’s not good for me or the baby if I am exhausted and can’t push.

  4. Jorge Mojica said,

    Hey Tatiana, I hope that I can bring some perspective that might be helpful.
    I’m a hypnotist, and I have some interest in working with women.
    I actually started learning hypnotism as my wife was going to deliver our first about three and a half years ago.
    So it was nice to be able to help make her more comfortable with hypnotic processes.
    Unfortunately I hadn’t learned enough when she went into labor, and also I was at work and it took a while before I got to her, so she was not having fun by that time.
    But what made me write was what I was hearing about how women try to endure the pain and get through it and so on.
    Yes, of course, birth is a very intense process for a woman, from start to the end.
    But the experience you have is determined by your state of mind.
    That doesn’t just mean “oh just think happy thoughts”.
    Hypnosis is a learning state of mind.
    Think of children, why is it they learn so easily and quickly?
    Why do people call them sponges? Because they are in a learning state and their experience changes very rapidly.
    You ever see a kid having a massive tantrum? I know I have, Myles is now three and a half.
    How quickly can they snap out of it, and smile as if nothing had ever happened?
    I think about a second.
    Kids are very flexible, because they are in that learning state.
    It’s a state of mind that we forget how to utilize as we get older
    I personally think that you should work with a hypnotist that will help you learn how to utilize that learning state so that you can really get what you want.
    One way I describe it is like moving furniture. Sure you can do most by yourself, but it’s a lot easier if someone is there to help.
    Here’s a you tube video of a woman having dental surgery with hypnosis. It’s pretty groosome, but if you can watch it it’s a very shocking example of what can be done.

    Also, in the 1800’s there was a doctor in India who was using hypnosis to reduce infections, deaths, etc from surgery without medicine or anesthetic of any kind.
    He did hundred if not thousands of surgeries with hypnosis, up to amputations.

    Let me know if you’d like more info. If you’d like I would even be willing to talk over the phone and run you through some imagination exercises that can help you to more easily contact that learning state of mind that you used much more when you were a kid.

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