Monday, May 29, 2006

Ghost stories around the campfire aren't this scary

I was warned in all my pregnancy books that people will begin to tell you all different kinds of stories about their own delivery experiences. And so, it has begun. And so, I AM SCARED OUT OF MY MIND!!! Well, not so much, but there are things that I think I can handle and then your best friends tell you things that happened to them that you would have never imagined could occur. I am referring to a certain thing called an "episiotomy". I've heard of these and they sound quite simple, yet quite frightening at the same time. For those of you who may not know what said word is, it is a cut made to allow for more room for the baby to come out. I think that is all I need to say. Cutting and I do not go together. Knives terrify me. I don't know why...some people are scared of snakes, some are scared of mice, some are scared of spiders, or drowning or heights...but with me it is being cut. Paper cuts are the worst!!!! I can handle being kicked really hard, well not right now with a baby and all, but don't talk about cutting in my presence please.

ANYWAY, here is the horror story of horror stories. Baby decides to be not quite breach and not quite the right position. The doctor sees that you are going to need an episiotomy to make room for baby and performs one. But Baby says "Ha! You think that little cut is going to give me enough extra room? Have you never seen a baby head before? They're quite large, especially mine. And how about baby shoulders? I'm a quarterback. Ready or not here I come!" And they're delivered and they rip you from front to back. And you have to have 60 bagazillion stitches to put you back together. THAT FRIGHTENS ME< OKAY!???!

If anyone is reading this blog and had a less frightening delivery experience, would you please reply and encourage me here? Or if you have had THIS experience, will you please tell me how you made it through? I love the people who shared their experiences with me, but I think because I heard them both in the same weekend it has really freaked me out a little bit. I'd like to hear a couple of easy delivery stories, no c-sections please, to calm me down a little. Thank you.


Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Remember that an epesiotomy is OPTIONAL! I put my foot down and absolutely refused to get one. Yes, I tore a little bit. But - since I had had an epidural, it 1) didn't hurt, and 2) only required two little stitches. It wasn't that big a deal.

And I'll tell you something a little scary - I was in labor with Jamethan for 27 HOURS. But, about 20 hours into it, I allowed them to finally give me the epidural (I had wanted to try for the whole "natural childbirth" thing). About an hour after I got the epidural, I fell asleep. I slept through almost five hours of labor. When I woke up, the nurse "checked" me, and said "Wow, he has a lot of hair". He was already starting to come out and I didn't even know it. So yes, the whole length of time thing is scary, but it is SOOOOO worth it once you have baby in your arms!

Love ya!

Tooz said...

Three babies, three episiotomies--no memory of any cutting involved, no memory of any stitching, just the memories of the beautiful babies. I didn't even know I had the episiotomies--David watched and knew, but I had no awareness whatsoever. Love you.

Lydia said...

I'm not worried about the labor time. My mom didn't have trouble with that and I've been told that we take after our moms in that way, so I think the time thing will be about half if not less of what you had. But thanks for the 2 stitches story. That helps a bit.

ann said...

Jesus said mommies forget all about the pain of childbirth once the baby's here, because they're so happy. I take his word for it, even thoug he's never had a baby. Myself, i've never had one either, and what you said sounds scary, but I've always appreciated my experiences with pain, because they have made me braver. I'm a bit of a chicken and afraid to take risks (except for wearing plaid pants occasionally), so whenever something pushes me out of my comfort zone, i appreciate it. And besides, you'll have one of the most wonderful husbands in the world right there with you. and i'll pray for you guys and baby. and it'll be fine, because when have you ever not been super strong?

Anonymous said...

I think i have told you my story... no episiotomy, lots of tearing and stitches. However, I had one of the easiest and fastest delieveries! Seriously, two pushes, and there he was, as beautiful as I could ever have imagined! So, don't let anyone else's story frighten you Lydia. This is your delivery, and it will be beautiful, regardless of what does or does not happen. In the end, you will hold that little girl, and even if you had a thousand stitches, it wouldn't matter to you... all you can think is that you are awed that God chose you to be the mother of this precious child. It's an amazing journey, hurts and all!! I am praying against all fear for you.

Suze said...

ha, i'm typing this with my left hand b/c the rt is holding little daniel right now. my delivery story is remarkably similar to Jenn's, as i think i posted in another comment. at any rate, i got the epidural after 20 hours, and then 9 hours later it was finally time to push. no cutting, but i tore a little, so i got a few stitches.

are you going to have a "birth plan"? we didn't write one out, as it seemed silly to have a plan about something we hadn't ever experienced. but i do remember going in there with the intention of having no interventions unless absolutely necessary. i was in labor so long that pain meds (and eventually pitocin and antibiotics) became necessary, but i felt totally in control of all the decisions that were made. so, i guess i'm saying that go to the hospital with clear intentions. even if those plans have to change, you'll have a more positive experience.

oh, and there are only 2 pieces of advice i give to anyone about to have a baby:

1. get a doula. A doula is a birth attendent and labor coach. They know how to massage and breathe with you and do counter-pressure and place hot packs and all that stuff that makes the contractions much easier to handle.

2. Read the book "Happiest Baby on the Block." It's got all these great techniques for soothing a crying baby. If you do what the author (a pediatrician) says, it really works, even, apparently, on colicky babies.

Suze said...

oh, one more thing. by the time you're nine months into pregnancy, you will be SO READY to have the baby out you won't even care how long it takes or how much it hurts. that's how i felt, anyway. i was sooooo uncomfortable the last 6 weeks of pregnancy, i couldn't wait to have the baby, come hell or high water.

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

I used to threaten to drive my car down the railroad tracks so I could "shake this little sucker out!"

Oh, and another thing, if you are planning on breast feeding, inform the nurses immediately that you do not want baby girl to be fed ANYTHING with a bottle, even sugar water! Repeat this over and over again, and remind them again when they take baby girl to be weighed and cleaned up.

I told this to the nurses at Georgetown Community Hospital, and they gave him a bottle anyway. Then he had nipple confusion (trouble latching on to the breast because he had already gotten used to how the bottle nipple went in his mouth).

And my suggestion to anyone, never, never NEVER give birth at GCH!

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Oh, and as I've mentioned before about the lack of testosterone on the posts that are about the nitty-gritty details of childbirth...

"Where have all the good men gone and where are all the(I forgot the words)...."

Anonymous said...

I did have a episiotomy and I tore. I don't remember feeling any of it, though. All I remember of the moment that CJ came out was this vaguely burning sensation, like an intense itch, and then poof! he was out!

The most important thing I can say to you is don't be afraid afterwards, like when going to the bathroom. It may sting, but you won't pop a stitch. The nurse will give you a water bottle and some spray to help clean and soothe, and recommend sitz baths (sitting your butt in hot water) to help heal. Of course, my fat butt didn't fit in the little tub they gave me, so I had Tom clean the tub very well and sat in there with a good book.

To echo Jenn, be very adament about no bottles if you plan to breastfeed. Also, be very patient with the latching on process. It can take mommy and baby a few days to figure it out. Talk to a lactation nurse or someone before hand to get an idea of how it should feel.