Childbirth Prep

We had our first childbirth prep class last week and I wasn’t really prepared. I guess I was sort of going through the motions by scheduling the class but I hadn’t really thought much about what material would be covered. Oh you know, little things like going into labor and pain management and the fact that two people have to come out of my vagina. You know, no biggie.

I learned two things among others that really stood out. One: they’re going to likely push me into getting an epidural. And two: when/if your water breaks and you feel the umbilical cord coming out of your vagina, you have to stand on your head, push it back in, and call 911. WTF?!

Back to number one, call me crazy but my dream was to try for natural childbirth. I’m being super flexible on my “birth plan” (i.e., I don’t have one, besides just having two healthy babies), but meds was something I wanted to try to do without. I asked my doctor about epidurals and he completely changed my mind. Haha. He said that with twins, if I don’t have an epidural and there’s a problem with B after delivering A they may have to put me under general anesthesia for an emergency c-section. I do NOT want to miss out on any of the childbirth experience so that is NOT cool. Then he said that often times they have to go in and manually (i.e., insert man-size arm elbow deep into my vagina) pull B out by the feet (don’t worry, they’re skilled in this kind of delivery). The thought of an entire arm or two up my vagina and then a baby coming out feet first was enough for me. We’ll get set up with an epidural, do a test to make sure it’s working and then I can ask them to start the meds at a low dose whenever I’m ready. That way if we need it in the event of an emergency, we’re good to go. Or if I change my mind and simply can’t take the pain then we’re all set up.

Of course this all assumes A stays vertex so that vaginal delivery is an option. Otherwise c-section it is, but I’d really really really like to avoid that if at all possible. I don’t want to be recovering from surgery AND caring for two newborns. But, hey – I’ll do what ever it takes to have two healthy babies.

And number two…holy shit! Are you effing serious?! I just made the instructor reassure me by telling me that umbilical cords do not typically come out when your water breaks. Extremely rare. Gah! I wish I didn’t even know about this potential complication.

We have our second class the week after next and our third and final sometime in June. The woman who’s leading it is a labor and delivery RN at the hospital where I’m delivering, so she has lots of great insight. She also knows my doctors really well. Since the group class she leads is for singletons, we get a one-on-one class with her that’s geared toward twins out of the comfort of our own living room. Very nice. And my cat loved her, so she must be a good person. 🙂

13 responses to “Childbirth Prep

  1. Bwahahaha! Seriously? I can just see a full term pregnant woman TRYING to stand on her head DURING LABOR!!! WTH? That’s NEVER going to work. It should be on Seinfeld or something. And WHO is this freaky ass instructor who even mentioned something like that? It happens, what?, every 1 in a bazillion births? I have NEVER heard of that! CRAZY!!! She might as well have said “And if you push too hard, there is a possibility that your eyeball could fall out, in which case, you should put it in water and call 911.” Really? That’s just plain crazy!

    As for the epidural… if they’re going to be shoving arms up there, then yeah an epidural all the way! I hope you don’t have to have a c-section! I had one and now am doomed to repeat c-section every time. But IF they have to go in for an emergency c-section after you deliver the first…. I have 4 good friends who have had that done, and they all had epidurals… and they ALL felt the incision and said that the epidural didn’t help AT ALL. Seriously, if they think that might happen, MAKE THEM give you a spinal block BEFORE it gets to be an emergency! You do NOT want to feel them slice you open on the table! … Okay that’s the end of what I’m saying, but I didn’t want to end with that image. haha. I’m sure it will all be fine and talk to your doctor about any freaky advice… like standing on your head during labor. LOL. 🙂

  2. Are you serious? Do they really expect a woman in labor to do a headstand? First off, I can’t even imagine that the babes would be happy about being flipped upside down. And then second, how the hell is a woman in labor going to do a headstand? I can’t even do an assisted headstand in yoga class?! Who even thought of this? Have they ever had a woman even try it? I’d like to talk to this woman…

    And then to top it off, you get told that you might have someone’s arm all up in your business? An entire arm?! GAWD! Girl, get an epidural as fast as you can. Do NOT stop at go!

  3. BTW, I just talked to my friend who is a LD nurse… do NOT stand on your head! Haha. Her quote, “that’s ridiculous advice!” She said it could be very dangerous for you to even try it. Talk to your doc about the possible complication and get a SANE option for dealing with the potential.

  4. A flexible birth plan is best. All sorts of crap can happen and you can’t plan for any of it. With my first pregnancy, I wanted to see how long I could go without drugs. After 9 hours of hard labor, when I found out that I only dilated from 1 cm to 3 cm, I begged for the epidural and when it finally kicked in, I was so much more comfortable. That labor led to an emergency C-section and I didn’t need general anesthesia because they gave me a spinal through the epidural. As you said in your post, a C-section is not ideal, but at least with the spinal (versus general), you’re not missing out on the experience.

    If I was able to try a VBAC this time around, I would have gotten the epidural much sooner. There really is no reason to be in so much pain and the babies are FINE even if you get the medication.

    I really hope you will be able to deliver both babies vaginally. A C-section isn’t the worst thing in the world, but I’ve now had 2 and the first 2 weeks of recovery are tough. What I’m truly hoping you will avoid is one vaginal delivery and THEN a C-section. That’s like the worst of both worlds!!!

  5. yes it’s good to be flexible because really you have no idea what’s going to happen on the big day. you could just wait as late as possible to get the epi placed and have them put it on the lowest drip rate. and i was super scared of the double whammy but apparently it’s very rare. breech extraction grosses me out too. that’s awesome that you got a private class 🙂

  6. We have our class this weekend. I think your post was a good wake up call for me that we’re going to be talking about some pretty nasty stuff in there.

  7. I got my epi at 10cm dilation and let me just say that it made my labor experience a BAZILLION times more enjoyable. That’s just me tho!

    Yeah, we watched a scary video abt umbical cords coming out in our L&D class. After that, hubs wouldn’t let me latch the door when I was home alone on bedrest b/c he wanted to make sure the cops could come in without breaking down the door if I had to call 911 b/c a cord came out. They really know how to freak a pregnant lady out, huh?!

    And I saw your post about your 1/2 days of rest to maintain cervical length and think that is just AWESOME you are doing that so early. I sometimes wonder if I’d gotten off my feet and taken it easy a lot earlier if I could’ve made it past 35w4d? Thinking of you! xoxo

  8. Amelia

    One of my biggest fears at the end of my pregnancy was having my water break at the produce section at the store or somewhere similar. I was terrified! Never heard about the standing on my head thing though, good thing too, I may never have left the house…

  9. One of my fears is delivering one of the babies vaginally and then having to have a c/s to have the other one delivered. So I have been undecided as far as to attempt a vaginal or just have an elective c/s. I know the recovery time is longer- but I am a little ‘crazy’ and kind of want to know what to expect and to have the least potential complications for the babies-. I am not sure though- I still go back on forth-.
    Awesome visually of what to do if the umbilical cord comes out! I have heard of it happening- but I know it is very rare. A friend of mine was in the hospital all ready when her water broke and the cord came out- so the nurse had to crawl up on her bed and try and push the cord and baby back up-. And the nurse had to stay like that until they got her to the OR-.
    Glad to know its rare cause I can not imagine- being the patient or the nurse- or the baby for that matter.
    That is cool that you were able to get your own private lesson!

  10. Jane

    Wow, this is all new stuff for me, so I can’t add to the conversation, but thanks for posting it!

  11. We have started our classes too and the whole thing kinda freaks me out. I mean I know I’m pregnant and such and the baby has to come out, but that whole part of the pregnancy I’m scared of. I hope the classes calm my fears some.

  12. Wow. Just wow! I can’t even picture a person who is pregnant with twins at full term trying to stand on their head. Sounds like craziness. What is the difference between an epidural and a spinal block? Is it the type of medicine they use?

  13. katery

    i think it’s really good that you don’t necessarily have a birth “plan.” the reason being that it seems like a lot of women who decide that they are not going to have epidurals before they know what they’re getting into, end up getting one and are then disappointed in themselves, like they failed or something. i’m not saying you should or should have an epidural (although, your doctor does make a good argument!), i’m just saying, i’m glad you are going into this with an open mind.

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After nearly 3 years of TTC and the help of ART, we got pregnant on our 5th IVF/FET transfer after IVF #2. Our beautiful fraternal twin boys were born on 7/15/11 at 37w0d.

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