I wouldn’t say this prenatal class went as well as the first one, but that might be because I wasn’t happy about the information. It was very well presented and our instructor did an excellent job. No complaints there.
It’s just… well, I need to back track in time for a moment to help understand my feelings on the subject.
When Greg and I were told we couldn’t get pregnant (about a year or more before we became pregnant), we were advised to do IVF using donor eggs. We both did a great deal of research, not just on the process, but also reading blogs about women who have been through IVF, the emotions, the shots, the expectations, etc.
We opted not to do IVF, because we didn’t like the idea of all those chemicals and accepted that this was God’s path for us, not to have children. God has His own timing and now, we’re expecting our first in just a few weeks.
So, that’s the quick background… now for the update… My doctor wants to induce me at 39 weeks. I pray my body will allow me to carry that far. I just don’t like the idea of all those chemicals in my body that force a woman to induce labor. It’s not the natural timing of birth and it worries me how my body will react.
That said, I just have to suck it up. Because I trust my doctor and she’s been very proactive for the safety of our child and health of us during pregnancy. The chemical stuff is just a mindset I need to get over and I will. This is for our child, our little miracle, so I’ll do whatever God requires and pray for God to guide our doctors and the nursing staff. Ok… so, to the notes I took during the class.
The first topic of the night was the position of the baby for delivery.
The best is OA – Occiput Anterior. The baby is facing down, looking at the mother’s back with baby’s back to one side of the mother’s abdomen. If the baby is more to the right side in this position, it’s called right occipital anterior or ROA and same type of terminology for left.
OP – Occiput Posterior, is if the baby is facing down, lying with is back against the mother’s back. Vaginal birth is possible, but labor tends to be longer and more painful with backaches. There is a likelihood of assisted delivery vaginally or an emergency c-section if the labor is taking too long.
Transverse, TR, is when the baby has his head towards the side – diagonally across the uterus. C-section is necessary in this position.
Breech – baby’s butt faces down . There’s a possibility that the doctor can turn the baby, but there are many questions about the safety of doing so. Thus, c-section mostly occurs in this position.
To help labor progress and to potentially help the baby move into the OA position, the nurse offered several things a woman can do while experiencing labor:
Lean onto a surface of back of a chair and rock side to side gently.
Put your arms around your partner’s neck or waist and lean on him or slow dance (sounds strange, I know, but it’s the swaying that helps)
As long as possible, change positions and stay out of the bed. (Once you get an epidural, you are bed restricted.)
Other positions are walking on the stairs or doing lunges (one foot on a chair and lung forward slowly). I saw this on the video and thought, “exercising during labor, uh huh, most likely not going to happen!”
You can also use the ball to lean into and by all means, welcome a back rub.
And if all that doesn’t help, ask for pain relief. Before getting the epi, you can try three different medicines. These don’t block the pain; they are to take the edge off only. These medicines can cross the placenta, so they won’t be given close to delivery (during active labor) because they want the baby at full alertness. The medicine can cause the baby to have difficulty suckling and can cause respiratory depression (if taken within 1-3 hours of birth). These medicines can also slow down labor:
Stadol, Demerol and Nubain.
The nurse said that they are finding Nubain to have less side effects and doctors more likely to prescribe it. It’s basically an IV pain medicine, but it won’t take the pain away. Just takes the edge off.
If those narcotics don’t work, there’s the epi (epidural).
The negative to the epi is that once given, you are bed ridden. You will have to stay on your side and the nurses will switch you side to side every 30 minutes, otherwise the medicine tends to gather on one side of your body.
The other negative is that it takes a while to administer. You have to take in fluid, so that there’s no drastic decrease in blood pressure. And it can take a while to get the person to your room to give the epidural.
The way the nurse described it, they have the mother sit at the end of the bed, leaning in towards her knees as much as possible and create a curve in her back, as if she has really bad posture. The nurse said they will clean the area three times, then a “stick and burn” – which is the numbing agent and is the worst part of it.
The nurse said it’s “never too late” to get an epi during labor. But they do warn not to get it too soon, because it can slow contractions as well. I thought it was funny when the nurse commented, “Dad’s reaction to the epidural is usually a sign of how he will react during delivery.”
With the epidural, there is no urge to pee, so a cathedra goes to the bladder. The epidural does not cross the placenta, but the woman can experience nausea and fever. It’s recommended to wait until the mother is 4 to 5 centimeters dilated before given the epi.
Also, when a woman is given the epidural, once she is fully dilated, it doesn’t mean she’s going to give birth right away. Here’s the difference… if a woman fully dilates without the epi, she’s ready to deliver. When a woman has the epi and is fully dilated she has to “labor down” – the baby’s head might still be high up. It’s not until the woman feels pressure that she can then push for labor. The example the nurse gave was, “I had an epidural and even after I was dilated 10 centimeters, it took 2 hours after that to labor down before I gave birth to my child.”
I’m going to end this blog post at this point, because I know it’s already long. Part 2 will be posted tomorrow - lots of interesting stuff to read about.