Friday, April 6, 2012

Occupy Veggie Mama: 16 weeks


So far, so good.

I'm not quite as mental as my last post on pregnancy, but if I know anything, it's that hormones are strange and they'll probably pop up again when I least expect it.

Watch out pretty much anyone in any supermarket, ever. And anyone who drives like a turbodouche.

I've passed the gross morning sickness stage, and can eat like a normal human again. Still on Craving Watch, as I expect to be struck with the insatiable urge to eat pickles and peanut butter at any minute. I didn't get any cravings last pregnancy and I was so sad. I wanted to eat something weird and I never did. Given that this pregnancy is so different to the last one, I'm waitin' and wishin' and hopin'.

My blood pressure is ridiculously low, I'm at a loss to explain how I'm even functioning if my blood is basically sitting there with its feet up on the coffee table instead of being pumped to my vital organs. Suffice to say pretty much everything is a mammoth effort and it makes me feel incredibly gross. Surely I'm not going to faint this time... surely.

This post even sounds like it was written by someone who can't even summon the energy to whine properly.

I'm also getting those funny twinges in my stomach ligaments so I know everything's growing and doing its thing. I'm sleeping better and spending half my day in the ladies'. So... normal!

I weaned Abby this week, as the toll on my already-very-underweight body of feeding and growing two humans was too much. It was such a good time for her, even though had I not fallen pregnant I still would be feeding. And if it wasn't so much of a strain I'd be happy to feed until she didn't want to any more. But she has bottles at day care and hadn't made the connection that mum + boob = milk, so she hasn't even raised an eyebrow at the changes. Most placid kid EVER. I was hoping to wean straight to a cup, but have to make do, with circumstances being what they are. Captain Flexible Mum, that's me.

The obstetrician visit yesterday went well, except for the part where the midwife asked me to fill out a form for my "birth choices" and I had to face the fact that I have to go through birth again. I had such a traumatic experience last time, and I've got a lot of issues stemming from it that need to be addressed before I can face this birth with the same calm and determination I faced the last one. Six months is not long enough! I'm very aware that the more I read about it, and talk about it, and speak to others who have gone through similar things, the better I will feel, so it's time to stop ignoring it and face it head on.

So if you've had a successful birth after a horrifically traumatic one, please let me know! Point me in the direction of posts you've written or read on the subject. Project Educate Veggie Mama starts now.

76 comments:

  1. I didn't write much about my first birth, aside from the standard "gloss over the details" birth story. But it was horrific and traumatic.

    When I discovered I was pregnant with Isaac, I went and found the midwifery bloggers and started reading about them, trying to get an idea in my head of how "good" births go and what I needed to avoid, as well as what headspace I needed to be in, in order to cope.

    Isaac's birth was pretty amazing, actually. It hurt, yes, but it was purposeful pain, rather than Amy's, which involved an unsupportive midwife (there was a shift change in the middle of the birth) and a Bosnian doctor screaming at me to push and telling me I was useless.

    To recap: Second birth, no trauma, lots more education about how I needed to be "in my head", and a properly supportive midwifery team. Definitely nicer. 

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  2. Hi lovely, I don't ever like to be pushy or force my opinions on anyone, so take this or leave it whichever way you like! Just wanted to say that calmbirthing classes were the best thing I EVER did, and Lainey who runs lotuscalmbirth.com is one of the beautiful people I have ever met. Maybe look in that direction? Wishing you all the best! xx

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  3. You are very sweet, but I calmbirthed for 38 hours before she was ripped out of me with a vaccuum while I was strapped AND held down. The labour I can deal with, it's the getting it out part at the end. I will have a look though, I bet they can help!

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    1. I didn't realize your last birth was like that. Sounds very familiar unfortunately! I wish I had of just kept lanouring with Lior & not let them scare me into the vacuum. :-(

      I've been reading yourbirthcoach.com you can watch her birth on YouTube- its pretty inspirational. But I too am at a loss with how to mentally get round the 'I CAN birth the baby ON MY OWN'.
      I've been reading Madeline's blog... The link is on my bloggy fb page, but I'm on my phone at the mo, so can't get it (I'll find it soon). She had a really peaceful one after a more traumatic birth the first time.

      I'm considering home birth as well, cause I had a mental thing of not liking the hospital. I didn't realize how strong it was till it was too late. :-(

      Would love for you to share what you do to help?

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  4. That is such a good idea, looking at those blogs. I never thought of that! I get anxious when I think about having to do it again, although I was coping right up until the point she came out. Poor you having someone screaming at you and shitty midwives! They can make or break an experience, huh. Especially your first time. I'm so glad you had a nice one after xx

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  5. Can't give you any advice about birthing sorry! :( But just wanted to say your bump looks gorgeous x

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  6. Oh God Stacey, I'm so sorry! OK, keeping my trap shut now. I hope someone else can help! xx (On a side note, you looked absolutely smoking in the pic Mrs Woog posted from DP2012. Just gorgeous!) 

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  7. I've never blogged about my birth experiences but I am happy to PM you. My message is that at the end of the day each woman needs to make the choice that she feels is right for her and her baby and the rest of the world can…well….get stuffed really :-)

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  8. I had an incredibly traumatic first birth which resulted in a kaleidoscope of interventions.  Second time around I got my hands on "Birth Skills by Juju Sundin and Sarah Murdoch".  I really believe it empowered me to have my calm, drug free, intervention free VBAC I so desperately wanted.  Brilliant book.  

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  9. No seriously, what you said helped. I need all sorts of resources from everywhere! I bet the calmbirth ladies can help me get my mind back where it needs to be xx

    oh and thanks, hehehe xx

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  10. Hi Stacey - I agree with workingwomenaus - JuJu's book is excellent. I am a womens health physio on the sunshine coast - happy to have a chat with you sometime and run through some of the techniques in the book with you. I had a long but non traumatic first birth and a very traumatic second birth but supported by a wonderful obstetrician. You need to be able to trust your obstetrician and discuss your feelings with him/her so you go into it confident with your decisions. It also helps to be in tune with your body esp the pelvic floor and understand what you want / need your body to do and help it do its job. But at the end of the day , it all comes down to size of the baby relevant to your pelvic outlet and the position your baby is in as to how the delivery will go which comes back to an open and trusting relationship with your doctor - we have some fabulous ones here on the coast.

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  11. You looked knackered the other day. Incredibly gorgeous with great guns... but knackered x

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  12. My first birth wasn't as traumatic as yours but it wasn't pleasant at all. In fact the mister was terrified to go through it all again as he was traumatised from it. Second birth was amazing.

    I think the big difference was the trust I had in myself and my body. 
    First birth; midwifes were all 'trust us we know what we are doing' and I was terrified. I felt totally out of control, didn't know what was normal to feel and spent most of the time freaking the hell out. I laboured mostly at home but the hospital experience was not pleasant. The actual birth - 2.5hrs pushing, he got distressed, came out sideways only after an episiotomy.
    Second birth; midwifes (birth centre) were all 'we trust you, you know what to do, listen to your body'. I used music to get me through the contractions. I felt if I focused on that then I wouldn't be focusing on the pain and it worked. The actual birth - water birth, I only forcibly pushed once, no stitches and hardly any pain.

    Depending what hospital you are going to, you could see if they have a mental health maternity nurse. The RBWH has a marvellous one who really helped me with my anxiety. It's worth a look into and discussing your concerns with them.

    I highly recommend a water birth as it helps soften all your bits and it hurt a lot less for me. Talk to as many midwifes as you can but if you can form a relationship with one or a handful of midwifes you know will be at the birth that could hopefully help too. With my first I had never met any of the midwifes who were at the birth so didn't know whether to trust them or not whereas with my second I had three midwifes the whole time who were all present at some point of the birth. It definitely helped me as I trusted them which lessened my anxiety. 

    Another thing we did was attend birth classes. We hadn't attended them with my first, we literally had no idea about birth or babies, went into everything blind with lufflump. We learned so much about birth, but most importantly about the processes the hospital takes during every situation. This was important to us as I gave birth at different hospitals and we wanted as much education as possible about everything. 

    Sorry for the essay/post. Good luck!

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  13. Thank you I will hunt down a copy! Sounds like it will be helpful xx

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  14. Oh thank you for the offer, that is very kind of you!

    I was in a private hospital, had excellent care and a lovely obstetrician. I have been doing yoga for 10 years, so am very in tune with my body, had an excellent pelvic floor (perhaps too good? I couldn't push her 9lb head out at the end!) and I went in with the idea that I was capable of doing this, there were things in place to help and that my water birth was going to be the best I could make it be.

    Abby was in the perfect position, head down and placed properly. Although my labour stalled often and needed augmenting (awful stuff), I had an active labour, moved around a lot, pushed for two hours in every conceivable position and trusted myself that this was possible and that people do have wonderful labours and births.

    The vaccuum is where it all went wrong, and I still have visions of being held down flat on my back while they ripped her out and I was out of my mind, screaming with pain and terror. I had eight months of healing and recovery and awful physical problems that stemmed from it, and I'm not anywhere near healed fully. My fear now comes from getting the head through very tight scar tissue. The labour and everything else is not a problem - I can do that. I know I can. It's that last little bit that I'm going to have to work on.

    And my obstetrician is Ted Weaver - if he can't get me through this, no-one
    can! I just need to talk about it and read about it, that's all.

    Thank you so much xx

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  15. Love the idea of a mental health maternity nurse! I bet they would let me talk it all out and they'd take me seriously.

    If you read the comment I gave above to Fiona, you'd see exactly how ready I was to have a wonderful experience. I wasn't scared of the pain, I trusted myself and I knew I could do it. I was even HAVING a waterbirth! I only got out because things got complicated and you can't vaccuum a baby when the mum's in the tub.

    I had fabulous private health care, wonderful midwives (including my aunt!) whom I met several times, and went to all the birth classes. We were so damn PREPARED! but right at the end, it all went horribly, horribly wrong.
    What you've been so kind to share is exactly what I need - stories of people who have gone back for seconds and it's been great. Thank you SO much xx

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  16. I don't know how traumatic your first experience was, you will have to point me in the direction of posts or something! I don't write about my children's births on my blog because they are so so personal for me. I don't mind talking about them, but just to throw out there for anyone to see, to read, and to know and come and go as they please without my knowing is too scary for me.

    I can say that I am happy to talk to you. I probably won't have all the answers, but I'm happy to talk.
    I had a very traumatic birth with Bluey which apparently nearly killed us both (and I see that facts say it's true, but I say apparently because I still can't believe it, yes almost 6 year later).
    With Greenie, it was the birth I should have had the first time. It was hard, but it was exhilerating and something I would do again and again. So it's possible for things to be ok, it's possible that history won't repeat itself for you. I'm here if you want to chat :)

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  17. Yeah, I won't be writing about it anytime soon! I've shared some snippets in the responses to comments, so that might give you a bit of an idea. You're very kind to offer help, thank you xx

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  18. Reading some previous comments:
    My Aunt is a midwife too. She wasn't at my first birth, but she came in the morning after and demanded to see my chart. I didn't understand then, but we've talked after and she said she was in so much shock, that she saw me 2 days before and I looked fine, I was fine, and then to talk in to me hooked up to so much.

    Talk to your Aunt, she might have a different insight, or she may be able to answer some questions that you have.



    Bluey was vacuum delivered also. It's not pretty. I refer to it as the vaginal c-section, because that's basically how i
    t felt to me. I was not even asked if it was ok they did this, they just cut me and sucked him out, before whisking him away. It was over 12 hours before I even held him.I also had a lot of issues afterwards. Sex hurt. Like A LOT, and sometimes even sitting hurt for a long while after. It felt like I had been stitched up wrong, the best way to describe it. This didn't get better until after I had Greenie, but I've been fine since having him, and I did not tear having him thanks to my time spent water labouring (I got out at the end because it was making me feel sea sick).
    My kids weren't as big as Abby (at 5 pounds even, and 7pounds 3ounces) so that's a changing factor.  

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  19. yes a c-section! Only I wasn't cut first... yeouch. Everything hurt, ever. I will be in the water a lot this time too, I love it. Surely it will all be ok in the end... surely...

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  20. Yes! Me.

    My second was so much easier that I thought it was just cramps. I was complaining to the midwife saying how am I going to get through real labour when I can hardly cope with cramps. She checked me out and I was 8cm already - then I freaked and screamed OMG I must have an epidural. I did, but the baby came pretty quickly with no trouble at all (I am just a wuss with pain).

    You've done the hard yards, the next one will be easy peasy. 

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  21. Hun, you know my advice - still think it's worth talking to my chiro. I think it's also ok to be ok with choosing a c-section. How you birth is not the be all and end all. How you parent is. And you're spectacular at that!

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  22. I don't want to be too controversial but perhaps there needs to be a discussion w/ an obstetrician about your actual physical form & your ability to birth. The notion that ALL women can have natural birth is a dangerous misnomer. One aspect is the emotional side but there does have to be a fairly pragmatic discussion abt these things. Ok, bracing for the barrage...

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  23. It took me 4 births, all of them vaginal births with no epidural, to really understand what my body was doing; the cues, the different contractions, the different sensations both physically and emotionally. Heading into each birth there was a sense of fear because I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. 

    But I hear you when you say you have some lag from your first birth. I was like that with my second. He came out very fast so it hurt a lot. When I was in labour with my 3rd and it came time to push I froze; all those unresolved fears reared their ugly head. 

    The best advice my OB told me was to trust my body. And he also said that well informed women rarely make bad decisions. So ask a gazillion questions.

    Good luck. You looked amazing last weekend. A real spring in your step.

    Love & stuff
    Mrs M

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  24. I know, I keep trying to remind myself of that! It's not even the labour I'm scared of, it's the head through scar tissue bit... but that's such a small part of labour. Again, reminding myself of that, haha xx

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  25. You are so sweet. I am going to see your chiro after easter, for that very fact. I know she will be fabulous. And if I had the money, I 99% would c-section... but public ain't gonna cough up in this instance. Perhaps we wish for the baby to be breech? That might work!

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  26. Oh that's fabulous advice about the well-informed women bit! I am worried that I'll get through everything and freak out when it's time to push. I'm still not healed properly from the first one, and to think of it bursting open again.... GAH!

    And thank you, I was having a whale of a time!

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  27. How beautiful is your belly? (And I love your pink toes!).  I only have one child, so not sure I can be of any help.  I was TERRIFIED of childbirth, but had such a wonderful calm obstetrician who made me feel much more confident about it the whole process. I also had fantastic midwives who advised me that if I was going to have an epidural, to have one ASAP, which I did.  This was the best decision I made as there were complications and my Little Miss had to be delivered very quickly. Having the epidural meant that I was calm, and not in too much pain (even though I could still feel the contractions etc).  And I agree with the comment below, Birth Skills is a fantastic book to read beforehand.  Ps.  The shower was also one of the best places during the early stages of labour before I had the epidural, I had the most amazing cherry blossom shower gel and somehow, the smell distracted my brain and made me feel calm and I got through those painful contractions. 

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  28. haha I spent four hours in the shower last time! Best thing ever. And I don't know if you read any of my replies to the comments, but I was having a lovely water birth before it all went horribly wrong! I wasn't scared, I was so prepared and had such excellent care and support. It's not an easy process, huh? :)

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  29. Take solace in the fact that vague-you is still 1000x smarter than a lotta people :)

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  30. I had 2 very traumatic births, my first my son died not long after delivery and my second was 9 weeks early ruputured an artery passing thru the birth canal and nearly died. For my next (8 years later) I had a very very planned labour, I was induced and had an epidural I laboured very peacefully baby was quite happy and once born all was ok. I know many women will turn their nose up at the interventions but it worked and I truély don't believe anything else would have.

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  31. Thank you for this post and for all the comments it has created. I had my first only 2 weeks ago. Also vaccuum assisted in the end. I feel like I never want to do that again which makes me so sad because I love having my little boy and love the idea of more children. I hope one day I will be able to move on enough to try again.

    Bettina @ http://lovelylittleone.blogspot.com

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  32. sarah-and-moo-cowApril 6, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    ina mays "guide to childbirth" is a great book to gain confidence. i read it to help me with giving birth to my second and so glad i did! 
    and "new active birth".this is our birth story of our second born nearly 3 weeks ago :) http://stayingsarah.wordpress.com/2012/03/25/amelia-harriet-the-birth-story/ 

    i hope you find a way through dealing with everything from your first so you can have a healthy second baby no matter how it comes into the world. 

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  33. I have to applaud you for looking into this now. I had a really long labour first time around, but it all ended well and I didn't think I had any lasting issues. Enter my second labour, and I really struggled because I was terrified of being in labour for some 48 hours again. There were points where I was in so much pain I thought that I might die if I had to keep going. Of course, now I know that was about an hour before I actually gave birth and it was transition, but at the time, I thought I was going to be in that stage for hours and hours.

    Long ramble, but end story, good on you for looking for answers. You know that you have fear to address there and you are tackling it head on. 

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  34. As I just mentioned on twitter... my two births couldn't have been more different. Honestly. I was expecting a repeat performance of the first (two days, epidural, gas, posterior etc...) but instead I landed a three hour natural delivery. Amazing. I wrote a post on it last month Lila : a birth story.  
    And as for being worried about pushing - my transition from labour to pushing happened so fast the second phase lasted only 10 mins / 3-4 pushes and she was out! A few of my friends have said the same thing too. Have you tried Calm Birth? That worked brilliantly for us. 

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  35. Natalie @ Mummy SmilesApril 6, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    I'm not sure if this if helpful for you or not, but writing it was part of my process of dealing with a traumatic birth with my first baby. I wish you all the very best with your beautiful Number 2 xx
    http://mummysmiles.com/children/in-passionate-support-of-caesarian-births/

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  36. haha at least I still got my smartz. In there somewhere xx

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  37. Oh I'm so sorry to hear that, thank you for sharing. I don't think anybody would ever criticize you for having interventions! I'm in awe of your being able to do it again. I did have an epidural, after 32 hours. but it wore off! And I was pretty much induced. This time I will insist on it lasting the distance, if that's what I choose! who's epidural wears off? I've never heard of it!

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  38. You will. I have. It's awful for the first few weeks, you have flashbacks when you close your eyes and you're nowhere near healed. But it's something you really have to give yourself permission to be upset over. Lots of people dismiss it, saying all births are traumatic, or they start telling their own story. I've been told since then by doctors and midwives that vaccuum births are really awful, and they flag you as a higher risk for postnatal depression. I also didn't know vaccuums were SO common. I think they should be banned!

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  39. Thank you, that is a wonderful thing to say. I will read your story and hunt down those books! Very much appreciated xx

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  40. Madeline @ The things we doApril 6, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    I wouldn't describe my first birth as traumatic but it certainly didn't go the way I had hoped it would and for my second I had to overcome the fear that my body wouldn't be able to do it 'properly' again. To increase my confidence I did a LOT of reading. Ina May's Guide to Childbirth was especially helpful. I also watched a lot of births on you tube. And we did a calmbirth course (with the founder of calmbirth who is a wonderful wonderful man.) In the weeks leading up to the birth I did a particular visualisation from the calmbirth CD that was all about imagining the day of birth. Half the time I fell asleep during this but it really did help and in the end the birth was almost exactly as I'd visualised. There's a new Australian book called Birth Journeys that has 29 inspiring birth stories and covers all different types of birth. I haven't read it yet but it looks great and could be helpful for you. I could go on and on. My second baby's birth story is here: http://madanddave.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/the-birth-story-of-edward-john/
    You can do it!

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  41. The Little Red HenApril 6, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    My friend had a long labour (malpresentation) with a botched forceps delivery that left her badly injured & needing follow up corrective surgery. She decided that she would have an elective Caesar for baby #2 who arrived a couple of months ago & she was really happy with that decision. She said her recovery from birth #1 was much longer & more complicated (physically & emotionally) than her recovery from the second. I hope that you find an option that helps you through your anxiety about the birth so that you can enjoy your pregnancy & have a positive birth experience, whichever way you choose to do it, this time. X

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  42. I know that my first labour will not happen again. I'm not even scared of that happening again! (And I calmbirthed my ass all the way to the end!) My concern is that I'm not physically healed from the first one, and I've got to burst it all open again getting a new baby out. I can do the labour, I can do the pushing. What I can't do is stretch this concrete scar tissue!

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  43. Thank you, everyone sharing their stories has been such a help to me xx

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  44. PS I think I'm going to try calmbirth again, so many people have recommended it!

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  45. This is fabulous, thank you so much xx

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  46. I had a very similar first birth to you. Not as much scaring but stitches yes. I pushed for 2 hours before vacuum. Second time, pushed baby out in 45 mins, no stitches! I'd speak to your obst about your fears - mine was all for natural birth & had faith in me to birth Bubs, which helped. I saw someone mentioned calm birth - fabulous, loved it & helps work on those fears. Chiro & yoga also amazing in my opinion! You will do wonderfully, whichever option you choose xx

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  47. I can't really be of any help but I'm wishing you well. Both my deliveries ended up c-sections. First was breech and second was pre-labour but waters had broken with no progression so due to some risk factors my OB said we had to do a c-section. I was scared of going natural but in the end, didn't have that choice. I was scared for the c-section too but had to resolve to accept it. I hope you find what you are looking for to bring home peace as you prepare for this.

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  48. My first birth was induced at 10 days over, and ended up being induced to the full extent of the word as Jon-son was NOT wanting to come out. Ended up in a C/S (story here - http://www.blossomheartblog.com/2010/09/jonathans-birth-story.html). Second time around, I was gunning for a VBAC and thankfully was able to as she wasn't looking like she'd be a big boofa like her brother (story here - http://www.blossomheartblog.com/2011/04/isabelles-birth-story-part-i.html). It took a long time to decide - what if I ended up repeating last time's birth experience? Would I regret not trying anyway? In the end, we booked a C/S for 10 days past due date, but I didn't need to in the end :) Do it girl, you can do it!

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  49. I have had two births, both hospital births, one very positive and one very traumatic. I was diagnosed with PTSD as well as PND after the traumatic birth and have only really got on top of things recently (18 months after the event). My advice would be to seek out a therapist who specifically says that they deal with birth trauma. There are several techniques which can be helpful depending on how you're coping and what the issues are. My therapist uses a technique called 'tapping' and also EMDR, both of which have been proven to be very beneficial to people who have suffered trauma and PTSD as a result. You should be able to find someone local to you here http://www.emdr.com.au/practitioners.php. Your GP can refer you so that it's covered by Medicare as part of your mental health plan which covers you for 10 visits I think.

    I would also suggest that you check out birthtalk.org who have a great website and a Facebook page and specialise in preparing for birth, particularly when you've had a traumatic previous experience. They're in Brisbane and seem to be really fantastic at helping women face their fears and overcome them.

    For me personally, I think a huge part of the experience is that I had so little say and felt powerless much of the time. If (big IF) I were to go again, I would really seriously consider having a doula with me. I would also like to have my own midwife too but depending on where you are in the country that is pretty unlikely.

    If you haven't already seen it (and I apologise, I'm new to your blog so don't know much about you yet - will catch up on back posts!) then I totally recommend you see the new film about childbirth in this country and the choices (or lack of) that exist for women here. It's particularly focused on homebirthing but it really does drive home the importance of women having control over their births and being able to choose where, how and with whom they give birth. It's called The Face of Birth and they have a great website where you can download the film www.faceofbirth.com.

    I really hope that you are able to let go of the fear that you have and can learn to deal with your past trauma in a positive way. Wishing you all the very best and I look forward to following you on this journey. x

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  50. Whoa, Stace, all I can really say, after "chatting" to you about this and reading lots of your comments below is HUGEST HUGS EVER!!!!!  I really think you are quite extraordinary for putting yourself out there in this forum for people's advice on childbirth. Because everyone has sooooooooooooo much advice (most of which is awesome, helpful & very well intended) but I would find the feedback confronting, especially when no one knows your full story.  Sorry, I know I've totally digressed, but I'm in awe of you and your openess.xoxoxo

    Wishing your second birth is a far more empowered and peaceful and happy moment.  Whichever way the baby gets out, I hope he or she is very healthy and gorgeous and squishy like Abby.  I hope Abby has paved the way for her sibling so the last hour of labour is far easier on their beautiful, tough and awesome mama.  You rock lady.xoxoxoxo

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  51. Thank you. Sometimes I feel a little weird for considering everything now, as anything can happen. But I guess knowledge is useful!

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  52. I TOTALLY CAN! Surely this kid won't be so big... haha xx

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  53. Thank you Nicola, this is exactly what I need! I don't even know these things are out there, so writing this post and having people come and share has been so incredibly rewarding. I will have a look at all of this, especially the counselling.

    Oh and I did have my own midwife! The labour itself was reasonably fine, it was the vaccuum at the end that spoiled it all :)

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  54. You're so kind! Yes I really should have explained more, as there's been a little confusion, but I didn't want to write a whole post on it, and wasn't even sure how much I should share. I figure the help that is being provided is coming from such a wonderful place that I don't find it confronting at all. And if I'm frustrated with people not taking my trauma and fears seriously, it's my own fault for not explaining how truly horrific it was. You're the best, thank you xxx

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  55. I just attended the launch of a new book called A Modern Womans Guide to a Natural and Empowering Birth.   They have a page on FB,  the author Katrina is a fabulous lady from Melbourne and was touring Sunshine Coast just recently and now has lots of local stockists.   As the title suggests all kinds of empowering stories... two of my birth stories are in there... all 3 of my monkeys born in water at home so I'm no expert on recovering from traumatic birthing,  I'm sure you will have bucket loads of people around you to help you on your way to the best birth for you. x

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  56. Oh what I wouldn't give for the lovely waterbirth I tried so hard for last time! It's wonderful to hear people like you had great births, perhaps my time is now :)

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  57. Have you thought about trying an Epi-No? Might give you a bit of an idea if where you're at . I know people who swear by it. Given your history I would try it in consultation with your obs & perhaps a specialist Prenatal physio. Good luck xxx

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  58. I have a VBAC after having my twins via c-sec 11 weeks early.
    I don't think my vbac was that remarkable but people seem to think it is when I say my boy was born at 42 weeks and 2 days, he was 4.6kgs (10p3oz) and despite being 24 hours in labour it really was pretty much painless.

    Sadly I don't have any magic words of wisdom on how to get a birth like that (my next one was also a VBAC dead on time, fast and it hurt like buggery)... but I think what helped me was being as well informed as I could be (and not just about how I wanted the birth to go, but about hospital procedures, my OBs preferences and what I might do if things went wrong), realizing I could say no or negotiate, and making peace and accepting that I would make the best decisions I could at the time.

    Wishing you a lovely pregnancy and strong and peaceful birth.

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  59. I have had two great births after a very traumatic first one (induction/26hrs/forceps/episiotomy) that took me such a long time to recover from. I was scared going into my second birth, actually terrified, and even changed doctors because I wasn't comfortable with my first.

    I spoke honestly with my doctor in the lead-up to my second birth and he was so supportive. He recommended I use the epi-no and said that although it was likely I would tear again along the scar tissue, it might minimise it. He also recommended a "light" epidural so that I could feel the contractions but not have that overwhelming urge to push which can cause baby to come out too fast and tearing.

    Fast forward to my second birth and I could not believe how smoothly it went! In the end I was overdue and had to be induced, but the labour took 3 hours and I delivered my daughter without any tearing!! The next day I jumped out of bed and could have done it all over again!

    I just had my third a month ago and it mirrored my second labour.

    Wishing you all the best, I hope all these stories provide some comfort.

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  60. Christ,

    I've read anything & just feel like I need to hug you, actually.

    My birth wasn't traumatic, my pregnancy was. (on my blog, popular posts section).

    So although I can't relate to birth related trauma, I understand the fear. I want to give Max siblings, but I'm petrified of going through another pregnancy like the one I had with Max.

    As proof of that fear, even typing that, & thinking about it made my pulse increase.

    I really, really, really hope the next one is a dream. Because like you, I know what a 9 pound baby does to your nether regions.

    Respect, beautiful xx

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    1. Meant to say, read everything!

      As in, all comments above xx

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  61. I've just had my second baby. Although my first birth wasn't traumatic like some stories I hear, it certainly was long and difficult. I went into my second birth knowing exactly which things I wanted to do better, or to happen differently, and amazingly I achieved it, and felt hugely empowered by the experience. I believe my body had the memory of the last birth, so knew what it was doing this time. I haven't read the comments so not sure whats been recommended but I found the stories on 
    http://birthwithoutfearblog.com/ really positive.

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  62. i am no help [this i know - in fact i'm not even sure why i bother to even comment other than to clutter your comment stream!] but i do sincerely hope that this time round, your birthing experience is a much better one.

    ~x~

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  63. Your good thoughts are all that are necessary. Thank you for being so kind, given your own struggles xx

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  64. Yes, I will be saying HELL NO to the vacuum if they suggest it this time! Will check the link, thank you so much. I love hearing second-time success stories.

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  65. Thank you Kate, it's so helpful just to hear other stories and be reminded that they're all different and anything can happen. The best part is that my OB understands the trauma and will work with me to minimize anything that might freak me out. It's so nice to be taken seriously after all this time xx

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  66. Horray for kicking morning sickness to the curb!! Don't stress about the un known. Take your time to make the right choice for you. 

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  67. Oh Veggie Mama I sympathise with you- Ive been stalking all your comments on this post! I too had a trumatic delivery of my daughter (1st child) now 6 months- 42 hours, 2 episotomies , forceps, OB yelling at me and so many stitches my gosh soooo many stitches, post birth i have a prolapse and I also have concrete scar tissure that i fear will bust open mid labour. Ive been trying to get more knowledge on birth so when i do decide to birth again I will feel more empowered (get those damn forceps AWAY!!!) calm birth sounds like something i will look into. Wishing you all the best Mama. xx

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  68. Whoa! That sounds crazy. How hard is having children! No wonder some of us really have trouble trying to do it again. The concrete scar! Oh my god. I think I'm going to have to come to terms with the fact it's probably not going to be very cooperative when the time comes. And make my peace with that. It has gotten way better even since six months, so fear not, yours probably will too. Ugh, just the idea that it has to be injured again.... calmbirth here I come!

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  69. Turbodouche. Just doesn't sound right, does it? But fun to say none the less. 

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  70. I had a very intervened first birth, where I felt all my power as a woman & person was stripped from me. I was determined to have an awesome & empowered next birth & I did! I entrusted my birth plan to  my doula & my husband & let them know exactly what I wanted & thats what I got....no one telling me what to do, just assisting me birth our baby in the most natural way...allbeit in a hosp. I loved my second birth that I can barely remember my first....I just look at it now as an experince in "what not to do"...a lesson well learn't. Put it this way....I loved the whole 2nd birth so much that I am now doing my nursing degree & will be doing a post grad course in Midwifery in 2014!...yay! All i can say is enjoy your pregnancy, enjoy YOUR birth...it's no one elses, stay stong & believe that you can do what ever you put your mind to...I know it sounds all cliched but its true!...& remember what ever type of birth you want...is the right one for you...be it all natural with no interventions through to a c-section....your choice...don't let anyones judgement affect you. xXx

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  71. Thank you so much for sharing! All this advice is going to be so helpful xx

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