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Guest Blog: A Birth Story (DD#2)


DD#2: Born April 2009, Iowa. 8 lb 3 oz. I was 29 years old and an assistant professor of biology.

If you read my first birth story, you’ll notice as you read this one how different births can be! I was 2 cm and 80% effaced on Tuesday at my normal appointment. I had some early labor contractions on Friday night, but not very intense. And we slept fine that night, assuming that it could still be days like with DD#1’s labor. Then Saturday morning, my due date, my water broke at ~6:30am. Within an hour the contractions went from just something to notice to being super strong and intense, over a minute long and coming every ~3 min or so, though we never actually got around to timing them!

DH hurried around getting things ready for the car and my mom came and picked up DD#1. We arrived at the hospital ~8:25am. When they checked me I was only at 4cm, which was disappointing since with DD#1 I had arrived at 6cm and it still took 12+ hours from that point! I endured ~20-30 min hooked up to the monitors on the bed, (laying down during contractions is the worst!!) then got in the whirlpool tub, which was awesome. I’ve heard the whirlpool tub referred to as a ‘liquid epidural’ and though I can’t compare it to a real epidural, it did feel so much better in the tub.

It didn’t seem to take long (but maybe 45 min?) and I felt more pressure and my body started sort of pushing at the end of the contractions – I couldn’t stop it! I was 8cm. Soon I was almost complete and I pushed ~10 min on the toilet, then got into bed and pushed once. They told me to stop and started lowering the head of the bed down. I told them I did not want to push on my back, but the doctor (not my midwife, she was out of town, I had never met this guy before – he showed up in cowboy boots and a baseball cap!) told me that they told me to stop because they had seen the head and needed to get ready for the baby. I was SHOCKED (since pushing took so long last time) – and I couldn’t believe it!

I pushed again, then little pushes for the head and then DD#2 was born. (all together pushing probably took ~20-30 min) She was born at 10:47am, on her due date, less than 2.5 hours after arriving at the hospital and after only ~4 hours of active labor! DH and I couldn’t believe it.

It was really, crazy intense. But it was so much easier to recover from! I didn’t have any tears or stitches, hadn’t missed any sleep and only pushed for ~30 min, so the next day I was a little tired, but really felt totally fine. It was amazing in that way! Emotionally it was kind of hard to deal with the shock of her super-fast arrival (well, at least compared to DD#1 and compared to what I expected) that for several days I really couldn’t believe that she was here and the birth had happened.

Because one of the best ways for me to deal with contractions while in labor with DD #1 was to listen to my DH talking to me, I invested in the Hypnobabies system for this pregnancy so DH wouldn’t have to keep talking to me for days straight (if it had been a long labor again!). I listened to my Hypnobabies hypnosis tracks the whole time I was in labor that morning. It did not give me a pain-free experience, but it did really help me to deal with the intense contractions and also to relax during them, which is partly why I think it went so much faster this time around. I know second timers usually go faster, but also I think I was really resisting the contractions in labor with DD#1 which probably slowed things down even more. DH says he could barely tell I was having contractions while I was listening to the hypnosis stuff and that I definitely seemed more in pain and out of control in labor with DD#1. He says he pretty much
felt not-needed (in a good way!), though he definitely was. I held his hand during the contractions and also (I was having back pain as well as pain in the front with each of them) he pushed on my back when I wasn’t in the tub during the contractions.

I did have to have an IV with pitocin in it a few hours after she was born, because I was bleeding a bit too much for their liking. That was very unpleasant, though the nurse smashing on my uterus to get out clots and make sure it stayed contracted afterward was worse! So that part was less than ideal.

I found out later that some people have problems with excess bleeding when taking fish oil, which I was doing. It’s not so common, but probably better to avoid when pregnant!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Christy permalink
    02/21/2012 15:08

    I’ll start my list of questions with addressing the fact that my pre-natal vitamin is actually two vitamins— one of which is fish oil. It was prescribed by my ob/gyn— should I ask her about switching to a pre-natal that doesn’t include the fish oil pill? Or just not take that part of the daily two-pak?

    Disclaimer to any of my family members who are also reading this blog, since I am in fact a cousin of the author & guest blogger—-I’m taking the pre-natal as a multi vitamin, not because we’re trying to start our family. This was at the recommendation of my ob/gyn because I was not taking any type of daily vitamin at the time of my last appt. Juuuuuuust wanted to throw that out there before the rumors started flying. 🙂

    • 02/21/2012 15:46

      My prenatal was one pill (NatureMade) which included omega3s but not from a fish oil source.

    • The Biologist permalink
      02/21/2012 17:57

      Ok, first of all, maybe we should have “The Lawyer” on here to give a big disclaimer not to use this website as medical advice! 😉

      I probably should have worded my final statement differently – “Talk with your doctor about the pros and possible cons of fish oil supplements during pregnancy.”

      The fact of the matter is, I really hadn’t looked into the real research on fish oil, pregnancy, and bleeding when I wrote that (I originally wrote it to give to a friend soon after the birth), but I had read somewhere that one possible side effect of fish oil is excess bleeding.

      Other potential confounding factor: I also felt that this Cowboy Doctor pulled my placenta out too quickly, which could have contributed to the excess bleeding! However, this is difficult for me to really know if he did or not, and it was still so different than my first or third births as far as bleeding that I still suspect the fish oil in my particular case.

      But, how likely is fish oil to have that effect on anyone else? That’s the question. Just now I did some looking into the actual scientific literature… and really no one has done any good studies to look into this!!! (I need to start doing some research into birth!) There have been some studies to see if fish oil or omega-3s can help prevent pre-term labor etc, but no one has directly looked at the bleeding issue and I haven’t read all the papers to see if they’ve addressed the fish oil indirectly.

      So, here’s what I’d say, if your ob/gyn suggested a particular vitamin, it’s probably what you should be taking!! And yes, definitely ask your doc if she’s heard of fish oil causing bleeding and what she recommends when you get pregnant someday!

      **Note to other (female) readers – taking a pre-natal vitamin (or something very similar with extra folic acid) is a great idea to do – even years before you want to start a family! For several reasons – 1) ‘oops’ babies happen! 2) the folic acid is especially needed early in pregnancy 3) there is some evidence that some of the B vitamins (I think folic acid and Vit B6) are used up much more by your body if you are taking oral contraceptives (or some other combination hormonal birth control), so if you were to stop taking those and then get pregnant right away, your body might not be in an optimal “vitamin state” with regard to the B vitamins if you haven’t been taking good vitamins consistently. So take your vitamins!!**

      Probably the excess bleeding (if real) is very rare, and if you’re worried about it, I would suspect that stopping those fish oil pills mid-way through a pregnancy would still leave enough time to get things back to the way they were before. If you’re still years away from a pregnancy, keep taking them! Fish oil has a lot of benefits suggested by the research, so probably no reason to stop now!! (**disclaminer** I’m a PhD, not an MD – see your doctor for true medical advice!)

      • 02/22/2012 17:39

        For the record, that disclaimer is on the About page!

      • The Biologist permalink
        02/22/2012 18:07

        Right! I thought I had seen it somewhere! 🙂

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