Thursday, September 20, 2007

I may never need birth control again.

I am trying to have a VBAC with Baby Earth. I've never been a fan of the whole C-section thing, and having gone through it personally, I am even less of one. It was never in my "plan" the first time around. In fact, when they were showing the C-section part of the video in prenatal class, I took the opportunity for for a much needed pee break. The Gods were probably laughing their asses off when I did that.

Nonetheless, squeezing a baby out my pink parts scares the crap out of me. (And it may quite literally scare the crap out of me from what I've read. Yuck.) Not to mention that I have a terrible feeling that doctor(s) are going to push me to have a C-section if the the least little thing doesn't go smoothly or easily. I am indecisive and easy to bully, especially when I'm feeling vulnerable. Naked and spread-eagled is about as vulnerable as I get. So I took some books out of the library in order to prepare myself. Knowledge is good, right?

I've started reading
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. So far, it's a lovely book that really talks about the empowerment that labour and childbirth can give a woman. It starts out with over a 100 pages of natural childbirth stories where women talk about "rushes" instead of "contractions", and some even mention likening labour contractions to orgasms. I'm not so sure about that one. Then, I come across this story about a woman who gives birth to a baby - face first. I thought that was odd and rather interesting until I turned the page and saw that they had photographed the baby coming out. I swear to God that it looked like this:

Only imagine that this face is between a pair of legs. I think I'm scarred for life.

The image keeps floating in and out of my head unbidden, heedless of nausea. I want to share the picture with Mr Earth so the I don't have to bear the burden of this image alone, but I'm pretty sure he would never have sex with me again. Ever. This is a man who is blood-averse and doesn't want to cut the cord.

I'm not sure I would want to have sex with me either. If someone offers me a mirror to see the head crowning, or asks me if I want to touch it, I might scream louder than at any old contraction. Am I being overly squeamish? Is it really all that beautiful when you're in the moment? And, more importantly, do the partners of other women get the full on view of the birth, and still want some Action when the whole ordeal is over??

I'm having a hard time believing it. Then again, many couples get pregnant multiple times so it must not be such a big deal. Or, they're really good at blocking out the image of a spread-eagled Quato.


painted maypole said...

First of all, my husband pretty much stayed above the waist until the baby was out. He isn't good with blood either. I, too, did not want a mirror or any of that. I tried to refuse watching the videos in class, saying "I'm never going to see it from that perspective anyways" but they practically tied me down and made me watch them. So I hear your squeamishness. About the scaring the crap out of you part... I think i went through some of that, but frankly, was mostly unaware. It wasn't until later that I wondered what some of the excess wiping was about (TMI?) Some books to check out: and friend of mine did a VBAC and swears by Bradley (which is the class I ended up taking) - which is totally natural, no drugs. The best book I read was the Birth Book by Doctor Sears, which talks very much about having natural childbirth, but I felt was really reasonable and helped me to understand all the options, and made me feel empowered to CHOOSE, so that after 36 hours of labor when I finally said yes to the epidural I felt like it was my choice, and not the bullying of the doctors. I always recommend The Birth Book to all of my friends, and they have all thanked me for it. Seriously.

Bon said...

i went for the mirror the second time around because i got the epi waaay too late (like right as i started to push) and then turned into jelly, so i think they were trying to motivate me. i thought it was cool, though i have very little memory of the actual view. like anything in life, extreme circumstances often totally change your perspective on what would normally horrify you - i didn't see the view in the mirror as "oh sweet lord my lady bits!" but as "hey, is that kid a blond? and why's his head purple?"

Dave stayed up at my head but caught the mirror view as well, plus the episiotomy i was screaming i DID NOT WANT, and later when i was, erm, plugged up for like a year after giving birth said "oh yeh, you popped a huge hemorrhoid in the middle of labour" this was an interesting fact. um, great. good to know.

but once all the healing had done its business, he seemed to have absolutely no scarring or hesitation to enjoy/explore the new landscape below. :)

Kathryn said...

When I wrote up my birth plan for the hospital I actually told them that I do NOT want a mirror for my viewing pleasure, and if I so much as see a hint of a mirror entering my room I would have my husband tackle the person at the door. That did it. They didn't even ask. Nope. Didn't want to see it. To me, seeing it would somehow make the whole labor even more painful. ??
My husband mostly stayed by my head, but still snuck some peaks. He is not really a squeemish person and had no problem "getting back on the horse" when all was said and done. I guess I am the horse in this senario. Hmmm.
Anyway, keep your options open. My first child I had back labor and opted for a spinal (just one shot in the back instead of a line of continuous drugs). The second I did all natural with only ice chips to help. The third I had IV drugs which basically made me feel drunk in between contractions, but didn't really help with pain. Still, they were fun. HA HA!
I think you've opened yourself up (no pun intended) for a ton of posts on this one. Everyone LOVES to tell their labor stories. :)

Kyla said... mirror or touching here. I think it makes everything hurt MORE when you realize, "OMG! HUGE BABY OUT LITTLE HOLE!"

But yes, my hubby watched the whole thing. Including the episiotomy during BubTar's birth. He STILL talks about it. "Kyla, I swear to God I thought you were going to come off the table and kill him when he split you open...but you just laid there, like nothing was happening at all." and then he shakes his head to get rid of the picture of my privies being split in two.

Oh, and he totally still wants sex. A lot. During the 6 week wait he was probably thinking, "You'll let the doctor cut you open, but a little gentle sex is too painful? Does not compute." LOL.

b*babbler said...

Ha! This sounds startlingly familiar. We were definitely on the "no mirror, no touching, man above the waist, no cutting of the cord" variety. In the end, with the Peanut being so early, I was also so focussed on pushing properly and getting her out as fast as possible (she was in distress) that I wouldn't have taken the time even if I did want to see it (which I definitely didn't. Ugh!)

As for feeling a "surge" instead of a contractions? I say, respectfully, a loud and resounding bullshit. It's a contraction, and there is no other word to describe it.

(And don't worry about the, uh, crap thing. Most women, in the very early stages of labour, will um, clear the line shall we say? It's like the body does it reflexively early on to save you the embarrassment later. Ok-ay... So enough about that!)

Mad Hatter said...

My husband watched the whole show. I've gotten laid since.

It's funny, funny ha-ha, 'cause when they were delivering my placenta the OB gave a quick pull on it and it popped out. Blood splattered horror-movie fashion all over him and the wall. My husband, who is the quietest man on earth, broke out in uncontrollable laughter.

motherbumper said...

Husband watched and... OMG he's humping my leg right now! (kidding, but if he got off the couch he probably would). ANyhooo... that photo will star in my nightmares tonight - thanks!

Alpha DogMa said...

So here's the thing to remember: contractions hurt, but they are not damaging. They hurt, but you are not being hurt by them. I kept repeating this to myself (during labour for kid #2, b/c with kid #1 I was a basket case) and it kept me from panicking.

Yeah, the Ring Of Fire hurt, but the memory fades.

And I get laid all the time. Even though my husband got an eye full. Because I poohed on the labour table. Oh yeah. My finest moment.

kate said...

Hmm, here in Spain they still do routine enemas when you check in. I was all, hey, how undignified! Isn't that practice totally outdated??? But I guess it's nice not to have to worry about it later. (On a TMI note, they did the enema after hooking me up to all sorts of IVs and monitors, so it was a struggle to get to the bathroom in time, and well... I didn't. Instead of being embarrassed, though, I was like, "Ha! That will teach you to load on the interventions, people!")

Good luck on the VBAC!

ali said...

um, yeah, i did it three times. it wasn't beautiful any of them. sure, once they clean the baby up and hand it to you all cocoon-like and's nice...but until then, you aren't really thinking, you just want the sucker out of you.

DaniGirl said...

My approach to childbirth seems to be getting more natural and "crunchy" as I go along. This will be my first midwife birth, as opposed to the OBs who attended the first two, but I can't bring myself to remove myself from the hospital for the delivery. Since the epidurals didn't really work for either of my more-than-24-hour labours, and since I've already pushed out a 9 and 10 lbsers, I'm willing to even consider an unmedicated birth.

But a mirror? That's a line I can't cross. Never mind the poor husband, I'm not sure I'd ever be able to do it again if I watched the birth in real time!! And speaking of husbands, mine too was content to stay at my shoulder the whole time, with a cautious peek to make sure the predicted boy(s) did indeed have the requisite parts when the cord was being cut - by me.

NotSoSage said...


You won't give a shit. Even if you do give a little shit, if you know what I mean...And as for your hubbie, I don't know about Mr. Earth, but it would take more than watching a baby emerge from my pink parts to turn Joe off of sex for life.

Once it's all there and happening, you really are in a totally different mind space.

And, hey, I have been present at 4 births and counting, and that photo from Ina May's Guide freaked me out.

Beck said...

My husband said that watching them come out was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. He also said that cutting through the umbilical cord was like cutting through a garden hose.
I've had two VBACS. I would MUCH RATHER HAVE A VBAC THAN A C-SECTION! Recovery is just insanely better and then there's how much easier bonding and breastfeeding is. Most doctors - depending on your medical history - are pretty cheerful about allowing you to have a VBAC. In fact, I begged for a c-section during my last (very easy! I'm a suck!) labour and the doctor just laughed at me.
So three kids, VERY active sex life and no worries. You WILL be sore for a while and sex will be delicate but things DO heal. Honest. This is from a woman who gave birth to a ten pound son. I'm FINE.

Lisa b said...

I told my husband the same thing as painted maypole but he did not listen - both times. It hasn't seemed to put him off in the least.
I'm with you in that I was not interested in the view but I guess it is pretty cool to see someone be born.

My doula gave me the same book to read. (She was trained by Ina May.) It is burned into my mind. Thanks for reminding me where I had banished that image to.

I've heard so many fantastic VBAC stories. You have a plan and an open mind. That is all you an do to prepare. I hope you get the experience you want this time.

I was the girl in pre-natal class who almost fainted when the teacher said they might turn down my epidural to so I could push. Apart from my horror story (you've hopefully stopped reading) my birth stories are actually fantastic. Even the last one where the stupid resident anesthatist punctured my spine was good. I could have easily been scared into a c-section but it turned out ok for me. I just knew that if a problem arose that I would be disappointed but not nearly as much as if I had never tried.

You'll do great.

Mimi said...

Oh geez, I remember teh photo you're talking about. Blah! I didn't look at the mirror (if you'll recall) because I didn't have my glasses on and I was also pretty focused on giving birht. And pooping (sorry).

Pynchon was grossed out by the whole process well before it actually happened, and he saw Munchkin be born, and well, sometimes he still has sex with me ;-)

MaryP said...

My sister had a VBAC and she would agree 100% with beck - a section is way worse. Particularly the recovery.

If you want a VBAC, pick your hospital and your practitioner carefully. Some will work with you towards this goal; others will NOT. They should be able to provide you with stats: what % of their births are vaginal, C/S, VBAC. Pick the one with the lowest C/S.

You think a little thing like a BABY is going to put a normal man off sex? Pfft. My kids' dad was watching the action for all three births, and we were at it again before my 6-week checkup. (And, generally speaking, he was a squeamish assh--er, man...)

cinnamon gurl said...

These comments are making me laugh. I had a c-section so I don't have much to contribute, except that I'm pretty sure I'd try a vbac. My recovery sucked. SUCKED.

jen said...

dude, you are going to rock it. stop reading, it all goes to hell anyways. just scream your ass off.

you'll totally rock it.

Alley Cat said...

Uhhh, I wouldn't bank on having orgasmic contractions.

I do have a friend whose husband was very put off by what he saw in th labour room. He still wanted to have sex with her, but it took him a long time to go back to doing other "favours"

crazymumma said...

mr mumma never ever went south of the border when I was in labour. I MADE him cut the cord for bigirl, years of therapy later I did not make him cut the cord for littlegirl.

The mirror? Never. Not on your life. ew.

bigirl came out face first and damn, it DOES look like that still from a movie.

I left the room for a pee break when they talked about epidurals.

You are going to be fine which ever way it goes.

kittenpie said...

I plan was for Misterpie to stay up by my head, too, where he not only did not get an eyeful of that, but also could talk to me and pat my hair and you know, let me bite on a rawhide or whatever. (But I too had the emerg c. Ah, well.)

But Nadine just had a vbac and it went perfectly. Go and read her! She had a homeopath with her who really gave her the support she needed to carry out her plan, but a doula would be another way to go if you really want someone to advocate for the plan you want. And her husband, too, played a big part, so start bossing Mr. Earth about that, too!

Christine said...

ina may's book is great. i went for a VBAC with my second. turns out he was HUGE and my bones little, so i had another. but the midwife, doula, and docs were supportive and great and it worked out fine

beck--my husband also thought the cord was like a garden hose!

LoryKC said...

My hubbie is a doctor but certainly not an OB-he reminds me all the time that he deals with the opposite end!
So blood doesn't bother him but he wasn't thrilled about seeing all of the action. Dunno why...he held my hair while I threw up with baby #1 and had it come out the other end with #2.

They say we "forget" the pain of labor--maybe men forget the gory details. Because they do still want to "play" later (I can attest as we are now having baby #3)!

bren j. said...

The Husband stayed by my head until after the baby was out and my midwife was stitching me up. So he did catch a quick glimpse of the aftermath (and the placenta in the tray - but I asked to see it) and I WAS rather shocked at the amount of blood.

Those videos are horrid - and we had to watch them the very first week! As I recall, half of our class never came back...but we've all had our babies and we're all still around to tell about it.

Good luck! You'll do great!

kgirl said...

Chris even watched the episiotomy, which is not all that heroic, considering it was happening to me, drug free.
It was all fine. Like Sage says, you don't care at all by then.

ewe are here said...

No no no mirror.

Heck, my husband and I couldn't watch the vaginal birth film either; when the prenatal class midwife pulled it out, we decided that was the perfect time to have tea in the other room. heh heh.

And I don't regret missing it one bit, because everyone's experience is different. Plus, as we all know, the only really important part is that there's a healthy baby and healthy mommy when it's all done!