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Old 31.01.2021, 13:22
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Childbirth- did your choices and expectations come true?

Mine did not. I wish I had been given the chance to give birth in a non clinical hospital environment. In those days, early 70s- more or less everyone was induced if you went over dates by a few days- then strapped to a bed with monitors, etc- unable to move, change position, walk around, squat, or whatever. It was on your back, push and midwives looking after several patients at the same time.

Being the wife of one of the Junior docs- pressure was on to be particularly 'good'- not complain, not shout or cry...

The boss had seen me a couple of weeks before and said all was well, same that morning when he induced me. Then midwife after a few hours said - leave you for a bit- and then heard them argue behind the door. 'Don't be so silly, been looking after her from start- very healthy and strong and all as it should be'- more arguments. He storms in, examines me and says- ooops yes you are right. Ah well. Probably will be OK. (no routine scans in those days).

10 hours later, we are all in big trouble - transversal breech are not easy to get out, with or without gas and air. He shouts 'Csection' I refuse ... so he calls top boss anesthetist who has just done a course on epidural - and he comes rushing in for his first epidural at the hospital, and first for C section.. All around me, good friends from the hospital- and then she was there and all was well. And for second one, choice was not there for sure, Hospital it had to be, but she came naturally, with a little help. Made it plain that I didn't want a C section if safe and at all possible. She was not breech, and all went well.

So for me- ideally - a mixture of both - more free to move, walk, squat, birthing chair- and NOT lying flat on your back strapped to machines. But near or at the hospital just in case. Because sometimes, just sometimes- things don't go according to plan and its good to be where serious help can be given.

So glad mums are given much more choice nowadays, for sure. I was just 22 with our first, and 25 for second.

Last edited by JackieH; 31.01.2021 at 20:00.
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Old 31.01.2021, 15:15
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Re: Childbirth- did your choices and expectations come true?

Spoiler alert: one of those "horror" stories with a happy ending

I went to the recommended "pregnancy gymnastics" in the area. We were taught how to breathe during the birth. No one talked about C-sections.
I was grateful for being prepared for natural childbirth but I needed to be advised about C-sections too.

No birth is the same and things happen. My first c-section involved an anaesthesia which didn't work properly. After my first scream, the anethsthesiologist said I was a sensitive patient. After the third scream, they put me under. The baby was fine but I was a rather traumatised and went through mild depression right after the delivery.

The second birth was a planned C-section and I specifically told the doctors to check the epidural before operating. It turns out the anaesthesia wouldn't have worked again and they had to give me another type of drug. The C-section went more smoothly although my son came out slightly blue. Luckily, he was fine.

And then there's lactation mastitis, where a breast becomes infected when milk cannot be released readily. With my second child, I quickly switched to an electric pump and thus, one happy milk cow.

Again, these things can happen and one just has to be informed.

However, I'd go through it all again for my wonderful children. One doesn't forget the pain but being presented with your own baby makes it worth it every single time.
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Old 31.01.2021, 15:47
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Re: Childbirth- did your choices and expectations come true?

As mentioned before, read this (if you haven't already, as it's quite famous) it is soooo good, gripping!! https://www.amazon.co.uk/This-Going-...s%2C194&sr=8-1
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Old 31.01.2021, 16:48
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Re: Childbirth- did your choices and expectations come true?

No, don't read it, honest, not if you are planning on giving birth.

I read it when it first came out (the book!) - and with OH we cried and laughed at the same time- and remembered those days of being a Junior Doc a long time before then- when technology and the numbers of 'normal' hours (140 hrs per week, sometimes 145). When I had a minor op 2 years ago at a local hospital, got on really well with the young doc from Berlin - and I was reading the book when he came to see me. I gave it to him when I had finished and asked him to give it to his colleague, who was also friendly, and to keep passing it on.

But NO - not essential reading for anyone planning on giving birth soon.
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Old 31.01.2021, 19:36
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Re: Childbirth- did your choices and expectations come true?

BTW, I totally and absolutely respect any woman's wish (man/couple) NOT to have children, 100%. Our youngest has decided not to- and we have always backed her all the way. But I'd rather women (men/couples) were not scared to death on the matter by such reading. Honest.
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Old 31.01.2021, 19:49
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Re: Childbirth- did your choices and expectations come true?

I didn't read that book, or any others, when I was pregnant. For the first time in my life, I went with what my body seemed to find right. I was an older mother (37 for the first birth) and my Gynecologist was all for a fair bit of intervention, which I didn't subscribe to. I set myself no goals or targets other than a healthy baby at the end of it and that I would still be alive, albeit a bit battered and bruised.

I prioritised medical facilities over my own personal comfort and let my body dictate what I wanted during labour and the birth. I presented at Unispital 4cm dilated for my first birth and asked what pain relief was available. The midwife said I could have whatever I wanted, but also said I was coping well and questioned if I needed anything at all. She did a bit of breathing with me, and basically gave me the confidence to go with my own feelings. I retreated into myself and 5-6 hours later of silence (very boring for my very gregarious husband) I gave birth with no drugs and in control of myself (something that is important to me).

I felt that my far from perfect body had finally come into play and hadn't let me down. In fact it had done me proud and when I gave birth to my second child 20 months later I knew I could do it and approached the birth with a feeling of empowerment.

I have to say I was that woman who totally forgot the pain ... I asked when I could reasonably have another when my first child was just a few hours old, and only remembered that it isn't that great when I arrived at the delivery room for my second, but all in all I had the births I wanted and have two children whom I adore.
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Old 31.01.2021, 20:07
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Re: Childbirth- did your choices and expectations come true?

Other than having two brilliant little people, no. Nothing went to plan - not that I had one. Over 30 hours with each. This thread should come with a content /trigger warning!
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Old 31.01.2021, 20:20
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Re: Childbirth- did your choices and expectations come true?

Ah sorry Rufus- just that I felt it was not right that the other thread was taken over by pros and cons and personal experiences. Just ignore, if you'd rather.
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Old 31.01.2021, 22:13
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Re: Childbirth- did your choices and expectations come true?

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Ah sorry Rufus- just that I felt it was not right that the other thread was taken over by pros and cons and personal experiences. Just ignore, if you'd rather.
Is ok.
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Old 31.01.2021, 22:42
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Re: Childbirth- did your choices and expectations come true?

This reminds me of the serenity prayer.

My only birth went according to expectations as far as the hospital went, one hundred percent. I was absolutely free to move around, try the tub and so on. So what could be controlled by human beings was well controlled. But nature, unimpressed by our best attempts, was stubborn. Our baby‘s umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck two or three times. (Good grief, I thought I‘d never forget that number.) Which meant that her heart rate started decelerating alarmingly when she should‘ve been coming out. Fortunately the OR was literally next door and she was out before I had time to do more than agree to an emergency C-section. Still, I have never, ever, been as profoundly relieved (before or since) as when she started yelling forcefully and some person in a medical burka came over a few minutes later to congratulate me on our healthy baby. (Dad got there first - he was there all the way. They even let him into the OR.)
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Old 01.02.2021, 00:09
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Re: Childbirth- did your choices and expectations come true?

I had to have a C-section, and I confess that I felt a bit relieved when I found out that I didn't even have the choice of having a regular birth, because the thought of something the size of a raccoon coming out of my hoo-hah really freaked me out.
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Old 01.02.2021, 02:08
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Re: Childbirth- did your choices and expectations come true?

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I had to have a C-section, and I confess that I felt a bit relieved when I found out that I didn't even have the choice of having a regular birth, because the thought of something the size of a raccoon coming out of my hoo-hah really freaked me out.
Actually when I saw my daughter for the first time I was surprised how small she was and it made sense she could come out (she was just average with head slightly above average).

My delivery was mostly as wished. People used to have home deliveries with trusted people around them. Now thankfully things are getting back to more comfort for mothers. Seems 20th century was an unnecessary unfortunate torture for women in western world - like an experiment actually for some reason. Unfortunately many bad practices still continue all around the world.
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Old 01.02.2021, 09:46
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Re: Childbirth- did your choices and expectations come true?

First one - medical emergency. Forceps delivery, but huge blood loss. Took her a year to recover. Not what we wanted! But our son is great and a father himself now.

econd and third one - bliss. All at hospital. Our choices (except for the first one), were all pretty much respected. The third hospital had a walk in power shower, which my wife really appreciated! Any quibbles we may have had with hospitals 2 and 3 were entirely obliterated by the new sproglets.
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Old 01.02.2021, 10:20
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Re: Childbirth- did your choices and expectations come true?

I did have great experiences giving birth in ch. 2 observations, based on my 3 births (all in Zurich).


In general I found the hospital quite reluctant to give me an epidural. Even though it was in the hospital they wanted me to go as far as I can without an epidural and then when I kept requesting it was very much an "are you sure? you are doing so well" conversation.


My second birth I had gone too far to get an epidural (8cm dialated or there about) and I asked for "gas". It was a real lost in translation moment. Mr. Irish_marmot thought I wanted natural gas and kept saying helpful things like "surely its not that bad" and the midwives & anesthetist were very much like "oohh I remember studying that in college". That hospital just didnt offer it. Other mums here have had gas so I do think I was just unlucky. It was funny in retrospect but I wasnt laughing at the time.
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Old 01.02.2021, 10:53
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Re: Childbirth- did your choices and expectations come true?

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I did have great experiences giving birth in ch. 2 observations, based on my 3 births (all in Zurich).


In general I found the hospital quite reluctant to give me an epidural. Even though it was in the hospital they wanted me to go as far as I can without an epidural and then when I kept requesting it was very much an "are you sure? you are doing so well" conversation.


My second birth I had gone too far to get an epidural (8cm dialated or there about) and I asked for "gas". It was a real lost in translation moment. Mr. Irish_marmot thought I wanted natural gas and kept saying helpful things like "surely its not that bad" and the midwives & anesthetist were very much like "oohh I remember studying that in college". That hospital just didnt offer it. Other mums here have had gas so I do think I was just unlucky. It was funny in retrospect but I wasnt laughing at the time.
This was exactly my experience. I was happy to go along without an epidural but also assumed gas and air was available and was told (25 years ago) that it wasnt used in Switzerland. My feeling, which I mentioned in another thread, is that the expectation is more towards a drug free birth. It was OK for me, and I actively chose it for my second birth, but it's absolutely not for everyone and as one rather mean friend pointed out to me afterwards, no one is going to give you a medal for it.

This topic rather makes me smile, as my sons ask me about childbirth when they want to distract me from some other issue ... a subject guaranteed to get women talking!
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Old 01.02.2021, 11:03
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Re: Childbirth- did your choices and expectations come true?

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I didn't read that book, or any others, when I was pregnant. For the first time in my life, I went with what my body seemed to find right. I was an older mother (37 for the first birth) and my Gynecologist was all for a fair bit of intervention, which I didn't subscribe to. I set myself no goals or targets other than a healthy baby at the end of it and that I would still be alive, albeit a bit battered and bruised.

I prioritised medical facilities over my own personal comfort and let my body dictate what I wanted during labour and the birth. I presented at Unispital 4cm dilated for my first birth and asked what pain relief was available. The midwife said I could have whatever I wanted, but also said I was coping well and questioned if I needed anything at all. She did a bit of breathing with me, and basically gave me the confidence to go with my own feelings. I retreated into myself and 5-6 hours later of silence (very boring for my very gregarious husband) I gave birth with no drugs and in control of myself (something that is important to me).

I felt that my far from perfect body had finally come into play and hadn't let me down. In fact it had done me proud and when I gave birth to my second child 20 months later I knew I could do it and approached the birth with a feeling of empowerment.

I have to say I was that woman who totally forgot the pain ... I asked when I could reasonably have another when my first child was just a few hours old, and only remembered that it isn't that great when I arrived at the delivery room for my second, but all in all I had the births I wanted and have two children whom I adore.
My wife did not have a positive experience. They told her to start push when the baby was still too high, after 3 hours of pushing she was exhausted and the baby was still in the same place.

They then proposed to use the forceps, we have specifically said pre-partum that in NO SITUATION we would consent on the forceps.

In the end we did a c-section, after which they told us that the forceps would have been useless as the baby was too high even for that.

Next time we will activate the semi-private insurance to have the Ob-Gyn follow the procedure and not a different midwife every 8 hours. (nothing against midwifes but the fact we the turn of one midwife ended when my wife got to 10cm I think impacted the end result)
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Old 01.02.2021, 11:19
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Re: Childbirth- did your choices and expectations come true?

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This was exactly my experience. I was happy to go along without an epidural but also assumed gas and air was available and was told (25 years ago) that it wasnt used in Switzerland. My feeling, which I mentioned in another thread, is that the expectation is more towards a drug free birth. It was OK for me, and I actively chose it for my second birth, but it's absolutely not for everyone and as one rather mean friend pointed out to me afterwards, no one is going to give you a medal for it.

If I remember rightly my doctor told me after that a main reason for removing gas and air from many hospitals in CH is that its bad for the environment. Oh man, if they had said that to me in the throws of labour and 8cm dialated I would have punched a hole in the ozone myself
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Old 01.02.2021, 12:14
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Re: Childbirth- did your choices and expectations come true?

There's an interesting article about developing PTSD after child birth due to a traumatic birth or not having control of it
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/2...-of-childbirth
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Old 01.02.2021, 12:27
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Re: Childbirth- did your choices and expectations come true?

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There's an interesting article about developing PTSD after child birth due to a traumatic birth or not having control of it
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/2...-of-childbirth
That's what happened to me with Littlest Rufus. Post-natal PTSD compounded by my being hospitalised again and on IV antibiotics when she was 12 days old. I was too poorly to have her with me at night. Am in recovery now but it's been an "interesting" couple of years. On the upside I know myself very very well now.
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Old 01.02.2021, 16:28
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Re: Childbirth- did your choices and expectations come true?

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Mine did not. I wish I had been given the chance to give birth in a non clinical hospital environment. In those days, early 70s- more or less everyone was induced if you went over dates by a few days- then strapped to a bed with monitors, etc- unable to move, change position, walk around, squat, or whatever. It was on your back, push and midwives looking after several patients at the same time.

Being the wife of one of the Junior docs- pressure was on to be particularly 'good'- not complain, not shout or cry....
On the other hand many women belonging to younger generations seem to believe they have everything under control, which imho is a bit laughable, looking back. With the first one I expected nothing but a natural birth, no pain killers, no nothing. Have read plenty of books, did know what to expect when expecting (it's actually the title of one of those books I read), was fit/sporty, ate well, slept well, moved a lot, worked untill very late in the pregnancy without problems, did everything by the book I would say and still had an emergency C-section after hours of labour till I was exhausted.
It is incredible how much pressure we put on ourselves because for some reason I felt like a failure for not giving birth the "natural way" for a while. Despite everyone else around me and especially my OH, encouraging me and being extremely nice and helpful. I don't know where it came from. Fast forward a few years later with second one I totally changed my mindset and knew from the very beginning I wanted an epidural and I was mentally prepared to have a second C-section if needed but luckily all went all.

And Jackie H, I was allowed to move around, squat, get a massage, was even asked if I wanted acupuncture (lady, do I look like I need more pain? lol) had OH with me almost non-stop, everything. But each child birth is different and honestly, a lot of things don't happen as you plan.
I get your point and as you described the classic methods, they do sound awful, on the same time home births and returning to our roots etc. also seem a bit on the other extreme if you ask me.

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In the end we did a c-section, after which they told us that the forceps would have been useless as the baby was too high even for that.

Next time we will activate the semi-private insurance to have the Ob-Gyn follow the procedure and not a different midwife every 8 hours. (nothing against midwifes but the fact we the turn of one midwife ended when my wife got to 10cm I think impacted the end result)
Sorry to hear that, it does sound a bit similar to my first experience. Hang in there, the second child birth will be much easier!

Last edited by greenmount; 01.02.2021 at 17:41.
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