Thread: Birthing things
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Old 06-19-2006, 10:11 AM   #4
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Re: Birthing things

Like the PP said, the hep lock is kind of like an IV that's not hooked to anything. They can get to it quickly if they need it, but it's not in the way when they don't. I'd rather not have one, but you'll be hard pressed to find a hospital or OB that will let you get away without it. Usually it's a pretty reasonable compromise between IV and nothing. Of course, if you go with the epi, you'll have to have an IV (and a catheter like the PP mentioned).

About the epi, I'd say wait and see. I hate to hear women make up their mind that they're going to have one before they even get in there. My first son was one of those labors where no one even knew what was going on. If my water hadn't broken, he'd have been born on a toilet at work because I just thought I was constipated! I know most labors are not that easy and I do want to keep my options open, but I want to give myself every opportunity to do things as naturally as possible...know what I mean? Besides the fact that I have issues with an epidural (for me...I don't care about what anyone else does...I just had a bad spinal tap a few years ago and now I have issues with people poking needles in my spine, especially where I can't see what's going on!) I have also seen first hand how the interventions tend to snowball. For example, the epidural frequently slows or stalls your labor, which means you're more likely to need Pitocin to keep things moving. Pitocin is nasty stuff and makes the contractions far worse, even with the epi. Also, since you're numb from the epi (you hope!) it's harder to do the controlled pushing so you're more likely to tear (or have to be cut) and more likely to require forceps or vacuum. One intervention leads to another...so for me, I'd rather not start down that road unless it's really necessary.

I did wind up having a third degree tear with my first son and I have the same concern as you about whether the scar will hold this time around. I asked my MW and she said there's no way to know. My babies will be right at 2 years apart and she said that could work for me or against me. On one hand, things are already stretched out so I might be less likely to tear, but since the scar is still somewhat fresh, it might be weaker...there's just no way to predict. She did recommend perineal massage (look it up on the net...you can start doing it before you go into labor to help get things stretched out and ready and then she or your dh can do it while you're in labor), warm compresses, and slow controlled pushing to reduce the chances of a tear. You should do some reading about episiotomies and decide whether that's the route you want to go. With my first, I had told my OB that I did not want one but while I was pushing, I saw her grab something and I knew what she was about to do. I told her I'd rather tear than be cut and that if she cut me I'd sue her. She let me tear but she still thinks I'm crazy. Of course, I switched doctors after that whole experience anyway!

Good luck and hang in there!
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