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Monday, July 11, 2005



Glad things are going well for you. Also, very interested to read this post. As I think about my own little two-step with infertility, one of the things I find very odd is that not only might this first child be ver hard to conceive--I've almost gotten used to that--but that any child we'd have would be hard to conceive. I can't really imagine going through all the fertility stuff (which currently feels like a precipice I'm readying myself to jump off of) more than once.


I'm not trying to scare you. But breathing through the contractions?


Go for the epidural.

(Actual quotation from my labor experience: mr. delagar, looking at the epidural sign-off sheet: "Do you want me to read this to you first? It's about complications that might--"


Of course, YMMV.

Some people have a lovely time in childbirth. So I hear!


I breathed through contractions. But not using Lamaze panting breathing. Blech. Not helpful. Lamaze was really important when it started because it gave women knowledge and a semblance of control over their bodies. But the breathing part is counterproductive.

If you do want to go drug-free, the things that are most useful are to resist being induced, to stay upright (and walking around, if possible) as long as possible, and to have people around you who know you can do it.

Beaker's not telling you you look good? Poke him with a sharp pin.

Sally Bowles

Breathing through contractions, combined with splashing in a warm bath, worked for me. So did screaming and groaning and grunting and growling--it probably sounded beastly, but that's par for the course. I didn't yearn for pain meds during labor. I did, however, contemplate why anyone would want to go through this more than once.


18 hours in, when they said I likely has several more in front of me (it was indeed 17 more hours), I took the epidural gratefully so I could get some rest. That stupid TENS unit was useless, and all the money I'd scrounged from my grad school stipendiary income to take those granola classes was so much a waste of my damn time!
I hate that some women have turned labour and birth into a new form of moral competition.
Do what works for you, don't feel guilty about it, and don't explain.
Also... I had an electric pump at home and a manual one on the road. I *definitely* recommend the electric one (but that thing just WOULD NOT SELL in my garage sale later. Go figure. :P )

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