Prenatal Class #4

16 Nov

We had another prenatal class yesterday – this one focused on labour with intervention, ranging from epidural, to induction, to c-section.

I have to say, it was disturbing.

Epidural looks scary. As opposed to the natural labour we watched on a tape last week, here the woman had an IV drip, all sorts of monitors, and even a catheter (ew) – and she was strapped to the bed as she couldn’t walk any longer. And the epidural itself didn’t look like picnic either – the needle and all. To be fair, the instructor told us that compared to contractions you’re experiencing, epidural is really piece of cake. So it shouldn’t be all that frightening when we get there.

The c-section, on the opposite, sounded quite good. Sounds like it all happens in a pretty jovial atmosphere, it’s not harsh lights of an open heart surgery – although it still holds all the risks of a major surgery. Did you know the c-section lasts an hour, but the baby is born within the first 7 minutes? It’s the stitching back that takes really long. And in case of a c-section, they usually give the baby to the dad for the skin-to-skin contact that is so important. And c-section babies have more mucous after they’re born (naturally delivered babies get most of mucous squeezed out of them as they pass through the birth canal).

Induction, apparently, while speeding up the process – makes it more painful. Or, actually, no one really knows – they say that maybe it’s just that with normal labour the build-up of pain is more gradual – while with induction it’s like – BAM! – and you’re in hard-core active labout contractions.

I spoke to my sister about this class today and got concerned. I knew that her first baby was a c-section, but never thought to ask what went wrong there (I was 12 when my nephew was born, see). It turns out her water broke, but she never got contractions. Even after induction. So after 12 hours they had to perform the c-section.

And my mom had problems with both of us with insufficient labour activity – she did deliver us both vaginally, but vacuums and forceps needed to be used. her contractions weren’t powerful enough, either.

I wonder if this is genetic? Something to discuss with my OB next time I see her. My PCOS already muddled my brain enough for it to not even consider sending ovulation signals to my body – what if it fails when it is time to onset contractions? It won’t be the end of the world – but I have to be prepared that I might need intervention. And that my recovery will be longer than average.

Lots of things to consider…

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