As usual we have started our session with a small chit chat between us-couples (I know we need to get used each other and to socialise, but I would really prefer to get on with midwife talking about important things).
So when this bit was done we were divided into 2 groups with 2 couples in each, one group had to write everything they know about 1 stage of labour, 2nd group had to write about 2 stage of labour. I didn't really like that bit as the new couple who joined us started asking all sorts of questions and it didn't really help me to remember what the stages are about.
From what I remember we were told that 1st stage in the longest and they would want us to stay at home as long as possible, but if we notice that we can't cope, have heavy "show" or waters breaking to call triage.
2nd stage of labour starts when a woman is fully dilated (10cm), we were told that at this stage we will be able to push and to have a small break, but we have to remember that not all midwives let mums-to-be to have that break.
Next, we spoke about pain control options available: gas & air, bath (relieves pressure, relaxes, women feel lighter, free movement), massage, movement, relaxation, distraction, cuddles, paracetamol, TENS machine.
Other pain control options:
- injection + antisickness injection
- crosses placenta
- affects baby's heart rate+ respiration
- wears off on 2-4 hours
- takes 24 hours for baby to get rid off it
- pain relief (total block or low dose) can be done by midwife
- injection (catheter into spine)
- 6 hours to wear off
- catheter to wee
- crosses placenta (baby can be sleepy)
- more likely to have forceps and ventouse
- lax pelvic floor
- can't use standing up position
- not mobile
- sometimes not effective
- can make a mum very itchy after
- can dicrease blood pressure
- need fluids
- continual monitoring
- starts working in 15-20 minutes
We were very interested to know pethidine's and epidural's drawbacks and lots of us were questioning why on earth pethidine is still used as none of us from what I know will ever consider using it.
As for epidural, my husband and I have decided that we would like to have a natural birth without epidural or pethidine, but as we don't know what lies ahead of us we are planning to be open-minded.
Home visit was exactly what I didn't expect it to be, my midwife turned up with a student, who was looking around almost everywhere and was very eager to go to the kitchen, which I thought was firstly weird and secondly, rude.
Then we had a routine check- they checked my urine (and found keytones, meaning I had to see midwife again in couple of days), blood pressure, measured my bump and we listened to baby's heart beat. After that my midwife was totally confused with my health history, I had previously heart and thyroid issues but all was cleared at least throughout my pregnancy, so my midwife for some reason thought that I am taking medications and looked very puzzled -should she send me to do more tests or not and at this stage I had to tell her (like I do over and over again) all my medical history and all the history of my appointments with a consultant. I didn't know should I laugh or should I cry (and she is the best community midwife..NOT).
Next part was extremely fast, I wasn't told that we are discussing my birth plan she just quickly asked me questions about who is going to be my birthing partner, will I OK students to come and check on me (mentioned they will be supervised at all times), gave me a list of what to bring, list of pain relief options, asked for how long I'm planing to stay in hospital, what kind of birth I want, gave me the list with massage techniques, leaflet about Vitamin K, leaflet about labour and off they went.
I was so naive to think that she will spend all this time discussing properly all my options and talking through birth plan. But she doens't know yet that only made it worse for herself as now I have a huge list of questions for my next appointment.