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 Post subject: I'm about to help my bff give birth!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:39 pm 
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I have never attended a birth before, it's going to be in a woman's hospital and her husband is going to be there so I'm mostly there for moral support and to take pictures. Can you all give me any advice? I'm really excited and nervous!

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 Post subject: Re: I'm about to help my bff give birth!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:26 pm 
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Oh my gosh... that is awesome.
I think the biggest piece of advice I would give you is to listen to her. She will know (KNOW) what she wants.
That and the best thing in the whole wide world after I gave birth was cranberry juice and 7-up. You should make that happen.

Hooray!

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 Post subject: Re: I'm about to help my bff give birth!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:29 pm 
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Cranberry & 7up, check!

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 Post subject: Re: I'm about to help my bff give birth!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:52 pm 
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dolphins!


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 Post subject: Re: I'm about to help my bff give birth!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:22 pm 
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mollyjade wrote:
dolphins!

I figured I'd bring dolphins to your birth

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 Post subject: Re: I'm about to help my bff give birth!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:07 pm 
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If she wants you to take photos bring a back up battery and charger if you can. Labors can get long! And try and get photos that she can share - during the birth itself its hard not to get a lot of labia and pubis in your pictures but during labor you can get beautiful ones.

I love birth photographs and I am a bit sad we didn't get a professional.

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 Post subject: Re: I'm about to help my bff give birth!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:24 pm 
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Yay!

My only advice is to stay calm. My bff was at my birth and she was so chill that it made everything feel easier.

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 Post subject: Re: I'm about to help my bff give birth!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:37 pm 
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Yeah. Stay calm. Be prepared for it to be a combination of incredibly intense and kind of boring (especially if it takes a long time). Be prepared to bring water and juice or whatever for your bff and her husband. Don't expect anyone to be particularly photogenic. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: I'm about to help my bff give birth!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:37 pm 
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+1 to staying calm. Labor and birth can feel really chaotic at times, especially if something isn't going textbook-perfectly, so having someone who is totally calm and collected (even if you are freaking out internally) is a very reassuring influence when everything else feels out of control.

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 Post subject: Re: I'm about to help my bff give birth!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:03 pm 
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i would try and write down ahead of time some pics you want to snap. ask your friend what she wants.
stuff like baby coming out, being held up/put to mom's chest, baby in warmer if they do that. them measuring baby
cord cutting, etc.

that way when shiitake gets real you can refer to your list.

expect lots of goo and bodily juices. seriously. like buckets and buckets of it.
some people poop during labor. my best friend apparently puked for like 14 hours straight or something.

calmness is good like everyone said. giving birth is a completely overwhelming experience regardless of how it's going. even if it's going peachy keen youre still squeezing a bowling ball out of your privates. so having a calm presence around is key.

if you're there for moral support too ask your friend what her birth plan is.
for example if she doesnt want any drugs then try to be there for her when things get rough if she's getting waffly and reassure her she can do it but ultimately if she really really wants drugs then support her then too.

maybe you can get snacks and drinks for hubby so he can stay with mom for the entirety. and of course whatever mom wants!

good luck to your friend! i hope she has a smooth labor and delivery!

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 Post subject: Re: I'm about to help my bff give birth!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:18 pm 
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Offer to sneak in takeout. Is your friend vegan? Either way, take something like lara bars because your friend may give birth at a weird time when the hospital kitchen is closed and be starving afterwards. (Some hospitals restrict people from eating during labor, blah blah blah)

Take a bottle of ibuprofen and acetaminophen in your purse - it can be ridiculous getting stuff like that in hospitals (not to mention that they'll bill $200 for it ;) ), and your friend may not have it in her hospital bag. (But nurses should be told about any medication taken so they can note it on the chart etc)

Try not to seem bored. Your friend is bored too - chat or play music or turn on the tv or do something to keep them company. I had a long labor and at one point everyone had these big ol' russian novels out, including my husband! I was fine with the midwife being bored, but I was ready to strangle my husband, who was supposed to be my coach. My coach!! I told him he was being a shitty coach.

Realize that it will not be anything like what you see on TV.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm about to help my bff give birth!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:44 pm 
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I would recommend talking to her about what kind of birth she is hoping for. She will probably need different kinds of support from you depending on whether she chooses to have an epidural or no pain meds. If she has an epidural she will likely be pretty much acting like her normal self until it's time to push, which is hard work with or without it. If she doesn't have one, there's a wide variety in what might be helpful. Don't be afraid to ask. Either way though, I agree with the advice to just be a calm presence for her. Just keep reminding yourself that it's a much more intense experience for her than it is for you, even though it will probably feel pretty wild to you if you've never seen a birth before! Have fun! I have attended hundreds of births and it's amazing every time.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm about to help my bff give birth!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:15 pm 
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We have definitely been over everything and I've got the birth plan. I was worried earlier because I read something about how you shouldn't tell jokes, but that's how I calm her down! Anyway now I'm reading a better book and it seems like jokes and stuff are fun (I mean obviously when appropriate).

I'm ready and not worried about bodily fluids but that seems like it will make picture taking hard! Having a list is a good idea. And snacks. I'm worried she's going to be hungry & they won't let bet eat!

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 Post subject: Re: I'm about to help my bff give birth!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:18 pm 
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Honestly that was a huge worry of mine and one of many reasons I wanted an out of hospital setting, but in the end I really wasn't very hungry during most of the birth. I really didn't want anything heavier than fresh fruit and my midwife was practically forcing me to eat and drink! But everyone's different, and after it's all over she might be suddenly starving!


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 Post subject: Re: I'm about to help my bff give birth!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:20 pm 
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Snacks might make you her new favorite person! They wouldn't let me eat while in labor, and by the time the birth was over and I was moved to recovery, the kitchen was closed and I hadn't eaten in 32 hours.

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 Post subject: Re: I'm about to help my bff give birth!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:25 pm 
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Snacks and drinks! The best thing I tasted in labor was warm vegetable broth, actually.

Women with an epidural sometimes seem like their normal selves, but sometimes need a ton of support and then don't get it because they aren't complaining of pain. So don't assume she wouldn't appreciate a back rub or you doing her nails or something with an epidural.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm about to help my bff give birth!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:29 am 
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LazySmurf wrote:
We have definitely been over everything and I've got the birth plan. I was worried earlier because I read something about how you shouldn't tell jokes, but that's how I calm her down! Anyway now I'm reading a better book and it seems like jokes and stuff are fun (I mean obviously when appropriate).
!


i would just go with your gut. if that's your relationship and how you make someone laugh/feel better then go for it and you can take cues from her. if you crack a joke and she gives you the death glare then you know to stop ;-)

my husband makes me laugh to make me feel better and while i dont remember specifically im sure he did it many times during my week long hospital-palooza of fun for my birth to keep me from going completely over the edge.

i think it's awesome that you are putting in so much effort to prepare to help give your friend the best birth experience possible.
you are an awesome true friend.

on the snack thing have some snacks with you like granola bars or something. some hospitals wont let women eat during labor because i think there is the fear that if they have to do a c-section that the woman could vomit under anesthesia which is bad but it's like such a small chance that would actually happen that many places now agree that the whole idea of starving the woman is BS but it still is sort of a prevalent thought.
i never even had a chance to consider because my actual labor was insanely short but the week leading up to it while i was in the hospital i was basically starved. i had to ask permission to eat each meal and i was always told "something light is fine" because they were trying to induce me so there was the hope that i would go into labor ANY SECOND NOW

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 Post subject: Re: I'm about to help my bff give birth!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:30 am 
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OH! and please come back and tell us how everythign went!! :-)

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 Post subject: Re: I'm about to help my bff give birth!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:51 am 
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I will! Thanks for all your help, I feel calmer today now that I know I have to radiate calm. You guys are the best!

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 Post subject: Re: I'm about to help my bff give birth!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:19 am 
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Thank for all your advice everyone! You were totally right, the birth was incredible, I feel so honored to have been there and that I got to spend baby Helen's first few days with them :)

I'm super proud of my pictures too, if you want to see them I made a guest pass so y'all can view
http://flickr.com/gp/sbogdanich/b21Ug8/

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 Post subject: Re: I'm about to help my bff give birth!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:52 am 
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Beautiful pictures!

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 Post subject: Re: I'm about to help my bff give birth!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:19 pm 
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Those are wonderful pics! Congrats to all. :)


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 Post subject: Re: I'm about to help my bff give birth!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:32 pm 
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Oh wow, those pictures are so gorgeous! Well done, you! And well done to your friend, too!

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 Post subject: Re: I'm about to help my bff give birth!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:17 pm 
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Really lovely pictures! How neat for everyone involved.


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