34 weeks!


Just a quick update -- hard to believe the finish line is so close on the horizon! I still feel fabulous, if a bit slower. Still no sign of cystocele, and no giant vagina yet :-). For me, pregnancy post POP has been no big deal. Just trying to stay active, keep up with my appetite, and get all those little home projects done in the next six weeks. And trying to pick a name! If anyone currently pregnant or TTC is interested, check out spinningbabies(dot)com. It's focused on helping you help your baby into optimal position for easier births. Funnily enough or not, the advice is pretty much whole woman -- let the lower back sway forward when standing, don't slouch in the couch, do cat cow, etc. There is a quote on there to the effect that couch sitting is largely responsible for c-sections. Makes sense -- -c-spine can malposition the uterus, surely it does the same to a fetus. I think my LO is OP right now, so trying to encourage a little adjustment! Well, that's about all I have to report!

Hey Badmirror

You got a new person brewin' inside you. It is a really nice stage you are at now. Good to hear that you are nesting.

It sounds like SpinningBabies is very much like WW, demystifying women's and foetus' bodies and giving pregnant women real, hands-on understanding of what is happening in her body. Great for defusing fear and getting women in touch with their internal body space.

We get so used to seeing what is happening at skin level, where our body finishes and the rest of the world starts. But what is going on inside that growing space, that Baby Garden??


Yes...when I talk with people about pop and organ positions ala WW, if they begin to get that glazed "I am quite sure I have no real idea what you are talking about" look, I just say it is just like Optimal Fetal Positioning, which most women are familiar with...but what we do here is Optimal Organ Positioning ;)

hi bad_mirror
glad to hear your feeling well
good luck with the name.....I had a hard time with naming my youngest, finally I just let dh choose, which turned out well, her name suits her.
reading your post I started getting all excited, I can't wait to hear all about your birth, I'm sure it will be glorious!!
and talk to your baby about repositioning. that worked for me. (that and lots of cat/camel, hula hooping and NO sitting on sofas)
feel good and enjoy the rest of your pg!

Hey, Bad Mirror,

So happy for you! Everything sounds just fine. Good luck with the name, I know it is not easy.
Waiting for the good news here! Keep us posted!


Hi bad mirror. I tracked a lot of your old posts and read some of your story. Your pp progress was very uplifting and encouraging to read about. How do you plan on giving birth this time? I guess my question should be, is there an ideal birthing position for avoiding pop? May you have a fat dimply baby and a good birth.

I remember during my recent labor, towards the end, right before the pushing stage, I just wanted to sit on the floor with my legs splayed underneath me. I would just rock back and forth in that position and stare at my doctor's foot which was tapping impatiently, waiting for me to get on that horrid birthing table (no home births, mid-wives, birth centers, lollipops, or cotton candy in the country I live in right now). I kept saying (moaning) no, that I did not feel any pushing urge yet, and that this position felt good. A few minutes later I suddenly felt like all I wanted to do was lie down on my side and curl up. So I crawled to the adjacent pre delivery room which had a bed in it and curled up on the bed. I stayed there for some time, just kind of moaning and writhing through contractions. At one point I thought to myself if it wouldn't be better that I got into another position, like a squat or on my hands and knees, but even the thought put me in more pain.

I think the nurse checked my cervix at that point, announced I was ready to have the baby, and helped me back to the delivery table. I was told to start pushing but I told them I had no urge and I would not push until my entire body forced me to it. That took about 20 minutes to happen. And during those twenty minutes, I was on my back, then on my right side, then on my left. I kept changing positions, but I did not want to be upright, I just wanted to lay down, that is all. I pushed (heaved is more like it) the baby out while flat on my back also. I was preparing to put up a fight with the doctor and demand that I push in the position that *I* wanted, but, problem was, the position that *I* wanted at that point was to be on my back.

I don't know, maybe if I had a more ideal birth, with warm surroundings and a compassionate encouraging midwife, I would have felt differently? Maybe I just needed some prompting. When you are in so much discomfort, all you want to do is get it over with in any way possible.

"I don't know, maybe if I had a more ideal birth, with warm surroundings and a compassionate encouraging midwife, I would have felt differently"

Chickaboom, you are totally kick ass! Sounds like you owned your birth.

We had our 5th baby 2 months ago and I ended up on my back for the birth- I was at home, just me and dh- and had a very active labor= walking, walking, walking. During the last 30 minutes or so I walked and then when I felt like pushing- I stood and pushed- walk, push, walk, push- then the last 10 minutes I got in the bed- on my hands and knees at first and then one side, to my back, then to the other side-
then I had that WONDERFUL rest- where I slept in between easy contractions for about 5 more minutes-
then I was flat on my back- with my knees bent and over to the right- my right thigh on the bed- my left foot planted and that is how our baby came out.
She was face up- I think that made a difference for my ultimate positioning- and the walking and pushing and walking some more-
anyway, I am not anti-lithotomy position. I am anti someone telling the birthing mother what to do with her body- or what not to do. If you naturally desired at the last minute to lie on your back- hey- you and the baby were doing what was best!
I think it's probably the coached purple pushing for a few hours (like my first birth) that contributes to prolapse- not a last minute natural delivery- body pushing once or twice.

Except for the last minute "necessary or you will tear terribly" episiotomy-turned-tear-just-shy-of-anal-sphincter .. yes it was fine.

Hi Chickaboom

I too think you kick ass!

I go back to what sheep do. I have watched a lot of sheep lambing in my time. They are usually very restless as they labour, usually starting labour with contractions in normal 'sheep lying down ruminating' repose with the front half of the body upright on one 'elbow and the back half lying on one side. Then they are likely to get up and walk around for a bit with their nose to the ground, not grazing, then they usually lie down again and do the same thing when another contraction starts. Eventually they usually labour lying right down on their side, and their top legs go straight, and they put their head in the air, during contractions. They sometimes do a bit of moaning. Once the lamb's head appears they will often stand up again and just stand there, and wait for contractions to pull the fundus up and expel the whole lamb, aided by gravity. It is a kind of siphoning action. Sometimes they do lie down again and the lamb slips out on the ground, rather than falling to the ground in a slimy pile. They then turn around and start licking the membranes off the lamb.

I think all the position changing and restlessness helps progress the labour, by changing the positions of all the abdominal and pelvic contents to accommodate the contracting uterus, and physically stimulating all the organs, particularly the uterus.

The shape of the pelvic cavity changes as birth nears, earlier with multigravidae, with the straightening of the lumbar curve, which moves sacral promontary back and allows a straighter path for the foetus. The foetus's head also does a couple of 1/4 turns, to the side and back again, just before coming out, to negotiate the different shaped holes it has to pass through.

I think the main problem with lithotomy position is that the tailbone is underneath, and squashed upwards, which geometrically closes the distance between pubic symphysis and tailbone, which can be an impediment to birth, but if the baby's head is right there after all the tossing and turning, then the tailbone has probably already been pushed out to make the passage wider.

I birthed my second lying on my side, because that is where I felt comfortable, after spending almost the whole labour pacing the floor of the labour suite at the hospital, to keep the contractions coming. As soon as I stopped walking the contractions would slow down. I was desperate to do my 'power walking' after every contraction. My poor husband was exhausted at the end of it. I was ready to walk back to the Ward, babe in arms. I did have artificial rupture of the membranes with this birth because a planned birth day meant that my husband was able to be with me. No oxytocin though. It was a very normal eight hour labour with wonderful midwives who acceeded to me request to do anything I wanted during the labour. This was in a big, city, government, women's hospital back in the early 80's.

My first was a fully managed lithotomy birth, stirrups, forceps, big episiotomy (pre-eclampsia) - the works. I had an up-to-the-breastbone epidural to keep my blood pressure down, and couldn't have pushed to save myself. I was a mere onlooker to the whole process. It was like receiving a Christmas present from under the tree when my first baby was pulled out from under my Christmas tree and handed to me.

My third baby, the labour was very similar to the second, but I spent the contractions on hands and knees on a mattress on the floor, as he was posterior. He flipped at Transition, which was such a relief, physically and mentally, then I went onto hands and elbows and squatting for second stage, up on the delivery table. The midwife was appalled at what I was doing, but there wasn't a lot I was going to do to change it. She just had to put up with it. I knelt there on elbows and knees with my butt stuck up in the air for ages while the panicking midwife tried to get the doctor to stop umpiring his basketball match and get down to the hospital. I wasn't the least bit worried. The midwife eventually convinced me that I would have to push him out, which I dutifully did, with the contractions, and DH received him just as the Dr walked in.

Alemama, I wouldn't really describe your final birthing position as lithotomy. It just goes to show how some flexibility in thinking and allowing the Mum to do as she thinks she needs, keeps the stress levels down and allows her to birth the baby out of her.

Of course, all this is predicated by the Mum having enough body awareness and knowledge to have faith in her own body processes. I was just starting to get the hang of being involved and active in birthing with my second baby (thankyou Janet Balaskas). The third birth was an unexpected bonus, and a positively life-changing experience, almost moreso than actually having my first baby, albeit by the tooth extraction method. Birthing my third baby actively, with posterior labour and a 'challenging' senior midwife, made me feel soooo powerful!


Louise said "Alemama, I wouldn't really describe your final birthing position as lithotomy"

I agree, but I was on my back :)
I actually pushed against that left foot and right knee and lifted my hips off the bed totally- so a weird little bridge- but it felt right.

That's the orgasm, bearing-down thing that I am always rabbiting on about!

Louise :-)

Thank you for the nice wishes, and glad you are able to get something out of my story. I will be giving birth the same as with my first -- home water birth with a CPM. I might try hands-and-knees pushing this time instead of a squat, but we'll see how I feel when the time comes. Honestly, it is my belief that unless there is "artificial" trauma in a birth, i.e. medication, forceps, vacuum, coached pushing, episiotomy, etc etc, prolapse is more likely the result the recovery process than the actual birth. I'm certain this was the case for me -- I did not give my body any advantage with reversion.

As for lithotomy position being appropriate, I say no IMHO. What you and alemama describe sounds active and in control -- a far cry from textbook lithotomy, which is perineum at the very edge of the exam table and legs tethered to stirrups. This position is known to cause damage to the femoral and perineal nerves, as well as circulatory compromise. It is slowly but surely falling out of favor as a position for childbirth and surgical procedures in many areas. I don't think being on your back is bad, I think being balanced on an edge and tied to stirrups is.

Ah, now I understand your wisdom, Louised. They say all prophets are shepherds before they are prophets because if one has the patience to tend to sheep, he will have the patience to tend to people. :)

ROFL! She will too. In fact it is mostly she who monitors the lambing ewes, rain, hail or shine. Are you surprised about this?

"I don't think being on your back is bad, I think being balanced on an edge and tied to stirrups is."

Epitome of unnatural isn't it! Well, I was in textbook lithotomy position right at the very end and got a nice split perineum as a result. I keep trying to have natural safe births but while it gets a bit better each time, it's not working. So let's say for whatever reason, a woman has no choice but to birth on a birthing table, at a hospital (and UC is out of the question). What would be the *least harmful* way to birth while on that table? I thought of all fours or squatting, but the table is just too small. What about the half-sitting-up position? On the side?

Wait, and another thing. I thought your observation about the reason for your pop interesting bad-mirror (ie, it was not the birth itself, just the lack of rest afterwards). I've heard of many wonderful natural births where the mama still ended up with a pop, could that be the reason? That would be comforting to know, because, otherwise, it would mean that no matter how you give birth, you'll always be at risk for pop.

I vote no on the halfway sitting up position. I did that with my first birth and it ended in a terrible tear. I think the tailbone is pressed hard in that position.
I think if you had to choose - side lying would be the lessor of the evils.

I did the half-sitting with my second, it was bad, bad, bad. better than my first (epidural, lithotomy, purple pushing) but not much.
sidelying would be better I think.

How exciting, BadMirror. I can't wait to hear about your birth and postpartum time. Only WW has identified the fact that few women rise out of the birthing bed with prolapse. Rather, it is an intensified and speeded up version of "chronic prolapse" that happens to most women over decades. As you know, spending 2, 4 or 6 weeks relaxing in non-WW postures are what lead to post-partum prolapse. This is a hugely important concept that needs to be broadcast to pregnant women everywhere.

Like all the women here who know and adore you, I too will be thinking of you and sending prayers in the coming days.

Keep us posted!

:) Christine

Thank you Christine! Yup, I spent the first 3-4 weeks post partum deep in the embrace of a very comfy couch. My mom did the cooking, my DH changed diapers, my dad washed the diapers and other laundry. All I had to do was nurse and study for school. It was November, and cold and snowy, so the only walking I did was to the W.C. and back to the couch. I thought I was doing the right thing -- had a small but significant tear (my son was born saluting with one hand) that I chose to let heal by keeping my legs together. Well, it didn't heal, but I still have quite a lot of perineum, so I don't blame the tear. So Chickaboom, while for certain those women forced back to the fields directly after birth, or those who sustain extensive birth trauma are at risk for prolapse, so are those who don't get gravity and bones back to where they can support organs properly. Like me. I had no inkling of a prolapse until 5 weeks pp. Swelling was gone by week one, so it's not like my POP was being "masked."
This time 'round I've got a different view on how to manage the pp time -- restful without being bedridden, and active without overdoing it. Lumbar curve, lumbar curve, lumbar curve. :-)

... and bend at the hips, bend at the hips, bend at the hips ...

This is neither here nor there but a newbie like myself might find it useful. When "lumbar curve, lumbar curve" was my mantra, I started getting lower back aches. Then, I read a comment by Christine somewhere about 'forgetting' the lumbar curve and belly and instead focusing on the rest of the posture. And then BINGO it all fell into place. My new mantra became "lift that chest, lift that chest." I still have the curve and the relaxed belly but no more exaggeration and therefore no more backache.

You're right, CB. This, along with separating head from shoulders by pulling up through the back of the neck while pushing shoulders down, is key. This begins to correct the major spinal problem in women with prolapse - a flattened lumbar curve and hump at the base of the neck. WW work reverses this spinal deformity, without stressing the sacroiliac joints.

I 'got' the posture long ago, but once I started the 'lift the chest' mantra, my already good posture improved even more. AND I just want to add (hopefully without sounding like an infomercial) that since spending my waking hours in WW posture, I no longer suffer from:
shoulder and ankle bursitis
tmj pain
cysts in my wrist
neck pain
low back pain
and my arthritis symptoms in my shoulders and hips is probably reduced by about 90%
once again, THANK YOU christine!
(and sorry for once again taking a thread way off course)

I always have a lot of shoulder and neck pain for the first 6 mos postpartum due to bad positioning while breastfeeding. I've yet to feel that pain this time around.

It reminds me of years ago when I asked my osteopath why I had to give birth on a high table ,flat on my back , which did not feel natural at all for me. His answer surprised me. He said that this was the practice ,in UK, ever since one of the kings wanted to watch his mistress give birth . The king had to watch through the KEY hole,lol! This makes as much sense as some of the strange procedures which r used for treating Pop today!