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Old 05-11-2011, 11:41 AM   #1
Kristie Willhoit
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CF Moms - Labor & delivery/birthing experiences?

I searched for a thread that already addresses this, but couldn't find one. Maybe I was using the wrong key words; if anyone can direct me to an existing thread, I would appreciate it!

I am 36 weeks pregnant and planning to do a medication-free delivery at the hospital. All but about 2 people in my circle of family/friends seem to think that I am insane or have adopted a "I'm sure she'll change her mind when the time comes" attitude. Having no experience with childbirth, I obviously can't definitively say whether I can handle the pain, and I have left the option open to ask for an epidural if I change my mind, but I feel that as a CrossFitter, I am well-equipped to handle the physical stress. I hope that I am not wrong in that assumption! As I get closer to my due date, I get more nervous about preparing for this "unknown", so here I am, looking not for reassurances, but down-and-dirty truth, lol!

I was hoping I could get some input from CF moms out there who were CrossFitting through their pregnancies on their birthing experiences (regardless of whether you went "natural", had an epidural, got a C-section, etc). I think your stories would be more representative of what I can expect, compared to those I've heard from the non-CF or sedentary population.

Any feedback is appreciated!
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:16 PM   #2
Veronica Carpenter
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Re: CF Moms - Labor & delivery/birthing experiences?

I'm not a CFer, but w/exception of my first pregnancy, I was a competitive ollifter. Fitness and healthy, natural living have always been a priority. I have had 4 all natural deliveries with no pain meds. First one was induced 4weeks early because of suspected amnio leak and risk of pregnancy. Looking back, I probably didn't need induction had I known better. Last one was a home birth in a birthing tub. If I had to do it all over again I'd go with the last scenerio.

As long as you're healthy and have an uncomplicated pregnancy, it comes down to what you think/know in your heart/mind that you can handle. Women have been giving birth since the beginning of time without the advances in medicine. I was determined to have an unmedicated delivery to avoid any possible side-effects to my baby. Just be sure you have a OB that shares your thinking and will respect your decisions in the delivery room.

If you're interested in more of my stories, I'd be glad to elaborate.
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Old 05-11-2011, 01:27 PM   #3
Kristie Willhoit
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Re: CF Moms - Labor & delivery/birthing experiences?

Thanks for your reply, Veronica! I didn't mean to imply that only CFers should respond and I'm glad that you did! It is reassuring to hear from someone who has experienced multiple natural births. It seems the women I have spoken to who have given birth more than once and went natural the first, opted for the epidural(s) for the rest - leading me to the assumption that once was enough! Lol.

I would like to hear more about your experiences but I don't know how much you're comfortable sharing/whether you want to on a public forum! But on the other hand, if there are others who might be interested in the info...so I'll just let you know what I'm curious about and let you decide whether to respond here or PM me.

How long did your labor and delivery last? Did you opt for an episiotomy? What about tearing? (*cringe* I think that is my biggest concern right now!) How quickly were you able to get back to heavy lifting? (I'm jonesing for some heavy, full ROM overhead squats, lol)

That's probably enough of a bombardment for now! Thanks again for your input!
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Old 05-11-2011, 01:31 PM   #4
Matt Haxmeier
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Re: CF Moms - Labor & delivery/birthing experiences?

I'm obviously not a mom. But my wife worked out through her first pregnancy and did crossfit through her second pregnancy. During both her labor was reasonably short 8-12 hrs and incident free. The actual pushing portion was extremely quick. When the Doctors asked for a "test push" they had to tell her to stop because it was such a strong push.

For the first one she had an epidural, but for the second one we got to the hospital too late so she had to have it natural which was pretty terrifying to her at the time. I didn't feel what she felt of course, but her general comments on it to me were to the tune of:
"It wasn't as bad as I expected."
"I could have done it the first time instead of getting the epidural."

And since then she's remaked a time or two that one of our crossfit workouts was actually worse.

But she is a trooper anyway. Being in very good shape helped a lot. When we would meet with the Doctor for pre-natal's we'd just sit and BS. He'd ask how everything was and then say that she was his lowest risk pregnancy so we'd just talk about his kids or whatever.

Maybe things would have been very different if the pregnancy had been ridiculously long or something.
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Old 05-11-2011, 01:59 PM   #5
Kristie Willhoit
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Re: CF Moms - Labor & delivery/birthing experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Haxmeier View Post
her general comments on it to me were to the tune of:
"It wasn't as bad as I expected."
"I could have done it the first time instead of getting the epidural."
That is encouraging to hear! The women I have talked to just go on about the pain, the pain, how much it's going to hurt - which I expect it will, but I wonder about the difference in pain thresholds of someone who subjects heerself to CrossFit and those who don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Haxmeier View Post
And since then she's remaked a time or two that one of our crossfit workouts was actually worse.
I have stopped myself short from making comments like, "Well it can't be worse than <insert Hero WOD here>!" Lol.

Thanks for sharing your wife's experiences, Matt!
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Old 05-11-2011, 02:43 PM   #6
Matt Haxmeier
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Re: CF Moms - Labor & delivery/birthing experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristie Willhoit View Post
The women I have talked to just go on about the pain, the pain, how much it's going to hurt - which I expect it will, but I wonder about the difference in pain thresholds of someone who subjects heerself to CrossFit and those who don't.
When we're watching TV and see a labor scene with the ubiquitous screaming woman my wife is always like "Oh come on, that's such an exaggeration." But, at the same time she was having ours I remember hearing dramatic screams coming from the other room.

It's definitely possible that:
a.) people have different pain tolerances
b.) exercise & strength help prepare the body for such events
c.) pain in the past makes pain in the future more bearable
d.) people act like they see people act on tv
e.) my wife is just a tough lil momma
f.) some people are just wussies.
g.) all of the above

She was back to working out lightly in 6 weeks. Down to a decent bodyweight in 8 weeks. And back to beating me on workouts in 12-14 weeks.

Last edited by Matt Haxmeier : 05-11-2011 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 05-11-2011, 03:14 PM   #7
Kim Thornton
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Re: CF Moms - Labor & delivery/birthing experiences?

Hi Kristie!

I danced and worked out (not doing CF) during my first pregnancy and chose ahead of time to have the epidural. I understood my pain tolerance due to previous surgeries/injuries, etc. that's why I went that route. Definitely working out helped, because the "pushing" portion of labor for me lasted 2 1/2 hours....then I got threatened with a C-section and with a little adjustment my daughter arrived w/o the C-section.

This time I will most likely have the epidural (if I can) just so I'm not mentally stressing due to the pain. I think I'd freak out, personally, which would probably make it that much harder for me. I'm continuing to dance (6 classes/wk), but backed off of CF because I was getting so sick. Oh, yeah, I'm currently almost 6 mths preggo.

All the best!
-Kim
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Old 05-11-2011, 03:29 PM   #8
Kristie Willhoit
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Re: CF Moms - Labor & delivery/birthing experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Haxmeier View Post
It's definitely possible that:

my wife is just a tough lil momma
I bet she is! True for any CF-ing woman.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Haxmeier View Post
some people are just wussies.
That's what I feel like telling the women who insist I am going to cave in the end and get the epidural: "No I'm not, because I'm not a pansy like you are!" But the truth is I have no idea what I can handle so I don't dare make such a boast!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Haxmeier View Post
She was back to working out lightly in 6 weeks. Down to a decent bodyweight in 8 weeks. And back to beating me on workouts in 12-14 weeks.
Lol! Excellent info to have. It's good to have a realistic timeline for recovery based on someone's experience and not a generalized "you'll know when you're ready" platitude.

Thanks!
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Old 05-11-2011, 03:40 PM   #9
Kristie Willhoit
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Re: CF Moms - Labor & delivery/birthing experiences?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim Thornton View Post
I ... chose ahead of time to have the epidural. I understood my pain tolerance due to previous surgeries/injuries, etc. that's why I went that route.
That's an important factor to consider! Just to make sure I don't have an inaccurate recollection of my pain tolerance, I'll have to ask my husband how he feels I handled pain from previous surgeries - You never know what the meds they give you do to your memory, lol. Though I usually do skip the pain meds when prescribed so that's has me inclined to think that I tolerate pain OK.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim Thornton View Post
This time I will most likely have the epidural (if I can) just so I'm not mentally stressing due to the pain. I think I'd freak out, personally, which would probably make it that much harder for me.
That makes total sense - I've read that the mental stress of anticipating pain can play a huge role in how the pain affects you. That's partly why I'm trying to gather as many anecdotes as I can - to make it seem less "unknown" so I don't freak out. But I also don't want to go in all deluded and "la-di-da, this will be a breeze", haha!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim Thornton View Post
I'm currently almost 6 mths preggo.
Congratulations and good luck with your pregnancy! Thanks for your input!
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:19 PM   #10
Tamara Cohen
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Re: CF Moms - Labor & delivery/birthing experiences?

I was not CrossFitting or Oly lifting at the time, but I had both of my children as completely natural water births with a lay midwife. Since I was not at a hospital, I didn't have the option of any medication. My daughter was 8 lbs, 13 oz after 14 hours of labor, and my son was 9 lbs, 13 oz after 11 hours of labor.

I wouldn't change a thing, but I am not lying when I say that my labors and deliveries were a million times more painful than any WOD could ever be.
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