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Trying for med-free after previous medicated births ...

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Anybody else?

Kind of like a support thingy?


Have 3 children, each was delivered in a hospital, each with epidurals, but each time with less, and the last time it apparently "ran out" several hours before the delivery, but I was still required to stay in bed because of the initial epidural ... and honestly, we didn't know it "ran out," I just thought it was ridiculously weak ...

Anyway, am determined this time to go without, to be able to be up and moving ... or however it is I want to be while in labor, but not flat on my back!!!

A kind mama from these boards sent me the Hypnobirthing book, just came today, and am devouring it. Hoping it'll help ...

Anyone else?
post #2 of 23
Well, I'm not pregnant yet, we are planning on TTC this next year. My daughter was born in the hospital, I got an epidural around 7 or 8 cm, and had it for an hour, when they turned it off.

We are researching homebirth and MW's in the area, and plan on having a homebirth next time. I am trying to get my body in the best shape possible in preperation for pregnancy.
post #3 of 23
Me too -- my previous birth was uneventful and quick with an epi in the hospital. I am going to have this babe at a birth center, and am getting ready to get the Hypnobirth materials! My DH thinks I am crazy.
post #4 of 23
Just wanted to say, had my first in hospital w/epidural, second born in freestanding birth center, in the water, completely natural, just as I wanted.

I highly recomend "Birthing From Within", it made a big difference in my second birth and preparation for. Thought I had "failed" with my first, as I wan't able to "relax" completely with every contraction like the Bradley book said I should and laying in bed on my side HURT! I found when I listened to my body, and did what felt good to me, I was able to deal with the contractions.

Enjoy whatever path you take. You can do it!
post #5 of 23
I had my first two girls with the epidural, then had my third in a free standing birth center drug-free. What did it for me were several things-

I hired a doula with my last birth.

I took the Bradley class during the third pregnancy.

The birth center didn't have any medication except nubaine available, so I knew the epi. wasn't an option unles I transported.

I read tons of books supporting natural birth.

The birth itself was easier- my first, 12 hours, second, 18 hours, third, 5 hours.

Hope some of this helps!
post #6 of 23
I wanted to add my heartfelt support to this thread.

Here's a thought:

Think of it as climbing a mountain. It's hard work like that and you are working toward a summit of sorts.

When I climb a mt., I find that I am handling the climb easily to begin with, and then there is a time when more concentration is necessary to keep handling it. I have to make an adjustment in thinking and breathing to keep steadily moving forward. And I feel strong, even if a little tired out. I keep going steadily as long as I stay steady with my breathing and keep positive in my thinking. I go at my own speed.

Then there is also a time when I am sure I cannot go any further, yet somehow, I find yet another way to handle the stress, and am able to overcome that feeling and go on up toward the summit. Soon I find I am doing it, and I can see the summit, but am still not there. I stop, take a breath, look back down and see how far I have come and I feel good and encouraged, and amazed at how strong I am.

In the meantime I find my second wind and motivation for going on and turn toward the summit and go on up to the top. That last distance is the hardest work, because I am tired but so close to the top, but I feel each step very strongly, one after the other, because each one puts me closer to the summit. And suddenly, I am there and can look out to the scenery and feel the power of that perspective. It's awesome and I did it. You get the idea anyhow even if maybe that all seems silly but it really does parallel labor at least in my experience.

I have had all of my children without drugs, naturally (the last two at home). It can be done. And if you want to, you can.

I respectfully suggest you consider accessing the services of a Doula for extra support in your process. I also recommend the work of Penny Simkin, and Sheila Kitzinger, just off the top of my head.

Just some food for thought. You will do it your way, I have no doubt!

Hugs and strength...Joyce in the mts.
post #7 of 23
Oh Amy I think that's great! I don't know if I ever mentioned to you but I am studying to teach Bradley... studying more slowly than is remotely appropriate to be honest, but that's a different thread! I won't push that method on you if you aren't interested but would be happy to answer questions. You are totally on the right track about not lying on your back. I only lay down once during my labor (I thought I could snatch a quick nap between pushes) and it was the WORST! Only time in my labor I cried out in pain. It's also not good for either you or the babe. Also, if you are not drugged hospitals will usually be far less agressive about fetal monitoring and IV... which are two other things that tend to tether you to the bed.
post #8 of 23
I'm in!

My first was an epidural with an additional local of something at the end.

My second was an interthecal that wore off so the delivery part was full pain, with pit.

I'm determined this time. No pain meds, no pit, no laying in bed for 4 hours. I can do this!
post #9 of 23
T Kama, is that a whole pocketful of asterixeses you have or are you just happy to see me?
post #10 of 23
I have had both natural and epidural births. I must say, I loved my epidural

But my natural unmedicated birth was made possible because i had incredible support and dealt with the contractions one at a time. It also helped that i went from 2 cm to 9 in 90 minutes. kind of hellish, but at least it was quick!
post #11 of 23
I'm the opposite of sweetbaby. I've had both an epidural and a home waterbirth, and my waterbirth was 5,000X better than the medicated birth. I mean that from the bottom of my heart! Flat on my back was the worst for me. I cried and begged to move---oh, no, you can't move--it would hurt the baby.......The empowerment of giving birth on my own terms was life altering for me.

It's so funny what sticks with you during labor. For me, it was the thought, I can handle anything for a few minutes. During transition, that's the thought that kept me going: I'd recommend reading books, talking with other women, posting here , etc. Surround yourself with those who believe in your abilities. When it gets down to it, you have to know in your heart and soul that you can do it. And you CAN!!!

BFW is a good book, but have you checked out Having a Baby, Naturally by Peggy O'Mara of MM? I've heard really great things.......
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Glad to know there are a few of us here ...

kama, had taken a Bradley class for DS#1's birth. Had been gainfully employed myself until that pregnancy, so actually had been able to afford a "private" class for me & DH (a long time ago in a galaxy far far away ...) and it was very helpful. It was my OB-from-hell that was not. And the *@#% had been my GYN for almost 20 years at that point ...

Changed OBs by the time of my 6wk postpartum appointment.

Much of my problem in the previous deliveries (after the first, that is) was stress. I don't think it's fear so much, as I know pretty thoroughly what's happening with my body (I think) and have had the desire each time to have it happen the right way ... but am just a wuss about labor pain. Nervous. Which is amazing, because for other pain situations (for lack of a better word) I've had doctors yell at me that being so stalwart makes things worse (not going to doctors or dentists when I should have, etc., because I tend to shrug my shoulders and not deal with it when things hurt ...)

So why am I such a wuss about this?
post #13 of 23
Hard to say Amy. We are so terribly conditioned in our culture that childbirth is painful, awful, impossible without LOTS of drugs and it is hard to overcome that even when you intellectually know better. Deep inside your brains boogeyman closet is every horror story, every birth on ER or wherever else and they are just lurking there, waiting to distract you from your normal, healthy birth.
post #14 of 23
I'm hoping for a different birth experience with this next one too, Amy. I knew I wanted a natural delivery with no meds with my first, but I had a gazillion medical interventions because of preeclampsia. Cytotec, pitocin, constant blood pressure cuff, catheter, IV. . .

I resisted an epidural. But when my blood pressure was sky high, my OB recommended one and I agreed. She thought that I could get some rest and give my blood pressure a chance to go down. The last time she had checked me I was only 3 cm. Well, I had gone from 3 to 10 in an hour!!! As soon as she left the room I started pushing. Ds was born about 20 minutes later. I do vaguely remember the anesthesiologist coming in the room while I was delivering. He said "I guess I'm not needed here!"

For this baby, I want to labor on my feet, on a birthing ball, jumping up and down. Anywhere but in bed!! And I want a quieter, more peaceful room in which to deliver. I'll probably still bellow like a sick cow, but I don't want that cast of thousands at my feet.

I would really rather have a homebirth, but dh just won't go for it.
post #15 of 23
Amy, Elizabeth and anyone else... Do you feel like your DP is on board with you? Are they willing to make the time to practice your relaxation techniques with you? In your previous labors have them been great support or just sort of 'feh'? I think husbands make great labor support, but not all do. If they aren't comfortable doing, aren't willing to prepare, etc... a doula is a good idea. I am probably going to try to take a refresher Bradley class during this pregnancy (despite the fact that if things go as planned I will be teaching Bradley during this pregnancy!) simply because at I think DH could use the refresher and it is the only way to guarantee he will focus on his job during labor for at least a few hours a week beforehand.
post #16 of 23
I had an epidural with my first, and while it wasn't a terrible experience, it was far from ideal. Lots of "complications" and interventions followed. Totally unnecessary. My last two were born in hospitals without any pain medication at all, except for some lidocaine when I was being stitched up afterward (I tore).

I didn't use any particular method. I went to a few Bradley classes with my second, but it didn't feel right to me. I vocalized as I needed to, found that I liked being on my side more that upright or on my back, and just went with the flow of labor. I did a lot of self-affirmation type stuff when I was pregnant-- telling myself that I could do it, that women have done it for millennia, and that my body would know what to do. I was surprised at my ability to trust to my body.

My advice is to do whatever you need to do to build trust in yourself. If that means taking a childbirth class, reading books, or just looking in the mirror and telling yourself over and over again that you are strong and you can do it, then do those things. We all know you can do it.
post #17 of 23
My first birth was just awful. 29 hours, tried to have an epi, but the doc couldn't get the needle in, then I had a csec under general. Ugh. Then I had a spinal headache from either the attempted epi or attempted spinal (before they put me under). That hurt worse than labor.

When I got pregnant the second time, I knew I wasn't going to try an epi again, and a friend of a friend had used HypnoBirthing (she ended up having to schedule a csec--I don't know why--so she didn't use what she'd learned, but she liked the class), so I thought I'd give that a shot. Oh my G-d! It was so much better. Like noon and midnight. I did feel some pain, but it was quite bearable. The nurse kept telling me how in control I was. I was playing hangman at 7cm with my HB instructor (additional charge to have her attend the birth, but it was worth it) when I noticed her looking at my contraction monitor. I looked over at it, and the machine was registering this contraction that was going over 150. I said, "hm, I feel that, but it doesn't feel that strong. The machine must not be working properly." She laughed. When I hit nearly 10cm, it got to be tough, but it didn't last that long, and then the baby was born. She was much more alert than her big sister was when she was born. She wasn't drugged. I felt much better, too. No spinal headache.
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
... by kama'aina mama
... We are so terribly conditioned in our culture that childbirth is painful, awful, impossible without LOTS of drugs and it is hard to overcome that even when you intellectually know better. Deep inside your brains boogeyman closet is every horror story, every birth on ER or wherever else and they are just lurking there, waiting to distract you from your normal, healthy birth.

True, yes, okay ... but deep inside of me is also the incredible irony of me ... we're talkin' me here ... insisting on NO DRUGS. Me. Who never met a drug she didn't like ...

My brother was apoplectic (read: he was laughing so hard he couldn't breathe and almost threw up) the first time I told him I absolutely positively under no circumstances wanted any drugs.

That was a long time ago. Have not been watching the walls melt for many years now, the irony is gone ... so here I sit, getting over myself ... :LOL

... by kama again ...
... Do you feel like your DP is on board with you? Are they willing to make the time to practice your relaxation techniques with you? In your previous labors have them been great support or just sort of 'feh'? I think husbands make great labor support, but not all do. If they aren't comfortable doing, aren't willing to prepare, etc... a doula is a good idea ...

Ya' know, not entirely. And we've been discussing a doula a lot lately, as a Very Kind Mama from here (who also sent the HB book ... ) suggested a doula-in-training might be possible (as insurance won't cover one and we can't afford it otherwise) ... and he's actually a bit offended.

Can you believe it? Am at the moment thinking he's beyond a jerk, but he's my DH, so I won't verbalize that. :LOL

But seriously, he's being really difficult about it, and I can only imagine that while I'm in labor he'll be sulking in the corner of the room and just stressing me out even more ... :

Maybe *he* should get the drugs ... :LOL

And julie128 am hoping HB will help me, though am just doing it with the book, no classes, and DH isn't cooperating with that, either. : He actually said to me something along the lines of, "Well, you're not exactly the laugh-at-pain type, are you."

Talk about unhelpful.


post #19 of 23
When I was pregnant the first time my Dh had a little speech he liked to give people who were astonished that we wanted a drug free birth.

"In our family we believe that drugs are for recreational use only. If this child wants to get high she is going to have to study hard, get into college and find her own drugs, just like her mother and I did."

Anyhow... well... your brother we will just put aside. You have grown, he refuses to acknowledge that fact, screw him, says I. It sounds like you really could use a doula. Maybe emphasize to him that she is just there to help him deal with you... when you get too demanding for a person who only has two hands and that he will still be in charge. I can't believe I'm saying this but, don't you know by now which direction to stroke his ego to get what you want? (I know, I know... so Stepford! ) I'm gonna keep thinking on this. Good luck.
post #20 of 23
Amy- your pov sounds a lot like mine between my first and second briths. I was sooo beyond determined that I didn't want drugs, although everyone around me told me I was nuts. Even my husband laughed at me when I woudl stub my toe and whine, inevitably saying things like "And you think you can go through labor without medication?" Needless to say, he wasn't entirely comfortable or on board witht he labor preparation ideas- I think he just couldn't get into it. I never really took any classes either. I thought about doing Birthing form Within, Hypnobirthing, Bradley, etc, but my dh was working nights, I didn't want to find a babysitter for that many nights, and we just really didn't have the money. I read everything I could ge tmy hands on, and did lots and lots of visualizations, writings and thinking to prepare. We thought about hiring a douls too, but again, didn't really have the money.

In the end, I don't think I could have had any drugs if I wanted to! My perpsective on natural birth is so different because my labor and delivery went so fast that I didn't even make it to the hospital! If my labor would have lasted longer, I'm not so sure that I would have been able to handle it. Although if it had gone slower, it may have actually built up gradually rather than smacking me upside the head, and I would have had time to cope. It will be a long time before we get pregnant again, but I'm still not sure what we will do. I don't think I ever want to get an epidural again, and my Dr has said that induction will be an option for me if I want it. (he is very pro-natural birth...) I guess what I really want is a gurantee that my labor will be more under control...

Anyway, enough I wish you much joy and luck in your journey. I think my best advice would be to surround youself with positive people and positive experiences, and believe that you can do it!
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