Hi Mamas, I'd love to hear your feedback about preparation....books...classes...workshops....anything else etc I can do to have avoid an epidural.
I'm p/g with # 2. For DS1, I had a doula and laboured at home home for as long as possible. But then I was completely overwhelmed and frightened by how quickly the pain became intense and opted for an epidural. I arrived at the hospital at around midnight but it turned out there were several emergency c-sections that night, so I didn't my epidural for about 4 hours, at which time I was nearly fully dilated. Then it was just a couple more hours until my son was born.
In retrospect, if I was of sounder/stronger frame of mind, and had a sense that the birth was so close, I would have declined the epidural - since I had already coped with the pain using deep breathing and the doula's counter pressure. But truthfully, once I decided I wanted the epi, I was completely consumed by it.
I found the epi was so cumbersome - all those wires and tubes and being tethered to the bed on my back. I felt like a trapped animal. Plus it was hard to feel the urge to push. My feet and legs were completely swollen for a few days afterwards.
I guess I can discuss this experience with my doula to be and develop some strategies for the birth of #2.
Any other ideas?