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please, tell me great things about labor

post #1 of 133
Thread Starter 
i'll have an unmedicated hospital birth. people around me are telling me weird, painful, embarassing stories, i am a bit confused right now. that's why i start this thread. please share your great moments! : i know labor is intense and painful but i want to focus on the miracle of birth!
thanks in advance!
post #2 of 133
It *rocked*! We had an unmedicated birth (this is the part that rocked) in a hospital (ok for us the 1st time around, but for this next time, we're planning a homebirth) and labor was great. I was really excited to see how it would start and feel and progress for me, since with all the reading you can do, you never know what it will feel like for you until it happens!

Here's the short version: Was a week "late" (whatever that means) and my water broke 12 noon on Sunday. Started noticing contractions about 18 hrs later at around 6am on Monday, woke dh around 8am, and by 9:30/10am I really needed to start concentrating on relaxing through each contraction, left for hospital 11:30am, arrived 12noon, pushed dd out at 2:41pm into dh's hands (he caught her)!

It was hard work, but very very good work. Not unlike running a marathon - you know it's gonna take a lot of effort and determination, but with the right physical & mental preparation and support (we took Bradley classes, which were a good fit for us, and had a doula we really liked, stayed active throughout pregnancy w/ yoga, had a positive outlook on the process, did a 1-pg birth plan that was specific but not off-putting, etc.), labor is very cool. I'm excited to see how this next time feels compared to the first!

Don't let the naysayers get to you - I had the same BS coming back at me when I was pregnant and saying I wanted an unmedicated birth. Some of my friend laughed and said, "Why would anyone want to go unmedicated through labor?" and "Well, don't be upset if you end up wanting drugs." Thanks for the support (bah)! And I was shocked at how people will tell you horror stories... : What a disservice to a pregnant mom who needs to be told how empowering and wonderful and fabulous going through unmedicated labor can be!!!

Anyhoo - best to you, and congrats on your pregnancy! This is such an amazing time of your life. I just bought a copy of this book (haven't cracked it open yet) that might be particularly interesting to you right now: Adventures in Natural Childbirth: Tales from Women on the Joys, Fears, Pleasures, and Pains of Giving Birth Naturally

Also, if you haven't yet read it, the 1st half is all birth stories and don't forget to check out The Farms statistics for birth (in 2nd half of book) - if that's not inspiring, I don't know what is!: Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

Let us know how things go this August, that is, if you are able to get time online after your wee one arrives!
post #3 of 133
Thread Starter 
thanks, miziki, reading your lines was a relief! :LOL
post #4 of 133
My labor with dd was the best experience I have ever had. I labored throughout the day (it was a Friday) with my Mom and ds. We went shopping, went out for lunch, and while my ds napped we watched TV. I went to the hospital at 5 pm, I walked around for an hour, got in the bath tub for an hour, got on to the birthing table and pushed my dd out in 3 pushes. She was almost 8 lbs. My Dr didn't make it in time, in fact, there was no doctors there at all, just the nurse. And since I didn't have any meds in my body, I felt great. I left the hospital after 10 hours.
I'm not going to share my ds' labor b/c you asked for the good moments and there were not many from his labor. : My advise is to be as educated as possible, that way when someone (nurse/dr) comes to you during labor to tell you that you should be medicated/induced/whatever you will know how to handle it. (I was told that I should just have the epidural b/c I will probably have a C Sec and it would be better if I was awake so I can nurse my ds. This was after 15 hours of labor. My ds was born 2 hours after the epi,... I could have lasted that much longer)

Good luck with your coming labor. Just remember that no two labors are the same.
post #5 of 133
Hey I had an unmedicated hospital waterbirth birth is so totally cool, you will love it. We walked around the hospital room (we could have left the room I just wasn't comfortable with that), we laughed chatted had a ball. Everyone was totally supportive of my choice. I drank a ton of water, could have eatten but didn't want to. Nurses stayed away midwife checked on us everyonce in a while.

Not everyone would find this cool, but I actually liked the ring of fire (ok maybe that is the wrong word :LOL ) but I could feel myself opening up to let our baby come into the world, for me that was just so neat.

Dh caught both of our children, the man I love who created life with me was the first one to touch our children on the "outside".

Oh and as far as "embarassing stories", we can all imagine those, I didn't have any of those moments. So don't worry.

Your body is amazing, think about how cool and miraleous it is that your body can grow and birth another human being.
post #6 of 133
I have to be brief. I'll share one great thing then come back with more: When I was in labor the first time, I had no clue about any of it. It was a natural birth. I thought it was really neat to work with my body and to succumb to the power of myself, to feel my baby working with my body,and to to know that *I* was doing this! I was riding waves, high low, it was incredible!

My toddler beckons, more to come

Namaste, Tara
mama to Doodle (6), Butterfly (2 next week!), and Rythm (due at home 1/06)
post #7 of 133
I loved the excitement and anticipation you feel in early labor. We were all so happy as we went about our business of cooking, setting up for the birth, watching movies, taking walks, etc.

After that, during active labor, I loved being in the water for my first birth. It was so relaxing. With my second, I was in bed on my side. But honestly, it was empowering to visualize and breathe through the contractions. Everyone always talks about how they felt overcome by the pain and out of control, but breathing was my way making the birth mine.

Of course, as transition hit and the pushing stage, it was (I like to think) an act of will that I let go of my control and let my body do it's thing. My choice was not to fight it, and in that way, I was still in control.

And you can't beat that wet little newborn on your belly!
post #8 of 133
The best thing about labour for me, was being able to let go of my "thinking brain" and listen to my body and baby. Its totally awesome. Yes its painful, but the feeling of birthing from a intuitive place is very powerful.
post #9 of 133
I had a homebirth. Labor and the birth of my daughter was the MOST amazing thing in the whole world. I absolutely LOVED it and would do it again except I hated being pregnant and it's HARD work to be a mom.

Yes, it was painful, but I have had worse pain. It was very intense, but only for a few hours. But the empowerment, the accomplishment, the pride, the joy were way more intense than any of labor.

The pain is so short and easy compared to what comes afterward!

I wish you a miraculous birth! Please keep us updated.
post #10 of 133
read either of Ina May Gaskin's books. The birth of my second DD was every bit as wonderful as any of the stories in Ina May's books. My labor was intense, but it wasn't really all that painful, not like what people talk about. Pushing hurt worse than anything I'd ever imagined, but by then it was too late for drugs (even if any had been available) and it only lasted 15 minutes.

I suggest you absolutely refuse to talk to anyone who has anything negative to say about your plans or about childbirth in general. Do whatever it takes to remain positive and have only positive energy around you when you go into labor. If you don't like any of the nurses or doctors at the hospital for any reason, make them leave. You can have a great experience, but you gotta make it happen!
post #11 of 133
Giving birth has been the most life-altering experience of my life. I don't know if there has been anything more painful but certainly nothing as rewarding. It's such a strange transition to go from pregnancy - where as hard as I tried it was impossible to really REALLY understand that a living human being was inside of me - to just after birth where here I had this amazing little being who I loved with all my heart. The whole process set me on a path in life which is now dominated by pregnancy and birth and I'm so grateful for it. How awful can it be if it becomes something that so many of us love so dearly and become so drawn towards? My experiences were great because I was in a place I was comfortable, surrounded by people I loved and trusted, and who trusted in me and my innate ability to birth. I never felt doubt from anyone with me and in the brief moments that I felt doubt during my first birth they were there to reassure me that everything was NORMAL. That was a very important thing to hear. Normal. When you're going through it and you're not textbook, fear or wonder can creep in. What a relief to have people who understand this and to simply let you know that all is good. I loved my births - both of them. They were both very different and each of them I love for different reason. The first less intense, and thereby less painful. More of a deliberate slow move into motherhood. The second fast and surprising, but peaceful and unattended (also surprising!) and it is a memory I'll hold so close to my heart for the rest of my life. I really can't explain it. Just know that for ME birth has only been eclipsed by the joy of actually being with my children. I've been thinking a lot lately about how much those of us who have had unmedicated birth have been moved by the whole experience and how much we can love it. I honestly can't recall ever hearing someone talk this way of their medicated experience. I'm sure they exist but it isn't something I've heard people talk about. So yes, it is painful for most of us, but so clearly wonderful or we wouldn't gush the way we do about it. Relax, read positive birth stories, and enjoy. The best gift you can give to yourself is the gift of surrendering to the experience. Let it guide you and you will succeed! Good luck!
post #12 of 133
My son’s birth was completely natural and unmedicated. It was very empowering to listen to my body and let it do its work. When you give birth you are giving life to another being- and the (unmedicated) experience made me feel so much closer to that life force. I have never felt so close to the universal power of life than in the moment that he was born. Women are really lucky to be able to give birth and experience this.

Also, when I delivered my daughter, which was not a natural birth but an induction (and it was a million times more painful than natural birth)- I didn’t quite feel the awe of the universe- but it did feel so good to push her out. It was an hour and half pushing- and I actually enjoyed it, even the “ring of fire” as someone else mentioned, felt satisfying.
post #13 of 133
I can honestly tell you that labor and birth are the easiest part of the whole pregnancy/birth/parenting experience!!

When I'm in labor, that's all I'm doing. I'm focused on my body, and I'm laboring. I'm not trying to clean the house and care for children while in labor!!!

Being in labor is like entering an altered state of consciousness- yeah, it hurts, but I really don't care! I'm totally in the moment- I'm having a contraction, all my energy is focused on being in that contraction. Between contractions, it's almost as though the contractions don't exist, because I'm not having one right now!!

The first contraction of my first labor blew me away- I was totally unprepared for the intensity, the PAIN, the everything!! But once I got through 2 contractions, I knew I could get through all of labor- just focus on the moment and surrender to the experience. While imagining labor during the pg, it was always with a dreamy kind of way, and actual labor requires being completely in the moment, no daydreaming allowed!! Once I got into the rhythm of that, I was fine- like I said, it took me 2 contractions to realize I could handle it. It might take you a little more, and you may need to re-establish your rhythm a few times with a hospital birth- such as when you first get into the car to go to the hosital, when you get there, etc. I've only experienced home births.
post #14 of 133
My second birth was wonderful! It was a planned homebirth. As I tried to go to sleep that night, 41 weeks pregnant, I started feeling labor pains. At first I wasn't sure if it was really it since I had been having BH contractions from around the 17th week on every 10 minutes. But as the night wore on and I couldn't fall asleep I started to think this could really be it. DH got home from work around midnight and I told him. They were totally managable but I started realizing that maybe this was really it. So I called in work and told them I wouldn't be there in the morning. I felt guilty all night hoping it wasn't false labor since I called in work sick. I called my midwife at 6am and they showed up at 7am. I woke my 9 year old up and told him he could go to school or stay home. He chose to stay home. My husband took a nap, the midwives gave me a foot massage/pedicure and we all just sat around talking. Then after DH woke up they encouraged us to go out for a walk. I am sooo happy they had us do this. It was the most beautiful spring morning. There were the most devine smelling blossoms on the trees lining the street. It was really nice. Then when DH and I returned the midwives decided to take DS out to wild oats and get us all smoothies. So they were gone a while and by the time they returned labor had picked up a bit. They encouraged me to get in the birthing tub but I didn't like it at all. I got out and just hung from DH during the contractions. Just when I said I don't think I can do this, my midwife checked me and I was fully dialated. So I got into the tub again and my body took over with those overwhelming urges. I pushed however, whenever I wanted. No one even touched me except DH who ws sitting next to me. The midwives were on the other side of the room. I pushed him out, the midwife reminded me to pick him up. I brought him onto my chest and he just quietly looked into my eyes. All purple with puffy lips, he was so cute, so quiet and so peaceful. And that was it. It was beautiful. Everything I wanted and no one interfered with the process.

I loved it! I wouldn't do it any other way. Once my placenta delivered (it took 90 minutes!) they tucked us into bed and made us peanutbutter and jelly sandwiches. And that was it. DH and I just laid there staring at the baby. We were so tired and wanted to sleep but were so high on oxytocin and adrenaline we couldn't sleep right away. It was beautiful. It was so different from my hospital birth. They are like two different universes. Amazing!

There are good stories out there. Everyone likes to tell the horror stories.
post #15 of 133
The best thing was when I just relaxed and went with it. I was in labor 20 hours. It was not that bad. The doc said to call when I felt pressure down below and I did and he said I was only 9 cm. So I went back to relaxing. He came in to check me for shift change and I was crowning and didn't even know it! 8 mins later she was born and I was intact. The most beautiful little girl I had ever seen was handed to me and I nursed her right there. I smile just thinking about it.
post #16 of 133
My labors and births (fully unmedicated) were INTENSE and very painful (the first time I was overwhelmed by the intensity of it - thought I was well prepared but I just had no idea how powerful labor could be). BUT...they were also the most empowering and amazing experiences of my life!

One of the best things (besides getting that perfect little baby out of it!) is that as soon as the baby is out, the pain evaporates and you are on such an incredible high - after my first birth I felt like I could literally fly if I had wanted to! I felt such an amazing sense of accomplishment and at the same time so humbled and blessed that God had allowed me to experience birth and become a mother. Although in theory I fully believed that my body was designed to give birth, I was just so thrilled and in awe that it actually worked - that my body did everything it was supposed to do and did it well. It's truly a miraculous process!
post #17 of 133
Count me in! Good things about labor? Firstly, only women can do it. Secondly, it doesn't last forever. Lastly, you get an awesome little person to greet you when you're done!

Like a pp, I will not share my son's birth experience, since it was a horrid hospital birth. The labor was fine, the delivery was awesome, but the hospital was terrible, too many uneccessary interventions and, well, there you have it. But with my dd, wow, she was born at home and it was amazing! I was quite scared of labor, since everyone of my friends that have kids had epidurals except one person, and she said it was like a walk in the park. Let's put it this way- I wasn't walking in a park with my dd's labor! lol But I'll tell you, don't focus so much on the contractions, try to focus more on the rest period between them. I tried to not think about the contractions until they were upon me, and as soon as they passed the peak, I stopped thinking about it. Those rest periods really helped me mentally cope with the physical work of labor.

Don't get an epidural. All medical/health reasons aside, if you don't experience the storm, the calm afterward won't be as surreal. I speak from experience! And anyway, good luck- I can't wait to read your birth story when the time comes!
post #18 of 133
Becoming a first time mommy myself just 5 days ago - all I can really say is that it was unlike anything I was expecting (you can read Rosemary's birth story on the August due date thread). I had a home waterbirth and I was in labor for a total of 4 hours and 40 min! At first I wasn't even sure it was labor, the cramping felt like diarrhea cramps, and a little low back pain. The pain did get really intense - for me, moaning and making a lot of noise during the contractions totally helped. The feeling in between the contractions was pure bliss and holding my little daughter in my arms was the most empowering thing. Be strong if you are going to be in a hospital setting, you are very emotional and vulnerable and I would have found it very hard to refuse pain meds if someone has been continuously offering them to me. Make sure you have a good support person and/or doula to keep telling you that you are strong and doing great, etc. I kept reminding myself that our bodies were made to give birth - all you have to do is relax and let your body take over and do the work.
Good luck and you will do just fine!
post #19 of 133
Originally Posted by Raven
The best thing about labour for me, was being able to let go of my "thinking brain" and listen to my body and baby. Its totally awesome. Yes its painful, but the feeling of birthing from a intuitive place is very powerful.
OHHH yeah that is a definately plus... Man suddenly I cannot wait to be in labor.
post #20 of 133
I loved birthing both of my children. It definitly wasn't easy, but I felt incredibly powerful. Both labors, I focused on remembering and calling on all my female ancestors. It brought to me this amazing power source, that I could draw from.

Be sure to reach down and feel the baby's head if you can. That really helped me with pushing and it was an amazing sensation to feel this REAL, little live person coming out of my body.

Also, I learned with my first labor (and applied it to my second) that once you reach the point where you are really saying, "I can't handle it anymore. I can't handle it getting any worse than this", it doesn't get any worse. So you know if you have made it to that point, than you can make it the rest of the way, too.

The main thing that makes me saddest about not having any more babes is that I won't ever get to birth a child again!
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