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Honest question: Why no drugs/pain relief? - Page 3

post #41 of 151
LOL? the other posters all give good reasons but I can add one for myself. the epidural I had before DIDNT EVEN WORK. so why bother, when I am birthing myself, I am quite sure it wont be anywhere near as bad as when it was induced, and even if it is, hey, I managed to live through it once
post #42 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christi
Dee east
Since you have experienced it all what were the differences you noticed? Did you have a lot more power during your natural birth?

I wanted to have completely unmedicated births because I thought it was better for my babies.

they were both such powerful experiences. I have a good feeling that drugs would have dulled the whole thing.
Thank you for asking. The differences in my 3 births....Hmmm. I am going to try to be absolutely honest here at the risk of flames, which at this point I really don't care about.

First of all I must preface all of this by saying that I don't have the distrust of the medical field like a lot of people here do. Two of my sisters are RNs. My oldest sister has been practicing since 1969 and the other since 1977. \

With my oldest DD, I had a more typical labor in that I had gradual contractions that I couldn't even feel. When we went to the hospital in the middle of the night, they were still very faint. At some point they got more strong and I found that the best position was on my hands and knees.

I had the option of an epidural with DD1 and I knew that I wanted it so I got it. It was fantastic. I had no problems BFing her. My mother was there, along with my sister. My mother had 7 children with no pain relief at all, and she was there for the epidural birth, where I felt nothing but pushed DD out perfectly. Her response was "THAT'S that way to have a baby!" It was a wonderful experience. I have nothing but good feelings about it.

With the twins, I don't have such good feelings. My water broke at 6:30 AM at 36 weeks (fairly normal for twins) and I called my doctor's answering service which told me to go to the hospital. I thought I had all the time in the world. : )

I had no contractions at all. DH asked if he could run to the office (this was a Wednesday) and he said if he talked to the chairman of his department, he could be off until Monday). I said "Sure!" and got into the shower, no contractions.

In the shower (come to find out that hot water brings on contractions), my body went from zero contractions to every other minute), and I was home alone with my two zero old.

DH got home quickly after my phone call and I was in so much pain that I couldn't even speak to him. On the way to the hospital (the entire 6 miles), I went through transition, the worst moments of my life, except for the foregoing moments at the hospital.

Then at the hospital, they were doing construction, so DH couldn't park in front of the hospital with DD. He had to park a ways away and then give me to a volunteer with a wheelchair. That poor man.....

The only position that was tolerable to me was on my hands and knees. But I had to get into the stupid wheelchair to get into the hospital. When I got to the delivery room, I was already 10 cms.. The nurse who was getting me undressed (while I was on my hands and knees) said "Does it feel better when you push?" and I tried pushing and said "Yes!"

So I was already 10 cms, and dilated. DH barely got there. The best description that I can give of my feelings at the time were despair. Not only was the pain completely killing me but I also knew that with twins, I had to do it again. I am a stoic person with pain, but not that day. I screamed for God, Jesus, anyone to help me.

The fact that the pain was so fast and so furious may explain my reaction and resulting feelings, but maybe not. All that I remember is how scared I was and how hellacious the pain was. I am educated in birthing. As I said, my sister used to be an OB nurse, and I educated myself. But this was so fast and so scary that it felt like my body was being exploded with pain.

Finally DD was pushed out. But there was no relief for me psychologically because I knew that DS had to be pushed out too. But he was breach. So they did an epidural. Try to sit still for an epidural when you are having 10 CM contractions. I defy anyone. It was a miracle, but at that point I was willing to do anything to reduce the pain.

Unlike with DD1, this epidural didn't take away the pain. I found out out later from the nurses that evidently it took away some pain because the doctor had his entire hand inside of me turning DS around. But I still felt the contractions.

So there came a time where they told me to push DS out. I pushed and his cord came out first: cord prolapse. A very deadly complication, but fairly common with twins. We only had moments to get me in to the OR to have an emergency C-section.

Honestly, I thought the C-section would be worse than it was, but that doesn't mean it wasn't painful. The staples were very painful. It was very difficult to move at all until they were removed. The pain from the C-section was enormous, but at least I had pain meds to help, while I was dealing with taking care of twin DD and my two year old at home, with DS in a hospital on a respirator 1.5 hours away.

The panic and pain of DD's birth have never left me. Some people say that you forget the pain of childbirth. I will never forget that pain and panic. It was in no way a spiritual or love-filled experience.

That's the truth.
post #43 of 151
Betsy...hey, I have a long-time close friend who recently retired as a Bradley instructor. She is famous for last-minute inspirational talks, if you'd be interested in some last-minute support. LMK We can all go out to lunch!
post #44 of 151
Denise, wow...it sounds like the birth of your first twin, although med-free, was certainly not a *typical* birth. Wow, that must have been so scary for you. I really can relate to your pain and panic---I had that w/my first. No matter what your location, home or hospital, birth is going to go most smoothly when mama feels safe and supported Precipitious labor can be really terrifying--you don't have time for the general build-up, but instead, it's Bam! Psychologically and physically, it's going to be inherently more intense---especially when you're having to leave home in a panic, worrying about your 2 yo, speeding through traffic in transition in a car---for most of us, the shakiest, most help-I-can't-do-this times during labor, wheelchair transfer...etc. These are major stressors. Your fight or flight mechanisms were probably working overtime I've met a lot of mamas who do forget about the pain---unless the birth's been a traumatic event---which, in your case, it definitely sounds like it was Whoa. No flames from me.
post #45 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgia
Denise, wow...it sounds like the birth of your first twin, although med-free, was certainly not a *typical* birth. Wow, that must have been so scary for you. I really can relate to your pain and panic---I had that w/my first. No matter what your location, home or hospital, birth is going to go most smoothly when mama feels safe and supported Precipitious labor can be really terrifying--you don't have time for the general build-up, but instead, it's Bam! Psychologically and physically, it's going to be inherently more intense---especially when you're having to leave home in a panic, worrying about your 2 yo, speeding through traffic in transition in a car---for most of us, the shakiest, most help-I-can't-do-this times during labor, wheelchair transfer...etc. These are major stressors. Your fight or flight mechanisms were probably working overtime I've met a lot of mamas who do forget about the pain---unless the birth's been a traumatic event---which, in your case, it definitely sounds like it was Whoa. No flames from me.
Thank you so much for your understanding. Believe it or not, there was more. The nurse who took care of me in the recovery room looked familiar to my sister. She whispered to me (Who is that? She looks familiar!) and then she realized. The nurse was the maid of honor in my older sister's wedding in 1969!

But she was not a good nurse. At one point they brought my son into me for the first time for me to see him before he was life-flighted to a hospital 1.5 hours away, on a respirator, and then started to ask me questions about permissions "Can you agree to a spinal tap?" etc. I started to cry. My DH was there and said "Can't I sign those forms?" which of course he could. But they were asking me, on morphone at the time. ?

A few minutes after that they had taken my son on the helicopter and I had just awoken from the general anesthesia, I was crying and asking my sister (the nurse) for comfort. The hospital nurse (the maid of honor(!) looked at me and my sister and said (and I will NEVER forget this) "Are you on something at home? You just seem so.......nervous."
post #46 of 151
With my first, I was an uninformed 19 year old kid. I trusted my doctor, and let them induce me since my baby was "getting too big". (I had doubts, but doctors know everything, right?) I also thought that women denying themselves epidurals were crazy. Why do that???

Well, I was induced, and I had my epidural, which wore off... They increased the pain meds, and still... Not working. I guess I have a high tolerance for them.

So, when I got pregnant with #2, I was seeing a midwife (because we didn't have insurance... Who thought that would be a blessing! ), and figured that if I could take pitocin contractions, these would be okay.

AND THEY WERE. But also, as I learned more (through my midwife and internet research), I also learned about how much better my body could handle labor without meds of any sort. Lots of people thought I was crazy. Ah well. LOL!

Even with #3, who was 11lb 7oz... Easy. Both of these were much better than the first.
post #47 of 151
I know a woman who was paralysed from the neck down by an epidural. Enough said about those.
post #48 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sierratahoe
I know a woman who was paralysed from the neck down by an epidural. Enough said about those.
I've known of women who died during "natural" childbirth. That argument makes about as much sense as the statement above.
post #49 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patchfire
Because I didn't want to expose my baby to high amounts of drugs after carefully watching everything I took in for the nine previous months. Because I didn't want to be confined to bed, unable to move. Because I didn't want to take a chance of developing a fever, which could then lead to a full septic workup being performed on my baby. Because I wanted to do everything I could to get breastfeeding off to a good start. Because I wanted to be able to listen to what my body was telling me, without 'noise' interferring with the 'signal.' Because I already have low blood pressure, and I didn't need to be lowered any further.
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post #50 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeEast
I've known of women who died during "natural" childbirth. That argument makes about as much sense as the statement above.
Not really. The epidural DOES have REAL risks that are often not explained to women in labor. I think that anyone choosing an epidural should have true informed consent and realize that women DO be come paralyzed and die from epidurals gone wrong. They CAN have lasting negative effects. We shouldn't sweep that under the rug.

-Angela
post #51 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeEast
I've known of women who died during "natural" childbirth. That argument makes about as much sense as the statement above.
But in order to have a baby you have to go through childbirth, an epidural is an avoidable risk beyond paralization, others occur much more often.
post #52 of 151
Maternal Risks
Hypotension (Drop in blood pressure)
Urinary Retention and Postpartum Bladder Dysfunction
Uncontrollable Shivering
Itching of the face, neck and throat
Nausea and Vomiting
Postpartum Backache
Maternal Fever
Spinal Headache
Uneven, incomplete or nonexistent pain relief
Feelings of Emotional detachment
Postpartum feelings of regret or loss of autonomy
Inability to move about freely on your own
Loss of perineal sensation and sexual function
Very Serious and rare risks
Convulsions

Respitory paralysis

Cardiac arrest

Allergic shock

Nerve injury

Epidural abscess

Maternal death



Labor Side Effects
Prolonged First Stage of Labor
Increase of malpresentation of baby's head
Increased need for Pitocin augmentation
Prolonged Second Stage of Labor
Decrease in the ability to push effectively
Increased liklihood of forceps or vacuum extraction delivery
Increased likelihood of needing an episiotomy
Increase in cesarean section


Baby Side Effects
Fetal distress; abnormal fetal heart rate
Drowsiness at birth; poor sucking reflex
Poor muscle strength and tone in the first hours.
post #53 of 151
Not looking at anyone else's responses yet, I'd say that I wanted no pain medication primarily to not interfere with bonding and breastfeeding. Why pump my baby full of drugs as her intro to this world? ALL my natural birth leanings are for her.

That being said, I planned a homebirth, and ended up with an emergency induction in the hospital, and a shot of nubain, which did nothing for the pain of ctx, but really helped me relax, and I dilated 4 cm in an hour, then pushed her out in 20 or so more mins. It was the perfect thing for me. (However, I could have done it at home without just fine, I'm sure.)
post #54 of 151
It never really occured to me when I was in labor to ask for any drugs. It would have disrupted what I was doing. I was too busy laboring to ask for anything.

If anyone had asked me if I wanted any I might not have understood the quesiton anyway. Somebody asked me when I was in labor if we wanted to have newborn pictures taken afterwords and the question really confused me.

I was in a different place when I was laboring. I was me, but my whole purpose in life was to labor. I was very surprized when a baby came out.
post #55 of 151
I did have a sort of pain relief for back labor...sterile water injections. they don't work on everyone but they sure did on me! Merely dulled the pain somewhat so I could deal with the front pain better, they didn't take it all away. WHich was fine with me...I just wanted it dulled somewhat so my I didn't have as much pain with my face-up booger as much :-) Dealing with front pain and excruciating back pain made me feel like I was going crazy....if I had just had one or the other it would have been easier!

That being said....I feel pain relief has it's proper place....NOT the way mainstream medicine uses it these days.

There are so many reasons for no epidural....no drugs into the baby's body, the possibility of it not working, the possiblity of the person screwing up and not getting it to work properly, side effects for days possibly. I think Mothering magazine had a thing on epidurals some time ago and it showed where the needle goes....there is such a SMALL bit of room there, NO room for error! HECK NO, NOT ME!!! That needle into such a small space...there is no way that God (or whoever/whatever you believe in) made that area for a needle to go into.

Women need true informed consent before they go into labor...very detailed information besides the stupid so-called "Lamaze" classes that are offered now (which are not truely Lamaze but more a time to indoctrinate the rules into people and let them know when they can have the epi).
post #56 of 151
Because...

...you couldn't pay me to go to a hospital to have a baby (emergencies are the exception of course)
...I don't like needles (except the kind with ink on them)
...drugs are bad for baby's health
...drugs are bad for the breastfeeding relationship
...I want to feel what's going on in my body
...labor pain has a purpose, to me it is a sacred right of passage and I don't want anything to dull or dilute the experience
...I want full mobility
...I want to be clear of mind
...I don't even like to take tylenol for a headache
post #57 of 151
plus everything frontierpsych said
post #58 of 151
I wanted med-free for my first birth - for much the same reasons that are already listed in this thread. I hung in there for 44 hours of labor but the pain in the end was unnatural, extreme and beyond anything I had ever imagined, so I got an epidural. It was a great relief - but - I got a fever. We needed antibiotics, I got numb in my legs and pushing was not quite the fun it should have been. But most important afterwards I felt like I had only been a spectator. Like I had taken a step back from the birth of my baby and not really been there the whole way.
That for me was the reason that when I got pg again I was SURE that I would not under any circumstances accept another epidural - nomatter the pain involved. My second birth turned out so much smoother than the first - and so much faster - and it never even got close to being as painful as the first time.

Not all births are equally painful so with the experiences I have had I dont at this point regret getting the epidural the first time. I would probably have ended up traumatized for life had I not accepted it (pain was that bad) - but I also agree with all the reasons already listed in this thread, and think it is common sence for all women to think about when and why they will accept painmeds - and to consider the risks involved when accepting them.
However I also know from experience that not all birth and laborpain is equal in strength and think that in some cases an epidural can be what eventually grants a women the strength and energy to go through with a birth that would otherwise have done her in mentally. I know this because I have been there and tried it..

All that being said then for me personally I think joy can only exist because there is sadness, light can only exist because there is also darkness. And the pain of birth is the part that reminds us exactly how important a turn our life is about to take, how precious a life we are giving birth to and I think it helps us to remember that thoughout our lifes. IMO birthpain is there for a very good reason and I personally try to treat it that way..
post #59 of 151
I was told it could paralyze me. Besides that, my two totally natural births were the most awesome, empowering experiences ever. It makes me look back on my managed, intervention filled first birth experience with regret and disgust.
post #60 of 151
I haven't birthed yet, but the thought of being hooked up to stuff sends me into a panic. I am an extremely active person, and I want to be as active as possible during labor, not lying on my side or hooked up to an IV.

Other reasons: (1) First movie they showed at hospital birthing class was a great natural birth with a doula and it was so beautiful I cried, (2) dh (who is a family doc) and my family doctor are wonderfully supportive and tell me over and over again that I can do it, that my body was meant to do this, (3) our hospital has a jacuzzi and I couldn't be in that if I was hooked up to stuff , and (4) I want to be able to get up and walk around afterwards and truly feel like a part of the birth experience.

That being said, I have specific guidelines about specific circumstances in which I would accept meds. I believe there are situations where labor is abnormal where pain relief is really necessary. However, I have asked that if I have none of those conditions that they ask me to wait a while if I beg for anything and keep encouraging me that I can do it.
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