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Help me work through this? (pain relief during birth)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi Nov. mamas, I hope you don't mind, but I've been solely lurking here, but now am finding a need a space to vent some conflicting desires with regard to by upcoming birth. Any words of wisdom/clarity would be appreciated.

I'm due with #2 on 11/21. I will be birthing under a CNM's care at the local hospital. My labor with #1 was also at this hospital (under an OBs care) it is as natural birth friendly a place as a hospital can be. With #1, I was induced at 39 weeks due to pre-eclampsia - high BP, massive swelling, high protein, brisk reflexes - textbook. My OB was very open to my desire to have as few interventions as possible - we started with prostglandin gel the night before check-in, then in the morning at hospital, AROM which kicked labor in - but after 10 hours of work, cervix still shy of 3cm - I finally consented to the Pitocin, and did manage to labor and deliver (6hours more) without pain meds but it was *awful*. I felt very out of control and unnatural and only made it through by sheer stubborness, a kick-ass supportive L&D nurse, and the ability to labor in the tub - getting out every 45min to have BP checks/fetal monitoring.

That brings me to now: I am confident that if I can avoid an induction (would only happen if pre-e again or other emergency) that I can have a natural birth - if I labored med-free with Pitocin, I think a normal spontaneous labor will be manageable for me.

Where I feel conflicted is if I do end up with the Pitocin, my instincts say try to go natural, even with the Pit., but I am terrified of another painful labor with contrax right on top of each other and no breathing room like last time.

I feel like I need to commit mentally to deciding "no pain relief" or "yes pain relief" ahead of time in the event of another induction, but I'm so scared of another Pitocin labor that I can't commit to toughing it out, and I'm afraid that if I don't make that commitment ahead of time then I will just wimp out and get an epidural and be pissed at myself for not even trying later.

I guess I don't really know what I'm asking for, I know the call is mine, but I'm just feeling so conflicted and very caught up in the need to decide either way.
post #2 of 11
Wow, congrats on managing an epidural-free birth last time! It sounds like quite the feat, and you should be proud of yourself for accomplishing that.

I share your fear of giving in to an epidural! This is why I made a page-long list of reasons why I don't want an epidural or other pain drugs. I made DH go over it and he'll be memorizing it (and bringing it to the hospital) so that he can remind me often during the intense times when I'm close to caving. The midwives will also be getting a copy so they can do some positive reinforcement...perhaps a list like that would help you a little? It's good to put your convictions in writing.

Under what circumstances would you have to get Pitocin again, other than pre-eclampsia?

I think that if you got through those circumstances (labouring without induction is hard enough!) then I think you have it in you to do it again...hopefully not under the same circumstances!

But then again, what do I know, I've never been through labour and birth
post #3 of 11
Loki: You can do this!!! Even IF you have pitocin again.

What are you doing as birth prep classes? You still have time to look into something like Hypnobirthing or Bradley.
You've done it once before and having extra "tools" or techniques would absolutely help.

I committed mentally and in our birth plan to no meds in my last birth and felt SO guilty when I "broke down" and asked for them. What I didn't know was I was RIGHT THERE: they couldn't get the IV in in time before I said, oh, god, never mind, I have to push!!!!!

I was so glad that I didn't have the IV prepped, ready and waiting because if I had, I wouldn't have gotten over that hump of temporary weakness. I was so glad that I did end up having a natural med free birth, for both myself and my baby.

This time around, I know there may be a point that I feel weak again and may be tempted to ask. My DH knows to remind me that means I am close close close and that I CAN do it (again).

I think mentally committing to doing it does make a difference. And I think the advice atpeace gave is excellent and I'm going to take it myself!!!
post #4 of 11
Wow, I don't think I've heard of a woman on pitocin going natural, and like you said, if you did it on pitocin then you could definitely do it natural without. I think if deciding ahead of time that you are ok with an epi and that reduces your fears going into labor than it is OK. Pitocin is a strong drug and is un-natural to have such intense and quick contractions that it produces therefor an epi or other pain control would be a good choice for you. You wouldn't do a c-section without pain control, would you? I know that is an extreme comparison, but I think that being relaxed and at peace with your decisions going into labor will make labor easier. Fear can be so limiting. Try not to be afraid of the pain (the pain of contractions or the pain from feeling like you are making the wrong decision). Hope you find peace with your dilemma.
post #5 of 11
Ditto Sapo's post. You have to do what you think is best, at the time. I think you have the right attitude in going natural, esp. if you don't have the pit. But don't beat yourself up afterwards if you change your mind. You are a human being, like the rest of us.

Last time I tried incredibly hard to BF. I did every single thing I could. But the severe trauma and every single problem afterwards, I mean every single thing that could have gone wrong did, in a 21 day period. My emotional sanity and my relationship with my husband and my son suffered terribly, and frankly BF wasn't worth that. In retrospect, I should have given up earlier, not tried harder. Then again, hindsight is always 20/20.
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonR View Post
Ditto Sapo's post. You have to do what you think is best, at the time. I think you have the right attitude in going natural, esp. if you don't have the pit. But don't beat yourself up afterwards if you change your mind. You are a human being, like the rest of us.

Last time I tried incredibly hard to BF. I did every single thing I could. But the severe trauma and every single problem afterwards, I mean every single thing that could have gone wrong did, in a 21 day period. My emotional sanity and my relationship with my husband and my son suffered terribly, and frankly BF wasn't worth that. In retrospect, I should have given up earlier, not tried harder. Then again, hindsight is always 20/20.
Oh Allison! I'm sorry to hear you had so many problems with BF! It truely is an enjoyable act if you don't have all those problems! I wish you hadn't had such an awful experience, and I hope you have success next time!! I had a month of hell myself--a failing to thrive kid. Would've never never never made it without LOTS of support--we got thru it (struggled!!!) and nursed for 3 yrs! I had a great support system (mom, sisters, friends, LCs, LLL etc) and I plan on it being easier this time...
Hope you have NO PROBLEMS in the future!
post #7 of 11
Welcome Loki! I'm glad we can be here for you....

My SIL, who's pretty mainstream, labored 'naturally' even with pitocin with her first.... the second time around she worried just like you are, but during her second labor all they did was break her water. So it was okay and she was relieved afterwards- just a little happy story for you.

I think if you can go into labor naturally, you'll be fine. If you have something go wrong and must be induced with pitocin, I don't think I'd feel that bad about receiving an epidural. Now don't flame me, everyone, it's just IMO!: Other moms who have gone natural and not say that they do appreciate the epi- but there are risks. I don't because I just don't want to- but if I got in a bind where I 'needed' it, I would consider it.

Does that help? And like others said, probably if you get to the point where you are begging for it, it's too late- you are in transition. My simple advice would be to let labor really get going at home, if possible, before going in.

Ohhh, thinking about this makes me excited for having a baby next month! (And in case you think I'm great at labor- I cope by cursing and crabbing- LOUDLY )
post #8 of 11
I hope you are able to find a decision that makes you feel happy. Remember the outcome is getting a healthy baby to hold in your arms and love. I went natural with my first at the hospital mostly cause I wanted to from the beginning but in the end it just happened to work out that way and I got my wish. See we went into hospital thinking I was at least half way with 3min apart cntx, I was still only 1cm maybe 2cm after there for 2 hrs sent me home, 4 hrs later I was back at 10cm and crowning!! No time for anything!

This time around I plan on staying at home longer to labor, lets hope not too long that I'm not delivering in the car! HA! But really I went to tour the same hospital taking my 2yr dd to show her where I'd be and I asked the nurse if possible to refuse an IV bottom line she told me talk with my Dr. Which I know my DR is ok with natural birth but hope she doesn't fall back on it's hospital policy to be "hooked up" .... I don't even want to be preped for any MED's with an IV, cause I did have that break down on the way back to the hospital saying the pain was too much if I'm only 7cm then I was going to get an EPI, to my surprise it was too late.

Ok think that was rambling some but don't give up on yourself and make sure dh knows to keep you in the right direction ... I told mine if I break down again, make sure to remind me I did it last time I can do it again!! Hey my mother had 2 kids that way too!!!

Good luck!
post #9 of 11
You can do it! Honestly though, don't feel bad if you don't. Yes, I think most of us want to birth as natural as we can, but everyone has their limits. I planned on going med free w/ my VBAC, but after 2 hours at the hospital (I agreed to the epi before that, it just took that long to get it) and not dilating at all b/c I was so tense and hurt so bad I got my epi. Evan was born an hour later, so I went from not dilating at all to dilating 5cm and giving birth in an hour. Do I wish I could've done it w/out it, sure, but knowing how out of control I was it wasn't going to happen. Once again I'm planning a med free birth, but I'm also planning on staying home longer this time as well to see if that helps me feel more in control.
post #10 of 11
My 2 cents.

My last labor, I labored for 44 hours after my water broke.

At hour 20 or so I had pit and no drugs.. and I was on pit for 5 hours or so. Bearable, NOT EASY but bearable.

I BEGGED to be taken off the pit to see if I could progress without it.... and made SOME progress

But at hour 36, I conceeded that I needed some "help" (heart decels and a bunch of other issues amd no real progress - not sure I'd do the same thiing today but....) anyway. Pitocin on top of exhaustion just seemed too much to handle, and I got the epi.

I have 2nd thoughts about letting it get to that point as there were many other issues I might have handled differently BUT getting the epi at that moment WAS the right thing to do for me once I was in that spot. I got to rest enough - 2 hours or so to be able to let the epi wear off and push without it.

What I am trying to say is... Plan everyway you know how to get a natural drug-free birth, but be open to anything... just make sure your coach doesn't let you chose drugs out of fear or loss of control - especially as you head into transition.... but with a solid thought process, a lot of knowledge and a supportive coach, there some decisions that may give you more satisfaction in the long run, but no bad decisions
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your stories and words of advice - they are all so helpful.

For what its worth, I'm told the only way I'll end up with an induction would be if the pre-e came back (possible, but not a given) or if I go beyond 42 weeks - and in either case, my midwives are open to trying to induce in a more natural manner first rather than jumping straight to that. So hopefully, I am worrying about nothing.

I am reading/listening to hypnobirthing books and scripts, and I am hopeful that that will go a long way to getting me through either natural or "unnaural" labor with no pain meds. I can just literally feel myself tensing at just the thought of pitocin contractions though, which is why I keep wrestling with all of this.

My next midwife checkup is when we will discuss hopes/plans for the birth, so I hope to get a lot of this out on the table with them, and I imagine they will have some helpful suggestions too. As someone above said, the end goal is really what matters, a happy healthy babe, and I need to keep that in mind.

Thanks again to all of you, you're the best!
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