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Does VBAC = no pain meds? - Page 2

post #21 of 37
Funny how there seem to be several of us who planned to give birth at home & then went to the hospital because of an apparently stalled labor. I had labored at home for about 30 hours (if I recall correctly) and apparently got from 1cm to 5cm. It may have eventually gone faster on its own, but I was physically and emotionally exhausted--I hadn't slept for about two nights right then, and had been running on very little sleep for about a week, not to mention the horrible back labor (which pain was worse than my first, Pit-induced, labor), and I knew that the hospital was the home of the labor augmenters & painkillers. It was a very conscious decision on my part. I knew exactly what I needed to survive mentally (physically I am certain I would have endured, but my sanity was waning), and I went for it.
post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheBrink View Post
My VBAC was supposed to be a HBAC, so I didn't have any plans for any medical stuff. But after 54 hours of intense labor, I was exhausted and still at 1cm (despite the tell tale transition signs), so we transferred. I actually transferred wanting and planning for a cesarean. But the hospital MW refused to recommend that since baby and I were both fine.

So, I was manually dilated from 1-4cm (ouch). Then, I was given pitocin to augment my labor and stadol to give me some rest.

While the stadol did allow me to rest, there was something very bad about it. I fell asleep between contractions and woke as they peaked. So, to my aware self, it seemed that I was in one constant terrible contraction. It was horrible! I felt totally out of control and, frankly, in terrible pain.

I don't know what it would have been like to have the pitocin without the stadol. (OnlyBoys was there. I'll ask her in what order the pitocin and stadol were administered.) I HATED the stadol, though.

That said, I think an epidural would be scary. I would hate to not be able to feel what was going on. At least with the stadol, I was woken by contractions and certainly would have been aware of a rupture or something else bad.

It's certainly a great idea to avoid pitocin and pain killers. But sometimes things don't go as planned!
Yes, they gave you the stadol first, I think after the manual dilation. Then the pit.

And, it was interesting, Nancy. You kept waking up when a contraction would peak and say, "OMG! They never stop!" Then 20 seconds later, would fall back asleep, only to wake two minutes later saying the same thing.

In the end, though, I think that the stadol, as disorienting as it was for you, in some way protected you from the cesarean. You were not out of it as you were pushing, and you worked REALLY hard to get John out. If you had labored, without resting for 54 hours at home, and then for 9 at the hospital, I don't know if pushing would have gone the same.

It is *very* interesting that many VBAC mamas have the dilation thing happen. The OB or MW, I can't remember which, spoke of the nerves in the lower segment of the uterus being severed and then the cervix is difficult to dilate with out help. Hmmm. An interesting thing to research!
post #23 of 37
Quote:
Funny how there seem to be several of us who planned to give birth at home & then went to the hospital because of an apparently stalled labor. I had labored at home for about 30 hours (if I recall correctly) and apparently got from 1cm to 5cm. It may have eventually gone faster on its own, but I was physically and emotionally exhausted--I hadn't slept for about two nights right then, and had been running on very little sleep for about a week, not to mention the horrible back labor (which pain was worse than my first, Pit-induced, labor), and I knew that the hospital was the home of the labor augmenters & painkillers. It was a very conscious decision on my part. I knew exactly what I needed to survive mentally (physically I am certain I would have endured, but my sanity was waning), and I went for it.
That's very similar to what I experienced. Being sleep deprived and having back labor from hell I really hoped for drugs. I won't lie I didn't get any though.

I dilated okay but when I got to the same dilation as I had had my c-section before I started to panic. I got to 8cm with my first and around the time I got to 8 this time around I had been awake for 3 days with awful back labor and I couldn't handle it anymore. I think it's because I didn't know what would happen next. If I had known that in 30 minutes I'd have a baby in my arms I would have stayed home. I was afraid and felt like escaping so I told my mw's that I was going to the hospital and walked across my parking lot without feeling a thing. I don't even know why I was going or what I really wanted. I think I had hopes of a shot of nubain so that I could have the cervical lip moved but it was way too late for all that. I think there is something mentally and perhaps physically that wouldn't allow my body to do what it had to do. I'm still so thankful for my VBAC though and without my mw's there I would have gone into the hospital much sooner and ended up with a c-section I'm sure.
post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheBrink View Post
While the stadol did allow me to rest, there was something very bad about it. I fell asleep between contractions and woke as they peaked. So, to my aware self, it seemed that I was in one constant terrible contraction. It was horrible! I felt totally out of control and, frankly, in terrible pain.

I don't know what it would have been like to have the pitocin without the stadol. (OnlyBoys was there. I'll ask her in what order the pitocin and stadol were administered.) I HATED the stadol, though.
I totally agree. I had intended to have a natural birth but once the OB started pitocin to augment me (my water had broken already) it went downhill from there. The stadol made me feel crazy and I started cussing at my husband. I felt out of control and in constant pain. I was relieved to get the epi after that mess.

But next time, things will be very different. I think pitocin is a drug of the devil.
post #25 of 37
When I planned my first VBAC, I was more frightend of another c/s than I was of normal unmedicated birth. I knew the best chance I had a success was to avoid interventions, including an epidural. After an unmedicated VBAC, I planned my third birth at home. I learned that it was nothing short of wonderful to be able to feel my baby emerge from me. Beautiful. And makes the work of labor worth it. Educate yourself about birth. Learn to view it as a normal event. Hire care providers who do not view birth as a pathology. Surround yourself with positive support. VBAC is worth it.
post #26 of 37
I had an epi with my first VBAC.
It was fine and everything went well. However, I have since learned that I can birth naturally and also how bad Epi's and inducing drugs can be. I have since naturally birthed 3 more babies (all VBACs)
post #27 of 37
I had a vbac w/ just stadol. I really wanted an epi, bc baby was posterior, but by the time I "broke down" and wanted the nurse to call the anesthesiologist, I was at 9 cm and she talked me out of it.
I have heard of moms where the epi helped them vbac----they got some rest and then were energetic for pushing.
If I were you, I'd try to put it off. Have a doula to help.
You might be just fine w/ the pain. I didn't have lots of pain until my baby turned posterior. You can do it!
post #28 of 37
Having BTDT I can say there are pros and cons to the epidural. I had severe pain during my vbac labor. I dilated all the way to 9.5 cm but was flat.out.exhausted. I was very frightened that I would not be able to push the babe out after such a lenghty labor. I was able to rest and have the epi turned way down to off after getting some rest.

I was unable to deliver my babe vaginally, but I had a FAR more productive and 'successful' pushing stage than my non medicated labor. the reason for my c/s had nothing to do with the epidural.

That being said, there are risks and there is the increased possibility of a c/s with an epidural. Your movement and position changes are limited...if it can't be turned down, you may not feel an urge to push.

I, myself, was not comfortable to have anything to augment my labor after a c/s. But I never had trouble dilating with either labor.

Best wishes to you! a VBAC labor is a very exciting thing! I have to say even though my labor did not end with a vaginal delivery I felt very empowered and strong....like I had done everything in my power. I felt a lot of peace about my previous surgery and the one I had with my son. I never thought I would feel that way, but I do. Birth is sacred. Good luck on your journey and I do wish you the very best!
post #29 of 37
After 36 hours of labor, I was fully dilated and pushing for 1 1/2 hours. I was toast, exhausted, emotionally fried. I truly was thinking that this birth would end in a c/s just like the other two. It was progressing like my 1st child's birth. I was scared, tired and ready to toss in the towell when my wonderful ob and doula/midwife team told me that i could get a small dose of an epidural so I could rest a bit then gather my strength. so I did just that. I actuaklly fell asleep humming to the contractions and almost slept for about an hour, waking up to the contractions and humming. the epi took the edge off jsut enough that Ic ould relax enough to gather my strength. I pushed for another 1 1/2 hours and then Austin was born. Incidently he was transverse before the epi and switched during my snooze.

I didnt want any6 medication at all and was disappinted in myself for needied this. my dc/midwife/doula team were wonderful in reassuring me that sometimes pain meds help to prevent a c/s. they thought I had post traumatic stress disorder from my prior two c/s which in hind sight I agree with.

trust yourself and your body.
post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheBrink View Post

While the stadol did allow me to rest, there was something very bad about it. I fell asleep between contractions and woke as they peaked. So, to my aware self, it seemed that I was in one constant terrible contraction. It was horrible! I felt totally out of control and, frankly, in terrible pain.

I don't know what it would have been like to have the pitocin without the stadol. (OnlyBoys was there. I'll ask her in what order the pitocin and stadol were administered.) I HATED the stadol, though.

That said, I think an epidural would be scary. I would hate to not be able to feel what was going on. At least with the stadol, I was woken by contractions and certainly would have been aware of a rupture or something else bad.

It's certainly a great idea to avoid pitocin and pain killers. But sometimes things don't go as planned!
I had the same experience with the Stadol during my first VBAC. I slept between every contraction and every push. I have no idea (except what my hubby saw) what they might have given me or how much of the Stadol I ended up with. The second VBAC, I wanted to go without, but ended up asking for a 1/2 dose. It was much better, but still slightly druggy feeling. With my last baby, I asked for a 1/4 dose and it was PERFECT. She gave me just enough to take the edge off ("tell me when you feel drunk") and it lasted long enough to get me through transition and when I started to lose it again, it was time to push. This time, though I should technically be a VBAVBAVBAVBAC, the hospital will not allow me to do a VBAC unless I don't show up until it is too late, so this time it is all-natural. I'm planning to spend a lot of time in my shower/tub before I leave for the hospital and hoping that will help. Many people have told me it will, so : (i was looking for a fingers crossed smiley).

I don't think the Stadol ever adversely affected the actual labor though, which is a good thing. Everything seemed to move very quickly in even the most medicated one. I'm an epi-phobe (not the needle, but where they are putting it and the complications, not to mention the labor complications), but Stadol has been a good alternative for me. Even the super medicated one was better than a c-section.
post #31 of 37
my first 2 c/s's were due to impatient ob's, so i was a bit prepared for the vba2cs's. as w/ the other labors, it was more than 36 hours and i never felt the urge to push. if i had been in a hospital i would have had another c/s.

i chose no interventions at a free standing birth center b/c im pretty sure i didnt have any options w/o an emergency situation. i read enough re: the interventions to realize that once i started down that road, i woudl have quickly become a 3 c/s mama and I really wanted to avoid that.

the pain was no walk in the park, but it wasnt horrible. and it didnt last that long.
post #32 of 37
I've always heard that epi's stalled labor also but it was the opposite with me. After days of stalled labor with my first, I got the epi and went from 5 to 10 in an hour. It was even less than an hour with my 2nd after getting the epi.
post #33 of 37
My VBAC was a long 39 + hours. I had pushed for 1 1/2 hours (fully dilated etc.) when I lost it mentally. I was fried, toast, ready to toss in the towel. The labor reminded me / scared me that I would end up with another c/s (had 2 already) after all this hard work. I paniced. Thankfully, my doula/midwife and doctor knew me and realized what was happening in my mind. In hind sight they said they thought I was having a post traumatic stress event at this point. If something didnt cvhange, I would have ended up with another c/s. So, my ob suggested I have an epidural - small dose, enough to let me sleep a bit and regroup my mental and physical strength. I did that. I fell asleep (sort of) humming/groaning to contractions adn slept (sort of) for about 1 1/2 hours when I woke up groaning/humming to contractions. I then pushed for another 1 1/2 hours and finally Austin was born.
The epidural saved ths birth. I was upset about having it because I had failed, however, my team told me that sometimes having a small dose of medication/pain relief/epidural can be what allows a mom to have the birth they imagine. Incidently, during my contraction filled snooze, Austin changed from posterior to anterior (hense the long labor).
I dont regret the epidural, I only wish I had been able to keep my mental edge . I am thankful that the team knew my wishes so much that they helped me have a hosptial VBAC after 2 c/s...almost unheard of these days!
Trust yourself and listen to your body...also, be gentle to yoruself.
post #34 of 37
I planned to go med-free with my VBAC, but I decided to get an epi around 5cm. I was exhausted from not sleeping & I was having incredible back labor due to dd being posterior. I don't regret it- I was able to sleep for a little while & then it wore off right around 9cm and was completely gone by the time it was time to push and baby was no longer posterior.
I was just so thrilled to have my VBAC with my 9lb baby girl who was 10 days past her EDD. I felt like I really beat the odds & didn't beat myself up about it.
I don't plan to use one next time, though. I think I'll be fine if I just stay home a litle longer
post #35 of 37

Epi and VBAC

I woke up at 4 in the morning having regular contractions. They sent me home at 1 cm and told me they would see me within a day. I labored at home until 10 at night. I was having contractions every two min. I got to the hospital and when they told me I had only progressed to three cm in 16 hours. I decided to get an epidural. Immediately the contractions slowed down and regulated. The nurse told me that I had been having irritation contractions. I had them with my first DD and had been in 4 times in false labor because of the irritation ctx. The epi allowed me to rest and I was able to deliver my DS at 8 the next morning, after 2.5 hrs of pushing. My Dr. did not once try to pressure me in any way. My VBAC experience was entirely positive and I am glad I did it.

Meghan
post #36 of 37

My experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMommy2 View Post
I know that you don't want the epi too early and slow the labor ... but could I get it at like 5 or 6 cm?

I had to get it very early (1cm) due to pitocin before my first baby (c/s). Since I will never have pitocin again, I am thinking I could get further into labor without needing paid meds. But I think I might want them towards the end. It's a little scary to try for no pain meds.

What are your experiences?
With my first VBAC, I got my epi at 3 or 4 cm. I continued progressing quickly and was at 10 within a few hours.

Second VBAC they checked me, I was 5cm, I got my epi 15-20 minutes later and DD was born less than an hour after that...Did even work completely.
post #37 of 37
I had an epi at 8cm. The main reason was fear of another c/sec, I had the urge to push and was wearing out due to fatigue and a migraine headache. It did however wear off most of the way by time I delivered. I really wanted and epi from the neck up since I couldn't take anything really strong for the migraine until after the birth, so pushing was a bi---.

Epi and IV meds have their place, use a lot of caution and consider them when other avenues have failed. Also, epi does not have to be infusing all the time and can be turned off so to speak if you choose. The catheter can be left in place and a re dose can be given if you need a large repair.

If you get IV meds and are too groggy then narcan can be given to reverse the effects also.
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