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Signing Up For An Epidural - Page 7

post #121 of 167
Just wanted to share some natural birth stories, all of which take place IN hospitals. This is just a small sampling, as there's a new one about every week on the yahoo group.

http://www.enjoybirth.com/testimonials.htm#Hypnobabies

I feel soooooo much more prepared with this program!! I labored unmedicated on an agressive pitocin induction for 14 hrs, with only Bradley training. It was only after some argueing about labor position I agreed to an epi, and ended up with a c-section less then an hour later. I was the classic case of the cascade of interventions.

Give me another week or two and I'll hopefully be able to add a beautiful NCB vba2c story!
post #122 of 167
Responding late here. I signed up for them with both births. I knew I had pain issues related to the abuse I suffered for years as a child. I did not feel like dealing with old ghosts during my labors. I know I could have probably worked through those issues beforehand if I had been determined not to have an epidural. My first pg was pretty mainstream and I didn't know a lot about choices, but an epidural sounded pretty good to me at the time. I had a great experience with the epidural and everything went well. By the time I was pg with my dd2 I knew more about birth choices but still had the pain/abuse issues and then had some depression starting up that I still struggle with today. So I had another epidural, the birth went great. I have no regrets. However if I had a third baby I probably would confront those issues and try for a natural birth. My dh has a vasectomy now so we won't have a third. But if we did, I would try things differently.
post #123 of 167
USAmma - I've noticed your story before and meant to comment but didn't get to it. I can relate to your story. I had childhood violence issues and witnessed different types of abuse. I had done years of therapy and read BFW and other stuff, done meditation etc. in hopes of preparing for NCB. In many ways the work I did was helpful, but in the end I still found the old ghosts resurfacing, esp. SHAME. I was overwhelmed by the pain and overwhelmed emotionally, and I felt so much SHAME to admit that I needed help, felt like I couldn't handle it, etc.

I guess I'm just trying to say that I wonder what that would look like - adequately "preparing" or working through issues after an abuse history so that things during birth are okay. [Feel free to jump in here with comments anyone! ] I'm reading Penny Simkin's Survivors book right now (should've finished it by now - eeps! So close to having baby #2) and although much resonates and makes good sense, I really feel like I've done much of what she suggests for coping....and it still wasn't enough last time. Oh well. I'm reading the part on triggers next which is what my doula wanted to discuss shortly so maybe that'll bring some add'l insight.

Sorry for the ramble.......just some thoughts that were triggered........

ETA: beautiful family USAmma!
post #124 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmama8824 View Post
Well, I take pain medication during my period because it hurts and it's not necessary to lay on the floor in the fetal position crying (I have extremely horrible menstrual cramps) but I don't want an epidural. It's not good for me, and it's not good for baby. Menstrual cramps aren't pain with a purpose... know what I mean?? I have no reason to sit through the pain of period cramps, I do have a reason to not get an epidural.
Exactly...I have endometriosis, which has caused cramps bad enough before that I was packing up to go to the ER. I would never accept drugs during labor, but I do occasionally have to take Tylenol or Midol for the pain during my period. Maybe just because it seems like it will never end, where as with labor, I know that eventually, it will.
post #125 of 167
Here is my thing...there are a variety of reasons to get an epidural and I'm all for choice. *But* a lot of the answers I hear about why people "sign up" for an epidural revolve around the pain. I am not going to suggest that anyone should endure a lot of pain if they don't want to but that thought hinges on the assumption that not getting the epidural means you are going to be in a lot of pain. I've had two labors so far and the one where I got the epidural was painful and the one where I did not get the epidural was *not* painful.

Like I mentioned, I had an epidural that did not work to its full potential the first time around and I went into my second birth thinking I'd try the epidural again if I felt I couldn't handle the pain. I did a lot of things differently with my second and the whole labor and delivery ended up being relatively pain free.

I can understand that some would rather put their money on the epidural and not risk being in pain before they can get an epidural but I do think it is something to think about. I think many women can experience less pain without the epidural.
post #126 of 167
Yep the choices are not necessarily epidural or ungodly pain.
post #127 of 167
I'm a bit late chiming in, my apologies, I have a new one at home.

With my first I had an epidural, if you are at all even remotely interested in one, they have you fill out forms, so they're not asking dopey questions during labour. With my second (nearly two weeks old now *G*) there wasn't an epidural. With my third, I WILL be having an epidural. lol

Seriously, it hurt like hell and the painful part was only 4 hours. By the time I got to the hospital I was already 5cms, and had been experiencing painful labour for about 30 minutes (non painful...well relatively for a good 6 hours or so). Anyhow, I was pretty much climbing the walls in pain and I don't plan a repeat performance. lol Amazingly I didn't swear once.

The difference in the babies. Not much, both were pretty alert and healthy, the first labour wasn't stalled, both had great latches, I had crummy milk supply issues both times. My two guys have been pretty similar in all cases, except the second was 9lbs and change! They even look alike, asides from one having long lashes and brown eyes and one having tiny lashes and blue eyes.

The main difference was me recovering a bit faster without the epidural, and my back not being as sore, but I think I'd rather take the extra day laying around in bed than even an hour of back labour and tearing again. The only thing I did like about my second labour was pushing. I felt the urge to push with my first, but not the progress of pushing him out. With the second, I think it was the only bit of relief I felt, but it was neat feeling the progress.
post #128 of 167
I just wish that in the US we had more alternatives. For example, women laboring in other countries have the option of using nitrous oxide. http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1523-536X.2006.00150.x?prevSearch=$%7BresultBean.text%7 D&cookieSet=1

I can see the need for epidurals at certain points -- with my 1st two labors I had them after a certain point. I didn't with my third. I am still struggling with the idea of homebirth, b/c I never like all or nothing choices/decisions.
post #129 of 167
i have friends who signed up for the epi, and i didnt understand it then and dont now. if youre going to want it, then maybe learn about it (my first friend, she wasnt sure, ended up wanting it after the doc gave her pit when she promised not to...and never was told that paralyzation is a risk until after the fact, she found out and FREAKED out.) and then decide. dont ust "oh whooho, no pain and everything s hunkie dorie. there are real risks a lot of people dont understand or know about

they tried to force it on me, i had a pit induced first birth, and had argued with me, finally they set it up when i was in the bathroom. still refused, they got mad and laughed at me saying id want it later over and over... yeah.

made me more against them than i was unless youre having some sort of traumatic experience, not just "oh i hurt." ive seen people who will admit they had very little pain, i know its mamas choice but i dont get why youd take the risk if it doesnt hurt much to begin with, kwim?
post #130 of 167
We are talking about epis before labor gets going and before the pain is intense -- correct? Why? One is fear of pain and experience with past labors. Second, it is just how birth is administered in this country. It is mainstream, doctors recommend it. The majority of women get them, it would be going aginst the grain and involve serious questioning to not get one. It is seriously outside of the mainstream to consider a natural birth. It is part of American culture to go along with the mainstream, to not question authority and do as everyone else does.

If a woman is in pain and needs one, I do not fault her. If a woman is traumatized from her last birth, I understand that. If a woman is caught up in mainstream and doesn't even see that there are people questioning -- I completely understand that too. What I fault is the system that doesn't present options. When I went to see my midwife for my first birth and said I wanted a natural birth -- he (yes he!) said great! However, he never asked me how I planned to go forward or what I was going to do to manage the pain. Why not? I was completley unprepared for birth much less a posterior positioned birth. He was a great midwife and b/c of him I am so thankful I did not get a c-section, or have vacuum or forceps used -- instead he let me push for over 4 hours. But why, why didn't he help me prepare? Encourage me to read about the Bradley Method or Hypnosis? Or Penny Simkin? It is the entire system that is the problem, not the individual women who sucuumbs to it.
post #131 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3cuties View Post
What I fault is the system that doesn't present options. When I went to see my midwife for my first birth and said I wanted a natural birth -- he (yes he!) said great! However, he never asked me how I planned to go forward or what I was going to do to manage the pain. Why not? I was completley unprepared for birth much less a posterior positioned birth. He was a great midwife and b/c of him I am so thankful I did not get a c-section, or have vacuum or forceps used -- instead he let me push for over 4 hours. But why, why didn't he help me prepare? Encourage me to read about the Bradley Method or Hypnosis? Or Penny Simkin? It is the entire system that is the problem, not the individual women who sucuumbs to it.
Pushing for 4 hours??? UGH!!!! : This is an interesting question. I had wondered this too about my first MW who did a great job keeping baby safe and healthy when there was emergency, and keeping the medical staff away from me with their c-sec and forceps....but she didn't offer any support to me with my pain. I had wondered: is it fair to expect the MW to do that as well? How much of this was her responsibility and how much was mine? I am not sure I have answers yet to that question.
post #132 of 167
for me part of going with a midwife and not a doctor was because i wanted someone to expect me to take control over my own birth and my own body. To own my experience, therefore I didnt expect her to offer techniques or to teach me about them. If I wanted someone who was going to tell me what to do I would have used a doctor, if my midwife would have done that I think I would have gotten angry... but then again I like my midwife because she is really hands off. basically it is borderline UC.

To me part of the natural birth experience is research and empowerment. It is my job to have the birth that I want.
ETA:
Maybe that is why it is important to find the type of midwife that we each need and why interviewing them and asking them what they help you with is important. I basically just need a midwife to make sure I dont die if something goes wrong, other than that... I dont want to be bothered during my pregnancy or labor.
post #133 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emese'sMom View Post
Pushing for 4 hours??? UGH!!!! : This is an interesting question. I had wondered this too about my first MW who did a great job keeping baby safe and healthy when there was emergency, and keeping the medical staff away from me with their c-sec and forceps....but she didn't offer any support to me with my pain. I had wondered: is it fair to expect the MW to do that as well? How much of this was her responsibility and how much was mine? I am not sure I have answers yet to that question.
Yup 4 hours. What about just asking during the prenatal appointments what the mother plans on doing for pain management, if she appears clueless -- just telling her about the differernet options and suggesting books.

Quote:
Originally Posted by almadianna View Post
for me part of going with a midwife and not a doctor was because i wanted someone to expect me to take control over my own birth and my own body. To own my experience, therefore I didnt expect her to offer techniques or to teach me about them. If I wanted someone who was going to tell me what to do I would have used a doctor, if my midwife would have done that I think I would have gotten angry... but then again I like my midwife because she is really hands off. basically it is borderline UC.

To me part of the natural birth experience is research and empowerment. It is my job to have the birth that I want.
For you, yes but that is because it appears you are operating from a greater base of knowledge than I was in 1999 when I had my first. What about people who do not have access to research? What about people who do not even know there are methods out there to research? In 1999 I did not have this knowledge. I thought you just went in there and did it. If my midwife had talked to me during my pregnancy and asked what I planned to do and said, "Well there are many theories on management during labor -- feel free to borrow my books -- i.e. Penny Simkin, the Bradley Method, etc." All I ever heard about was Lamaze, I didn't know anything else existed. Thus I had no idea that there was stuff to research.

I have seent his with my coworkers who literally have no idea that there is anything other than bearing the pain v. getting an epidural. That information is actually not just sitting there ready for others to take and absorb. Someone has to present it to them first -- so why should the role of a careprovider be purely medical? Why not also be a resource for pain management technique. If not, then the system is essentially unchanged -- women are out there floating alone and have to find out by themselves. Until there is a cultural shift, it won't change.

Right now in Chicago there is this awesome group that assists low income women and provides them with doulas and prenatal care -- part of it is to educate them on pain techniques. The results have been phenomonal.
post #134 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3cuties View Post
Thus I had no idea that there was stuff to research.
.
I was a woman who knew nothing about childbirth or kids because she was never going to have kids because she was too busy moving up in corporate america. I had never seen a birth. Never wanted to. Never even imagined I would. I honest to goodness thought children came at 9 months on the dot, and that labor was 5 minutes long because that is what the TV said.
I was the text book definition of ignorant.

As soon as I got pregnant I immediately started doing research. I guess I dont understand how someone could not research this on their own... but maybe it is my type A, always have to be in control, never get caught with your pants down personality... seeing how important childbirth is I would have exhausted every means imaginable to make sure that I knew everything about it.

I understand that some people arent like this and I dont expect everyone to be like this... but that is why as I said above you really have to make sure that you get the caregiver that you want and need. Ask the right questions, it really is such a personal thing that if nothing else I think we should make sure that we get a care giver that fits our needs and that will help us.

Part of the whole empowerment of birth and of taking back birth is not assuming that women dont know any better and are in need of a handholding...

eta:
"Right now in Chicago there is this awesome group that assists low income women and provides them with doulas and prenatal care -- part of it is to educate them on pain techniques. The results have been phenomonal."

this is wonderful, for those that dont have access to libraries, the internet, or books.... this is really helpful. I am glad that something is being done to help those who cant help themselves very well.
post #135 of 167
Well I guess it just depends on what sort of model you envision for women and the future. You know?

Model 1: Information is available and provided to women by careproviders and other women concerning birth, breastfeeding, etc.

Model 2: No information is provided or readily available. There is a medical model (endorsed and supported by the financial interests of various corporations) where people just follow the doc’s advice. Otherwise, if people want to opt out they are forced into a subculture and need to do independent research and make independent connections.

In my view Model 2 is currently in existence. I would prefer Model 1. I understand that we here on MDC have all managed to survive and get what we want to some extent even though Model 2 is what exists. We have made independent connections, we have researched ad naseum. And we probably want a pat on the back too. Well I did it – why not her? I asked the questions…..why can’t she? But don’t you see that this is just a blame game? It is putting the onus on individuals to work against a system that is heavily armed and fights any dissension at all steps. In my perfect world, women have birthing choices just made available to them at a careproviders office. Women are raised in such a system so our daughters expect it. That women across families and generations talk about birthing choices, talk about breastfeeding – they can learn it from each other (the way it used to be), instead of having to go solo and learn it from a book or a webpage or hire a consultant.
post #136 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3cuties View Post
Model 2: No information is provided or readily available. There is a medical model (endorsed and supported by the financial interests of various corporations) where people just follow the doc’s advice. Otherwise, if people want to opt out they are forced into a subculture and need to do independent research and make independent connections.

In my view Model 2 is currently in existence. I would prefer Model 1. I understand that we here on MDC have all managed to survive and get what we want to some extent even though Model 2 is what exists. We have made independent connections, we have researched ad naseum. And we probably want a pat on the back too. Well I did it – why not her? I asked the questions…..why can’t she? But don’t you see that this is just a blame game? It is putting the onus on individuals to work against a system that is heavily armed and fights and dissension at all steps. In my perfect world, women have birthing choices just made available to them at a careproviders office. The women are raised in such a system so our daughters expect it. That women across families and generations talk about birthing choices, talk about breastfeeding – they can learn it from each other (the way it used to be), instead of having to go solo and learn it from a book or a webpage or hire a consultant.
Except there is a great deal of informations available, if there wasnt... how would we all be here? we dont need pat on the backs... but we also dont need to be spoonfed things. If we wanted to be spoonfed information we could have gone to an OB.
post #137 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by almadianna View Post
Except there is a great deal of informations available, if there wasnt... how would we all be here? we dont need pat on the backs... but we also dont need to be spoonfed things. If we wanted to be spoonfed information we could have gone to an OB.
I think you may be incorrect in your assumptions. I am betting that many people here problably did go to an OB and likely did have a bad experience at one time. Secondly, going to an OB is not necessarily the issue -- women can have good natural birth experiences with an OB involved. I know that I have had that experience with one of my labors.

I know what your experiences are -- but may I gently suggest stepping outside of your experience before you judge someone else? People cannot be held to the same benchmark as one person, objectivity is the key in this circumstance. I think it is wonderful that you did all that research -- I commend you, but not everyone will do that or think to do that and that doesn't mean they deserve to languish in a medical model.

Finally, you obviously had an inkling that something was out there that needed to be looked into. Many people do not. Good for you. Not everyone is in that position nor has access to those resources. But expecting a midwife to discuss birth management techniques is not being spoonfeed IMO. Instead, it is part of the package of providing care of birth IMO.

My experience is not everyone's and I do not expect anyone else to do what I have done. I witnesssed a homebirth during my childhood -- my mother having my younger sibling. I saw my mom breastfeed. To me birth was natural. Breastfeeding was natural. You just do it. What was there to research? I wanted to do it. Why couldn't I? I hired a midwife b/c that is what seemed natural. We never discussed pain management at all. I took the hospital offered courses on breatfeeding and childbirth. I thought I was covering all my bases and doing everything I could. I only learned about posterior positioning while in labor. I only learned during labor that it is really just hard to walk into childbirth and expect to do it naturally. Under your scenario, I am screwed b/c I expected to be spoonfed -- when in reality I am a type A personality. An overachiever and always have been. I was in lawschool at the time, got straight As the semester I delivered, won an oral argument competition 1 day before I went into labor -- but well, I wasn't spoonfed pain management techniques so I didn't learn them.

In my work I come across alot of women. I work in a very large law firm. I cannot tell you how many women want to breastfeed and want to have a natural birth. However there is simply no understanding that there is anything else out there that they need to learn to do it rather than just doing it.

This is just my opinion. In past generations and in other cultures, women teach women how to labor and how to breastfeed. Women see other women breastfeed and labor. Right now in the US there is a disconnect, that doesn't exist in our culture anymore because the medical and corproate model dominate. And if we continue to believe that this is okay as a norm, and blame women for succumbing to it -- it doesn't challenge the system, it only perpetuates it.
post #138 of 167
Certainly I see what you're getting at, 3C - but I think I understand Alma's larger point, which is that we're ultimately responsible.

Before I got pregnant (only this past May!), I was pretty much aware of two options. Discovery Health Channel specials, and something called "natural" which was done only by hairy legged weirdos in forests. With chanting. Possibly incense.

I suspected these might be extremes, but I assumed the former was not nearly as extreme as the latter.

However, I dutifully googled "natural childbirth" as well as "hospitals." And I read more than fifty books. And I am naturally suspicious, being of scientific mind. If I see a statement that says "epidurals are perfectly safe with rare side effects," I damn well want to see a footnote citing the studies that revealed the side effect rates and a list of what those side effects are.

Well, surprise, surprise, but the Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy doesn't have footnotes, and the Thinking Woman's Guide does. What To Expect has no bibliography. Ina May does. The authors may be biased, but at least they're willing to say "here's the signed, dated research. Do your own followup if you don't want to take my word for it."

I'm told I'm overly anal, but I did as much reading and study before I took a trip to Italy. I don't see why anyone wouldn't wander into a public library before taking on childbirth.
post #139 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by Writerbird View Post
Certainly I see what you're getting at, 3C - but I think I understand Alma's larger point, which is that we're ultimately responsible.

Before I got pregnant (only this past May!), I was pretty much aware of two options. Discovery Health Channel specials, and something called "natural" which was done only by hairy legged weirdos in forests. With chanting. Possibly incense.

I suspected these might be extremes, but I assumed the former was not nearly as extreme as the latter.

However, I dutifully googled "natural childbirth" as well as "hospitals." And I read more than fifty books. And I am naturally suspicious, being of scientific mind. If I see a statement that says "epidurals are perfectly safe with rare side effects," I damn well want to see a footnote citing the studies that revealed the side effect rates and a list of what those side effects are.

Well, surprise, surprise, but the Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy doesn't have footnotes, and the Thinking Woman's Guide does. What To Expect has no bibliography. Ina May does. The authors may be biased, but at least they're willing to say "here's the signed, dated research. Do your own followup if you don't want to take my word for it."

I'm told I'm overly anal, but I did as much reading and study before I took a trip to Italy. I don't see why anyone wouldn't wander into a public library before taking on childbirth.

this is exactly how I feel. I dont see how anyone cannot wander into a free public library to get educated about their options.

I think that taking what is ultimately our responsibility and putting it on our healthcare providers is exactly the reason that we are in the situation that we are... letting others made decisions for us.
post #140 of 167
Also remember in 2008 there is much more information available now and the internet is a different thing than even just 8-10 years ago.

Second, I am just amazed at the judgment against women who didn't do as we do and the lack of desire to question the system. I thought that was what I read so much about in all the threads and posts on MDC about pregnancy. But really, in the end -- the system is not being questioned? Instead the preference is to assign individual blame and judge people by our own experience rather than step outside of our experience and look at thing's objectively. This is so bothersome to me.
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