Difference in Natural vs. Pitocin Labor - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-28-2008, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've only been induced/augmented with Pitocin for both previous labors because, sad to say, I just didn't know any better. I was the usual "Failure to progress" within 2-4 hours of being in the hospital at 4cm. This time, I'm staying home and laboring as LONG as possible on my own, but because I've only had horrendous Pit labors with no pain meds, I have no idea what "natural" labor feels like or how it progresses. I fear that I will compare it to the excruciating non-stop contractions from before and won't make it to the hospital in time (I'm actually pretty ok with this possibility, but DH, not so much!) because I'll keep thinking I'm not far enough along to leave since it doesn't hurt as bad or as long. I'd love to hear from ladies who have experienced both types of labors!
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:58 AM
 
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*subbing* although I'm planning to stay home, I'd like to know how much of a difference to expect.

FWIW, with my last one, my labor didn't follow any dilation curve at all, but followed a textbook labor for "emotional signposts" in the Bradley book

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Old 03-28-2008, 11:58 AM
 
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Its night and day. I am in awe you made it through a pitocin labor with out an epi, I couldn't. Natural labor is so much more manageable wave of pain, pitocin is searing pain that you can catch your breath. Theres a huge difference.
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Old 03-28-2008, 12:01 PM
 
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The Pit blew right through my epi It was horrendous. I am really looking forward to labor this time, as strange as it sounds.

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Old 03-28-2008, 12:05 PM
 
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I was induced with pitocin with my first and had spontaneous labors with my next ones. Pitcoin contractions are MUCH harder and more difficult physically. I didn't even approach my discomfort at 3 cm on pit with later births during transition!

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Old 03-28-2008, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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See, that's what I'm stressing about! Since all I know is evil Pitocin contractions, I can see myself saying "Well, it hurts, but I'm getting breaks in between and it's not that bad, so I'll wait a little longer....." then BAM!, time to push! With my last two, when it was time to push, I got that immediate, uncontrollable, body-pushing-by-itself feeling and there was NO stopping it.

I'm very excited to see what my body does on it's own and in a way it feels like a first labor. I have a HIGH pain tolerance. At this point, I'd just planned on going when my contractions are 3-4 minutes apart lasting for 1 minute for at least an hour. Any advice from those who have done Pit and no Pit on when they knew it was getting close to push time or transition?
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Old 03-28-2008, 12:42 PM
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well, all I know is PIT in terms of transition and pushing. I think I got to 8 and then they gave it to me. I was "fine" in laborland w/out it. once I got it, I was begging for an epi. my doula/girlfriend talked me out of it......those last hours were excruciating! I suspect that labor w/out pit is much more tolerable. I just remember it feeling like a runaway train, or like someone else was in charge of my body (shudder). It can be done w/out an epi, but I will NEVER do that again!
I will be trying OTHER methods (like my little clitoral stimulator) to move to full dilation.
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Old 03-28-2008, 03:28 PM
 
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I don't have experience with and w/o Pit, but maybe some helpful stuff???
With #1, we labored (w/ water broken - big gush at home) for 36 hours with NO meds. But, I was not progressing (we went to the hospital after about 6 hours at home with contractions consistently 1+ minutes and 2-5 min apart), so dr. rec Pit. I knew at that point I could not handle Pit w/o an epi, so that was what we did. I had been handling (breathing and relaxing through) the contractions w/o the Pit/Epi. But, after a couple of hours the epi started to "wear off" and the contractions were unbearable!!

In hindsight, we went to the hospital too early! Live and learn

Currently pg with #2 (41 wks - ready ANY day) and planning a natural birth with labor at home as LONG as possible! We took a Bradley class with #1 and fully expected a natural birth. This time I read the book "Natural Birth the Bradley Way" and it really clicked with me! As someone else mentioned about the "emotional signposts"......I feel like those are probably the most reliable signs combined with contraction timing as to determining "where things are" in labor! If you have a chance, I would really recommend reading that book - especially the emotional stages part. And, if he will, have dh read it too!! (I highlighted the parts I wanted dh to read as I knew he would not read all of it )

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Old 03-28-2008, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have the Bradley book as well as Ina May's Guide to Childbirth! I've highlighted and earmarked SO much stuff in that book for DH it's insane! : )

I keep (half) teasing him that we are having this baby at home. He (nervously) laughs at me and says "No we're not!". We'll see........I really, really dread loading up and going to the hospital just to have someone "catch" the baby. Seems like a waste of money, time, and is not the birth experience I want. : (
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Old 03-28-2008, 07:54 PM
 
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So, being just a nosey surfer, Luv2skydive, WHY are you NOT having a homebirth with a midwife?

In other advice, I agree with pps, and watch for emotional signposts. Your transition may be totally in a different perspective than most, though. But once you feel like pushing, I'd stay put. There's simply no need to have a baby in the car at 80 mph... (IMO)
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:06 PM
 
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I was induced with #1 and hated it so much that I vowed to never be induced again.
With #2, I really didn't know I was in labor and by the time I was at the hospital I was 7 CM! It was sooo much easier and better and less painful!! It started out like menstrual cramps and got stronger and stronger and stayed steady.
This time I am delivering at a birth center.

Mom of 3 sons and one daughter
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:14 PM
 
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My labor was augmented with Pit. and I'm not sure it made anything harder. I had prodromal labor 4 days prior to being admitted in labor and delivery, and by the time I was finally admitted at 4 cms, I was already so tired and in so much pain at that point. The pit. plus epi were like a vacation for me.

This is not the labor I want to have again this time, mind you. I'm hoping for a natural birth.
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MKury View Post
So, being just a nosey surfer, Luv2skydive, WHY are you NOT having a homebirth with a midwife?

In other advice, I agree with pps, and watch for emotional signposts. Your transition may be totally in a different perspective than most, though. But once you feel like pushing, I'd stay put. There's simply no need to have a baby in the car at 80 mph... (IMO)

That's definitely a valid question.....I had only begun questioning my last two births at around the 28th week of this pregnancy. Until that point, I had resigned myself to the same fate WITH an epi and was none the wiser to anything being "off" about my last two hospital births. THEN I started reading stories and threads from other ladies in another forum and something felt wrong. I had a voice somewhere saying "Something doesn't fit." I started researching interventions, inductions, reading birth stories where interventions led to more interventions and complications and it clicked. I was given Pitocin for NO reason. My whole labor and delivery was so detached and sterile and I had no idea. Then I started reading all the wonderful experiences here and I longed for the same thing. Unfortunately, financially we've already put out a lot of money in prenatal care. I just switched OB's (to one that is rumored to be more natural-birth friendly) and we switched hospitals to one that is 2 blocks away and, again, is more accepting of women who want no interventions. We don't even have a birth center closer than 2 hours, so that isn't an option. And honestly, because this epiphany IS so recent, I lack the confidence to make another change this late in the game....and DH is certainly not on board for a homebirth (although he IS researching emergency procedures!). He realizes my pushing reflex is like a really sensitive gag reflex for others....when it happens, there is NO stopping it, so we have both come to terms with the fact that if it gets that far at home, we aren't going ANYWHERE. I'm ok with that, and I pray he has the confidence to get through it as well. I'm soaking up everything I can from you ladies here and I have purchased a birth kit just in case.
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:26 PM
 
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I was induced with pit at almost 42 weeks. I'm determined to try and avoid it this time. It was awful from the beginning, and I ended up with a c-section. Everyone I've spoken to and everything I've read says that going into labour by yourself is much more manageable. I've got a midwife this time around, although as a VBAC, I'm still planning a hospital birth (I know the rate of c-section ruptures is low, but I know two people who've had it happen, and it's certainly not the ideal situation for a homebirth!). But I'm hoping that having a midwife will give me the strength to avoid induction, and the strength to stay home as long as I can before heading to the hospital (the hospital is literally across the street, I really ought to be able to not go too early!).
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:26 PM
 
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No advice on the laboring, as I was induced the first time. I will say however, that we switched just this last week (34 weeks pg) to a MW and we are having a HB. We are eating the costs of the HB to be comfortable IYKWIM. The thought of building up security and safety in my home to have to get in a car and drive to a hospital where I will be on guard for everything... I just couldn't take it anymore! I feel like so much stress has been lifted.
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by LaffNowCryLater View Post
I was induced with #1 and hated it so much that I vowed to never be induced again.
With #2, I really didn't know I was in labor and by the time I was at the hospital I was 7 CM! It was sooo much easier and better and less painful!! It started out like menstrual cramps and got stronger and stronger and stayed steady.
This time I am delivering at a birth center.

That is the experience we are hoping for......I want to be in or close to transition when we get to the hospital. I want it to be too late for them to do anything but catch!
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:40 PM
 
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For me the biggest difference was the pacing and the freedom.

The Pit labor was like the end of my natural labor - but for 14 hours straight.

I had contractions one right after another with the pit with them lasting about a minute each. But as soon as one was ending the next was beginning. There was no break at all between them. It was exhausting and yet I couldn't rest because I was hooked up to all these machines and I had cranky nurses coming in and yelling at me from time to time.

I felt pain with the Pit, but it's hard to tell exactly what the source of the pain was. I was uncomfortable in the hospital bed, angry at being there and being forced to be there (docs told me they'd drop me from care if I didn't immediately go straight to the hospital from the OB office and begin induction). I had an IV in and external monitor to begin with. After a few hours the OB broke the amniotic sac (without consent or even notice) and attached an internal monitor into my son's scalp (again without consent or even telling us he was doing it). I honestly couldn't have been any more uncomfortable than that!

I had contractions like that at the very end of my DD's natural labor, but I was at home and free to move and act as I wanted to. For me the key difference was that freedom and control over my own movement and actions!

The contractions I had with my natural birth were intense and some took my breath away, but I didn't feel pain - it was different. I felt like I was working really really hard - sort of like you feel after a really hard work-out. You're tired and a bit worn out, but yet energized.
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:56 PM
 
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What if you and/or your partner learn to check dilation? That will help you have an idea how you're progressing, how quickly, and when you feel ready to go.

A doula and/or a midwife would likely be a great help to you, even in a hospital setting.

It's not too late to change. I read on here of women changing to midwives at 36 + weeks!
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You ladies are giving such great advice and insight from your own experiences...I feel more and more confident and ready to face this with every post I read!!
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Old 03-29-2008, 11:23 AM
 
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I'm not trying to stress a point (well, maybe I am ) but I was 34 weeks when I changed to my midwife- and dd came 10 days early. She was so awesome! She deducted from her fee all the doctor's visits that I had made on my own. So, $1000 came off the top. I had to convince my husband, as it was our first, but after telling him that this is what our bodies were MADE to do, and gave him all the research that I read, he was on board. My MD father, not so much. I have all the forms and letters that you would need to get the insurance company to pay at least the 60% out of network reimbursement, if you are interested in seeing how that works. And it is never too late to switch. As long as you are low risk, you would be an ideal client for any competent midwife. 2 natural births with pit?!?! That is some serious pain tolerance!!! You are indeed The Woman!

pm me if you want to look at the exceptions forms for the insurance... I got them from a student of mine who has been successful in making her company pay for all sorts of things!
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Old 03-29-2008, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've e-mailed a local midwife who specializes in homebirths (LOVES waterbirths.....I'm all up for that!). I asked for more information. Her website says her entire fee from beginning to end is $2100. Does that sound reasonable? Here is a quote also from her website:

"Fees:

I charge a flat fee of $2100. This includes all prenatal visits, lab work, birth supplies, a doula for your birth, and 6 weeks post-natal care for you and baby. For those coming to me later in their pregnancies I will pro-rate for prenatal care they have already received only if they provide records from another caregiver, and only from 8-24 weeks. The discount is $50 per prenatal up to 24 weeks, and $200 for lab expenses. The only exception to the lab expense is if you are Rh- and require 28 week labs which run around $50.

Contact me for more information on pro-rating care you have already received.

Financing is available to be paid through the 38th week of pregnancy with a $250 deposit due at the beginning of prenatal care."

I have Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance. Does anyone who had a homebirth and BCBS have any experience with dealing with this insurance company?

When I told DH I was e-mailing a midwife about a homebirth, he said he was actually thinking about mentioning this possibility to me....I almost fell over! OMG, I'm so excited and pray I can do this!
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Old 03-29-2008, 02:49 PM
 
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Her fees are totally reasonable and it sounds like the deductions are as well! And all the paperwork that I have is geared directly toward BCBS... so that works out well. If you have decent insurance at best, you are going to come out at about $1000-1500 out of pocket to cover your 20% for a hospital birth, so what's another $500-700 for your dream birth? I say, go for it!!! And how awesome that your dh is on board!!!!!
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Old 03-29-2008, 03:07 PM
 
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My first was augmented with pit, the second was natural. I was NOT being augmented again. No way. I wanted to die with the pit. I also was afraid of not making it to the hospital in time since I didn't know what real labor was like. So we walked around the hospital all day without checking in. We watched TV and read magazines in the different waiting area's. What a world of difference without the pit. I didn't even realize I was in transition the second time. I was cracking jokes walking around the hospital. (not checked in) DH knew I was in transition and drug me up to the L&D floor b/c I couldn't decide what I wanted to eat, a sandwich or soup. Thats very unlike me, I always know what I want to eat. : I thought I had a few HOURS left, not a few minutes. My indecisiveness was what clued him in. I made him read the Bradley book to watch for emotional sign posts. I tend to be stoic, so he couldn't really tell where I was pain wise. I was glad he made me go up there, b/c I pushed 15 mins and out popped a baby boy! There wasn't any time for anything, not even to start an IV or fill up the labor tub. I did want a water birth, but there was no time to fill the tub.

For me, I remember 4 cm with Pitocin felt like the very end of transition without the Pit. The pain of no pitocin was NOT EVEN HALF as bad as with the Pitocin. There were real breaks between contractions, a good three minutes instead of the measly 30 seconds of anxiety between contractions. I really didn't think natural labor was all that bad. It really was tolerable. At no point did I feel I needed anything for pain, until pushing. That hurt, but still was doable. (I did not tear, so I had it easy and it only lasted 15 minutes max) After transition ended, I had a full 10 minute break before the pushing contractions came. There was no stopping the pushing. I really think Satan himself invented Pitocin.

I hope you have a much easier experience this time like I did!
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Old 03-29-2008, 03:19 PM
 
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i labored naturally at home until 9.5cm when we had to transfer to the hosp (long story). they hooked me up to pit w/o an epi (didn't want one) and i labored for 6hrs on the pit before having dd. labor was like night and day at home vs. in the hosp on pitocin. labor was intense at home. labor felt out of control at the hosp. i would avoid being put on pitocin at all costs again. it's miserable. OP, if you managed to labor w/o an epi on pit, you can handle natural labor NO PROBLEM!
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Old 03-29-2008, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you girls! Again, your stories are awesome and encouraging. I'm SOOOO glad to hear that natural labor is easier than pit labor, although I could do it agian if I had to. I think I scared my DH into a homebirth because I kept *threatening* a UC because I was just really don't want to go to a hospital. I guess he decided this is a good compromise. ; )

I'm very stoic as well when I hurt.....nobody could tell how bad off I was by looking at me. My eyes were closed and I just held onto the bedrail for dear life. In hindsight, what was done to me for no reason should be considered abuse or cruel and unusual punishment....and for what? Me and my baby did nothing wrong but go into labor. : (
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Old 03-29-2008, 09:30 PM
 
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No advice concerning labor, but as a home birth-er I'm SO excited to read this thread and your progression/steps towards a home birth!!! From all you write it seems like a natural choice for you I wish you all the best. K

I've got three monkeys jumping on the bed!!

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Old 03-29-2008, 11:54 PM
 
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Hey

On the pushing....my first two were like you describe. But my third and fourth were COMPLETELY different. I only had the urge with contractions those times. So anything can happen. Especially with third babies.
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Old 03-30-2008, 12:57 AM
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I was induced with #1 and #3. I had no pain meds with #3 so that's what I had to go by and that labor wasn't as bad as my first. I'd compare a pit-free transition to the contractions I had at 6 cm with #3. Emotionally, I was handling the pit-free labor quite a bit better, so I think that would mask things further. I had the baby in the hospital parking lot. I would have had her on the highway, if I didn't have a really smart friend driving me. She's a doula and knows the signs of a mama who is ready to push.

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