drug free dilemma - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 02-02-2004, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello - I am 11 weeks pg. I am sure my feelings are a result of this terrible morning sickness I have been having but here goes.
I had my first son very typical american high intervention, epidural etc. My epidural did not work on the southern end and made me almost pass out so I don't even really remember his birth. 2nd son I had totally drug free, midwife, doula, etc. I did fine through the birth - transition period sucked!! - but other than that it was a great birth. Now I am having so much trouble getting motivated for a drug free birth. I'm hoping it's just because I can't handle sickness and thinking about birth. My husband re-hired our doula which is great except I feel like I had not decided yet if I was going to do it drug free or not. Now I kind of feel like I have to go drug free whether I want to or not. My husband feels like I have to do it drug free whether I want to or not because that is what is best for me and the baby. Deep down I know he's right - but it hurts to push a human being out of your body. So remind me again why I want to go drug free.
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#2 of 10 Old 02-02-2004, 05:48 PM
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You know, I don't like anyone telling me what I "have" to do, even if they're right. There is a certain power and pleasure in choosing to do the right thing in absolute freedom, rather than because you're being coerced or pressured. So first I'd tell your husband that at this point you know what he believes and why, so you don't need to keep hearing it, what you do need is the time and space to work it out for yourself.

Anyway, to answer your question, here's a good list of reasons why you might want to avoid an epidural:

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#3 of 10 Old 02-02-2004, 06:07 PM
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I've only been drug free during delivery, even though I fully anticipated having an epidural the first time. Labor progressed so fast and I was glad I made it without-I felt a great sense of accomplishment, so the second time, I knew I could manage without. Having a doula doesn't mean you have to go drug free if you don't want to. A doula is supposed to help you through your birth, however you want it. Maybe wait until you're a little farther along in the pregnancy- if you're feeling lousy already, you may be having the feelings b/c of the m/s.

It is hard work (and painful), but isn't it worth it?

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#4 of 10 Old 02-02-2004, 06:16 PM
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The very nicest spin to put on your husband's actions is that he is so proud of the hard work you did last time, he recognizes that it was the best choice for your baby and for you, and he wants to do all he can to encourage you to have another natural delivery.

That said - no one's telling HIM how he has to do all that difficult, painful work! No two deliveries are exactly alike. Although you might well choose natural childbirth again, you might not. Or you might decide you want pain medication during the delivery. This is all up to YOU.

My practical advice - tell your partner to shut up already at least until you are in your second trimester. For the love of God, no one should have to have morning sickness AND make decisions about pain medication all in one day! Let your doula know you may change your mind about your approach to delivery and that if she wishes to continue being your doula, she will support you in whatever decisions you make and NOT take orders from your husband. Really, be firm that what you want from both of them is support and not instructions about how to deliver your baby.

Can't give up actin' tough, it's all that I'm made of. Can't scrape together quite enough to ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that I need love. ~ Neko Case

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#5 of 10 Old 02-02-2004, 06:53 PM
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First off, Congratulations on your pregnancy! I'm sorry you are dealing with morning sickness. That makes everything so much harder. I think you may be right when you said that the first trimester is influencing your feelings. I'm thinking that once you are out of that icky feeling, and showing, and feeling baby move and all the good things about the second trimester your outlook may change.

Second, Maybe reading some motivating books could help. Some good ones off the top of my head that mostly portray birth and pregnancy in a positive tone are A Good Birth, A Safe Birth, The Sears Pregnancy Book, and Spiritual Midwifery. Also, Birthing From Within, and another book that Ina Mae Gaskin wrote.... just last year I forget the name but it had so many enlightening stories in it. anyone remember the title?

Third, Talk to your doula. That's what she's there for! I never push my clients into a natural birth- their birth is just that- theirs, not mine. Certainly there are numerous health advantages to a natural birth, and I know that you know that. But you are the one feeling what you're feeling. So talk to her. Maybe she can help you navigate through what you are feeling. Having a doula doesn't mean you HAVE to have a natural birth, kwim?

Fourth, Talk to your midwife. She too should be able to add some insight as to what you are feeling.

Are you under other stresses too? Taking care of two little ones and being pregnant is a big job. Maybe taking some time to yourself and doing something pampering for you can help relieve stress.

I'm sorry you're feeling this way. Please let us know how it's going, ok?

Sahm mom to three lovely girls, and happily married to a great, sweet guy
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#6 of 10 Old 02-02-2004, 10:26 PM
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congrats on your new baby! and as someone who is still puking in my 15th week, i can TOTALLY relate to how ms makes the world just a little less fun...

as a doula, my job is not to ensure a drug-free birth. it is to work with and advocate for the mom to help HER get the birth that SHE wants. sometimes that means drug-free, sometimes that means "go get the anesthesiologist, i want my epidural NOW!"

once or twice, i've had to gently tell her that you can't put in an epidural when the baby's crowning... but other times i've seen an epidural change a stressful and scary time into a peaceful and productive birth.

i've learned that not all epidurals are bad. sure, a large number of them lead to c-sections, but each mom knows that risk and is prepared to deal with it. that's my job... to make sure she is informed and prepared, not just drugged and left.

so if your doula is worth her salt, she probably is already a little bit curious about the fact that the husband called her, and not the mom. she's going to completely understand if you change your mind about having her, or about how you want to approach your birth experience.

it might not be bad to have her there... after all, she already knows you and what comforts you. but if she's a professional, she won't be hurt if you decide to go with another type or style of caregiver. it's YOUR birth, after all!

still... it would be quite classy of you to call her yourself and talk some of this out with her. i love checking in with old clients, and hear about how they're doing.

good luck, and i'm sending you hopes that your ms fades quickly!

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#7 of 10 Old 02-03-2004, 12:43 AM
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It is hard to think about ANYTHING in a positive light when you feel sick!

Don't worry about the birth right now. You have plenty of time to deal with that later. Just get through the morning sickness.

Hang in there! Congratulations!

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#8 of 10 Old 02-03-2004, 03:46 PM
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First of all you should not feel pressured to give birth in a certain manner by your dh, your doula, or anyone else. It's YOUR choice because you are the one giving birth! If you are undecided on what kind of birth to have perhaps you can sit down and write out the pros and cons of each, and then sign up for some hypnobirthing or other classes if you decided to go drug-free. I saw a friend give birth with hypnobirthing. It was a difficult birth that may have ended in a csection, but hypnobirthing gave her the inner strength and confidenced to do it drug free.

Your doula is there to serve you and your needs, not push her own agenda. If you think she is pushing you in a certain direction, and you are not sure you will feel supported in your decision, you might want to interview some other doulas. OTOH if you feel strongly about natural childbirth and so does your doula, perhaps she will get you through it better than if she were not so strong an advocate of it.

I had a wonderful birth a week ago today. I chose to have an epidural and knew I would even before I went into labor. It was the right choice for *me* and I had a wonderful doula who supported me during the birth. She helped me make decisions about my birth plan, and I also knew that if my epidural failed that she would help me stay focused to birth the baby drug-free. Having her there gave me confidence that the birth would be an good experience either way. My wishes were all followed and respected in the hospital even though most of them went against standard procedure. Having her there helped give me the courage to state my wishes (like no cord cutting right away, no routine pitocin injection after the birth, and so on).

Good luck with your decision! You have quite awhile to think about it.


7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
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#9 of 10 Old 02-03-2004, 11:50 PM
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Hey! I'm 10 wks (or so?) pg, and I have had both a horribly interventive hospital birth and a glorious home waterbirth All I wanted to say is that I can't even think about the actual *birth* itself at this point because I'm just too darn sick and exhausted. Having someone else have the baby sounds good at this point, and I'm shocked that I'd even type that or think it for that matter!!! It's no wonder that you can't get motivated to "decide." You're not emotionally or physically there yet. You will be. Trust your body. Best wishes on getting some energy back soon!

All the best,

I have retired from administration work, so if you have a question about anything MDC-related, please contact Cynthia Mosher. Thanks!
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#10 of 10 Old 02-04-2004, 01:07 PM
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I had a beautiful (albeit long) drug free birth about a year ago. Right now I am getting ready to ttc (prob not for 6mos though) I met with my homebirth midwife and what I realized is I an *still* a scared (sometimes) very scared of the anticipated pain. This is despite the fact that I handled it fine and had the most glorious empowering birth experiance I can imagine. I think it is normal to have these feelings.

Take it as it comes. If it gets unbearable, get the drugs. If YOU (not your husband, not your doula or doctor) decided you absolutely do not wanna be tempted with pain releif - look into homebirth where it isn't even an option, that is one of the many reasons I am planning one. Just knowing that the drugs are there may make me decide to get them a bit more than if I knew I had to get dressed, get in the car, check in to the hospital...

Evergreen- Loving my girls Dylan dust.gifage8, Ava energy.gifage 4 and baby Georgia baby.gif (6/3/11).

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