I am not sure if I am posting in the right spot and will remove the post if necessary.
Ok so here is my question or issue. I am expecting my 4th child in April 2014 and I have just started considering my options as far as the birth. My other three children have been medicated hospital births. Simply I can't handle the pain. I am afraid of it and I panic during contractions. I am somewhat looking into a water birth and a big part of would love the be able to experience that, as this is our last baby. But I am so afraid that the pain would get to be too much and we live an hour away from the closest hospital. I am wondering if I can overcome this and take charge of the situation. I would love to be able to work with my bodies natural reaction and not fight against it because I feel like I can't handle it. It's easy to think I could handle it right now but during labor it's a different story. The contractions get painful and I wimp out.
I am not sure if that came across the right way or if there is an understandable question in there but any feedback would be appreciated.
It sounds like you would like to experience an unmedicated birth but because you have a history of panicking at pain, you worry that you will experience panic again if you try to go unmedicated, particularly if it would be difficult to transfer.
From where I sit, I am impressed by a mother who knew herself and took charge to get the help she needed to give birth in a way that was safe her for her and her babies - three times. You could think of pain med as a tool (one of many possible tools) you used to work with your body and what it was doing. A panic reaction to pain is considered a very good reason for pain medication, and not "wimping out" at all. It takes courage to ask for help, and it's possible to get pain relief and be empowered. Birth is tough work, no matter how it happens.
Could you explain more about what you hope to get from an unmedicated birth? What kinds of values are important to you, and are there ways for you to cultivate and experience those values - perhaps of overcoming fear and taking charge - both in the event you are able to have an unmedicated birth, and in the event that pain medication is the right choice for you?
Are you interested to find alternative ways of managing pain? Any chance you could have a tub birth or tub labor in the hospital?
You could try to fill your "tool box" with many different coping tools. Things like having a support person like a doula, water, heat, pressure, self-hypnosis, rhythmic movement, position changes, massage, TENS machine, and pain meds. I do believe that everyone experiences labor differently, each baby can be different and also our bodies experience labor differently. Some labors really are more painful than others, some are less painful, all may require different tools.
:) I thank you for not putting me down about having three medicated births. I guess in the end I did what I had to.
The reasons I have for wanting to try and having an un-medicated birth are numerous and perhaps random. I watch water birth videos on You tube and oh my gosh I want to experience that. I want to experience, and I will try and get this out right, what my body can do and work with it. I've just gone through labor. It was just how I got my babies here. Don't misunderstand me the end result was so great, my three kids! I want to be a part of my labor, I want to feel bringing my last baby into the world. The first two I didn't feel anything and the third was my vomiting and inadvertently pushed my Son out. And with my first two labors I didn't get a feel for contractions, if that makes sense. My first my water broke and after a few hours developed a fever, my Son had to go to the NICU because of it. My second was just a general pain and went to the hospital. With my last I did go through about six hours of contractions but I still didn't think I was in labor because they were kid of erratic. It seems like I've just rushed to the hospital to deliver. I want to try and enjoy this experience. My Husband and I both want this to be our last baby. So I really want to try not to give into the pain and want to try and deal with the pain in a more natural way. I would love a home water birth but because of where we live both my Husband and I are worried about it. We live an hour away from the closest hospital and what if something went wrong or I really am just one of those women who can not tolerate the pain. I have thought about a hospital water birth but I am not sure if our hospital would do it. I am almost certain my current Dr. wouldn't let me birth in water, so I would need to find a midwife but there are not many anywhere close to us. Arrggh! I really want to do this but I am afraid that the pain would get to me and I would give in.
I like your suggestion about my "tool box". I looked into Hypnobabies but the cost staggers me. It is easier now to say yes I want to have a natural birth but can I ...control the pain? I'm not sure if control is the right word but that feels like what I need to do. I want to be in control and work with natures process. I WANT to do this once, I want to feel my labor and birth. I want to share that with my Husband and I want to have those memories.
And that's it I want to. But how can I be sure or close to sure that I will manage the pain. I guess I can't be certain of that and I guess if I really want this that I need to load my "tool box" with as much as I can to get me through the pain.
I hope that I explained all of that well and that it makes sense.
I think I understand what you are saying. You've felt disconnected from your births in the past, perhaps overwhelmed by pain and then later hazy from the medication? You wonder what it would be like to manage the pain without medication, and if the birth would feel different to you, if you would experience it differently. It also sounds like you would like to have a special experience with your husband and this baby that you expect to be your last child. You've seen videos of other women giving birth and it's inspiring and you would like to experience something like that. And at the same time you are wondering if it's really true you can control the pain?
It sounds like you have very intense labors! Vomiting and pushing - wow! Do your labors also go pretty quickly? Some women's do or they are just very very intense and it's common to feel out of control and like you've been run over by a truck afterwards no matter what.
I honestly do not believe that stuff about fear is what makes it painful and if it hurts it must be because you are scared. Maybe a little bit, and it's worthwhile to prepare yourself so you can feel confident in yourself, but mostly I think that sometimes it just hurts, because it's hard work having a baby. But I do think your idea about being able to work with your body is really useful. I found it really helpful to think of the pain as a message from my body to help me and my baby work together. That said, I have intense labors and after a certain point, no amount of deep breathing or swaying on hands and knees is relaxing, haha. With my first I really think I would have been better off with an epi but I waited too long to ask for it. It was just a really hard birth. With my second, movement, lunges, that sort of thing really helped a lot, but once I hit transition, I was literally paralyzed by the pain, could not move, could barely speak. And then bam it was over about 30-45 minutes later. I doubt I will ever have a "relaxed" birth or anything like that, but I do try to find peace in myself.
Aside from doulas, a good childbirth class, there is also Pink Kit (google it) for birth preparation that's come highly recommended from several people (and might help you build your confidence), or the book Active Birth by Janet Balaskas. There's also a book by Penny Simkin called The birth partner. All of those might have good tools for working with your labor. I do think it's worthwhile to practice relaxation before labor too, but I would not feel bad at all if it gets to a certain point and it's not possible to stay relaxed.
Also, we are both due in April! How cool is that! I'm due April 8, what about you? It's funny, I'm coming at things from the opposite direction. My first birth was so hellishly painful, and my second was eh, painful, that I decided if it hurts as much as my first this time, I think I really want that epi so I can labor down and save my strength. If it's like my second, eh, whatever. So I totally get the feeling of "I have done it this way a few times, I wonder what it would be like that other way," too. Like, will it be more peaceful another way? Who knows.
I do think there's nothing wrong with trying things one way and then changing your mind, no matter what it is. I'm trying to head into this birth with fewer expectations and more, like, contingencies. Nothing is really certain, but it's ok to try, whatever it is.
I am due April 4th but tend to go a bit early. Once labor gets going for me I get really bad back pain or back labor. And yes I seem to have rather intense labors that go from ok to intense rapidly, I like what you said cyclamen, basically that I can want to have a natural birth but if I don't it's ok and that I can roll with the punches so to say. I am looking into just about everything I can for natural pain management. Thankfully my Husband is being open-minded but secretly I think he feels that I can not do this naturally. I really want to get the Hypnobabies home study course but there is no way he would go for that price so I am looking other cheaper options. And I will be looking into all of the birthing options in my area both with a Dr. and a midwife and go from there. I have my mind set that I want to try to go natural, there are still so many fears and self doubt but that is where all the tools will come. The more I can learn the better. I think my headrest battle will be overcoming myself. I have always been a doubter in what I can do or handle. I do not believe in my strengths so I guess if I really want to do this I will have to do some work on the inside. And in truth it would be better for my self and my life. Maybe if can trust in my strength, my inherent natural God or nature given strength, maybe then I can be better if that makes any sense.
I started to panic during labor too, though normally I'm not afraid of pain, panic is actually a really typical response during a couple different phases of labor (beginning active labor, beginning transition). I ended up taking the epidural at that point, though looking back I honestly wouldn't have needed it, but at the moment it was all I could think to do. Now that I have done my doula training I realized what I really needed was someone to do a "take charge" routine and just get me to breathe, calm down, and try some other comfort measures. I think that knowing medication is available makes it any easy solution to jump to, whereas if medication wasn't available we would just find other ways to cope. So I don't think it's so much that you wouldn't be "able" to do it, you just need the proper kind of support and someone to redirect you when/if you start to panic. I would highly recommend a doula, and I'm determined to have one at my next birth!
I don't have any problem with pain medications during labor, except that women are often made to feel it is their only choice. Taking them isn't a failure on your (our) part, but sometimes I do see it as a failure of care providers to provide the necessary emotional support. So find some different comfort measures you think will work for, find supportive care providers, have your partner learn bith support techniques, get a doula, and remind yourself that you are strong and capable!