Loved my intrathecal! No natural childbirth for me EVER again! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 225 Old 03-30-2005, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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After delivering my second child on February 13th in the hospital with an intrathecal that took away all the pain, I will never, ever have a natural childbirth again.

My first child was born at home, a waterbirth with two midwives and a doula. I was in excruciating pain the whole time, screaming, wanting to die, the midwives and doula barely able to do anything to help me other than say, "Your doing a GREAT job! Your body is designed to do this! Breathe! Relax!"

YEAH, RIGHT!!!!

I feel that I got duped by the natural childbirth community in my area. They all said I could do a homebirth and it would be fine and they would help me handle the pain.

NO WAY! The $2600 I pain them was money down the drain.

I am definitely one of those women who has horrible childbirth pains, no two ways about it. I should not have even been trying to have a natural childbirth at home for the first baby! I could have tried in the hospital and had the intrathecal available to me if needed.

I learned my lesson.

My OB was fabulous and the nurses were great.

My new doula (NOT the one at the first birth) was great - very open to whatever I needed. My doula had never witnessed an intrathecal before. She said I was the worst case she ever dealt with as far as pain. I did have some horrible birth pains for 15 minutes in the hospital right before the intrathecal was administered. I was climbing the walls.

After the intrathecal, I couldn't feel anything for pushing, but my OB guided me through. I could see the delivery in a mirror and my husband and I talked in between contractions. It was a beautiful birth with us happily watching our daughter being born. I cried that my first child's natural birth had to be so violent.

My doula was very happy for me that the intrathecal worked so well. She said she learned a lot with me and seeing how much meds helped me really altered her thinking about natural childbirth as the only way.

So, just had to post this.

I still like a lot of what is there for me in the natural family living community, but PLEASE do tell women that childbirth can hurt like hell and some women can't take it. All the positive vibes in the world can't change that for some women.
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#2 of 225 Old 03-30-2005, 07:16 PM
 
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I'm sorry you had such a traumatic first birth, and am glad this was a better experience for you.
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#3 of 225 Old 03-30-2005, 07:16 PM
 
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What is an intrathecal?
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#4 of 225 Old 03-30-2005, 07:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamasaurus
PLEASE do tell women that childbirth can hurt like hell and some women can't take it.
I'm curious what you mean by this. Please define "can't take it". What happens if a woman "can't take it"? Thanks.
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#5 of 225 Old 03-30-2005, 07:19 PM
 
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just when the don't feed the troll icon dissapears.....
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#6 of 225 Old 03-30-2005, 07:19 PM
 
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#7 of 225 Old 03-30-2005, 07:22 PM
 
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#8 of 225 Old 03-30-2005, 07:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamasaurus
I feel that I got duped by the natural childbirth community in my area. They all said I could do a homebirth and it would be fine and they would help me handle the pain.

NO WAY! The $2600 I pain them was money down the drain.
duped, eh? you did it. you survived to have another pregnancy. the $2600 dollars got you your first baby, so i hardly consider it money down the drain.

i don't have a problem with people choosing pain relief if they need it, but this seems like an odd place to be gleeful about it. do you know what i mean? i'm really not trying to be nasty.

the knowledge that childbirth can hurt like hell is already
part of the american psyche. you did have the option at any time during your homebirth to transport to a hospital for medication. blaming it on the "natural childbirth community" just makes it sound like a conspiracy.
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#9 of 225 Old 03-30-2005, 07:45 PM
 
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So sorry that natural childbirth did not work out for you.



But it does for some of us.... please don't trash our choices, either.
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#10 of 225 Old 03-30-2005, 07:56 PM
 
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just when the don't feed the troll icon dissapears.....
If you want to find out if someone is a troll, click on their username and select "read other posts by user." She doesn't sound like a troll. She sounds like she had a bad first birth.

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#11 of 225 Old 03-30-2005, 07:58 PM
 
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just seems mighty out of place
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#12 of 225 Old 03-30-2005, 08:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huggerwocky
What is an intrathecal?
I didn't know either, so I did some research, I think it's the same thing as a walking epidural, which is better for the baby than a regular epidural.

http://www.childbirth.org/articles/walkingepi.html

I think??? or maybe it's something else, I couldn't find much on it...

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#13 of 225 Old 03-30-2005, 08:23 PM
 
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If she couldn't feel to push then it doesn't sound like a walking epi to me.

It does seem like a strange thing to post at a place like MDC. I think we all know that childbirth is painful and I personally hate posts that say something like "I have really painful contractions" because it seems to imply that mine aren't or that those of us who manage to come through natural childbirth feeling positively about it didn't have difficult labors or experience pain.
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#14 of 225 Old 03-30-2005, 08:40 PM
 
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As a person who has walked both sides of the fence can we discuss the fact that you might have potentially harmed your newborn child with the narcotics used in these epidurals? I see a WORLD of difference between my homeborn undrugged UC baby than my induction epidural baby...

This IS a bizarre place to post about this .. its pretty simple your a woman you have a uterus you got pregnant.. you CAN do it.

I am convinced pain is caused by attendants anyhow.. I had next to none my last birth.
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#15 of 225 Old 03-30-2005, 08:49 PM
 
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It doesnt really seem that she is trashing anyones choices... I think she is only sharing her experiences.

I had a homebirth 6 months ago, had a horrible time pushing, got very little support and afterwards was very disappointed. I didnt even want to think about the birth for at least a week. Most people here DO make it sound like homebirth/nat. childbirth is always an amazing experience, which is just not always the case.

She found something that worked for her and should be congratulated. Everyone deserves to be proud of their birthing experiences, not just homebirthers...
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#16 of 225 Old 03-30-2005, 08:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmuma
I see a WORLD of difference between my homeborn undrugged UC baby than my induction epidural baby...
Can you elaborate on the differences? Maybe start a spin-off thread? I have had one epidural birth, one homebirth and there were some differences for me too. I'm wondering if ours coincide.

I loved my homebirth and found it a positive, empowering experience, but I have to admit my first thought when it was over was this euphoric, "Thank God I never have to do this again!" After some time had passed, I decided I could handle it again, but I'm not feeling any desire to have a third pregnancy and birth experience. OK, sometimes I miss being pregnant, but I'm pretty happy we are done. Although sometimes a small voice in me thinks, "maybe I could have a waterbirth and no stitches this time. Let's give it a shot!" :LOL
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#17 of 225 Old 03-30-2005, 09:06 PM
 
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I am sorry you had a bad first birth, and I'm very happy that your second was better.

Quote:
I feel that I got duped by the natural childbirth community in my area. They all said I could do a homebirth and it would be fine and they would help me handle the pain.
But it irritates me that you seem to be blaming this bad experience on 'the natural childbirth community'. Yes, some women have incredibly painful labors and there's no way to know in advance. And sometimes no amount of labor support can make it any better. But YOU chose to birth at home, and at any time YOU could have said enough's enough, get me to a hospital. I don't understand how you 'got duped'. I hope this doesn't sound mean. It just sounds like you're trying to blame someone and that bothers me. (Unless there are reasons you didn't mention as to why you got duped, but I am left to assume there aren't) It really bothers me when people don't take responsibility for their choices.

Quote:
PLEASE do tell women that childbirth can hurt like hell and some women can't take it. All the positive vibes in the world can't change that for some women.
.

You're right, some women can't take it and I'm glad that medication is available for those that need it. But I agree with AmandaBL that this just doesn't seem like the place to post this.

I am very happy that you were able to enjoy your 2nd birth, and congratulations on your new baby.
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#18 of 225 Old 03-30-2005, 09:13 PM
 
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#19 of 225 Old 03-30-2005, 09:14 PM
 
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We all come to birth with different perspectives, expectations, emotions, etc. What one woman sees as suffering another may see as challenge- no one should force themselves to do something they view as masochistic or tormenting- I could see how someone would feel just as violated at home as in the hospital if they perceive the pain as unnecessary torment.

I personally just had my baby 2 weeks ago at home and I can honestly say that I was in PAIN- water broke, then intense contractions starting coming only 1-2 minutes apart lasting 50 seconds each. This lasted for 17 hours- my cervix never dilated fully (due to scar tissue) so I had to push the baby past it- I thought I was going to die- this wasn't the peaceful, mellow homebirth I had envisioned at all.

BUT- for me I would still never have a baby in the hospital. I felt so empowered by the experience and so in love with my fiance and so grateful to my midwives for supporting me so well- fixing the birth pool for me, putting cold cloths on my face, reminding me of the strength I had inside me that I had forgotten after feeling so weak from 18 hours of intense labor.

Yes there were points in the labor where I thought "I will never do this again! This is nuts!" There were points where I felt like I had put too much faith in myself and I really wasn't strong enough to do this. There was even a point where my midwife suggested we go to the hospital and get some meds because I had such an intense labor.

BUT- I'm so glad I did it at home! The memory of the pain faded into oblivion as I cuddled with my son in my own bed surrounded by people who cared for me and I didn't have to worry about taking my son for "exams" or vaccinating him, etc. I felt so empowered by what I had just accomplished- like I had climbed a mountain even though my leg was broken or something. My fiance was in awe of what I had just done. My baby was alert and I knew he had never had any drugs in his system. I didn't tear and 2 weeks later feel amazing!

Even though the pain was excruciating I am so glad that I was at home and didn't have access to pain medication I wanted so badly at the time- because now I know how strong I really am- I learned so much- and I would never trade that experience for anything. Had I been in the hospital I would have had the epidural and I wouldn't know if I could have done it on my own or not.

This is MY experience- I think this represents the wide range of experiences women can have regarding birth and our perceptions of our own birth experiences.

There is nothing wrong with wanting or having pain medication- no one should feel "better" or worse than someone else for having or not having it- but for me no amount of pain would make me trade homebirth for hospital birth.

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#20 of 225 Old 03-30-2005, 09:26 PM
 
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Well I had natural childbirth - 47 hour labour, planned homebirth transferred to hospital, but didn't end up with any interventions. And I don't know if it hurt as much as the OP's, but I can tell you it HURT LIKE . Unimaginable pain, I didn't think I could endure or survive it.

And I would do it again in a heartbeat. Just the sheer exhilaration of giving birth, how incredibly high I was, higher than I've ever been in my life, and meeting my little girl in that state was absolute bliss. Natural childbirth has had a tremendously positive impact on how I view the strength of my spirit and the miraculous power of my body. I wouldn't trade the experience for anything, and I encourage other women to at least learn about and consider it, becuase it is the most out of this world primal crazy raw woman mama power I have ever felt.

AND it's not for everybody. If that's not your scene by all means get an epidural or whatever you need. Women are absolutely entitled to whatever it is we need during childbirth. This is what taking back birth is all about.

I wanted to add that I too was pretty cheesed off at Ina May Gaskin and her "orgasmic birth," "if it hurts you're just not opening to it" vibe. I believed the things she wrote, and was convinced I would be experiencing orgasmic ecstasy while in labour. Thanks a lot Ina May. For me I really would have preferred to be appropriately warned about the amount of pain that is possible.
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#21 of 225 Old 03-30-2005, 09:38 PM
 
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I think the point here is that women should make the right decisions for themselves. It is traumatic when a woman is pressured into something she doesn't really want, especially during labor. My decision to go unmedicated with my second birth had absolutely nothing to do with pain. It was all about avoiding another cesarean. I knew good and well that if I were to step foot in a hospital, they would figure out some way of talking me into interventions I didn't want, and those interventions would lead to more interventions and I would get cut open again, possibly unecessarily. I wasn't going to let that happen. I wasn't going to do anything that might possibly increase my chances of having another cesarean.

As it was, my labor didn't hurt, relatively speaking. I have worse menstrual cramps than my labor contractions were. What did hurt was pushing past a swollen cervical lip, but by that point even had I wanted any pain meds it would have been too late for them. We all have different experiences and different needs during childbirth. Empowerment means having those needs met, in whatever way suits each one of us best.
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#22 of 225 Old 03-30-2005, 09:53 PM
 
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I can really relate to the OP, although I really REALLY hope that I can have a natural birth with the next baby. I tried, I really did... but after 3 days of back labor and just terrible, horrible contractions I broke down and asked for an epidural... and I felt so freaking guilty about it. I blamed all of the subsequent problems she had (jaundice, nursing issues, colic, reflux) on myself for having an epi Lemme tell ya, that is NOT a good way to spend your PP days and doesn't help avoid PPD.

Everything that I had been taught about the natural birth experience just relied on the fact that I would be abel to breathe and focus and I just couldn't. I tried so hard, I had help and I just could not. And it made me feel so crappy afterwards to have succymb... about myself as a woman and as a mother exposing my DD to the drugs But I just couldn't go anymore.

Anyway, I agree that this post seems to be more about being able to make a choice that is right for your body. And instead of presenting anything other than natural as a shortcoming of the mother, understanding that everyone's body reacts differently to labor and pain and some just cannot do it no matter what.

But I am praying so hard that I can find the right method for me and do it naturally next time!

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#23 of 225 Old 03-30-2005, 11:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
I wanted to add that I too was pretty cheesed off at Ina May Gaskin and her "orgasmic birth," "if it hurts you're just not opening to it" vibe. I believed the things she wrote, and was convinced I would be experiencing orgasmic ecstasy while in labour. Thanks a lot Ina May. For me I really would have preferred to be appropriately warned about the amount of pain that is possible.
I totally agree. I think that the only sane way to go into an undrugged birthing experience is with the understand that it's going to hurt like nothing else in the world. I mean, streaching any other part of your body to it's limits hurts, why would you expect your yoni to be different? I just can't imagine expecting 'mellow and peaceful', from something that when you take it down to brass tacks is all about pushing something the size of a watermelon out of a hole the size of a kiwi!

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#24 of 225 Old 03-31-2005, 12:01 AM
 
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Yeah not a big fan of the whole birth orgasm line of stuff. Maybe the occasional woman has that but most women I know even those who had natural birth and loved it will at least talk about discomfort. No one's talking about orgasm!

As for having attendants causing the pain I can't say I agree with that. I labored by myself for most of my labor with #3. When it reached the point that I couldn't do it alone any more I called DH in. Not long after that we headed for the hospital. So for 10 hours of my 13 hour labor I had no medical attendants but I still had plenty of pain.
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#25 of 225 Old 03-31-2005, 12:30 AM
 
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I had one medicated hospital birth, and one unmedicated hospital birth. I would never try to tell someone else that MY experiences would be theirs.

For the OP--I'm glad you had a positive birth experience. As for being "duped", each person makes their own choices about birth. I'm sorry that your choices led to that feeling.
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#26 of 225 Old 03-31-2005, 12:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2baldie
Everyone deserves to be proud of their birthing experiences, not just homebirthers...
Yep!
And I can't help but point out, you DID take it, OP-
plenty of women transfer to the hospital for pain relief.

We do what we can with what we have.
We make our own decisions based not only on the information we have, but also our life experience.

I am glad you are happy with your birth. As for the information that childbirth is very painful for most women, and that there are drugs for that pain, well... it's safe to say, the word is already out.

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#27 of 225 Old 03-31-2005, 03:37 AM
 
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i think it is very sad the op had a terrible homebirth experience. no women should have to have a terrible birth period. i would wonder if she didn't receive good support from her midwife or if it was a bad midwife/client match or if there was something that happened aside from the pain that made it so terrible. i get the sense that there may have been to high an expectation on the midwives to take the pain away and perhaps not enough belief in her ability to trust herself to handle it.


i believe in natural birth. i believe we were all made to be able to "take it". now, whether or not we wish to or want to or believe we're able to, that's a different story. to each her own. obviously birth is largely psychological and emotional, not just physical and pain is subjective based on many factors. i don't think that natural childbirthers generally say that childbirth isn't painful, i mean for most of us it really is. frankly i wish birth could've been orgasmic for me but i found each time more painful!!

oh well, back to nursing my little guy,
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#28 of 225 Old 03-31-2005, 05:32 AM
 
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What I'm getting from this thread, and from her other posts is more about how angry and hurt she is about her first birth experience. This thread is not really about epidurals or even about THIS birth, I'm figuring. In my eyes, as someone who recovered from a traumatic birth, this is an extension of her frustration with her first birth. The adament "no natural childbirth for me EVER" tone is really more about the intensity by which she felt betrayed and assaulted with her first birth.

Anyway, I think it's interesting that she posted this thread here, but I think the thread has less to do with singing the praises of epidurals, but more about how the lack of feeling anything during her birth was better than the assault she felt with her first birth. Just from reading her post, it really seems that she's still really angry about her first birth.

I also think this could be a safe space to vent those frustrations.
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#29 of 225 Old 03-31-2005, 08:34 AM
 
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I find it interesting she hasn't posted back & we're sitting around here debating the merits of the post. I just hate seeing these posts here. I also hate the "I really tried to breastfeed, but...... " posts too. Not saying it doesn't happen, but there are PLENTY of places to post that - the NATURAL family living board probably isn't it. Elective hospitalization is not natural. Posting something along the lines of "my birth sucked - help me figure out what happened?" is one thing. "YEA for pain medication & elective intervention - PLEASE tell your friends" is another.
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#30 of 225 Old 03-31-2005, 08:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamasaurus
After the intrathecal, I couldn't feel anything for pushing, but my OB guided me through. I could see the delivery in a mirror and my husband and I talked in between contractions. It was a beautiful birth with us happily watching our daughter being born. I cried that my first child's natural birth had to be so violent.
I'm glad this worked out for you. I hated the epidural I had for exactly this reason, that I couldn't feel to push. I wouldn't recommend it, myself. It took me 8 hours at the pushing stage, pretty much only because I couldn't feel the contractions.

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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