Those who have had PITOCIN ctx *and* NATURAL- Please compare! - Mothering Forums
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Birth and Beyond > Those who have had PITOCIN ctx *and* NATURAL- Please compare!
Celticqueen's Avatar Celticqueen 02:14 PM 07-17-2008
So last time around I had heavy pitocin induction which led to severe bleeding afterwards, complications, etc.

In terms of the pain of those contractions, there was no build up to them and they hit me like a sharp ax being thrusted onto my tummy, to put it bluntly. Also, they were extremely frequent- I was having transition contractions at only 4 cm- so very unnatural feeling, even though I had nothing to compare it to.

This is my second pregnancy, and I am planning a birth center natural birth :

When I told my mother (who is very non-crunchy, intervention friendly, firm believer in epidurals, etc.) that I was going to try for a natural birth this time instead of the transition epidural I got...

she scolded me saying, "If you think natural contractions are any better than pitocin, think again"



They HAVE to be different though, right? But she is so adamant that they feel exactly the same. I'm getting very frustrated that she feels this way because I can't reason with her, but at the same time, I keep wondering if she's right.

If you've had both, please compare and contrast the pain, how you handled it, what was different.

Thanks in advance!

-Caitrin

tree-hugger's Avatar tree-hugger 02:28 PM 07-17-2008
I was in labor on my own at home for 4 days and it was completely manageable as long as the midwives were keeping their hands off me and leaving me alone. It was civilized and I could cope and and it was not excruciating and it was workable. I did hypnobabies and I could convince myself that it was pressure and that I could try to relax through it and that I would make it.

Then we transferred to the hospital and they put me on the lowest dose of pitocin. Pitocin was a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BEAST. Pitocin was HELL pure and simple. It was not manageable. I threw hypnobabies out the window immediately--there was absolutely . no . way that I could even try to convince myself that it was just pressure and not pain. Pitocin was so bad that I didn't even want to try to handle the pain, and I had nothing in my toolkit that did me any good managing the pain. Besides, with pitocin you have the dreadful IV jammed in your arm and those fetal monitoring belts that are designed just to make a laboring woman more uncomfortable, plus you are stuck in bed and can't even move for fear that some stupid machine is going to start yelling at you. Words cannot describe how horrid pitocin is compared to how workable the natural thing is.

Your birth center plan sounds fabulous to me. Wishing you the best with it!
Celticqueen's Avatar Celticqueen 02:32 PM 07-17-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by tree-hugger View Post
I was in labor on my own at home for 4 days and it was completely manageable as long as the midwives were keeping their hands off me and leaving me alone. It was civilized and I could cope and and it was not excruciating and it was workable. I did hypnobabies and I could convince myself that it was pressure and that I could try to relax through it and that I would make it.

Then we transferred to the hospital and they put me on the lowest dose of pitocin. Pitocin was a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BEAST. Pitocin was HELL pure and simple. It was not manageable. I threw hypnobabies out the window immediately--there was absolutely . no . way that I could even try to convince myself that it was just pressure and not pain. Pitocin was so bad that I didn't even want to try to handle the pain, and I had nothing in my toolkit that did me any good managing the pain. Besides, with pitocin you have the dreadful IV jammed in your arm and those fetal monitoring belts that are designed just to make a laboring woman more uncomfortable, plus you are stuck in bed and can't even move for fear that some stupid machine is going to start yelling at you. Words cannot describe how horrid pitocin is compared to how workable the natural thing is.

Your birth center plan sounds fabulous to me. Wishing you the best with it!
Good! Well it sounds like according to you they really ARE very different. I hope you're right. Because if natural contractions feels "just like pitocin", my birth center midwives are in for a hellofaride with me.

-Caitrin
Demeter9's Avatar Demeter9 02:35 PM 07-17-2008
Had pit twice, and natural once. One epidural (for blood pressure issues).

Natural was the best.

Pit is HARD. There is no break in between contractions really. God forbid they also need to give you something else to get you ripening, because that's even worse.

The epidural did NOTHING for the actual birth. Sure, the lead up was less intense in many ways. But the actual birth was just as nasty.

My WORST birth was my first. Epi, and pit. and proglastidins (sp?). And a month early baby.

The best was my natural second birth.

The last at full term but with a pit. induction due to a burst bag and blood pressure and a HUGE baby wasn't as bad as the first by any means. But still hard. Oh those pit contractions....ugh, just thinking about it.

With natural contractions, your body does actually get a bit of a break. Not much maybe, but it is there. Pit is like whipping your body into contractions.
Celticqueen's Avatar Celticqueen 02:47 PM 07-17-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Demeter9 View Post
Had pit twice, and natural once. One epidural (for blood pressure issues).

Natural was the best.

Pit is HARD. There is no break in between contractions really. God forbid they also need to give you something else to get you ripening, because that's even worse.

The epidural did NOTHING for the actual birth. Sure, the lead up was less intense in many ways. But the actual birth was just as nasty.

My WORST birth was my first. Epi, and pit. and proglastidins (sp?). And a month early baby.

The best was my natural second birth.

The last at full term but with a pit. induction due to a burst bag and blood pressure and a HUGE baby wasn't as bad as the first by any means. But still hard. Oh those pit contractions....ugh, just thinking about it.

With natural contractions, your body does actually get a bit of a break. Not much maybe, but it is there. Pit is like whipping your body into contractions.
You know, I'm really encouraged by reading things like this because it reminds me that I'm not the only one who had a bad first birth (I'm still healing from it)

Thanks for the imput! So far, it really looks like pitocin contractions just SUCK compared to natural. That's good...I'm so hoping for an even slightly easier time managing contractions this time around.

Oh, something else that I remembered being said to me when I was pregnant with #1...that feel good endorphines come between natural contractions.

If this is true, how much of that did you mamas feel? I'm inclined to believe that this is not true with pitocin because while getting it pumped into me, even from the beginning, I never had any "feel good hormones" mostly because there were hardly any breaks between the contractions.

-Caitrin
Demeter9's Avatar Demeter9 03:27 PM 07-17-2008
I would not be surprised if the intensity of the pit. contractions overwhelms or surpresses the natural "feel good" hormones.

I can also tell you that while pushing is hard anytime, that the "feel good" final push also gets surpressed by an epidural.
Girlprof's Avatar Girlprof 04:21 PM 07-17-2008
I had a totally natural birth first time around. I was induced at term the second time because of high BP. The main difference for me was definitely the frequency of the contractions. THe pit contractions were way more frequent right from the beginning. But, I still did it w/o an epidural. You're going to be great at the birth center!
georgia's Avatar georgia 04:40 PM 07-17-2008
IME, there's no comparison. At all. I really like this article which I found to be very true for me.

Congrats---it's so nice to see you and read your exciting news
SalmonBayDoula's Avatar SalmonBayDoula 05:23 PM 07-17-2008
Hi All,

I love this topic. I would love to share some information about Pit vs Oxytocin.

Oxytocin is called the "love" hormone, (both men and women have it!) and it is released when we share a meal, have skin to skin contact, have an orgasm, look into the eyes of a loved one, (love at first sight, a true oxytocin rush!) birth a baby, and breastfeed.

Oxytocin in labor works on the uterus to make it contract. There are receptor sites on the uterus that increase in number as you get ready to birth, so that is why orgasms, BEFORE you are ready to birth, don't make you go into labor!

Oxytocin crosses the blood/brain barrier, and tells your brain to produce endorphins (body's natural pain killers) to deal with the pain of labor.

The highest amount of oxytocin recorded in both baby and mom is RIGHT AFTER BIRTH! The ecstatic birth we hear about! Michel Odent (famous French OB) speaks about what happens to mothers, to babies, to society, when children are born without natural and normal levels of oxytocin. Birth without love! Do we become more hardwired for a more violent society?? (getting off topic)

Pitocin is a synthetic pharmaceutically manufactured replication of natural occurring oxytocin. It DOES NOT cross the blood/brain barrier, we do not produce endorphins (natural pain killers) when it reaches high levels and it is not sensitive to the presence of other hormones in our bodies.

I wonder if this is why we see more fetal distress with pitocin inductions or augmentation, because our bodies can sense and receive feedback from the baby when it is stressed, and back off on the oxytocin (wisely) while artificial pitocin is pumped in at a steady rate, unreceptive to the cues of fetal distress, creating a worsening situation.

I have attended births with clients, where they have been induced or augmented with pit, and they go on to have non-medicated, natural births. They are superstars! It is harder to have a non-medicated birth on pit!

Sarah Buckley, MD, wrote a wonderful article on this hormone dance, that I encourage everyone to read!

http://www.sarahjbuckley.com/article...atic-birth.htm

She explains this process so much more eloquently than I!

Our bodies have a great design, on purpose!

Enjoy your birth center birth, and best wishes for an ecstatic birth!

Sharon

PS: I recently went to a showing of orgasmic birth, a new documentary, and it speaks to this very topic as well!

www.orgasmicbirth.com

Here's to an orgasmic birth for everyone!
SalmonBayDoula's Avatar SalmonBayDoula 05:40 PM 07-17-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgia View Post
IME, there's no comparison. At all. I really like this article which I found to be very true for me.

Congrats---it's so nice to see you and read your exciting news
I see georgia already posted to "ecstatic birth"

Great minds think alike?

S.
Celticqueen's Avatar Celticqueen 06:28 PM 07-17-2008
Ecstatic birth seems very interesting to me...

I'm so conservative though so at the same time, I'm embarrassed to think that if I chose that route, my mother-in-law would have to see it

Still more researching to do...I'm also skeptical of hypnobabies (even though I'm in love with the idea) because I am a Christian but that's a whole other story/topic.

Got lots to think about apparently

-Caitrin
Benji'sMom's Avatar Benji'sMom 06:39 PM 07-17-2008
My pit contractions were very frequent and intense with no break in between, for the entire time. With my natural contractions, they started out lower intensity, gradually becoming more intense, that labor went on from Wed Noon to Friday morning, but I will say that my natural contractions at their most frequent and intense felt the same as my pit contractions (like being stabbed with knives). The difference was that with natural, I was not being stabbed the ENTIRE TIME.
SalmonBayDoula's Avatar SalmonBayDoula 06:40 PM 07-17-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Celticqueen View Post
Ecstatic birth seems very interesting to me...

I'm so conservative though so at the same time, I'm embarrassed to think that if I chose that route, my mother-in-law would have to see it


-Caitrin
Just remember, your MIL must have done the deed at least once to be able to be your MIL! Maybe she might think this rocks!
GooeyRN's Avatar GooeyRN 06:45 PM 07-17-2008
There is NO comparison. I found natural labor and delivery to be a cake walk comparitively. Yes, natural labor and delivery hurts. But the pain was NOTHING like pitocin pain. 4 cm with pitocin pain = natural transition pain.

When I hit transition naturally, I thought I had a ways to go. I only knew by my emotional sign post that I was almost done. I was so excited when the pushing contrax. started. I did not have to endure the complete agony like I went through the first time.

As you know, pitocin contractions are pure evil, agonizing, and tortorous. I wished I was dead. My natural labor and delivery was not even 1/4 as painful as the pitocin augmented labor/delivery.

Natural labor and delivery is painful, but doable. Pitocin is pure evil. I really feel for anyone who has been through that or plans on going through that.
PGTlatte's Avatar PGTlatte 06:47 PM 07-17-2008
DS1 was induced with pitocin. Those contractions were constant with no break in between...the chart of their intensity (I had the internal monitor) went medium, high, medium, high....never low, never a break. The intense pain of them really made me clench up, and with no break from it I could not relax and open up, and walking or squatting didn't help at all. I finally gave in to an epidural when I was told I either had to progress or go straight to a C-section, so I took the epidural...the break from the pain allowed me to relax and dilate very quickly then.

DS2 was 100% unmedicated, not even an IV in place. I slept through my early labor, went through active stage 1 in the front seat of the car, and arrived at the hospital in transition. The pain in the car was manageable by just moaning and focusing although it felt like hell to be strapped into the seatbelt when I wanted to get up and walk around or at least squat or something. I handled transition by walking around the hospital room and squatting and moaning, and answering the nurse's check-in questions between contractions. The transition contractions were the hardest, but nowhere near as hard as the pitocin labor had been....the pain was down low, not my entire torso like the pitocin labor was, and it would build and then subside in a rhythm I could deal with as long as I was allowed to do what I felt like doing. Then when I agreed to lay down on my side to let the MW check my, my water broke and a had a really painful contraction...that really hurt and I felt stuck on my side and I was pissed because nobody was helping me up. Once I managed to get on my hands and knees, it was totally manageable again. Once I started pushing I don't remember being bothered by any pain at all. I think being allowed to get myself into the position I wanted to be in helped tremendously. With my unmedicated labor, I don't ever remember having a point where I thought the pain was too much...I never wanted anything for it other than to be left alone to do what I wanted to do. With pitocin, nothing I did for myself helped.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Celticqueen View Post
If you've had both, please compare and contrast the pain, how you handled it, what was different.

wannabe's Avatar wannabe 07:42 PM 07-17-2008
The peak of pain was identical, but yes, the buildup was slower with the natural ones. Also, for me the natural ones weren't regular, some weren't as bad, sometimes they skipped (I missed one right after I got in the bath).

Transition was still unbearable, though, and it still felt like someone was trying to gouge my cervix out with a knife. In the end, the difference in the pattern was not enough to outweigh the sheer agony. If my unmedicated labour had been much longer than the 3/4 hours that it was I would have had drugs, no question.
crittersmom's Avatar crittersmom 07:56 PM 07-17-2008
My second was a Pit induction.The others were natural and I did them all without pain meds.The only thing that saved me from not getting drugs during the induction was that it was over so fast (2 hrs) and I had a doula who helped me in and out of the bed so I wasn't completely strapped down.I do remember saying right before DS was born "I wish.." over and over and what I was trying to say was I wish I could get an epidural now cuz those contractions were so strong and back to back that there was no escaping.At one point I was gripping the bed rails and making the bed do wild things because I was trying to escape the pain.It was the worst experience and because of my baby being forced out so quickly ( the resident wasn't gentle with the Pit, he went full on) I had a lot of physical trauma and I think that birth is still affecting me physically.
The other births the contractions came over me in waves and yes they were painful but because they had breaks I could flow with them.I also do feel really really awesome after birthing.When I had my third I kept saying oh yes over and over cuz it felt so good once she was born.
Celticqueen's Avatar Celticqueen 08:26 PM 07-17-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by SalmonBayDoula View Post
Just remember, your MIL must have done the deed at least once to be able to be your MIL! Maybe she might think this rocks!
At least 13 to be exact Mother of 12, soon to be 13.

I see your point!

-Caitrin
Celticqueen's Avatar Celticqueen 08:43 PM 07-17-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by GooeyRN View Post
4 cm with pitocin pain = natural transition pain.
I BELIEVE IT. And this is exactly what screwed me over during my labor- It stayed 30 seconds apart (literally), from 4-9 cm's so when I was actually in transition, I had no idea because it had been all the same for hours.

Soo, when I asked my midwife to check me when I was actually in transition and didn't know it, she wouldn't : and therefor, I got an epidural because I assumed I was still at 4 or 5, thinking there was no way I could handle hours more.

Good grief. What a day.

-Caitrin
KD's Momma's Avatar KD's Momma 08:58 PM 07-17-2008
I had natural with my 1st and #rd and a pit induction with my 2nd. I told my mw that I better be half dead before she hooked me up to pit again. the contractions were longer and stronger and right on top of each other. I ended up turning the pit drip off because I just couldn't take it anymore and I was already rocking and headed to pushing, so I didn't fear stalling without the pit. at the end of my contractions with pit, I was at my end and almost started asking for pain meds, I have never even thought or considered meds with my other births. RUN, RUN, RUN from pit!!!
kijip's Avatar kijip 09:04 PM 07-17-2008
Until I had pitocin my contractions were manageable (painful, but manageable). The pitocin contractions were much harder and unrelenting- little space between, none that were easier than others. Has your mother had pitocin? Otherwise, she does not really know what she is saying. Pitocin use also increases the likelihood of a c-section, in part because it increases the chance that the mother will decide she wants pain medication/epidurals. That is pretty much what happened with my birth- Water broke early leading to arbitrary and restrictive time table for birth to complete (hospital) leading to pitocin augmentation after 12 hours leading to an epidural about 24 hours into the labor leading to unproductive pushing leading to a c-section 36 hours after my water broke. Thankfully I am better informed and prepared this time around.
kalirush's Avatar kalirush 09:07 PM 07-17-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by GooeyRN View Post
There is NO comparison. I found natural labor and delivery to be a cake walk comparitively. Yes, natural labor and delivery hurts. But the pain was NOTHING like pitocin pain. 4 cm with pitocin pain = natural transition pain.
My mother told me that, too. She was there at my birth, and she said that the pitocin contractions looked like transition to her- no rest in between, hard intense contractions.

So, I guess it was like being in transition for 8 hours. :P I'm due in January with my second, so I'm hoping natural labor is better. But I did #1 with no epidural, so I'm not afraid.
LacieD's Avatar LacieD 09:08 PM 07-17-2008
nak

Not even a comparison in my mind - pit contrax felt like someone was ripping my uterus apart and all I could do was scream in pain, even between contrax - I got an epi. Natural hurt, but it was manageable, and I dozed between contrax until I hit transition. Even then, they weren't as bad as the pit.
SalmonBayDoula's Avatar SalmonBayDoula 09:10 PM 07-17-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Celticqueen View Post
At least 13 to be exact Mother of 12, soon to be 13.

I see your point!

-Caitrin
Your MIL is pregnant with her 13th and you are pregnant with her grandchild? Cool and interesting! Trying to imagine that for my family..

So, happy birthing to all!

S.
veronicalynne's Avatar veronicalynne 09:24 PM 07-17-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Celticqueen View Post
So last time around I had heavy pitocin induction which led to severe bleeding afterwards, complications, etc.

In terms of the pain of those contractions, there was no build up to them and they hit me like a sharp ax being thrusted onto my tummy, to put it bluntly. Also, they were extremely frequent- I was having transition contractions at only 4 cm- so very unnatural feeling, even though I had nothing to compare it to.

This is my second pregnancy, and I am planning a birth center natural birth :

When I told my mother (who is very non-crunchy, intervention friendly, firm believer in epidurals, etc.) that I was going to try for a natural birth this time instead of the transition epidural I got...

she scolded me saying, "If you think natural contractions are any better than pitocin, think again"



They HAVE to be different though, right? But she is so adamant that they feel exactly the same. I'm getting very frustrated that she feels this way because I can't reason with her, but at the same time, I keep wondering if she's right.

If you've had both, please compare and contrast the pain, how you handled it, what was different.

Thanks in advance!

-Caitrin
Has your mom had both????? Anyway, I had pitocin with my first dd (which ended up c/s....I wonder why) and the pain was agonizing and I literally begged for an epidural....with dd2 i did a vbac so there was no induction (pitocin) and no epidural (my choice)...........big difference! It was much easier for me. Don't get me wrong....there was alot of pain but the pain was different somehow. With the 1st, I couldnt handle the pain and was frantic but with the 2nd it was like my body "expected" and could handle the pain. It is not like breaking an arm. I was able to go inside myself and take the contractions like waves and the natural "high" at the end was incredible. Mind you, everyones perception of pain varies but I have read and heard over and over again that pitocin causes extremely painful and abnormally strong contractions that can be stressful for the baby (not to mention poor mama) while natural contractions build gradually so your body becomes accustomed to it. Have you read "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" by Henci Goer? There is a section that addresses the difference between pitocin induced contractions vs natural contractions. For what it is worth, I am going for my 2nd vbac in late August and though they will not use pitocin on me, I am going to refuse any pain meds they might offer me. I know I can do it without it:
Celticqueen's Avatar Celticqueen 11:37 PM 07-17-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by veronicalynne View Post
Has your mom had both?????
Yeah she has! Natural with me (her first) and pitocin with her second and 3rd. She said they feel the same. BUT this is also coming from someone (her) who thinks labor is a horrible thing that she wishes I would stop going through :

My husband does not believe her- he thinks she's just trying to scare me into going to the hosp to get an epidural again because she thinks epidurals are the best gift to women besides chocolate.

-Caitrin
Celticqueen's Avatar Celticqueen 11:40 PM 07-17-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by SalmonBayDoula View Post
Your MIL is pregnant with her 13th and you are pregnant with her grandchild? Cool and interesting! Trying to imagine that for my family..

So, happy birthing to all!

S.
Thanks

Yeah I know- it's hard for so many people to imagine. So this means that her unborn baby will be my unborn baby's aunt or uncle, and that her unborn baby will be younger than mine. Think about that one

It took me awhile to process it but I'm ok now, lol.

-Caitrin
chaoticzenmom's Avatar chaoticzenmom 11:51 PM 07-17-2008
The differences for me were big.

With Pitocin, the contractions hurt right away. With natural labor, contractions didn't hurt until almost pushing time. I showed up at the birthing center not even sure I was in labor and I was about 8 cm's.

Also, with natural labor, you can rebuild your strenght inbetween contractions. You've got a minute or so to "relax." With pitocin, you're terrified of the next contraction, so you ask for an epidural, which they are more than happy to provide.

Trust yourself.
Lisa
Staciemao's Avatar Staciemao 01:10 AM 07-18-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Celticqueen View Post
"If you think natural contractions are any better than pitocin, think again"



They HAVE to be different though, right? But she is so adamant that they feel exactly the same. I'm getting very frustrated that she feels this way because I can't reason with her, but at the same time, I keep wondering if she's right.
Oh, your mama is WRONG-O. I am sure she's a lovely woman, but here's the deal with pain:

If you think it's going to hurt, you are absolutely right.

The truth is that birth CAN be painful, but God (or nature or whatever you believe in) has given us marvelous coping tools...those wonderful endorphins...to deal with the pain. While I was in heavy labor with my daughter I remember telling my midwife that every intense contraction was worth it, because of the amazing feeling I got afterward. It was like an orgasm that didn't end. Awesome.

In fact, the ONLY part of my daughter's birth that hurt was when she crowned. I had had an episiotomy with my son and was expecting to tear...and lo and behold I did. I got nervous and expected pain, and pain happened.

With my son I did have pit, and the contractions were terrible. But again, I think attitude is everything. I know several women who have had epidural-free pitocin births, and they say it is intense but bearable. The thing that empowered me to have a nearly painless birth the second time was the knowledge that if I did need to have pitocin that I COULD deal with it.

Just my 2 cents. And it of course is true that the endorphins are not there with pit. All the PP's are absolutely right. But (and I could totally be wrong) it occurred to me that you might be posting this out of nervousness.

Stacie
Serenyd's Avatar Serenyd 01:25 AM 07-18-2008
Pit is bad. Hurt me and caused fetal distress in my baby. The nurses had to turn it off. Never again.
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