Natural Childbirth for Wimps - Mothering Forums
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January 2009 > Natural Childbirth for Wimps
FraggleLover's Avatar FraggleLover 06:04 PM 10-01-2008
I went to the dentist today for a cleaning.

She was using the water-pick thingy which hurts my gums and I was cringing.

Then she told be I should have an epidural because I can't handle a little pain.

I know I have a low pain threshold but does that mean I won't be able to labour naturally?

Does anyone else have a low pain/discomfort level?

acory23's Avatar acory23 06:18 PM 10-01-2008
Im a frickin baby when it comes to pain. However, I dont think this pain is something that needs to be medicated. I get a headache and I whine and take something to kill the pain immediately. I have bitched and moaned about my aches and pains non stop... but I think when the time comes, your body finds the strength to deal with it. It doenst make it un-painful... but you can handle it better.

Thats just my theory. I had two epidurals and Im doin this one drug free... I just hope I havent bitten off more than I can chew
JamieCatheryn's Avatar JamieCatheryn 06:39 PM 10-01-2008
Can I DDC crash for a sec? I hate pain, I complain a lot, but my first labor was drug free and this one in May will be too. Needles bother me and the drugs scare me, but what's more I feel labor is something to be done, not suffered and not overridden medically. Yeah it usually hurts during a contraction, then between them it doesn't, and eventually when the contractions get hard and long and the breaks get short it's incredibly intense and for a short while pretty awful for many. But you aren't just lying there suffering, you're birthing a baby. Each squeeze gets you more open, the harder it is the more progress you make. And each time it makes you find a new position of comfort you're helping give your baby a clearer path down. And if labor kicks your butt, in my exp, it means you needed your butt kicked to open up and become a parent. For me, even for a while I "couldn't handle it" labor went on and got things done.
sarahlynne's Avatar sarahlynne 07:05 PM 10-01-2008
I just have to add that in labor everyone acknowleges the pain is there, we just all have different ways of dealing with it (some of us choose alternatives to drugs), unlike dentists who for some reason like to act like it isn't really hurting us at all and we must be soooo sensitive to complain about it. -No offense to dentists who are NOT like this, but there are quite afew out there who are. You can do it!
ruthmg's Avatar ruthmg 07:47 PM 10-01-2008
I did a pitocin induced labor naturally, and I am a huge BABY when it comes to pain - sometimes DH can't even rub my shoulders because they hurt so much!

Don't let someone else undermine your decision regarding birth, regardless of what it is. The dentist isn't you, and the outcome of birth isn't a clean set of chompers - it's a baby! That made a huge difference to me - I knew labor would eventually end, and I wanted to be able to walk around during labor (you can't with an epi). There are a couple of good threads in the Birth and Beyond section talking about this very thing.
jocelyndale's Avatar jocelyndale 07:59 PM 10-01-2008
Not in your DDC, but my teeth and gums were insanely sensitive when I was pregnant. Isn't that common? I mean, I was told to expect swollen/sensitive/bleeding gums by my OB.

Anyhow, I had a natural birth--no interventions whatsoever. And I cried like a baby when I flossed all through my pregnancy.

Good luck!
laurelg's Avatar laurelg 08:03 PM 10-01-2008
I can deal with sharp pain like a champ. Tattoos? Piercings? The other day when I tried valiantly to cut the front of my big toe off with a motorcycle kickstand? No problemo! But headaches or cramps or muscle problems or other extended achy pain? Ooooh I'm a whiny, whiny girl. So given the choice, I'll totally take a fast painful labor over a long achy labor.

But, wanna know a little secret? I don't want a natural birth because I think I'm hardcore. I want a natural birth because the idea of an epidural or a c-section scares me WAY worse than pain does! The big old needle in my spine... the possibility of an epidural headache... or freaking paralysis... And as for the cascade of interventions that could lead to abdominal surgery!? NOT FOR ME, ladies! Hospitals scare the crap out of me, I've never even had stitches... So I will proudly claim the title of Queen of the Wimps and hide out at home for my birth.
xakana's Avatar xakana 09:21 PM 10-01-2008
My original reasons for a drug-free birth were that I was afraid of the needle going into my spine. Well, BTDT (cesarean and no freaking way was I missing my daughter's birth--general anesthesia is way more dangerous anyway, just about killed my aunt) and honestly? I'd still do labor without the pain meds. It really just wasn't that big of a deal. I didn't focus on the pain (which is key--if you think about it, you make it worse), just focused on breathing when a contraction came, I didn't bother with trying to look good for anyone (I yowled when I needed to, but it really just wasn't that often and I had 22 1/2 hours before the cesarean) and I can name several things that hurt worse.

Also, different pains in different locations are easier than others to handle. You cringed from the water pick because you were detecting injury. Labor isn't injury, it's productive, which I think really makes it easier to take.

Still, if you're nervous, look into something like hypnobabies--a lot of moms swear their labors were easier because of it.
papschmitty's Avatar papschmitty 09:21 PM 10-01-2008
I hate pain as much as the next person. I also HATE getting anything done at the dentist. Giving birth is hard work but totally with every ounce of discomfort. I like to think of it as running a marathon. At the beginning of the journey, you're enjoying the work and able take in the world around you. As the finish line nears, you're tired and so ready to be done but you can see the finish line and something deep inside you helps you make it that last stretch. I guess that's kind of a silly analogy since I'm no marathon runner but you get the point. I was able to birth naturally and never once got the "I can't do this" feeling. You CAN do it. It's what your body was made to do! If you're worried about being able to manage the pain, I would highly recommend hiring a doula. They're wonderful support and having a well trained doula with you makes you much less likely to get a whole host of unnecessary intervetions.
beka1977's Avatar beka1977 09:22 PM 10-01-2008
I would take labor over going to the dentist every day and twice on Sundays. The cold water on the gums thing drives me totally insane.
berry987's Avatar berry987 10:13 PM 10-01-2008
I love all these great responses - and I had to add my own. Labor pain is so different than any other kind of pain. I liked the marathon analogy - more hard work, exhausting. And then, when the pushing starts (and the "pain" kicked in for me) it's too late for any pain meds and it's a one way street to birth.
leerypolyp's Avatar leerypolyp 10:52 PM 10-01-2008
Dag, what an a-hole.

I actually enjoy getting tattoos, and don't mind dental work (until they get to the hypersensitive exposed areas, yow), but I once bawled and whimpered my way through an HSG. (Granted, the doctor was inflating an internal balloon in there, and used one that was TOO BIG, but still. Worst pain EVER.)

That was actually worse than childbirth, and I did NOT have an easy childbirth. It's just...different.
caiesmommy's Avatar caiesmommy 12:41 AM 10-02-2008
IM HORRIBLE IN PAIN...tooth ache and Im crying...I got a tiny piece of plastic in my leg which got infected and my dh had to pick it out and i swore a blue streak and freaked out! it was a total scene....and I delivered ds naturally and totally plan on doing the same with this one...im such a whinner with pregnancy that i would truthfully do a birth for each trimester if i didnt ever have to be preggers and go through the daily aches and pains!
FraggleLover's Avatar FraggleLover 08:50 AM 10-02-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by papschmitty View Post
I'm no marathon runner but you get the point. I was able to birth naturally and never once got the "I can't do this" feeling. You CAN do it.
Neither am I

I know labour isn't easy. I wasn't fantasising that I get through it gracefully and looking serene.

But I really think I can do it without medical pain relief if I can move around, remember my techniques and have my husband there to support me.

It was just disappointing to have someone tell me I wasn't cut out for it when I haven't even tried yet.
jnet24's Avatar jnet24 12:21 PM 10-02-2008
I am not a girly girl but my in laws insisted I wax my eyebrows before my wedding, one of them did in in the living room. I was a huge baby after it I hated it. The rest of the day and even now after a drug free natural birth, I still hear comments "I don't want to be with you when you're in labor" How are you gonna handle labor if you can't handle eye waxing" I was like whatever.

I think the difference is that the pain of birthing bring you to a beautiful end result, where as waxing and teeth scraping just bring you the pain.
FraggleLover's Avatar FraggleLover 01:04 PM 10-02-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnet24 View Post
I think the difference is that the pain of birthing bring you to a beautiful end result, where as waxing and teeth scraping just bring you the pain.
I know some women who would switch that around
ainh's Avatar ainh 03:09 PM 10-02-2008
I approached my last labor with no expectations. Heck, I had been scheduled for a c-section (until they flipped my breech guy at 37.5 weeks), so I didn't have a lot of time to dwell on my birth plan. I actually think it really helped me to have faced a c-section and to have come to terms with "this may not work out the way I hoped" senarios.

I just enjoyed the labor for as long as I could. I hate medication so I resisted the epidural for the first 24 hours. I found labor to be a lot of fun...especially since I felt so lucky to be feeling contractions at all (given that I was supposed to have a c-section and never feel any stages of labor at all). At nine centimeters I got the epidural -- they said you could have them at any point, early or late at my hospital. I'm so glad I waited to get it...that I felt so much of the labor. Plus, it slowed down my labor a lot, so I'm glad it didn't happen earlier or I may have stalled out. But I also don't regret getting the epidural either. I felt really at peace with it all. I went as long as I could and then I also enjoyed the epidural. And I went on to vaginally birth my 9+ pounder, which was more than I had ever hoped for a month before with c-section date in hand!!

I say, be flexible. Open to the pain. Open to the possibility of interventions. Open to the whole experience. I don't think I would've enjoyed my labor so much if I felt like I wasn't giving myself any options, you know? It made it easier to go on without the epidural knowing that I could have it later if I wanted. Very liberating.
quietserena's Avatar quietserena 04:17 PM 10-02-2008
Labor pain is a pain of something changing. It wasn't a pain per say for me but pain is the closest word I can use to describe it.

There is an important difference between pain of when there's something wrong and pain of that change like in labor or growing or something along those lines. I am pretty wimpy about pain when there's something wrong, particularly teeth related. But labor was somehow different. You see an end to it, there's a reward there! The fact that it comes in waves for the most part also helps it because you get to breathe between the waves and know that you handled one, and you can sure handle the next one. All you really have to think about is handling that next one once it hits. Vocalizing makes a huge difference. Keeping your mouth relaxed also makes a huge difference. None of those things help with tooth or other 'something wrong' pain.

Gosh, I hope I'm making sense here...
ruthmg's Avatar ruthmg 04:23 PM 10-02-2008
And since I'm giving birth in a hospital, I'm going to have big signs and my DH and mom to remind people NOT to coach me when to push. I wanted to punch the OB with DS's birth, and I'm not normally a very violent person. I think they're so used to women with epis who need to be told when to push that they're thrown when women don't need help. Plus, they told me not to vocalize. I know more this time - they can SUCK IT!

I loved Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth - inspiring stories and great practical tips for managing labor.
acory23's Avatar acory23 05:09 PM 10-02-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruthmg View Post
And since I'm giving birth in a hospital, I'm going to have big signs and my DH and mom to remind people NOT to coach me when to push. I wanted to punch the OB with DS's birth, and I'm not normally a very violent person. I think they're so used to women with epis who need to be told when to push that they're thrown when women don't need help. Plus, they told me not to vocalize. I know more this time - they can SUCK IT!
.
Oh, my favorite was the "NO! DONT PUSH!!" LMAO! You tell my body not to push because I sure as hell cant!!

They told you not to vocalize? Can someone please explain why they do this? I dont understand what rational reason they could have to tell a laboring woman not to vocally release her pain/ tension/ emotion.
inthezoo's Avatar inthezoo 09:51 PM 10-02-2008
Childbirth is a natural function of the body, it's fear that brings pain. Labor does not have to be painful. Mine have not been. Intense at times but not painful. You have to surrender to it and trust your body to do what it needs to do, if you try to control it and hold back or stop what your body is naturally trying to do, then you feel pain.

Dental work is not natural and your body is basically under attack, you have no control over what is going on, it hurts because of this. I also agree that most dentist I have seen don't want to admit they are hurting you. I love my dentist now and it only helps a little that he admits that it does in fact hurt some times. I find the dentist very painful and I also find flossing painful.

I have Fibromyalgia so I experience chronic pain on a regular basis, labor was not pain, not in the same way at all. Some parts are difficult but there is an end. My second labor was very fast and intense, at first I started out scared of the strength of it, that did cause pain. I started to worry I couldn't handle it but then I thought about how it was just one day out of my life to give to the work of bringing my baby home. My labor lasted 30 min. It was my second child though but my first was only 4 hrs, I really think the key for me was letting go and just breathing. When you feel something, don't think pain try to think "that's a new sensation, I didn't know I had that muscle before."
papschmitty's Avatar papschmitty 09:54 PM 10-02-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by acory23 View Post
I dont understand what rational reason they could have to tell a laboring woman not to vocally release her pain/ tension/ emotion.
They don't want you to "scare" the other moms in labor. Whatever!
quietserena's Avatar quietserena 10:46 PM 10-02-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by papschmitty View Post
They don't want you to "scare" the other moms in labor. Whatever!
*sigh*

I'm so glad you've found your voice.
acory23's Avatar acory23 10:10 AM 10-03-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by papschmitty View Post
They don't want you to "scare" the other moms in labor. Whatever!
and I care about "scaring" why? I have as much right to do so as they do. And they have every right to do so. I think what scares the other laboring mothers isnt the vocalization... ITS THE HOSPITAL STAFF!
Super~Single~Mama 01:25 PM 10-03-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruthmg View Post

I loved Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth - inspiring stories and great practical tips for managing labor.
I was TERRIFIED to give birth - b/c the only things I had read were scary! And then I read this book - and I loved it! It's the book that gave me the confidence to find a midwife, and a birthing center to have my baby at! We'll see how it goes - I'm having my first in January - but I was so excited to read something that cast childbirth in a positive light for once!
saritajoy's Avatar saritajoy 03:18 PM 10-03-2008
Awesome responses! I'm a first time mom, so don't have my own childbirth story yet, but if you want more encouragement and solid information, read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. It's very reassuring and has stories of many many different women in it.
rockportmidwife's Avatar rockportmidwife 07:48 PM 10-03-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by acory23 View Post

They told you not to vocalize? Can someone please explain why they do this? I dont understand what rational reason they could have to tell a laboring woman not to vocally release her pain/ tension/ emotion.
I think that they do this so that you are not "disturbing" other patients in labor and freaking them out. With my first labor, I was saying "OW" kind of loud but not too much. So they basically convinced me that I needed Demerol. It didn't take my pain away. It just shut me up. I so know now that I could have done it without the drugs and the problems that resulted because of them.
_betsy_'s Avatar _betsy_ 10:14 PM 10-03-2008
I had a Pitocin-induced labor without pain meds with my DD, now 2.

I figure if I can make it through that hell, I can do a natural, normal birth pain-med free, no problem. People tell me I was "so lucky" it only lasted 2 hours - but let me tell ya, when it's something your body is designed to do over a 12-36 hour (ish?) period, a process with time to acclimate to what's going on, to intensify gradually, and you force it to speed up unnaturally, it's torture. i had no chance to get used to contractions, to let them build up, to work through them because there was no end to them, no break, and very intense from the second they started. I guess I'm very sensitive to the drug, because other women don't have the same intensity/quickness issues, but man, let me be a cautionary tale!

I meditated through it, wthout knowing that's what I was doing. I kept thinking things like "Open" and "down," "relax," "breathe," etc. Those things were very helpful to me. I was very much inside my own head, to the point the nurses were joking that they culd say anything and I'd never know to which I snapped, "I can hear you just fine, now shut the hell up!"
Adensmommy's Avatar Adensmommy 10:48 PM 10-04-2008
Oh my contractions hurt like but when it was all over and I was holding my perfect son I felt such a huge sense of acomplishment and I did it without drugs. It is an amazing high. It is just one of the first things you can do thats in the best interest of your little one.

good luck.
sbrinton's Avatar sbrinton 01:42 AM 10-05-2008
All I can say is that the pain of labor is not pointless. I'd never get dental work done without a pain killer, but there's no point in feeling my dentist drill into my teeth! There is a point to laboring naturally. It is better for mom and baby. The biggest issue is that if you don't have an epidural, you can be up and moving around!
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