Drug-free to Epidural? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 32 Old 08-27-2010, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone have a healthy natural, drug-free birth (home, birth center, or hospital), and then choose to have a hospital birth with an epidural the next one (or are planning it for this one coming up)??

I'm really struggling with this and just want to see if I'm totally crazy for even considering, or if others have been, or are in the same boat!

Milly, stumbling horribly on God's path, married to my amazing Superhero, and mama to my 3 awesome boys, and my amazing rainbow baby girl!  Missing our Little One, lost 11/09, and our son, stillborn 11/10

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#2 of 32 Old 08-27-2010, 06:20 PM
 
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I've had 1 hospital epi birth and 3 natural homebirths and and I seriously considered directly to an epi this time. I even went so far as to secure an OB. My last birth at home was just excruciating and I wasn't sure I could do that pain again. However, after a lot of soul searching and thinking, I realized my last birth was unusual in many ways and I wasn't likely to have the same kind of pain again. I also watched as many birth videos on youtube and vimeo as I could to get back into the ncb mindset. I reminded myself of the cascade of interventions I absolutely didn't want by accepting medical interventions. And meeting with the OB confirmed that ultimately I just would not be in control of my birth, he and the hospital would. So, now I'm at a really good place and looking forward to birthing naturally again. But I can definitely understand the tug to get an epidural. When I had it, it was heaven and I really needed it.

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#3 of 32 Old 08-27-2010, 07:19 PM
 
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I had a non-medicated birth the first time, but with my second I went for the epidural just to see how the other half lived. Honestly, I so many more positive associations with the first baby than the second. My first birth was a little more complicated, but I remember it more and really felt more like a participant. The second one I just had to lie there and wait. It seemed so long and boring. I know the pain is hard, but I'm doing totally natural at home this time. I have a lot more confidence about the process and my own body now so I think this one is going to be great!

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#4 of 32 Old 08-27-2010, 07:43 PM
 
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No way you're crazy for considering it! We all have different tolerances for pain, and for some women, an epidural is absolutely a positive addition to help them enjoy the birth of their child.

I would read (if you haven't already) The Thinking Woman's Guide to Better Birth. I'm fairly sure it covers epidurals and the potential issues surrounding them (I'm thinking mostly of making sure it doesn't interfere with labor progressing and establishing breastfeeding afterwards). Make sure you're informed, and if you think an epidural would help you have a more positive experience, go for it!! There's no one-size-fits-all solution to having a good birth for you and me and everyone we know .

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#5 of 32 Old 08-27-2010, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I have a lot of experience with natural birth, as a doula, etc., for years, seeing over 50 natural births. 1 almost natural, 1 not, last natural at home, and I just don't know what to do with this one. I am so completely torn. My labor experience with the last was so incredibly painful (duh...it's labor). I am NOT one of those people that came away from the experience thinking, "wow! that was such a great experience! I love natural birth!" lol No way, not me. I HATED labor, and though I loved the immediate relief when it was done, I couldn't even marvel at my newborn baby for a while because I was just in such a state of shock at the pain and almost panicked that it wasn't truly over. I BEGGED my husband to take me to the hospital and got mad when he didn't (although he didn't really say no. he just listened but I knew even if he said yes there would have been no way I could have made the 40 minute drive in the car to the hospital). I told my husband and the midwife that I made a horrible mistake and that if I'd remembered how much it hurt (from the first), I wouldn't have made the choice to have the baby at home.

After the birth, like I said, I still kept telling my dh and everyone else, that it was such a horrible experience, BUT, that the postpartum made it worth it. And that's where I feel so selfish for even considering a hospital birth, let alone with an epidural. My precious son was born without any drugs, into my husband's arms, and didn't leave us at all, have bright lights, cold tools or rough hands. No scrubbing or suctioning, no scratchy blankets, hats, or clothes. We didn't have to constantly fight anyone and everyone to get what we wanted and avoid what we didn't want. I went straight into my own bed and took a shower when I wanted, went to sleep when I wanted, nursed when my baby wanted, etc. My dh and I laid in bed together with our newborn. The pain was gone, except for the afterbirth pains, which won't even go away in the hospital, lol. I wasn't hooked up to anything, my baby didn't have to be pricked, poked, stabbed, gooped or tested.

During the labor, though it sucked royally, and, seriously, was so friggin intense from the get-go. I'd been having strong contractions every day for weeks before actually going into real active labor, so once the real thing started, I never had any of the slow labor contractions where it's just the beginning and you're still able to talk and laugh and joke in between, and even sometimes during, contractions. The labor wasn't long compared to my other two (10 hrs), but it wasn't 10 hrs start to finish with early labor, active labor, and transition all in there. Nope, it was just really intense active labor about 7-8 of those hours, with 2 or 3 at the end being horrible, "kill-me-now" contractions where every single one I knew there was no way I'd make it through that one, let alone any more afterwards!

So anyway, all that to say, most of my reasons for wanting a hospital birth are totally selfish and have to do with my desire to not have pain (I remember the sheer joy of having the epidural after natural laboring for so long with my first), and 100% of the reason for wanting an epidural is because I have no desire to put myself through that ever again. However, even though my experiences before in the hospital with my children were quite positive, ever experience is different, and I don't know how I could forgive myself if something happened in a hospital that would have been prevented had I not had the epidural or been forced to give control over to someone else Can't midwives do epidurals at home yet??

Milly, stumbling horribly on God's path, married to my amazing Superhero, and mama to my 3 awesome boys, and my amazing rainbow baby girl!  Missing our Little One, lost 11/09, and our son, stillborn 11/10

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#6 of 32 Old 08-27-2010, 10:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As far as whether or not it's something I really want, yes, I really want the pain relief of the epidural. I hontesly do not care about the natural birth experience at all. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that if I make the choice to have a natural birth again, and I'm at home, I will be kicking myself and so mad that I chose to do it because it will be the same thing as last time: that I'm telling myself it was a horrible decision because I didn't remember how horrible the pain was. BUT, I know I'll get through it, too. It's not like I'd have a choice NOT to get through it, ya know? And if it was like last time, the postpartum would be amazing. I just don't know if, mentally, I can make myself go there again.

I've thought of doing natural in the hospital, but I also know, without a shadow of a doubt, that once it got to that point of horrendous pain, I'd be calling out for the "epidural man", lol. But maybe that's not a bad idea. I know if I were in the hospital I'd go as long as I possibly could, but it makes me nervous when they put the time constraints on you ("speak now or forever hold your peace") when maybe I'm feeling like I could go much longer but would feel forced into getting one earlier because of the fear of waiting till it's too late.

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#7 of 32 Old 08-27-2010, 10:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by homemademom View Post
However, after a lot of soul searching and thinking, I realized my last birth was unusual in many ways and I wasn't likely to have the same kind of pain again.
See, that's what worries me. I think my last labor was completely "normal", for the most part. It was incredibly intense from the get-go, but it wasn't abnormally long. It was just horribly painful and I just don't know if I can make myself do it again.

I also feel bad because I know it would really make my DH sad and worried if I were to do a hospital birth with an epi. I'd feel like I was letting him down because he so supports natural birth...especially natural birth at home, and I know he would be really worried about me, our baby, etc., and I don't know if I could combat the feelings of being a failure, even though my dh is incredible and would never think or say I was a failure. I just know it would really sadden and worry him

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#8 of 32 Old 08-27-2010, 10:17 PM
 
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DDCC!

My vba2c was epidural free, and I really don't know if I want to do it again. The labor for the most part was very easy, but transition was so intense, it was really overwhelming. I've been hesitating about commiting to a doula because I'm afraid that if I get an epidural this time I'll feel like I'm letting her down. And I'm just generally surrounded by pro-natural birth people and I feel pressure to conform. So, no advice, but I empathize!
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#9 of 32 Old 08-27-2010, 10:36 PM
 
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(I have been wondering this for months... what is with the "DDCC" thing?)

I don't really want an epidural, but I DO feel a desire to have the baby in the hospital. After one birth center birth and one homebirth, I would really love to have the hospital stay! It sounds terrible, but I always wanted to get admitted to the hospital for something when I was a kid b/c I wanted the attention and the visitors, etc.

I feel a tiny bit like that's something I miss out on with out-of-hospital births. Plus, with a 4yo and a 2yo, a couple of days in the hospital sounds REALLY nice!

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#10 of 32 Old 08-27-2010, 11:05 PM
 
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It means Due Date Club Crashing



I'm so on board with what Milly P is saying. I want an epi for selfish reasons. Im actually thinking that this may be my last pg...for selfish reasons only. As soon as I got pg this time I told myself...I'm not sure I can do this again...the cramps and nausea, and the heat and getting friggin fat and miserable. Dh isn't done, and I was telling him earlier this evening how selfish I feel for not wanting to give him everything(another baby like he wants) when he gives me EVERTHING I want. But he is totally not the type person to whine or talk about something until he gets his way. I was actually crying talking to God earlier trying to ask him to help me not be so stinkin selfish. I hate this feeling.


I want so bad for it to be just me and him and our daughter(bc she wants to be there) when I go into labor. I want my parents to be therec I'm so close to them, without my MIL being there, but she will have the biggest shit fit if she can't be there. And I'm not sure I want to deal with that for the rest of my life. I'm trying to pick my battles.


Wow...you've stirred up a lot that I had no clue I was questioning. Lol thank you...things I need to think about.
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#11 of 32 Old 08-27-2010, 11:24 PM
 
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[QUOTE=pollyanna123;15781144

I don't really want an epidural, but I DO feel a desire to have the baby in the hospital. After one birth center birth and one homebirth, I would really love to have the hospital stay!

Plus, with a 4yo and a 2yo, a couple of days in the hospital sounds REALLY nice![/QUOTE]

I had a vbac at a hospital last time and I took the chance of a repeat c section by going into another hospital birth but I had the exact same feelings as polyanna. I was able to have a natural intervention free birth by showing up in transition and removed a lot of the fear of a repeat bad scenario that way. I really was able to get the breastfeeding help I needed and meals and motrin were delivered on schedule. I got my own room with a shower and time away from the whole world so I could just focus on my new baby. I suppose if I had a support system of women at home it would be different. I really don't have anyone except my DH.

I just got finished watching the "business of being born". Someone put a free link on the I'm Pregnant page. Towards the end of the movie one of the doctors talks about all the hormones your body produces during birth and how they are the key factor to initial bond and desire to protect new baby. He says that moms with epidurals and/or c sections never have that hormone release occur during their labors. This really rang true for me with the lack of bond I had with my sectioned baby compared to the overwhelming bond I had with my natural vbac. Even breast feeding was night and day. I need that feeling again, that high that I got from my second birth. I'm still going to the hospital though!

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#12 of 32 Old 08-27-2010, 11:31 PM
 
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#1 was epi, c/s. #2 all natural hospital. #3 all natural labor at birth center, transfer, emergency c/s under general. This time I will be in the hospital and I might get an epidural. I know I can do natural labor, but I am not sure if I want to. I'm afraid that I will freak out during transition because of how things went last time, so I think it might be better for me mentally to get an epidural.

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#13 of 32 Old 08-28-2010, 12:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I suppose if I had a support system of women at home it would be different. I really don't have anyone except my DH.
And that's another thing to consider. Because of his job, DH can't even really take off more than the day of the birth! We have 3 other children at home and, hopefully, my mom will be coming, but it would be hard on her, I'm sure, "just" taking care of my 3 kids (and probably having to take the oldest to and from school every day), let alone having to help me, too! So I guess that could be a point to bring up with DH. Not that I'd want to spend 3 days in the hospital, but the first 24-48 hrs could be really helpful. Honestly I'm not nervous about the epidural having ill effects on me, or even on the baby, really. First of all, I know, absolutely, that I would not go to the hospital until I felt I had to. I would defintely be in active labor and well on my way to transition before I got an epidural. For me, the biggest concern is just the postpartum stuff with the baby. Not knowing whether I'd have nice, cooperative nurses and other hospital staff, doctors, etc., who wouldn't fight me tooth and nail with everything. The hospital I would go to is Baby Friendly hospital, so that's good, but I've never actually been to it, and have never heard anyone's personal experience there, so I don't know how much of a difference that certification actually makes.

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#14 of 32 Old 08-28-2010, 12:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#1 was epi, c/s. #2 all natural hospital. #3 all natural labor at birth center, transfer, emergency c/s under general. This time I will be in the hospital and I might get an epidural. I know I can do natural labor, but I am not sure if I want to. I'm afraid that I will freak out during transition because of how things went last time, so I think it might be better for me mentally to get an epidural.
That's how I feel. Mentally, I know it would be such a HUGE relief to me if I knew I were getting an epidural. And you know what? To be honest, instead of being at home, writhing in pain, begging someone to take me to the hospital, I know myself, and I would challenge myself to relax and last as long as I possibly could without the epidural, knowing it was available when I wanted it, and might actually have a positive birth experience...not just a horrible traumatic birth with a nice postpartum period.

Milly, stumbling horribly on God's path, married to my amazing Superhero, and mama to my 3 awesome boys, and my amazing rainbow baby girl!  Missing our Little One, lost 11/09, and our son, stillborn 11/10

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#15 of 32 Old 08-28-2010, 12:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't really want an epidural, but I DO feel a desire to have the baby in the hospital. After one birth center birth and one homebirth, I would really love to have the hospital stay! It sounds terrible, but I always wanted to get admitted to the hospital for something when I was a kid b/c I wanted the attention and the visitors, etc.

I feel a tiny bit like that's something I miss out on with out-of-hospital births. Plus, with a 4yo and a 2yo, a couple of days in the hospital sounds REALLY nice!
Blehck. I'm opposite. I want an epidural in my home so I don't have to have the full hospital experience, lol! I can't stand all the procedures and protocol and the line, "that's hospital policy". Ick.

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#16 of 32 Old 08-28-2010, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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the end of the movie one of the doctors talks about all the hormones your body produces during birth and how they are the key factor to initial bond and desire to protect new baby. He says that moms with epidurals and/or c sections never have that hormone release occur during their labors.
I definitely agree with that, but only to a certain extent. I believe it truly does depend on how long you are in labor before the epi...or even more so, how long you have the epi, before you have the baby. Also, a lot is the mindset before labor. So many people are so mentally disconnected from the process without realizing the effect it will have on their bonding immediately following birth. I've had epis before and was very intune with my body and my baby....waited till the very last possible moment to get one (tried natural and had hospital transfer). I had incredible bonding with my sons immediately following their births, while my last born (natural at home) didn't get as much immediate bonding from me because I was in shock (not really in a good way) for a while.

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#17 of 32 Old 08-28-2010, 12:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been hesitating about commiting to a doula because I'm afraid that if I get an epidural this time I'll feel like I'm letting her down. And I'm just generally surrounded by pro-natural birth people and I feel pressure to conform.
I probably won't get a doula, but I wanted to let you know that there are many doulas who would be completely respectful and wouldn't judge you if you told them, upfront, that you may chose to get an epidural. You just need to be at peace with it yourself, and then let the doula know that getting an epidural is not a failure to you, but it's a choice you will probably make to have the kind of birth you desire. The right doula for you would be one who will encourage YOUR desires, not necessarily what THEY would choose. When interviewing doulas, you woud want to ask them if they would support you in that decision, and let them know that it's imperative that you be surrounded ONLY by people who are supportive of what you want, and you don't want anyone judging you or making you feel bad for a choice you made about your birth.

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#18 of 32 Old 08-28-2010, 02:12 AM
 
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A couple thoughts: If you want the epi and are informed and have a plan, I think it's okay. I give you my permission

Secondly, I didn't have any bonding problems with my epi baby. However, I did having nursing and jaundice problems. Those first 8 days were hell with the bili lights, blood draws, hospital visits, and a sleepy baby who wouldn't latch.

My last homebirth was pretty traumatic (hence the reason I considered a hospital birth this time) and it really sucked that we didn't have the instant bond. I was completely shell-shocked. But yes, there were unusual circumstances before, so I'm thinking positively for next time

Another thing, I'm not sure how accurate it is to think that staying at the hospital postpartum will be like a mini-vacation. My pp stay at the hospital wasn't horrible, but the hospital I was at was new and they had very few other moms recovering. When I was considering a hospital birth in my current city, I asked the moms I know and they all said postpartum here is miserable and they couldn't wait to get home. Find out how it is in your area.

Good luck! It can be a tough decision.

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#19 of 32 Old 08-28-2010, 02:34 AM
 
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Given that I am absolutely petrified of the epidural (I've watched them and seen a few go horribly wrong)... NO. I can say I certainly am not considering it. Would I if I weren't a chicken? Probably still no. But I can see why (since labor hurts like a 5 letter word starting with b) someone might consider it after having done it the natural way.

What I liked about my natural births though had nothing to do with "instant bonding" etc... I have nicu babies. I didn't get to nurse right away etc that is what most people are saying are the main benefits of the natural birth. What I DID get was a very clear headed first memory of my baby because the instant they were out, the pain was gone and there were no drugs clouding anything. Both babies were able to cry and open their eyes at me. And I even got to hold my second one before he was taken off to the nicu. (He was later than my first and didn't need to be immediately intubated or anything). And I like that I could move around, and eat, and when I was done, I was able to just get up and use the bathroom.

This time, my goal is to do it all at home. And to nurse right away. Working my way up to that "perfect" experience I keep hearing is out there somewhere...

I guess what everyone is saying (because we're ALL so smart and right)... do what you want. Whatever your gut is telling you. The ultimate goal is for a healthy mom, healthy baby and a happy experience.

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#20 of 32 Old 08-28-2010, 10:02 AM
 
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Have you looked into Hypnobabies or something to help with pain relief?

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#21 of 32 Old 08-28-2010, 10:30 AM
 
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I have given birth to all 5 of my children in a hospital with out any drugs. Every birth was different. They were all hard work. I would never consider giving birth any other way.
I recently had a cousin who went through natural childbirth and told me her experience was awful. She went on to tell me that "obviously my births had never been as painful or difficult as hers." I was very hurt. Two of my babies were 9lb 7oz, and no matter who you are that's hard! I guess I just have a different mind set. I don't complain how hard it is or how much it hurts. I just get through it. I am also very lucky to have an extremely supportive husband. And I do view the entire experience as beautiful and the thing I am most proud of myself for accomplishing.

That being said, I do believe women should be able to make their own choices how to labor and raise their children. I am thankful to have made my own choices.

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#22 of 32 Old 08-28-2010, 10:31 AM
 
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The day my daughter was born, while I was making phone calls to spread the news of her birth on the drive home from the birth center, I made everyone close to me swear to remind me how painful and overwhelming labor and birth was when I got pregnant again so that I would never attempt to go at it drugfree again. I birthed my first two naturally, no problems, but me, three+ years ago, would mandate I never do it again.

God intervened and I had three long years to forget that pain, and this time everyone's dutifully reminded me that I want to surrender control over my body and the path that will lead up to this baby's birth and do it in a hospital with IVs and possibly catheters and a huge needle in my back. And I'm being a hero again. It can't be that bad, right, I mean I lived through it twice. Just suck it up, be tough, channel the lineage of women before you who've birthed without drugs.... It's totally not for everyone.

My aunt, who had five babies, talked to me about her birth experiences before I had my first baby. She had her first three drugfree, and her fourth and fifth with an epidural. She said those were the most pleasurable by far, that she went into the hospital in labor, got her epi, watched her soap operas for the day, and pushed out the baby, was back to her old self in plenty of time for dinner that night. She said there are advantages to both, but if she were pregnant again right then, she'd do the epi again.

I don't think you should put so much consideration into what your husband wants when you make the decision that will ultimately affect your body, your spirit, your psyche. I also think you shouldn't be afraid of the birth, and be prepared for it to not go the way you plan. I have another aunt who planned to get an epi, but her first and only baby came so fast she ended up birthing naturally, and still carries a huge amount of disappointment and residual fear from the experience of the loss of control and pain she experienced during the birth.

You have time, you have options. Peace to you while you figure out what to do.

Mommy to ds (4.5), dd(3) and growing a little Valentine's Day babe!
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#23 of 32 Old 08-28-2010, 10:47 AM
 
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All of mine were planned to be drug free. All three were posterior with extremely painful back labors.

The first I had a midwife and dh attending and they were of no help in helping me deal with the pain. I ended up with every drug available and then a c-section.

The second I had a doula and a successful drug free vbac. The pain was horrible and honestly didn't see what all the (drug free) hoopla was about. Yay if you can do it, but the epidural is the way to go if you can't. I find all the other drugs useless beyond making you a bit high.

The third I planned no drugs again but moved late in the game so I didn't have a doula or prenatal care for the last 3 weeks of pregnancy. I went in to a hospital no knowing who was going to attend or how things were going to go.

It was the most painful labor to date and I ended up crying for an epidural at 5cms. It was fabulous. Pain was gone but I could feel my legs and move them around as needed (they were very heavy though). The total labor ended up being twice as long as previous ones (nothing to do with the epidural) and looking back, I would have exhausted myself a lot earlier if I had to deal with the pain. It helped that the staff was awesome and a lot more easy going with the labor than expected.

I wanted more kids but am convinced there is something wonky going on with my pelvis. Kids are posterior, labors are difficult and they seem to get stuck around the pushing stage.

So currently undecided but if we have more I would get the epidural as soon as the pain started getting overwhelming. For me it made for a much more enjoyable birth. Drug free for me is torture.
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#24 of 32 Old 08-28-2010, 10:54 AM
 
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I did-- I had 4 drug free births including a homebirth. Then had an epidural for my next births. It was just too much pain for me. I had very good experiences with the epi births honestly, they were beautiful, calm births with no complications. I think 2 things are crucial if you are going to have an epi-- 1) have an OB whom you're emotionally comfortable with. I think emotional comfort with an OB is more important than anything else, even if you have very differing birth philosophies. I felt very safe and emotionally at ease with my OB. 2) Wait as long as possible to have the epi put in-- this is tricky as it can take them 45 min+ to get their act together and have the epi put in-- I had mine put in around 5-6cm and flew into transition. Both babies were born within an hour of the epi being in and I had no problem nursing them. They were wide-eyed and awake.
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#25 of 32 Old 08-28-2010, 11:30 AM
 
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I probably won't get a doula, but I wanted to let you know that there are many doulas who would be completely respectful and wouldn't judge you if you told them, upfront, that you may chose to get an epidural. You just need to be at peace with it yourself, and then let the doula know that getting an epidural is not a failure to you, but it's a choice you will probably make to have the kind of birth you desire. The right doula for you would be one who will encourage YOUR desires, not necessarily what THEY would choose. When interviewing doulas, you woud want to ask them if they would support you in that decision, and let them know that it's imperative that you be surrounded ONLY by people who are supportive of what you want, and you don't want anyone judging you or making you feel bad for a choice you made about your birth.
Oh, I know! And the doula I'm considering seems really great in that regard (and next time we get together, I'll discuss it more with her), but it's just a nagging thing in the back of my mind!

And fwiw, my first 2 were c/s, and I had no trouble bonding. Dd2 was in the NICU for 2 weeks and I couldn't even hold her until she was 5 days old, or nurse her until she was 11 days old (and she had no trouble and nursed for 2.5 years), but I loved her intensely from the start, as I did with all three of them! I didn't see any difference in bonding between the 2 c/s and the natural birth, honestly (though ymmv, of course).
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#26 of 32 Old 08-29-2010, 08:47 PM
 
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See, my other experience was in an unmedicated birth in hospital but because I wasn't having contractions, they gave me Pitocin. So I successfully made it with my 8 lb 4 oz child AND Pitocin without an epidural, and I feel that after Pitocin, natural birth has got to be easier. Obviously there are exceptions, but no. After living through natural childbirth and feeling what was the most psychedelic experience of my life by being mindful of the pain and not fighting it, I'd never go back.

Mama to Iris, born 7/31/08, and Elliott, born 1/28/11!    Photoblogging a year in my daughter's life at iris365.wordpress.com and my son's first year at elliott365.wordpress.com
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#27 of 32 Old 08-30-2010, 01:24 AM
 
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My first was totally natural at a freestanding birth center.

He was 9 lbs 4 oz and posterior.

Relaxing through contractions wasn't bad...but transition and pushing were horrible. Extremely intense, painful, and for me, terrifying. MY Bradley method book made it seem like pushing would be this delightful time of getting even closer to meeting your baby, but in reality it was horrible. It hurt and I really didn't like it. (I pushed for almost 3 hours).

I am planning a home birth with this one. And honestly, when I think about natural labor, at no point am I like "Oh hey! That sounds super duper fun! Remember how awesome that was last time? Let's totally go through that again..." I have no romantic ideals about natural labor.

But I am doing it again because I have done the research and that's what I think the safest (in terms of avoiding that cascade of intervention) way to do things is. I don't think a mom who chooses an epidural is some how less than me. Everyone needs to make their own decisions after doing research.

In Birthing from Within, there is a quote I like. "Labor is hard work, it will probably hurt, but you can do it." There is something empowering (at least for me) to go up against labor knowing that it will not be puppies and rainbows and lollypops, but a hard thing that has the potential to be transformative in the same way that climbing a mountain or running a marathon is transformative. Honestly, after my last birth I felt really shook up at how hard that was, but I think knowing that I was able to accomplish such a feat helped me with our breastfeeding challenges in the beginning. I think in many ways breastfeeding was harder than labor was, at least early on, but I had a great deal of confidence simply because I had just dug down deep and did something great that I could look back on and draw strength from.

In a way I think having been through it before is nice because I know what to expect, even if what I expect is hard work and several hours that will probably really suck. I am going up against it realistically this time. I know it will hurt but I honestly don't remember the pain from my first labor...I just remember it sucking and me asking my midwife to take me to the hospital to cut the child from my uterus during transition. But once I saw my sweet Sam's face...it was all worth it, and all was forgotten.

Just my 2 cents...I am not excited about going through labor again, but I know I lived through it once, so I can do it again...

helpmeet. mama to Sam (1.18.09 ) and another baby boy (due 2.1.2011 ). planning our first .
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#28 of 32 Old 08-30-2010, 01:37 AM
 
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I guess what everyone is saying (because we're ALL so smart and right)... do what you want. Whatever your gut is telling you. The ultimate goal is for a healthy mom, healthy baby and a happy experience.
Exactly. Do what makes you comfortable, not what you feel others want you to do. It is a very tough decision, and a personal one. I wish you the very best of luck!

"A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bank balance smaller, home happier, clothes dirty, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for." ~A.U.
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#29 of 32 Old 08-30-2010, 02:03 AM
 
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But I am doing it again because I have done the research and that's what I think the safest (in terms of avoiding that cascade of intervention) way to do things is. I don't think a mom who chooses an epidural is some how less than me. Everyone needs to make their own decisions after doing research.

In Birthing from Within, there is a quote I like. "Labor is hard work, it will probably hurt, but you can do it." There is something empowering (at least for me) to go up against labor knowing that it will not be puppies and rainbows and lollypops, but a hard thing that has the potential to be transformative in the same way that climbing a mountain or running a marathon is transformative. Honestly, after my last birth I felt really shook up at how hard that was, but I think knowing that I was able to accomplish such a feat helped me with our breastfeeding challenges in the beginning. I think in many ways breastfeeding was harder than labor was, at least early on, but I had a great deal of confidence simply because I had just dug down deep and did something great that I could look back on and draw strength from.

.
This is exactly how I feel and why I'm still going to have a hb even though last time sucked I love Birthing From Within, too!

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#30 of 32 Old 08-30-2010, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, everyone! All of the posts gave me a lot of encouragement, and "food for thought". Last time, even though we knew we wanted a hb, no doubt about it, we still explored all of our options. I had a back-up doctor at a hospital who I absolutely loved, and we took the tour of the hospital and a birth center, interviewed all area midwives, and, yes, tried hypnobirthing and Bradley method. I couldn't STAND any of the hypnobabies or hypnobirthing stuff because I found that I couldn't handle a single decibel of sound when I was in labor. No music, no water running, no breathing loud, nothing. So out went all the stuff for hypnobirthing. And even still, with the Bradley method, I am really glad DH and I went through it, because the classes were fun, we got to know some really great couples, got one night a week to just focus on us, the baby, think about the birth, think about what we wanted and didn't want. It was nice to have that scheduled time each week, away from the kids and the res tof our busy lives, to just focus on the little miracle brewing inside, lol. But as far as the labor, again, it didn't help at all. With my first, the water helped a bit, and because of how hot baths are always my go-to for relaxation, I figured I'd use the tub a lot, but I only used it for about a half hour and never wanted to get back in again. I tried so many things but everything was just so intense that nothing helped physically. The only thing that helped, mentally, was going off on my own, in the dark, quiet, and just submitting my mind to the fact that no relief was coming from anything except this baby being born, so I just had to survive the next contraction, and the next one, and the next one, until the baby was born.

So anyway, I would definitely not use an epidural as my #1 thing as soon as I start hurting. Yes, from my past experiences, I would expect that the epidural would take the pain away, but I understand it doesn't always happen that way, in which I'd just survive it the same way I survived the last one. I know that I would not go to a hospital unless I felt totally and completely comfortable with my OB and the hospital, the pediatrician, etc.

Anyway, lots to think about, and glad there's lots of time to decide!

Thanks again, everyone!

Milly, stumbling horribly on God's path, married to my amazing Superhero, and mama to my 3 awesome boys, and my amazing rainbow baby girl!  Missing our Little One, lost 11/09, and our son, stillborn 11/10

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