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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all - I am normally a lurker, but I thought that I would consult all of you on the following issue:<br><br>
I am currently 39 weeks 4 days (almost there!) with my first baby, and decided a long time ago after much research that I wanted to have an unmedicated, low-intervention birth. I did decide to go the hospital route (I just feel a little safer that way) but I have a great doctor and an awesome doula (as well as a fantastic DH for support).<br><br>
Here is my problem: After all this time and planning I am starting to second guess my decision to do this the unmedicated way. The bulk of the problem is my mother - she is *constantly* trying to convince me that I am just being a martyr and that there is no sensible reason not to get an epidural. I can't understand why she doesn't support my decision on this.<br><br>
I have read all the articles, read Henci Goer, I even know an acquaintance who went into respiratory arrest after a botched epidural....<br><br>
But still there she is in my ear telling me she feels terrible that she'll have to listen to me "cry and scream" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: ....<br><br>
I'm making the right decision... right? I can do this???
 

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Yes, you're making the right decision, for you and your baby. It sounds like your mom will be attending the birth? If she can't support your decision 100%, think about asking her to stay in the waiting room. Negative energy in the birthing room can have a negative effect on the progress of labor.<br><br>
good luck to you and trust yourself!
 

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HELL YES you can do this! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Is she going to be in the room with you? If you think she's going to be a problem and not support your decision to go drug-free, then she needs to not be in the room with you and you need another support person who will back you up. Women had babies without pain medication for MILLENIA before they invented the epidural, and they were just fine. It's what our bodies are made for. If you want to go drug-free, don't let anyone force you to take the meds. You can do it!
 

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I third the suggestion to keep your mother out of your space while you are laboring. My mother was there with my first, and she meant well, but she just made me feel more pain whenever I looked into her face.<br><br>
You don't have to make the medicated/unmedicated decision now. In fact, it's probably best to leave it flexible. You may be surprised how well you come through labor without it, or you may have a very taxing or long (or both) labor. Depending on how it goes, you (and the baby) may or may not be better served by getting some meds.
 

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Eevery time you hear you Moms voice in your ear, imagine your babies voice in your ear saying " You're so strong mama, I know you can do it. I want to come into this world, strong, healthy and with a clear mind. I love you Mama"<br><br>
That might help. Also, I don't know if you have any kids yet, but you will be in a very susseptible state of mind when you are in labor, especially towords transition and especially towords your Mother. This part inside of you will instinctively trust her when you are in pain and do what she tells you to do.<br><br>
You do not need to be distracted during labor and birth. You have one task ahead of you and it is your job in pre labor to get all your ducks in a row so you don't have to make any decisions during labor.<br><br>
It might be hard, but if, at this point, you Mother doesn not undrestand you stand on epidurals, then she either needs to be out of the room (this is my suggestion) or you need another person who is your "birth advocate" and main support person. This way your Mom can leave the room when she feels like she's out of control and can't help you with the pain.<br><br>
Your birth advocate needs to be strong, and willing and able to stand up to your mother, even to the pint of telling her it's time for her to leave the room. Your mom shoudl be warned of this in advance so she doesn't argue with you advocate.<br><br>
I cannot stress enough that you have to be very firm and clear with everyone about your plan. They are not your "wishes" they are your plan and you have all the power.<br><br>
Tel your Mom that you understand that she loves you, and doesn't want to see you in pain, but that you are making a deicsion based on the availability of information, which is far different than when she had you.<br><br>
Also, I would try reading Spiritual Midwifery, it's got a lot of really empowering stories in it. Birth is really really hard work, but is I can do it, you Can do it!<br>
Love,<br>
Crystal
 

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Yes you can do this! Take it one step at a time, during labor, with DH knowing exactly what are your standards regarding pain managment. Have a secret word, where when you can't stand it anymore, it's the epidural (or whatever medication you choose) moment.<br><br>
You might need, you mostly likely won't. If you're really well prepared and you're welcoming your baby into this world with peace and an understanding of pain, you'll be happy to welcome the pain and let it be a part of your labor.<br><br>
As pp's have said, if your mother is too negative about this, don't have her in there, it won't do you any good. Have your DH and doula there, and welcome this baby how *you* want it, not your mom...
 

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My unmedicated and natural birth has been the single most empowering moment in my life. I still think about my son's birth and long to be there again, to experience the power and total awe of the moment. You CAN do it. You WILL do it. And you will treasure the memories forever.<br><br>
Easy labor vibes to you, mama!! Stay strong!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks so much for the encouraging words...<br><br>
I guess I should also have told you that there is sort of a special circumstance with my mom - she was diagnosed with a terminal cancer 11 months ago and was never supposed to have lived this long (again - doctors don't know everything). She has told me that living to see the birth of her first grandchild has been a huge motivator for her to keep fighting. Because of this, I really feel like I have to include her as long as she wants to be there. I have told her (nicely) several times that what I need is positive encouragement, but I don't think she understands. She thinks she is trying to protect me from a bad experience.<br><br>
I'm not really afraid of the pain, I know that tons of women have given birth without painkillers and haven't gone insane from the experience <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> . I totally believe that I can do it, I guess I just started thinking - maybe she's right, maybe there isn't a good reason not to get the epidural. I just needed to hear that I'm not crazy, I guess.
 

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Wow, you're mom's really put you in a tough spot, hasn't she?<br><br>
I would sit down with her and make it clear that she needs to be positive or be quiet, and that you're glad she's still with you, glad she wants to be at your child's birth, but that ANYONE contributing negative energy to the birthing room WILL be asked to leave, including her.<br><br>
The snarky response, of course, would be to tell her that if she doesn't want to listen to you "crying and screaming" then she can just not be there and you'll call her when it's over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I intend to labor at home for as long as possible with DH and my doula, so my plan is to call her once we decide to go to the hospital - that way we can minimize the amount of time that she is there.<br><br>
I have to admit, I've given thought to not calling her until the baby comes. You know - "oops, it all just happened so fast", but I think I'd feel pretty guilty doing that.
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">I guess I should also have told you that there is sort of a special circumstance with my mom - she was diagnosed with a terminal cancer 11 months ago and was never supposed to have lived this long (again - doctors don't know everything). She has told me that living to see the birth of her first grandchild has been a huge motivator for her to keep fighting. Because of this, I really feel like I have to include her as long as she wants to be there. I have told her (nicely) several times that what I need is positive encouragement, but I don't think she understands. She thinks she is trying to protect me from a bad experience.</div>
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Ugh, what a mess.<br><br>
BTW, my stepfather died of prostate cancer last November... approximately 13 YEARS after he was diagnosed terminal. The drugs that supress the progress of the cancer worked exceptionally well for him. So "terminal" really just means "They can't get it out of her body," it doesn't mean "She's going to die in X time."<br><br>
Tell her that, if she wants to protect you from a bad experience, she can help protect you from having your birth taken away from you. She can help you have a birth without second-guesses and caving to things you really don't want. In most hospital situations, you'll have enough people encouraging you to get an epi. :-/<br><br>
I know that it means a lot to her and to you to have her there, but here's the truth: you'll be living with your birth experience a lot longer than she will. And if you can't bring her around on this, and she's there, I'm 80% sure you *will* get an epidural. :-( And then there's an 80% chance you'll regret it, since it won't have been YOUR decision.<br><br>
Maybe you can tell her that, obviously, since you've chosen a hospital birth, an epidural isn't out of the question. Why would you be there if you didn't want medical technology available to you? But it needs to be YOUR decision when (and if) to do it... nobody else's. Play the "I have to live with it" card if you need to. But get her on board, or set her up in the waiting room and detail one of your labor support people to give her hourly updates. Agree to bring her in for the pushing stage, maybe, if she thinks she can take it.<br><br>
But honestly? She's making you responsible for HER issues. (I know this scenario really well from personal experience.) You need to shed that responsibility; you'll have enough on your plate during labor!<br><br>
(And labor at home as much as possible. If you can time it right, there won't be an opportunity to get an epi!)
 

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It sounds like you have a great plan for the birth you know you want to have. It also sounds like you are trying to take care of your mom (totally understandable), but maybe for the birth process you need to toally focus on taking care of you and baby and simply inviting your mom to share in the experience to the extent that she can tolerate it. Seeing people in pain, especially a child, can be really difficult and she may not be up for being with you through the entire process (and you may not be up for that either). Is it possible for her to come near the end as you are pushing? Just a thought.<br><br>
I think it's great that you have put so much effort into planning your birth, and I respect your conflict. But as you become a mom, you are responsible to your child first. For your birth process, your mom will have to hold her own. And after she is able to hold her grandchild any memories of your discomfort will probably vanish immediately!<br><br>
Hope this is helpful!
 

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I didn't cry or scream, at all, through two labors (one pitocin induced) with no pain meds. It's do-able. In fact, maybe you should ask your mother not to be there, if she's not going to support you on your decisions. I know I would.
 

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<b>You can absolutely do it!</b> And no, you are not a martyr for choosing an unmedicated birth. I do not like pain and discomfort, but I have chosen not to remove those sensations from my own births because I understand that feeling my body is important to being able to work with labor, that interrupting my body's natural responses can have negative consequences for the progression of labor, and that there's no such thing as a "safe" drug during birth, they all can have negative outcomes.<br><br>
In my case, my mother was supportive of my choice. If she had not been, I would not have called her when I was in labor. I would have waited to call her until after the baby was born. No laboring/birthing woman needs that kind of negative mojo anywhere near her.<br><br>
While it would be nice to be able to give your mother the gift of being present at your birth, it would also be nice for her to give you the gift of being present in a positive way. If she cannot do that, she is endangering your health and your baby's health by being present and undermining your healthy choices, and I don't think that's acceptable, no matter what her diagnosis and prognosis are.<br><br>
Have you talked to your doc and doula about some strategies for dealing with her if she is present and gets out of hand?
 

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Oh, also wanted to say that it sounds like your mother doesn't understand that making noise during labor is fine. Feeling pain doesn't mean you'll be screaming, but even if it does, so what? Many woman find that moaning or singing or any of a million other ways of using their voice is helpful during labor. Use your voice however you see fit and feel no shame for it, ok?
 

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You can do it!! I tried with my ds to have unmedicated birth, I was able to labor for 9 hours without drugs and being induced, hooked up with everything you could imagine!! At the end, I ended up having an epidurial, since I wasn't making progress and my dr. advise me that if I tried to continue laboring the whole night, I probably would end up with a c-section from not being able to have energy to push the baby. (I only manage to dilate .5 cm in 9 hours!! )<br>
It took me the whole night to dilate with the epidurial, I was able to rest and push my baby out in the morning. I didn't feel dissappointed because I knew I wanted to be drug free, but at the end things didn't work out the best. So my advise, is just be open and be wise about taking the best decission for your baby. Try to go drug-free, but if it doesn't happen, you will still cherish and love the moment you hold your little tiny baby <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I saw the play entitled BIRTH yesterday and one of the women in the play keeps saying during labor..."My Body Rocks, My Body Rocks, My Body Rocks." Her labor support people told her the same thing..."Your Body Rocks, Your Body Rocks, Your Body Rocks." Her body did rock and so does yours. "Your Body Rocks" and was made to have this baby.
 

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I read a quote the other day and it goes something like this: "We have a secret...it is not that birth is painful, it is that women are strong". I wish I could tell you who said it, but that's not as important as knowing that it's true. I think labor and child-birth get a bad rap in our tech. society. The pain of childbirth is functional and transforming. You are strong and you can do it. Stay focused on what you want. Rid your body of fear and welcome your baby. Work together and you will do it. You must protect your space though. If your mother is going to bring negativity and doubt to your birth space, she needs to wait to meet the baby until after your strong work is complete.<br><br>
I had an unmedicated hospital birth with my first--it was a beautiful and empowering experience. I did doubt myself during transition and told my husband that I was "serious" and he needed to "tell them I really need drugs". I'm so thankful for my mw. She looked at me, smiled and said, "You're almost there, you don't need drugs" and I didn't. I was holding my joy 45 minutes later (and it didn't hurt for the whole 45 minutes--pushing didn't hurt for me, in fact I actually enjoyed it b/c I felt like I was actually finally doing something).<br><br>
Good luck momma, you CAN do it. Sending you lots of strong birth vibes.
 

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Oh I am sorry you are not getting the COMPLETE support that you so deserve at this point. My mom on the other hand was devestated when I got the epi. I didn't want it, I just couldn't take it anymore after 3 days of labor(homebirth transer) and 4 hours of pit(yuck!) and being "stuck" at 6cm for over 8hrs. And the reason she was devestated was because she knew the risks that come with it. Could you possibly just try to educate her some more? Maybe she just needs to understand that by choosing to get an epi, yea you get a pain free birth but you may never walk again. Hmm..I'll take the pain any day over being paralyzed. I have a friend who personally knows someone who went in the hospital to have a baby, well, she had her baby but didn't walk out..and will never walk again. And of course all the other risks, higher chance of C-sec etc.<br><br>
Hugs to you mama! And good luck!
 

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What is your mother really saying? Maybe she is saying that she choose an epidural for her birth(s). She weighed the pros and cons and chose that. It would feel awful to find out that there was another way, or a "better" way because she's defensive about the choices she thought were necessary for herself.<br><br>
Just a thought. I'm not sure I've articulated it clearly enough.<br><br>
g.
 
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