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Natural Childbirth Question

1166 Views 38 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  Emilie
Okay...I've done it both ways. First was born in a hospital with an epidural and lots of stadol. Second was born at a birth center with no drugs at all. Definitely better for baby and labor moved along quickly without drugs.

Here's the problem. It was really really hard for me, even with a doula, a midwife, a birth assistant, and hubby. Now there's a possibility that I'm pregnant again (we were using protection) and I would want to go natural for baby's sake but I've been there and I remember how hard it was. It was just 16 months ago.

Has anyone else ever felt like this?? It always seems like crunchy mamas just do it which is awesome but it was so hard for me even with the Hypnobabies course and everything. Thoughts??
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hmmm.... maybe dont do the hypnobirthing? maybe that just did not work for you?

I had a terrible hospital birth- stadol epidural epi....

beautiful relatively easy birth at home.
by the time we got there, the hypnobirthing wasn't helping..the idea is just to RELAX and go loose and limp when the contractions come...

With David (my first) I took stadol with the first couple of contractions and honestly NEVER felt pain. This was a real shocker for me. Not sure if I can do it again.
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Maybe you weren't comfortable with the birth center, since it was as foreign a place to you as the hospital.
A birth at home where you live and obviously feel more "at home" would be more conducive to being relaxed and going where you need to, finding a new position, etc. would help a lot with your state of mind during labor.
I honestly thought I wouldn't be able to handle a drug-free birth after 2 epidurals but my homebirth was wonderful and I never felt like I couldn't handle it.
Have you thought through the whole birth and decided when you were the most uncomfortable? You could also ask someone who was there what they noticed bothering you the most during your labor.

For instance, my friend recently had a homebirth and she was anticipating possibly wanting her three year old to be there... and her mother, me (her friend), her husband, her midwife and the training midwife. But, when it came down to the actual day, her contractions spaced out each time someone new would enter her area on the "labor day." I called her attention to this and we made accomadations....

also, I was with another of my friends during the birth of her baby, and she would practically go insane each time she had an internal at the hospital... and was given no less than 5 of them! If she were going to give birth again, I would encourage her to decline a few if not all of those vaginal exams.

I know that these aren't "BIG" things necessarily, but when you put them into a laboring womans lap and she has to deal with other people's good intentions making her more uncomfortable when she's trying to concentrate on herself and what is happening to her body, then it can throw the whole thing off... for some people.

For me, at the hospital... if the nurse would just ask me a question during a contraction, I would get aggrivated. For some, I think that aggravation would bring more pain.

The other thing is that each birth is different. I was thinking that my second would be similar to my first... and that got me to the hospital about 45 minutes before she was born... because I was waiting to go until it got as uncomfortable as I was with my first.
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why do you want to have a natural childbirth? have you read birthing from within>? i strongly reccomend that book for you.
[/What about it was really really hard?QUOTE]

That's a very good thing to think (or write) about.
I'm sorry you're stressed about your next birth. I've had three natural births (first in hospital, second in a freestanding birth center, and third at home).

What I REALLY found helpful:

**having a midwife that I absolutely ADORED and trusted completely

**having her assistant be someone I was comfortable with (I had to ask my midwife with dd2's birth to be switched as her regular assistant really rubbed me wrong - no matter why; it is YOUR birth and YOU have to be comfortable without mental glitches about anyone in that room for any reason)

**supportive dh who is very well versed in what to expect, and what to do to help you (REALLY important that he understands what works specifically for YOU, not just what any given book or theory says - actually practice to see. I told my dh I liked having my hair stroked. In practice he kept pulling his hand down over the side of my head and each time he went over my ear, it sounded funny and was distracting to my relaxation. If we hadn't practiced, he'd have done that during labor and made me crazy!)

**absolutely no extra people in the room. My rule was if you weren't there during the conception, you couldn't be there for the birth. I love my sister and my best friends but didn't ask them to be there. Even though I was at some of their kids' births.

**Bradley classes!!! SO fabulous. Worth every single penny.

**Walk, walk, walk. I walked miles during labor.

**Keep drinking water and going to the bathroom. Hydration helps a lot.

**Use water. I took showers but lots of people like baths.

**Good mindset. You need to KNOW that you can do it. You know you can, you just need to know you can do it without fear. Dreading it isn't good for you.

**Read "Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way" by Susan McCutcheon-Rosegg and have your dh read too, especially the signpost pages.

**birth ball to sit on or lean over on hands and knees

What specifically do YOU think were the issues that caused you problems during the second birth?
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Thanks for all your advice. I just want to say tht I totally prepared myself for the birth. I did the Hypnobabies course. I read Birthing from Within. All the Bradley Childbirth books since there was no instructor in my area at the time. I read The THinking Woman's GUide to a Better Birth. Active Birth by Janet Balaskas. I had a doula. I was at a birth center. Everything was absolutely the way I WANTED IT. I used a birth ball, etc etc etc

What did I not like?? The pain was unbearable because I had been drugged with stadol and an epidural with the first child. I can honestly say I felt NO PAIN with the first birth and then I did the second totally natural. I wanted to shoot myself it was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO BAD. There was nothing wrong with the baby or the way she was positioned. Everything was perfect but I just have a low tolerance for pain. And it happened fast. We arrived at the birthing center at 9:30 and she was there by 11:45.

So while everything was the way I wanted it and I had a doula to help me and I had read everything in the world on natural childbirth and had even done a home study hypnosis program, by the time I got to transition and pushing I was in so much pain and I don't know if I can do it again that way. I didn't work through all these feelings before because I thought I was done having babies...

Thank you to everyone for the advice and input. I took another test last night and it was still a faint positive. That's how it was with my other two children but I'm still waiting to be sure...
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Fast labors are HARD, I know everyone says how "lucky" people with fast labors are but they hit like a ton of bricks with no breaks.

Both my kids were born in about 3 hours, the intensity is undescribable.

DD my second was in a bad position and her labor was actually longer and way more painful, but it was a much better experience, like you said, everything I wanted. What did help was knowing I could do it. With ds we didn't expect me to go so fast, so when the contractions started and were that intense I figured I was weak. With dd we were expecting things to go quickly (even though every labor is different). When you go into it with the mindset that there aren't going to be breaks, that really does help. Dh and I prepared with a different mindset and frame of what "normal" might be. KWIM?
yeah...maybe that's why it was so bad for me..because it was so fast. That actually kind of freaks me out though because I may be pregnant with a 3rd which will be faster, right?
I TOTALLY get what you are saying...i literally CRY at the thought of having to go through labor again...
For me, i simply tell myself it is for my baby.
You are right, it is MUCH better for the baby to have a natural birth...
And, as a mother, you would do anything for your baby, right?

At least, that is what i tell myself...I would do anything for my baby.....i would die for my baby, i will do anything to help make sure they are healthy and safe......

Personally, i would take narcotics for a stubbed toe if I could...I HATE pain......but when it comes to labor/pregnancy, i suck it up and deal with a lot of crap/pain/sickness....... it sucks, and i don't know why i cant be one of those glowing happy pregnant women with easy 4 hour labors......

when all is said and done....I *WILL* do what is best for my baby....which, unfortunatley, is a natural birth......
i just wanted to reassure you that you are not alone in your thinking. my first was a section, my last 3 were at home. each vaginal birth was very very different for me. i remember when i was pregnant with my 4th thinking how not forward i was looking to being in labor because number 3 was soooo painful and so long. i kept secretly wishing i could have an epidural

of course, i knew i would never do it and that i would just get through labor like i had the other times. it was my commitment to homebirthing in all honesty that got me through it

so, no you are not alone. just cuz a mama is crunchy doesn't mean labor doesn't hurt like hell sometimes
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Yeah, I hear ya. My first/only birth was 12 months ago, and I am not ready yet to do it again either. And I don't even think it was that bad.

My suggestion to you is, if you're committed to a natural childbirth, consider a waterbirth. For me, I think this is what made the birth tolerable. When I got out of the water to pee or whatever, it was unbearable (IMHO). When I got back in, it still hurt but the pain dialed down a notch. Also, because of the water I was able to easily get into all sorts of weird positions that sometimes helped (like squatting is much easier in water). It also helped with my endurance because I could keep a position much longer than on "land." Finally, I was able to much more completely rest between contractions because I could just float (not every woman can float, but if you can, consider how comfy that is).

Anyway, I think you're doing the right thing by thinking about this, posting, getting support, getting ideas. I've said this in other posts before, and I'll say it again here: The best piece of advice I ever got in my life was from my mother, who told me a couple weeks before I gave birth and when I was confessing I was scared of the pain: "It's only pain." For me, it rang true. Maybe it won't for you, but I hope it might give you another thought.
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Having given birth 5 times naturally I can tell you from all honesty...its different every time. I have had horrendous labors, long hard and short and hard. Babies are positioned great. Its just different every time. I understand wanting to shoot yourself. I remember thinking there is a gun just a few feet away...just kill me now. Seriously it was that bad. If I could have gotten to it I would have. I totally forgot I was in labor, it was just pain and it was just bad. Not every birth will be like that. I really had to prepare myself mentally for another hard labor because it so traumatized me. But I knew I got through it once I could do it again. Its just a day. Just one day (ok sometimes 2). And just cause its your third does it mean it will go faster but it could but that doesn't mean it will be hard either. #6 was 14 hour labor after having 2.5 to 5 hour labors I was a little worried but it was super easy. I am commited to ncb and I birth at home for that reason. I will deal with the pain, its for my baby. I don't belive there is a secret to make each labor easy, some are just gonna be hard. But I can tell you fear will cause more pain so don't go into labor fearful, get rid of that beforehand. Get a plan together that makes you feel safe so you can labor without fear.

Good luck.
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I'm definitely feeling movements today so I must be a few months along...I have no idea since I haven't had my period yet (in 2 years).

Anyway, thanks for all the inspiring messages and for sharing your stories with me.
I wonder if the shock of it being painful when you didn't expect it to be made it worse? Perhaps this one might be easier to handle if you know to expect pain and that you know YOU CAN DO IT, because you've done it once before. Seems like if you expect it to be pain-free and it isn't, that will be worse than if you expect it to be painful and it is, even if the pain is the same either way.

I think it's hard to prepare for the pain of childbirth, even if you've experienced it before. Thinking back to my son's birth, I can't remember what the pain felt like. I do remember that by transition time, it was BAD, and I do remember that when I was pushing, I had a horrendous ring of fire. I can't really remember what those pains felt like though. I also remember that a couple hours after the birth, DH mentioned what a great job I did and said something about the next baby, and I was thinking "NEVER AGAIN!!!". So it was obviously bad enough if I thought that. Yet here I am, 26.5 weeks pregnant - on purpose.
And I too had a fast labor (2.5 hours as a first time mom), and fast labors run in my family, so my next one could be fast and furious again. But I've done it before drug-free and I can do it again. I might have to be reminded of that during labor...

Wishing you a peaceful, fear-free third birth!
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Thanks to OP for posting this thread. I'm with you 100% wishing for the pain relief! I had an attempted homebirth that lasted 44 hours and ended in a wonderful hospital experience. My time at home with my midwife was horrific and I contrast that with a really great ending in a medical environment. I dream about epidurals! It was wonderful for me, and I'm really worried about next time as we want lots o' kids. I too prepared mentally for a homebirth with a birthing all the books, watched videos, talked it over with my midwife. The pain was nonstop to varying degrees for nearly three days, which meant NO sleep, literally. When DS arrived he was in distress, but after they cleared him I was so exhausted I asked him to be kept in the nursery
. I am still sick about that lost time with him right at first, something I swore I'd never do.

I know that my relationship with my midwife (long story, I should post it in Birth Stories) contributed to the long labor experience, but that does little to assuage my fears for next time.
to you, mama. I'm commiserating with you.
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