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Nobody Believes in Me

1213 Views 30 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  amyjeans
Why do people act like giving birth w/out an epidural is impossible? I feel like I'm beginning to get brainwashed that I can't do it.

My Mom doesn't think I can do it. She says "I don't want you to feel like a failure if you need it." Okay, but why are you saying this now? She admits that her labor slowed down a ton after getting one with me, to the point they had to use forceps to pull me out. She didn't have one with my sister, but she says "second births are so much easier." Thanks.

My MIL gave birth to both DH and SIL with no meds. Yet she said something to the effect of "aren't you too much of a wimp for that?" when I said I was going to try for no meds. I said, "No, I'm going to try it." and she sort of backtracked and said yeah you'll probably be fine...

Plus add in all the other mainstream people I know who have over time made all the usual comments "why would you want to" "you don't get a medal" etc etc (which makes me furious because it's so ignorant).

Then to top it all off, DH says today he doesn't think I can do it. Of all the people, that really hurt me the most, because he knows how much research I've done and how strongly I feel about it. Also he's my best friend and I feel like he knows me as well as I know myself. I know I whine and complain when I'm sick, but that's not the same thing.

I've been in very, very excruciating pain for hours on end before- when I was 19 I had complications from a miscarriage resulting in a blood clot the size of a softball forming behind my cervix. I waited in the ER for 3 hours with one tylenol for the pain because a huge car accident came in at the same time I did. My mom was with me and in her own words she said she's never seen anyone in labor in as much pain as I was in that day. It was like a constant, sharp, burning contraction that never went away. So I don't think I'm unrealistic about what to expect.

Plus, so many of the birth stories I read from first time moms seem to end up with meds. It seems that the first child is the hardest. MIL and my grandmother are the only people I know who had no meds with their first children. I'm trying to use this negativity as a challenge to prove them wrong, but it occurs to me that there may be something they know that I don't considering they've birthed multiple times and I never have.

can I really do this? I'm scared now. And then I start thinking that being scared is going to make it even more painful, which makes me even more scared, and it's a vicious circle.
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Have a homebirth! Then they will really eat their words

You CAN do it!

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Do you have an ob or mw? Have you thought about hiring a doula?

If you've educated yourself to get this far...don't stop!! Keep reading, read positive birth stories, etc.
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Originally Posted by teachinmaof3

Do you have an ob or mw? Have you thought about hiring a doula?
I *just* switched to a mw and I'm planning on using the alternative birthing center within the hospital that has a jaccuzzi and nice big room and living room and kitchen, like a hotel almost, but if you need medical intervention you have to go upstairs to L&D. I have my first mw appt. on Tues. I thought about the doula but honestly we cannot afford it at all right now. There are very few in my area.
Yes, you *can* do it!
I'm sure having the nice jacuzzi tub to labor in will be a great help for you also. I didn't tell anyone that I was not planning on having an epidural because I knew I would get comments like that.
I don't know why people feel the need to say those things. Yes, it hurt, but knowing ahead of time that it would helped me feel prepared.

Keep reading birth stories on here!
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You CAN do it. It will be strong. And you will be strong.
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I don't even know you and I know you can do it!

I am one who cries at a paper cut, scared to death of needles (why I really decided for natural childbirth), just basically a whiner in anything uncomfortable - hot weather, cold weather, etc. AND I had natural childbirth all three times.
So proud of that. No one thought I could do it either but lucky for me they all kept their opinions to themselves til after I did it. AFTER our dd1 was born, dh looked at me and said (with TOTAL surprise and admiration) "you DID it..." and told me later that he never thought I could - due to my previous reactions to pain or discomfort.

I'd read positive stuff about birth - I like Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon-Rosegg. Surround yourself with people who will be positive. Tell your friends and relatives that you want their positive support only.

You want to relax, work with your body, be in a safe environment with people (as few as possible) that you trust. Have whatever makes you happy and comfortable - might be scented candles or your favorite cds or a pillow from home.

If you had more time before your due date, I'd suggest Bradley classes as they were SO invaluable to us. Maybe a Bradley teacher would do a few weeks of something private and condensed for you and your dh?

I truly think your attitude about it is the largest determining factor of what kind of birth you'll have. I'm glad you have a midwife now. That alone will help a ton. Does your dh know how to help you relax? How to touch you, how to talk to you?

Forget people who say negative stuff. I think that they just want to validate their medicated births by thinking that natural birth is impossible to achieve. It isn't - I know tons of people who have had great natural births. You will have one too.
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Yes, you CAN do it! I have done it with an epidural and without, and while the birth without the epi was more painful, it was much more enjoyable.
You CAN do it...

I am going to do it... we are having a homebirth and this is our first baby...

I am already 8 days overdue so she might be a big one but people keep saying fat is squishy :LOL


Everyone keeps telling me that in most normal births, by the time you are screaming for pain medication (and some women do even if they don't want them) it is too late to do anything anyway...that means you are so close that the meds would probably be ineffective anyway... ya know?

I try to do A LOT of visualization and mantras and things of that nature... I tell myself that I can absolutely do it, women have been doing it FOREVER... that it is probably going to be painful but THE PAIN ENDS... it is not endless.. usually you get breaks in between the contractions (up until the VERY end most times...even if they are short breaks)... and look what you have to show for it in the end? A beautiful baby...

YOU CAN DO THIS... the people who say crap like that to me (you don't get a medal etc)... channel that into PROVING THEM WRONG... of course it isn't about them... but won't it feel SO FREAKING GREAT to be able to tell them you did it completely natural?
Kind of like the whole "the best revenge is success" thing....

I am right there with you... I get that ALL the freaking time... the boneheaded comments... and like I guess it pisses me off so much because no one can seem to fathom whatsoever why I want the whole birth experience ya know? Why in the world it would be important to me to feel it all...


I am not against people who have had pain medication if that is what they feel they needed, I just hate when it is pushed on me like I am a stupid lunatic for not wanting to "utilize modern technology" and some such nonsense...

Good luck to you!!
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I believe in you.
You don't know me from Eve, of course, but I'm sure you can do it.

I had people who didn't understand my desire to go natural, too. It's hard, especially when it's people that you care about.

But, when showtime came, my dear dear friend, who also births naturally (homebirths) was by my side and it made all the difference. Anyone who was less than supportive was simply removed from the situation.
I hope you have a great support person there!

You can do this.
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Yes! You can do it! Your body was designed for it, your baby knows what to do!
I know it's hard but if you can try to avoid hearing those crappy stories which are a lot more about the teller than about you, that will help.
Have you got some good affirmations pinned up at home? I just stayed away from people who were negative but staying away from your dh might be problematic
You might need to tell him that his attitude is not helpful and present him with more helpful options. If he feels fear around birth, *he* needs to sort that out not put it onto you! Sounds like you're the most together in your environment! You can do it! And you can do it brilliantly!
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I believe in you.

I did it as a first time mama. Three of the women I've doula-ed for were first time mamas and THEY did it too. Are first births harder? Sometimes, but for me, the pain was no more difficult to deal with, it just lasted longer. In some ways, my first birth was easier because it started off so slowly, which gave me time to wrap my mind around labor. With my subsequent labors, they were quicker, but by no means precipitous, and I had very little early labor.

You can do it. And, you need to seriously talk to your husband about his role in the birth of your baby. I actually told my husband what to say. I needed him to be stronger than I was during the difficult times, and so we role-played. If I said this, I needed him to say this. That sort of thing. He cannot waver at all in his support of you, especially if he is your support person.

Definitely try to get a doula--many will work for less money than they advertise. I know that I would...

You can do it!
You can do it. People are so afraid of pain. I can tell you that when dd's birth got really intense, its like I left my body. After I saw my dog have puppies 5 years ago, I realized that your body just knows what to do and it does it. You were ,ade to have babies. Trust in yourself...

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I believe in you.

I had my first unmedicated. It was not the worst pain I've ever had. That honor goes to a broken tooth.

You might try seeking a student doula, or even another natural birthy person. It sounds like you're not going to be able to count on your DH as a strong support person for this issue. Believe me, it's much better to know beforehand when you can't count on your DH for something.
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I am a fisrt time mama and I had my baby all natural at home less then 3 weeks ago.
you CAN do it. it hurts, but you absolutely CAN and WILL do it. and no, you don't get a medal, but you get an experience to treasure for life.
My first (and only so far) was unmedicated. It wasn't so bad. It did hurt, but when it was over, it was over. I felt great afterward. Only the last 20 minutes or so was really bad. The flipping episiotomy hurt more than the labor/transition
:. AVOID. Kick the Dr./midwife in the face if you must. Self-defence.

You can do it. I am a WIMP. Captial W. I did it. Read, read, read. Get support. Get a great care provider (if that's what you're doing). Focus on you. Personally I detest needles so pain was better than huge freaking needle. I also don't think I oculd have taken being out of control as far as my body was concerned. I could feel what my body was doing and that was a good thing. I felt his head come down. I felt him slip into the birth canal. It was awesome.

It is an amazing feeling. Difficult, but entirely worth it.

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You CAN do it!

Somewhere, in the past week, I heard labor described as "pain with a purpose".

You know that there is going to be an end to the pain. You can't labor forever. And at the end, you meet your child. It is totally different, IMO, than any other type of pain.

And usually, when you feel you can't last another minute more, it is time to push.

My experience with "pain relief" in labor is that all drugs such as Nubain or Demerol do is to make you disoriented, and disconnected with your body. For me, at least, they didn't really take the edge off- they just made me too doped up to complain about it to the midwife, doctor, or nurse on hand. Great for them, not great for me. I was dizzy, the room was moving, I lost track of time, and the order of things, voices were too loud or too soft, and I wanted to throw up.

My completely unmedicated births were WAY better, because my body coped with the pain the way it should (going into labor land, natural endorphins, etc), and once the baby was out, my head was clear.

I think that "Birthing From Within" is a great place to start, in clearing your head.

Good luck. I believe in your ability to do this!
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bri276 You're going to do great

I'm sorry that those closest to you aren't willing to be a little more careful with you right now. You need all the encouragement you can get, and telling you you can't do something is no help. Make your birth plan, talk it over with your doctor/midwife....they are supporting you right? I hope so.

When pregnant with my second DS many years ago I was determined to have a successful drug-free VBAC (I did), my family may have had their opinions on this...but thankfully they kept any negative ones to themselves.
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You can do it! But you really need to be taking steps to make it happen. I always said that "I wanted to try to avoid the epi" when pregnant with DS. Of course I got all the "your crazy" comments too. But I ended up with the epi because I was not truely prepared.

I took an out-of-hospital childbirth class, but it emphasized relaxation over movement. The class never told me of the importance of movement during labor. As a doula, I have seen first hand the difference movement can make. The moms I have worked with all said that lying in the bed was the worst part of labor. So I tell people that the key to an unmedicated birth is 1. avoid an induction, if possible and 2. stay out of the bed.

Educate yourself on the hospital "policies". I know you said you are going to a birth center attached to a hospital, but see what they are going to expect of you in terms of EFM and negotiate less of whatever they expect. See if they expect an IV and negotiate against it. Hospitals have a way of saying they support natural birth, and then they do all these things that discourage it - IV, EFM, etc and then they wonder aloud why no one uses those nice labor tubs they have (!?) Discuss all of this with your MW, get in in writing and have her sign it! Then bring it with you to the hospital, so you have back up when the nurses start pushing interventions. If you have sign off from your MW, it keeps them from having to call her all the time and covers their butts.

Stay home as long as you can! If you can't take a Bradley course this late in the game, at least get the Giving Birth the Bradley Way (?) book and learn about the emotional signposts to look for before you should leave for the hospital.

Find a doula. See if there is a doula in training in your area. Check DONA, CAPPA, ALACE all the doula agencies. Call a certified doula and see if she knows of any doulas in training! Doulas know great coping techniques that can help you and DH when things start getting difficult. A doula might be willing to travel an hour+ to attend your birth, so don't count out surrounding areas.

Anyway, all that said you can do it. But you need to be educated and prepared. Knowing the stages of labor is great, but not much help when you are in the thick of the moment. You need coping skills not a chart of what 8cm looks like. Make sure you DH is on board. Have him read a couple chapters in The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin. There is a great chaper specifically designed for how he can best support you in labor.

Good luck! The people around you can be very annoying, since the US has a 85-95% epidural rate and very few people have even been exposed to unmedicated birth.
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Yes you can do it! Everyone told me birth was horrible and the worst pain you'll ever have. So I told me self that it would NOT hurt and that I'd prove them all wrong! And I did
Use their comments to your advantage.

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