Post # 1
I am trying to decide if I should (or should try to) have a natural birth, by which I mean no pain medication or epidural while giving birth. I would love to hear from you bees who have done it! Here are a few questions, although they’re just conversation-starters…
- How badly did it hurt? Scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is a paper cut and 10 is “just give me the sweet release of death.” 😉
- Was it hard to stick to your natural birth intentions? Did you ever consider getting an epidural?
- Did anyone pressure you to get an epidural? Before or during labor?
- Why did you want to give birth naturally? Would you do it again? Why or why not?
- Anything else!
Thanks, I really appreciate hearing any stories or thoughts on this. I don’t think there’s any right answer, (everyone should absolutely have the birth experience they want) but I would love to hear about people’s experiences!
Post # 3
I’ll be interested to see what people say about this thread. I won’t be able to get an epidural because of scoliosis.
Post # 4
Great thread! I’m not planning to have kids for another ten years or so, but if I were to get pregnant tomorrow I know I’d want to go the natural birth route, so I’d love to see the answers to this too!
Post # 5
I don’t have kids yet but i plan on having natural births when we do. I can’t wait to read the responses you get! & check out the “That Wife” blog. Her birth story is up & she had a natural home birth!
Post # 6
Ok. So, I haven’t had a baby myself, but I have 7 nieces and nephews, 3 of which were while my siblings were living with us. So, let’s just say I’ve been around a lot of birth.
My younger sister had her baby the most recent. She had an epidural, and afterwords she has back pain for months. It’s one of the side effects.
My mother, on the other hand, had 3 of her 4 children natural. The only one she didn’t was her first (my brother) back in the 70’s and they did this thing called a “saddle block” that paralyzed her from the waist down for 3 days.
Long story short, she refused any kind of drugs with her next 3 kids. She did just fine.
I would also suggest watching the documentary “The Business of Being Born” if you have Netflix. It’s on instant view. The main focus is on midwives and natural birth. It’s a very interesting movie, and really affected my desire to go natural when I finally go to have children.
Either way, good luck!
Post # 7
I’d love to see some real responses to this as well. I’m hoping to have a natural child birth as well.
Post # 8
Thanks for starting this thread, I’m curious, too! No kids for me yet, but I’ll second tinylittlebird’s recommendation for ‘The Business of Being Born.’ It’s a really interesting watch, and while the film definitely has a particular point of view, I think it gives you enough to go on to do some further research. It changed my mind about some birthing practices.
A word of warning, though: you see, err, a lot of Ricki Lake and other mothers in the movie, and it’s a honest representation of birth. Not for the squeamish. 🙂
Post # 9
@tinylittlebird: i definitely third your suggestion! that documentary was what made me decide i wanted to go natural!!
Post # 10
@canuba: OMG! I totally forgot about Ricki! Haha!
Also, I remembered something else I wanted to mention. I had a conversation with my boss about my little sister getting induced/getting an epidural.
My boss went into her first pregnancy 100% certain she would do natural. Due to come complications, she had to induce. And, because of the pain, she had to get an epidural. She said by the time it was all over, she felt drugged up and exhausted.
When she had her second child, she *almost* begged for the epidural, but he came so fast that it was too late to do it. She said after having her second child, she was on such an endorphin high that she said she could have run a marathon!
She said that unless there is absolutely no way around it, that she tells everyone to go natural.
Post # 11
@tinylittlebird: I’m in the same boat here, my mom had 4 out of 5 children naturally, and 3 of them were at home (me included). I watched “the business of being born” as well, and highly recommend it.
I hope to hear some stories from the bees about their experiences, too!
Post # 13
I had a drug-free homebirth last may and it was an amazing experience. I think it would have been a heck of a lot harder to do it in a hospital setting. I didn’t find the contractions to be very bad but it was very, very hard work… probably one the hardest things I’ve ever done. My labor lasted 53 hours and the reason I was able to stay calm and relaxed was because I had fabulous midwives and a very supportive husband, all of whom gave me amazing physical and emotional support. Plus I was in the comfort and privacy of my own home and I could pretty much do whatever I wanted. I’m not going to lie though… the pushing part really hurt for me and I did scream at the end, but it was the last two pushes and then it was over. I would definitely plan another homebirth with my midwives.
Post # 14
I’m interested to hear the responses as well as I’ve always intended to have a natural birth when we start having kids.
Post # 15
- How badly did it hurt? Scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is a paper cut and 10 is “just give me the sweet release of death.” ;-)- 20.. but it’s so worth it!
- Was it hard to stick to your natural birth intentions? Did you ever consider getting an epidural? I gave in and got an epidural even though I am scared to DEATH of needles. By the time I was 2 hours in I was begging for that giant needle in my back. The contractions are awful.. like somebody has your stomach and is squeezing and twisting as hard as they can. To me the contractions are the worst part. They turn of the epi before you start pushing so you have sensation and can feel to push.
- Did anyone pressure you to get an epidural? Before or during labor? No one pressured me.. I begged for it. 2 hours in…
- Why did you want to give birth naturally? Would you do it again? Why or why not? I will try yet again the next time around to go the natural route, but I’m not sure how long it’ll last. It’s hard to resist when you know that sweet relief is just a giant shot in the back away! lol
- Anything else! To me the worse effects of having a baby was not back pain from an epidural, but rather the tenderness from ripping while giving birth. Although it may be TMI, that is the part that did and still is causing me the most pain..
Edit to add:
the pain is intense.. anyone who says it isn’t is full of it! But, i went through it and can’t wait to have another little one. We will actually be TTC in the next few months as soon as my BC wears off! It’s probably the one and only time horrible pain turns out to be worth it, because of the beautiful little one you get to take home with you!
Post # 16
I haven’t been through it yet (about 20 more weeks til it’s my turn!). I am going to do everything in my power to have a natural birth.
I’ve watched the Riki Lake film, and while it’s a great promoter of natural birth, it’s also pretty one sided with some of the statistics and things they say, like babies born via C-Section don’t bond with their mothers. (There was another post on here recently about that.)
I would advise any mom to read the Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth. It’s a great resource on the pros and cons of all the different drugs, medical interventions, etc… It is extremely informative and didn’t seem to be too biased. It goes more specific into a lot of things than books like What to Expect, which I really like.I’m also reading Husband-Coached Birth which is about the Bradley Method of Natural birth.I’m not too far into it yet, but so far it seems very logical and makes sense.
Basically, any single medical internvention you have, from an IV to an epidural, makes you more likely to have a C-Section. Aside from the fact that I don’t feel like a giant needle being stuck in my spine, I DON’T want a C-Section unless it’s really necessary. And I’m not going to do anything to increase those odds that isn’t really necessary, including having an epidural.I don’t believe that babies born by C-Section don’t bond well, but I don’t want to come out feeling drugged up and having to postpone bonding with my baby and getting started breast feeding.To me it just doesn’t feel right to be planning on taking steps that would make those things (feeling drugged, having to have a C-Section) more likely. My gut and/or mom instincts tell me that natural is the way to go.
And despite what the Riki Lake film might portray, there are hospitals out there that are supportive of natural birth with minimal interventions for uncomplicated preganncies and labors. I’m thankful that the hospital in my town is one of them, and I have a lot of flexibility in the things I can do to alleviate or at least cope with the pain of natural childbirth.
I say all this knowing full well that my plans might fly right out the window, and without judgement for woman who have chosen differently than I plan to. You don’t know what it’ll be like until you are in that situation. There a poeple who don’t realize they are in labor until they are pretty far along, or who have quick labors. My mom thought she had braxton hicks for about 10 hours until suddenly the contractions got stronger and closer. She made it the 25 mins to the hospital and was fully dilated and 20 minutes later my sister popped out. If I have a quick labor, it’ll be a lot easier to stay natural than if I’m laboring for days.