(Closed) Anyone deliver without an epidural?

posted 10 years ago in Babies
Post # 32
Member
1831 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

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@paperumbrella: That makes sense! Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 33
Member
1046 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I have a friend who recently gave birth and she had the ‘cadillac’ of procedures.  She was induced, given an epidural, mechanically dilated, the baby was artificially fed…it was about the cost of a downpayment on a house! They kept her in the hospital for 4 days too.  She decided it was all things she wanted but now she looks back on the photos and the whole experience and says it was like ‘being a zombie for 4 days on drugs while everyone around me enjoyed my son’.  It was heartbreaking to hear this from her and now she’s really depressed because she feels like she missed out on something.  That’s my only bit’o’info, I always intended to have a natural home birth just based on my families excellent experiences with them! That’s just me though =)

Post # 34
Member
1813 posts
Buzzing bee

I had an unmedicated hospital birth.  I took a lamaze childbirth class, had an awesome doula & read part of Ina May’s book.  My husband read the birthing partner.

If I do it again, I’d probably do Bradley classes & do a home birth with a nurse midwife.  Or, wait ridiculously long before going in, but luckily I live RIGHT by the hospital.

I labored at home for about 7 or 8 hours.  During that time I went for a walk and also paced in the pool.  I ate some cereal before I knew it was the “real deal” then I only had clear liquids afterwards, but I do think it is very important to have some calories to keep your energy up.  It was during office hours, so I headed to the OB even though I wasn’t @ 5 minute intervals yet.  I’m glad I did, bc I was already @ 5cm & I lost my plug & my water broke @ her office!  I walked to the hospital & was 6 when I got there.  Honestly, I didn’t really like the hospital experience, but that was just me.  It made me panic a bit (unnecessarily, but I’m type A).  I’m more than happy to answer any other questions via PM or will try to check back in here.

I highly recommend watching some unmedicated births if possible, because it looks/feels very different than what you see on TV (whether real or dramatic, usually shown with epidural).

Post # 35
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2536 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

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@runsyellowlites: Have your husband read “Husband Coached Childbirth” so that he knows what he should be doing during your labor. I also highly recommend taking the 12 week classes given by a certified Bradley instructor. So of it is repeatative, but it’s a good way to prepare for both you and your husband. I’ve read the book you mentioned and one I mentioned, but the classes added a lot that I would’ve missed. It’s kind of like how a book is always a little different from the movie if that makes sense.

Post # 36
Member
240 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I posted this in a different thread awhile back, but yes I delivered my 6 lb 10 oz daughter without an epidural.

Before I gave birth, I wasn’t dead set on delivering naturally.  I was a little hesitant about the epidural because of the experiences of 3 of my friends who had recently given birth.  One friend ended up with Bells-Palsy (facial paralysis) after her epidural that lasted for 2 months and I had two other friends who went through that pitocin-epidural-pitocin-epidural cycle which led to the baby’s heartrate dropping then emergency c-section.  So, I decided to labor at home for as long as possible and see if I could hold off on the epidural for as long as possible.  But if I was in a lot of pain, I wasn’t going to rule that out as an option.  (side note—my friends all ended up with totally healthy babies and their experiences with the epidural were definitely not the norm!)

During the end of pregnancy, I slowly dilated about 1 cm a week for almost a month before going into labor.  I was still out and about during that last month so this part was more uncomfortable and exhausting than painful.  So on the day I ended up giving birth, I didn’t know my body was going into labor since I had been slowly dilating and uncomfortable for so long and also my water hadn’t broken yet.  By the time I got to the hospital and in the delivery room, I was already 7-8 cms dilated and very close to pushing.  They always said that I could have the epidural, but my labor was progressing so quickly that it just didn’t make sense.  The contractions at that stage were extremely uncomfortable but they not agonizing or unbearably painful.  I say that the overall sensation was similar to lifting weights and pushing yourself thru an extra set at a very heavy setting.   Also, the contractions only last for a minute or two and in between contractions, I felt totally fine. 

As I was weighing my options, the doctor pointed out that because my labor was advancing so quickly, the birth would likely be very quick as well.  And the added intervention would likely slow down the whole process and also slow down my recovery afterwards.  So since I didn’t feel like I was in truly agonizing pain and made it so far without it, I decided to forego it all together and just start pushing.  Sure enough, I pushed for about 20-30 mins and my baby was born.  And because I didn’t have the epidural, I was able to get to the recovery room quicker and also able to leave the hospital 24 hours later.  To this day, I am still shocked that it was so easy for me. 

I am really happy I got to have a great natural birth experience and  I would encourage everyone to try it out if you can.   But I know all births are different and I feel like a lot of my experience was just luck.   If for some reason my labor was different or had suddenly slowed down on its own, I can’t say for certain that I would’ve stuck with the all –natural route.  The birth is really more of a means to an end, so go with whatever route will give you a healthy baby. 

Post # 37
Member
5654 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2011

@TheFutureMcBride Thanks! We’ll totally have to get that for DH. Unfortunately, Bradley classes aren’t available in our area so it’ll all be between me, hubby, and my midwife as to getting prepared. =/ Maybe I can find some videos or something =)

Post # 38
Member
2536 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

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@runsyellowlites: My Bradley instructor didn’t have classes for her first 2, but prepared with books and what not. I’ll ask her if there’s anything else you can do. Oh, make sure to do the recommended exercises.

Post # 39
Member
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I did not have a med-free birth (I had an epidural), but I prepared for one.  My biggest advice is to research the natural birthing methods available and pick one that works for you.  Bradley is the most successful method (I think Bradley has like a 90% success rating), but if the classes are not available in your area, there are lots of homestudy type preparation courses available (hypnobirthing, lamaze, etc…).  I also really recommend the book The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin; it’s pretty comprehensive and has a great section on coping methods and chapters for your birthing partner on how to support you during a natural birth.

Good luck!  I am always very impressed with women who succeed in med-free childbirth!  ๐Ÿ™‚

ETA:  As far as eating before/during labor goes, am I the only person that was totally disgusted by food while in birth?  I started puking within 30 minutes of my water breaking, and I puked a lot right up until I got the epidural.  I always thought I’d want to eat during labor, but when the time came, I couldn’t even keep down juice/gatorade, much less think about food, lol.

Post # 40
Member
5654 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2011

@TheFutureMcBride THANKS! and Yea I was just reading over the Bradley site again to double check about instructors in the area… still none.

@Mrs.Spring I felt like that after I got my epidural too. Before that though I was STARVING as I’d been there for 12 hrs in labor and unable to eat.

Most hospitals would NEVER support eating b/c of their rate of c-section and as the pp responded in that case it certainly wouldn’t be recommended.

As far as midwives and freestanding bithing centers they’ll tell you the opposite b/c your body NEEDS energy to do the hardest thing it’ll ever do… and their rate of “emergency” intervention of any kind, including c-sections, is astronomically less than U.S. hospitals.

Post # 41
Member
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

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@runsyellowlites:  I was like that BEFORE my epidural.  I was so sick before I got I the epidural, I didn’t even allow my (starving) husband to eat in my room, lol.  Once the epidural kicked in, my stomach finally settled down and I only puked once or twice after that.  ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 43
Member
2286 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

My husband and I have decided to TTC/NTNT and I want a natural birth. My best friend is pregnant right now and planning the same thing, HOWEVER here’s the problem; there are three OB/GYN groups around these parts, and for one of them if you even MENTION that you’re interested in midwifery, they will not see you. At all. It’s ridiculous.

Post # 44
Member
510 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I didn’t have an epidural for DS birth.  I was having contractions the night before, and the next day happened to be my 38 week appt.  We went in and my midwife said I was in active labor…I didn’t even know! so we went to the hospital, they wanted to induce me after awhile because they felt I wasn’t progressing fast enough, I stallled until humanly possible because I wanted a med-free birth and I knew the pitocin-epidural cycle from my bradley classes, I finally consented to pitocin after they gave me that option vs. c-section (can I just say I hated that hospital?) and 6 hours after I was induced, DS was born!  I would say Practice, Practice Practice!!!!! breathing, relaxing, focusing, all of it…meditation does help.  What got me through was to relax as much as possible, and I don’t mean the type of relaxing where you are sitting at home watching tv…i’m talking about almost dead comatose relaxation. Your breathing has to be in tune with the contraction and you have to focus and keep that focus, on your unborn baby and his role in the birth, on your husband/partner and their support, on the wall…lol anything…you have to get to that point…constantly and efficiently and on cue in order to enjoy and have a relatively painless birth experience…and so I did…induction and all ๐Ÿ™‚ the nurses were really suprised that I did, especially after they kept upping the Pit…OMG

PM me if you need more examples ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 45
Member
121 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I just had my son 6 weeks ago without an epidural. IMO, it was a wonderful experience and I am glad I went the natural childbirth route.

Some tips before giving birth/while pregnant:

Massage the perineum to help stretch it out so it won’t tear during childbirth

Kegels

Take classes or read a book (Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newbotrn by Simpkin et al) which teach you coping techinques, breathing techniques, comfort techniques for laboring

A good mental attitude.  A lot of women fear pain and suffering.  Expect the labor process to last 24 hours and remember that the pain won’t last forever.  Pain is a given, but suffering is not. Suffering= pain without the tools to cope. 

Some tips while in labor:

Find what works for you and go for it. If it’s breathing, a warm  bath/shower or a certain position.

Remember each contraction serves a purpose; to help push the baby out for you to meet him/her

I found early labor quite managable using breathing and rocking. Active labor/transitioning was painful and intense and all coping skills went out the window.  The thing to remember during transitioning is that this stage is usually short and you won’t be transitioning for hours and hours.  It goes quick and then you’ll get a break before you start to push.

A warm washcloth compressed on the perineum by your midwife will reduce the chances of tearing.

For me, my water broke when I was 35 weeks pregnant at 9pm. I went to the hospital and was admitted and by 4am I started having contractions on my own. thThere were managable until active labor, when it was so painful and it felt like it never let up. Another sign that things were progressing is that I felt like I had to do a Bridesmaid or Best Man and kept running to the bathroom, but that was just the pressure of that baby coming down. I was in active labor for about 90 minutes and pushed for 90 minutes. Because I didn’t get an epidural I was able to use all kinds of positions for pushing.  In the end it was an incredibly empowering and amazing experience.

Also remember, the fewer medical interventions, the faster the recovery.

 

Post # 46
Member
2820 posts
Sugar bee

Sometimes labor can suck that bad, I knew and had read about the extent of pain some people feel but also a bit brushed it off as I’m a tough – broken bones and still gone on playing, long distance athlete who likes to fill her body with lactic acid regularly, jogged with 2 dogs in my 9th month of pregnancy.  But my transition was super long.  For 7 hours before I got the epidural my contractions had hardly any spacing, at the most a minute between them and most basically started as soon as one stopped, the nurses warned people when I hiccuped that I was a puker since I almost got one of the doctors and puked a lot, and honestly the pain was off the charts.  I know a lot of women feel like there’s something wrong with their body but that’s not the case, it’s just everyones labor is different, and I was progressing just very slowly.  I wasn’t prepared for water droplets hurting my skin or a back rub hurting.  And I don’t say this to scare you because I still felt like I could do it with a bit of yelling but I also didn’t realistically think that I would get to that point even though that was my cut off point hours and hours with hours and hours possibly to go. I just feel like you have to be prepared for anything from 10 minutes of OH NO pain, like my mom, to hours and hours and hours because you just don’t know how your labor will go until you get there.

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