This is so controversial 🙂 You just have to figure out what works best for you.
My reasoning. There are ‘some’ risks involved in getting an Epidural and I wanted to minimize those. Some people aren’t bothered by these risks and that is AOK with me. I also know MANY friends and family who have had the Epidural and swear by it. So to each their own.
– The chance of slowing down labor and leading to other interventions which could lead to a c-section. (Note: I’m all for a c-section if there are serious concerns surrounding the health of my baby – but I don’t want to do anything to encourage that route)
– The risk of having something go wrong with the Epi. I’ve heard stories of women who have years of back issues. Not common – but again a risk.
– I didn’t want to be stuck in the bed pushing on my back or to have a catheter. As it was I delivered on all 4’s similar to a Child’s Pose. I only pushed for 15 minutes. It was AWESOME.
My birth plan involved having a Doula, spending as much time at home as possible, being able to walk around and try different possitions for handiing the contractions (little monitoring), spending time in the bath tub (pretty sure I went through transition in the tub and it was bearable)… labor is really unknown and my gameplan was to do all of this and play it by ear.
I won’t lie. The contractions get pretty intense. Luckily I had a quick labor so I only had MAJOR painful (or you can choose not to use the word pain) contractions for about 60-90 minutes. Pushing really was the easy part. Yes I was vocal 🙂 So much so I think it freaked out my hubby – but I wouldn’t change a thing.
Books I loved:
These first two are about 1/2 birth stories 1/2 other info:
A great one especially for your ‘partner’:
This isn’t really one you read cover to cover – but is great for reference if you have specific questions and want to look them up:
The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth: http://www.amazon.com/Homebirth-Hospital-Integrating-Childbirth-Medicine/dp/1591810779/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1298654881&sr=1-1
Even though my first birth went so well I go into my next birth with the same ‘plan’ to play it by ear and adjust as needed. And also with the same ‘what if’ questions. It may be similar it may be totally different! Yes I’ll be nervous even though I’ve done it before 🙂
I will say that anytime the contractions got intense and thoughts of an epidural crossed my mind I reminded myself of the reasons why I was against one to begin with. Slowing down the labor is a huge one for me 🙂 I wanted to get that baby out ASAP!