Post # 61
I’m horrible with pain, I ask my dentist to just knock me out for a cavity filling. Everyone said to me that I would never get through labor without pain medication or an epidural. We had planned on a water birth. On the day of, we didn’t make it into the tub because I arrived at the hospital at 8 cm. There was no time for drugs or an epidural. And it was certainly not pleasant, but I was totally fine. I asked for some ibuprofen after, haha, and that was it! The point is, you can plan to have an epidural or plan to go all natural, you can have a birth plan, or not have one, in the end, it all flies out of the window. You won’t know what you want or what kind of labor you’ll have until you’re actually in labor. I got lucky in that my first labor was about 6 hours, but I have friends who labored for 2 days! And in the end, they needed the epidural, and there’s nothing wrong with that!
I will say though, if you plan to do an all-natural birth, you need to hire a doula and work with a midwife.
Post # 62
In addition to the suggestions people have given for education (classes, books), I’d make sure you’re working with a provider who will be supportive of your choice to go med-free – you’re going to have an easier time sticking to your goals if all those supporting you in your birth are willing and able to help you.
I haven’t had these comments to me directly (either I’ve only encountered others who are like-minded or people are keeping their mouths shut), but my husband actually has – apparently his co-workers think I’m nuts for wanting to go med-free and think there’s no way it will actually happen. I just say ignore the nay-sayers, prepare yourself (know what labor entails and multiple ways that you can work to manage the contractions), and trust your body. Obviously, situations arise where our plans have to be thrown out the window, but I think that’s much less likely when you’re fully aware of what you’re taking on and prepared to handle it.
Post # 63
Half of my friends with kids have had them without epidurals, half have had one.
Everyone had a happy, healthy baby.
So who cares?
Post # 64
It will not be pleasant, but you will be fine. For much of recorded history women gave birth without pain medications. It is a natural process and while it may hurt- you will be fine, I like the other recommendations people have had regarding classes. I just read Ina May’s Guidelines for Childbirth, I recommend it. I’m not sure how people who had an epidural would have any idea how it feels to go without.
I’ve been lucky- not too many unsolicited comments and few people have asked about what our delivery plans are, which is frankly none of their business. I know its hard, but just ignore people or tell them its none of their business.
Post # 65
my doctor’s office is supportive of whatever I decide to do- whether I get an epidural or not. My office consists of both OBs and Midwives which is great.
exactly! I feel like whatever decision anyone makes is none of my business. Personally, I am hoping I have the strength and tolerance to handle it without it just because I worry about permanent back pain. I don’t judge.
my friend who went w/o the epidural explained to me that her midwife said that the pain is intense, and tried to prepare her for it, and no matter what, I feel like you are never prepared for it when you have never experienced something like that before. She said to me that she has a low tolerance for pain and was able to get through it and believes in me 100% that I will be able to do it. That meant a lot to me.
I don’t judge people on whatever they decide to do, my issue is when people try to talk me out of something. Give me a chance first, let me be the one to decide if I can handle whats about to come in the near future.
Post # 66
I’m not getting one either, and I’ve gotten some of these comments as well. One of my (male) friends mentioned something about me begging for drugs, and I told him I’m not taking any. He said, very sarcastically, “Good luck!” As if he knows ANYTHING about it. I replied that I’m giving birth with a midwife at a birth center, so even if I wanted any I couldn’t have any.
If you haven’t started a childbirth class yet, I highly recommend Bradley. It has been a wonderful class so far, and the best part is it gets your husband really involved so he can help you during birth, and advocate for your choices to your friends/medical staff beforehand (and during). My aunt did it for all 3 of her births, and they were all natural! I honestly can’t imagine wanting the drugs after taking those classes.
Post # 67
My advice is simple. Ignore people.
Post # 68
I’m also due to have my first in July and haven’t really talked about my birth plan with many people, which is basically the same as yours. I just don’t want to hear what they have to say.
It’s not about wanting to tough it out, exactly; the last thing I want is a C section and my sister felt that the epidural with her firstborn is what led to hers. I also have another friend who had a baby in February and has had trouble walking since then, which she also feels is due to the epidural.
I’m not against drugs at all, I’m really all for them in the right circumstances, but in this situation my fear of being cut outweighs my fear of the pain.
We’re taking a Lamaze based childbirth education class and we just talked about pain meds last night. You don’t have to go full on epidural to get some relief: there are also narcotics. Plus: “takes the edge off” but you still feel everything. Minuses: does transfer to baby through the placenta much more than an epidural, you can only get them a limited number of times (apparently 3 times at the hospitals in my city) and they last for a shorter amount of time for each dose, because your body gets more efficient at processing them each time.
I wish nitrous oxide was used in the US for childbirth.
Because I know it will be hard for my husband to manage me during labor (LOL) and NOT give in when I eventually ask for an epidural, we decided to hire a doula. Plus, being our first, neither of us has experienced birth before, but the doula has and knows what’s “normal” and what’s not. It’s also comforting to know that there will ALWAYS be someone with me during labor and delivery. People have to pee and eat! I am expecting that she’ll be worth every penny we’re going to spend on her.
Mostly, my thoughts are: look into a doula, and tell everyone else to mind their own f*cking business. 🙂
Also: I’ll be thinking of you and good luck!
Post # 69
I highly recommend immediately signing up for Bradley Method Childbirth classes or Hypnobirthing. Both are excellent.
I birthed both my babies without pain medicines of any kind. Ask ladies that had an epidural how long their labor & delivery was and how many ended up with C-Sections. My first was 8.5 hours active labor and 20 mins pushing. My 2nd was 4 hours active labor and 11 minutes pushing. I have never felt better than immediately after giving birth – a sort of natural high better than pain meds.
This isn’t to suggest that the labors were pain free but they were maneagable with the relaxation techniques I had learned.
Post # 70
If someone asked, I’d simply say “I haven’t decided yet” or “It’s not something I wish to discuss.” Period.
Post # 71
I totally support your goal to labor without the epidural. I just want to mention that studies have shown that women who suffer from longterm labor pain have a much greater likelihood of postpartum depression, suffering through hours of labor pain can be deterimental to your health. However, I personally know several women who did it and found it an empowering experience.
As far as pain from the epidural, generally a local anestheic is given which numbs the epidural site, it’s more pressure than pain. I wouldn’t fear it if I were you.
You should make the decision that is best for you, you sound very level headed, you aren’t being rigid about what you want and are leaving room for flexibility. I’m sure you’ll be fine!
Post # 72
It’s funny, I had the opposite thought. Many of my friends who had narcotics felt completely out of it and loopy. So my thinking was I’m either going without drugs or getting an epidural, no narcotics. Plus it crosses over to the placenta more I think. I’ve heard epidurals can lengthen labor but I know quite a few (myself included) who had epidurals speed up their labor because they can actually relax after they get it. Good luck with yours!
Post # 73
You should just do what your comfortable with. I haven’t had kids yet, but I know that there are other options for pain other than an epidural that you could look into that aren’t as severe, such as laughing gas. Again, you should just do what is right for you be it natural or with pain medication 🙂
Post # 74
laughing gas is not available in the US. Wish it was!
Post # 75
I’m pretty sure I have read several articles about it becoming more popular in the US within the last 6 months or so, but I could be mistaken