Post # 1
I’ve been putting off the decision and now I have to make it. I’m 35w1d pregnant so a choice has to be made. Epidural or natural?
I have a six year old and with her I had an epidural. I ended up needing a second dose as well. Because of this I couldn’t walk or move for over twelve hours. They say the epi is why it took five hours of pushing to deliver my baby. They also say its why I tore so badly (fourth degree).
I hear a lot of women discussing the benefits of natural delivery but I don’t know if I could handle that pain. As stated in a previous post, even a simple cold can leave me bed ridden for a week. I’m a baby about pain and my gusband and I already agreed he would wait in the waiting room for the pushing so I will be in there all alone dealing with the pain (I asked him to not be in the room after seeing the mess after having my daughter).
So I’m here for the debate of natural vs medicated childbirth to make my decision but I need opinions and advice on both areas. Pros and cons of each, experience with either one? How the process was length pain healing etc. Please don’t sugar coat, I know it will hurt bad but will it be teeth clenching pain or want to punch your husband and possibly castrate him kind of pain?
I need help settling the debate before this baby arrives. At my scan last week the ultrasound had her measuring at 6lb6oz at 34 weeks so the tech said if I go full term she will likely be another big baby which has got me a bit concerned for natural.
Post # 2
I’m probably going to need a C-section (twins), but I had one doctor tell me I might be able to deliver naturally. Either way, I’ll probably be medicated because I’m the biggest baby when it comes to dealing with pain lol.
Post # 3
I have 2 kids. I had an epidural both times. I was a pitocin induction both time. With my son, I had a longer labor and got the epidural at about 5 cm. With my daughter, I got it around 4 cm, but I went from 4-10 in 45 minutes, so the epidural didn’t really take. I had no problem pushing.
Post # 4
I got an epidural as soon as humanly possible when I checked into the hospital. I was 2.5 cm and hadn’t experienced any real pain, just cramping, up until that point, but I got the picture and didn’t ever want to feel what it would be like it if progressed. It was HEAVEN! I truly feel like I got to enjoy my labor and delivery. No pain at all (except for when his head was out and I had to wait for the next contraction to push his body. Holy stretching!)
I was in labor for 8 hours, pushed for 20 minutes, and had a minor 2nd degree tear. I know bees who have gone natural and had 4th degree tears, I think it all depends on your particular pregnancy, the size and position of your baby, your body, and a million other circumstances that you can’t ever predict.
If I were you, I’d probably labor as long as I possibly could naturally but leave yourself open to pain meds or an epi if things get too intense. Don’t beat yourself up over any decision. All that matters in the end is that you have a healthy baby and mommy in the end.
Post # 5
i think that you should educate yourself by learning some natural birthing techniques to deal with the pain. That way you can labor naturally for as long as you want then get the epidural if it’s unbearable. You don’t have to go full blown one way or the other. Good luck!
Post # 6
There’s no real reason you have to make your final choice right now! And you just can’t predict what will happen in the delivery room either. I plan to go into birth with the goal to have as little intervention as possible, but I am open to accepting pain medications and medical intervention if my baby’s health warrants it or if I need it to deal with the pain. I completely applaud women who can do it entirely naturally, and if I can do that I’d love it…but if not, then when the time comes I’m not going to beat myself up for it.
I would prefer to get as far along as I can in the labor without accepting an epidural as possible, but I’ll be prepared to make an informed choice and my husband and I will be educated to the extent possible as to all of the potential issues, interventions, etc. so that we can make the very best choice for us at the time.
Good luck!! You are almost there!
Post # 7
I tried naturally, and after 13 hours and no progress (still at 2 cm), I got an epidural (the pain was pretty unbearable, and the morphine they gave me to “take the edge off” did no good.) Still, if I’d made progress, I would have continued naturally and will try naturally with my next child. But I definitely don’t regret getting an epidural, and I pushed for only about 45 minutes (total labor was 20ish hours). Why not try natural, and get an epi if it’s too painful or difficult for you? It’s not like you have to choose when you get to the hospital and can’t change your mind.
Post # 8
- Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY
I just wanted to offer some perspective from 2 medical professionals I know. My best friend is an OB anesthesiologist and my aunt is an OB nurse anesthetist (they’re the ones who do epidurals, pain meds, put you under for c-sections, etc).
They say most women come in with a lovely “natural” birth plan, insisting on no medication. Alas, about 90% of the the time, sometimes as soon as 3cm dilated, they BEG for epidurals, pain killers, sections, etc. Theh pain is absolutely unimaginable and most women cannot deal (or don’t want to).
For what it’s worth!
Post # 9
- Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY
wow, I didn’t know having twins naturally was even a possibility! Interesting. Well, I suppose that’s how they did it in the past right?!
Post # 10
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
It’s one of those things you have to play by ear. If you want to try natural then you need to be prepared. I highly recommend a Bradley course or hypnoborthing course to learn techniques to deal with labor pains. But you’re a bit late for taking a course so that might be a problem. Pain during labor can be tolerated but you have to prepare yourself for it; being scared only amplifies the pain you experience.
Have you considered a doula? She can help you cope with labor pain during labor and delivery. She can massage your back or encourage you to try out the labor bar or ball to reduce your discomfort. She can also advocate for you to continue med-free as long as you can.
Ultimately, you have to do what works for you. You can plan all you want but labor and delivery doesn’t have to follow your plan. I like PPs’ suggestion to try out natural as long as you can but have an out to get an epi if it gets to be too much. If you get an epi too early it can slow down labor so the longer you can hold out the better.
There are exceptions but generally labor and delivery for second babies tends to move more quickly than for a first baby.
Post # 11
The most important thing in your birth plan is flexibility and doing what’s best for you and your baby… whatever that might be. You can’t predict what will happen nor how you will handle labor, so have an idea about what you want, but just keep in mind that it might all get thrown out the window. So don’t go in thinking one is “better” than the other. No one gives you a medal for enduring pain and having a natural non-medicated birth anymore than they give you a loser price for tapping out a 3 cm. Its your choice, and you don’t have to make it right now.
Post # 12
I had a baby 7 weeks ago so it’s pretty fresh in my mind. I never have had the desire to go natural so I had an epidural. I could feel nothing-no pain and no pressure like they say you should. After 30 minutes of pushing they turned the epi down so i could be more efficient and not push for 3 hours. Even once they turned it down I couldnt feel anything. I pushed for 1.5 hours total and had a second degree tear that was just abrasions not deep tears.
I don’t regret a single thing because the experience was so enjoyable. It was hard to push because i couldn’t feel anything but I just tried to think about pushing like I would to go to the bathroom and when the doc and nurse said I was doing a good job I kept doing it the way I was, so that’s how I knew I was pushing correctly.
My epi was strong and wore off within 2-3 hours tops. My daughter was born at 5:30 and I was up in the bathroom no later than 8.
I was pretty sore for a good week or two after but nothing unbearable.
ETA – I was 4cm 100% when I got to the hospital (had been contracting for about 8 hours by then). I got the epi pretty soon after I was admitted. The pain was rough during contractions but it wasn’t unbearable. I definitely think once Contractions were coming right on too of each other though there’s no way I could have handled it. My contractions were anywhere from 4-15 minutes apart and lasting 45-90 seconds When I got the epidural.
if I were you I would try for natural if you want but let them know you’d like to keep an epi on the table. I was afraid to be stuck in a situation where I wanted the epi but I would hve to wait hours to get it because the anesthesiologist was busy so I got it right away!
Post # 13
I thought I would be able to deal with the pain and go natural, but I wasn’t. It hit fast and hard and my body reacted by tensing up and shaking uncontrolably. I couldn’t help it and couldn’t even remember all of the techniques I had learned. I lasted about 2 hours of hard contractions before asking for the epi. I ended up with a C-section because she was too big and in the wrong position.
Post # 14
I think this is something you and your provider should discuss. There are certain things you can do to help with the pain other than medication, but some locations/hospitals don’t offer it (like a tub for hydrotherapy, or allowing a doula or other birth support person to stay with you at all times).
Check to see what their policy is. Look into hiring a doula to stay with you the whole time. A doula is a non-medical person who is there to support you, to help you get information so you can make your own decisions, and to do things to help with pain- like accupressure, massage, aromatherapy, position changes, etc.
This is a decision that only you can make, and keep in mind that plans change and things can get crazy. It’s important to make sure the hospital staff is aware of your wishes and that you have a support person with you as much as possible.
Educate yourself on your options, the risks and benefits associated with them, and remember that at the end of the day, a healthy mama and healthy baby are all that matter!
Check out the evidence based birth blog (http://evidencebasedbirth.com/)
And if you’re interested in reading birth stories I really liked the Birth Without Fear blog when preparing for my own birth.
Also, the pain of labor is different than the pain of breaking a leg. Normally, pain indicates that something is wrong. Labor pain is a sign that things are progressing. Yes, it hurts, but it’s not a constant pain. It comes in waves, some more intense than others (unless you have pitocin…apparently that is the Devil’s Juice!)
Good luck mama!
Post # 15
Honestly, don’t torture yourself. Giving birth can be a real ordeal without the pain meds. A friend of mine was hell bent on doing it the natural way and was confident and proud of her choice. After 22 hours of no sleep, crying, pain, shaking etc she changed her mind and accepted the meds. She was able to sleep and follow the instructions better. Afterwards, she said she overthought the whole thing and should have just accepted the meds.