Post # 32
I definitely don’t judge anyone who chooses a natural birth. I think if you can handle it, more power to you! I’m do glad I was able to have some interventions (pit and epi). I believe that I am one of those who would have died without them. My baby as well.
If there weren’t inductions with pit, Baby and I would have been in big trouble. My water started leaking days before I was induced, and my Bridal Party was getting too high. I was also nowhere near going into labor on my own. I was at a really high risk for infection at that point as well as pre-eclampsia.
I was also so thankful for my epidural. I was determined to wait until I was 5cm to lower my risk of C-section, and the fentanyl they gave me to take the edge off did nothing for me. I had a long labor (26 hours) and was SO exhausted. My epi allowed me to get some sleep while I progressed from 4-5cm to 10 cm. I could feel my legs and could move them on my own. I also could feel the need to push. I pushed for 2.5 hours, and I believe without the sleep I got after my epi, I wouldn’t have been able to get through it. I was able to give birth vaginally like I hoped, and there was never a threat of needing a c-section.
My baby and I were both alert after she was born, and we were able to have skin on skin and breastfeeding. I feel very happy with my birth experience 🙂
Post # 33
@DaneLady: “Also, the pain is… different. I’n not going to blow sunshine up your skirt and say it doesn’t hurt, but the pain has a purpose. There is a function to it.”
This is exactly how our birthing class teacher described it. This totally calmed my fears, for some reason.
Post # 34
@Mermaid1082: I know what you mean! It’s like, normally if I’m in enough pain that I am on all fours and moaning, that means something is horribly wrong. When you’re in labor and the pain is enough to drop you to your knees, well that’s completely and totally ok, normal, nothing is wrong.
My doula said something to me in labor that I found extremely comforting…
After each contraction, she would place a cool rag on my forehead and say softly “That one is done, it’s over, and you’re NEVER going to feel THAT contraction ever again.” and it was enough reassurance to get me through the next one. One at a time, just get through one at a time and don’t worry about the rest.
Post # 35
Thanks so much, everyone, for sharing your experiences. This is turning into a great thread!
Post # 36
@DaneLady: That is such a great way of encouragement to get through labor pains!
Post # 37
@KoiKove: That is freaking brilliant! I’ve never heard of using nitrous during labor, but it seems like a great idea to me! I’ve always thought that there should be something in between no meds and an epi. They’re both just so extreme. And I am familiar with nitrous from getting dental procedures done, which would be helpful.
I absolutely agree that this is a very personal decision and I don’t judge people for going either way. However you can make it happen, kudos to you. Seriously.
I think so much of this is difficult because there’s just so much uncertainty going in. You don’t know how your individual body is going to react to labor. So I agree with everyone that having a plan and hopes are good, but ultimately you have to be open to what needs to be done in a given situation. I’ve known people that wanted an epi but got to the hospital too late and also people that wanted natural that just wasn’t possible due to the pain (her blood pressure was dangerously high and they gave her the option of epi or c-section). Life happens. But if you’ve done your research going in, you can make informed decisions as things progress.
Post # 38
- Wedding: August 2013 - backyard in the woods
I want to have a natural birth for scientific and personal reasons. I don’t judge anyone else for their birth plan. I strongly beleive that it should be a personal decision made by each woman. I understand that some birth intervention may be medically neccessary. As a scientist I do my own research and ask questions of my doctors (as I thinkl everyone should). I feel that places that ‘allow’ natural birth are more open to listening to you and what you want/excpect. Even hospitals with attached birthing centers I feel have policies that are more open to communication of my needs. The doctors and staff there seem more open-minded and flexible in my opinion. In particular for me:
1) I need to be able to eat: I am reactive hypoglycemic. If I do not eat some sort of protein every 3-4 hours my bloodsugar drops and I get dizzy, weak, nauseous, and get a wicked migraine. If I went too long I would eventually pass out. Also, I need to severely limit sugar/refined carbs, as they spike my bloodsugar and then once it goes back down, it goes down way too low due to my faulty insulin response, giving me the same symptoms as above. For some reason every nurse I’ve ever dealt with does not get this and tries to feed me sugar/refined carbs in the hospital. They do not seem to get that I know what I can and cannot eat without making myself sick and think that they know better. I do not think that I could physically give birth without eating a little every few hours. Even if it was possible, I would be sick, weak and miserable the entire time, along with all of the normal birth pain.
2) No epidural; Along with the reasons others have given, by mom was killed by a tainted epidural. It was supposed to be sterile, but the company that made it sent out epidurals with mold in them. The mold ate away ate her brain and killed her. I do not trust anything that is going into my spine/nervous system directly, it’s too dangerous for me. I also have a fear of meds in general now, since I do not trust our government to properly regulate either sterility or ingrediants/dosage, especially of compounded drugs. Although I would like to avoid all meds, I will take other meds if neccesary, but the idea of an epidural utterly terrifies me and brings back the pain of watching my mom die. I will not be having one unless forced.
3) No birthing on my back: I want to be able to move around to help progress the labour. I think that gravity has a purpose and that by birthing lying down you are adding effort that does not need to be exerted. I also like the idea of water-births- this makes sense to me for pain relief, as like @barbie86: I have endometriosis and use it often for pain relief.
Post # 39
Id love a natural birth simply because epidurals can slow labor and once you start with interventions they often lead to more interventions. Id like to avoid a csection if at all possible. I also dont want to be confined to being in bed on my back which is what happens with an epidural.
Obviously medical necessity wins out for most people if there are extreme complications.
Post # 40
when my mom had me, i came quick and she didn’t have time to get an epidural. she told the doctor to promise her she could get one with the next kid.
when my brother came, she went to the hospital since she was in labor. the doctors told her to go home it wasn’t time yet. she went home, then went back. the doctor again sent her home, but she knew she was ready. finally they took her back and again it was too late for an epidural.
so, my mom tried to get the drugs, but gave birth to both of us naturally.
Post # 41
I’m giving birth in June and considering my options now. Many PP have talked about the “cascading interventions” that happen with epidurals but in the anecdotal experience of my friends and family – that hasn’t happened at all. Most women I know have had an epidural and still given birth vaginally. Only one emergency C-section in the group.
I read the book Expecting Better by Emily Oster which is GREAT for nervous moms-to-be because the author is an economist that went to the actual studies and source material to determine the true risks and outcomes for various interventions (even about what foods really are safe or not safe to eat). Her conclusion regarding epidural evidence was that it makes basically no impact on the baby and some impact on the mother. Interestingly there was no real difference at all on the overall C-section rate. However there is an increase in the use of forceps, vacuum extractor, position of the baby, lengthens the pushing stage by about 15 minutes, and use of a catheter. (I have the book in front me right now as I’m typing this.) So the recovery process was a bit harder for the moms on average.
After reading the studies she cited, I think I might try to go without an epidural to see if I can manage, but I am not going to kick myself at all if I change my mind and ask for drugs during labor.
Post # 42
@DaneLady: I have not had any children yet but if I am fortunate enough to have a low-risk pregnancy I want to limit medical interventions and birth naturally. I agree with your reasoning and was happy to see it posted so clearly!
Post # 43
I read birth stories all the time. The relief the epidural gives is tempting. However, I think it scares me more than the actual labour does!
I don’t want the birth to be slowed down, I’m terrified of C-Sections.. I feel like natural is the best way for me. I will get through the pain.
Post # 44
@DaneLady: x1 You pretty much nailed it on the head as to why I’m choosing natural birth.
Post # 46
@mrstea83: i am literally exactly the same as you, with everything you said. 😀 😀