Post # 47
to add to what you said about the feeling of acomplishment, i totally get that.
I had post natal depression for 3 months after the birth of my daughter and the reason was because i had the forceps delivery at the very last second. I couldnt feel myself pushing her out and i felt cheated out of the experience. almost like i hadnt given birth to her myself.
Post # 48
I just wanted to say this… in this world, sometimes it seems like women can do no right. We’re critiqued whatever we do by the childbirth industry, among many other industries.
I can see why a drug free birth is the ideal, but let’s face it… if I’m in labour and I want an epidural then I’ll just have one. They’re perfectly safe and I have no desire to be a martyr. At the end of the day, I don’t really see the big deal. Just don’t have one until quite late in your labour and don’t take pitocin, if you can help it.
But then… not pregnant yet, so what do I know?
Post # 49
For any lurkers reading the thread, I had an epidural 6 weeks ago and had no complications. I feel like my epidural was “light”, meaning I was never totally numb from the waist down– I was always able to move my legs, although the left one took more concentration to move. I felt the contractions but at a more manageable level— I felt the pressure building until I felt ready to push, and pushed my daughter out in about 23 minutes. I was up walking and peeing as soon as skin to skin time was over.
i didnt even feel the needle go in, as they use a topical anesthetic first and I was in the middle of a contraction, which (trust me) is far, far worse than a needle could ever be. My baby’s heart rate never dropped or anything, but I do believe the epi probably made my labor longer. But who knows? I labored at home from 11 pm until 7 am (no sleep, obviously) before I went to the hospital and got the epi around 11:30 am.didnt deliver until 12:23 am the next morning (night).
the one thing I would change was the intake labor/delivery nurse. She was AWFUL. So, so terrible. Throughout our almost 4 day stay, it was shocking how different the quality of nurses were— we had some amazing nurses and some really awful ones. No consistency in policy at all.
next time, I would change hospitals because of that. Thankfully, the nurse that was with me for the actual pushing was great. Too bad I can’t say the same for them all!!
Post # 50
I give anesthesia for a living. All epidurals are not the same. There are different concentrations and dosages of drugs that are used that determines the effect. For instance, giving a diluted dose of a common epidural medication will block feeling more than motor control. So it is possible to move!! Different anesthesiologists do different things. That is the biggest reason that women have very different experiences with epidurals. Assuming that your epidural cathetrer is in the proper position, there are many ways it can be used. For instance, women who have C-sections are dosed very differently during the operation compared to laboring women who will need to push.
Post # 51
I will say though that after having my daughter 4 months ago if i had another one, i probably would opt for the epidural. Now i know what to expect. I know thats contradicting what i said about me never wanting to take pain meds but i have been thinking about it since my last comment and i think alot of my complications before and after delivery could have been prevented or lessened if i had an epidural to begin with.
Epidurals allow for some degree of sensation like pressure when you have a contraction, a spinal block makes you completly paralysed with no sensations from the neck down for in my case 8 hours. i couldnt even sit up to see my baby after she was born.
I know alot of people are scared to have a needle in your spinal fluid, i know i was but i think even the toughest of people can get all high and mighty about natural labours but when the time comes go completely the other way and opt for everything possible.
I do not think a birth experience is necessarily any less of an experiance if meds are used, but at the same time, i know my personal birth experience was less of the joyous occassion because of the type of meds they HAD to use.
No two births are the same. Everyone tollerates pain differently. Everyone is entitled to their own birth experience the way they want it and i dont think anybody should feel bad for opting for meds straight away, if thats their birth plan.
Post # 52
Along with all the reasons PP have given, I have heard of only one successful epidural experience among the people I know, two delivered at the same hospital, and all but that one time (out of five women) the experience was terrible and started a snowball of other problems (including permanent nerve damage for one of my friends – eek!).
It wasn’t something I had wanted before hearing the horror stories, but they definitely made my choice stronger.
However, the hospital did insist that I have IV pain meds – I was moving around too much for them to monitor the baby – but they assured me that it would be well out of my system before I delivered, as well as out of the baby’s and would not be damaging to her. I’m not sure if they just said that to have me agree to it since I was so “no, no, no” about it, but I’m hoping that’s true. I definitely felt the delivery so I’d like to think so. I do feel a little disappointed that I had to have any medication at all, though, just a pride thing.
Post # 53
I think it’s important to do research early in your pregnancy or even before you get pregnant. I got pregnant last year and I didn’t know anything. The first thing I did was call up an OBGyn that was covered by my insurance because I thought that was the only option. I also assumed that I would get the epidural – I didn’t even know what an epidural did at that point, I just figured I would get one because “that’s what laboring women do”.
I had no idea that you could go to a midwife, give birth in a birthing center, or give birth in a blow-up pool in your own house. One night I was bored at home and I ran across “The Business of Being Born” on netflix and it totally changed my point of view.
I ended up taking the Bradley Method class and I had an unmedicated childbirth in the hospital. It was awesome and I wouldn’t change my experience for anything!
But, I wouldn’t try to discourage someone who wanted to get the epidural – though I do believe in the “cascade of interventions”. I mean, if someone is OK with the 33% chance that they are going to end up with a C-section then I say ‘go for it!’ But it’s soooo important that you do your research and understand what the drugs will do to you. Understand that it’s possible for the epidural to not work, or for it to only work on half of your body!
And FYI, I had a VERY quick, uncomplicated delivery and my son was only 6lbs 1oz. I STILL asked for the epidural when I was going through transtion (when I was about 8cm). My doula talked me out of it (bless her heart). But yeah, childbirth is very painful and I wouldn’t blame someone for wanting the epidural.
Post # 54
The main reason I have chosen a med free labor and delivery is because of the connection between interventions and ending up having a cesarean section. Also, because I want to deliver in a birthing tub at a birth center, so meds aren’t an option for me regardless. The cycle of meds in a hospital goes like this all too often: Epidural>Slowed Contractions>Pitocin>Pain>More Epidural>More Pitocin>Stress on baby from unnaturally long, strong contractions from meds> emergency cesarean. Sure, that isn’t ALWAYS the case, but it’s more often than I care to risk with myself and my child. You are also more likely to have a successful early breastfeeding relationship the first few hours after birth if you haven’t had medical interventions.
Post # 56
You’re right! A thread where we get to discuss all the misinformation we deal with every single day!
Post # 57
I know we are created to reproduce, but it doesn’t always go right.
And I’m not saying that you don’t have the right to choose a med free birth, just that no one should judge others if they dont.
Post # 58
@solidarity: whatever is in your body, is in the babies body.
If you feel funny and strange, imagine what that’s doing to something at least 30x less your size. Harmful effects are debatable, but the fact is that those drugs are present in the baby.
Perhaps that’s a reason for complications including a stressed baby? I really don’t know, but I’d rather just do it the old fashioned way. 24 hours of hell, and I dont have to debate if the decision I’m making is wrong for the baby at least. Could be ‘wrong’ for me, but unless there’s an emergency and I need that medical intervention, I’ll get over it and be fine.
Post # 59
+1, every c-section story I read or hear about starts with pitocin. I urge women to research into that drug….
Post # 60
@solidarity: Do you have netflix? I would reccomend watching the business of being born. It’s very interesting, and very educational. I plan to have a home water birth with a midwife.
The solution to pollution is dillution – Anything “not hygenic” coming out of your body ie: poop, will be further dilluted in the water.
I don’t want to be forced to birth on my back, it’s not natural.
I don’t want the epidural to constantly be waved in my face while I’m labouring – most midwives don’t bring it up, but if you ask for it they are more than qualified to administer it for you.
I don’t want pitocin- this often leads to c-sections. Not all the time, but often it will make baby come sooner than he would like to.
An epidural can make baby sleepy, which would affect bonding and breastfeeding.
There are certain risks with an epidural just like any meds.
I believe my body is made to birth a baby without pain medication.
I want to say I birthed my baby without pain meds and get a gold star lol
Post # 61
@solidarity: There are very serious reasons to go all natural. You literally could be paralized. Yes, it’s a small risk, but if you are that person, oh gosh, that would be horrible. Also, after the fact you can get a spinal headache (caused by leaking spinal fliud). It is the most god awful, horrific headache (I had one), I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Also, my personal opinion, it has to slow labor. You should be walking around, it helps move the baby down and progresses the labor. It’s natural. An epidural leaves you chained to a bed, not condusive with the body’s natural labor process.
I have 5 kids. 2 all natural, 1 with a failed epidural, so it kinda was natural, one with an epidural that only worked on half my body and one actual working epidural. Ironically, the one time the epidural worked was the shortest labor, but I waited a very long time to go to the hospital, was very active before I went in and it was, after all, my 5th and easiest birth and the smallest baby.
ETA: The reason behind my change in view of labor. My 1st pregnancy an epidural was not an option. The 2nd I was induced and the pain was god awful (and I was stuck in the bed) So the 3rd time, when I was again induced, I was trying to avoid that pain again. The 4th and 5th I was just tired and didn’t want to deal with the pain.