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amberlina 04-13-2008 02:46 PM

heres another question? medicated or non medicated birthing?
I had an emergency appendectomy over a year ago. It was the single worst feeling in my entire life. 12+ full hours of unmedicated evil. when i finally got the nerve/chance to go to the ER my best friend drove me. I was in so much pain it was almost impossible to walk, breathe, see, etc. (they made me sit in the ER and fill out forms for 5 mins prior before realizing what was wrong, and then they rushed me to a morphine drip and fluids) Once drugged i was talking to a nurse and she was checking my reflexes and asking me my pain level on the 1-10 scale, etc. When i told her I was down to like a 6 which was so much more bearable (due to morphine) than the 10 i was operating at when i was practically carried by the nursing team to my ER bed, she told me that basically what i felt was most like having active labor without medication. Since then I have had a few other women say similar things...

I did this for 12 hours without knowing what the hell was happening, until I went to the ER. I survived, obviously, but it was the worst thing. I was throwing up every 10 mins, which caused my stomach muscles to contract, which made it worse, etc.

So now I am wondering. I have always planned to have an epidural. It seems like a no brainer on the pain stand point, because Im not sure i can handle it or will want to handle it. I know there is a certain point where you cannot change your mind. IE get it if you havent already... I also know my hosiptal is supportive of any birthing position I may want on whim, and they have lots of options, however if i have the epidural that extremely limits my positions, and I have heard lying on your back for birthing increases the "tear" factor usually.

SO I just wanted to know about other mommas decisions and how this was for them. A large part of me thinks I can do this unmedicated, but then there is a part of me afraid that the pain may ruin the bulk of the experience for me.... I just want to enjoy the birth of my first child as much as possible, and would be proud to do it without meds...

OneFabMama 04-13-2008 02:55 PM

Re: heres another question? medicated or non medicated birthing?
Well, if you have an epi - you wont be able to move your legs at all. So, any other positions aside from your back is out.

I had an epi with my first. I am going pain med. free this time. I am just telling myself I CAN DO THIS! My body was designed to do THIS. It isn't going to be a walk in the park, but I am confident in my bodies ability to birth this child.

The more you fear, the harder it will be. Fear can actually stall your labor. Do not be afraid.

With my first I went 19 out of 22 hours without my epidural. I had the epi because of pitocin. But, those other 19 hours although not easy, were not nearly as hard as I thought it would be.

Bella Catalina 04-13-2008 03:03 PM

Re: heres another question? medicated or non medicated birthing?
I am not in your DDC but I just want to say that unless someone has experienced both the appendicitis and labor... then they can't compare the two. And beyond that, labor is pain with a purpose.

It helped me to remember every time I got scared of going med free that my body was made to do this. Women have been birthing for how many years now, and the majority of them do it without pain relief... Looking into the effects the common drugs used can have on the baby pretty much made up my mind for me. And like you said, as did the PP, that you are very limited as far as position etc goes and control over your body with an epi.

Another thing to look at is how much does an anesthesiologist add to your hospital bill... if you have to pay 30% of that $1K... well that $300 you save will just about pay for a doula... someone trained in labor support who can be your advocate.

But I think that if you want to go med free, you need to make the descision and be committed to it (complications etc aside) - it is too easy to cave if you say "I'll see how I go"...

sunnymw 04-14-2008 09:48 AM

Re: heres another question? medicated or non medicated birthing?
Yes, I'd read up on all the benefits of going med-free to encourage yourself. You CAN do it. Your body was BUILT to do it. But you have to be committed. And once you read enough of the benefits of going med-free, and the risks of medications in labor (aside from true medical need), most likely you'll be very committed!

I did 12 hours of labor with pitocin and no pain medication, and I am THE BIGGEST pain wuss on the planet. I promise you! I was one of those who'd stay home from school with mild menstrual cramps and just drug myself up those four days. I didn't DO headaches. But when it comes to pain with a purpose, it's a whole different ball game.

After those 12 hours of hard, hard, hard work and totally unnatural contractions, I caved and got the epidural--however I was only given the test dose, since I was pushing before it was even all the way in. Once the epi was in, my contractions which were very hard WORK suddenly became PAINFUL and I became panicked and felt lost and disconnected. It was a very frightening experience. Once the test dose wore off I started pushing, but since I had the catheter in I was still required to be totally FLAT on my back and ended up tearing, aside from being completely disconnected with the birth itself. It was a bad decision that I still struggle with and beat myself up over.

So my very biased advice is to go med-free ;)

mhaddon 04-14-2008 10:07 AM

Re: heres another question? medicated or non medicated birthing?
DH didn't think I could do it b/c I'm a wimp, but a lot of it has to do w/ mindset as well as how you want to birth. I did not want and epi w/ ds1 and was induced had back labor and no sleep and got one. I don't really remember much I was on so much medication. Some women it helps, for me it lead to my c/s... I hated it and can't remember who was in my room and passed out right after ds was born for a really long time. Therefore when I hear people comment on how it is dumb not to get one I get defensive. DH does not want me to have another one, plus it has messed up my back :cry: there are soo many things that can go wrong. I would recomend doing some research and reading some natural childbirth books and they will better explain why. Also, remember w/ your appendectomy you weren't going to be holding your LO :) You have something to look forward to.

GrowingUpMad 04-14-2008 10:32 AM

Re: heres another question? medicated or non medicated birthing?
You know each person is different as is each birth. I had my first babe really young and I was scared to death of pain. I gave birth to him (a nearly 10lb baby) totally drug free with no problem. 7 1/2 years later I went to have my daughter and thought "no problem, if I can birth a 10 pounder without drugs I can easily birth a preemie" and sure enough that backfired in my faced. After 12 hours of horrid labor I got an epi, 20 minutes later I had her (I went from a 5 to 10 in like 15 mintues). Wtih #3 I stopped dilating again and decided instead of waiting and being tough I'd just get the epi, same thing went from a 4 to a 10 in like 20 minutes. That time though I wasn't having the pain I had with #2, probably could've waited it out but didn't want to chance it. Not sure why it was so different each time but it was. I say research it and do what you feel is right fro your body. You can always change your mind and get the epi but it's harder to get it and then decide you don't want it.

naivete 04-14-2008 10:43 AM

Re: heres another question? medicated or non medicated birthing?
I had an epidural with my first birth, and it was one of the biggest mistakes I made. I got it at the tail end of my deciding period and had the bub pushed out within 3 minutes of getting the epi, so it didn't have time to really kick in too much anyways, but it helped with the stitching up afterwards. But because of it I got spinal compression fractures, which caused me to shrink a full inch within a year.

My second birth I went completely unmedicated, and this birth was harder because I also had really bad SPD and each contraction rocked my pelvic bone apart and it was one of the most painful things I had ever felt. My hips hurt for months before to the point where it was incredibly painful to even walk, so you can imagine the pain of labor with all that pressure on your hips. It was hard to stay unmedicated, but I'm glad I did it. The contractions were bearable. The pain of actual birthing was intense, combined with the SPD and the fact that I had third degree tears (through the skin, tissue and muscle) from him coming out so quickly, he also had shoulder dystocia and was stuck so labor took longer. But, that part as painful as it was, was over in under 10 seconds. I even did the stitching up afterwards unmedicated because local anasthetic doesn't take on me.

I'm glad I did unmedicated the second time around because it tested my limits, I know now how far I can go and I'm proud of my ability to do so, I left the first birth feeling happy but defeated that I had caved and gotten drugs for it, and the second birth I was left feeling empowered and proud.

and I know I won't shrink from this one, heh.

topazdodge 04-14-2008 10:46 AM

Re: heres another question? medicated or non medicated birthing?
You CAN do it. I think of it this way, woman have been having babies for hundreds of thousands of years and longer and our bodies are designed to do it. The pain & sensations that you feel are there for a reason, not just to hurt you. I know you said you weren't going to do a birth plan because you are going to birth in a place that is more inclined to natural birth, but I would still really encourage you to start reading some books. One of my favorites is "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" by Henci Goer. It gives you all the positive and negative aspects of the most common interventions that can happen during labor/delivery. I really feel like that book gave me the willpower and determination to go through 2 natural (med-free) labors which were quite long, 41 and 42 hours. It hurt mildly at some points, badly at some points, and was just incredible at some points, but would I do it again the same way? Yes, right now, today or tomorrow. It's amazing after you go through something like that you feel like superwoman, like you did something you never thought you could do. My husband though I would never be able to do it either, he thinks I'm a "wimp" too. Women are amazingly strong beings that are capable of anything.

OK, off my soap box now. :giggle: Can you tell I'm passionate about this? When we're done having kids & they're a little older I am SOOOO taking the training to be a doula & LC. :goodvibes:

amberlina 04-14-2008 11:02 AM

Re: heres another question? medicated or non medicated birthing?
thank you all for your encouragement:) it is really nice to hear that others are "wimps" too. I think I can do it, it is just scary obviously. I think I will get that book you gals have recommended. did anyone else try any other alternitive meds that took the "edge" off but didnt leave you and baby completely drugged. I have read about some in "what to expect"... but i should reread. Im also scared about damage to my back with and epi. i also cracked/shattered part of my tailbone when i was 13 or so, and it has never been the same, (have trouble sitting in certain positions, etc,) so im a little apprehensive about the position i have to give birth and such as well. im not sure how this will be effected.

babyholic 04-14-2008 11:22 AM

Re: heres another question? medicated or non medicated birthing?
I hate being in pain, and tend to hide under the covers and try to sleep it away when I have any kind of pain. I am more afraid of medications and thir effects on my body than I am of pain, though.

I really hate the out-of-control feeling from any kind of drug (even cold medicine) where I am just spacey or light headed. I would much rather deal with the pain than the side-effects. =)

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