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Old 10-03-2013, 06:40 AM   #31
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Two big reasons:

1.) I had a spinal tap once (meningitis) that left me barely able to walk for weeks and in chronic pain for nearly a year afterwards. No thank you. I'll take a few hours or days of pain over a year of misery.

2.) I don't believe in medicating biologically normal pain. My kids don't get Tylenol for teething. No NSAIDs for muscle soreness or mild strains/sprains. No medicating menstrual cramps. Pain is part of many processes and interrupting it can stall or retard the process. I think we spend way to much time/effort/money trying to avoid pain no matter what and no one ever stops to think that the pain might be beneficial. That's not always the case, of course... that's just how I feel about pain I consider "normal".

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Old 10-05-2013, 12:27 AM   #32
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Re: If you chose a natural birth....

Ok so I think this is my plan.

Labor at home for a while, then go in and try for natural. If I end up feeling like I need an epi and there is still time then that's ok too. With dd2 the epi went weird, they had to put me on oxygen and it only took on one side and went up too far on that side. The got it mostly fixed before pushing, but it was miserable. I've heard so many horror stories of natural births though it scares me a it, but I like the idea off faster recovery and hopefully going home from the hospital sooner. I'm also very afraid of c-sections so that's a contributing factor.

So,what method do you all recommend for dealing with pain during a hospital birth? I want to start researching and discussing it with dh.
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Old 10-05-2013, 05:03 AM   #33
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Re: If you chose a natural birth....

I had an epi with my first and it was awful. I needed it- he was stuck and had a shoulder dystocia while I had uncontrolled gestational diabetes. But they had to stick me three times to get the epi in . I had a catheter for about 3 days after since I couldn't urinate on my own. I couldn't squat easily for over a month. It was really quite miserable..

With my second I absolutely did not want an epi. I did not realize I was in labor until way later, I just was able to breath through the annoying cramps. All of a sudden I realized that -duh, labor- and a tub later( hey I wanted to rinse off ) I was at the hospital crowning.

Labor is different to everyone .Someone once told me to envision an ice cube melting( breath out with the end of a contraction) and going back into an ice cube shape ( breathing in with contraction). I found envisioning going up and down a hill easier for me to concentrate on.

I really liked hypnobabies. To be completely honest I have only done the first cd of hypnobabies and have had two pain relief free births.
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Old 10-05-2013, 07:23 AM   #34
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Re: If you chose a natural birth....

I find focusing on one contraction at a time works. I do counting slow breaths. So when one starts, I tell myself to take ten (or twenty or thirty depending how far along I am) sloooooow breaths and then it'll be done. All I think about is slow breathing, the count and the path opening for baby.

If you've heard horror stories, try to find some people you know who have had natural births by choice (meaning they didn't just get to the hospital too late) and ask them about their labours. You can ask questions and hear the other side. Some natural labours are really rough but some are (relatively) easy. My second labour was completely intervention free and was great. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
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Old 10-05-2013, 11:07 AM   #35
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Re: If you chose a natural birth....

I went into labor with a totally open mind. I told myself that if I needed pain relief, I would get it. As it turns out, I have very fast labors and haven't had time for an epidural. If you find yourself in a similar situation, my best advice is to relax the second the contraction peaks. Try not to brace yourself every time you feel one coming on, and keep telling yourself that every ctx is one closer to the baby. Honestly, I didn't find to be that painful, pushing, however was brutal. It's over fast though, so there's that!

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Old 10-05-2013, 06:21 PM   #36
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Re: If you chose a natural birth....

Absolutely relax. Learning how to relax made all the difference with me. I read up on the Bradley Method and just using what I learned and practiced with it made my later labors worlds different from my early ones. I would get the natural urge to resist and and fight contractions, but learning to go with it made the experience so much better. I've done two epidural births and 2 natural and I would never go back to an epidural birth again unless I really had to. I don't even give myself the option because epidurals scare me much more than labor pains.
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Old 10-05-2013, 06:41 PM   #37
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Re: If you chose a natural birth....

I second the Bradley method stuff. I didn't take a class, but read Husband Coached Childbirth. I also highly recommend getting a doula. Mine helped me to realize when I was tensing up during contractions and helped me relax into them. My DD was full OP, so I had back labor and my doula massaged and applied counter pressure throughout those contractions.

ETA: birth is intense. But, you can totally do it unmedicated. Having a supportive doc and hospital staff helps a ton. Read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, The Birth Book, and natural birth stories here and at mothering.com. There are lots and lots of positive natural birth stories, both in and out of hospital. While going through labor made me more understanding of why some women do choose epidurals, I never wanted one, even in the middle of labor. I just wanted it to be over because I was really tired. My active labor was only 2.5 hours, so the contractions were pretty hard and fast, and it was all I could do to stay on top of them (early labor was long and drawn out and I didn't sleep the night before the baby was born because the contractions kept pushing her into my bladder , so I had to pee every 15 minutes. That's why I was so tired).

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Old 10-05-2013, 06:50 PM   #38
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I recommend the book "The Birthing Partner". It's a great book about pain vs. discomfort and knowing the pressure (not always "pain") you are feeling is temporary and how to mentally deal with labor while your body physically does the natural way. You can do it!

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Old 10-06-2013, 12:48 PM   #39
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Re: If you chose a natural birth....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yarnjess View Post
Why I chose a med free birth:

1) Epidurals freak me out. I don't like needles, so someone stabbing a giant one in my back is a no-go for me. Being numb from the waist down also means that I'm stuck in a hospital bed, which is not my idea of a good time, either.

2) I generally dislike unnecessary medications. Drugs are hard on your body, and I prefer to avoid them unless they're genuinely needed.

3) Any intervention sets the stage for more interventions. High epidural rates correspond with higher c section rates. Being stuck in a bed puts you in a less than optimal birthing position, which also makes more interventions more likely. Not that a med free birth guarantees you won't end up in the OBs preferred position, but if you can still move you at least have a chance of doing something different.

Those were the big ones. There's also some stuff about babies tending to be more alert when mom hasn't had an epidural and other less tangible things. That said, having actually given birth now, I totally get why women do opt for an epidural. I still don't want one in the future for all the reasons listed above, but I'm less opinionated about what other women should choose for themselves. I do think that women should be more aware of all the pros and cons of an epidural so they can make a fully informed decision. Given their prevalence, people talk and act like it's the only way to birth and that it's 100% safe 100% of the time. While I don't think most people suffer long term effects, there is still risk, and spinal headaches are not fun. I also think that everyone should have some coping techniques anyway, because there's always the chance the epidural won't work or that there won't be time for one.
This was pretty much me as well. I have had two epidural-free deliveries.

With my first, after laboring for 21 hours but not dilating past 2 cm, my doctor offered morphine rest which I took. I still felt every single contraction, but I was able to relax and even sleep in between them. The morphine was the only medication I had, and I have no idea if it had all worn off by the time I delivered -- it sure seemed like it had! I was up and walking around within a couple of hours of delivery, and had no long-term effects except for a second-degree tear.

With my second I was induced and was really nervous about handling pit-induced contractions. However, I was already dilated to about 4, and then I ended up only having the pit for about thirty minutes before they turned it off. That was enough to kick me into active labor and I delivered six hours later with no pain meds at all. Again, I was up and around soon afterward, and had no long-term effects except for a horribly bruised tailbone thanks to baby's shoulder being stuck. :/

I am planning a med-free delivery this time as well, but I am going to find out what my IV med options are. With both labors I felt like I could handle all but the very worst of contraction pain -- I think I might like something that will [I]just[I] take the edge off. But I'm not interested in an epidural at all. I don't want a giant needle in my spine, I don't want to be numb, I don't want to deal with the after-effects.

A home delivery sounds amazing, so peaceful, but I'm not confident enough to do it. I wish there was a birthing center attached to a hospital near me -- that would be perfect.
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:44 PM   #40
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Re: If you chose a natural birth....

I guess a natural birth chose me. I didn't want an epi, but possibly some other meds. However, things went too fast and I couldn't have them. I was glad in the end because I felt like the time after the birth went really really well and DS was so alert and nursed so much better then what happened with my first birth.
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