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Old 02-08-2011, 09:17 AM   #11
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Re: In case I don't get an epidural . . .

DH and I each read Husband Coached Childbirth (a Bradley Method book, it may or may not be the one everyone is refering to) and found it really helpful. Also, learning about different laboring positions was helpful, if you're not 'tied down' by the epi, you can explore ways to feel most comfortable. For me, laying in bed either or my back or side was NOT and option, I simply could not manage my contractions that way. Sitting on the edge of the bed, sitting on a birth ball while gently rocking, and hands and knees position on the bed all worked very well for me. Also, if you're not already, look into prenatal yoga classes. Knowing how to breathe, for me, was priceless, and practicing yoga is a great way to learn how using breath can calm your body and mind and give you focus. You could even google prenatal yoga for more information and you might even be able to find an online class or 2 for free. I recommend learning about ujayi breath and durga breath, both are a form of deep breathing that are easy to learn and practice (do it in the car at a red light, do it while you're showering or washing dishes, whatever, just practice for a few minutes each day - better yet, once you get the hang of it, try using it when you're stressed out - kids throwing a fit or something isn't goingthe way it should - stop and do a few rounds of durga breath, you'll get to feel first hand the difference it can make).

If your intention is to hopefully have a faster labor, then keep that at the front of your mind, knowing that an epi can slow things down (and you know this first hand), take those contractions one at a time, each one brings you closer to the end, and make that decision with each contraction - 'i handled that one, can I handle the next one or do I want the epi knowing it might slow this process down?" Trust your body to do it's thing and that you won't be given more discomfort than you can bear. You can totally do this!

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Old 02-08-2011, 10:12 AM   #12
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Re: In case I don't get an epidural . . .

Will you be able to use a shower?? I was in labor w/DS naturally for 17 hours (pushing for 4, OB had to try and manually turn him once w/out the epi, and after that I finally gave in so she could try again.) The shower was absolutely my thing. It helped SO much. Only thing I would suggest is having a knee mat. I didn't think about that, and the only had towels on the floor.
I didn't take any classes, but read and loved the stories in Ina May Gaskin's book, I'm so sorry I can't remember the name. Maybe someone else can tell you.
Birthing From W/in wasn't really my cup of tea, but may be of help as well.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:13 AM   #13
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Re: In case I don't get an epidural . . .

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Originally Posted by smblake View Post
in my opinion, you just have to have a cause... let me explain.

If you go in all willy-nilly saying I'll try for natural, most likely it won't happen, I don't mean to be snarky, but really that seems to be the way it happens unless it's lightning fast.

BUT, if you have a cause (ie: I don't want my baby to have drugs, I don't want to push while on my back, I want to be able to get up, etc.) then it's much easier IMO.

My cause was that I didn't want to push on my back, I wanted to let gravity help AND I was determined to have a waterbirth and at our hossy - epi = NO waterbirth (obviously). Granted I got to the hospital and ds2 was born 15 minutes later, so there wasn't much time to sway me, BUT it was easy to not go in earlier because, what was the point? All i needed them for was to actually deliver the baby and I wanted the tub .

So - my suggestion, find a legitimate "cause" and it will help a ton.
Yoda comes to mind: "Do or do not; there is no try."

Movement is really helpful in managing labor, as is any kind of deep relaxation you are into. Like a PP said, yoga is good preparation.

There's a book called Active Birth that gives lots of different labor positions that you may find helpful. Have lots of possibilities available, like a birth ball, a rocking chair, leaning over a chair or onto pillows, etc. Those things also often help baby get into a better position in each stage of the process, speeding things up.

I personally use HypnoBabies and it is amazing, but it requires a fair amount of practice to get into.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:20 AM   #14
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Re: In case I don't get an epidural . . .

I loved the hypnobirthing method. It worked wonders. I was a first time mom and completely silent birthing at 9 cm. I wasnt one of those rare cases who dont feel contractions-I felt every one. I was just able to breath/relax through them.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:36 AM   #15
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Re: In case I don't get an epidural . . .

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Originally Posted by VeganCupcake View Post
Yoda comes to mind: "Do or do not; there is no try."


I agree. I have only had one Pit induced no epi labor, but I am still alive to tell about it I found that trying out different labor positions helped a lot. I spent a lot of the time on the toilet. It seemed like a natural place, you're trying to push something out.... ya know?

Also, something... happens, during transition. You become mighty labor lady, I've heard it called LaborLand. Your body just knows what to do. I think epis and other messings arounds really takes away your body's ability to do what it does naturally.

I'm not implying this is true in your case, but I don't know if I have heard of a natural birth where labor stalled. I'm sure they are out there, but most of the time you hear "I got the epi/spinal and my labor just died like 3o mins later" Makes you wonder Maybe that could be your reason for sticking with drug free!
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:46 AM   #16
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Re: In case I don't get an epidural . . .

I had an induced hospital birth with dd......I got an epidural and narcotics and ended up with a vaccuum assisted delivery.

My last 2 births were at home....no drugs.....and no complications whatsoever.

I used hypnobirthing (NOT the same as hypnobabies). I took a class but you could get by with the cd and book.
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:34 AM   #17
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Re: In case I don't get an epidural . . .

ACTIVE BIRTH by Janet Balaskas. I swear I've been posting this book on everybody's thread. It was by far the BEST book I'd read and it completely readied me for my drug free homebirth. What is so wonderful about this book is how it's laid out. So, it explains the problems inherent in drug births and why drugfree birth works and how we've been doing it for a million bajillion years without drugs and we've been doing just fine. It then explains what happens in each stage of labor -- what happens to our bodies, what is happening to the baby, and what it feels like, AND a multitude of positions that could work in different situations (and explaining why being on your back doesn't work at all). It truly diminished any fears I had going into my own birth experience. My labor lasted 14-15 hours from start to finish (it was my first), and I only had to push for an hour or two. It was fantastic!!

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:48 AM   #18
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Re: In case I don't get an epidural . . .

"Active Birth" is a great book! I agree with that suggestion. Another great one is "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth." It gives very thorough information on basically anything that could possibly happen in childbirth, in any possible setting.

This pregnancy I'm not certain yet where I'll be delivering because DH is job-searching and we could end up moving before the baby's born, so I've been trying to prepare for any setting since it will really depend on where we end up living at that time. That book was really helpful for me. I find that a lot of natural childbirth books, while they are full of great information, are written to home-birthers, so they can be tough to pick apart if you're planning a natural hospital birth.
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:24 PM   #19
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Re: In case I don't get an epidural . . .

One thing to remember, too, is that it's not uncommon for women to get to 10cm and then to have everything stop. It's your body's way of giving you a break before you start the HARD work!
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:22 PM   #20
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Re: In case I don't get an epidural . . .

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One thing to remember, too, is that it's not uncommon for women to get to 10cm and then to have everything stop. It's your body's way of giving you a break before you start the HARD work!
Yup this happened to me with my last labor. I got to 10 and then had a break of about 10-15 minutes before pushing began. I remember my midwife saying in the background that sometimes you get a break in there.. it was great. I started pushing after that and she was out 7 minutes later!!

OP I think having a clear goal like someone mentioned - avoiding drugs, knowing it is best for baby, etc. will help you achieve your natural birth. Also stay home as long as you can - show up pushing - then you'll know you can do it!
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