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Old 08-02-2012, 10:22 AM   #11
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My first was an induced epi birth and second was a natural water birth at a birth center. For the next one, I want to have a water birth at home.

I was scared of the pain a but, but I figured there were no options for pain meds long ago, so I must be able to do it. There was only one time period I thought I would have asked for an epi if I was at a hospital, and my LO was born about 15 minutes later. The saying goes, when you don't think you can handle any more, it doesn't get any worse.

I was very drowsy after my epi birth, and DD1 wasn't breathing when she was born, and the doctor told me it was probably because of the Nubain (sp?), another pain med I tried before the epi. After the natural birth, I had the high everyone talks about... I was eating, I took a shower, and felt great!

If you are scared of how to handle the pain, I suggest a doula and/or midwife. The childbirth class at the hospital only taught us to breathe and no positions or anything to relieve the pain. A midwife and/or doula are with you the while time and know all the tricks in the book.

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Old 08-02-2012, 10:44 AM   #12
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Re: natural birth

"This review includes 12 trials (3243 women). Water immersion during the first stage of labour significantly reduced epidural/spinal analgesia requirements, without adversely affecting labour duration, operative delivery rates, or neonatal wellbeing. One trial showed that immersion in water during the second stage of labour increased women's reported satisfaction with their birth experience. Further research is needed to assess the effect of immersion in water on neonatal and maternal morbidity. No trials could be located that assessed the immersion of women in water during the third stage of labour, or evaluating different types of pool/bath."

"The review of midwife-led care covered midwives providing care antenatally, during labour and postnatally. This was compared with models of medical-led care and shared care, and identified 11 trials, involving 12,276 women. Midwife-led care was associated with several benefits for mothers and babies, and had no identified adverse effects.

The main benefits were a reduction in the use of regional analgesia, with fewer episiotomies or instrumental births. Midwife-led care also increased the woman's chance of being cared for in labour by a midwife she had got to know, and the chance of feeling in control during labour, having a spontaneous vaginal birth and initiating breastfeeding. However, there was no difference in caesarean birth rates."

I've had 1 medicated and 1 NCB (homebirth) and my NCB was far superior than my previous medicated birth. I am currently planning another NCB at home for this baby. Do some looking around, talk with other people, etc. I would encourage you to tour the birth center as well as talk with the staff.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:57 AM   #13
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Re: natural birth

All three of mine were natural births, with no pain meds. In general I don't like taking medication, but I'm not opposed to it. I researched the good and the bad about epi's and the other choices my hospital had so that if I choose that route I would be informed. I felt like I would go for as long as I felt okay reserving the right to request pain med if I wanted/needed it.

Every labor and delivery can be very different- individual and across all women, but these are some things that helped me cope with labor (which for me was very similar to muscle cramps as opposed to shooting pains).

Laboring at home
Taking a bath
Rocking/Rolling on an exercise ball
Taking a shower (I had the exercise ball in the shower to sit/rock on)

For me water is a big relaxer and coping with the pain. Relaxing (in whatever way works for you) is very important to getting labor to progress. If you are relaxed, your body knows that your baby will be born in a "safe" place.
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:46 PM   #14
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Re: natural birth

Oh my goodness... this is a touchy topic. First, I will tell you that I had 2 births naturally, and then the 3rd was with an epi (March 2012). My first was at a birthing center with all midwives. It was the worst experience of the 3 labors. Second in the hospital with midwives and OB's (practice with both who deliver in a hospital). The last was the same OB/midwife practice, and I finally had an epi. I have AWFUL transitions. They last 4+ hours with at least 12 hours of hard labor preceding that. They never got easier or faster. I only reached the urge to push on my own with the final labor (with the help of the epi). It was awesome, and I am only willing to have another child because I am willing to get an epi for the next delivery. Otherwise I would be done, and I would not be interested in having any more children due to the severity of my labor and deliveries.

Next, let me say that I'm an ardent minimalist. I did NOT want to have any intervention. However, I am at peace with the fact that I need and want it now. (not to mention, after my 2nd was born I hemorrhaged and they needed meds and almost surgery to keep me from bleeding to death, after a a NATURAL delivery, and I was only 28 years old then) There are many, many women out there who I think could have babies naturally, and it would go VERY well. Too many are way too afraid of the pain, and I don't think they should be. I think our society removes empowerment from women by telling them they can't handle the pain (but that's almost another topic). I know several women who have babies naturally with no trouble, which made me feel guilty and dysfunctional for my poor L&D experiences. But, that's not their problem, it is mine. My recommendation is to really try a natural delivery. You may love it, despite the pain. But don't feel down on yourself one bit if you go with an epi. I also highly recommend the OB/midwife practice. It's truly the best of both worlds. I had no really "bad" nurses at the hospital for my last two kiddos, but that's partly because they are a more pro-natural delivery hospital, and so is their staff. Another reason to look for a practice like that if you still want the option to have an epi.

Finally, look into getting a doula. They will be helpful if you had a natural, induced, or c-section delivery!

God Bless Mama!
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Old 08-02-2012, 03:01 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by songbird516
I've had two natural births and been a doula at several medicated births. I must say that if your baby is in a pretty good position, and you're not super scared, natural is the way to go. It really won't last that long.
There are SO MANY possible complications with a medicated birth. Not all of them crop up during the birth, either. The dreaded "flat nipples"? Yeah, pretty much caused by fluids and epidural meds, along with engorgement, but the hospital will surely blame the mom because her body isn't working right (can you tell I've had to deal with this recently!?)
I'm sure once I see a woman give birth successfully with an epidural with no major tearing or complications afterwards, I might feel differently, but so far my experiences haven't been great at all. Most of the time postpartum is also a lot easier if you can have a normal birth; it was for me.
I will say, that I didn't have the "high" that I hear women talk about. Both times I mainly just thought "what the heck just happened!?" Also, I'm really a wimp for pain, but this is pain with a purpose. You have to convince yourself that it's for a reason, and that your body is working the way that it needs to to give birth. It's working! Some studies have shown a decrease in labor pain with moms who have high Vitamin D levels, so you might want to look into that
Also, check out the blog "Mama Birth". She has lots of great birth stories and pep talks about natural birth; very down-to-earth
My 2nd birth was uneventful. Quick-about 6 hours and I had a epidural. No tearing. My healing PostPartum was great. Although I was a huge wimp when it came to nursing and the afterbirth pains. It was a perfect, perfect birth. I only had the epi about 3 hours. I also jumped up outta bed to pee about 15 minutes after the placenta delivered. I know you didn't experience it with me, but it happened.
Megan, wife to Jason. Mommy to Asher, 2, Levi, 1 and Rebekah coming September 10.
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:35 AM   #16
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Re: natural birth

I had a completely natural birth at a hospital with an OB. (Although I didn't go to the hospital until I was 9 cm dilated.) I had a long labor, all back labor, and a long transition. The pain was truly awful and I never felt that high some women talk about. But I was never even tempted to ask for an epidural because my fear of the epidural was worse than the pain of labor.

I had a difficult recovery. I got out of bed an hour after my daughter was born and promptly passed out. I continued to get dizzy and lightheaded every time I stood up for the next 24 hours. I had second degree tearing and was in horrible pain for the first couple of weeks. It was hard to sit and riding in the car was awful. There was no way I could drive. I was exhausted from being up with my daughter round the clock and when she would fall asleep I would go lay down and try to sleep and despite being completely exhausted I couldn't sleep because I was in too much pain. I also had trouble with bowel control.

I tell you all of this not to discourage you, but because sometimes I think natural birth advocates tell other women that natural birth is all sunshine and roses, and it's not, at least not for some people. But, I'm glad I did it natural and plan to do it natural next time as well. If you choose natural, my advice would be to do lots of research and have lots of different natural pain relief options available. You have no way of knowing what will and won't work for you until you're in the middle of things. Good luck!
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:59 AM   #17
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Re: natural birth

I've had two epidural births and 2 non-medicated natural births in a hospital.
I would recommend going natural for many reasons, but at the same time, I would not sugar coat things. my most recent birth was non-medicated but was EXTREMELY painful. My baby was 10lbs 7oz and his shoulders were stuck on the way out. I do feel that it was verging on traumatic because i didn't have any pain relief. But at the same time, I've never been more proud of any accomplishment or more relieved that my baby came out ok.

good luck!
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Old 08-03-2012, 12:43 PM   #18
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I had a completely natural birth with #1, then with #2 I labored naturally for 11 hours and when I was ready to push, my MW discovered that he was coming face first. We tried to turn him but he wouldn't move so I was transferred for a c/s. I'm pregnant with #3 and planning another natural birth. It is so much better, IMO, to be up and moving around than stuck in a bed. The pain is only temporary. I remind myself that it is only one day in my whole life, and when you look at it that way, it really doesn't seem so bad.
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:44 PM   #19
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Re: natural birth

I've had 5 pregnancies that ended in live births. The first 4 were induced and I had epidurals. The last one was not induced and was completely natural. I will never go back! It was just so amazing and I felt awesome. Left the hospital within 24 hours and was right back on my feet. Plus the baby nursed better, slept better, etc.

If you have netflix, you can watch "The Business of Being Born" and "Pregnant in America". They're both really informative, helped me become much more educated and decide to take my health back into my own hands. They are also both available to watch instantly.
Sonja, Helpmeet to John, Mama to Joel(13), Kathry(11) Alaina(8), Ben (5), Joshua (2) and Elizabeth (1)
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:12 PM   #20
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Re: natural birth

I had 2 epis and a homebirth. Planning a homebirth this pregnancy. My first epi experience was horrid. The second was great. I just wanted to be able to have peace and be home afterwards. They let me go home after 24 hrs. so that was nice.
My homebirth was good, not great because I would've done some things differently. I didn't get in water like I ultimately planned(I had read it could slow labor but it would've been worth it and I stayed in the bathroom the majority of the time because I didnt want to wake the kids(line up a sitter). The pain was intense during transition. That wouldve been the time I asked for an epi, lol! But I know if I had labored in water it would've been somewhat better. We took The Bradley method birthing classes. They were great because it really showed DH how to get involved and be confident in assisting in relaxation techniques and positive encouragement.
After my homebirth I sat in the bathroom waiting to birth the placenta. After that I cleaned up quickly and carried DD to bed. I loved it!! My mom took my other 2 kids for the day and night so DH and I got to lay in bed oohing and ahhing at DD. I did tear a little, didn't get stitches and healed perfectly.
Doing a homebirth in water this time
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