I donít understand why people try to talk a woman out of natural childbirth. I had my 24 week checkup yesterday, and both the doctor and my husband were telling me I was crazy for wanting to go natural with no pain medication whatsoever. They are both men, what would they know about the pains of childbirth. I have talked to numerous woman who went without pain medication and they said once it is over, it is over. You feel great afterwards with no side effects that medication could cause. My mother is one person who went natural and she had five kids. My supervisor is another and she had 3 kids. It must not be all that bad. I just felt like they were ganging up on me and was so upset the rest of yesterday. My doctor was like, believe me, you will definitely get the epidural. I said no, I really prefer not to have one - Iím not comfortable with that. The doctor said that if I look like I am in pain, the nurses will call him and ask him what they should do if I deny the epidural. So, basically he could tell them to give me one no matter what I say. My husband was like, oh you are getting one and told the doctor I will have one. I was so mad at him and told him that he should support my decision, not be against me. All he said was that he didnít want to hear me about the pain if I didnít get one. Now I know my body and I know my pain tolerance, so I think I will be able to handle this. I want to be able to get up and get showered soon afterwards. I want to be able to be in control of my body and feel what is going on. If my baby can handle all the stress and pressure, so can I. It wonít last forever.
Sorry for making this so long, but I am just so frustrated and upset that no one will support my decision. I really donít like the idea of a catheter in my back, so I do not want the epidural. I am more worried about that than I am about the actual pain.
Do any of you have stories of natural childbirth you can share? Were any of you in my situation and if so what happened? Thanks so much!
I did not have natural childbirth with my first, but I just want to make sure you don't have an unrealistic picture of natural childbirth. If that's what your goal is, then by all means, you should shoot for that target. Childbirth still hurts and there is still recovery time and extreme soreness, you just feel it all without meds. You don't have the side effects of the meds to deal with if you go natural, but not all meds keep you from getting up to take a shower (some do), it's the pain and weakness from everything your body went through, including blood loss, that keeps you from getting up to take a shower or use the bathroom (ouch!). I'm not trying to suggest that you get the meds or don't get the meds, that's up to you. All I'm saying is that any way you do it, it takes a huge toll on your body, no matter what anyone says, and it is very painful. You don't just have the baby and get up to take a shower like it was no big deal, pain meds or no pain meds. You are still extremely weak, have lost a lot of blood, it is painful to go to the bathroom, etc. especially if you tear or have an episiotomy. If you want to go natural, then you should shoot for that as an ideal, but don't allow yourself to feel like a failure if you decide at some point during labor that you need something to take the edge off. There are other meds that are more mild than the epidural that they can give you if you aren't comfortable with the epidural. Also, even if you want to go natural, if there is a problem, they will take the baby c-section. That also doesn't make you a failure. As long as you get that baby out of you and into this world - SOMEHOW - you're successful. Just try to keep that in mind and keep your options open if the ideal scenario (natural childbirth) doesn't happen.
I am very serious about going natural... if there are no complications. However, in my situation my DH is very supportive of me. You may want to check out the following books.
Husband-Coached Childbirth by Robert A. Bradley (Good for Dad to read.. it is addressed to him)
Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon
The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer
A Good Birth, A Safe Birth by Korte and Scaer
The Birth Book by Sears and Sears
Bottome line... don't be afraid to have the birth you want to have. Talk to your husband about it... let him know how much this means to you. Let him know the benefits of natural child birth.
Then talk to your doctor... let him know this is your birth and how you want it to go... it is not his birth. And if he is not supportive are you able to switch doctors?
You need to learn what is happening in your body during labor so you are able to ask question of the doctor and such. Read up on it and find some natural birthing classes to prepare.
Last edited by moderator2; 01-05-2005 at 10:04 AM.
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I believe in a trusting partnership between myself and my doctor. I am not anti-technology. I am going to have my birth in a hospital by an OB. I want to be able to discuss things with my doctor and trust that he is being straight forward with me... not just saying something that will make me say "yes".
I am going to prepare myself for a birth with no pain meds. But like jmcummins mentioned, I am not going to be down on myself if I feel like I need to ask for some relief by pain meds. I am just learning all I can so I can be a part of the decision... I guess being a part of the decision is most important to me. I don't pretend to know it all... and hell if I want all the decisions on my shoulders. A partnership with your doctor is the way to go.
I plan on have a natural birth. I mean of course if its too unbearable there is always the meds option. My hubby is completely supportive cuz he thinks that it could hurt the baby. gosh he didnt even want me to have any u/s becuase he thought it would hurt the baby.
I was speaking to my mom, she had 7 kids........the first one she ended up taking the epidural, the second one (me) she said i was out within 2 hours, then my sister after me, she went straight to the delivery room and so on. One of them was a c-section.
I have alot of friends that try to do it naturally so I do have the support I need.
Thanks for the replies. I will check out those books. Just to clear something up, I know that childbirth is very painful. Iím not at all thinking unrealistically about how it will be. I donít expect it to be a walk in the park. But, I am not worried about the pain. If it gets unbearable, then yes, I will have no choice but to use pain medications. I know that no matter how a woman labors and delivers, she will be tired at the end. I donít expect to be jumping around all giddy and energetic. But, I want to be able to use the bathroom afterwards if I have to and I want to be able to freshen up a little, even if I donít jump in the shower right away.
I am very set on trying for a natural childbirth. I want to be able to make this decision on my own. I really donít think this is anyone elseís decision and I want to be able to go to the hospital happy and NOT defensive. I donít want people telling me what I MUST do. Only the woman knows her body and her limitations, so I really donít think anyone can make that decision for her. What Iím really upset about, is that I feel like I was being pressured to choose an epidural and being told how I will feel thorugh labor. My doctor didnít mention other pain mediactions like Demoral (sp?), and when I mentioned them, he said you will want the epidural instead. I know it wonít make his job any easier whatever method I choose, so I donít know why he was stressing the epidural so much. I thought it would be my decision and the doctor was there to support me and inform me about the other options out there. I just felt like I was the crazy one yesterday by even mentioning natural childbirth. I am one of those people who avoids taking any kind of medication until it desparatley needs to be taken. I know my body, I know what I can handle, and I know when itís time to get some help. I can just imagine how much pressure I will get from everyone on delivery day when I refuse the epidural. I already told my husband not to even suggest the epidural to me on that day and to just be there for me. I will make sure I stay home laboring as long as possible so I can feel as comfortable as possible without interventions or suggestions. Then, hopefully when I get to the hospital, I wonít have much time left before delivery.
Thanks again for the support. I just hate when I am pressured into making a decision I am against. By the way, I would never switch doctors because mine is wonderful. Yesterday was the first time he ever said anything to upset me, so I will give him a chance and keep adamant in my preferred choice.
1. Write a birth plan. The second you get to the hospital give it to your attending nurse. Spell out in detail exactly how you want your birth to go. From pain relief to cutting the cord, to placing the baby on your chest at birth, etc. Many women do this and it is a great help in communicating how you want your birth to go, even when you're too busy focusing to speak.
2. If you really want a natural birth, I would look into hiring a doula. Your DH is wonderful, your doctor is wonderful, your nurse may be wonderful, but your husband will have no idea what you are going through. Your doctor will not be in the room with you for a good deal of your labor and who knows what your nurse will be like. A doula will know how to keep you focused on your plan, will know every trick in the book to relieve pain without drugs, and she will stay by your side the entire time and not give up on you no matter what happens, what you call her, or how much you complain.
I will also add, if they ask if there is ANY chance that you may want an epidural, say yes (even though you REALLY REALLY do not want one and don't plan on using it). This DOES NOT mean that they have the right to give you one when they think it is necessary. The only reason I say this is because this will let the anesthisiologist (sp) know to be prepared that it may happen. If you say no and the pain gets unbearable and you think you are going to die, you may have to wait a lot longer for them to arrive and relieve your pain. Trust me, if you get to this point, you don't want to wait any longer than necessary for relief!!
I wish you luck. I thought I could do it. I have a very high pain tolerance. The pain for me was nothing that I ever could have imagined. I don't think that any woman can until they have been there. Some women have it easier than others and I hope it's true for you. Stick to your guns sister and don't let anyone change your mind for you but you!!!
"Go slowly, breathe and smile" Thich Nhat Hanh
If you do write a birth plan, just remember not to be inflexible, and be prepared to change your mind at any time. I went into my first labor this way. I wanted to go "as long as possible" before getting any pain medication. I have a high pain tolerance. However, I had pitocin because my water had broken, and those things served to make early labor MUCH more painful than it should've been. My contractions were coming so fast and peaking so quickly that I couldn't "regroup" between them and prepare myself. So I only made it to 3 cms. LOL. Plus there are other factors that can play into pain that you have NO control over, like the position of the baby. I have friends who went natural who still had to have intervention in delivery because the baby was positioned wrong. So go for it, but DON'T feel like less of a woman if you change your mind. You're not weak if you need medication, and you have nothing to prove to anyone. I know women have been giving birth without intervention since the beginning of time, but IMO that was only because they had no choice! LOL. The stats at my hospital say 80% of the women who come in wanting a drug free childbirth change their minds. Just keep in mind, there is never anyway to truly completely prepare yourself for the pain of labor. It's unlike ANYTHING you've ever felt before. It's so painful your mind blocks out the pain memory! I have a vague sense of how bad it hurt, but you can never truly remember. I suppose that's God's tool to get us to have more babies!!
However, I do know the minute the baby is out, relief is instant and you forget all about the pain, drugs or no. Most women say this! Good luck!
DS born 07/05/2003
DD born 3/24/2005
I also plan to have natural childbirth, god willing. I do not like to feel out of control and the thought of medication scares me a bit. Alot of my friends doubt that I'll be able to do that but I remain confident in myself. I am not totally saying no to an epidural or some form of pain control. My goal is to labor as long as I can and I hope to make it through w/out any medication if it gets too painful and I can't manage I will opt for some kind of pain med.
Don't be close minded ... b/c you never know how you're labor will go. You don't want to feel like you let yourself down in the end. So be open for anything but at the same time you try your hardest to stick to your goal.
Lots of luck -
PS - My mom had me w/ an epidural and demoral and she had my brother naturally. She told me she felt a thousand times better after the birth of my brother. She also said the pain medication made her feel completely out of control and drowsy. Guess it all depends on the person.
I will agree with something Micheybell said. The narcotics made me crazy! I had stadol, I think, and it made me high and nearly hallucenogenic, yet did very little for my pain relief. It made me feel out of control and I hated it! I've heard other people say that too. I wouldn't recommend it. The epidural was wonderful, though I got the uncontrollable "shakes" really bad from it and was really sore all over the next day from the muscle shakes. I felt like I had been weightlifting all day.
Don't forget they also have other kinds of more local anesthesia, like a pudenal block they give you right before delivery to help with any bad burning or pain from tearing or stretching. I had stitches after my son, and my epidural had worn off. Believe me, you definitely want to get at least a local anesthesia for that! They had to give me a few extra shots of lidocaine to finish stitching me up because I could feel everything.
But remember, it's not epidural or nothing!
DS born 07/05/2003
DD born 3/24/2005
Hi there. Ok I know that alot of people have given you alot of advice but here are my two cents.
GO Natural. My first. I was scared to death. I took the epidural I still felt some pressure. I did nto get my epi with her until 6 cm so I was having pretty good contractions when i got it. Ok anyway i pushed for 1.5 hours and have to have s suction used to help get her out. Also with the epi you have to use a bed pan and it is very hard for the drugs to wear off took me a long time to get them to wear off.
My second. Natural. I pushed 3-4 times out she came THe pain was not too bad. I mean yes the contractions hurt but they go away in 60-90 seconds. As soon as Igot in my room I was up and moving around and able to get out of bed. Granted I was sore but I still felt 1000 times better. I think that you are so right for going natural. I did get a local right in the girl area when they cut me but that was only so I did not feel the episotimy. I did not have any pain down there afterwards. Very sore but no pain. I also did not take anything after Having either baby drugs wise for pain.
If I have another i will definately go natural.
Good luck and i am very proud of you for sticking to your guns on this.
__________________ ~Jo Ann
Married to DH 6-24-2000
DD Born 4-30-02
DD Born 8-13-04
I don't believe the Dr can order an epidural against your wishes unless you need to have a csection. In which case you only have 2 choices an epidural or being put under and most women prefer the epidural so they can at least be aware during the birth. So I would maybe question the Dr about that.
I had planned to go as long as I could before taking any pain medication. If I could go all the way...great, but if I felt I needed something I was determined to not let it make me feel like I was a failure...after all, how many people get their wisdom teeth taken out without pain medication...yes different situation but there is a slight corelation. My husband was supportive as well as the Dr. I went about 11 1/2 hours with absolutely nothing, by then I was on pitocin because my water had broken and I wasn't dialating despite being in what I would call VERY active labor, but after 12hours I was only 2 CMs dialated....I was so discouraged, the pain was so unbearable with the pitocin that I knew I couldn't go another supposedly 8 hours (1CM and hour) so I asked for the epidural....I chose the epidural because that one has the least amount of affects on the baby as compared to the laughing gas or demerol etc...all of which go through the blood stream to the baby. And I was glad I got the epidural in the end. I was in labor a total of 21 1/2 hours and the epidural was able to allow me a small nap to regain some strength, I made sure that they slowly decreased the epidural so that when it came time for pushing that it took the edge off of the pain but I was still able to feel my contractions and push effectively.
I support you 100% of the way, just stand your ground and don't let anyone bully you into changing your mind unless YOU want to change your mind. And like everyone else has said, don't feel any less of a woman if you do choose to use the choices that are available to you. I would make it perfectly clear to both your Dr and husband at the next appointment that you expect them to follow your birth plan...no ifs and or buts. Goodluck.
Oh, I definitely wouldnít feel like a failure if I did need pain medications, I just want to be able to decide on my own. Funny that wisdom teeth were mentioned. I was awake when my impacted teeth were removed. I refused to go to sleep or take the gas, so I just got a few shots of Novocain. I didnít feel a thing. And, again in that situation I was more terrified of having medication than I was of the actual pain. Maybe Iím just stubborn or maybe I know my limits. But, Iím glad that I have all of you to support me in my decision. It makes me feel not so crazy. I like hearing the positive stories of natural childbirth. For those of you who have been through labor and delivery, can you tell me a little about the pain? I heard that the contractions are like really bad menstrual cramps only 10 times worse and the pressure feels like you have to go number 2 but have been holding it in for hours. Is this somewhat true? I also heard that it burns really bad when the head comes out, but after that you are so relieved that you donít notice any more pain. Is this true? I just want to get some idea on what to expect. That will definitely help me prepare for it.