37 answers

Starting to Feel a Little Nervous About Labor Pain

Hey moms!
Well just to give a little back history: When my first son was born I was induced a few days past my due date and opted to have an epidural. They tried to get in my back like 4 times and couldn't and said they thought I might have some mild case of scoliosis bc they couldn't find any dural space. Anyway, they ended up puncturing something or other and I wound up with a crazy two week migraine. I had natural childbirth and it did hurt, but not nearly as bad as that migraine!! But now I am about 31 wks and going into it I know that an epidural is not an option for me due to my previous problems. So I just feel a little nervous about it all. I know I can do it bc I have done it but it is almost like an epidural is just a right of passage now and it feels like people almost think it is crazy to do it naturally. I almost feel hard done by that I can't have one! I guess it is just kind of expected that most women have them these days. So I was wondering if any of you chose to do it the old fashioned way just because that was your preference and how did it go. My Dr is very encouraging bc my first labor was about 13 hrs and I only pushed for like 30 min and he was here. So she is expecting it to go even quicker this time around. I just remember that when he came down and crowned, it was sooooooooo painful!! But after I did feel great, before the migraine set in! So any encouraging words would be so welcomed!! Thanks moms:)

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow, thanks ladies so much for all your wonderful encouragement! We just had our baby shower so that was so fun and it is so exciting to think he will be here in just a couple more months:) I am really happy about the book suggestions I got I am definitely going to look into that bc I love to read and this is for sure my topic of choice right now! I know I won't have the epi bc the pain of that migraine totally eclipsed labor so it is so encouraging to hear from all of you who made it through drug free! And as many of you pointed out, I have done it before and really after I pushed him out I did feel so totally awesome and empowered, I actually shouted out "Man, I can do anything!" which totally brought the house down. So thanks again, hopefully I can help some mom who is nervous in the future:)

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Hi J.,
I had to be induced a week past my due date with baby #1 and had the epidural. It was a very difficult birth and I was in pain for a very long time following the delivery. Eighteen months later baby #2 came so fast there was no time for an epidural and it was instantenous relief, and I bounced back extremely quickly (even with a toddler at home). I'm going to try to have all my future children naturally as well because the recovery periods were night and day. Just brush up on your pain managment techniques and you'll do great!

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Hi J.
I have 2 children, ages 17 and5. I never had an epidural by choice. It does hurt, but by the time the pain was pretty bad it was about over. Just remember that women have been doing this for many years without epidurals. You will be fine, and when its all done youi will have a beautiful baby, and you can get up and take a shower, use the restroom, whatever you feel up to. With an epidural I don't think you can get out of bed very soon.
You will be fine! You can do it!

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I had all three of mine with no pain meds whatsoever.

DS1 was a week overdue, and I let the doctor scare me into getting induced. Even with Pitocin and harder contractions, I did not use any pain meds. Did not want them, did not use them.

With DD, I was more educated and did not allow them to induce me, despite being a week past my due date. no pain meds, no need.

With DS2, I decided I really wanted the whole natural experience and had him in the water in a birthing center. Best of all my births!

My best piece of advice is to read some books on natural labor to help you. Knowing WHY you don't want to have an epidural, and truly understanding what is happening in your body, helps you to know that what is going on is happening for a reason (did that make sense?). I know that I personally liked to think of each surge/contraction as bringing me closer to my baby. I pictured what was happening, and knew that it was necessary to bring baby into the world.

My favorite books are: The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer. Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin. Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon.

The birth ball is your friend. Lying flat on your back is not! That's only helpful for the doctor. To truly allow baby's head to gradually stretch you like you need, gravity can help. Walk around, squat, all fours...all of this will help him come down. Go to the bathroom often. YOu need to keep urine flowing, and the squatting on the potty will help, too!

Remember what is going on with your body instead of just focusing on the pain. And something that I find to be the hardest thing, but the best thing for me, is to RELAX with each contraction...from my eyebrows to my toes. Tensing up with each serge really makes it hurt more, and relaxing, giving up control of your body and allowing your body to do what it needs to do, really helps everything move along better. Also, high pitched screams merely tighten you up when you need to open up. Try low pitched moans. Next time you go to the potty to tinkle, give it a try. Screech and see how it feels. THen moan in a low pitch and see how that feels. At this point in your pregnancy, I'm sure that you will feel more open as you moan if you're sitting on the potty.

Hiring a doula is a great way to help you with your natural birth. Also, refusing to be induced will help. If they want to induce you, ask what medical reason they think you have. Let your body go into labor naturally, and things will move along much better. You are more likely to need interventions when you allow that first one (induction).

Congrats and good luck! YOu CAN do this!

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Hi J.,

I chose to birth in a hospital without an epidural. Better for everyone that way. Lots of people have mentioned this, but definitely try water! They had to haul me out of the bathtub both times!! So your husband's job should be to make sure that whatever room you are assigned to has a bathtub. My husband threw a fit with my second so we could get moved to a room with a tub, and I was very grateful.

Also, don't let them break your water to "get things moving". Once your water breaks, it gets much more intense. Let that water cushion you and the baby as long as possible!

Good luck. You'll be fine, just like the billions of women before you. You are not alone.

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You've gotten a bunch of good advice so far, so I thought I'd add a little encouragement of my own. I've had five children, and after an unhappy experience with my first (with an epidural), all the rest have been without pain medicine. The last four children were all 9 lbs. and up (the last two were both 9lbs. 8oz.!!). There is no question that labor can be difficult (it is called "labor," not "vacation" after all), but you CAN handle labor without an epidural. I would also advise taking a course, at least, and even consider having a midwife or doula accompany you to the labor room -- they are tremendously helpful! And the comment about the induced labor being more difficult is true. The synthetic oxytocin, a hormone, called "pitocin" brings on strong, regular contractions very abruptly and the sensation can be overwhelming. If you can avoid "inducing" you labor, please do. When you labor on your own, the pains increase gradually, giving you more time to adjust to the changing sensations. Now, don't get me wrong, ALL my labors were unpleasant, but every recovery was far easier than the first. However, I'll let you in on the dirty little secret that no one talks about, epidurals do not always get rid of all the pain (especially the "ring of fire" you described at crowning), and the lack of muscle control they sometimes cause can also be very disconcerting (I was freaking out!!). Lastly, I would just echo the sentiments of others who have said that this is what God designed our bodies to do. You can do this, and it might hurt, but you WILL feel better, and sooner than you'll think. God bless you!

Oh, and p.s., the fact that you're nervous about labor just means you're not ready to deliver that baby yet. The baby is coming out one way or another, and by the grace of God you're almost the only one who can do it -- the best one to do it at any rate :-) If you don't obsess over the fear of being in pain, you will probably feel ready to do what you have to do when the time comes. And for one last bit of good news, transition is the most painful stage of labor. Once you're fully dilated and ready to push, the pain dials back and you'll feel able to push the new baby out. My prayers for a safe delivery are with you!

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Congrats on having the baby natraully. i was i labor after my water broke for 64 hours. I didn't take anything untill a few minutes before the c section because I was un progressing. The doctor told me i undialated to 1 1/2 cm after only getting to 3cm. If you could make it through the hardest labor (the first) you will be just fine. and look at the bright side you could have been in the hospital for three day and still have to have a c setion that you really didn't want to have. Every one I know, there is alot of them, says the first baby is the hardest. so this one should go pretty quick and easy for you.

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Hi J.
I have 5 children naturally. I didn't want an epidural because I was afraid they might slip and paralyze me. When I'm in pain, I MOVE A LOT. So an epidural wasn't going to be an option for me lol. However, I did have one child that had to be taken out early. So I was induced. My daughter was the smallest out of all five but I found that child birth to be the most painful. I think it has something to do with the medication involving inducing. Now when I had my last daughter, it was awesome. They put me in a bathtub and turned on these bubbles. Granted, I felt the pain but it wasn't as bad while I was in the water. I also know this because they told me I couldn't deliver her in the tub. When I got out I felt that pain and than I pushed :) So you may want to ask your doctor about Jacuzzi type of thing. I believe in you, you've done this before. You know what to expect and I know you will do well. You will be blessed with your reward in the end :) I hope this helps!

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Wow! You had a lot of responses! Hope you don't mind one more (haven't read the others so hope not to repeat) We had one child at the hospital and the other 5 at home and all without epidural.

The thing that helped me most was creating a plan for how I was going to give birth and it helped me concentrate less on pain and more on the process.

My midwife was great (and nurses are often good at this too) at saying just the right thing to encourage me as I went through the different stages of labor.

But a couple things in particular were helpful to me:

A nice hot tub to sit in. This just relaxed every part of me and made baby come quickly. If you can't do this, try to make the room warm (hard to do in the hospital) it will help.

Dad wasn't around for counter pressure early in labor so pressing back side against a wall helped.

Relaxed and lamaze types of breathing are helpful.

Releasing your voice...low gutteral types of sounds to concentrate on are helpful...my mom thought this was weird...but I was the one having the baby and it helped me...she got over it.

Back labor was helped when the nurse had me change to a hands & knees position and waggled. Baby turned and I went from 4 to 10 cm in just a few min. amazing.

Doctors can deliver babies in different positions. Laying in the bed is one of the worst. Squatting while being supported is much better.

Remember, just when you think, "I can't and don't want to do this!" Your sweet baby will come and all will be well.

Our second came so quickly the midwife almost didn't get there! Labor started just after 10pm and the baby came at 2:15 am...must have been all that trick or treating I did :)

Will be praying for you!

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I chose natural childbirth for my only daughter. I was 37, had 13 hours of labor, mostly back labor. I chose natural childbirth partially because of the effect of the drugs on newborns.
I had a midwife and my daughter was born in my living room. Wouldn't change it for the world. I had no tearing or stitches for myself and felt great afterwards. Was able to go back to work 2 days later for partial days.
I wish you all the best and have total faith you will come through with flying colors.

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oh momma i am so sorry you had a terrible experience with the epa. if anything like that ever happens again ask for some one else to do it. serisouly. i am not at all above or below asking for some one that understands my needs/ wants. if you want to do this naturaly then go for it. if you want to try the epi. then do so but if they seem to be having trouble speak up and tell them to quit. i am a major woose and if i can have the meds thats grand for me but i realize there is a chance that it might not work out. if not i better suck it up. but like you said it only hurts for a little bit then its all better. congrats on your new baby, breath and trust in God.

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You can do this! You might try hypnobirthing - self-hypnosis to help you relax and reduce pain. I had both my boys this way (w/out epidural) and it was great!! Also, don't forget you can get a local for the crowning part if that bothers you. That helps a lot too!! Good luck!

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When I had my daughter I had planned to have an epidural but I once I got into labor I decided not to do it. They gave me something to just "take the edge off". I got a small dose of Stadol and found it perfect for what I needed to get through labor but I have heard some complain about side effects (I had no side effects). Talk to your ob or the anesthesiologist about options like this. They are easy and fast for them to administer if you decide you need a little help. Best of luck to you!

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Hi there,

I feel your pain. They tried puting in an Epidural twice with my first an di ended up with a spinal block and c-section. This time I have decided even though I am not at all swollen like last time that I will go au-naturale with no pain meds.... my resoning behind this is that even though eveyone is getting an epidural it has been shown to slow labor progress and then you may end up needing pitocin which causes more severe/stronger labor pains which means more epidural and then mor pitocin... a never ending cycle of chemicals running around your body..... I am 35 weeks so I will look fo rthis post once I have had Jay and let you know :)

All the best, sounds like you have a pretty good/short labor ahead of you :)

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have you tried any natural childbirth classes? I think of childbirth like a marathon; if you knew you were going to runn a marathon in 9 months you would train for it right? I have had both of my babies at home with a midwife using the Bradley Method (a.k.a. husband coached childbirth) because I did not want a medicated birth. As you experienced even with an attempted epidural they are not side effect free. Infact, edipural induced migraines are REALLY common. My suggestion would be to prepare yourself physically and emotionally for the childbirth. Find a method the speaks to you; be it Bradley, hypnobirthing or other. Learn as much as you can about birth as God intended it to be, unmedicated and undisturbed. Learn what your body and the babies do when they are not interfered with. God made our bodies capable to bear children & consider yourself blessed to let the miraculous process happen without things that interfere with the amazing miracle of chemistry physiology God endowed each woman with. I think you should consider childbirth God's way as a right of passage and count your lucky stars you don't have to worry about the miriad of complications and interventions that come into play once epidurals come into play. feel free to contact me privately if you have questions or want some other resources. Be confident in your womanhood, you can do this.
S.

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Hi J.! Congrats on going natural. Because of this your body should recover faster and your baby will be born drug free! I delivered my baby this way back in July at a birth center. I studied hypnobirthing but didn't necessarily know the in and outs of it, either way, I found it helpful. So even picking up some material on it now, at this point in your pregnancy will be helpful. And like you said, it hurts but it's not excruciating. This is what your body is built to do! Congrats!

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You can do it! You did before and you didn't even get to really do any preparation. Statistically, each consequent labor gets shorter (I would NEVER call it easier...you're still pushing out a baby!).

I agree with the poster below about trying to get into a class before you go into labor. You will learn some additional pain management techniques and re-familiarize yourself with the stages of labor. It really helped me to know where I was in the process.

You might even consider hiring a doula to be with you during your labor and delivery. She is an extra support to you and your husband.

I delivered my daughter naturally with a midwife in a birthing center. It was hard...really hard. My labor was 19 hours! But, given the chance, I would do it all over again. For me, being able to move around was the most helpful thing through my labor. I have a back injury that can be quite debilitating and end up with a posterior baby that triggered all back labor. I literally have no recollection of any sort of contraction in my belly, only back spasms the entire time.

Our bodies are amazing creations with all sorts of built in mechanisms for handling pain. When we allow them to work, we are protected. Good luck! You'll do great.

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I am pregnant with baby #10 - yes you read that right #10. NEVER had an epi, never will. There is no reason that an epi has to be a rite of passage. I am not going to slam anyone who uses an epidural but I will say that I have been in the hospital and delivered at the same time as another woman who used an epidural and I have been up and around HOURS before them.

That ring of fire you experienced with the crowning of your first one is perfectly normal, and will ease with the second one. You can ask the nurse for warm/hot washcloths that can be placed on your perineum during the last stages of labour. That helps stretch everything down there, so when the baby crowns it is less painful.

Labour is painful, no doubt about it, but you can do it! I sometimes think our ancestors must look down on us and shake their heads in disbelief at the wimps we have become.

You are strong, your body is strong, let it do naturally what God designed it to do.

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I have given birth to three children without any drugs--by choice!--and I'm pregnant with our fourth. Have you taken any childbirth classes? I took a class when I was pregnant with our first, and then I've reread the materials and practiced the breathing exercises before the others. The breathing exercises really did help me manage the pain; the contractions seemed much more painful when I didn't concentrate on the breathing as they started so I couldn't really get control of the pain. If you didn't take a class before, I'd try to find a one-day class to take in the next couple of weeks.

I would also encourage you by saying that each delivery really has gotten easier. I have tended to have really long early labor (several days with my first, 12 days with my 2nd--dilated at 3 with contractions 5-7 minutes apart for those 12 days!--and something similar with my 3rd), but I only pushed for 20 minutes with my first, less than 10 minutes with my 2nd, and only 1 1/2 pushes with my 3rd. (With my 3rd, I was in the hospital for less than an hour when she was born; I went from a 4-5 to a 10 in less than two hours, and I have to admit that my greatest worry with this pregnancy is that I'll deliver the baby in the parking lot or something!)

Also, one of the things I loved about giving birth to my son (who was born in Pennsylvania) was that I didn't even have to have an IV during labor. I spent a lot of my labor time in the shower, which helped me relax and control the pain. After the delivery, the nurses even helped me get into the shower before I ever went to the recovery room! At the hospital where my next two were born, here in Texas, I was required to have an IV "just in case," and they also administer low doses of pitosin for 12 hours after the delivery to stimulate mild uterine contractions. It's not bad, but I much preferred the IV-free delivery in PA. But those sorts of things will be determined in part by where you choose to deliver.

Good luck! What's before you may be daunting, but you can do it. And it sure will impress people when you tell them you've given birth twice without drugs, because you're right--not many women choose to do it that way! Feel free to send me a message if you have any other questions or concerns.

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I have always said I would not have an epidural...especially after one of my friends had one that went wrong and she had that horrible headache you were talking about. She had to go back to the hospital and have a blood patch put over the spot to heal it. Anyway. When I found out I was pregnant last year I told my hubby my no medicine plan and he (and everyone but my mom and dr) told me I was crazy. I was induced about 1 week early due to my blood pressure being a little high. The nurses would tell me they will be coming in to give you the epidural and I would have to remind them I was not having one. To me the pain wasn't too awful yet. I did a lot of breathing as the pain got worse. I was admitted around noon on a Thursday and around 3am I asked the nurse if I could have something for the pain so I could get some sleep since I had bee up for almost 24 hours and I was only dialated to 2. I'm not sure what they gave me but I slept great for about 30 minutes before the pain was breaking thru again. By 4:30 or so I was dialated and ready to push my little one out. I think i was still half out of it from the medicine at 3. I only pushed about 3 or 4 times and that was it. My son was here. I did breathing to help me focus on something other than the pain. It did hurt, but not as bad as everyone tries to make it seem in my opinion. You can do this with no epidural. Remember to breath thru the contractions, it really does help.

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Just some encouragement... I have three children and every labor has been totally different. I chose not to have an epidural with both of my first two children. The first delivery is almost always the hardest. I had to push for almost 3 hours, but my son was huge. My second child weighed 8'8 and I only had to push 3 times. I was up walking around in less than 2 hours. I didn't have any real recovery time because I had not used any medication. It was absolutely the best delivery. My two oldest are only 21 months apart. My third had to be born by an emergency c-section 7 weeks early so I had to have an epidural.

You are correct that people think it is expected to have an epidural and that you are crazy if you don't; but I wouldn't change anything about my delieveries.

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I've given birth naturally twice using the hypnobirthing method someone else mentioned. I took the class before both births. I can't say enough about how wonderful hypnobirthing is. My first labor was long (30 hours) and my second baby was 10.5 lbs. Both labors were beautiful, peaceful experiences. I never once even thought about asking for an epidural. And I'm not tough. It's all about being prepared.
Since you've already had one without an epidural, you should be in great shape to just coast through the next birth without any problems. And no headache this time!
Just google hypnobirthing and your town and you should find people who teach the class. Some insurances will even pay part of it, since it cuts down on the risk of a c-section.

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I had my first child 6 weeks ago but gave into the epidural. In hindsight I shouldn't have gotten it. I was already 8 cm & started pushing about 1 1/2 hrs later. I pushed for 54 minutes. I think it would have been less had I known exactly where I was pushing. The reason I won't have one again was actually getting it & the side effects. I had a panic attack while getting it (I'm terrified of needles) & the had the shakes until after my daughter was born. An hour after she was born my doctor was already telling me I can make it next time without an epidural. In a strange way I was able to enjoy my labor more before pain meds because I was just focused on the actual labor & not the side effects. My next baby will be born without pain meds. My sister has had 2 children delivered naturally. The 2nd was delivered breech (aghhhh) & she will choose this again. As another post said, focus on your breathing & take a birthing class if you have not already. I would take it again evenil if you took it in your previous pregnancy. Also, don't he scared to be your own advacate. Constant monitoring of the baby does not need to be done (unless an issue is already seen). Talk to your doctor prior to labor beginning about intermittant monitoring & only having an IV placed & not hooked up. It will allow you alot more freedom. My labor was so much easier to deal with when I was not in bed. I used a birthing ball. Do lots of research on natural labor. People who I have talked to that would go natural again all had numerous options for coping with the pain. I'm convinced that if i had done that I wouldn't have given in. Good luck to you.

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Just had a 9 lb. 4 oz. baby with no pain, quick and easy; a few hours. I did have an epidural, but surely not having an ounce of pain is encouraging, right?
This was the third baby, so things get easier!!! Good luck!

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Hi J.-
you got so many great answers. I loved reading them as I am 31 weeks pregnant as well start to get nervous myself. I too chose to have a natural, vaginal delivery because I heard it's best for the baby and my recovery. My husband and I hired a doula who will come with us to the hospital. I hope that with her extra support and knowledge I will get cope with the pain through position changes, a shower or other remedies. Have you considered a doula?

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Hi J., that epidural is popular but for thousands of years women gave birth without it and went on to have many more children. My first 3 were delivered naturally w/o anesthesia by choice. The 4th baby was delivered w/ an epidural b/c the dr. suspected he might have to do an emergency c-section. When my second and third children were born, I knew what to expect and yes it was more difficult as the labor pain increased; however, I was familiar with the stages. My husband was a great Lamaze coach. He encouraged me and kept repeating that things were progressing right on schedule. As it got more intense, he stayed right by my face and kept rubbing my back or wiping my face w/ a cool cloth or whatever I asked for. He repeated often that I was doing a good job, that he was right there, and that the baby would be in my arms in no time. Since he could tell from the fetal monitor when the contractions were starting up before I got uncomfortable, he started me with the deep cleansing breath and started the appropriate breathing technique with me so I would keep on top of it. Only once I lost my cool and began to cry that I couldn't do it, he got right in front of my face and did the breathing with me to get me back on track. That helped immensely. During transition, close your eyes and rest quietly, tho it is only a moment, it will conserve your strength. The burning feeling as the baby crowns only lasts a moment. That is the drumroll which means your baby is making his entrance into the world. Think of it as your body announcing that the greatest moment that you've been waiting for is here. As I describe all these steps, they are reminding you that you already know this. You've done it before, you can do it again.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Welcome baby! HTH

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Oh J., do not worry. If you become too uncomfortable, change positions. Ask your husband to distract you by asking you questions or reminding you how exciting it is that you are about to meet your beautiful new baby.

To me the pain of the contractions was just like all of my menstrual cramps! I was so surprised. Since I had always suffered with terrible cramps, I knew that I could handle it for just the 24 hours of labor.. Remember the 24 hours was not all of the really hard contractions. Only the final few hours consisted of the take your breath away of the "extra strength" cramps.. My husband would distract me by reminding me to breath, he would tell me something to remember, like how we met, funny stories about our honeymoon. He told me I was more beautiful than when I walked down the aisle..

The nurses were also wonderful. They put me in the shower at one point. I had to stay in the bed most of the time, but it was fine. If you can walk around it is really supposed to help.

We live in modern times and if you really, really feel like you cannot handle it, by all means, ask for something. I kept telling myself, "No one ever died from the pain of labor". I also hoped that if I made it through with no medications our daughter would be super alert. She was! She actually lifted her head when I said her name out loud for the first time! It was wa wonderful experience.

I am sending you strength. I am so excited for you!

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I would stay with the natural with your history, better to have some pain for a short time then to have it for several weeks. Plus you will have a wonderful prize for your effort a new baby what a blessing. I had natural with two and am not sorry that I did it.

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I have given birth 3 ways...

1st with Nubane. It's nice in that it takes the egde off. You are still aware and can feel pretty much everything. It still hurts, but bearable. I tore, so I felt that burning pain with the actual delivery. But it lets you really rest between contractions.

2nd with Epidural. I had twins so I was forced to get it just in case the 2nd twin turned and had to do c-section. Hated it. I don't like the feeling of not being able to feel. And they said they might hit my nerve ending on the way down and might feel a little tingling. OH MY GOSH. That was not tingling. That was so painful the 4-5 times they tried and hit my nerve. In the end the succeeded with the epidural and most of it wore off before actual delivery.

3rd with nothing. I liked it. I was able to feel everything. Didn't go through any classes or anything, but be sure you do what ever you need to do to cope. I'm sure I looked like a goof ball during the hard labor b/c I had to do something physical to deal with the pain so I was basically rowing with my arms. Towards the end, I felt less in control than with the nubane. You know the part where they tell you not to push...but you really want to. With the nubane I felt I could control it a little, but with nothing, it was coming whether they were ready or not.

Also it depends on what type of labor you have. With my 1st & 3rd preganancy, all of my labor was in front. With my 2nd pregnancy I had back labor - that is a whole different pain. I had a much harder time with the back labor.

Wish you well. There are many more options out there than epi or nothing so talk to your dr or anethesiologist.

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Do it, do it, do it! You can totally handle it!!!

I was scared into having an epidural with my 1st baby (I still HATE that nurse for it!) and had terrible back pain days after the birth. My subsequent two births went with no intervention and I bounced back nearly immediately. By the time I was in pain enough to request an epidural with my 2nd, the nurse looked and said "OMG she's crowning already!" and had to literally RUN to get an OB for the delivery :-D The anesthesiologist popped his head into my room and said, "I'm here" and I looked at him and smiled sarcastically and said "too late!" It was kinda funny.

So stick to it and do it, girl! You will be SO GLAD you did!

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((hugs)) I had trouble with the epidural too. I've had it 4 times and each time had awful problems from it. This last time I got that migraine, and it lasted 6 weeks. I had to hire strangers to come clean my house, cook meals and care for my children! I would go natural but educate yourself. You need to read about natural childbirth. There are alot of books out there that are excellent, but you are pretty far along to read everything. My favorite resources are Ina May Gaskins books, The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth, and Gentle Birth Choices (make sure you get the one with the DVD!!) You may be able to get these from your library or one in your county. I have been able to borrow from other libraries outside my district as well.

Happy birthing!

S., mom to 4 little girls

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You can do this J., just like women have been doing for a very long time. It sounds like the epidural is definately the problem in this so don't make the mistake of thinking that it is normal to have one - it is not.

My first labor went 4 days at home before I gave in and went to a hospital, where after refusing to sign a liability waiver for a C-section, I persisted another 8 hours for a successful vaginal delivery.

With my second child 12 years later, I was determined to have a successful home birth, and this time had an extremely competent Midwife. However it was not uneventful in Florida around hurricane Andrew in Florida that week, and the power went out while I was in the most critical phase of transition. This resulted in the birth being rushed at the end, but otherwise 'normal'.

You can do this.

1 mom found this helpful

Dear J.,
I'm sorry you had to go through all of that medical intervention. I chose to have my baby naturally because I do not like needles. I admit, I'm a wimp when it comes to all that.....but, your body has an intelligence that is far superior to the Potossan (sp?) they give you to push your labor along, and the epideural they give you that numbs you from any feeling at all. You did it once, you can do it again! I would seek out someone in your area that teaches the Bradley Method. It will provide you with some valuable information that will empower you during your birthing process. You will learn postures (positions) to put your body into to alleviate the pain, and help the birthing process along. Your husband (or partner) will learn how to guide you with a variety of breathing techniques and support you as you need it. It can be a wonderful and spirutual experience for you. The best part of all....it is such a challenge....you will feel amazing when it is done, and your baby will too!

J.,
I have had 2 babies naturally. I used the Bradley Method for coping with my labor pains. It worked so well that my first labor and delivery DID NOT hurt. On the pain scale, I'd say it was a 1/2. My second delivery hurt a little more, MAYBE a 2 on the pain scale. You can do it! I highly suggest the Bradley Method. It was a wonderful experience for me.

I didn't read your other responses, so sorry if this is redundant!
My first time around, all I had was one dose of demurol (sp?) and when I asked for the epidural, by the time the anesthesiologist came it was too late. I only pushed for 15 min. though and my labor was only about 9 hrs. But my daughter was 8lbs 12oz and 21" long! Of course it was horribly painful, but when you are in the moment, you really don't focus so much on the pain but the getting them out as quickly as possible so you can hold that baby!
My 2nd time around, I was kind of scared to get the epi after research I had done, so I had refused it I think 3 times. Then when I finally said I wanted it they said they couldn't since I had already refused so many times. So I had a spinal block instead. It's just a shot in the back, not left in like the epi, and I swear it was instant relief! Unfortunately, by the time I got it until the time I had to push it was only a few minutes LOL so that relief didn't last long! But I would encourage you to look into it b/c it doesn't have the side effects the epi does and it allows you to still be able to move around, except with major pain relief. I also got a shot of demural before the spinal block, but I would advise you NOT to get that (or something similar) b/c all it did for me was make me sleepy and very "out of it" so when I did have a contraction, I was too out of sorts to deal with it well. Or I would just fall asleep for about 2 min between contractions just to be rudely awakened by another!
Just remember that whatever you choose, it's your decision and you are the only one who can know how much pain you can handle! And don't be afraid to yell and scream...people might look at you funny, but if that's how you deal with the pain, go with it! The nurses told me they were afraid I was in too much pain b/c of how much I screamed, but I told them that's just how I deal with it!
Anyway, good luck and hopefully you have a very quick labor this time around =) (my 2nd was only 4 hrs from water breaking to delivery BTW!)

I have had 2 with no epidural and you will be fine. I had them both in the hospital. You can even ask for a local pain med for the "ring of fire." Plus your second one goes so fast - my first was 16 hours and second was less than 1 hour.

I had 3 natural, and I'm often wimpy about pain. Did it hurt? Sure, but as you say you feel great after. My experience was that the pain, while difficult during and just before transition, didn't feel like it was doing harm to my body. It was more like cramps (big, ovewhelming cramps)and went away after each one. I was alert and recovered better than my neighbors who had anesthesia. I also felt the babies were more alert after natural birth. Take Lamaze, or some other good course, to learn to breathe through the contractions and what to expect during labor. I had my first one so long ago that it was pre-epidural, and I didn't want the full spinal they did then. After that, it was easier with the second and third. You should do fine with a second baby "natural", as things go more quickly than the first. Make sure whoever is with you, (hubb, doula) are also trained and encouraging. Good luck. I know you'll do fine!

Hi J.,
I also have skoliosis but had no problems with an epidural. I will be honest, I was thrilled to have an epidural and I do think any mom who wants to do it naturally is insane. But, those same moms probably think I'm insane for wanting the drugs. One of my very close friends wanted a natural birth with her first child but didn't because they had to induce and the pain was too intense for her but she is expecting her 2nd in a few weeks and plans on doing it naturally if she can. I know there are a lot of moms out there who want to give birth with no drugs so you are not alone. I think all those moms are really brave and I admire them (and you) for it. Of course, its painful but it doesn't last long and then you have that amazing little person in your arms. Try to stay positive. And this time you probably won't have the migraine. Good luck, Mommy! P.S. Maybe talk to a different anesthesiologist about the possibility of an epidural (if you still want to go this route) different doctors may have different techniques.

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