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:)

1 mom found this helpful

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:)

More Answers

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!

2 moms found this helpful

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!

2 moms found this helpful

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.

2 moms found this helpful

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!

2 moms found this helpful

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!

2 moms found this helpful

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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