Au Natural Labor???

Updated on September 24, 2010
A.L. asks from Magna, UT
45 answers

My question is this: Have any of you done a natural labor after doing an epidural with previous labor/delivery? I would like to try natural with just a local for the stitching up the tear.
A little background: I'm due with baby #3 in february 2011. I've got two boys they will be 4 in december and 2 in february. With my first- my labor was from 6 am and I had him at Noon with an epidural at 7 am (I was at a 5/6 dilation). With my second- labor started at around 2 or 3am and I had him at 8am with an epidural at 7am (I was at a 9, and the only reason it was an hour later is to wait for the dr to get there). My actual pushing/labor is only 2 contractions- about 5 minutes of pushing is all (go kegels!).
Now for the question: We're trying to save money and get out of debt and an epidural is about $800 with insurance. I made it to a 9 with my second before having the epidural and it's mostly out of fear for feeling the tearing (because they come so quickly) and suturing (sp?) me up afterwards. So have any of you done a natural labor after doing an epidural (that worked and made you nice and comfortable) with previous labors? I would like to try natural with just a local for the stitching up the tear. so what do you think? save the $800 bucks? or just be comfortable?

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So What Happened?

I am going to go for it. I'm not JUST doing this for money savings- it's also a "what if?" type of feeling- everyone's telling me I've already done all the hard parts by getting to a 9 already. I'm going to enroll in a hypnobabies course because I think it will benefit having some training for my hubby, and a refresher on the whole experience :) I've talked to my dr about it and she's confident in me and I've got confidence in myself! Thanks for all the advice, I'm ready to start preparing for it. I'm also getting some of the books you've suggested to read through. Here goes nothin!

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answers from Salt Lake City on

I went to a hypnotherapist twice and then practiced hypnobirthingon my own for at least 3 months before labor. It was the best and teh book has about 20 different visualizations you can use whichever will help you most. Loved it for 3 babies and I really feel like giving birth is one of the best, greatest things in my life to do-I would do it moer but can't handle more than the 5 kids I have.

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answers from Austin on

I had an epidural with my first. Second and third babies were born at home so I did not even have a choice for pain medication. And if you know it is not an option the thought does not even cross your mind. Also, I tore with the first baby but did not tear at all with the next two and all of my babies have been almost 8lbs. The biggest thing to keep from tearing is to ease the baby out slowly and the position you are in can also help. Don't give birth on your back. Squatting or on all 4's can help prevent tearing. I would for sure save the 800.00. In my opinion it is so much better to give birth without the drugs. And if you are worried about making it all the way through maybe look into hiring a doula.


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answers from Chicago on

In my opinion, the worst pain is the contractions. If you made it to nine cm without an epidural before, I would save your money and go without. My baby came fast too, and I tore, but I did not even feel it. He was also small, 6 lb 4 oz, so maybe that's why. But if you can deal with the contractions, don't fear the birth, it's virtually nothing compared to actual labor. They will automatically numb you for the stitches if you need any, and usually it's just lidocaine or something local like that. Also, if you don't have the epi you'll have the freedom to push in the position most comfortable for you and you'll be able to get up and around sooner because you won't have to wait for it to wear off.

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answers from Jacksonville on

I apologize for responding having not had an epidural before. But I had 2 "au natural" deliveries, so I feel like I can contribute. In both cases, I told my doc that if I wanted to "try" and if I decided at the time that I wanted an epi, then I WANTED it. I wasn't out to be a superwoman/hero. In both instances, the entire process was very manageable and just uncomfortable. Right up until crunch time (which is 8-10 cm). Then, as you may know from having gone to 9 cm yourself, the pain really ramps up. By then, it was too late to get the epidural done. That last 2 cm goes SO fast when you are "au natural" that by the time the anesthesiologist was ready with the needle, I was ready to push. Pushing feels GREAT after that last 2 cm, too. I only tore slightly (2 stitches) and didn't even feel it. The head crowning (sometimes called the "ring of fire") was not a ring of fire to me. The only pain was from contractions, the rest was numbed by the baby's head position. I didn't even notice when the doc gave me the local for the stitches afterward b/c I was so euphoric and distracted with our new babies.

I would say to be aware that you might change your mind, and don't try to be superwoman. But give it a shot and see how things go.
Congrats on #3! :)

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answers from Kansas City on

After the pain of 'natural labor' I was so ready to push that kid out that I didn't even feel the tear and, TMI, I tore to 1/4 inch away from my hiney hole.

I say, wait and see. If you can do it, great, you saved 800 bucks. If not, there's no shame.

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answers from Colorado Springs on

Oh, A., you can so do this! I had 2 epidurals, then the next was too fast for any meds. Great recovery with him (seriously 30 minutes from "you're not in labor" to holding him in my arms!-I knew I was in labor but I was only at a 3 so, they didn't believe me.). The next, I went back to an epidural. That experience made us decide that we would never do another epidural. I have had 2 births since then, both totally natural. It is so wonderful. Yes,it is hard, but if you've made it to 9, you can certainly make it through delivery. We actually did a birthing center and a homebirth with the last two. Great experiences! You might want to get the book, The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer. It is a must-read for all pregnant women. I wish it were law that all pregnant women had to read it. :) But, of course, that would never fly! You don't have to tear. If your doctor or a midwife could gently ease your baby out, massaging that area just a little bit, you would be fine most likely. Also, if you can deliver in an upright position rather than lying on your back, you are less likely to tear, and your labor/delivery would probably go quicker because you don't have to fight gravity. My babies come in one push. I guess you get better at it the more you have. ;) Blessings to you!

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answers from St. Louis on

You can plan all you want (to have or not have medication) but it may all change at the drop of a hat (as I'm sure you know). I had a planned epidural with my first and with my 2nd, he came so fast I did not have a choice so I had no drugs. It sounds like you deliver fast anyways (with medication, which can sometimes slow down pushing/delivering) so I'd THINK you will be able to go through it quickly without any pain medication. The local to stich up was something I BARELY felt but I'm sure after the immense pressure/pain I felt when delivering my son that most things wouldn't have bothered me! I think it's a good idea to plan to go without...but if you end up really needing/wanting one (or if you end up having to get a c-section) don't get down about it.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Your second labor sounds a lot like my first- and if you can get to that point than you can do it. I have had 2 kids without epidurals. The first I got a local and the second I did not. Mentally you have to get through that really bad pain but I figure it is the closest I'll ever come to running a marathon. I guess because I have never known "comfortable" I say save the 800- but maybe for many other ladies the comfort is worth 800!

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answers from Columbia on

oh my gosh. ive only had 1 baby and yes i had an epidural but it completely wore off around 7 cms so i felt everything during the pushing process and them stitching me back up. I can imagine if your baby is under 8 1/2 lbs go for it. yes i did feel like i was going to die (literally) but my baby was almost 10 lbs, face up & stuck... the dr literally had to tear her out of me. but for the second baby i refuse an epidural =] the pain ended once the baby was born & i forgot all about it.

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answers from Topeka on

Yes all 3 of mine were natural wouldn't of had it any other way...Now c-section is different.1st 6 hrs. 2nd 45min. 3rd 30min..I tore with all 3 had a local didn't hurt a bit then sutures...

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answers from Spokane on

You are so like me! You will do fine! It's gonna HURT, don't get me wrong...but you CAN do it!

All 3 of my kids were super fast...same as you. All 3 of mine were in at 6am had a baby by noon and only 2-4 pushes!

Now, I did have (well wanted) an epidural with all 3 kids...HOWEVER, my 1st epidural immediately made me puke and I didn't get any more after that, but labor went so fast it was no big deal, but I could feel it, it was just dulled. With my 2nd epidural it only worked on one side, and I didn't want them to 're-place' it so I just dealt with it, like the 1st, I could feel it, it was just dulled but was fast so no biggy! The 3rd epidural got placed completely wrong (actually hurt, and I knew immediately that they did something wrong) and it did nothing, could feel all the pain, didn't numb me anywhere...but labor was fast and I did it! They kept just trying to add more medicine and after the 2nd time I had to tell the to STOP...where was all that medicine going anyway? I was scared and I think it gave me something else to think about while being in labor!

My big trick while in labor was to watch the machine, you can actually see the contractions going up and helped me a ton! Yes, it hurts like all get out...serious PAIN but nothing you can't handle, promise!

Good Luck!

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answers from Wausau on

Well i have had three and never any epidural and I must say that you do not feel any tear really if it happenes. and if you can make it to 9 I think you can go all the way! 7-10 is the hardest.

Pushing actually feels good!

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answers from Minneapolis on

First: contact your Insurance company or agent (this is their JOB) and get a clear picture of what your benefits are. Do you have a family deductible? An out of pocket maximum? 80/20 coverage up to a certain point, then 100% coverage? Then decide if that $800 is really going to make a difference. Here's how I see it...In Minnesota it costs $8-10,000 for a health normal vaginal delivery. This includes hospital costs for you, the baby, meds, everything. My family deductible is $5600/year so the first $5600 is out of my pocket regardless. Does that make sense? I would assume you have incurred some cost this calendar/plan year anyways. (another thing to ask your agent/insurance company about) Is baby covered automatically at birth (most are) and how much time do you have to add him/her? I guess what I am saying some research, you may find the actual cost isn't worth being stressed about today.

Second: Sometimes all your planning and desires go out the window. I did my first 2 children med free, no tearing. 2 hours from first pain to delivery with number one and 32 minutes with number two. Number three came fast and hard....I assumed I would be able to do drug free a third time but my body had different ideas. I got stuck at 9 1/2 for three hours. Talk about excrutiating. The dr finally said I needed an epidural to get over the hump because I was heading towards swelling and a c-section. The cost of that physically would have been much greater than the shot I got. There are success and "horror" stories from both sides of the fence. Again, do some research.

Congratulations on the new little one. Such a blessing!

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answers from Eugene on

I don't exactly fit your criteria, but I didn't have an epidural for my son and getting to 9 cm was by far the painful part. Pushing didn't feel "good" but it felt productive or something--much more comfortable than just contracting. And, I tore, but I had absolutely no idea, I also broke my tailbone and didn't realize it. There is so much going on down there that personally I didn't notice any one thing in particular. So, the tearing didn't hurt for me (well, I'm sure it did), but the pain from that didn't stand out to me.

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answers from Dallas on

I had my first son with two failed epidurals and my second drug free. The drug free was completely my choice but no one thought I could do it. I labored from about 2:30am til 5:30am at home then took my son to my parents house and made it to the hospital by 6 am and was a 7 1/2 with in an hour and a half he was here. I had local for my stitches, I tore a ton. But it was the best experience for me. I would totally go with Natural regardless of cost savings. I felt so much better after he was born and I was able to leave the hospital 33 hours after he was born.
Good Luck and Congrats.

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answers from Salt Lake City on

Did my first with an epidural near the end of the process (I had back labor so bad it was interfering with my ability to breathe) and nothing with my second. My labors have been fast and very intense, with a two-push ending. I have to say with the second I didn't especially notice the tearing, and was stitched up with a local, and it wasn't that bad. I did feel a little prick when they injected the local, but nothing major or awful, and only for a fraction of a second. I think that after having had a baby forced through them, the tissues "down there" were about half numb anyway. But that's my experience - each of us is different, with different bodies and different tolerances for pain. Personally, I'd choose to save the $800. But I'd also leave myself room to change my mind.

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answers from Provo on

I had an epidural with my first (after 61/2 hours of trying natural on pitocin) and was able to do it natural with my second. My second delivery was SO much better. My recovery was SO much better. And it is WAY cheaper to opt out of the epidural. My recovery was so good after my second that we only did a 24 hour stay at the hospital and that helped the cost as well. You should go for it. It sounds to me like you could totally do it.
I took a private hypnobirthing class (well three classes) at my home before my second birth. It is basically relaxation technique but the most helpful to me out of that class was what my husband learned. Out instructor taught him a bunch of pressure points to ease pain and help me through the contractions. AMAZING! It helped a ton. The nice thing about having a private instructor was that she made sure that he did the holds and presses right. I also read Birthing from Within which is a little out there and a little anti-hospital (which I am not) but it had some good stuff. It is also where i got a very helpful quote,"Labor is Hard Work, It hurts A LOT, and you can do it."
I made a little poster of that and told my husband to put that in front of my face if it seemed like I was losing it. It helped.

So the thing you may not be prepared for from having the epidural is transitional labor, and that is hard and you feel like giving up and you feel like you can't do it, but it is also really fast and you can do it. the other thing is that you feel the "ring of fire" without the epidural which i was surprised about. And the other thing I found different was the discomfort during the pushing phase. With the epidural it still hurt and i felt every contraction, but the pain and pressure was different without the epidural. To be blunt, it felt like I had to have a really really big bowel movement. This startled me and at first i was fighting it becasue i though I was having an embarrasing BM in front of everyone, but i wasn't that's just how it felt.
Good luck.



answers from Provo on

I had an epi with my first and then with my second went without, partially due to the same motivation-the cost. We would have had to pay completely out of pocket for anesthesia where I delivered.
I had kind of taken a "we'll see how far I can go" approach and really hadn't prepared anything to help me cope with labor. It was tough, but I did it. :)

Since then I have actually prepared for natural labor and it has been wonderful! The difference in recovery w/out pain meds is absolutely amazing!
I just had my 8th 4wks ago, and it was a very difficult labor/delivery, but I have absolutely no regrets in still sticking with my decision to give birth w/out meds for all of my kids since the first.

Oh, also the one that I had to be stitched on w/out an epi (I was stitched with #1 and #5), I handed the baby to my husband because it had been an all night labor, I was tired, and I was afraid that with a needle going in down there for a local that it would be my tipping point and I'd drop the baby or something. By the time I had passed baby off, the dr had already administered the local and I didn't even notice. I was surprised when he told me "oh, that's already done!" lol There is kind of a natural numbing effect that happens when you are so stretched out to deliver the baby, so the local isn't nearly as bad as you might imagine!

Good Luck!




answers from Great Falls on

I have had three babies with no drugs. If you made it to 9 cm without an epidural, you can easily have #3 without drugs! You don't feel the tearing because you're focused on baby. You'll feel some pulling and tugging as you're stitched up (even with a local) but it goes quickly. Just try to ignore the doctor and look at your sweet newborn. I say save the $800--your labors are fast and you're tough! Good luck!



answers from Provo on

I had an epidural with #1 because all my labor was in my back and they made me lay on my back the whole time. Terrible, but the epidural was awesome.

#2 nobody thought I was having a baby and she came super fast so there was no time. The only bad part was the contractions getting me to the end. The actual birth was awesome. Felt so relieving!

#3 was almost 2 weeks ago and I did it natural on purpose. Again, the delivery was no problem at all, but transition (between 7 and 9 1/2) was awful. Thank goodness it was quick (like 3 minutes)!

Most docs will insist on an IV for you, but they should be okay with just some other drug to take the edge off. Like demoral or something like that. Helps you get there without the epidural. You may want to talk to your doc about that kind of alternative.

Good luck!



answers from Denver on

I am a little late in answering, but each labor is very different. While I think you CAN do it natural, realize that in the end you might just really need the epidural and that is ok. Don't set yourself up to be bummed... just tell yourself you will see how it goes and will do what is best for you and the baby, not your pocket book. And believe me I know where you are coming from! We had horrid insurance with our second and I was looking to cut costs every step of the way.
In any case you have already had #2, but I found my second labor to be off the charts horrid! With baby #1 I could have made it the whole way, but for sure was happy for the pain relief.
With #2 I told myself well if you are doing well like you did with the first, then try it. Well that just didn't happen. The labor was just SO different and it came hard and fast!!! I had no time to breath between contractions. I remember I even started yo panic... I couldn't wait for the relief to come!!!
And despite having the epidural my recovery was wonderful, we only stayed for 24 hours and we were home with our other daughter and enjoying life.
Good luck either way


answers from New York on

I had my first born without and epidural or drugs by choice. I had a couple of complications and tore towards the end of delivery. I can't say what an epidural is like, but I did a lot of research during pregnancy to find out if natural was the best way...and obviously it is. Our bodies are made to do this! And you can do it! Yes, it is incredibly painful...but for some reason that pain makes the experience worth it. I'm not sure if that makes any sense...but do your can do it and it is the best for the baby providing that there aren't any other problems.



answers from Denver on

I haven't read any of the other answers, so hopefully I'm not repeating anything. I had my furst au natural almost. I labored completely with nothing, but then something happened with my little guy and we ended up having an emergency c-section at 9cm. With my 2nd I had the epi and it was great, with my 3rd I had the epi, but it stopped working before time to push came. In my opinion, having labored competly drug free with my first, then pushing drug free with my 3rd, the labor was worse. The pushing, especially if you aren't pushing for hours, is a piece of cake. If you made it to 9 before, then that's the hard part. by the time you get to pushing, when you can feel it, you don't even think about the pain, because the desire to get the baby out is stronger than EVERYTHING. You can do it!

btw, I did tear, and honestly other than a tiny burning sensation it wasn't horrible at all.



answers from Boise on

My best friend had her 5th baby au natural, except she had a doula who did hypnobirthing. She said it was FABULOUS, the best birth experience ever! And get this--it was her biggest baby by far. She weighed almost 10 pounds!

She did it to save money, mostly, because she had no epidural coverage at all. The doula was far cheaper than an anaesthesiologist!


answers from Modesto on

I didnt have anything with both of my boys, the second son came out faster and easier than the first. Once they crown, the skin around the area actually gets numb on its own and you dont feel any tearing or anything like that. The doc will usually do the episiotomy and you wont feel a thing. My doc gave me a couple of topical novacaine shots or something like that right before stitching me up. You are so enamored with the new little one in your arms you really dont even notice the activity at the other end.
As for labor, I had the option for an epidural but just didnt want to introduce anything into my bloodstream that would also have to be shared with my baby... labor is labor. .. it is what it is. But if you call for the epidural towards the end don't beat yourself up over it. It's probably not something you can determine right now as you well know you will be in a completely different MOOD when it all comes down... haha. You will probably be very proud of yourself for saving the 800 bucks when it's all said and done... but do what you gotta do. Just keep in mind that it's always nice to brag that you did it naturally and it makes hubby proud of you too.


answers from Detroit on

Sounds to me you'd do just fine.

I went for 12hrs of hard labor with my son and did ok. The reason I went 'natural' that time, was because he flipped to posterior position (sunny side up). It wasn't intentional. I'd had an epi to start, but when I found out he was cutting it off, they turned it off. It was useless and I didn't want to worry about it being on if it was going to be useless anyway. If I knew then what I know now, I'd have never even asked for an epi in the first place.



answers from Grand Junction on

I did Au Natural with baby #2. This was 26 years ago so we didn't get epidurals then. With baby #1 they gave me pain medication, then when in labor I had seizures so they loaded me with knock-out drugs.

I had very little tearing with #2, I think about 1/4" is all. I did not feel it. There was so much pressure with baby coming out that I couldn't feel anything down there that was painful.

I used Lamaze to control 'me' during the labor...there is no such thing controlling the pain. When I got to the point of the baby pushing itself, I thought, "oh boy, maybe I am going to need something for the pain." but it was because I was ready to deliver. We then switched to birth breathing, rather than labor breathing and I was so focused on pushing that I was able to get control of the pain again.

All in all, I would do it that way again. I felt wonderful after the baby was born, no drugs in my system (or babies breastmilk) afterwards, and I was up and walking around within 15 minutes after baby was born. If I had it to do all over again (at that age, not mine now, lol) I would definitely go au natural again. However, if your only motivation to go au natural is to save the $800 of the epidural, it might not be enough motivation to help you control the pains of labor & birth. Personally I think you will need more 'personal' reasons to give you the strength you will need to endure the pain.

I wish you the best, whichever you should choose.




answers from Chicago on

well i have 3 children and am pregnant with my 4th. I had the first two with epidural and then because of back issues decided to go for natural with my third. i won't lie it HURTS but the worst part is definitly the pushing and if that seems to be quick for you i say aside from the saving money part it is a experience all in itself that many women have or will endure. I plan on going for it again myself . Once you see your baby u forget all the pain anyhow. i hope this helps . good luck to you.


answers from Fort Collins on

You should go natural! You can do it! You have relatively short labors - 6 hours, then 5 hours and you only push for 5 min?!?! That's awesome! You can TOTALLY do it, Mama!

I have two sons - 4yo and 3mths. I had an epidural with my first, did not with my second.

There were a lot of differences in the birthing experiences I had...

First Son -
* Labor started at 10:30 p.m.
* 2hr drive to hospital
* Tense, inexperienced, didn't really know what to expect
* No brith prep class, no real reading done re: birthing, no personal experience
* Stopped dialating around 4cm
* Epidural at 7am
* Had son at 12:15pm after approx 3 hrs of pushing
* AWEFUL!...but still great experience after he was finally here.

Second son -
* Been through it once before.
* Did a lot of reading around natural birthing (esp. Ina May Gaskin, author/midwife)
* Talked with many mothers about their experiences
* Talked with my midwife about what we wanted to go differently this time
*Took a childbirth refresher course - focused on natural birthing
* Wanted to go natural, but was okay with getting epidural if necessary
* Labor started at 8:30 p.m., left home at 10:30p.m., had son at 1:30 a.m. after 15min of pushing!
* No epidural

Make sure you have a supportive partner and a supportive provider (midwife, dr, etc). Review comfort techniques during labor - book, discussions with others, or refresher course. Go in with the mindset that YOU CAN DO IT! Make sure your partner and provider have that mindset as well! It is important...because at some point you will feel like you can't go on, but that is most likely when you are ALMOST THERE! You need your support people to remind you that you can do it! You need them to use those comfort techniques to help get you there. You don't need them saying "how about an epidural?" Although, you should have the ultimate power to request one if you just can't do it....but try everything else first! ....Because you CAN do it! :o)

My favorite birthing quote: We have a secret in our culture and it's not that birth is painful. It's that women are strong!

Best of luck to you in labor and delivery! Women are strong and powerful and our bodies are made to give birth! You can do it! I hope your experience this time is as AMAZING as my second time was!



answers from Pueblo on

I had a epidural when i gave vaginal birth to my twin boys and hated it. With my daughter 2 years after the boys I didnt. If I was crazy enough to have more which I am not lol I would not get one again. Then again labor itself does not hurt me at all only when she moved through the birth canal was there any pain and it hurt but it was over pretty fast. Two contractions and 5 pushes she was out. In total the pain part was about 20 minutes and worth every second of it.



answers from Boise on

You sound like a great candidate for natural labor without an epidural. You might consider a midwife and a home birth or birthing center. go for it!



answers from Boise on

I haven't had an epi (1st was emergency c-section after natural labor, the 2nd was scheduled c-section), but I would recommend that if you want to go natural, that you try something like Hypnobabies. It really helps you prepare and provides a way for you to get through labor without drugs. Also, have a birth plan that states that you don't want an epi and tell the nurses that you don't even want it offered.



answers from Charlotte on




answers from Salt Lake City on

Totally save the 800 bucks if your labors are that short and you've gone that far without an epidural. I just doula'd a woman who labored for 40 hrs without any medication. So if you set your mind to it, you can do it. Education is important too, so I would take a class, like someone said, Hypnobabies is so great at helping you relax. You could also save money by hiring a doula for less than half of your epidural cost and having a trained professional there can make a big difference. I think you can totally do it. For suturing, they give you a numbing shot. You can totally handle that. And if you tear, you won't feel it because of the intensity everywhere else.



answers from San Antonio on

I had a c-section then a natural birth at home. With the first birth, I was in labor for 3 nights, then a day on pit with no pain meds. I finally had a c-section and I was GRATEFUL for the pain relief! 12 hours on pit hurt, but I was determined. I had a healthy baby in the end.

The second birth was a 44 hour labor at home. It hurt, too, but I made it! I had a healthy beautiful baby boy with a first degree tear which you don't feel because there is a human being coming out of your vagina and tears just kind of don't register. I was not sutured. I healed just fine. Only a small percentage of women actually tear, you know. You've also already had two babies pass through so your body is kind of used to it, unlike when you had your first. But then, I don't know what kind of tearing/ episiotomy history or scar tissue you have.

The one thing that was helpful to know was that no matter how long it lasted, it was temporary. The baby was going to come out and the pain would end.

My midwife said it was one of the hardest labors she'd ever seen (and she'd delivered 500 babies), but I would do it again. I'm not saying it wasn't hard, but it didn't last forever.

If I were you I'd look into the possiblity of a midwife birthing at home. Statistically in a low risk pregnancy it is MUCH safer than birthing in a hospital and it's Oh So Much Cheaper. Your insurance might even cover it. There is a book called The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer, which is a compilation of statistical information about birth that might help you make an informed decision. It's a lot cheaper, safer and more peaceful. It helped me a lot that if I wanted to stay at home, I just had to deal with the difficult labor. Epidural was only an option if I concented to go to the hospital, and I didn't want to do that so I stuck it out..

You can do it.



answers from Provo on

Yes, you can do it!!
I had an epi with my first and pitocin/no epi with my second and it was still better than the first even with the added intensity of pitocin. I've had my last two with no medication, using Hypnobabies, and I'm not exaggerating when I say they were both so easy. I almost feel guilty that I didn't feel any pain. I HIGHLY recommend using Hypnobabies. The classes really train your body to truly relax and all you feel is pressure. I prepared and practiced the self-hypnosis and was actually able to enjoy the births. It's an amazing feeling to truly enjoy the birth of your precious baby!

Like you, I deliver pretty quickly (and each one has been quicker than the last). I have also torn quite a bit with my first few deliveries because of it, and that of course makes the recovery more difficult (sitting on a "donut", etc.), but with my last one (who was born just over a month ago) I was determined to do everything I could not to tear and I planned a water birth (in a birthing center). I was actually so relaxed when I was at home getting ready during the first part of labor, that I realized I was in transition and having the urge to push before I even left the house. Luckily the birthing center was only 10 minutes away. I was able to sort of "tense up" during the contractions/urges to push all the way over there and it helped that part not go to fast. My baby was born 20 minutes later at the birthing center in the tub and I barely tore. I think the fact that I was trying to "hold him in" helped the pushing phase not be so quick and intense and it made the recovery WAY easier than my other ones.

The birth was perfect and my recovery has been so easy. I went home that same day, and had to be reminded to take it easy because I felt so great. Compared to my first birth with the epidural it was like night and day. I *highly* recommend Hypnobabies. I'm not a hippie and I'm not morally opposed to epidurals or anything, but my births without an epidural were so much easier!



answers from Norfolk on

I had an epidural with my first son at 6cm. Helped me get through a long labor.

But with my second son I did not get an epidural or any drugs. It was not by choice, he just came very fast! Within 3 hours, my contractions began hard and fast, water broke, and I pushed him out in 5 pushes! Gave birth in my t-shirt to a much astonished hospital staff (had only arrived 30 mins before I had him). But it was AMAZING! My husband and I both agree that it was a tremendously better birth than the first. Once he was out, the pain was completely gone. I was able to walk around the room within 30 mins and the hormonal high was awesome. Didn't really get all that with my first.

I had to respond because I just finished watching Rikki Lake's documentary "The Business of Being Born." If you are even considering a natural birth you should definitely watch this. It was such an eye opener and I wholly agree with what she advocates as far as the wonder of a natural birth. By the way, I've always been very pro-hospital, epidural, etc. But after having my son naturally I'm now a big fan.

But, more importantly, do what feels right for you. The money will work itself out. Good luck!!!


answers from Houston on

There are many other reasons to go natural other than saving money. As a matter of fact, youll probably hear a bunch of them in the next hour. I had an epidural with my first, the labor took 6 hours, the pushing took 10 minutes. ( i agree....yay kegals) with my second we went natural, it took about 10 minutes altogether!, when you are numbed your body wont push as well, and when you arent the adrenaline kicks in and will help you deliver faster. Its really about personal preference, but dont let money be your guide, You want to spare no expense to make that day as comfy as possible.

But in my experience i much prefer to feel it, i could handle it and i felt quite in control of the situation.



answers from Boston on

Both of my boys were natural and both very fast deliveries. I was only at the hospital for 2.5 hours with my first about 5 minutes of pushing and literally delivered my second after walking through the hospital doors. I tore w/ my first but not with my second. And I agree with the other woman pushing actually feels good.



answers from Boca Raton on

I am not a "natural labor after a previous epidural" but I did have my daughter at home, completely natural. I tore pretty badly and I did have to be stitched so I was numbed during the stiching, but...

If your only concern is to save $800 and you don't personally oppose epidurals, I would say just pony up the dough or put it on your credit card. THis is a terribly place to try to save money!! It's your labor for crying out loud! Maybe cancel your cable TV or extras on your cell phone or stop eating out for a few months and spend your money where it matters to YOU.

ALso, if your insurance won't pay for it, when the bill comes to you, you can very often negotiate with the hospital for a lower bill.



answers from Denver on

I did natural with both of mine--one was 18 hours of back labor--the other was two quick hours. I can tell you that by nine centimeters the pain doesn't get any worse and pushing is actually easier than laboring because you finally have control over something. With my first I tore when he crowned and passed out for about 3 seconds so I don't remember it. With my second, his shoulders got stuck on my pelvic bone and the midwife had to reach in, twist him off the pelvic bone and pull him out. Even with all that the pain really wasn't all that bad and it was over in like 20 seconds. I would say for an $800 savings a few seconds of crowning sting (it's not really pain, just a bit of a sting) is no big deal. I would also say this--you have to go into it with no other option. If you give yourself the "I'll see how it goes" line then you may not make it. It truly is a mind over matter thing. Making up your mind before you start labor will make it easier. I never had an epidural, so I don't know about going from it to none, but I do know that if I had a third I wouldn't hesitate to do it natural again.
Good luck and Congrats on your newest little bundle of joy!



answers from Chicago on

For my first labor, I was induced at one week late and had an epidural which did not work well. For my second, I went all natural and it was well worth it. The pushing was tough but the experience was amazing! I would definitely do it again. I used a "tens unit" to help distract me from the pressure of contractions in the beginning. If you got to 9 before you can do it! Go for it - saving money is the bonus, but delivering naturally is the beautiful thing. Best wishes!



answers from Provo on

I've only done natural labor, so maybe my opinion won't help much, but if you made it to a 9 without an epidural you made it past 99% of the hard stuff. I don't think you will feel any tearing -- at least I didn't.
I was induced with #1, no epidural, 12 hours of labor, 2+ hours of pushing and a really bad tear. I didn't feel the tear at all and was extremely surprised that I had one that bad.
With #2 I got natural labor (YAY!), 3 pushes and a tear so small that my doc sewed it up without anesthetic because he would have had to poke me the same number of times with the needle just to numb it.
For me it would be an easy decision - no epidural. However, if you are planning on not having an epidural you should plan on other kinds of labor management. Bradley, Lamaze, or Hypnobirthing are all options available to you. I used hypnobirthing and highly recommend it.
Good luck with your pregnancy and labor!



answers from Salt Lake City on

I ended up with-out an epidural on my second one- they hit a vein in my back and were going to do it later, but I had the baby right away. They put me on morphine instead- I hated it but it dulled the pain, mostly I just don't deal well with narcotics.

As a side note- if you are pregnant and don't have acess to insurance you automaitcaly qualify for medicaid to cover the pregnancy (and your baby's first year) once you are approved they will cover everything up to three months before you applied and untill your six week check-up afterwards.



answers from Salt Lake City on

You've already gotten a lot of responses,

I had a pitocin-induced, epidural labor/birth with my first (like your 2nd, I had my son an hour after getting the epidural), and went drug-free with my second. I will echo the other responses that my second birth experience was so much better. However, if I had only had saving money as my motivator, I don't think I would have done it. I had very personal reasons for wanting a natural birth. I don't think the money-saving would have been a big enough incentive for me... Will it be for you? That's something only you can answer.

If you do decide you really want a natural birth, I would recommend you really prepare for it. Having a baby naturally is hard work, and I doubt anyone would do something highly physical without training first (running a race, climbing a mountain, etc). Giving birth shouldn't be any different. Research some different pain-coping techniques and decide which suits you, and then take a class OUT OF THE HOSPITAL (several people have recommended hynobirthing, I will add the Bradley Method to that. I tried hypnobirthing with my first and it didn't suit my personal tastes, but the Bradley Method was wonderful for preparing me and my husband to have a natural birth in a hospital setting. It is really a matter of personal preference, though.). Being prepared and knowing the different stages and signposts of labor really helped my husband and I get through it. During transition in both of my labors, it got really intense and almost unbearable. In my first labor, not knowing that that was merely a signpost of transition and that it meant the baby would be here soon, I asked for an epidural at that point. During my second labor, since I (and more importantly, since I wasn't feeling very rational at that point, my husband) knew I was in transition, I was able to wait it out. This is one of the main reasons my husband I loved the Bradley Method so much. It really prepared HIM to be able to assist me in my labor.

I know some people say "try it and see how it goes," but for me, it had to be all-or-nothing. Personally, if I had given myself an option to get drugs, I would have taken them (like I did with my first birth, where I had the "try and see" approach). I had to totally commit myself to going drug-free, and then when I was in transition and wanted drugs (the only time I really felt like I couldn't do it, and only for about 20-30 minutes), I simply told myself that wasn't an option. FOR ME, that was essential. For you, it might not be.

As far as tearing/getting stitched, with a natural labor, if you will allow your body to control the pushing (rather than forcing yourself to push because your doctor wants you to, or forcing yourself to push when your body doesn't feel the urge to push), you are much less likely to tear. I had a horrible 4th degree tear and an episiotomy with my first, and didn't tear at all with my second. My body just knew what to do when I trusted it. I will say that, unlike most of the other responses, pushing was extremely painful for me the 2nd time. While the pain of contractions during transition was longer-lasting, the pain during pushing was definitely more intense. I do, however, have big babies, so that might be part of it for me (my first (son) was 8 pounds 12 ounces and my second (daughter) was 9 pounds 5 ounces).

Even with the pain of transition and pushing, if I decide to have more babies, I will definitely do it without an epidural. It was such an amazing experience for me.

Anyway, if you are really committed to having a drug-free birth, you can definitely do it! Good luck!

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