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Let's Talk About "Natural" Birth

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Jun 20, 2012, 4:36pm   #1
Litigatrix's Avatar
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Litigatrix
I know it's not for everyone, and different people have different views of what constitutes "natural" birth, but what I mean is generally vaginal birth without painkillers and minimal interventions. I thought it would be helpful to have a thread for those who are interested to talk about it and share experiences :)

AFM, I did a midwife in hospital birth. I labored at home for 19 hours with a doula, which was really the hardest part. I really wanted the epidural when I got to the hospital, but I did not get one. I actually thought pushing without the epi was pretty easy (more physical endurance than pain involved), it was the contractions that were really hard on me.

What were your experiences? Anyone else interested in drug-free birth?
Jun 20, 2012, 4:56pm   #2
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AnimalCrackers
Fresh ta Def
I had to be induced because of high blood pressures, so I didn't have a fully natural birth, but I did refuse the pain killers.

It was HARD, I will not lie. My midwife explained to me that when you are induced, your body doesn't know to produce endorphins like it would if labor started on its own. This makes contractions much more painful, so its standard practice to do pitocin followed by an epidural. Luckily for me, my labor only lasted 5-6 hours, instead of the 24 they told me it would. I was begging for the epi at one point, but I didn't know I was in transition at the time...I would have been great if I had known it was almost over.

All in all, I was really glad I skipped the epi. I was sadly placed on Mag sulfate after the birth to lower my bps though, and that made me really out of it. It made it hard to remember much the first day.

So I didn't have the optimal "natural" birth, but we will aim for that next time!


ETA: I also tore something awful, and I would have welcomed some painkillers while being stitched up. It was torture! It took them almost an hour to stitch me up, and I just wanted to concentrate on my baby.
Jun 20, 2012, 5:26pm   #3
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mammabyrdie
May The Force Be....
I was induced 4 times for various reasons and elected to have epidurals each time. I pushed those babies out anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. With each baby the push time was shorter. I had no complications.

My last baby I had completely natural. The pain was horrible, especially the shoulders! I pushed him out in about 15-20 minutes. The minute he was out there was no pain! It was as if it never happened.

Moms - whatever you decide is what will be the best decision for you. Don't let anyone sway or guilt you into one thing or another. Everyone is different. Do what is best for you and your baby.
Jun 20, 2012, 5:56pm   #4
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qudz104
Member
i wanted an all natural birth. my water broke 2 weeks before i was due and i was given piton to induce labor, and although it was painful, i went through the contractions without any interventions. when we all decided that there was no way the baby was going to be born naturally (he was breech, even after doing a manual version he wasn't completely in the birth canal, my contractions were causing his heart rate to drop since the cord was wrapped around his chest), i ended up with all the interventions obviously necessary for a csection.

i do hope that i can experience a natural birth with a future child someday!
Jun 20, 2012, 7:50pm   #5
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kmroboto
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I was planning on trying to do a natural birth but after my water broke and I wasn't having any contractions over 24 hours later they induced me. Ouch, when those contractions started coming they were coming fast and hard and I knew I couldn't do it without an epidural. The epidural was a huge relief but it wasn't so strong that I was pain-free. In fact, I had to have the anesthesiologist come back to adjust it because I was in pain again a couple of hours later and by the time I was pushing it wasn't blocking the pain anymore again. So in some ways I feel like the pushing part was natural!

I was honestly just ecstatic that dd and i were fine and that I was able to have a vaginal birth. Even in our developed world's best hospitals moms and babies still sometimes don't survive childbirth. My goal was to go into the hospital as two and come out as three. Maybe next time I can do it naturally but to me it's not that important.
Jun 20, 2012, 7:54pm   #6
v
vhdos
Member
My first was almost a "natural" birth. After all of the preaching my hospital did for a drug-free birth, I felt like a failure for wanting an epidural. I finally caved and they gave me one right before it was time to push. I still felt pain and I could feel the contractions, so that I knew when it was time to push. With my second birth, I had an epi when it started to get ugly and what a difference it made in my birthing experience. It really helped me to focus and be an active participant, whereas without the epi, the pain was so bad that I really couldn't even function and I just sort of "checked out."
I'm all about doing what works. If that's natural birth, great. If it's with drugs, that's great too. To each their own
Jun 20, 2012, 8:19pm   #7
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Brasilian_Babe
A Baby Bags & a Bike
I agree with vhdos, to each their own.

My first birthing experience was full of interventions due to complications with my high blood pressure, the meds not working, having no break between contractions for 2 hours straight, I was given so many drugs I lost count of how many and which ones, I was fully dilated and my waters hadn't broken, so the nurses had to break it for me, then my son got stuck in the birth canal because the umbilical chord was wrapped around him, he literally got strangled on the way out, had to be resuscitated. It was awful. I truly believe that if I didn't have the interventions I needed then something awful would've happened to either me or my son.

Second birth experience was the complete opposite to the first one. Not one intervention and no drugs at all. I was in hard labour for only about an hour. Midwife and nurses told me it wasn't time to push yet. Baby's head popped out anyway with only my husband and I in the birthing room.
Jun 20, 2012, 8:57pm   #8
Litigatrix's Avatar
Thread Starter
Litigatrix
Originally Posted by AnimalCrackers
I had to be induced because of high blood pressures, so I didn't have a fully natural birth, but I did refuse the pain killers.

It was HARD, I will not lie. My midwife explained to me that when you are induced, your body doesn't know to produce endorphins like it would if labor started on its own. This makes contractions much more painful, so its standard practice to do pitocin followed by an epidural. Luckily for me, my labor only lasted 5-6 hours, instead of the 24 they told me it would. I was begging for the epi at one point, but I didn't know I was in transition at the time...I would have been great if I had known it was almost over.

All in all, I was really glad I skipped the epi. I was sadly placed on Mag sulfate after the birth to lower my bps though, and that made me really out of it. It made it hard to remember much the first day.

So I didn't have the optimal "natural" birth, but we will aim for that next time!


ETA: I also tore something awful, and I would have welcomed some painkillers while being stitched up. It was torture! It took them almost an hour to stitch me up, and I just wanted to concentrate on my baby.
Wow! I am really impressed that you got through without the epidural after having been induced. I was really scared of induction because I heard the contraction pains are even worse. Hopefully next time things will go a little smoother for you
Jun 20, 2012, 9:04pm   #9
Litigatrix's Avatar
Thread Starter
Litigatrix
I wish there were studies on whether moms who have had a previous successful vaginal birth have an increased risk of c-section if they have an epidural the second time around. My main reason for wanting natural birth was I really did not want a c-section and I did not want to tear, and the science indicated that c-sections and tearing were less likely without painkillers. I did think it was incredibly difficult, though, and I am not sure whether I will go drug-free again, especially since I do think that my body "knows" now how to give birth so perhaps the risks of an epi would not be too considerable with baby #2. Luckily I'm not pregnant yet, so I don't have to decide at this moment.
Jun 21, 2012, 12:23am   #10
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carvedwords
Both pregnancies I had vaginal delivery with epi. Both labors lasted 15 hours and first was 45 min pushing and second 15 min of pushing. No complications after either. They were both relatively easy. I don't think I could have handled it without the epi. It hurt even with the epi towards the end I couldn't imagines hours upon hours like that.
Jun 21, 2012, 6:15am   #11
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Sternchen
Member
I delivered Julia and Alex naturally and in the tub. The pain was BAD but not nearly as bad as I had imagined it to be - maybe because I delivered in water? I dunno.

If we have another child I will def try and go that route again, but you never know what can happen!
Jun 21, 2012, 1:04pm   #12
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jun3machina
hopelessly addicted
Originally Posted by Sternchen
I delivered Julia and Alex naturally and in the tub. The pain was BAD but not nearly as bad as I had imagined it to be - maybe because I delivered in water? I dunno.

If we have another child I will def try and go that route again, but you never know what can happen!
i really want to have a natural water birth as well. my mom delivered all her children naturally and the thought of pain killers and also the way if can potentially affect your psychological state between you and your child is VERY important to me.

i watched 'the business of being born' and it was really interesting to see different sides of everything, especially after being raised pretty naturally.
Jun 21, 2012, 2:11pm   #13
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Sternchen
Member
Originally Posted by jun3machina
i really want to have a natural water birth as well. my mom delivered all her children naturally and the thought of pain killers and also the way if can potentially affect your psychological state between you and your child is VERY important to me.

i watched 'the business of being born' and it was really interesting to see different sides of everything, especially after being raised pretty naturally.
It really was a wonderful experience. It was hard and it still hurt, but the water helped take pressure off of my hip joints, my back, etc.

The Business of Being Born is definitely an eye-opener! I thought the film was briliant!
Jun 21, 2012, 7:57pm   #14
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AnimalCrackers
Fresh ta Def
Originally Posted by Sternchen

It really was a wonderful experience. It was hard and it still hurt, but the water helped take pressure off of my hip joints, my back, etc.

The Business of Being Born is definitely an eye-opener! I thought the film was briliant!
I really wanted to do a water birth, but they couldn't get the tub ready in time. I went from 5cm to 8.5cm in two contractions, so there just wasn't time. I hope I will have that as an option next time. There's just something really special about a natural birth. You REALLY feel a rush after you accomplish it.

I don't judge anyone for choosing interventions, but its definitely a great feeling for those who desire it.
Jun 21, 2012, 9:39pm   #15
Litigatrix's Avatar
Thread Starter
Litigatrix
I did a lot of labor in the tub, which was really the only thing that helped me with pain. I do think that I may have used it as a crutch a bit though because once I was in there it was really hard to motivate to get out, and I understand it can slow your labor. I ended up being in labor for 23 hours, including 2 of pushing. It was a lot of pushing, but I was glad in the end that I didn't push too fast as I only needed 1 stitch.
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