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So one of the more common questions I've been getting in recent weeks has been "Are you going to have a natural birth?"

When I say that yes, I'm planning to, the response has nearly invariably been "Whew! You're braver than I was!"

This boggles my brain a bit. I am absolutely terrified of the idea of NOT doing it naturally. I do not react well to situations where I am out of control or don't know what's going on. I'm very good at channeling pain if I am in a good mental place; but put me in a hospital, make me feel ignored or pathologized, tell me to put my feet up and not ask questions, and I become a weeping, quivering wimp. Why would I put myself in that kind of situation unless I absolutely had to?

(And, for disclaimer's sake: no, I'm not opposed to drugs or medical intervention should it become truly necessary, and I've quizzed my midwife on her procedures should that happen; but I also firmly believe intervention is not necessary nearly as often as most people think. I also know full well that my conscious self will not be 'in control' of the birth; but I will have the psychological illusion, at least, of being in control of my reaction to the process, and that will make a *very* large difference in my state of mind.)


Apr. 25th, 2006 07:53 pm (UTC)
I quite agree that when I have a baby (and I haven't had one yet, nor am I pregnant), I don't want to be pushed around by the doctors and nurses. And I have heard some horror stories, let me tell you. One woman I knew said that her water broke while she was in the bathroom at the hospital, but when she told the nurse, the nurse just dismissed her and said, "No, you just peed on the floor, dear." Ugh.

However. I don't think I can give birth without an epidural. I'm really wondering what my options are. If I want an epidural, am I stuck with being pushed around? There must be some middle ground somewhere. Well, anyway, I hope there is.

Oh yeah...I also knew a woman who said that when she gets pregnant, she wants to schedule a C-Section, whether she needs it or not. Now *that* boggles my mind. When I expressed such boggle-ment (not a word, I know, but you know what I mean), she said, "I was born a C-Section baby, and I turned out okay." My secret thought response: "I'm not so sure you did, honey."
Apr. 25th, 2006 09:43 pm (UTC)
The thing is, most of the stuff I've seen indicates that epidurals don't really help! They make labor last longer, they do medically require you to give birth on your back without being able to move around (which position makes the birth canal longer and narrower), and they block production of the endorphins which are natural painkillers! Births with epidurals are much more likely to end up requiring a C-section, because they get in the way of all the natural mechanisms which enable it to happen, well, naturally.

Sorry, didn't mean to go off on a rant there, and of course it's your decision when the time comes. But though they have their place (like if labor stalls naturally and the mother is too tired to push any more) epidurals are hardly the holy grail they're held up to be.

Also, right with you on the scheduled C-section thing. *shudder*.
Apr. 25th, 2006 09:51 pm (UTC)
No apology necessary. I'm actually quite interested in what people have to say on this subject. I read your babymaking entries with great interest. I've never met you, true, but knowing some of the same people and having read your blog for a while, your experiences and opinions have more weight with me than reading the debates online between random strangers, you know?
Apr. 25th, 2006 11:31 pm (UTC)
Having had two of them...
I had epidurals with both of my children. I waited until the pain became too much to bear and then I HAD to have the pain killers. IN fact with my daughter I tried the lighter pain killers but unfortunately all those did was numb me for roughly an hour the first time and 45 minutes the second. The effect was decreasing and rapidly. It wasn't going to do me any good.

Now, with my daughter I was a high risk, so anything to help ease the labor was a good thing. With my son they had sent me into contractions at my normal check up ( I was two days overdue and she stripped my membrane) I started with contractions at 10 am and continued to have them until I went into full blown labor sometime in the middle of the night. They got me to the hospital (the first time I was there right afte 5 and they sent me home at 7 saying it wasn't real labor) and I had him at 7:30 in the morning. The pain had gotten so bad because it had been continuing so long that there was not much else they could do but try and ease the pain.

Now, I'm one of those strange ducks that most narcotics DON'T WORK~ So an epidural was about my only chance at relief. Also, I have this pain mechanism where I go into an almost seizure at any severe pains (see contractions..) So for me this was about the only choice I had.

Did it make my labors longer, I don't really think so... only because I have actually been told by many Dr's that my body is shaped funny internally causing the membrane around my water to be VERY HARD to break naturally. This means almost always needing my water broken for me.

Ah... but well... that's my experience. If you'd like more detailed info I can certainly give it to you.
Apr. 25th, 2006 10:22 pm (UTC)
I went through about 12 hours of drug-free, prolonged labor with my second boy. It was just enough to convince me that a) Yes, I could take the pain, and b) no, I really didn't like it. It was progressing very slowly, and I decided to take an epidural because I was just sick of stressing through pain every minute, and estimates were that I had several more hours to go, anyways. I then proceeded to take THE. BEST. NAP. of my entire life.

(I then ended up with a c-section many hours later, due to fetal distress during the actual birth, which, as shimmeringjemmy claims, could have been affected by the epidural, so take it as you may.)
Apr. 26th, 2006 02:33 am (UTC)
My nurse told me to stop screaming and start pushing! I guess I was screaming too loud for them or something. I still gave birth within 3 minutes of having my water broke. I was only in labor for 2 or so hours.


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Heather Keith Freeman
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