Natural Birth

Natural Birth and then changed your mind?

How many of you women had your mind made up to have a natural birth and changed your mind when those contractions began to hit? :) I would love to try to have natural birth, my husband is ordering me to have it. He thinks the epidural is too dangerous for the baby and I. Yet, the women that I talk to that had natural birth told me to not listen to anyones lies about it not being a hell of a lot of pain. Stories please? 
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Re: Natural Birth and then changed your mind?

  • I hope that it is really not the case that your H is "ordering" you to have a natural birth.  While I support natural birth I feel like it is a woman's right to choose how she wants to deliver her baby. Your body, your choice.

    Honestly, I wanted a natural birth from the start.  I read up on natural birth and educated myself on the process. I knew it would be painful and I knew it would be intense so I was prepared for that.  I ended up having a wonderful birth without any interventions or medications.  Child birth was the most intense, painful, and emotional thing I have ever done.  Yes it hurt and was painful but it is a pain that you can bear, especially if you are prepared with positions and tricks (like laboring in water) to ease the pain.  At no point in my labor did I feel like it was going to die or that the pain was to much to bear.  I will have another natural birth (hopefully a home birth) when we have #2.

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  • Exaggeration with my Husbands POV... but he is definitely encouraging it. I really want to try to go natural. I feel like if people can do it, I can do it. You are right it's bearable. I am just nervous after hearing the horror stories. 
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  • Exaggeration with my Husbands POV... but he is definitely encouraging it. I really want to try to go natural. I feel like if people can do it, I can do it. You are right it's bearable. I am just nervous after hearing the horror stories. 
    LOL I figured it was an exaggeration.  You can definitely do it.   Water helps a lot with the pain so you may want to consider laboring in the tub or a water birth.  As for the horror stories, people love to tell horror stories about birth.  For some reason the positive stories are always pushed to the side but they are out there.  Check out some of the birth stories on this board. 
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  • I attempted a Bradley birth the first time and ended up getting an epidural. It was totally my choice but not because I couldn't take the pain exactly. I labored for 24 hours, the last 10 hours being pretty intense. I got exhausted from being awake 24 hours plus I was only comfortable standing. I got so tired I couldn't relax during contractions which made them painful. I had been handling them well up until that point.  
    This time I'm preparing better and staying home longer if I can help it.  I'm hoping that it will go faster this time as well.  
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    McKinneyAE[Deleted User]
  • For me, I truly wanted a non-medicated birth, but after having four hours of intense pain (like I felt like I was going to pass out each contraction) and NO PROGRESSION (stayed at a 4 for like six hours) I gave in and asked.  I progressed from a 4 to a 10 in the matter of a couple of hours of getting the epi, and it was the best decision I could have made for myself.  I NEVER ONCE felt guilty about it....DD came out crying and screaming like no tomorrow, and quieted right down after being layed on my belly.  She was so alert and she was not affected by the epi at all.  I had no issues with the epi (I was acutally glad though, because it did not numb the lower left quadrant of my pelvic floor, so I could still feel contractions and knew when to push). 

    If you do have an epi, there is NOTHING to be ashamed of.  You need to do what is best for you!
    McKinneyAEYogakittenVanessaMoMe1
  • With my first, I asked for the epidural after transition hit. It only arrived 45 min later when I was already 9cm so I declined.

    With my second, I asked for it again, when transition hit. It arrived within 5 minutes but the baby actually popped out on her own before they could te he needle in (transition took 2 minutes hat time!).

    With my third, I went from 6cm to birth in under 5 minutes, so it really didn't cross my mind!

    I honk the point is to know why you want to go natural and in the moment decide what is right for you!

    I kept an open mind, was supported in any decision I made by my husband (and doula in the first birth), and made decisions base on how I was feelin and eahat was 'worth' it to me in the moment. I would not have regretted having a 'failed' natural birh if I had had longer births and had gotten the pain meds. That said, I feel vey lucky that I didn't have to have them, and didn't have to endure any unnecessary side effects.

    Good luck!

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  • I was pretty set in what I wanted. I had a brief moment where I started to think about possibly wanting some sort of medicine. I was lucky to have an amazing MW that recognized I was in transition and avoided answering my question and not even 10 minutes later I had the urge to push.

    If you are really set on going natural and are mentally prepared you should be fine. Also education is key, know your options for natural pain relief and don't be afraid to try all of them.
  • I gave in an asked for an epidural. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, I was 9cm at the time and there was no way I could sit still for one. My son was born within a half hour so it's unlikely it would have done much anyway.

    I have been to a few births besides mine and all of the moms who had un-medicated births asked for pain medication in transition. When I asked for meds the pain was pretty intense, but once I knew they weren't an option I knew I had to do what I had to do. The pain goes away the second the baby is born and I was so happy things worked the way they did because I felt fantastic. Next time we are planning a home birth so meds won't even be on the table!
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  • As a doula I have to say that if you think it going to be too much totake then yes it will. Mind over matter. If you think and believe you can do it you will. My first birth I was very uneducated and I went through 24+ hours of labor before getting an epidural. If I would have relaxed and let my body do what it was made to do I would have  had a baby a lot sooner and without any drugs. With my second birth I did a HypnoBirth/WaterBirth. My son was born in 7 hours start to finish and for me personally the recovery after my second birth was much better. I walked from the tub room to the postpartum room within a half hour after birth. You need to let your fears go and trust your body. God made your body this way for a reason, trust it and Him and you will do great. If you don't believe in God sorry to offend...He's my rock!
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  • I was set on a NB, but it didn't turn out that way and I have no regrets. I was induced at 40w3d because of a not so great NST. After contractions hit fast and hard with Cytotec and Pitocin, I decided to get the epi. It was the best decision I made and it in no way stalled my labor. I had the vaginal birth I had hoped for and I'm lucky that the medical interventions didn't hinder my labor.
    McKinneyAEArielle27
  •  I've had two natural births, so not quite the demographic you were after, but I thought I'd share my perspective anyway.

    My POV is that yes birth is painful, but it's a pain with a purpose, kind of like climbing a really tough mountain where you have to keep putting one foot in front of the nothing.

    I think what pushes most women to asking for the epi, from reading multiple birth stories, is the exhaustion more so than the pain and/or the pain in the face of an uncertain length of labour ie if you KNEW you only had to get through the pain for 10 contractions, then I'm pretty sure anyone could handle it. But if you've been labouring for hours and hours and maybe you're not progressing very quickly/have stalled, and you simply don't know how many more hours you may have ahead of you then for many women the epi is a good choice to give them the chance to rest and for their body to relax and move forward.

    I, fortunately, had two quite short labours. I never asked for pain meds (even though for me they were always an option) because I just never got to the very edge of exhaustion. So for that reason I think it's really important to look after yourself in early labour. You might have a short labour, but if not, it's a good idea to try and prep yourself for the long haul. Sleep/nap if you can, eat good snacks and drink plenty of fluid.

    Also it sounds like your DH would be/should be able to prep himself to be a good labour buddy. Get him to read up on some ways to support you.

    Oh as much as I love giving birth, and absolutely plan to go natural with the next one, I agree with pp there is no shame in asking for medication. The epi is a wonderful tool, and it's there to be used in the right situation, and that right situation is between you and your OB.
    Your POV is very insightful and comforting. I want to experience natural birth. I think it would be a special bond. I do think I am a bit worried about exhausting myself. I pray that I don't have a longggg drawn out labor. I am going to start researching some techniques to manage pain naturally. I even plan to take some lamaze classes to prepare myself. Thank you again. 
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  • jess9802jess9802
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    edited October 2013
    Epidurals are not without side effects, but they are extremely safe for both mom and baby. If you want to have a drug-free delivery that's one thing, but it should be an informed choice and not something anyone is pressuring you to do because he believes myths or misinformation about epidurals and their safety or side effects. Pain management techniques are good to know because some hospitals still practice delayed administration of epidurals (making you wait until 4cm of dilation, something that new research is showing is unnecessary), or because your epidural may not work well, completely, or at all the first time.

    My $0.02: I considered a natural birth during my pregnancy, but by the third trimester decided I would get an epidural. I was induced, and while the contractions were manageable for a while, at some point it was the most excruciating pain I've ever felt. I got the epidural, rapidly dilated thereafter, pushed for less than an hour, and had an alert and healthy baby at the end. My only regret is not getting the epidural sooner.
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  • KateLouiseKateLouise
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    edited October 2013

    Your POV is very insightful and comforting. I want to experience natural birth. I think it would be a special bond. I do think I am a bit worried about exhausting myself. I pray that I don't have a longggg drawn out labor. I am going to start researching some techniques to manage pain naturally. I even plan to take some lamaze classes to prepare myself. Thank you again. 
    Cool, I'm glad to have helped.
    I think natural birth is just an amazing thing to go through (although I firmly believe childbirth is precious and wondrous regardless of the mechanics and processes). I suppose one thing I like about having done the natural birth thing, is that I have no unanswered questions about it.

    The ladies here have huge amounts of knowledge about different books, classes and techniques, and I think we're really supportive, so stick around and ask us anything that occurs to you.

    Best wishes through the rest of your pregnancy :)

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  • FWIW, I chose natural birth this time around for financial reasons (my insurance has a 24 month waiting period before covering births), and a birthing center was literally half the cost of a hospital. I am kinda crunchy/natural as is, but was always intimidated by the thought of med-free birth. I mention all of this, just to say I wasn't your typical "I knew from the beginning I wanted to do this" natural gal, I kinda fell into it. All I kept telling myself was that my 2 little Grandmas & Mom did it, so I had to have it in me. During my tour of the birthing center, I actually asked the same question (how many women end up getting an epi), b/c I assumed I'd be one.




    Due to a full time job and two toddlers, I kept meaning to take classes, read birth stories, and watch natural birth videos but it just never happened. By the time I was term, I did not have much faith in myself, but figured I would try my best, and be ok with whatever the outcome was (I had my previous two with epidural).




    Due to my lack of research and previous experience with natural birth, I was in complete denial that I was in real labor, literally up until I went into transition. My water broke only a split second before the baby was born, and I never had bloody show, my contractions were never timeable, etc, so I kept thinking "this is going to get way worse once I really start labor."




    My point in saying all of this is to say that they call it natural birth for a reason. The whole experience could not have been more organic or natural. My body knew exactly what to do, and I listened to it unknowingly. I now read tons of natural birthing info b/c it fascinates me, and it continually shocks me how many of the suggested measures I took without even knowing what I "should" do, it's just what I felt like doing.




    We were built to do this. I never felt scared or out of control. The contractions were intense, but they built gradually & declined gradually, only "peaking" for a few moments. The only time the pain was incredibly intense was minutes before our little girl was born.




    While I have faith that you can do it, know that any way you bring your baby into this world is commendable and beautiful, whether it be with meds or not!

    Great story, great advice!

    I'm very sympathetic to the OP too. I am taking Hypnobirthing class and reading the books. In theory it all makes sense (fear makes labor way more painful than it needs to be) but really not sure how it works in practice, especially with comments some of you made on this thread.

    I want all the benefits of natural labor but don't feel bad about turning to an epi if I feel I need one. I'm trying to go into this being fairly informed on pain management techniques thru hypnobirth methods but not research too much and get all amped up over what could go wrong and get in a fear mindset. I don't know how realistic this is and every delivery is different. But I guess that's why I appreciated your post so much, RayandBrit.
    Arielle27
  • @bshreeve I think that's the best way to go into it! I know it's hard not to fear something you've never experienced (at least that's how I felt), but I promise, throughout my whole labor & delivery i never felt scared. When things became more intense (transition) I became hyper focused, but not afraid.

    I think focusing your efforts on researching pain management is a great idea, and can only help! For me personally, afterward I was so happy that I didn't "over" research all aspects of natural birth because with my personality I would've stressed & worried about the few uncomfortable or bad things I read. Also, I probably would've been worried about trying to remember everything I learned instead of being in tune with my body. I'm too much of a Patty Planner, ha

    Best of luck to you, you'll do great!
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  • This is slightly off-topic, but might be related to the different amounts of pain people describe- it seems from what I have read and heard is that if your baby is posterior, the amount of pain probably will be a LOT more (from the hard back of his head pushing against your spine.) If you are hoping for a natural birth, but not sure how much pain you can handle, it might be worth it to look into spinningbabies type stuff towards the end of your pregnancy, or even before you know the position, focus on positions for yourself for the last 6 weeks of your pregnancy that are less likely to result in a posterior baby- hands and knees for example. 
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    rayandbrit
  • lalaith50 said:

    This is slightly off-topic, but might be related to the different amounts of pain people describe- it seems from what I have read and heard is that if your baby is posterior, the amount of pain probably will be a LOT more (from the hard back of his head pushing against your spine.) If you are hoping for a natural birth, but not sure how much pain you can handle, it might be worth it to look into spinningbabies type stuff towards the end of your pregnancy, or even before you know the position, focus on positions for yourself for the last 6 weeks of your pregnancy that are less likely to result in a posterior baby- hands and knees for example. 

    However this is not always necessarily true! My first was posterior and by far th largest of my three (8lb 12oz) and I didn't feel any more pain with that birth than the others!

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  • @bshreeve I think that's the best way to go into it! I know it's hard not to fear something you've never experienced (at least that's how I felt), but I promise, throughout my whole labor & delivery i never felt scared. When things became more intense (transition) I became hyper focused, but not afraid.




    I think focusing your efforts on researching pain management is a great idea, and can only help! For me personally, afterward I was so happy that I didn't "over" research all aspects of natural birth because with my personality I would've stressed & worried about the few uncomfortable or bad things I read. Also, I probably would've been worried about trying to remember everything I learned instead of being in tune with my body. I'm too much of a Patty Planner, ha




    Best of luck to you, you'll do great!

    Thank you!
  • Be flexible. Do not make epi more enticing by making it a forbidden fruit :)

    In both births when I though I could not handle it, I was in transition. First birth was pitocin and no pain meds, second was without any intervention and much much easier.

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  • Not when contractions started (honestly, they aren't that bad and mine were a minute long and only a minute apart from pretty much the moment they started).  It was being told not to push when I really, really, really wanted to that was torture for me!  And that went on for an hour.  45 minutes into it I was begging for an epidural.  I am beyond happy, though, that I did not have one.  The moment my son was born I was happy, laughing, high as a kite on hormones, and loving life.  It was definitely worth that period of torture.  Which I probably would have had somewhat if I'd gotten an epi, but not in the way I did.  It was also SO nice to take a shower right away.  You can't do that with an epi!
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  • Epi was on the table for me...the pain was bad but certainly not unbearable. I went into labor at 1230am went to the hospital at 9am and gave birth a 1pm. I pushed twice and shewas out. No drugs at at all. Once it was over they asked if I wanted an aspirin and I respectfully declined...what can soften the blow of pushing a baby out? I recently got a root canal and declined the novacane. i told the dentist "i gave birth i dont need nivacane" lol. If you really want to go natural...I suggest that you give it a try. Everyone is different but I believe you can do it. Epi or not giving birth is a gift, all of us are incredibly strong women. Good luck.
  • BShreeve said:
    @bshreeve I think that's the best way to go into it! I know it's hard not to fear something you've never experienced (at least that's how I felt), but I promise, throughout my whole labor & delivery i never felt scared. When things became more intense (transition) I became hyper focused, but not afraid.

    I think focusing your efforts on researching pain management is a great idea, and can only help! For me personally, afterward I was so happy that I didn't "over" research all aspects of natural birth because with my personality I would've stressed & worried about the few uncomfortable or bad things I read. Also, I probably would've been worried about trying to remember everything I learned instead of being in tune with my body. I'm too much of a Patty Planner, ha

    Best of luck to you, you'll do great!
    Thank you!
    I agree and think it really comes down to a well informed choice via education. Despite what everyone else says or their experience only you will know once you have all the information at hand. I would say attend birthing classes to prepare you before and after. Personally, I am quite active and would prefer to be up and about soon after delivery so I'm going for natural. I attend online classes only because myself and my partner found them more convenient and it worked well around our busy schedule. Check out this site for further information www.childbirthprogram.com
  • noconalovenoconalove
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    @pr_princess23 Oh my goodness! Which was more painful? Lol I am thinking I am strong enough for the NB, but a root canal with no drugs, no thanks!!

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  • The birth was definitely worse!
  • My water broke, but 24 hours later I still wasn't having good strong contractions so I was induced with cytotec and the later Pitocin. I had a posterior baby and pushed for 2 hours. Total labor was 43 hours. It was painful, but not anywhere near as painful as I imagined. It wasn't torture, I never thought I was going to die, I wasn't screaming or freaking out. I took the Bradley classes and it really helped me. When I found out I was going to be induced I really doubted that I would not get an Epi because I heard how terrible Pitocin is, but it wasn't that bad. You can do it!
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  • I'm a FTM hoping for a natural birth as well.  I'm loving the words of wisdom on here.

    It sounds to me from all of my research that the key is to relax as much as possible through contractions to allow your body to do its thing.

    I've started to tell my husband things that he normally does that relaxes me and to "bring them to delivery" - for example, sometimes when we are just hanging out he'll lightly rub my hand - puts me into this crazy state of relaxation - I told him he has to remember that as a possible tool for labor.

    I love the positive stories and wish everyone luck in their labors!
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  • With my first, I planned to go all natural--but I changed my mind due to exhaustion. My water broke around midnight, just as I was getting into bed, pretty exhausted to begin with as I hadn't slept well the night before. Shortly after that, contractions came pretty quickly and fiercely. In all honesty, the pain wasn't unbearable. It was intense, that's for sure, like period cramps x 1000..but not unbearable. If I had the energy to work through each contraction by the time I was in transition, and if I had someone that was in the room being supportive and helping me through each one, I believe my birth would have gone as planned. However, I had a Doctor that I wasn't crazy about that offered no support, and my husband was passed out on the chair next to me  #-o

    Birthing a baby is a LOT of physical work! I had no idea how tiring it is to push out a baby..especially since mine was positioned with the widest part of her head coming out first. I'm glad that I was able to rest a bit with the epidural, and it worked out well for me because I was still able to feel when to push. However with this one I am going to attempt to go all natural again, and I'm hoping I will be well-rested beforehand (although with a toddler that wakes up 3x a night I'm not planning on it haha). I have an awesome midwife this time and my husband  knows the drill..he's staying up and working with me through each contraction this time! There are definitely risks with epidurals, and I have a few friends that still experience pain in the spot on their back that the epidural was administered..luckily I am not one of them! If you're afraid of the pain, don't be..our bodies are meant to handle it and for me at least, it was more exhausting than painful. 
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