The med-free birth thread — The Bump
March 2019 Moms

The med-free birth thread

lovesclimbinglovesclimbing member
Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
edited October 2018 in March 2019 Moms
Hello, hello,

Welcome to the med-free or "natural" birth thread. This thread is for us to discuss everything that goes into giving birth without pain meds. 

We also have a thread for anyone planning to give birth at freestanding birth centers or at home here, if anyone falls into that category. https://forums.thebump.com/discussion/comment/90804491

Disclaimer that should go without saying. This thread is not intended to bash, judge or otherwise criticize anyone who chooses to have an epidural during labor. Everyone has to look at all their options and make the decision about how to give birth for themselves. 

Some questions to get us started; feel free to deviate:

-STM+, did you attempt and/or have you had a med-free birth before? How did that go?

-Why do you want a med-free
birth, and if you've already had one, why do you want to do it again?

-Any techniques for coping with pain? Any you hope to do or study prior to birth?

-Questions? Comments? Anything else?
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Re: The med-free birth thread

  • -STM+, did you attempt and/or have you had a med-free birth before? How did that go? 

    Yes. I had my daughter at a freestanding birth center without meds. It was much harder than I expected. I knew it would be painful, of course, but I wasn't expecting that level of pain and difficulty. I was so out of it. I know people who could relax between contractions and even smile for a photo. Not me! I just sat there with my head hanging and waiting for the next one. Hopefully I cope better with this one! 

    -Why do you want a med-free
    birth, and if you've already had one, why do you want to do it again?


    For me, it's kind of a chicken and the egg deal. I wanted an out-of-hospital birth with midwives because I believe in that model of care (that birth is a normal, natural part of life, and while problems can and do arise, birth itself is not a medical problem and should not be treated as such until actual problems develop), and I wanted as low an intervention birth as possible and believed my chances were highest of getting that with a low risk pregnancy outside of the hospital. And part of that low intervention is no pain meds. So it's kind of do I want an OOH birth because I don't want the meds or I do I not want meds because I want an OOH birth, you know? Also, there's the whole "cascade of interventions" that I want to avoid. Finally, as with any medication, there are side effects and risks to the epidural. It's up to each woman to decide if the benefits outweigh the potential risks and side effects. I've decided that for a normal low risk delivery, they don't.

    My beliefs haven't changed since last pregnancy, so I'm doing it again at the same birth center, assuming I stay low risk. 

    -Any techniques for coping with pain? Any you hope to do or study prior to birth
    ?

    I am definitely planning to do more reading on pain coping techniques! As I mentioned above, it was much harder than I thought. I don't have any specifics yet, except that I want to practice breathing ahead of time. 

    -Questions? Comments? Anything else?
    maggiemadeitnaveteShelbyville30keikilove
  • -STM+, did you attempt and/or have you had a med-free birth before? How did that go?

    I went med free with my first. I had a natural water birth in a hospital. I was completely out of it for most of the labor right up until 15 minutes before I had him. My contractions came fast and very intense, my labor lasted only 5 hours. I was able to somewhat handle the pain but I ended up with a third degree tear and my recovery was awful. My post partum time was way more painful than the labor itself and I was in a lot of pain for over a month. 

    Because of my traumatic recovery, I decided to opt for the epidural as long as I got to the hospital on time. Well I got to the hospital at 5 cm so we went for it but it took forever for the Dr to put the epidural in (something to do with the space in my vertebrae so I’d probably have the same problem again). By the time he was done, I was probably at a 9. The birth was very peaceful and pain free but I don’t think the length of time it took for them to place the epidural was worth it. 

    -Why do you want a med-free
    birth, and if you've already had one, why do you want to do it again?

    I’ve had one of each and the epidural wasn’t worth it to me.  I think I was traumatized by my first birth but the second was so much easier that I’m willing to give natural another try. I’m doing a free standing birth center so barring any complications, epidural won’t even be an option. 

    -Any techniques for coping with pain? Any you hope to do or study prior to birth?

    Honestly both births were so different and I wanted/needed totally different things for pain management for each. Water definitely helps. Also telling your SO to ask specific questions is also helpful. I was too out of it to ask for anything but I could answer yes or no if he asked if I wanted water or pressure, etc. 

    -Questions? Comments? Anything else?

    Pregnancy Ticker


    naveteShelbyville30keikilove
  • STM+, did you attempt and/or have you had a med-free birth before? How did that go?
    Med-free birth with my son, Jackson, at a birth center. Aside from the obvious discomfort, it was a pretty pleasurable experience. I was in labor for 18 hours total, pushed for the last three. They let me more or less do what I pleased so I walked around A LOT. Really preferred to be on my feet. Hated the ball, sitting and then bouncing on it. NO WAY. LOL. Was in the tub for about an hour, which was amazing. Just to get off of my feet for a bit and be weightless. Pushed in a so many different positions. On my back, on my side, on my knees, over the toilet, pulling on a towel.... 

    For me, having space to focus was important. I was so happy to have my husband there, but he mostly stood opposite me, with just one hand on my shoulder. I didn't want him rubbing my back, belly, or anything really. Just to be there as support. I was a yoga teacher in my extra time so ended up doing a fair amount of prenatal yoga before. I did some on my own, but also had my friend Sam in to guide me once a week. She's a physical therapist so it was awesome to have her work with me on some typical prego pains, like low back pain. THE WORST! 

    Definitely relate to riding the wave on the contractions and 100% focusing on one at a time. I felt that thinking about the labor as a whole and how long it may take was too overwhelming. I went one at a time in my mind and with my breathe and the time just passed. I remember looking up once and seeing that three hours had gone by! 

    Why do you want a med-free
    birth, and if you've already had one, why do you want to do it again?
    Not a big fan of intervention in general. The less I can have my body messed with during my time on this earth, the better. Obv baring anything necessary. I felt and feel that med-free is my best chance at having a successful vaginal birth, eliminating various factors that can arise when introducing epidural, etc. I want to do it again because it worked the first time, I had a great experience, sooooo.. sign me up! LOL 

    Any techniques for coping with pain? Any you hope to do or study prior to birth?
    Someone previously said "mind over matter" and I do feel that this works well for me. I feel that you have to prepare emotionally long in advance to going into labor. Lot of work on the front end to keep your resolve as you're going through it. As you all know, it gets intense. I already mentioned a couple other things before. Preparedness. 

    Questions? Comments? Anything else?

    I probably don't have to say this, but just want to. This is the best option for ME. Any I only mean I know it's not for everyone. I have friends that have had their kids with epidurals, scheduled C's, and all other. I think it's all good, we all just want that little baby at the end. We're all warriors!!!!!! xoxoxoxoxo 
    govanalyst86keikilovekapowfalmayoduck
  • -STM+, did you attempt and/or have you had a med-free birth before? How did that go?
    Besides having to be induced I went without pain meds. It went very well and I found I have a high pain tolerance. I mostly did not realize I was in labor until I was in active labor. 

    I was given pitocin at 8am, had consistent contractions about 5 min apart all day. They broke my water at 5:30pm and I went into active, back labor. About 9:20pm I had to push and 3 pushes and DD was out. So pretty smooth going. I did have an episiotomy but it was no big deal for me. 

    Most annoying part of the whole thing was being attached to an IV the whole time for fluids, antibiotics, and the pitocin. They also insisted that baby be monitored the whole time and their wireless monitor kept failing so I kept getting hooked back up to cords. 


    -Why do you want a med-free
    birth, and if you've already had one, why do you want to do it again?
    I want to do it again because last time went so smoothly and I felt recovery was very easy. That or I was more focused on my crazy infant. I also hate the idea of a needle in my back and with most pain medications I have a low tolerance so I don’t want to feel funny.

    -Any techniques for coping with pain? Any you hope to do or study prior to birth?
    Not sure I handled it the best last time. When you have those strong contractions you go into your head, so I just tried to ride it out because i knew it didn’t last forever. I hope to use more meditation and mindfulness this time. I also plan to make the room more calm and inviting. The tub was also helpful, I got in the tub at 6cm and came out 20 min later at 10cm and ready to push. 


    -Questions? Comments? Anything else?
    Not at the moment 
    Dx: Non-IR PCOS
    Baby Girl K #1 Born 3/8/14
    Baby Girl K #2 EDD 3/3/19
    govanalyst86keikilovekapowfal
  • -STM+, did you attempt and/or have you had a med-free birth before? How did that go?
    My first I had planned an epidural and got one at 5cm. It was wonderful for about an hour and then it stopped working. Because I was a "fall risk" having had an epidural, they wouldn't let me get up and move around, even though I could feel and move everything (I squatted over a bedpan, the epi wasn't working). That was horrible.
    2nd baby I wanted a med-free. My contractions came very fast from the beginning, every 30 seconds or so. By the time we left for the hospital I was convinced I was getting an epi. I got to the hospital and was a 9 and a few seconds later I was pushing without knowing it. Baby was born minutes later.

    -Why do you want a med-free
    birth, and if you've already had one, why do you want to do it again?
    I've done it both ways and will go for Med-free again because it was empowering, an easy recovery and the impact on breastfeeding.

    -Any techniques for coping with pain? Any you hope to do or study prior to birth?
    I read a lot of books last time (Ina May, bradley method, Hypnobirthing, birthing from within). Mantras were helpful. Every contraction brings you closer to your baby etc. I liked the ball with my first, my second I liked standing/leaning on a counter and rocking back and forth. I did like pushing on all fours too.

    Read a lot and have your mind made up. If you are wishy-washy then you will cave and get the epidural. Also having an epidural is fine. I am not a better mother because I went med-free with one child and not the other.

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker


    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    govanalyst86keikilovekapowfalmayoduck

  • -STM+, did you attempt and/or have you had a med-free birth before? How did that go?
     I was flexible and okay with whatever. I was told when I got to the hospital at 5cm that I would have to sit down through both rounds of my antibiotics (GBS+) before I could walk around. I chose the epidural at that point because the best pain management for me was to walk and use the birthing ball and bath which I had done for 24 hours at home by myself. 

    -Why do you want a med-free
    birth, and if you've already had one, why do you want to do it again? Maybe I’m crazy, but I just feel like I want to experience it.  Plus, I do lean towards the side of less meds are of course always more desirable. Also, my back hurt for quite some time after my epi. I also did not like not being able to get out of bed for so long after the epi. I didn’t get the ability to use my legs back for about 10 hours I think. 

    -Any techniques for coping with pain? Any you hope to do or study prior to birth? I talked to my doctor about not being able to walk around last time and she said if the nurses say that to have them call her because she wouldn’t have advised that. She said it’s not the end of the world if I only get one round of antibiotics in. (I’m already GBS+ again.) I’m hoping that with that factor I will be able to handle the pain with the walking and birthing ball as I did last time. I love some of the comments made above about ridding the waves and not fighting them as well as trying to make it through each stage at a time instead of the whole thing.   

    -Questions? Comments? Anything else? I’m so damn scared for the pushing. I know for a fact I can get through the contractions if I’m able to walk and move and use the bath but my epi worked so well last time that I had absolutely no pain when pushing. For BTDT moms, was the pushing the worst part? 
    keikilove
  • @JLaVO888, hmm, I don't know! I think in some ways it was easier because it felt good to be able to actually do something instead of just sit there and feel the pain of labor while doing nothing. 
    keikilove
  • @JLaVO888 candidly, pushing sucked... but DS was also positioned weirdly with his hand up on his face. So pushing took a while for me, they kept telling me one more push and he would be here. But also, by that point I was so done and ready for my baby, I was willing and ready to push through anything to get finished. All that said, definitely planning to go med-free with this baby too!
    Ticker warning 


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    keikilove
  • I'm not planning on doing a med-free birth but I wanted to pop in and say you ladies are all BOSS mamas.  Wow!
  • -STM+, did you attempt and/or have you had a med-free birth before? How did that go? I was induced at 41 weeks and while I tried to go completely med-free I stalled at 6cm for over 3 hours and that frustrated me and made me so anxious because I was already confined to the bed after DD's heartrate dropped too low when we first started pitocin. I stuck to my guns though and didn't get an epidural just one dose of nubane which helped me relax a little.

    -Why do you want a med-free birth, and if you've already had one, why do you want to do it again? I had a coworker talking about how she had an epidural, fell asleep, and woke up hours later to a baby. She doesn't remember anything about the birth or the first moments of her daughter's life and that just bothered me so I really didn't want an epidural. I hope to do the same with this labor and go completely without meds if I can. Especially hopeful I can labor on my own walking the halls, sitting on a ball, etc to help the process and ride through contractions rather than watch each one come on a monitor stuck in the bed.

    -Any techniques for coping with pain? Any you hope to do or study prior to birth? I did some hypnobirth reading and followed the discs before going into labor with DD. Probably going to break those back out when we get closer and like I mentioned above I'm really hoping to be able to labor on my own, whether that's at home if I go into labor on my own or in the hospital room, rather than be stuck in the bed but only time will tell.

    -Questions? Comments? Anything else? I think it might have been previously mentioned but especially for the FTMs remember that no birth is the "right" birth and as long as they all end in a healthy baby & mom that's all that matters. How you get that baby in your arms is just a story to tell later!
    keikilovemayoduck
  • @HoneyBear40 You bring up a good point that I forgot to mention in my earlier post.  

    With my c-section I had some complications, and a bad reaction to morphine, so I didn’t see my baby right away, and I honestly don’t remember the first day of my daughters life. It’s something that still upsets me to this day, and one of the big reasons I want a natural birth this time. 
  • edited October 2018
    @JLaVO888 I’m surprised they made you stay in bed for the antibiotics. I had an IV anyways and was GBS+ but was able to just roll my IV around with me. I don’t know what I would have done if I had to stay in the bed the whole time. 

    As for pushing, it was easy for me. It gave me a lot of relief to push and my body at that point just wanted to push so I went with it. I know I didn’t push very long (only 20 min) compared to others but it was like ok here’s the end. 

    ETA: I could feel the pressure of my body pushing before I realized what was happening. That was the worst because I was trying to work against myself, but once I was like ok I’m pushing her out and went with it, then it was no big deal. 
    Dx: Non-IR PCOS
    Baby Girl K #1 Born 3/8/14
    Baby Girl K #2 EDD 3/3/19
    govanalyst86keikilovekapowfal
  • STM+, did you attempt and/or have you had a med-free birth before? How did that go? I attempted a med-free birth with my son, but my water broke before I was in active labor and I ended up being induced. That meant being hooked up to monitors and having limited mobility. After 36 hours of at the hospital I was only at 4cm, and at that point had slept maybe 2 hours in the previous 48 hours, and I was just exhausted so I got the epidural. I don't regret it, but it was a little scary because my blood pressure dropped super low when they first placed it - so much so that they gave me something to stop labor and put me on an epinephrine drip for about 4 hours until my blood pressure stabilized.I was so out of it I didn't care at the time - i was thankful to have a break and rest. The started the pitocin up again after a few hours, I pushed for an hour, and he was out. By that time the epidural had worn off for the most part, so I felt a lot of what was happening - including when they stitched me up. (pro tip: ask for lidocaine for the stitches!!! They assumed since I had the epidural I didn't need it. I did - I felt everything and it's not pleasant)

    Why do you want a med-free birth, and if you've already had one, why do you want to do it again? I am going to attempt it again, not because I am opposed to the epidural, I'm just a bit scared about having the same experience. Even though it wasn't scary for me in the moment since I was so out of it, I do think that the epinephrine slowed my milk coming in. I'd just like to avoid the cascade of interventions i had last time - many of which were out of my control since my water broke early.

    Any techniques for coping with pain? Any you hope to do or study prior to birth? My husband and I did a birth class and I got the Hypnobabies CDs but I honestly wasn't very good about preparing myself. I still have the CDs so I'll try to do more to prep myself this time around. Last time I just tensed up with every contraction, I need to work on coping methods so I can relax through them better. And hope that my water doesn't break early this time!

    Questions? Comments? Anything else? Nope!
    govanalyst86kapowfal
  • @gowenc, how long before active labor did your water break? Mine broke in the evening, and I wasn't in active labor until around 2 am or so, or even in labor at all until midnight. It wasn't a concern, at least for my midwives (and according to my state law for OOH births, you only have to go to the hospital if you're not in active labor within 24 hours), unless I started approaching that 24-hour mark. I've also heard of women being monitored for infection and going much much longer than 24 hours even. 

    If you're really hoping to avoid that, it might be worth discussing with your providers about their policies on how quickly you have to go into labor and how flexible they are if you're not getting an infection or even shopping around for different providers if that's an option. 
    keikilove
  • So my original plan with DD was to have a med free labor but I ended up with a scheduled c section and never actually went into labor. Planning on a VBAC (hopefully limited interventions) this time, but not really sure how it’s going to go... anybody have a med free VBAC after a scheduled c section and have any wisdom to share?
    govanalyst86stmgsam3
  • gowencgowenc member
    500 Love Its 100 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited October 2018
    @lovesclimbing My water broke at 2:00 AM, and I went to the hospital at about 8:00 AM. They let me walk around and try to get things going (I was having mild contractions) until about 2:00 PM, then gave me cytotec to try and get things going, then started pitocin later that evening when I still wasn't really having regular contractions - maybe about 18 hours after my water broke? All in all it was 42 hours from the time my water broke until I delivered. They were fine just monitoring me and baby for infection and heart rate, fortunately. I actually switched providers at 30 weeks so I could go with the midwives at this practice, and I'm glad I did - had I stayed with my old OB I would have had a c-section because they have a very strict 24 hour policy. I'll be with the midwives again this time. 

    ETA: To clarify, I really liked my providers - they were very patient and talked me through everything. It was just an unfortunate set of circumstances that I wasn't progressing on my own after my water broke. I don't regret asking for the epidural because I was completely exhausted by that point and I didn't have the stamina to keep going. 
    govanalyst86keikilovekapowfal
  • -STM+, did you attempt and/or have you had a med-free birth before? How did that go?

    With my first I was in labor off and on for like three days. I finally got an epidural at 8cm because I was so darn tired. It was the best choice but it made pushing really hard and I was really close to needing a c-section. 
    With my second I was able to deliver completely med free. Labor was much faster and more manageable and it was a very empowering experience. 

    -Why do you want a med-free
    birth, and if you've already had one, why do you want to do it again?

    I would love a repeat of my second’s birth. Thought hopefully with less than an hour of pushing. 😝 I was very present and will never forget holding her the second she emerged. 

    -Any techniques for coping with pain? Any you hope to do or study prior to birth?

    I used the tub at my hospital which was glorious. I also used a birthing stool and I definitely think that was the best position for me.

    -Questions? Comments? Anything else?
    govanalyst86keikilove
  • -STM+, did you attempt and/or have you had a med-free birth before? How did that go? I attempted to go med free with my first. I made it to 8cm but I started to hallucinate from the exhaustion and ended up getting an epidural and falling asleep. When it was time to push, DS got stuck in the birth canal, and I ended up with a c section. 

    -Why do you want a med-free
    birth, and if you've already had one, why do you want to do it again?
    I haven't decided yet if I want to do a RCS or attempt a VBAC. I feel like if I get a VBAC I need to try med free again to avoid the cascade of interventions. 

    -Any techniques for coping with pain? Any you hope to do or study prior to birth?
    I recommend reading Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth, which is like the bible for going med free. I also thought the Bradley method book had good information about the emotions that accompany the different stages of birth. 

    Also, do lots of squatting exercises, sitting on the exercise ball, and walking to help get baby into good position. Unfortunately I lost a lot of progress getting baby lined up right because I fell asleep after my epidural and laid on my side for four hours. 

    -Questions? Comments? Anything else?
    Just some additional advice:
    -It sounds hard, but if you think you're starting labor, try to get some sleep. You have a long journey ahead of you. Lack of sleep was a big reason I suspect I didn't make it. 
    -If you're birthing in a hospital, stay at home as long as you can. Once you get to the hospital, you have to be hooked up to monitors that really limit your mobility (just my experience)
    -If you're birthing at a hospital, get a doula. The nurses do their best, but their main focus is not coaching you through a med free delivery (again, just my experience)
    -Just to echo what others have said, no matter what happens, you did a good job. Going through labor has positive benefits for baby, even if they're later delivered via c section. I was very worried that c section would make breastfeeding more difficult, but it didn't. I was worried the recovery would prevent me from being a good mom in the first few days, but it didn't. I do have some regrets (just that I would've been more well rested and had a doula) but the end result is the same either way. I have DS and he's the best!
    govanalyst86keikilovekapowfalmayoduck
  • @lindseyb918 The lack of sleep was what killed me too. When I called the midwife on duty the night my water broke she asked if I was having regular contractions. When I told her I wasn't, she said to try to go back to sleep and come to the hospital in the morning. Of course I couldn't sleep at that point. Then when they started me on cytotec the next afternoon they said the same thing - try to get some rest before the contractions start kicking in. No dice. I'm a terrible sleeper - if there's anything stressful/exciting going on my brain just cannot shut off. Childbirth? Yeah, stressful and exciting. Even after I got the epidural, my blood pressure dropped, and they stopped labor until I stabilized, I couldn't sleep, even though I was completely out of it. By the time he was born I'd had maybe two hours of sleep in almost three days. I think this time I need to work on meditation to help me with that. And also hope that things progress more quickly this time around!
    lindseyb918kapowfalmayoduck
  • Why do you want a med-free
    birth, and if you've already had one, why do you want to do it again?
    I read a national institute of health study that there are less complications in med free births.

    -Any techniques for coping with pain? Any you hope to do or study prior to birth?
    My husband and I are going to do the Bradley method classes starting 10/15. I'm reading Birthing From Within which I have to say is kind of hippy dippy to me. I'm listening to hypnobirthing from YouTube which actually seems less foreign to me than Birthing From Within. Also want to exercise and do the perianal massage in the third trimester.

    -Questions? Comments? Anything else?
    Thank you to all the STMs who shared their experiences. All of them were really helpful. You all are awesome!
    lelkcotkeikilove
  • @novelblessings They were insistent that I would progress faster than the meds would get into my system so they didn’t want me walking since that helps speed up labor. In hindsight and now that I’m not a first timer I would have advocated for myself more and pushed harder and asked more questions. Being a newbie I just took their advice and followed it without arguing. 

    @lelkcot @lovesclimbing So if I’m reading between the lines the transition stage is what I really need to prepare myself for mentally? The active labor seemed manageable ( well I only got to 5 on my own so I may be lying to myself) but it seemed manageable. I was tired after having contractions for 24 hours straight but I do feel that when I was walking around I could stretch through the pain even when my contractions were a minute apart. 
    lelkcot
  • I've had a natural labor and a med-free birth, different pregnancies.... ha ha, think on that one a minute! (Got an epidural for VBAC#1, was induced for no real reason with VBAC#2 but birthed without pain meds.) Yeesh, that was an intense ride!


    Natural labor was pretty easy for me to cope with. With speedy/induction labor, this might count as meditation but with every contraction wave I said a Hail Mary prayer out loud. It was the only thing I could think of that helped at the time! I must've said a couple full rosaries! :)

    Crowning hurt, no joke, birth was intense. Glad I did it. I plan to put the two together this time! I'm interested in the techniques others use to deal with pain... like is Hypnobabies a real thing that works?? that sort of thing.
    govanalyst86keikilovekapowfallindseyb918
  • I had a VBAC in December of 2015 medfree. I used a labor tub and began pushing in the tub. I had to be taken out as my water bag had not completely been broken. I was put on the bed and used some unique pushing positions once my midwife broke my water completely and pushed him out at 8lbs 2ozs completely unmedicated! My then husband was very supportive and helped me through it. He even got in the tub with me and rubbed my back. 

    I pray I can be lucky for my 2nd VBAC with boy #2! I don't have the same level of partner support and I am a big more nervous this time. My ex-husband who is still my best friend did state he'd be there with me during labor and delivery. We were together 13 years and we dumbly broke up and divorced only to become each others best friends. I happened to get pregnant right away by a guy I started dating who I always crushed on, on Facebook for like 4 years. The whole situation is a mess. So I will be lucky to get my VBAC unmedicated this time. 
    keikilove
  • Ok, after lurking for a few days I'm going to jump in, as I've just booked my doula and am starting to mentally prepare for (what I hope will be) a med free birth. 

    -STM+, did you attempt and/or have you had a med-free birth before? How did that go?
     
    No, I had a planned epidural with my DD. I had no desire to attempt a natural birth, especially after my water broke and I had back labour and contractions basically non-stop. It was excruciating! 

    -Why do you want a med-free
    birth, and if you've already had one, why do you want to do it again?

    While my birth with my DD went "well" (meaning she and I emerged healthy!), I suffer from pelvic floor / pelvic organ related issues as a result of the birth. Because she was sunny side up, and I had an epidural, and was flat on my back, it took nearly 4 hours of purple pushing to get her out. I also required an episiotomy. That amount of intense pushing is just not good for all of your internal pelvic organs and I live in some discomfort (near daily) as a result. The episiotomy was very difficult to recover from - it didn't heal for a few months (at my 8 week postpartum appointment, it was still bugging me and the stitches hadn't dissolved yet). This time I want to be able to avoid purple pushing completely (I want to let my body push and I want to only push when I truly feel I need to) and I'm hoping to avoid an episiotomy - I feel the best way to achieve these goals is to go med free so I can retain my ability to move around, change positions, and feel when I need to push.  

    -Any techniques for coping with pain? Any you hope to do or study prior to birth?

    I am definitely a bit nervous about going med free especially since the stakes are a bit high (I've been told the chance of reinjuring or worsening my current pelvic issues is high so I'm desperate to have a smooth birth experience with minimal pushing, cutting or tearing). To help me meet my goal, I've hired a doula and I plan to read and mentally prepare a lot, starting right away! I'll be checking out Ina May's book and combing this thread for other suggestions or recommendations!

    -Questions? Comments? Anything else?
    Nothing yet, really, but please keep the tips and suggestions coming!! I'll be heading to the library next week to check out some of the Ina May and Bradley method books. 
    keikilovelindseyb918
  • @JLaVO888 ;
    Yes, transition is the point that most women start to doubt that they can do it (it was for me). Natural labor was a pretty manageable wave ride for me, but once I got to 6cm and my water broke naturally, that's when the intensity kicked in and my med-free story ended with VBAC #1. For VBAC#2 my water was broken early in the morning by the doctor to get labor started (that was not fun and I don't recommend it) but once the Pitocin kicked in, it was like all transition labor for me, intense. Right at about 9cm, before I was almost ready to push was when I started to doubt but Dr. told me I was so close and already doing it, so I just pushed on through. (Literally). Pushing wasn't too bad for me. Without pain meds, I was surprised how strong the urge to push really is, at that point you're just following your body's lead. Pretty cool. The hardest point of pushing for me was when she crowned and when her head was out. Ouch!
    keikilove
  • I am a FTM interested in having a med-free birth. I would like to go med-free because I have never been fond of medication or too many medical interventions. I am an ultra runner so I feel like I am pretty mentally tough. I know birth will be immensely more intense than a 50+ mile race, but I think I can relate to using mantras and breaking the process down into more manageable segments. I also have pretty good endurance so I'm hoping that might help with overall fatigue. I don't want to go into this experience unprepared so...

    My question is: for moms who have attended a Hypno-birthing and/or Bradley Method course which would you recommend or what did you think of the classes? 

    I plan to do some more research on the differences and I checked out both books from the library, but I live a rural where there are not many options for birthing classes and the hypno-birthing class starts soon. I'd just love some real mom advice for what you thought about either class and whether or not they ended up being helpful in your birth experience. 

    STMs thanks for all the advice, insight and info about med-free births.
    govanalyst86keikilovemayoduck
  • @emarcinek99 I think long distance running gives you a lot of the mindset that you need for childbirth. I am a marathon runner and I used some of the same techniques to help me through it. That mental toughness will go a long way. 
    keikilovenovelblessingskapowfal
  • -STM+, did you attempt and/or have you had a med-free birth before? How did that go?
    I wanted to attempt med free with my first. Basically, my water broke, contractions started full on, and we went right in, got checked about 40 min later at a 6, moved right back and checked again about 20 min later and it was an 8. I thought I was going to die. My contractions were 1 min every other min and I got no rest. And after 4 months of bedrest I was too deconditioned to handle it. I was so happy to have an epidural. I really felt like the baby was coming too quickly and I would really tear a lot. It was the right decision for me at the time. Her birth was the best part of the pregnancy. Water broke and out safely in a few hours.

    -Why do you want a med-free birth, and if you've already had one, why do you want to do it again?
    I don't know if it'll be right for me. But I will try and be open to either one. It would be much different to have a slower labor and be able to use the tub, different techniques, etc. 

    -Any techniques for coping with pain? Any you hope to do or study prior to birth?
    Other than water, I can't remember what I've read that I really wanted to try. I'll read more on it as it gets closer...

  • @gowenc nothing relaxing about it at all!! I agree, it's really tough to fall asleep in that situation. I wish I could've :(
  • @emarcinek99 I agree with @maggiemadeit I was not a long distance runner when I had DD but I was a runner and I feel it was very helpful having those skills. I’m now a long distance 1/2 and marathon runner so I’ll be interested to see how that impacts this labor. 
    Dx: Non-IR PCOS
    Baby Girl K #1 Born 3/8/14
    Baby Girl K #2 EDD 3/3/19
  • STM+, did you attempt and/or have you had a med-free birth before? How did that go?

    I wanted to with #1, but did not prepare at all. I took a hospital birth class and planned to just stick to my guns...cascade of interventions and cs.

    With #2, I was convinced that I would have been better with #1 if I just stayed home, so I planned a home vbac. And it was amazing. 

    To be fair, I actually enjoy the birthing process, I only got an epidural with #1 because I wasn’t progressing and they suggested it to sleep...it made me feel like I lost all will to go on, baby’s heart rate dropped and they “called it”. 

    -Why do you want a med-free
    birth, and if you've already had one, why do you want to do it again?

    I want to do it again because I can honestly say I’ve never felt more amazing in my life than those moments after my second’s birth. It’s a high that is impossible to explain. I still look at my pictures on bad days to remember just how incredible I felt. 

    -Any techniques for coping with pain? Any you hope to do or study prior to birth?

    Hypnobabies is my thing. I’ve seen some really amazing births with it. Last time I did hypnobirthing but listened to the vbac stuff from Hypnobabies...I actually didn’t know that Hypnobabies had a full class. This time I’ve already started doing my Hypnobabies practices. I love affirmations, and that’s been carrying me through some of the complications we have had. 

    -Questions? Comments? Anything else?

    advice?

    #1 provider is important, not all providers care to help you succeed with this goal. And some hospitals really don’t “do” natural birth, period. 
    #2 stay at home as long as possible, and really consider home birth if you want med-free. It’s actually a lot safer than most people think. 
    #3 get educated, take a class outside of the hospital, I personally recommend Hypnobabies, but anything from a certified CBE group is going to be better than what the hospital has to offer. 
    #4 consider a Doula, particularly if you haven’t had a med free birth before. Better yet, ask them which providers are the “go to” places for succeeding, and listen. 
    keikilovekapowfal
  • -STM+, did you attempt and/or have you had a med-free birth before? How did that go?

    Attempted med-free with DS1. I was induced and made it 20hrs before the barfing from pain with every contraction (thanks pitocin) got to be too much. Got an epi that failed. Half my body was numb, the other half was a painful pins and needles on top of contractions feeling. This went on for 24hrs. When in hit transition I had the epi turned off. Went 4 hours, 3 of them pushing trying to get him down from a -3 station, without meds but by that point I was so exhausted I don’t remember much in the way of pain. 

    With DS2 I unknowingly labored at home til I was 9cm. I slept through most of it, from about 10pm-5am when I couldn’t lay down anymore. I was convinced that I was only going to be 4cm when we got to the hospital because I didn’t hurt as bad as with DS1. I was shocked when they said I was 9cm with a bulging bag. Broke my water at 8:30am and at 9:42 after 3 pushes he was out. I couldn’t believe how much easier it was than the first time around. 

    -Why do you want a med-free
    birth, and if you've already had one, why do you want to do it again?

    See above but TL;DR failed epi with DS1 and quick easy labor with DS2 and I’m all about med-free. 

    -Any techniques for coping with pain? Any you hope to do or study prior to birth?

    Walking and moving around helped a lot with DS2. I was bed bound for 48+ hrs with DS1 and I was f***ing miserable. Being able to get up, change position, sit on different furniture helped a lot. Also, allllllll the tennis ball back rubs. Back labor is a real b*tch. 

    -Questions? Comments? Anything else?

    My only comment is that I hope this time I get the water birth I wanted the first 2 times. I was thisclose with DS2 but when they broke my water they could tell he pooped and they won’t let you in that case for the risk of infection. Would also help if my kids decided to not hang out an “extra”  9-10 days :joy: 
    Me: 30 DH: 33 Married: 5.26.13
    DS1: 9.6.12**DS2: 12.22.14
    CP1: 6/17 @4w4d
    CP2: 9/17 @4w3d
    CP3: 2/18 @5w
    Rainbow Baby On Board
    <a href="https://babysizer.com/geeky"><img src="https://babysizer.com/geeky-2019-03-08.jpg" alt="Babysizer Geeky Pregnancy Tracker"></a>
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    keikilovekapowfal
  • STM+, did you attempt and/or have you had a med-free birth before? How did that go?  I have had 3 babies at a freestanding birth center with midwives in Texas. All three were very different, but I'm glad I was there with the midwives.  My first I has induced for hypertension just short of 38 weeks. Mylar balloons didn't work so I was given cytotek which eventually got things going.  With my second I went into labor naturally 2 days past my due date and it was fast and amazing.  My third was induced at 38 weeks for suspected IUGR and that was a hard labor because my body just wasn't ready. I had to push her out without any help from my body.  So so horrible but I'm still glad I was at the birth center.   So cool that my husband caught all three!

    -Why do you want a med-free
    birth, and if you've already had one, why do you want to do it again?  I had three very different, but great experiences.  BUT this time I am living in the Czech republic, and home birth or birth centers are illegal so I HAVE to be at a hospital and they make decisions for you here.  I'm hoping to get there at the last minute, granted I don't have to be induced again.  (Although I've been on bedrest this whole time for a hematoma, which makes the risk for preterm labor go up so we'll see.)

    -Any techniques for coping with pain? Any you hope to do or study prior to birth?  I practice breathing and relaxing muscles one at a time beforehand.  And during labor I just walk and walk and walk through the pain. It helps labor progress too. 

    -Questions? Comments? Anything else?  Women have done this for thousands of years-you can too.
    Anniversary
    keikilovekapowfal
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