Attachment Parenting

Natural Birth Mommas - Come in!

We found out last week that J is going to be a big brother! We're still a bit shocked but really excited. I had planned on going med-free with his birth, but ended up getting an epi at 7 cm. His birth was the most calm, enjoyable, laid back experience. We joked and giggled between my pushes and it was just a really nice time. I had no complications.

I have always (ALWAYS) wanted a med free birth. I even switched OBs after having J to the one in our area who is a huge proponent of decreasing interventions in childbirth. I researched doulas and am changing to a different hospital because they are more friendly to decreased interventions in birth.

Problem? 2 of my friends had babies in the last few weeks, and I read their birth stories yesterday. Both went natural and both described it as "awful". One went so far as to call it "the worst thing ever". I'm so freaked out. I don't want this child's birth to be anything I would ever look back on and use those words, but I also want to go natural. 

So I need you guys to tell me GOOD and POSITIVE stories about med free birthing. The hospital I'm going to be at this time has a few tub rooms, which you can use if available. Is it possible to have a med free birth that doesn't end in lots of screaming? What method did you use (Bradley, hypno, meditating....). Thanks! I know we have a loooong time, but we're going to start prepping sooner than later. 

Re: Natural Birth Mommas - Come in!

  • Our homebirth:

    From water breaking to birth took less than three hours. Alex weighed 11 pounds, 6 ounces. I'd do it all again in a heartbeat. It was such an incredible experience! We are planning to have a third child, and we will definitely have another med-free homebirth with the same midwife.

  • I had a pitocin drip but otherwise was med free. My experience was absolutely wonderful and hope that I can repeat it for next time. 

    The pitocin was started around 10p and the MD manually dilated me from 0 to 3cm. I stayed at 3cm until 730a when they broke my water. The contractions REALLY hurt at that point but I can't sit still when I am in pain so DH and I walked the hallways for the next 45 minutes. When we got back to the room, I started feeling an overwhelming urge to push. The RN came in, said I was a 9, and told me to start pushing. Once I could push, I looked forward to each contraction. It felt good to push. Between contractions, I felt no pain. After pushing for 1 hr 15 min (it didn't feel that long, I thought it was only 30 min), DS was born.

    In all, the only things that really were bad were the contractions until I could start pushing and DS crowning.

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  • Our birth was med-free and beautiful!  Our doula was so helpful and amazing in ways that I never would have imagined. I seriously paid the money not knowing what all she would do for me.  DH was amazing, too.  He earned the title "daddy doula."


    The worst part of our labor and birth was the doctor's attitude.    But it got better and didn't spoil my beautiful experience.  (I used an OB practice for my pregnancy then labored and birthed at a hospital.  I will most likely do midwife/birthing center next time.)


    As my due date got closer (then came/went) I started doubting whether I was capable of doing the birth w/o meds.  I refused to hear any negative birth stories.  I felt informed and educated about what could go right or wrong.  Hearing about bad experiences wasn't beneficial.  I also refused to talk to anyone who wasn't supportive of my decision. (Not in a rude way.  Just:  nod, smile, walk away.)  I just didn't need them getting into my head.

    If you send me a PM, I'd be happy to share specifics with you about why a non-medicated birth was a manageable and beautiful experience for DD, me and DH.


    There was no screaming involved!  Just lots of low moans, some grunts and even some laughter.

     You can do it!

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  • Ooh!!!  We're from St. Louis, too.  We moved to D.C. about 2 yrs ago.  If you wanna call me, I still have my 314 cell phone!
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  • I had a very long, very very hard home birth and I would not change one thing about it!

    It was the hardest thing I have ever done and it was a pain that I cant really describe BUT at the same time it was joyful, amazing, and empowering even while I was in pain.

    If you made it to 7cm last time you know the pain and can totally do it

  • Henry's birth was beautiful. I don't think I ever screamed! Can you feel the "pain"? Sure...but it's really not like that (IMO). Because I was at home, I was able to labor in MANY different positions. I love the birth tub the most, but wound up delivering him on a birth stool. The feelings were intense- the most intense thing I have ever felt. I will say though, that breaking my tailbone snowboarding was more PAINFUL that having Henry! I think the only part that I really hated was when he was crowning- but that lasted what 1 minute?

    I used a little bit of hypnobirthing and a bunch of other relaxation techniques. My Midwives were AMAZING and really gave me any help I needed. 

    I think that actually FEELING what was going on with my body helped me birth better and more efficiently. I also think that it helped me connect with Henry and myself (as a mom) better than if I couldn't feel it. I just kept telling myself that it's what I'm supposed to be feeling!  


    Hatching the Hawks
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  • imagelspinman:

    I had a very long, very very hard home birth and I would not change one thing about it!

    It was the hardest thing I have ever done and it was a pain that I cant really describe BUT at the same time it was joyful, amazing, and empowering even while I was in pain.

    If you made it to 7cm last time you know the pain and can totally do it

    We must have been writing at the same time! I didn't need to write anything....I could have just quoted you!! Hahaha! 

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  • I had a pitocin drip and antibiotics, so not exactly med-free.  But no other interventions.

    My water broke at 12 noon at 35 weeks and I was started on pit around 7pm when I was at 4cm (they wanted to do a c-section by midnight if I hadn't delivered).  It was incredibly painful and I wish the nurses & OB were more supportive of my natural choice, but I wouldn't change my experience.  I think going intervention free made a HUGE difference when it came to pushing and being present when my daughter was born. I used a combination of hypnobirthing and Bradley method, which worked well for me.  Because I was on pit and antibiotics, I wasn't allowed to walk or take a shower, so I mostly labored on a birthing ball on the bed (part of the reason why I think it was so painful).  Pushing only took about 15 minutes, because I could really focus on what I was doing and DH was a great coach.  This is really when I was glad I was in full control of my body as it was no where near as hard as I thought it would be.  (some people have said this is because DD was early, but she weighed in at 6lbs, 6oz, so not exactly preemie size). 

    We ended up making a lot of compromises because DD was early and I think our medical team pushed a lot of interventions because it was the day before Thanksgiving, which does frustrate me. . .However, my advice would be to go into it open to doing what is right for you and the baby at the time.  If you fight for a med-free birth, but you're exhausted by the time it comes to pushing, a med-free birth may not be worth it for you.  Just relax and see how things work out. . .And make sure you have a great support.  DH really played interference with the nurses for me, so I didn't have to worry about them (they came in every time I got up to pee or changed positions).  I didn't even have to tell them what I wanted for the labor (med-free, avoid pit as long as possible, etc.); he did all of that while I labored and it allowed me to focus on the delivery. 

  • You can do it.  I loved my "natural" birth (we had PIT).  It was painful and I don't know if I screamed but I growned loudly!  Making noise is actually kindof can't do much but you can use noise to help push you farther. 
  • imagetak2002:

    I had a very long, very very hard home birth and I would not change one thing about it!

    It was the hardest thing I have ever done and it was a pain that I cant really describe BUT at the same time it was joyful, amazing, and empowering even while I was in pain.

    If you made it to 7cm last time you know the pain and can totally do it

    We must have been writing at the same time! I didn't need to write anything....I could have just quoted you!! Hahaha! 

    I just read yours and thought the same thing:)

    Your babe is tooooo cute BTW!!

  • I just want to chime in that even though they are describing it in a negative way now, that doesn't mean that's how they'll remember the majority of their birth experiences in a few months. 

    I cried just thinking about DS's birth (40 hour home birth) for weeks.  We didn't have many complications, I just had a lot of prodromal labor.  Now I look back and am proud at the accomplishment.  My memories of the pain and hardship are very pale now compared to the happy feelings about it.

    If you want to go natural, I think you should assess what you expect from it.  Very few women have a low-pain natural birth.  I'm not trying to be a debbie downer, and that doesn't mean that it isn't worth it.  I'm glad that I gave my baby (and myself) a drug-free birth.  But it wasn't fun and games, either.  I think it's good to be prepared for that.  

    Jen & T.J. 6.17.06 BabyBlog * my chart *
    Joseph Henry was born at home on March 9, 2009
    Nora Mae was born at home on October 30, 2011
  • My birth story?

    I will try anf go natural for all my babies - it hurt but I'm SO glad I experienced it and the 'high' I got afterwards was amazing... although I don't have anything else to compare it to...


  • my birth story

    i wouldnt have done it any other way. it was amazing to feel him during every part of it. i focused on breathing THE ENTIRE TIME and thats what got me thru it. good for you for researching and changing birth places to somewhere you feel most comfortable. too many times women dont empower themselves in that way and just go with whatever they are told.

    i follow the dear baby blog and LOVE LOVE LOVE her birth story too.

  • I think I had a great birth - sure I was screaming (and it did hurt!), but I felt fantastic (although tired) the minute he came gushing out.  Aside from being a little sore, I really felt completely normal so I feel like my recovery was very easy.  The pain was intense toward the end but it was a productive sort of pain - I knew it was resulting in a baby so it wasn't the same as pain from something else.

    I'd say go for it.  I do think a lot of how you handle the pain is in your mindset going in - if you go in wanting it to be positive, you'll handle the pain much better than going in afraid.

    Oh, and I didn't use any method - just had a great DH (who knew that his job was to keep me laughing) and an excellent midwife.

  • I have had two natural births...with both, my water was broken at the hospital (once to place a baby moniter on baby's scalp, the other time to get the show on the road...had been having VERY mild contractions for 40 hours and was at 4 cm.)  With my first, baby was born less than ten minutes after they broke my water.  With my second, I went from 4 cm to baby out in 1 1/2 hours.

    My first baby was a natural birth because I got to the hospital 13 minutes before she was born.  There was no time for anything-not even for the doctor to get there.  I actually handled that one really well, but it was probably because I was pretty disconnected from the whole experience.  (A very long, completely different story.)

    With my second baby, I felt very strongly that I wanted to have an unmedicated birth.  I had a doula and read many books, but didn't go to any Childbirth Education Classes or anything because DH's schedule didn't allow him to attend and if I was going, I wanted him there, too. 

    After my water was broken, my contractions picked up really fast.  The doctor told me that I was probably dilating about 1/2 cm/contraction.  At the end, they were coming right on top of each other and I felt incredibly out of control.  (but in a much more manageble way than I think an epi would make me feel) That part was horrible, but it didn't last long.  When I was able to push, I thought about all of the really great birth stories from Ina Mae's Guide to Childbirth.  Pushing felt wonderful and then I had my baby and there was no pain, no waiting for the epi to wear off, just the sheer adrenaline from a really intense experience and the wonder of meeting my baby.

    Yeah, it hurt.  It hurt really bad, but it was over the second she was born.  If my labor had been many, many hours of the intense pain that I had, I might have wanted the epi, but when my labor started for real, it didn't even occur to me to think about it.

    I fully intend for my next baby to be a natural birth, as well. 


    My natural birth was the most amazing and WONDERFUL experience. Enjoy reading (sorry for all the typos). Trust your body and enjoy the ride -- you've already had a baby once, and you know your body can do it ;)

  • I am never quite sure if my birth counts as natural or not--

    I work up with very intense back labor. We walked around the block, I rocked in the rocking chair, took a shower and then a bath. I stayed home for as long as I felt was safe.This was really important to me and I think made this part of the experience more enjoyable.

    We went to the hospital and I was about 7cm dilated. I progressed really quickly and was ready to push about an hour after I got to the hospital. 

    This is where it becaume tricky, because it turns out she was sunny side up. I pushed for 4 1/2 hrs without an epi. In the beginning pushing was a relief. I had a rhythm and a purpose. After several hours my back began to hurt even more, so I changed positions. They started pitocin to increase the contractions. This did not work either. The doctor whispered something to the nurse. The nurse replied "You can't do that she hasn't had an Epi". We think she may have been thinking about a C-section, because the baby's heart rate was dropping and had started to not come back up between contractions. (My doctors switched halfway through, and I was doing so well that she never realized that I hadn't had one, or at least that is what I like to think happened). 

    I continued pushing, it was my job and I did it. My husband and my good friend were both there, reminding me to breathe and as support.

    Eventually they had to use the vacuum and I did allow them to use lidocaine to numb my  insides. I figured if we were resorting to this I might as well let them make it as comfortable as they could.

    For me the key was to relax between contractions, focus on what I was doing, and having a good support team. I have no regrets about not having an epi, or the interventions I ultimately had to have. I really kind of enjoyed pushing, yes it was hard work, and yes I was tired and sweaty, but whole hours passed without my realizing it because I was so focused on the process.I know my story is not all that pleasant, but I didn't share it to scare you. I shared, because even though it was difficult, it was also amazing. It is an experience I am very glad to have had. I really thought that the first stage of labor was harder than the pushing.

    If you could make it to 7cm without an epi, you can certainly do the rest without it as well.

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  • I would say my birth was sort of calm throughout early labor. It was exciting, peaceful, etc...but I cannot say it was easy for long. Once the pain got bad and I started progressing, I was moaning, groaning, and when I pushed I made sounds like a wild animal in pain. I was screaming, growling, crying etc... even though afterward I thought, "I will NEVER do that again," and thought it was awful, looking back now (and even almost immediately after the fact) I am SOOOO glad I did it. I felt empowered, amazing and so close to my husband and new baby. I will definitely go naturally in the future and maybe do a home birth. I think if you got to 7 cm you can do it and just remember transition is the worst. Since this is your 2nd baby you have a good chance of having a quicker easier birth, not for sure, but it's what I've heard.

    My full birth story is in my blog if you're interested. Good luck!!!

    Loss #1 2008, Loss #2 2010, Loss #3 2011, Loss #4 2012, Loss #5 2012
    Loss #6 2014 Loss #7 (chemical) 2014

    ~DS Born! 2009~
    ~DD Born! 2013~
    ~DD due! 2015~

  • First off. Here's the link to my full birth story.

     Secondly... I would not have changed anything about my labor experience except for I wish I would have labored in the tub more.

    I did it all with 1 shot of Stadol when I got stuck at 8 cms. My labor took a whopping 14 hours, but, I was really in labor for like 3 weeks. That part sucked. Birth, not so much. 

    Keevia was posterior, and the nurses/midwife never told me that. THAT part made me mad, as I knew how to try and turn her. I had HORRIFIC back labor, but now I can barely remember the pain. When I started pushing, I flipped her, and then I never felt another contraction. I didn't experience the "ring of fire" either. 

    I labored with 6 family members around me (My mom, MIL, sister, SIL, and my doula/chiropractor as well as my hubby) and would not have made it any other way. 

    I didn't "do" any specific form of childbirth. My DH and I attended a local natural childbirth labor workshop, and that was it. I think I did hypnobirthing though, as I kind of zoned out. I was concentrating SO hard on just breathing through the contractions and getting through the pain that I literally, physically could not open my eyes. I started hyperventilating without my DH breathing with me, but as long as he breathed, I breathed. My midwife said it was the most calm, serene birth she'd ever seen. 

    Oh, and funny story: So, I've popped the kid out. The IV I had to have because of being GBS+ has infiltrated as they gave me the PIT for my placenta delivery. I keep telling them my arm is burning, and they keep telling me its normal. Finally, my mom, an RN, looks at my IV and goes "Um...It's badly infiltrated, get it out!" My arm was SWOLLEN like you would not believe, and then the nurse rips off the IV tape and I come up off the birthing table thing and go "OWCH!!!" and she just looks at me and goes "Oh, NOW you say owch? You just birthed a baby without making a sound, and NOW you say owch?" It was reeaaaaaally funny.


    ETA: I just went and re-read my birth story and I so totally wrote about how much pain it was, but I swear to you, I DO NOT REMEMBER IT BEING PAINFUL! I kind of chuckled to myself because here I am going "oh, it didn't hurt" and in the blog, which I wrote 1 week post partum, I talked about the burning and the pain. ha! STILL totally worth it.

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  • I had a wonderful med-free, intervention-free water birth.  It was actually the most awesome experience of my life.  Also Google:  Inspirational Birth Stories, Sheri Menelli.
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