Getting nervous - do people *really* survive labor and delivery?? — The Bump
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Getting nervous - do people *really* survive labor and delivery??

We're due two weeks from today, and I had a little meltdown over it. 

Do people *really* survive this?  And can I really do this without any pain meds?  I feel like I'm going to die, and I feel so trapped!  There's no way out!

Break it down for me.  Really, I'm just looking at managing pain and then pushing when it's time.  Right???  (I use the term "just" loosely.)

Tell me we're going to live through this.

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Re: Getting nervous - do people *really* survive labor and delivery??

  • I am a L&D nurse and people survive it every day.  I help women through it every time I am at work.
    Go into it with an open mind and do whatever your body tells you to do.  We were made to do this.


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  • Take it one pressure wave at a time.  And check out some positive birth stories - Ina May's Guide to Childbirth is a great place to start, as is the Natural Birth board here on thebump.  You can do it, and I look forward to reading your incredible birth story!
  • You can do it!  I wanted to do it without meds too.  The first time I flipped and begged for an epi.  The second time too, but it was too late and I had to do without.  And you know what? It was wonderful.  (I probably wouldn't have said that while in the middle of it, lol, but really, we all survive and it is soooo worth it).  
  • Yes maam.

    I was at 8-10 minutes from 5:30am-8pm when I suddenly went to every 3-4 minutes. They quickly went to a frequency that I can only describe as %*#)%^@ and when we were admitted at 9:30 I was at a 9. I couldn't have pain meds even if I wanted them. I went into it wanting a natural birth but we were waiting on the oncall doctor to finish at a different hospital and I started asking the nurses for a shot of tylonel to take the edge off, lol!! When they finally let me push it felt GOOD. I wanted to push. Transition was the hardest part and I nearly broke my husbands hand. I could barely get a breath between contractions and the on call doctor was my least favorite in the practice. Every time I opened my eyes she was just sitting there across the room staring at my crotch and scowling. She told me that she was going to have to cut me because I couldn't stretch any more and I told her no, she told me again "BUT YOU'll TEAR." I'd rather tear. "Fine, have it your way." and she went back to sitting and scowling. 

    I don't remember any pain after his head was out. My doula tells me that the doctor was apologizing and gave me 3 or 4 shots when she repaired my tiny tear.

    They asked if I wanted anything when we were moved to our room so they gave me some Aleve. The next day I was more swollen and they gave me Aleve and T3. That's all I needed. 

    You *will* survive this. I remember telling my husband that it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I have to admit, it made me feel really cocky and even though it hurt to waddle to the potty I felt like I could take over the world with my awesomeness. 

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  • although of course there is a possibility that things may not go as planned, I agree that in general, our bodies are made for this, and that women do it everyday and have been for thousands of years.

    My labor and delivery were so different and easier than I'd anticipated, that one of the first things I said once he was born was "that's it?" -- seriously, it's not always the traumatic and painful experience that our culture makes it out to be. The adrenaline and hormone rush you get after is amazing, and you feel like a superhero, so a lot of the pain I think is immediately forgotten or blurred by that and the sight of your LO.

    Your body is an amazing and powerful instrument - don't be afraid to harness it!


    baby Mae

  • image blue goose:

    Do people *really* survive this? 

    Well, my mom did, and her mom before her, and her mom before her...  in fact, I have it on good authority that I come from a long line of women who successfully made it through labor and childbirth.  

    FWIW, the most inspiring stories I've heard from natural birthers all are about listening to your body and following your gut and what that baby is telling you.  Know that your body can do this - just trust it!  You can do it!

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  • After Justin was born I remember thinking.. "wow, thqt was really hard, but not nearly as bad as I thought it would be."  Now I'm starting to feel a little nervous about this one...Being nervous is natural.
  • not only did i survive, i wanted to do it again. i even said i'd do it every day, it's such an amazing experience. of course, that's a little bit extreme but i did get a natural high from it. pain during, sure, but nothing that couldn't be dealt with in the right frame of mind.


    good luck! you will be holding your baby soon!

  • image tommigirle:

    not only did i survive, i wanted to do it again. i even said i'd do it every day, it's such an amazing experience.

    100% agree with this. I think every single day about my DD birth and how incredibly wonderful and mind-blowing it was. And honestly, although painful, I didn't find it THAT painful. So much so that rhe thought of drugs didn't even cross my mind once. It was 1000 times better than my DS' birth in which I did have an epidural. I regret that so much now that I've done it without. You CAN do this. You must stop with the negative talk though and think only positively.
  • Labour and deliver isn't easy, but it really wasn't that bad. My labour was hard and fast. The morning I went into labour I had a DR's appt, I was not even dillated at all. That night my water broke at 6:00 at night, contractions came soon after. They started pretty slow, so slow that I didn't even know if we should head to the hospital (45 minute drive). I started slowly getting ready, showered, shaved etc. All the while talking to my hubby about how I wanted to stop at Tim Hortons on the way haha. By the time we got in the car (around 9ish) there was no stopping. It came on very hard at that point. Got to the hospital and I was 7 cm and in transition. I tried the tub, wasn't doing anything for me. At that point I took some laughing gas. It was the perfect thing for me. It allowed my body to do what it needed, it brought my focus inward. I still felt the pain, it just loosened me up, helped me let go of any inhibitions. I didn't care if I was making weird noises, what position I was in etc. They had me labouring and pushing in so many positions (she was turned sideways). I started pushing around 11:30, best feeling in the world! At 1:54 she was born.


    Just go in with an open mind and thinking "I can do this!" I was so nervous and anxious too. I think most people are when you do not know what to expect. If the pain gets to the point that you cannot manage it naturally, do what you feel is right. They do not hand out medals in the end if you did it naturally. Some people are just better ale to tolerate pain than others.

  • I had a vaginal unmedicated birth with the twins and I would do it again tomorrow.  It was an incredible experience.  Contractions only got painful for me when I was 9cm.  Pushing was hard, I pushed for 3 hours, Oliver was coming out crooked and they ended up using the vac on him...

    The worse part for me was getting stitched up afterwards...

    Just remember to breath and focus on this new baby coming into your life.

  • Yes, you will live through it.

    It's amazing how your body does what it needs to do. I had a homebirth and it was absolutely incredible. I also had back labor, which (to be completely honest) was absolutely excruciating. The contractions in my abdomen were never worse than menstrual cramps. Easy peasy. Back labor? Awful.

    At least, awful until DH started applying counterpressure just where I needed it. And just like that, it was manageable again. So yes, you will live.
    You'll find what works for you at the time. (I loved rocking in our Amish rocking chair.)

    And before you know it, you have an amazing baby in your arms and none of what came before matters! (Oh, and I'm already looking forward to doing this again...and J. is only 3 1/2 months old!)
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  • image blue goose:

    Really, I'm just looking at managing pain and then pushing when it's time.  Right??? 

    Yep, that's it!

    It may sound harsh, but whenever I felt nervous about L&D, I thought about all the weak, lazy women that I know who have had babies. If they could do it, I knew I could!

    Before I had DD, I thought the advice to only think about one contraction at a time was not very helpful. But while I was in labor, I realized that's really the trick. Just take it one contraction at a time. Don't try to think about anything other than the present. (BTW, I was in labor for nearly 24 hours, so if it worked for me, it can work for anyone!) Just do whatever gets you though the contraction.

    My one big peice of advice, when it's time to push - look ONLY at the doctor giving you directions to push! Follow their directions closely. It's tempting to just push like crazy to have it all done, but resist the urge!

    And please, please, please be open to whatever happens. It really breaks my heart when women who "planned" a med-free, vaginal birth beat themselves up over "failing." It's a natural experience, just take it as it comes.

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  • your body is made to do this you will be fine! While pregnant I researched and read as much as I could so I felt I was prepared for the labor and birth of my child. When I went into labor I was not stressed out at all, I knew my body could do it and knew exactly what to do. I had no pain meds and on a scale of 1-10 I stayed around a manageable 7. pushing was actually nice since it takes the pain away!  Pick up birthing from within or Ina Mays guide to childbirth and read as much as you can so you feel better prepared. As my child birth instructor said "if you think its going to hurt its going to hurt"
  • I will say there was one moment where I thought I can't do this... it was while he was stuck behind my filled bladder and couldn't get his fat head passed that and the pubic bone! (they emptied over 1000cc out of my bladder!) but i didn't say it outloud and just told myself OMG I'm almost done and I pushed and pushed and he was out shortly after having that thought.
  • its ok. ::deep breaths:: i had the same fears right before DD was born. it felt so overwhelming and just a HUGE fear that attacked me.

    i had the same fears of being a mother and caring for a newborn while i was in labor... i cried the whole time to our nurse (who lovingly held my hand and told me that because i was feeling this way, i'd obviously be a great mom. lol) 

    its truly a fear of the unknown. and advice from those that have already been there is tough to take, but i know you can do it. 

    L&D is the biggest fear i had. this tiny itty bitty baby grew so BIG and how the he!! was i going to get it out? 

    but talk to your DH and try to have a plan, spend some time focusing on your options (emergency and non-emergency) have a fall back plan if you decide you want some relief. 

    your fears are not un-founded. its just your body (and mind) way of trying to prepare you mentally for child birth, making you prepare yourself for this huge change in life. 

    but like PP said, take it one step at a time. the good news is its NOTHING like the movies. there are lots of people to support you and unlike the movies, its not total utter pain for 12-14 hours, it comes in waves, and then goes... 

    you CAN do this. ::hugs:: 

    - MeLisa mom to Kaylee Adeline born: 12-29-07
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