I'm pregnant with my second child. The first time around, I was hoping (studying, preparing) for a natural hypnobirth, but I ended up getting an epidural at 8 cm. I "blame" this on several factors. My contractions were not unbearable. I was able to breathe through them and even though I'd been in labor for 19 hours (at the point of my epi) I was holding up OK. I believe the reasons I decided on an epi were:
1. My mother being in the room. I wanted her there, initially. But, as I got more into the idea of natural birth, I began to feel uncomfortable about it. She's a nurse and very much of the "why suffer if you don't have to?" mindset. She acted very strangely during our hours in the hospital. Typically, she's very take charge and vocal, but she sat quietly in the corner. I think she was trying not to intrude, but I was SO aware of her there.
2. The nurse kept telling me my bag of waters was bulging with every contraction. She just "couldn't believe it hadn't broken" and I "should let her break it for me." I'd been stalled at 8 cm for what seemed like a long time, and "moving things along" started to seem enticing. BUT - I was very freaked out about them sticking a metal instrument in me to break my water unmedicated. Which, I know is silly since I was willing to push a baby out.
3. The requests to lay down to be monitored for 20 minutes every hour. The nurse did try to let me sit on the ball for monitoring, but she wasn't able to get the baby's heartbeat that way.
Now, numbers 1 and 2 I feel like I can easily fix. I can ask my mother to wait at home (or in the waiting room if she insists), and I can refuse having my water broken. But, I didn't get the sense that I could refuse the monitoring. So, I might have to just suck it up.
Now, as I think about giving birth to DS #2, I keep focusing on his size. My son was 9 lbs, and this baby is measuring big (I'm 27 weeks currently). I know plenty of women give birth naturally to big babies, so I'm looking for your experiences. Sadly, the doctor gave me an episiotomy with DS. I initially refused, and said I would prefer to tear naturally. But, she told me the problem was that I wasn't tearing. In her defense, after I got upset at the prospect, she gave me almost an hour to try and push him out and tear, but he wouldn't budge. So, I'm also nervous about that. I don't want one at all, but especially when I can feel her cutting.
I apologize for the most rambling post. It sort of got out of control. I'd love to hear your stories, advice, warnings, encouragement. Whatever you've got. Thank you!