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Old 02-04-2013, 07:45 AM   #71
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Re: Am I terrible because...

My epi experience was awful, I don't think I reacted well to it because it slowed my labor and I couldn't feel below my hips, until they made me lay on my side and then I could feel half of my body/ pain and not the other half. I was progressing pretty fast, as a FTM from 0-6 in about 6 hours, and started into transition ( I can tell now by the intensity of the the contractions) and then freaked out and got the epi. The epi stopped my contractions and I had to have pictocin, which put stress on the babe and I was thisclose to an emergency caesarean. My labor was 12 more hours stuck to a bed, feeling half of the contractions and worrying about the heartbeat of my kid to be. Had to push for 2 hours, had a second degree tear. Dd was born and she seemed a bit sluggish but that was probably from the 18 hour labor not the meds. She nursed fine and had no long term issues.
My second was precipitous, 2 hours start to finish. Obviously med free, frankly amazing although by just about the time I was ready to push ( didnt know, hadn't felt transition or the urge to push before) I was going to start begging for drugs because 40 minutes of transition ( and precipitous transition at that) was exhausting. Not really excruciating, there was pain but it wasn't like getting stabbed or period cramps, it was like waves of my muscles tightening and then holding long enough for that burn, and then finally letting go only to crest up again. It was bearable for me. Anyway, in 10 minutes and 3 pushes, no tear, dd2 was born, lively and ready to nurse, and I was high off endorphins for awhile. It was a much better experience for my body.
But, had I had the uneventful, still can move and walk epi's that I hear about other women having, I would totally be down for that too. And there's just no way to know unless you've had one if it'll work for you. So don't feel bad! Do what you are most comfortable with and own it

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Old 02-04-2013, 09:37 AM   #72
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Re: Am I terrible because...

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Originally Posted by mibarra View Post
I'm gonna disagree from personal experience. It took everything I had in me to stay still for my epidural and they were fast. My contractions and back labor were so intense that my knees would buckle and DH had to catch me several times on the way up to the maternity ward. I couldn't walk from triage to my room. Between home and the hospital I tried everything I could think of and nothing helped. Now, my contractions started painful all the sudden and got worse, so there was no gradual build up. That may have made a difference. But in the hour and a half it took me to get to the hospital I was already exhausted and a

Not disagreeing about the risks associated with epidurals, just saying it's different for everyone. I'm genuinely curious if we had an objective way to measure the pain level of contractions across women of women with comparatively lesser contractions would have a higher rate of natural birth. Of course there's no real good way to measure that! Some people have a higher pain tolerance too.
Not sure about the pain tolerance thing..but I feel that I really don't have much of a tolerance for pain. I got my eyebrows threaded for the first time the other day, and seriously I thought "this is worse than labor!". And my second labor was VERY intense, yes painful. But it's not the same type of pain to me.

Planning to NOT have pain control is a big part of being successful. Another study about birth centers came out that showed that in the US, 94% women planning to birth in a birth center had a spontaneous vaginal birth. The overwhelming majority of those had no pain medication, since only 10% or so transferred to the hospital during labor. That's huge! And it's similar to a study done 20 years ago, so it shows that it's not women that are changing, it's attitudes about birth and the care they receive. The biggest difference between a hospital and a birth center is the type of care (midwife model of care) and the fact that there are no epidurals or iv pain meds. We can't assume that most of those women had less painful labors than other women. Preparation really does make a huge difference.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:17 AM   #73
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Re: Am I terrible because...

I love all the "it's your choice, mama", but then follow up with "natural birth is just so much better and if you just BELIEVE it won't hurt, it won't". Brother. I had absolutely no intention of going natural with my first. My doctor suggested I try some other things(tub, massage, etc) to get to a 5 or so and then get the epi. I did this, but the epi was placed a bit too high, due to my herniated disks and the anesthesiologist not knowing exactly what my spine looked like, so it didn't work all that well. I felt pretty much everything and pushed baby out in 40 minutes. I felt that ring of fire. I'm sorry, but pushing a HUMAN out of a VAGINA is in no way going to be pain free. It just isn't. Overall, though, my birth was pretty good.
The second time, I was determined to get a good epidural. I sent all my neurology records to my OB, so they had them on hand for the birth, etc. I planned things so much better. I went in about 9:30 in the morning at about a 4. Got admitted, they asked if I wanted some meds. Yeah, I could have labored in the tub and gotten further along, but honestly? It was August, I was hot, I was tired and I wanted sleep. So, I got Stadol. AMAZING. The nurses left us along, dimmed the lights and we napped the afternoon away. Around 2pm, I got my epi from the most AWESOME nurse anesthetist named Rob. I love that man. Continued napping and watching TV or Facebooking. Around 6, doctor came in, checked me. I was a 7 with a bulging bag, so she broke my water. Started pushing at 9:10 or so and baby was here by 9:24pm. Healthy and alert. He didn't cry at all, just wide eyed and looking around. He immediately nursed and has been doing so for 18mths now. If I could have 10 more births like that, I would.
When I first got pregnant with him, I felt really guilty because I had no desire AT ALL for a natural birth, especially NOT a homebirth. My hospital is great and my nurses are amazing. After doing birth twice, I am now very proud of what I did and very, very happy with my births. I was up and walking within 30 minutes and with #2, I felt amazing after he was born. Do what YOU want. If it's medicated, good for you! If it's natural, good for you!
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:25 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by love2bmommy
After having it both ways, I will definitely be getting an epi next time, if I'm able to. I didn't feel magical or empowered after my natural birth, the way others describe.
So with you on this!! My first birth was natural, and miserable lol. Major stitches afterwards, I think because I was in a rush to just get baby out and end the hell I was in. Ended up with a hematoma under the stitches, was in so much pain I couldn't hold my new daughter the night she was born, it sucked. Epis all the way after that, and the experiences were so much better. I think pain tolerance has a ton to do with what a person can or can't handle, and I'm one who has low pain tolerance . Just go with whatever you feel is right, whatever that may be hugs
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:59 PM   #75
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Re: Am I terrible because...

Women can handle natural labor (unless a c-section is necessary, of course). Because really, what other option is there? If you're stuck alone in a field, the baby will come out without medicine and you're not going to die. So yes, women are physically capable of handling the pain. That doesn't make it desirable, though. My mom had me with an epidural and my sister without. She obviously was physically capable of doing it without, but she found it very hard, very emotional and was, quite frankly, traumatized for awhile. The difference in hearing her describe my birth versus sister's birth is night and day, and two decades later, talking about my little sister's birth starts with a shudder and "I still remember how horrifically it hurt." Even pro-natural women struggle. My nephew was born in a very short labor (sis had all her births unmedicated) and while she doesn't regret it, she said it was terribly painful and hard.

Epidurals aren't without risk, but nothing is, and they're pretty darn safe over all. Emotional health counts for a lot, and I think that tiny risk is very much worth a mother enjoying her birth. Then again, I plan to home birth and know there are (small) risks. They're risks I'm comfortable taking. Heck, an epidural is probably safer than home birth, looking at overall risks.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:12 PM   #76
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I had 2 all natural births first. Then an epi with my 3rd and 4th. A failed epi with my 5th and good epis with my 6th and 7th.

All of my babies were posterior. I would never again have a natural labor. It just wasnt worth it to me. Having an epi was much more desirable for me.

My natural births didnt empower me, didnt make me feel all fuzzy inside etc. it truthfully sucked and I wouldnt accept 5 million dollars to do it again.

All my epi births were awesome (except the one that failed). I was alert, relaxed and prepared. I had no side effects and was out of the hospital and up and about in 24 hours.

Do what is right for you OP.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:18 PM   #77
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Re: Am I terrible because...

This thread really has me thinking about getting a epi this time....
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:22 PM   #78
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Re: Am I terrible because...

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Originally Posted by gingerpeachee View Post
This thread really has me thinking about getting a epi this time....
Right? I feel like I'm talking myself into it. A pain-free birth sounds heavenly
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