Did you have a natural birth and would you do it again?

Fourth you ask? Your body is still full of pregnancy hormones as you adjust to life sleep-deprived with your new baby outside your womb.

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Did you have a natural birth and would you do it again?

Postby Zara111106 » Wed May 01, 2013 1:07 am

Hello everyone!
I've got 7 weeks to go and it's my first child. I always thought I would want an epidural to make labor as painless as possible but after taking some childbirth preparation classes and watching a documentary called "the business of being born" by Ricki Lake in which they talk about how so many women are subjected to unnecessary medical interventions just to save the hospital time and money, I have become much more open and even adamant about giving birth naturally. In the classes, we are learning a lot of breathing techniques, better positions for giving birth, use of birthing ball, and massage techniques that dh would be helping with to deal with contractions. I'm getting more confident that I will be able to do this but everyone I talk to who has given birth but ended up getting an epidural, induction, or cesarean looks at me all crazy when I say I want to go natural lol. so now I'm wondering if I'm being naive about the whole thing and should take pain medication or if its really not as bad as it has come to be feared... What was your experience if you had a natural birth and would you go through it again next time or just take the drugs or be induced? ( Btw, I do understand complications can arise and make medical intervention necessary and in that type of case i would understand if i had to change my plans, but lets assume my situation will be a normal one for the sake of the question :) )
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Re: Did you have a natural birth and would you do it again?

Postby Greystreet » Wed May 01, 2013 12:08 pm

I personally have yet to give birth to my first I have four weeks to go, but I do want to tell you I plan on trying the natural route bc of the encouragement and positive things my friends who have done the same have told me. I have a friend who has had one Epi and two natural births, she chose the natural route bc her first time with an Epi was a terrible experience and she hated being numb afterwards for hours and having a catheter inserted to pee, she said yes natural hurts it is hard and you will waiver but she said to hold strong and in the end it is a way better experience in her opinion she said she was up and walking very soon after, and her recovery pain was cut in half, also she did not tear, my sister in law had three epis and one natural and once again echoed everything my friend said. A coworker has had an Epi and a natural and also said if you can get thru the pain of the contractions once it's time to push it is sweet relief and then it's over, she said she also didn't tear her second time and was told by the doc it is bc with an Epi you are more numb so you are pushing harder and faster than necessary sometimes but with natural you can feel everything so you are able to push more efficiently therefore allowing yourself time to stretch naturally! Hope thier experiences help you a little. I too am eager to what women on here say!
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Re: Did you have a natural birth and would you do it again?

Postby easy_silence » Fri May 03, 2013 7:09 pm

Without meaning any judgement towards medicated births- our bodies were made for this! I was considering an epi to but when I gave birth to my daughter a month ago (she's our first) I ended up not having any medication for pain. Honestly, it was the most amazing feeling. Yes, towards the end it hurt like hell but I am so thankful that I was in control of my body and felt my daughter bearing down, coming closer and closer to my arms. It is a kind of pain/experience that when I daydream about it, I just want to be back in that moment. As soon as your baby comes out, all pain is just gone and you feel so incredibly exhilarated! Anyway, just wanted to offer my 2 cents. Good luck with your delivery!
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Re: Did you have a natural birth and would you do it again?

Postby Zara111106 » Tue May 07, 2013 11:57 pm

Thank you so much for your responses! Your stories were very inspiring and I feel much better about it all. I am praying everything goes smoothly so I won't need any medical interventions and can just have a natural birth like I want.
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Re: Did you have a natural birth and would you do it again?

Postby unaffected » Thu May 09, 2013 6:51 am

I wanted a natural birth, and let my doctors know in advance. When I finally went in to labor, I told the nurses who were attending to me. And then around 6-7cm dilated, I started begging for an epidural. Screaming and begging. Well, due to a flu epidemic, the hospital was completely full and behind, and they weren't able to get to me before it was time to push (I progressed very quickly). So, I ended up with my natural birth after all. And I would do it again, in a heartbeat.

But be prepared, that while you are laboring, the pain may cause you to panic slightly and to want the pain meds. I think this is natural. I would work on some coping mechanisms now so that you are prepared! And talk to your DH about it, and have him ready to give you a list of reasons why you wanted to stay natural, and remind you of why you wanted to do it to begin with.

I wanted to go natural because I've read that pain meds can make baby a bit groggy and could affect breastfeeding. I have no idea if that's true or not, but just in case it was, I decided to go med-free. Also, I was afraid that an epi would slow down my labor and I might stall.

Good luck to you! You can do it! DH's support is crucial. Labor and delivery is a team sport :)
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Re: Did you have a natural birth and would you do it again?

Postby meganmarie » Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:32 am

I had a very medical birth with my first--induction and a horrible epidural, and while it was a fairly easy experience with a good outcome, I was disappointed that no one, not even my midwife who I expected to take a more natural approach, empowered me to do it naturally. Instead of saying, "wow, you're already at 7cm, I bet you can do this!", I heard "you're going fast, so if you don't get an epi now, you just might not be able to get one." It scared me, so I got one and hated it!

My second birth was just the opposite. A different hospital, midwife, and encouraging nurses who asked me what I wanted to do every step of the way, and it was wonderful. Painful, yes, but manageable. Just remember, the pain won't last forever and you will feel SO much better afterwards, both physically and mentally. I felt so proud of myself for doing it naturally and loved not being numb and tied down to a bed. Instead of sitting there, waiting for birth to happen to me, I was an active participant.

Our bodies were made to do this--I think it's knowing that drugs are an option that puts doubt in our minds. Women have been birthing babies for thousands of years, more without medical interventions than with. If it wasn't possible to deliver without drugs, we'd be extinct by now!

I plan to have another drug-free delivery in Oct...I'm actually excited about it! Best of luck to you. I hope you get the birth experience you are hoping for.
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Re: Did you have a natural birth and would you do it again?

Postby NotBarbaraBush » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:43 am

Absolutely. I did have a low dose of pit to progress me through to transition but other than that, I consider it fairly natural.
Sometimes I think it'd be nice to just get the epi but I do NOT want to have to stay in the bed. The freedom to move around, walk, squat, etc far outweighs the epi option IMO. I hate those beds and those monitors and if possible...I'm not staying in it! So suffocating.
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Re: Did you have a natural birth and would you do it again?

Postby bazil323 » Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:30 am

I haven't given birth yet, but I wanted to share what others have told me regarding their births.

My cousin (who happens to be my midwife, yay!) had a very traumatic birth with her first, and she admitted that she was actually pretty naive about everything. She thought she had educated herself, but it was all the mainstream "trust your doctor" information that doesn't actually tell you much about what the consequences are for the different interventions. So, when she went into labor, they went to the hospital, and when she wasn't progressing like the doctor wanted, they put her on Pitocin. Then because the Pitocin contractions were so much more painful than natural contractions, she got the epidural. Then the epidural caused her to feel like she was not breathing (though her oxygen saturation was actually fine), the doctor blew her off and was not reassuring at all. Because of all the stress and the epidural slowing down labor, she ended up with a Cesearean, and the doc did a terrible job with the incision--actually ripped open the edges with his hands when his first incision wasn't big enough! So she has a hip-to-hip scar now. Because of how stressful it was, she ended up very depressed and with posttraumatic stress disorder, and she said she actually didn't even start liking her son until he was 6 months, until then he was just someone she had to take care of, because she didn't get that wash of hormones that help you bond and then she also didn't get the skin-to-skin time right after birth that also helps that bond.

Her second birth was all natural at home, and she had done a ton of research about home birth and read books like The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer and realized that her ultimate experience of a Cesarean could have been avoided if she knew what was going on and that she could have refused all those things. She said that really even had she known them, she probably would have ended up with a similar experience because in labor you become so suggestable that you tend to agree with anything anyone suggests, so the hospital environment tends to set you up for a birth with lots of interventions because you are out of your comfort zone and they offer these things in a way that makes it sound like it has to be done.

And I see that on the hospital side (I work gathering data on various aspects of care for the hospital I work for) because it's they way they were trained to deal with birth, and most don't realize that you really don't need most of those things for a great birth naturally. Plus, they have to offer you pain medications, etc., if you are in pain, and most of the time, that's really all they are doing is letting you know it is an option, but it sounds like it's what they want you to do.

A great example of this is a nurse practitioner I saw recently for an unrelated condition. When she was an RN before becoming an NP, she worked in labor & delivery for 9 years. She said she thought she had seen everything, knew everything there was to know about birth, but it wasn't until she had her 4th baby (and she repeated it several times like she couldn't believe it took her so long!) that she read Ina May Gaskin's book (she couldn't remember which one but I'm betting on Ina May's Guide to Childbirth) that she realized that your brain is the perfect organ to birth a baby. It has the program all set to go, and you just need to get out of the way. She said everything you add to birth just messes it up, and she couldn't believe that it took her so long to realize that. She said her first 3 births were fine, and she thought there was nothing wrong with them because she was surrounded by the friends she worked with and she got this cute little baby at the end, but her 4th delivery was the first one that she did completely naturally and chose a midwife in a birth center instead of the hospital. She said the difference was astounding. The all-natural birth was so much more transformative, spiritual, and POWERFUL than her previous births. She said there's a moment that everyone gets to where they want to give up and get the drugs (she said for her it was actually more like an hour of screaming for the drugs, lol), but you can do it if you just realize that you don't need them. You don't need to be rescued. She said her friend got up into her face and said, "You can do this. You don't want the drugs, and you can do it without them." After that, she was like, "Yeah, I can" and just surrendered to the process and then it was manageable. She said it was totally worth it.
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Re: Did you have a natural birth and would you do it again?

Postby kimberlina23 » Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:10 am

I had a natural home birth 11 days ago and I would TOTALLY do it again!! I definitely reached that point at 7 cm where I was SURE that I couldn't do it and wondered why I ever decided to labor at home without any option for pain meds. But I got through it and continued laboring and it was truly awesome. Having a natural birth is the greatest accomplishment of my life by far. And my baby was SO healthy and alert from the moment she entered the world because there were zero drugs in her tiny system.
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Re: Did you have a natural birth and would you do it again?

Postby bazil323 » Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:10 pm

I know this is an old post, but I wanted to share my experience for any considering natural birth. Yes, it was completely worth it, and I would do it the same way if we have another.

I had a homebirth in the water and didn't have a single cervical check the whole labor. I had ruptured membranes at 5:30 am Friday morning, and ctx didn't really start for a couple hours, and even then they were not bad and pretty irregular wi t h long intervals. By 9pm, they pretty much stopped. I had just a few Saturday, and Sunday was also almost nothing. I did breastpumping, walking, etc to get things going, and finally about 5-6pm Sunday, ctx started coming every 15-20 minutes and my mw came over by about 11. My mom also came about the same time. I labored until about 2-3 am and then decided to try to sleep since they weren't getting more intense but staying about the same. I was able to sleep until about 9:30 am but would wake up for at least some ctx. They picked up after I awoke, getting more intense but still manageable and 10-15 min apart. After an hour and a half or so later I got into the tub. They made it to 5-10 min apart and about a minute long. Dh was awesome thewhole time, staying mostly quiet but joking with me in between and getting me water, Gatorade, and snacks. He kept re.inding me to relax, not tense up, and take deep breaths when I would forget. Ctx started getting slightly farther apart but just as intense, so I decided to get out but leave the tub filled in case I needed to get back in. Ctx were just as intense out of the tub but way harder to manage, with the pain focused in my right side because my mw said she was probably facing my right so the bony parts were pressing on that side. On mw's suggestion, I tried crawling around the bed to try to relieve the pain, but it didn't help uch and I was sotired. I flopped over to try to take a nap, and dh joined me while mw went down the road to call her husband and check on her kids as well as give us a little privacy to see if I just needed to relax without an audience. I guess she was gone about an hour or hour and a half, and in that time I was not able to sleep and had a hard time managing ctx and started to feel the need to push on most ctx and finally admitted a nap was not happening and I needed to get back in the tub. I completely lost track of time, but I think I spent a couple hours in there with pushing for part of every ctx with I think a few minutes in between to rest. My mw checked my butt to see where the "red line" was to see how far dilated I was, and she said 7-8 cm. I was so relieved that this was really going somewhere because after the labor stopping earlier. Soon my mom came back after being at work all day, and she offered to go get some soup for after because we all knew it would be soon. Shortly after I had the uncontrollable need to push, and my whole body went into it. I honestly felt like I would push every organ from my body. I then switched from all fours to reclining, and my mw saw something had changed and reminded me to not push if it was at all possible. I was then able to resist the urge and just let my body do it and stretch. I could feel her head come to about crowning every push, and I HAD to apply counter pressure to my labia and perineum. Finally after many pushes, her head came out and I rested a minute before I had another ctx and her body jetted out. She started to pink up as soon as she came out of the water. I had a skidmark and a tiny vaginal tear that I chose not to go in to get repaired. It only stung when the placenta came out, and if I didn't use the peri bottle to pee. By the weekend, I didn't even need that. I felt healed from both by 1week but still took it easy just in case.
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Re: Did you have a natural birth and would you do it again?

Postby MrsJenkins » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:12 am

Bazil did you practice any particular breathing styles in preparation for your homebirth? Thanks so much for posting your experience, it's very encouraging and helpful for the rest of us :-) I'm so glad it went so well for you and your husband!
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Re: Did you have a natural birth and would you do it again?

Postby bazil323 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:07 am

:) That is great to hear, hope it helps. I didn't do any particular breathing styles, just took deep breaths and slowly (sorta) out through my mouth with soft lips. I would do low moans as well if I felt like it. Dh actually said I sounded just like when we have sex, which I thought was funny.
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Re: Did you have a natural birth and would you do it again?

Postby MrsJenkins » Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:23 am

:D HAHAHA! Oh dear, that too funny.

Can I just ask if your membranes broke when you doing anything in particular or did they just release? Thanks! I have a feeling I am going to have to encourage my little Tom to make an appearance shortly after the 40 week mark (if he's still hanging in there). The induction vultures are already circling and I really want to avoid induction. :roll:
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Re: Did you have a natural birth and would you do it again?

Postby bazil323 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:55 am

Lol, I got up to pee, and a few minutes after getting back into bed, I coughed and had a gush of fluid.
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Re: Did you have a natural birth and would you do it again?

Postby MrsJenkins » Sat Dec 14, 2013 3:34 pm

Hey bazil, did you or your midwife administer oral vitamin K drops to your baby or did they give your baby the injection? I'm in Canada and I believe vit K is mandatory here but I'm not sure where you're from curious about your experience.
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