I have been thinking about natural birth for my second child...
My previous birth story- I was induced at 40 weeks with DD due to low amniotic fluid and then given Pitocin. From the start of induction to birth, my labor was only 8 hours and was pretty easy (20 minutes of pushing and minor tear). The doctor offered narcotics when I was given Pitocin and then I also had an epidural. I was super drugged up and have basically no memories of labor. Recovery was relatively easy.
I am kinda thinking that the next baby will be an easy birth as well... but who knows since my labor was sped up and medicated?
Does anyone have experience with unmedicated birth? Am I crazy to consider this?
pomegranate / 3113 posts
I had an unmedicated birth and would definitely try for another if we decide to have a second kid. I was lucky that my L&D was pretty quick (6 hours from water breaking to baby) and I was only seriously uncomfortable during transition. Pushing was the hardest thing I've ever done, but definitely not so hard that it would keep me from trying it again.
pineapple / 12566 posts
I didn't vote since I feel like all of the options somewhat apply to me. With my first LO I had an epi. With my second, I wanted one but there wasn't enough to time. From first contraction to baby was only 45 minutes. My take: an epidural is heaven compared to an unmedicated birth. I would never want to do another unmedicated birth. But given how quickly things went the second time, I probably wouldn't have time for an epi again. (And we will never find out since we are done.)
pomegranate / 3192 posts
I had an epidural the first time but it didn't work at all. I didn't have any meds the second time and I'm so happy I didn't! I feel so proud when I think about it, even 11 months later!
persimmon / 1111 posts
I had absolutely no meds due to the speed of my labor (2 hours and 20 minutes from water breaking to baby). The pain was intense, but transition isn't fun and there was no way I'd sit still for an epidural. I say to try. You can always change your mind.
nectarine / 2591 posts
I had an unmedicated birth and will be trying again for #2 in a few weeks. I have to say that my labour was tough and I don't remember much of it, almost like I was medicated without the benefits. I am hoping this labour is easier but if it isn't, I made it through once I can do it again. I do think water is essential for trying unmedicated (unless it is a super fast birth) because I was in some form of water from most of my labour.
persimmon / 1467 posts
I didn't vote because I'm on the fence myself. last time, I was supposed to get induced but my water broke instead. I was determined to do it without an epidural even though I had pitocin. They did give me some IV meds (which just felt like getting a little sleepy for a while) so I wasn't completely unmedicated. In the end I made it. 12 hours from start to finish, but about 5 of hard stuff and a lot of screaming at the end. I think I had back labor too.
Now with #2 (due today), I am still on the fence about an epidural this time. There is no way I want to go through what I did last time again, but I wonder if the second time will be easier. We'll see!
You can always go in and change your mind if the baby isn't too fast . Or if the baby is really slow you may have them asking you again and again if you are sure you don't want an epidural !
cantaloupe / 6885 posts
Yes, but not because I wanted one. The epidural was my BFF for dd1 and I was definitely planning on getting one for dd2, but she came too fast. It was terrifying when I realized I would have to do it without drugs. Maybe if I had time to mentally prepare myself it would have been better.
On the plus side, my recovery was amazing. But I still don't think it was worth (for me) the incredible amount of pain. If we ever had a third I know I would hope I would have enough time to get an epi.
apricot / 450 posts
I planned to go med free for LO1, but caved after 24 hours and got the epidural. 37 hour labor and 9 lb baby - zero regrets on the epidural.
For LO2 I had a tough pregnancy and planned for a medicated labor. Like.....please give me allllll the drugs! LO2 had other plans. Labor was too fast 3.5 hours start to finish, and another 9 lb baby. We barely made it to the hospital in time, so I definitely didn't have time for an epidural! Honestly, it really wasn't that bad!!! He was out during my 4th pushing contraction and my recovery was a breeze. If we were to go for a 3rd baby, I would absolutely go med free again.
nectarine / 2951 posts
I had an unmedicated birth with DS1 and I hope to do it again in the next couple of weeks with DS2. I hired a doula the first time around and she was worth every penny. I felt really mentally prepared and luckily my labor was pretty swift. I felt amazing afterward and recovery was relatively easy. It was awesome to be so present for his birth.
I always say try it, and if you are in terrible pain you can always get an epidural.
grapefruit / 4291 posts
I've had both kinds of birth, my first was long and full of interventions (30+ hours from SROM to delivery with pitocin, antibiotics, IV fluids, episiotomy and ventouse), my second was twelve hours with only gas for pain relief (he was almost ten pounds and fat!) and I would hands down have another "natural" birth!
I remember thinking that my second labour was very unpleasant but recovery was just so much easier that it was totally worth it!
kiwi / 631 posts
I had to be induced due to my water breaking and after 12 hours of pitocin and 18 or so hours of being in the hospital, I gave in and got the epidural. In that case it was the right choice. I didn't deliver for another 12 hours, and I don't think I would have been able to get through two hours of pushing without the break. I hated having all of the drugs in my system. I spent most of the labor with the lights off, windows closed, with no sound, and my eyes closed. It's not an experience I would like to have again.
Next time I will try to do a med free birth, but it's important to be flexible. I couldn't do anything about most of the drugs in the first case, and the epidural was absolutely the right choice because it gave my body a much needed break.
apricot / 399 posts
I've had two unmedicated births and both were great. I felt like a total rockstar after both and the recovery was easy (particularly after the second).
kiwi / 595 posts
I had an unmedicated birth, 20 hours of labor, and will do it again in a few months. Compared to friends I know who had epis, my recovery was a breeze. I took 1 dose of tylenol folllowing the birth and that was it, and I am no super woman by any means. But i prepared my mind and my body for the birth, and it was a wonderful, empowering experience.
wonderful cherry / 21504 posts
I had two amazing unmedicated births. Both times I wanted to go no meds but I was open to it if it was too much. But by the time the idea of sitting still for an epidural sounded better than the pain, I was ready to push and able to power through. I felt amazing after. Such a rush. Second time the birth was really fast- 3.5 hours from thinking I was in labor to baby. By the time we got to the hospital I couldn't even think about sitting still for an epidural. I don't even think there would have been time- it was 45 minutes from arrival at hospital to baby.
I agree with the others- try and you can always change your mind! As my midwife put it your hardest birth is probably behind you.
nectarine / 2433 posts
I didn't have so much as a ibuprofen for pain relief but not because I wanted it that way! I requested an epidural but the baby came too quick! He arrived three weeks early and 5 pounds 12 ounces so pushing was very easy. 5 pushes, 5 hours total of labor. It was honestly wonderful. I was up walking after 20 minutes and only had a minor tear. Like everyone said, recovery was an absolute Breeze. I hope to do it again with my second.
grapefruit / 4418 posts
@Charm54: I have basically the same experience. I did get a spinal for the 3 pushes it took to get her out, and I never would have attempted without even if I had know it would be over 5 minutes after I got the spinal! It was really terrifying realizing I was going to have to go without meds when they finally figured out the epidural was misplaced and it was time to push. The anesthesiologist saying there was nothing they could do seriously threw me into hysterics and my OB told her to give me a spinal! However, the recovery was so much easier and almost worth trying for med free next time. I might actually try to prepare for it next time just in case!!
ETA - my second was 4 hours from start of pitocin to delivery. By the time contractions felt unbearable, I was also feeling baby coming down on her own, which was about 30 minutes from that first unbearable contraction to delivery.
apricot / 259 posts
Had an unmedicated birth 2.5 weeks ago. Labor was 12 hrs from first contraction to birth (last 2 hrs was pushing). Transition was a bitch, pushing was awesome and the rest manageable. I took hypobirthing classes and it really helped relax me during labor. Going med-free made me feel like a superhero!
Although I'm super proud for not giving in to the sweet call of the epidural I'm aware I ended up going med-free because circumstances aligned for me to achieve it. I went into labor already pretty dilated (got to the hospital at 5cm), labor progressed gradually (I was at 7cm 3 hrs after I was admitted and at 9cm 3 hrs later), great length (10 hrs), ideal fetal positioning and a baby that tolerated it all like a champ.
That said, I tore and recovery has sucked! I assumed I would be up and walking immediately. It was more than a week before I could walk without doing a weird squat crab shuffle and I'm still taking Advil every 8 hrs.
nectarine / 2208 posts
I didn't have an epidural although did have narcotics, but voted med free since it's still pretty much considered that. A lot of it is fuzzy, but I think that's more due to the fact I was half asleep through it. I got to the hospital at 1am, then had dd around 8am.
Looking back what stands out as the worst was being at home thinking if it already hurts this much how is it going to feel. So it isn't necessarily the pain I remember being bad but he fear of what was to come.
My mom actually delivered both my brother and I naturally and had a really positive experience. I grew up knowing how happy she was with her births and really wanted that for myself.
pineapple / 12793 posts
I did 46 hours unmedicated and that's enough for me. It was still eleven more hours before they called for a c-section.
My next two were also c-sections. I'm very grateful for the drugs.
watermelon / 14467 posts
I had an unmedicated vaginal birth last time. It was 15 hours from my first contraction until baby. I am planning to go unmedicated again in October.
pomelo / 5132 posts
No meds for both boys and I will do it again for a third. First time was three days of labor and 45 min of pushing. The second time I labored in a tub and used a birthing stool—I will do that again. I only pushed for 4 minutes the second time!
persimmon / 1270 posts
I had LO1 at home with amazing midwives and didn't wish for a minute for anything else. I pushed for 3 hours and it was the hardest thing I've done, and really intense but was never scary the way I think of pain except for when I tore.
I am hoping for something along those lines this time. But am preparing myself for it to possibly happen faster. My labour with LO1 was 24 hours from water breaking to baby and that felt just about like the pace I could handle the first time.
grapefruit / 4988 posts
I planned to and did a Hypnobabies home course and also took a natural childbirth class in preparation. As it turned out, my water broke on its own, contractions basically started at 2 min apart, and I got stuck in triage for over 4 hours (strapped to the bed and unable to do my hypnobabies exercises). I ended up with the epidural and have no regrets. I may prepare for a natural childbirth again next time but I'll go into it knowing that anything can happen!
grapefruit / 4649 posts
I had an unmedicated birth and I'm actually looking forward to getting to do it again. It was a great experience. That being said, my husband was super supportive, I have birth at a birth center (attached to a hospital) and they were super supportive, I spent a lot of time mentally preparing AND my labor was only 6.5 hours from first contraction to baby on my chest (and I had no clue it was going fast so I was trying to tough it out at home so I didn't even have a choice since I arrived ready to push.)
pomegranate / 3921 posts
@Cole: My experience was very similar! I can only hope my second labor will be almost identical.
eggplant / 11716 posts
Have had both. First baby, had an epidural; second time no time for anything.
I felt more calm and in control with the epidural. My recovery was almost the exact same. My labor the second time was much shorter.
pomegranate / 3658 posts
Yes, mine was unmedicated except for Group B strep antibiotics. We did a LOT of preparation, which I strongly recommend if you want to do this. The relaxation techniques that I learned via the Bradley course we took were invaluable for getting me through contractions and transition pain. I was so quiet and in-the-zone that the nurses and midwife didn't even realize how quickly I was progressing until it was time to push.
nectarine / 2667 posts
I consider my first "med-free" in that I didn't have an epidural. I was induced with pitocin & got only some oxygen & a dose of fentanyl (it was 12 hrs total, with 4 hours of pushing & a vaccum assist).
I was very happy with that experience & recovery, so I planned to try for med-free with my 2nd. It was only 6 hours total & only about an hour from 5cm to birth. There wasn't time for drugs even if I wanted them. Recovery was even easier that time.
I loved both my births, I think because I hadn't tied my satisfaction to *having* to be med-free. I don't think you're crazy to set it out there as an option for yourself.
papaya / 10560 posts
I had two unmedicated births. Honestly, the pain is all mental in my opinion. It's not whether you have a high pain tolerance or not, it is just a mental game about can you overcome the pain without the option of medication to make it more manageable.
My first birth was really hard. My cervix nearly ruptured and I had to have an episiotomy and vacuum delivery, so recovery was super painful. My second birth was crazy (didn't make it to hospital), but recovery was much better and I didn't tear as bad.
nectarine / 2047 posts
I had a medfree birth 7 months ago tomorrow I will definitely plan on it again.
I honestly did not prepare that much other than watching a ton of natural births on YouTube and reading The Birth Partner with DH. We didn't go to a birthing class. I gave birth with a midwife in a very supportive hospital.
I agree that it's all mental, but also that I was lucky that everything aligned to allow me to achieve the birth I wanted. I labored for 12 hours start to finish and neither I or the baby had any complications. I will say that the 2.5 hours of pushing was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life but the rest of it was really not that bad.
persimmon / 1345 posts
I'm in a different camp. I was on Team Epidural and still am. For my first, I was induced at 41+1 with pitocin and eventually asked for an epidural bc the contractions were super super intense at 5cm. Labor stalled after 24 hours and ended up with a csection. My recovery was actually easy and I wouldn't have minded another csection.
but LO2 came two weeks early and super fast. About 3 hours from thinking I felt something to baby arriving. I begged and cried for an epidural but it was too late and they wouldn't give it to me. I still feel robbed bc that was the only thing I wanted for this birth. I only survived because of the super fast labor part. I only had minimal tears but recovery was painful.
If (and thats a big if) I give birth again, I would ask for an epidural. Unless birth goes even faster...then, I would probably have the baby on the side of the road
cantaloupe / 6146 posts
@caterw: I had a med free birth today and it was amazing!
nectarine / 2821 posts
@pastemoo: Ah! You did? Congratulations!
kiwi / 506 posts
I was completely pain med free with my first and I had an iv pain med with my second called Talwin during transition. I was on Pitocin with both deliveries though.
I felt wonderful after both deliveries and loved being able to shower right after.
nectarine / 2466 posts
I had a shot ( I think it was put in an IV actually ) of fentanyl for both. It didn't do anything to help the pain as it was a low dose, but it did help me relax between contractions. I would consider having nothing next time, but would just play it by ear again.
pomelo / 5093 posts
Like you, I was induced due to low fluid the first time. My labor was long and hard. The second time I had an unmedicated water birth. It was, honestly, far harder than the induction. But I'd still take it again if I had to choose.
papaya / 10570 posts
I had an unmedicated birth nearly 9 weeks ago and it was amazing! I loved every second, and recovery was a breeze.
pomegranate / 3601 posts
I had two unmedicated births and the hormons made me forget the pain. I felt great afterwards although I did tear pretty badly with LO1. After my second I actually understood why some people leave the hospital after only a couple of hours.
persimmon / 1445 posts
Well ladies... all of your stories make me feel like I could try to go med-free! I brought it up to DH and he thinks I am nuts, but he said he would take a class/ read a book with me and try to be supportive. I think he will come around once I explain how terrible I felt being trapped in bed hooked up to monitors and how I feel like I missed the birth of DD because I was so drugged. Now.... to bring it up to my doctor and see how he feels about it. I love this OB and would hate to switch halfway through, but if he is super resistant than we shall see....