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Has anyone had a med-free birth?

  • poll: Have you had an unmedicated birth and would you do it again
    Are you nuts? Epidurals forever! : (27 votes)
    33 %
    Have had an unmedicated birth and would never do it again : (5 votes)
    6 %
    Have had an unmedicated birth and definitely WILL go unmedicated again : (45 votes)
    55 %
    Medicated last time, will go unmedicated this time. : (5 votes)
    6 %
  1. KayKay

    pear / 1961 posts

    My first labor was super-long (60+ hours; the beginning was clearly prodromal but contractions were every 5-7 minutes and uncomfortable enough to keep me awake for 2 nights straight!) and the deciding factor for getting the epidural was that I wanted to be able to sleep overnight while I progressed. By the time I actually pushed her out, the epidural took the edge off but I wouldn't exactly call it pain-free. Plus I was just so. so. tired.

    Going into the 2nd labor, I assumed I would get the epidural, but labor was 2.5hrs from first contraction til baby in arms, so there was zero time for an IV, let alone any drugs. It actually didn't seem any more painful than labor the first time, but the total duration was SO much shorter, that it was probably something like: more intense + less time < slightly less intense + SO LONG

    Currently pregnant with 3rd and planning to go med-free unless it looks like labor will be loooong.

  2. cascademom

    coconut / 8861 posts

    I had two medicated births. First time, I had a longer labor so the epidural actually helped quite a bit. For my second kid, I got an epidural hours after being in labor and at the hospital. They had to run blood work before getting it, so I labored unmedicated for some time. By the time I got the epidural, it didn't do much. I wasn't in too much pain with it, but LO #2 put a lot of pressure on me working himself down and breaking his own water bag. The epidural was really only effective for like an hour or two while they waited for the antibiotics to kick in. So, second time, it wasn't as satisfying. Those who go med free have my high five. It was tough for those hours without an epi.

  3. bushelandapeck

    pomelo / 5720 posts

    Two unmedicated births, by choice. I did have a small dose of Pitocin with my first, due to PROM, but was able to hold off on an epidural. Both labors were on the short side though, 6 hours and less than 3 hours, so I imagine that helped some

  4. nana87

    cantaloupe / 6171 posts

    I'm not exactly sure what I'll do this time around, but I think I will try to go unmedicated as long as I can. With lo, I had wanted an unmedicated birth but I was induced at 37 weeks due to low fluid. it was a LONG labor (36 hours) because she just was really not ready to come out. I resisted getting an epidural until I'd already been on cervidil overnight plus pitocin for 12 hours and was still only at 4cm, and the pit contractions were becoming unbearable. plus, at that point, I was already on an IV and didn't want to move around anymore either, which were some of the big reasons I'd wanted to go unmedicated. The epi was amazing! I took a nap, and fully dilated very quickly. I could feel enough to be able to tell when to push, and only pushed for like 20 mins. So, long story short--I think I'll have the same approach: try to go unmedicated if I can but embrace the epi if I need it! If I get induced again, I'll probably ask for the epi sooner. No need to be a "hero" and try to handle pitocin without it again!

  5. Rescuemom10

    pear / 1965 posts

    Well, with my first I planned unmedicated. That lasted about 24hrs. We ran into complications, ended up getting pitocin (Wasn't progressing but was contracting like a champ) in which I then said I would take the epidural. Didn't seem to help me. Later realized epi didn't work. Discovered this when prepping for C section. Had complications with the block for C section. At the end I had so many drugs (plus they had to completley knock me out nothing was working) I don't remember a thing. So yeah. Although the first 24 were rough, I do remember that. I know I didnt get to the end and actually deliver when the pain gets intense. I still wish I had that. I would take the pain over no memories at all. I know mine is a different case and you never know what may happen. But even before they had to completely knock me out. I didn't like how foggy and out of it I felt on drugs.

  6. catlady

    grapefruit / 4988 posts

    @caterw: I think you should prepare for natural birth if that's what you would prefer, but I just wanted to say that it sounds like your experience may have been different from a normal birth with an epidural. Mine was really great, I was totally aware the whole time and have fond memories of just hanging out with DH and calmly waiting for the time to arrive to push. I know some of the women here say that pain is mental (and those women are absolute heroes) but honestly, I was having so much trouble dealing with it that I was crying and anxious and freaking out. I kept thinking I would rather die than go through one more minute of that pain and that I would never have another child again. After the epidural, I was able to relax and rest before having to push. And actually, I was not progressing quickly before the epi but after I got it, I went from 4 to 10 in an hour. I think my body needed to relax a little before getting ready.

    Again, I think natural childbirth is amazing, and I may prepare for it again this time, but just wanted to say that some women have great epi experiences, too. I'm really sorry you had a bad experience.


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