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If you birthed without pain medication, what's the verdict?

  1. PurplePeony

    pomegranate / 3113 posts

    I wanted to go med-free and feel very lucky that everything worked out just as I hoped. It didn't hurt that my labor was pretty short -- 7 hours from water breaking to baby on my chest. I was surprised that the contractions were less painful than I'd imagined they would be, and about the time I started thinking "holy crap, this is no joke," I was fully dilated and ready to push. But pushing was a lot harder than I had prepped myself for, not in the sense of being more painful but just the sheer physical exertion. There was a point where I felt like I was completely drained of all my energy and I resigned myself to spending the rest of my life with a baby half in, half out of my body (kidding...kinda) and I was really amazed that I was able to power through.

    I don't think I really ever got the "high." I was shaking so badly afterward and was just kind of overwhelmed, exhausted, and sort of dazed. I do feel awesome that my body and my baby worked together to do exactly what they were supposed to do, but as a PP mentioned, it does make me scared about a second child -- what if I go into it with confidence due to this birth and it's the total opposite? I don't think I could last without meds through a 12+ hour labor!

  2. mamawarrior

    coffee bean / 42 posts

    I had a med-free birth for my first one. Every woman has a different experience. It was more the amount of pressure than the pain during transition that caught me off guard. And that ring of fire is appropriately named for sure. However, it was such a bonding moment between my husband and I. I remember my labor clearly but it still seemed like such an out of body experience. I'm about to do it all over again and I am terrified!!! It's like I never did it before. Well this baby has to come out one way or another haha!

  3. mrskc

    bananas / 9357 posts

    @FarmWifeGina: so I should try to prepare that it will be just as painful if not more painful. I think that's what I'm scared of! I thought I was supposed to forget the pain? I don't remember exactly but I remember it hurt like hell and I didn't think I was going to make it thru it. Thank goodness for my doula coaching me thru. I'm honestly scared of epi side effects so I will probably do it again. I also think a difference between the first and second is that I had no clue what to expect for #1. I did nothing to prepare for the birth and trusted my doula to help me thru. Now that I know, it makes me scared to give birth again. I hope I can find some peace as my pregnancy progresses.

  4. FarmWifeGina

    pear / 1571 posts

    @mrskc: Lol, I don't know, is that the impression I gave? I would say to remind yourself that you did it once and, taking one contraction at a time, you can do it again. That's all you have to do is one contraction at a time. Don't get ahead of yourself and worry about what's to come and how much harder it *might* get. Does that make sense? It made a world of difference for me with my last labor.
    I would also recommend the book 'Birthing From Within' by Pam England. It's really beautifully written and deals with the mental and emotional side of childbirth. I didn't get a chance to do any of the cool birth art she recommends, but it was still really helpful.

  5. mrskc

    bananas / 9357 posts

    @FarmWifeGina: lol. Yes makes perfect sense! One contraction at a time. That's what I did for my first, so I need to keep that in my mind for #2. Eta: thanks for the book rec. I'll look into it.

  6. FarmWifeGina

    pear / 1571 posts

    @mrskc: It can be hard to face it again when you're pregnant and tired and running after your first child. With this last pregnancy, I was so tired and run down and emotionally depleted and probably a little depressed and I was just like, "No, I don't want to do it, I don't have the energy to deal with another life-changing experience right now, dammit!" It was just a victory I did not feel like achieving. But I was so tired I didn't want to do it with drugs (just felt like too much hassle) or a c-section either (didn't want to deal with the recovery, it wasn't like I could just walk into the hospital and demand one anyways, lol), so that left me just one option. And once I was 11 days past my EDD you better believe that I was more than ready to go through it again! In fact, for as long as I could into labor, I said, "Thank you, Jesus!" with every contraction because I was just so happy that it was finally happening!

  7. Rainbow Sprinkles

    eggplant / 11287 posts

    The pushing. Oh my god. The pushing. SO horrendously painful. Transition was nothing compared to the pushing.

  8. Ree723

    grapefruit / 4819 posts

    Ok, this thread has just reaffirmed my belief 100% that no way, no how, do I ever want to go through labour without an epidural. I loved it last time and I am fully committed to it again for this next baby. That being said though, I have enjoyed reading others' experiences but know it is most definitely not for me.

  9. lamariniere

    pineapple / 12566 posts

    I had an epi with my first.

    With my second, the plan was to have another epi. I ended up laboring so fast that it wasn't possible. I went from 5cm to 10cm in 15 minutes. The pain was utterly excruciating and I was definitely screaming out in pain the whole time. Luckily (?) my entire labor and birth process only lasted 45 minutes. I have no idea how ladies do multiple hours of labor.

  10. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    I went in with the attitude that there were no issues so we would let my body decide the course. I was fully prepared to hand the situation over to the professionals if the need arose, but it didn't.

  11. Cherrybee

    papaya / 10570 posts

    I survived syntocin contractions using only gas-and-air and I was genuinely traumatized for a few weeks afterwards. I honestly thought I was going to die.

  12. Andrea

    GOLD / wonderful coffee bean / 18478 posts

    The pain was bad, but easily forgotten. I would go med free again!

  13. mjane

    apricot / 444 posts

    @Dagny: Yes, I was also surprised by how much I was just in a completely different place. My husband said I was unreachable.

    Also, by how immobilizing the pain was. All I'd heard was how awful it is to labor lying down and how moving around helps, etc. No one could have paid me ANY SUM to get up off that bed.

  14. bpcmarj

    pomegranate / 3729 posts

    I still can't believe how much of it I really don't remember and how fast time went. I was induced with pitocin but did not have any pain meds. I was in the tub from about 2-6cm and to me it only felt like a half an hour. DH had to tell me after "No honey, you were in there for over 3 hours". Also, the urge to push. I had heard of it, and knew it would happen, but when it did in the middle of transition when I was about to give up was sort of awesome. I was 8cm and my midwife told me to push if I wanted to and 1 push got me to 10cm.

    But, I do feel a little let down that I specifically wanted to be present and unmedicated, but in the end I don't remember much of anything from her being born. I was just in a state of pure exhaustion and passed out in the bathroom about 1.5 hours after giving birth. I was pushing every other contraction and getting oxygen on the non pushing contraction. It was a wonderful experience, but I hope I will remember it more with the next one!


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