Talk me into natural birth please

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eliann's picture
Joined: 04/19/11
Posts: 2438
Talk me into natural birth please

So I called my ob and her fees are outrageous (I have individual insurance and Texas doesn't sell maternity coverage to indivuals...only to group employer plans). Anyways...I've always thought having a natural birth would be awesome...but I'm such a weenie about pain and I. Have a bit of medical anxiety.

My friend had her baby at a birth center and called me the next day and explained to me for 2 hours how painful it was...and how if she were given the option of an epi, she would have taken it in a heartbeat.

So, id love to hear your birth center/home birth stories if you have them.

batbird's picture
Joined: 08/29/06
Posts: 325

I've done natural twice, really, it is easy. Yes, there is pain, but it goes away quickly. Think of running a race. You get tired, your muscles ache, but after the race is over, the pain is gone. Now, for some pros
You are less likely to tear
you have a shorter labor
if there is a complication with the baby (my first was a preemie and in NICU), then you can get up and go see your baby QUICKLY
you are more attune to your body, so if something starts not feeling right, you will know before the nurses (my second was face up, and I could feel something was way different than with my first)
When you have no epi, you can push more adaquately (3 pushes on first, 6 on my second face up one)
When you have a needle placed into your spine, there is a risk of a spinal leak which results in a VERY painful headache (I have had a lp headache from a spinal tap, even my most painful labor was no where near as long as the 3 week headache I had after that).
Babies are more alert after a delivery without medication, and thus, are able to have a better latch with breastfeeding.
Oh, and then there are the awesome bragging rights!

blondiess4u's picture
Joined: 11/08/07
Posts: 1450

Thought I would chime in on this since it seems like yesterday I just gave birth. It's amazing how the mind seems to forget about childbirth and we go on to have more.
Several months ago I was saying no way I was having anymore kids because I was traumitized by the pain of it ( I had an induction with no epi until pushing stage, epi was barelyworking since I waited to long)Induction seems to be harder in labor so I would never choose to go without it again if I had to be induced again.
I think I could of gone without it with a normal childbirth but in the moment it is very painful and feels like it will never end. At the end of it, the pain is gone but the memory of it lingers for several months after. Then, time passed and I forgot about it and now I want more. Weird how it works. Not trying to scare you but just trying to tell you from my personal experience how I felt. Everyone is difference. If you have a low pain tolerance I would really consider your options. Every women can get through it but you have to consider what kind of experience you want to have.
Hope this helps!

eliann's picture
Joined: 04/19/11
Posts: 2438

The issue here is mainly a cost issue. I know that sounds bad. Its significantly cheaper to birth at a birth center. Most of my friends here who have had a hospital birth have ended up with a c-section....and that's really expensive. I feel the doctors tend to push you in that direction here. I'm going to call another doctor in hopes that their fee is less than my doctors. She up'd hers almost $2000 from last year when they gave me a quote. I'm also going to contact a couple of birth centers near me, just to get an appointment ready if that's the route I choose.

Clarkton's picture
Joined: 01/07/08
Posts: 1972

Elizabeth, you need to go ask this question on the birthing naturally board. There are lots of great ladies over there. Here is a link.

I have had 2 low intervention, no pain meds, no epi births in the hospital. It just seemed like the natural choice for me when I first found out I was pregnant with my first. Honestly, I started from the mindset of the pain of labor didn't really scare me and I was terrified of the thought of a needle in my back. So I went from there.

I tried to take Bradley classes with my first but started a little late in the pregnancy and then he ended up coming early (33 wks and 4 days). I only made it to 3 classes before he was born, it's a 12 week (if I remember correctly) course. I also have had back labor with both my births, never have felt a contraction in my belly. It really wasn't that bad. I think the key to a successful natural birth is starting with the right mindset, only read and listen to positive stories and don't let people tell you scary stuff. Also, learning how to relax and remembering to focus on relaxing during contractions is very important. I remember specifically with my last birth...I was starting to arch my back and tense up my shoulders during contractions as they progressed. I happened to notice specifically what I was doing during a contraction and then started focusing on relaxing those areas during contractions and it was so much better. If you prepare yourself you can totally do it. I have had a pretty easy recovery with both births too which, to me, is one of my biggest motivators in doing it that way.

Birth comes with risk, it is the nature of the beast, but going as natural with as few interventions as possible is going to keep your risk lower. Another thing that is key is avoiding induction unless it is absolutely medically necessary. More times than not, it really is not needed. Inductions way increase your odds at ending in c-section which, as you know, will way up your cost. Inductions also increase your odds for a more difficult labor and delivery. I think most ladies who have experienced pitocen induced contractions will testify to this. I have read that testimony many times on here.

I could ramble on and on but that's enough for now Wink I just wanted to say I think you will be happy with your choice if you go that route and it will definitely save you money. Good luck! Smile

pico83's picture
Joined: 09/06/06
Posts: 3008

:lurk:
I'll try to convince you. Smile I have had two induced births with epis and one natural. The natural was by far my favorite. I'll warn you, though, the first paragraph isn't entirely pleasant.

1st and 3rd deliveries were the ones with pitocin and an epi. I didn't want interventions. I wanted to go all natural. But, in both those cases my water broke and nothing happened. With #1 (39w1d) he was in distress and had to come out. I'm lucky I got away with pitocin/epi/vacuum instead of a c/s and that he was okay. If I had been at a birth center I'm sure I would have been transferred to a hospital during that labor. Just bad luck (if you're curious, feel free to PM me and I can give all the details you want). With #3 (38w5d) I started contracting after my water broke then they stopped. 18 hours after my water broke they induced to avoid the risk of infection. Pitocin is not my friend. At 4cm I was in tears with the pain and, because I'd been awake for 18 hours, I was already falling asleep between contractions. Even as I tried to relax I was fighting it, so I got the epi (similar story with #1 after they started pit).

now the good part of the story, birth #2 (39w5d). it was amazing. With that one my water didn't break first. I started with contractions at 5am which I could tell were real, but didn't bother me much. I labored at home until 8:45am then went to the hosp. Got there at 9:15 and had to convince the man at the desk I was in labor (he thought I was there for a scheduled c/s because I looked so composed!) that was at 5cm. Pain was still very bearable. I was admitted, walked to L&D, labored just fine on my own (pretty darn cheerfully) for an hour or so. Then I felt pressure like I had to push. Turned out it was my water and since it was causing such discomfort the doc offered to break it. The nurse told me "If I do it'll get pretty intense but you'll probably have a baby in 5-10 contractions". I was still able to joke "sure, I'll take unbearable agony for 20 minutes. Sounds good to me!" it was more intense, but I still found it easier than early labor with pitocin. DS2 was born 2 1/2 hours after we got to the hospital, with maybe 20 min of pushing. I did have an episiotomy (my boys have huge heads) but it was by far my easiest labor and recovery.

One other little tidbit. I actually got to see the bill from my first delivery (although insurance covered it) and the epidural was listed as $7000! Facing the prospect of having to pay that I could have endured a good deal more pain. I know a lot of women have good experiences with hypnobabies and other techniques. I've never used anything other than stubbornness, which clearly let me down a couple times. Like Clarkton said, I'd join over on the natural birth board and get some good advice from them. They're very friendly. Wink I'd go for a birth center in a hearbeat (even without the option of an epi) if there were one in my area. Sadly, there isn't.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

So, this isn't exactly a ringing endorsement for natural birth, but more a cautionary tale about getting the epi. I got the epi, and for whatever reason, it didn't work. Everybody always tries to tell me "Oh, they try not to numb you completely so you can feel to push" like they were there and I wasn't. Smug bastards. No. I've heard too many ladies rhapsodize about the epi to believe that my experience was normal, because I was in AGONY. The nurses even let me push early rather than letting passive labor push T down the birth canal because I was in so much pain and they said that would help (it did.) I could feel everything, move everything just fine. My OB pinched the skin on my perineum to see if I could feel it because I was tearing and he was thinking about an episiotomy, and I screamed because it felt like he cut me. I'm telling you, I could feel everything.

Okay, but here is the point that I am getting to, my cautionary tale. Once you have the epi, even if you are convinced that it didn't work, they won't let you up for insurance reasons. You can't get up and try different positions, do all of the different stuff that they tell you to help with the pain of a natural childbirth. You're stuck flat on your back (where not even gravity can help you) until you get that baby out. It sucks so incredibly hard. For that reason alone, I am planning on skipping the epi this time around. An epi sounds nice, and I sure wish my last one had worked so that I could have faith in them, but I don't think I want to risk it again. So, you can add that to pros for natural birth and cons for epi....stupid epi may screw you big time....stupid epi. :angry2:

eliann's picture
Joined: 04/19/11
Posts: 2438

I'm terrified of pain and I'm terrified of an epi. My body doesn't respond to anesthesia well. I had oral surgery for impacted wisdom teeth and was completely under, but I remember the beginning of the surgery and it was awful. I've also have moles removed where the local anesthetic didn't kick in and I screamed at my doctor and nearly flew out of the seat. So I'm scared of epi's and even more scared of a c-section. I'm sure I would tell them all of this in advance and they would adjust the anesthetic accordingly...but still.

I found an office that has midwifes that deliver at a hospital. There is only one hospital nearby that allows this, so I'm considering that. It's a bit cheaper, but not much. I'm still considering the birth center...but they haven't called me back to tell me how this works if I were to need a c-section. I don't want to have to pay double the fees if I have a breech baby, ya know?

I will post this over in the other board, but thank you ladies for your stories and advice!!

tori729's picture
Joined: 07/23/07
Posts: 1743

You should definitely go check out the NCB board and read some books - Your Best Birth, Ina May's Guide, the movie Business of Being Born, etc.
I understand about the money thing. Do they offer midwifery service in the hospitals there or not? Really you are blessed to have the birthing center option there. A lot of places it's either the hospital w/ a doctor or a home birth. I think a birthing center is the best of both worlds definitely.

I had a c/s with my first from a transfer to the hospital from the birthing center. I can tell you that even though it was really stressful and scary, I was fine. I had pre-eclampsia that resulted in seizures while I was laboring and had to be ambulanced to the hospital which was only 5 minutes away. After having a baby in the hospital - all the poking and prodding, interrupting, procedures and protocol, I would never choose to have a hospital birth again. But that's just me.
My birthing center birth was the most relaxing experience. Instead of a 36 hour labor with my first (he was turned posterior and was having a hard time getting through the birth canal like that), I had a wonderful 8 hour labor that really was not that bad. Everyone births differently though so you never know how you're going to do. For me, the pain was bearable and frankly, I'm looking forward to doing it again! I felt SO powerful and great after having my baby and being SO energized after that and feeling great! And the midwives are SO hands off - they don't do constant monitoring, you aren't hooked to an IV, you can move around and eat whatever (I am nauseous during labor though so that doesn't do much good for me. ;), and after the baby is born, they rarely interrupt you. AND you can go home the same day if you want. I had my daughter at 10am and went home at 6pm.

I could go on and on but definitely read some books, do your own research, take a birthing class (Bradley method or the like, something geared toward natural childbirth), etc. etc. It's important to be INFORMED about the choices you have and the risks/.benefits of all of them.

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