Natural Birth - What was your experience?

Hannah - posted on 04/14/2010 ( 20 moms have responded )

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I want to know about your drug-free/natural birth experiences.



I have had one child and I was planning to receive an epidural since the moment I found out I was pregnant (not familiar with my pain tolerance). When the time came my water broke and contractions were 3-4 minutes apart. By the time I had my epidural I was at 7 cm. The epidural didn’t take, so I still felt a majority of the contractions. Then at 10 cm, I had to be taken in for a c-section because baby was butt down. The recovery from the c-section was a breeze for me and the breastfeeding pain was actually worse.



I’m thinking now for my next baby that I could possibly handle the natural birth (assuming baby is in the right position). If I made it to 10 cm with a defective epidural… and through a c-section without flinching, could I make it through a natural birth?



I’ve heard the hardest part of natural birth is the contractions and many women say c-sections are far worse…. What are your thoughts? I’m looking for some experienced women’s perspectives to make a decision for my next child!

Thank you!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Ashley - posted on 04/14/2010

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I had a totally natural birth, not by choice. By the time I reached the hospital, I was dilated 10cm and my bag of water was bulging. The worst part for me was the pushing, but if you can make it through the long drawn out process of contractions without pain meds, I think you will be able to handle the pushing, since it usually doesn't last as long. I found that concentrating on the end goal of having my son in my arms made the most intense pain I have ever felt, feel as if someone had just slapped me. In the end, it is what you think is best for you and your baby. I have also heard that a V-back, without pain meds is harder than a first birth without pain meds, due to the C-section scar stretching

Leigh - posted on 04/14/2010

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I went drug free by choice and had no real problems. But, I also had a really fast delivery. I was in labor from the moment I woke up that morning but thought I was having Braxton contractions b/c they were so mild. By 11pm that night I realized that it might be the real thing b/c they started to get consistent, but not any more intense. At 1am my water broke and I called the MD - still not having stronger contractions. Luckily she told me to go to the hospital. I remember the first half of the 20 min trip, but not the second half. The contractions started to get pretty intense and I was really uncomfortable sitting. The majority of my pain was actually down my thighs to my knees. We were only at the hospital about an hour and a half and I was pushing. I dilated very fast and my son was really low to start with. Our birth instructor had told us that by the time you think you can't do it any longer you are at 8-9cm and it only lasts 15-20 mins, and she was right. I was at the point that I thought "Oh my god, I'm not going to be able to do this much longer" and the next thing I knew I was telling the MD (not mine b/c she hadn't made it to the hospital when I started pushing) that I needed to push. I joked afterward that even if I wanted the drugs, it wouldn't have mattered - they wouldn't have kicked in in time. They barely got my IV in and the fetal monitor hooked up on me, my husband was still filling out the adimission paperwork.



I think anyone can do it. You need to have a really supportive partner/birth assistant who is willing to help you get through it. And I would definately recommend going to natural birth classes. Our instructor had been a Bradley Instructor, but then branched out on her own and combined the best of Bradley, Lamaze, and a few other methods that she had been trained in. She was also a doula. I didn't use her, but I have friends that have used doulas and went natural and said they were very happy with the doulas assistance.



Hope this helps and good luck. Just focus on the prize at the end of all the hard work!

20 Comments

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Sarah - posted on 04/19/2010

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I did a drug-free/natural birth at home and would do it all over again. I mentally prepared myself by reading "Painless Childbirth." It taught me that there are 2 kinds of pain. When you break a bone, that part of your body tells your brain that you should be feeling pain and something is wrong. The sensations that a woman goes through during labor does not send that same warning to your brain. You just have to know in your mind that your body was made to give birth and the baby works with you during the process. It was an amazing experience and I hope I get blessed enough to do it again. As far as VBACs go (Vaginal birth after C-section), I know a few women who wanted to try natural birth with their second child, and in the hospital the doctors frown upon it. I also dont know if there are many midwifes that do homebirths with women who have a c-section.

Emily - posted on 04/19/2010

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i didnt want to be dissapointed so i went in with no expectations. i researched epidurals and didnt want one but was ok if i needed it and caved. i was strong for the first 7 hours but when i was checked and they said i was only 3-4cm i needed something so i was given pethidine. my daughter was born probably 5 minutes before it kicked in so next time i plan on all natural. i found the spa bath really helped in the begining too.

Nina - posted on 04/18/2010

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I had planned on having an all natural birth, but plans should always be adjusted to the situation so I took some lighter stuff... =) The gas was REALLY helpful for a long time. Then I got acupuncture and a bath. The doctor then talked me in to a paracervical block. Wish I hadn't had it... It was horribly painful and didn't really help me much. So if I have another baby I'm planning on using only gas and acupuncture, they were the best for me. I can't stand the thought of needles in my back so absolutely no epidural for me!

Serena - posted on 04/18/2010

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I've had both...two natural child births and one emergency c-section. Luckily I had my c-section last, you might want to check if you can have a v-back with your doctor. I thought that the actual process was harder with a natural child birth and a lot more work on my part with all the pain and then pushing. But I thought as a whole recovery time was quicker with natural though (maybe tmi but a lot less blood). I am currently going into my third week of recovery with a c-section and its not as bad as people made it sound. I guess its different for everybody though.

How old is your first child? My middle child is 9 months old and it makes it hard to carry him while recovering. I mean at first it hurt but also the idea of popping a stitch is kind of scary.

But as we have all learned, things never go according to plan...good luck with your decision and I hope I have helped.

Lindy - posted on 04/18/2010

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I've had one birth and it was natural. I was insanely uncomfortable near the end and screamed during the crowning (a few mins) but I plan on going the same route the next time! I am also a maternity nurse and think the main thing is to have options. You never know what you will want for each babe but the anxiety of not having what you might want/need available can really affect your labour. Seeing epidurals creeps me out enough not to want my own and recovery was nothing for me (walking an hour after, just tender) but everyone is so different I always advise keeping options open!

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I planned to see what happened but deep down knew I was a bit of a wimp and so thought I would cave in and go for pain relief. However I got my first contraction at 3.30pm stuck in a traffic jam on the motorway and they were pretty much continuous from the start. I remember thinking if they're this bad after an hour I must be a total wimp. But it turned out that I was already 10cm dilated and by the time we got off the motorway and staggered into the hospital there was no time for anything except 6 pushes and there she was. She was born after a 2 hour labour, 10 minutes after arriving at the hospital and totally naturally. I can honestly say that at no point did I even ask or think about pain relief once I knew things were for real and therefore I strongly believe anyone can do it naturally. It does help when you have a fast labour though as I'm not sure how I'd have coped after hours of waiting around in pain. Then again they do say fast labours are more intense and painful but I'm pregnant again and am defintely going for totally natural again this time as I do think it's possible for anyone.

Amber - posted on 04/18/2010

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I slept through most of my contractions but once I finally woke up they hit me hard. And they were mind-boggling painful. Once i started to push though the pain went away. I didn't feel any pain, just discomfort, until "the ring of fire" which is when the baby started to crown. But that part was done and over with before I could remember what it felt like. I was in labor for 3 hours, and by time I got to the hospital they would not have given me and epidural even if I had asked for one. I think this decision should be based on your personal pain tolerance. If you have a high one, go natural, it's worth it all the way, if you have a low one, you may want the epidural, becuase it will hurt bad. I took a birthing class and it was a big waste of time. I didn't learn anything I hadn't already read in a book. Though I do highly recommond reading up on SIDS and Breastfeeding. Even taking a breastfeeding class, becasue that is harder than labor. You need a lot of patience to breastfeed, with yourself and your newborn, and a lot of help.

Shamera - posted on 04/18/2010

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My delivery was amazing, my labor was 10 and a half hours long. I started with really strong contractions and kept them all throughout labor. I wont lie, there was a point when I thought that I couldn't do it. 30 minutes after that it was time to push! I had my daughter at a birthing center in a birth tub. After pushing for 17 minutes, Dad caught her and placed her right on my chest where she remained for two hours until they had to weigh her. For any first time natural birth, I recomend taking a birth class to prepare you for it. My husband and I both took the 12 week bradley method birth classes and they were wonderful. Not only did I know what to expect going into labor, my husband also did and turned out to be an amazing coach! He was my rock (still is) and I do believe that it would have been a lot harder without him.

Jennel - posted on 04/17/2010

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i had two natural drug free births, My first one my dughter i was induced with and it was 3 hours from contration started to birth i found the worst part was i was stuck in a bed with the contrations once pushing i had controll. With # 2 my son it was a 2 1/2 hour labour from first pain and only made it to hospital 1/2 hour befor he arrived I was aming for water birth both times but was no time, i do say it was good and empowering doing it on my own.

Brandi - posted on 04/16/2010

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I had a completely natural and very wonderful birth with my 1st child. Contractions were so mild to begin with that I wasn't sure I was even in labor. Contractions started Saturday morning (not sure what time cause they were so mild) and had by baby boy by 5:51 that night. Husband figured out I was having contractions around 12:45, timed them and they were down to 3 minutes apart, by 1pm they had gone down to 1 1/2 minutes apart...he packed our bag (delivered early, so we were not prepared yet!)...got to the hospital by 2, at 2:30 was checked and was only 4cm dilated...wanted to get up and walk, but due to high blood pressure, I had to lay on my left side (which did help, cause I had back labor and my husband applied counter pressure)...they let me get up to go to the bathroom at 4:15, water broke in the bathroom at 4:45, started pushing around 5...the worst part was when he crowned and I said "ouch" a few times...ended up having a level 2 tear...contractions didn't hurt as long as I relaxed - the few that hurt were when I tensed up...& my hubby and I went through a Bradley Method class.

Isabel - posted on 04/15/2010

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I had a waterbirth. It was the worst AND most wonderful experience of my life. The contactions weren't that bad and the water really made a HUGE difference. The last bit...pushing...took longer than expected, as my little boy decided he wanted to come out like superman and it was really tough getting through that last two hours. Will do it again though, just praying that we will only have one superman in the family, otherwise I might run away... ;-)

Ester - posted on 04/14/2010

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I have actually had a planned homebirth with midwives. You should absolutely consider a natural birth and even a homebirth. It really does not get any better than that. On top of that, I was in the hot tub and delivered my first baby in the water. The best. All in all it all took about 12 hours. Good luck with number 2!

Hannah - posted on 04/14/2010

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Thank you for your experiences! I did go from 3 cm to 10 cm in about 3 hours, so my first birth was VERY fast as well. 15 after I was 7cm I told the nurse I was having immense rectal pressure, so she checked me again and I was already to 10. Hopefully if my next one is this quick I'll be able to make it through with no drugs!

Sheree - posted on 04/14/2010

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I had a natural drug free birth. I didnt actually know i was in labour. I thought i was still experiencing braxton hicks so didnt think much of it. I had 2 panadols 5 hours before brith as i had back pain, then i called my hubby at 4pm and said that my mum thought i was in labour and that he should come home from work. When he got home i had a shower, he packed the hospital bag and we didnt leave for the hosp until 630, i arrived at the hospital at 645 and was examined at 715, i was certain they would send my home as i really didnt think i was in labour, anyway i was 6cm and sent straight to the birthing suite. The midwife told me where the button was to call her if i needed to and said it would still be a while and she would be back soonish to check on me. My waters broke and that was when i immediately felt like i had to push, i asked hubby to press the button to call for the nurse, he asked " do you think you need her?" i said well unless you want to deliver this baby yoruself you better get her in here, lol. The nurse came in and asked if everything was ok and i told her i needed to push, she didnt think i could of come that far along in such a short time, especially being my first child, she said she wanted to check to see how far dialated i was. She tried to check, but bub's head was in the way. It was go time :0 i said i think i need some gas to push, and i was told there was no time and the baby would be here in a couple of pushes. She was right and my daughter was born at 841pm, just under 2 hours after i arrived at the hospital. I am the biggest sook when it comes to pain and cringe at the thought of getting a blood test, yet got through the birth without a problem. It feels fantastic at the end to say you went through natural childbirth with no drugs. Best of luck and i hope you get to have the birth you want :)

Danielle - posted on 04/14/2010

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I went into labour at home at 4.30pm no real contractions until 7pm didnt want any pain relief but the contractions were nasty!!! At 9pm i started pushing and at 9.32pm my daughter was born and i was only grazed i didnt tear i got up straight away and had a shower. I will def do it the same again if everything goes well and as my mum always told me womens bodies are designed to give birth.

User - posted on 04/14/2010

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ive had a c section 4 montsh ago, and to be honest, i am still recovering! (first baby),didnt help that i had pevlic arthropathy for the last 2 months of my pregnany- which was more painful than the c sectio and the recovery

Sarah - posted on 04/14/2010

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i actually planned on having an epidural myself .. i was hospitalised at about 33weeks with a stomach bug .. couldn't keep anything down .. had excruitating stomach cramps and had to hooked up to a drip .. i thought if labour was as painful as that i was definately getting an epidural. ..
however in reality i didn't end up having one .. in fact i didn't have anything what so ever not even gas and air ... i had a 12 hour labour and the contractions seemed to come thick and fast (but i was struggling to time them ) so everytime i rang up the hospital they didn't believe i was in the much pain finally got admitted because oh said i was crawling around on the floor! eek .. my son was born 30min after arriving .. they checked me over said i was fully dilated asked if i wanted anything .. i didn't think there was much point since i'd already had to manage with out anything for pretty much the whole of my labour
the contractions were painful .. but i'd do it all again .. i want a home birth next time!

Kerry - posted on 04/14/2010

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I used gas and air for my contractions but when i got to the second stage my midwife took it off me an told me i could do it without any releif... for me the pushing was the hardest part cos my lil girl just werent coming and kept slipping back up lol i also had 3rd degree tears which i think could have been avovided if id had the pain releif and she was also destressed... its really up to you what you decide but i think any women can make it through a natural birth



good luck :-)

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