PLEASE help me feel confident about not getting an epidural!
I just posted this in second trimester but someone told me I should check here, too.
Here's the story (will try to keep this short as possible!)
I have a very LOW pain tolerance and up until now (26 weeks) I was positive I'd be getting an epidural. This is my first baby and not knowing what to expect - I want to feel the least amount of pain possible! I am the type that totally overreacts when I have a simple cold.... I admit - I am a giant baby and labour totally terrifies me!
Anyway. We live in a very remote town and I don't have the option of getting an epidural if I am to have the baby here. I would have to go to the nearest city (3 hrs away) 2 weeks before my due date and wait to go into labour. This was my original plan, HOWEVER, we just purchased a new house and the closing date is only 2 days before we'd have to leave for the city to wait for baby to come! We don't have the option of changing the closing date.
So, I need to decide now if I want to have only 2 days to move into our new house (I obviously won't be doing the moving, DH will, but I will only have 2 days to unpack any boxes before heading off to have the baby - then coming home to a new home with 90% of our stuff still in boxes!)
I can suck it up and just have the baby here - but I won't have the option of getting an epidural if I want one. I will however be able to get gas and morphine if I want it.
So, now I have a dilemma. Labour scares the life out of me and I thought for sure there was no way I'd go through it without an epidural. But, now that we're getting the new house I am seriously considering staying in town and not being able to get the epi, to give me some more time to get things unpacked and settle into the house a bit before baby comes (even if it's only 2 weeks - I have a feeling I'm going to feel rushed either way, but it is what it is! 2 weeks is a lot longer than 2 days!)
So, I need your advice! I know most people in this section are probably all for 100% natural. I know it is totally normal and natural to have a baby without drugs but I really don't see myself being able to handle it. Then again - maybe I can - I just need to educate myself on it more (which is why I'm posting here!)
Is anyone planning on using gas or morphine? If you've had a baby in the past, did you find that these drugs worked good? I don't see myself going 100% natural so I'm sure I will end up using these if I stay here and can't get the epidural.
hello. well i think its up to you at the end of the day but im going for the gas and air and birth pool combo as the two together seem to work wonders.
im not having an epidural for the same reason my mom did not with me and that is because im more scared of the needle being that close to my spine then i am of labour and birth. i've heard of people being paralyzed from the waist down or permanently loosing feeling in part or all of their legs and id rather put up with a day of pain than a life paralyzed because by sods law id be the 1 in a million that ended up paralyzed
For me an epidural wasn't an option as my labour was very drawn out and I wasn't progressing fast enough for them to let me in to the delivery suite, I kept being sent home. Finally got in to the delivery suite at 9cm dilated and that is too late for an epidural anyway.
However it was fine - gas and air was great, probably because I'd only had my TENS and co-codamol at home so getting the G&A at 9cms was AMAZING!
I've always been a wimp about my period pains so thought I'd hate labour but although the pain is similar (especially during those first 5cms) I found labour much easier to bear, just knowing that eacjh contraction got me closer to my baby and the pain was for a reason made it a very different experience.
I also listened to a Natal Hypnosis CD to give me a more positive and empowered feeling about labour.
Let me tell you a secret. I am the biggest wimp ever. I mean it. I am in tears if I stub my toe. But i ***adored*** birth!!
You can do it.
Pain is a small part of labour. It feels different for all women. Lots of women find it more intense or tiring than painful. Lots of women report low-pain/no-pain births WITHOUT any drugs. Really.
You can do it.
There are LOTS of ways of minimising the pain and coping with sensations that are not an epidural.
You can do it.
In labour, the sensations start of small and build gradually. Your endorphins build with it. Your tolerance builds with it.
You are stronger than you think.
Having an epidural does not guarantee that you will have a "pain free" birth. Many women who have one still find the brith traumatic. Or they feel upset because they feel disconnected from their bodies/the process/their baby. Sometimes it only works partially or on one side. Sometimes it causes a horrible headache afterwards. Sometimes it causes long term headaches or back pain. Sometimes it causes other complications which mean recovery is more difficult or painful. (More tearing, for example, or the need for an episiotomy and assisted delivery.)
You can do it.
The epi is not a "get out of jail free" card. It's a useful tool for some births, but it is NOT a substitute for good preperation and good, continuous care and support. And if you have THOSE **you probably won't need the epi anyway!**
You can do it.
Thing is, you don't tend to get an epi at the first twinge. Usually, you progress to a certain point without it, and then wait for someone to be available to come and administer it. So even if you plan to get one, it is still a good idea to plan coping strategies for the time just before the epi. Then at the end, many hospitals like to turn the epi down or off so that you can feel enough to push effectively. The baby can also be affected by the epi too. Those endorphins I mentioned? When you got the epi, they packed up and went home, as they were no longer needed. Now the sensations are back, without those endorphins helping you to cope.
Having an epidural does not guarantee that you will have a "pain free" birth. Many women who have one still find the brith traumatic. Or they feel upset because they feel disconnected from their bodies/the process/their baby.
I can agree with this 100%, as someone who DID get an epidural. A feeling of disconnect, a complete loss of bonding at birth (I was on pitocin too), a lack of care. You know those pandas that give birth and then walk away from their cub because they don't care? It was at that moment I *understood* how that felt. It took 4 months to bond and 2 years to heal from that labour experience where I felt utterly powerless over my own body.
It wasn't until I 'gave birth' to my miscarriage, at 9ish weeks, in my own bathroom at home at peace by myself, that I felt a sense of relief and felt normal about birth again. I know, that probably sounds crazy to a lot of people - but holding that 9 week fetus/sac of my own free will and on my own in the dark in the middle of the night... it was like a huge relief and I have no regrets.
I recommend you look at the home birth photos and natural birthing stories, check the sticky at the top of the forum. As madasa says - those girls are all wimps too But labour is not the same as getting your tooth pulled despite hearing that idiotic comment frequently. You need to be an active participant.
I'm a wimp, hell I just nearly cried because I bit into an Easter egg and it scratched my gums but having an epidural was not an option for me. Not because there wasent any available but because I dident like the knock on affects of an epidural. Longer labour, higher rate of intervention and needing a section. But I did it on just gas and air and TBH I probably could have done it with out if I could have used a pool. It was more uncomfortable than it hurt.
I had an epidural first time around and natural second, I found the birth and experience of a natural birth alot better than when I had epidural, yes contractions hurt but how you deal with them is what makes it easier or harder. If your leaning more to staying put then maybe look into hypnobirthing, it's not too late and that helped me though each contraction, to stay focused and relaxed. Also used tens and gas and air when they were transferring me to hospital.
If you do decide to opt for going to the city could you not leave it another week or as others said enlist more people to help out.
You can totally do it. Tens of millions of women gave birth naturally before modern medicine came about and we are all still here. I took Bradley classes and educated myself. I'm with Jasmine...I was just too freaked out about the needle going into my spine. I'm not going to lie, labor was painful but it's pain with a purpose and it's not like you're in pain constantly for x amount of hours until you start pushing. It's a bit painful during the contractions but then you get a break every few minutes until another contraction comes. Yell, scream, breath, punch OH/DH in the face, do whatever you have to do to get through the contraction, but know you are that you are one contraction closer to holding your baby in your arms.
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