Ah I'm sorry girls for the wrong choice of words 😔 I'm a bit of a muppet at times!
No apology needed hun and you're not a muppet lol, we're all adults relaying our own experiences.
I couldn't possibly disagree with the fact your labour wasn't too painful if that was your experience (lucky thing) I was just coming from the point of view that it's not a one size fits all when it comes to labour so I can't agree that's it's necessarily a 'pain threshold' thing. There are other variables that change the intensity of the contractions for different people and the length of time it goes on, how quickly they dilate etc so who knows if you had the same labour as someone else you might have thought it a lot worse and possibly needed meds
This is my first child, and I think I know how I would like to give birth, I have a beautiful vision of me on all fours in a birthing pool leaning over the edge holding onto my hubby. I'm very good with pain usually, and for both my miscarriages I had contractions that I could sleep through. I am fully aware though that it will be much more painful to go through labour.
Im just wondering what real labour is like? I'm going to try and have a completely natural labour, without medicated pain relief just a birthing pool. has anyone done this?
I can't tell you how excited it makes me when I see first timers who already have an empowered, positive view of natural birth
You are about to run a marathon and as such you need to prepare and train.
In my experience and from observations of 6 years engrossed in the world of pregnancy and birth, the biggest obstacles to achieving natural birth are your own mental roadblocks and unsupportive providers. Your body KNOWS how to give birth. You just need to get your brain out of the way and let it do it's thing. And you need a provider who knows to just step aside and quietly observe and only step in if necessary and just let you do your thing.
I would really recommend that if you want the highest chance of achieving your birth vision to look into a homebirth or a birth centre with a doula present. I don't know where you live, but continuity of care makes a huge impact too through relationship building and establishing trust. So a private midwife is preferable if possible. If a homebirth is out of the question, then I highly suggest a doula who can help you advocate for what you do and don't want in labour. Birth is pretty much the most vulnerable and impressionable state for a woman and it's no time to be having to make decisions or deal with pushy doctors.
Which brings me to the next point of birth plans. A lot of people say don't make a birth plan just go with the flow, but in my opinion that's about the worst advice. On the one hand yes you need to go with the flow because as any mother will tell you birth is unpredictible and sometimes yes things happen that you just need to go with. But on the other hand, just going with the flow takes you out of the river and into a boat someone else is steering and you have NO control. You are completely at the mercy of hospital policy and the doctor or nurses preconceived ideas of birth. And unfortunately hospital policies seldom align with evidence-based best practice.
As an example, the good kind of going with the flow would be if you plan to be mobile in labour and absolutely don't want to be laying on the bed, but at the time you really just feel like sitting or even laying down. Or if something happens and your provider says "so I know it's not what you wanted but xyz happened. here are your options and he pros and cons of each my recommendation is for abc but its your decision" whereas with what really happens more than 90% of the time (being generous) is your provider says "xyz happened so we are doing this". No control.
Also a lot of people confuse a birth plan with a birth vision. "I want to have a drug free waterbirth with dim light and music playing and I don't want an episiotomy and I definitely don't want a cesarean" is the kind of thing most people think of when they hear birth plan, but that's a birth vision. And a birth vision is a great thing to have, but that's oftentimes what people don't want to set themselves up for failure by having. A birth plan is really more like a choose your own adventure "in the event of x then I want a to happen or b if not possible. In the event of y then I chose e"
My homebirth birth plans included hospital transfer plans and the most important things to me in the event of a cesarean etc. By no means should you be expected to become an expert, but just knowing what options are out there and pros and cons and what circumstances might make you choose something you don't want makes a huge difference. And writing it down means you don't have to think about it in labour. As mammals, we give birth best when our neocortex - the thinking centre f our brains - isn't functioning and we are operating on instinct.
In short my advice is
1. if you can, choose a provider who genuinely is supportive of natural birth (ask their stats to back up their claims) and is low intervention. If you don't get a choice hire a doula.
2. prepare mentally. read birth stories and watch birth videos (positive ones are best, especially similar to your birth vision - youtube homebirth, waterbirth, hypnobirth,unassisted birth etc. But in my experience reading all sorts of experieces helped prepare me for alternative outcomes too, and reading other womens experiences and techniques gave me valuabe knowledge about options ad coping skills). Do a hypnobirthing or Bradley method course. practice relaxation skills. Write birth affirmations. Visualise your birth vision (but being open to other outcomes)
3. Write a birth plan and do the research that entails to know your options.
You CAN have the birth you want. You absolutely can. And I really really hope you do I *love* giving birth. It is so euphoric. I really wish every woman felt the same way about it.
Now for the answer you actually asked for, my experiences.
None of my 3 births met my vision (for instance I wanted a waterbirh with all three and am yet to have one ) but for the most part they were all amazing experiences that still went to "plan" (some with more detours)
My first was induced with syntocinon which I did not want, but I gave birth drug free and yes I did drift to sleep in between contractions, even being 5 in 10 minutes and extra-strong from syntocinon.
My second was a spontaneous vaginal breech birth.
My third was the most amazing homebirth. I visialised a waterbirth at night in my kitchen, with me catching my own baby and lifting him out of the water myself. What I got was a swift afternoon labour and my son was born at the foot of my bed, caught by my husband while the birth pool upstairs was only half full.
It hurts, obviously.. but it's hard to say how much it's going to hurt you, or what it'll be like for you. It depends on a lot of different things.
My first labour was less painful then my second, but my first labour went on for quite a while longer - so it wasn't as intense.
I think you just have to go in with an open mind, and just know that you will get through it!
There's no shame in asking for an epidural, or any help you want/need. You deal with the pain in the best way for you!
What I can say it's that of course it's worth every minute, I actually wanted to do it all again after my babies were born. it's so painful, but so magical at the same time. X
Every single labour really is different. And so very different from the next women's labour. Please don't be scared by some people's experiences. I wish I was told and prepared just how painful it was before my first as I was definitely not prepared for it. I hade twonlots of diamorphine. And the pain was still horrendous. But my second labour I was induced and the contractions through a hormone induced labour are supposed to be far worse, yet I found it more barrable then my first. Both labours were incredible and scary. But instantly forgiven and forgotten once ur little one is out and healthy and happy and screaming by their tiny lungs out.
Take every story light heartedly. Their not ur story. Urs will be unique to u
Yes I think NDH is right here. I previously said go with the flow but perhaps that's not the best choice of words! It's great to have your vision and ideally that's exactly how your lavour with go but be clued up on the options available to you. If you are clued up about your options going in to labour then you are armed with all the information you need and will be able to make the best choices for you at that particular time.
Yeah I do absolutely think having an open mind and going with the flow is a good thing, but you need to know what all your options are in advance and have a provider you know is definitely on the same wavelength about birth in order to do that.
My first birth was textbook. I went into labor and rushed to the hospital, but was only 3 cm dialated. When I got there I was left in a tiny room painted an obnoxious pink. I got so aggravated and stressed and my contractions stopped. So I was told to walk around the hospital. I did that until I started bleeding. At 6 cm I was given the epidural (I had planned on this ahead of time) and labored painlessly through the night. I did have a minor internal tear that needed one stitch. I still have back issues that pop up as a result of the epidural (didn't know about that).my recovery wasn't bad with dd1, but I was quite groggy afterwards.
With dd2.....well I had preeclampsia so I got induced just shy of 36 weeks. I will say, if you want a natural birth...it probably won't happen if you are induced because pitocin was a game changer. It sucked and was much more painful than with dd1. I also was on like 5 other meds due to pree. I labored all night with no pain meds and then finally got the epidural (didn't matter at that point because I was too sick to care that I was in pain) I pushed her out laying on my side. That was easy but due to the pree my body began to shut down and I almost died and had to have a bkood transfusion.however I was preparing for tearing using evening primrose oil this time and I had no tearing.
Don't let my story scare you, pree effects less than 8% of women, and my story is not common. But due to the cocktail of meds pumped into my symptom and just the trauma I went thru... I want things to go differently this time. Like you, i want a natural birth. I've been doing a ton of research on it lately and it's actually something I feel quite strongly about now. Homebirth is not an option to me, and sadly my insurance doesn't cover a birthing center. But As another lady suggested if you can opt for a birthing center that would be very beneficial to your plan. There is something about hospitals that makes it harder I think. I plan to wait as long as possible to go to the hospital this time. having a plan, doing research, and surrounding yourself with people who will support your choices is the best way to achieve your goal. As many have said, they don't give you a medal for giving birth naturally...but honestly I kind of disagree. It's a personal thing. Having read many stories and hearing my sister's experience (4 babies naturally) I want that experience, I want that accomplishment. Obviously that's not important to all women, but it is to some.
If you change your mind and choose to have an epidural, or complications arise that change your plan, thats okay. At the end of the day, so long as baby and mama come out safely at the end, that's all that truly matters.
If you haven't watched the Business of Being Born series I highly recommend it.
In the UK a lot of labour wards do have birthing pools and are now a lot more geared up for natural births (or at least mine was)
I was induced but I still like to think I had a natural birth - I had a pessary popped in and then taken out later but the only monitoring I received was when I asked to be checked, I sat on a birthing ball, walking around, using only my TENS machine until I went into the delivery room where I had Gas & Air whilst on my birthing ball - my midwives made suggestions on positions I could try to birth but ultimately the decision was all up to me including pushing
I was offered home birth but wanted to be at the hospital (just in case) and the only reason I didn't do a water birth was by the end baths etc were annoying me so having a water birth wouldn't have relaxed me at all
I think have an idea of how you want your birth to go (as I did) but then go with the flow as you do not really know how you are going to feel until you are really in the throws of it
kittykat - This is my first as well and I am with you on this one regarding how I want to give birth. Is your DH supportive on this method?
That said, to the experienced mommies: is there anything we can do to prepare ourselves other than reading/watching the positive birth stories, taking a class? Or will our bodies just know what to do when the time comes?
Second, My DH doesn't want me to do natural, would you recommend doing the Hypno Class on my own or do I need him on board?
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