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August 6th, 2011, 05:13 AM
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snlemon snlemon is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 6,657
I'm asking because I used to think it was perfectly within my capability to achieve an NCB, but after my last birth I seriously doubt my ability (and now desire) to have an NCB.

So...my first birth was an induction at 36w6d for long running pre-eclampsia. I didn't feel bad at all about my epidural, even though I had ideally wanted to go without. I labored for 24 hours, 8 hours of pitocin, 6 hours after breaking my water and I was stuck at 2cm. The only option left (other than a c-section) was getting the epidural. Once I got it, I progressed quickly and gave birth relatively pain free after two hours of pushing.

My second birth (this last one), started spontaneously and was going perfect. I was with a midwife and an NCB trained nurse in a hospital. It was the perfect environmnet for an NCB (truly intermittent monitoring, freedom of movement, no IV's, water available, a nurse that was by my side acting as a doula who was trained in both hypnobirthing and Bradley). I hit a really sticky situation though...my natural labor pattern was causing the baby to have occasional decels (i was getting contractions that were about five minutes long, like triple peaks...and then getting a break for about three to five minutes, but since the contraction was so long and intense it was bugging the baby). And I wasn't progressing and my midwife felt like she needed to break my water. I had to trust her because she couldn't give me a good "reason" to break my water, but it turned out it really did need broken (I had so much fluid that it was cushioning everything too much for the baby to come down...I lost an estimated 2 gallons of water. Then he was hand first so she had to reach up and move him)

Anyways...after my water was broken I labored another six hours without progression. And...the whole time I didn't even think of getting the epidural. I was screaming, I was moaning, I wanted to bear down with each contraction, I was cursing, I was sitting on the toilet wiggling my mother ***** feet in circles while keeping my jaw slack and the nurse coached me through every contraction.
If someone had asked me what my pain was on the pain scale I would have shoved an speculum down their throat. I was determined.
But like I said, six hours later, I was still at a stretchy 3cm. I felt like such a complete and utter failure but I was still determined to tough out the pain. My midwife and the nurse just held me and told me they really thought I needed to get the epidural. I cried and cried (and then collapsed and cried through a contraction) before finally agreeing. I had to wait another hour and half while I got the IV and fluids...and the pain kept increasing and I kept trying to progress. I got checked (per my insistance) right before the epidural and I was still stuck.

But this time my epidural wasn't so good, and while I progressed without a whole lot of pain, by the time pushing came around...I could feel so much down there. It burned, I could feel the catheter and when my midwife told me I was complete I told her I didn't want to push. I was so scared to push because it hurt so bad. When I finally started pushing...I again felt like a complete failure because it hurt SO BAD and I had the epidural. I got him out in fifteen minutes but I'm still (seven weeks later) traumatized over how painful it was.

So I tell you this long story to ask...do you think it's even possible for me to have a natural childbirth? After experiancing so much pain (without even a touch of those lovely endorphins afterwards) I am terrefied to give birth again, even with the epi! And I feel so weird...why was I in SO MUCH pain at only 3cm for such a long time? And why does it seem my body needs the epidural to progress at all?
I think I still really want an NCB, but I'm just so afraid now that I have had a sense of the pain, and even if I can get over that, I'm doubting my ability to progress without pain meds.
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