I need some stories from BTDT moms. I desperately wanted to go natural with my DD. 3 hours after my ctx's started my water broke and so I jumped right into the nasty, intense ctx's 3 min. apart...and got through 9 hours of that naturally. But when we went to the hospital after that, I got an epi an hour and a half later (after trying a short round of Nubain to get me to relax my back). And I wasn't even in transition yet! I'm not ashamed that I did get one...disappointed, but not ashamed. I'm glad that after not even being able to speak for 9 hours or not be able to move 1 inch. w/out dreading the next ctx that it would bring, that I could finally function somewhat normally. And I was able to enjoy the rest.
But now I feel like since I've had the epi, I'll be a wimp forever and never be able to go natural with any future deliveries. I'm even an advocate for going natural since I've researched the effects of an epi, yet I feel spoiled because I could get up and walk around like normal less than 45 minutes after she came out, my baby showed no adverse reactions, found the breast immediately and nursed great.
But as much relief as it was, I kinda wish it'd been a bad experience so I'd be more encouraged to go natural this next time around!!!
I had an epi with Ani and it was not a bad experience. I still (6 1/2 years later) have a tiny numb spot on my back but that's not a big deal or a problem at all. Ani showed no obvious side effects of the drugs, nursed right away and everything, and I was up and around within about an hour of her birth. I felt great. Then I had Cameron all natural. Even though I did not have a bad experience medicated with Ani non-medicated with Cameron was way better. I was up within minutes of his birth and felt even better than I had after Ani was born. I felt like I could, right that second, go run a marathon. So while Ani's birth was great, Cameron's was awesome. Even between two good experiences the natural birth was way better. And obviously it was worth it since I'll be having a homebirth (and so obviously no drugs) any time now (due Tuesday).
Hmmm...I'm wondering if you had some malpresentation issues with your first? It's not unusual for malpresented babies to have early water breaking, intense UC and not much progress. 9 hours of contractions 3min apart that you couldn't talk through isn't really what I would call a normal labor. Yes, I've seen moms do it, and I've done it for 8 hours, but still...I wouldn't say it's normal. In my case, I stalled at 4cm because there was an unexpected wrench thrown into my birth plans. In other cases I've seen, it was almost always malpresentation.
I think that you should do some practice with relaxation and positive thinking during intense pain. In my childbirth classes, I accomplish this with a ziploc baggie filled with ice cubes and a tiny bit of water (makes it colder). Focus on relaxing and thinking postively during a 2 minute time period where the ice is in your open hand. Think things like "this is one contraction closer to my baby. I can do this. I am doing this. My body knows exactly how to birth this baby. I can relax and let it do the work. There is nothing wrong with me. I trust my birth team. They know what they're doing and I don't need to worry. I'm going to get to hold my baby soon." And so on...
In class, I do this exercise after a 1 minute exercise of tensing up and thinking negatively: "oh my god, this is so intense. Is it over yet? How long am I going to do this? I can't. I don't want to. There has to be some way out. I can't. This is not worth the effort. I don't know how I'm going to make it. I'm only 3cm and I'm already so tired. I just want to be done with this. It hurts so badly" and so on. UNIVERSALLY, the mothers are SHOCKED that the positive thinking exercise was actually 2x longer than the other. If I ask them before I reveal the time, they all say that the negative contraction was longer.
I mention this because you said you weren't "able to move 1 inch. w/out dreading the next ctx that it would bring." When dread enters your labor vocabulary, things need to change, whether that's an epidural or baby's position or your position or your support team (maybe you needed a MIL to leave the room?). I think practicing relaxation and knowing what it feels like to relax will help a lot. You also have to plan your birth carefully and make sure that your desire to have a natural birth is protected by a DH and/or a good doula, ESPECIALLY if you plan to birth in the hospital. Nurses barging in and demanding to adjust the monitors can really mess up your focus and cause you to tense, when a good doula can realize that the fetal tracing isn't what the nurses are going to want and just reach down and rearrange the monitor in between contractions, ya know?
Relaxation & hypnobirthing techniques were the very things I prepared myself with. :lol: But I will admit I wasn't as strong as I'd hoped I'd be when it came to overall positive thinking. My support team was great, but I think I just gave up after a while (I know, that's like the cardinal sin in NCB :lol: ). I'm the quiet type, and don't like much talking going on, as I prefer to just sit back, breathe, and do my best to relax, but I think next time I've got to find a way to get more help than I allowed this first time.
BTW- I really like your positive/negative thinking practice! That's pretty cool!
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