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Painmeds or NO Painmeds?

Forum: Pregnancy and Motherhood After Loss


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  • 1 Post By ohnicole

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July 28th, 2012, 09:23 PM
Jessghetti's Avatar New Mommy in Training
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 554
So now that delivery is quickly approaching for me, I started thinking about my birth-plan - more specifically wither or not to use any pain medication or not.

Now my mom, along with many other women in my family - swear by doing it completely natural and it's sort of a right of passage to accomplish that naturally. I guess in a way it's sort of a macho thing (lol, I know macho for a very womanly act!) - and really I would like to try to do it naturally if I could.

Thing is, I have no idea how painful it will be or how much I can endure - because labor varies for some people so much - I think maybe if I am in a particularly long labor and a slow-dilation I may opt for some of the lower-threshold pain medicine offered.

I heard epidurals can make labor longer and all that - but I have also seen women (been watching alot of birthing TV shows lately) that truly do need it.

So what about you girls? Do you say go natural or use painmeds/epidurals?

This is of course if I have a natural-vaginal delivery - if I have a c-section this all flies out the window.

Missing Angels: Sept '11 - 4 weeks & Nov '11 - 4 weeks 3 days
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July 28th, 2012, 09:52 PM
Belita's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 12,105
I plan to labor as long as possible without meds, but figure I'll end up getting an epidural at some point.

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July 29th, 2012, 01:27 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Montana
Posts: 3,688
I'll be at a birth center and not a hospital and an epidural won't be an option for me. I got a little preview of labor with my two losses and feel pretty confident that I can handle the pain, especially with the promise of meeting my little girl!

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July 29th, 2012, 04:59 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,650
I've done epis with 5 out of the 6 labors so far. Only reason #6 didn't get one was because it didn't work and the doctor didn't get back in to fix it before I delivered.

It doesn't slow me down in fact I think it helps speed it up. The reason, I can't relax enough during contractions so my body fights them thus the reason my labors are usually 14+ hours. Once the epi is in place and the water is broken, <2 hours later I'm holding the baby.

With all of them, without it, I think I would have ended in csection. Once the epi is in place, I usually take an hour nap which I need to push. I noticed with #6, I was more exhausted than the others and more cranky the next day. .. (#6 was still 48+ hours but they didn't believe I was really contracting and they had to quickly get the baby out once they realized she was having issues. SO they forced massive amount of pit to get the contractions working harder. Wouldn't recommend ANYONE to go through it without an epi.)..
Katrina, mom to 7 wonderful children on earth, and 4 guardian angels in heaven.

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July 29th, 2012, 05:14 AM
kaylakay's Avatar Love Being A Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,472
In my opinion... The epidural was the most wonderful thing on the planet. I was in labor for almost 12 hours and it didn't click that I was in labor until my water broke (I was feeling funny, random contractions etc) but about a half hour later my contractions hit really hard after my water broke. I was in the shower and they started to come every 3 minutes and they HURT. I screamed out to my husband "My contractions have really started! They hurt so bad! I can't breathe I'm gonna end up delivering on the bathroom floor!" Hahaha. I may sound dramatic but on the way to the hospital we got stuck in 45 minutes of traffic and I could not stop like moaning and screaming and crying during contractions! (I had all back labor due to my daughter being face up. Her spine was on mine. I don't know if it's easier when there face down in the right position) I got to the hospital and the first thing I said is I wanted the epidural. It took them about 45 minutes to get it in but it was heaven! A little uncomfy going in but not as bad as my contractions. I was seriously able to relax and I didn't feel one thing!!! Now... Then my delivery went horribly scary and I ended up with an emergency c section but that wasn't from the epi my uterus became extremely infected. Point is...I felt good enough to sleep from my epidural. If my labor went as planned I could of labored for hours on that thing and not really mind cause you really can't feel anything but pressure. I recommend it to anyone. My contractions were the worst pain I have felt... But I may just be a big wuss. I could never go natural. Ever.

Forever missing my 3 angel babies. Sep 2010, Nov 2010, Jan 2011
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July 29th, 2012, 06:20 AM
ohnicole's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,756
I think if you want to go natural, you can definitely do it! But I think that it has to be something you really want to have as a goal, not something that you're trying to do for someone else.

I also think it really helps to learn about labor, the different stages that you'll go through and then learn about some of the ways that you can get through the pain without meds (relaxation techniques, different positions to labor in, etc), and then learn about some of the different pain meds. There is a lot of information available online and there are a lot of really useful books. That way you can make a decision about what you want during your labor and then go into labor informed and ready for whatever you decide.

I did deliver Eleanor without pain meds. We had done classes in the Bradley method, which focuses a lot on relaxation, trying different positions, and having DH as a coach. My labor was really complicated (gestational hypertension), and I ended up getting induced, on an IV, and confined to the bed on my side for much of my labor, but I still did end up with no pain meds. For me, the hardest part was the contractions after my water broke, but had I known how quickly I was dilating (from 3 cm to 10 cm in 2 hours) I think it would have been much easier mentally. Pushing for me was not painful at all! I plan on trying for natural births if I have more children- it is definitely doable!

Either way, I think the best plan is to go into labor with a flexible attitude. Every labor is different, and you can't know ahead of time how things will work out. If you choose to go natural, I think it's best to go in confident, but knowing that there are some situations where your 'plan' may go out the window. The only real goal is a healthy mom and baby
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July 29th, 2012, 07:13 AM
geogeek's Avatar Marsi's Mommy
Join Date: May 2009
Location: In yonder mountains
Posts: 9,339
I was a transfer from a freestanding birthcenter to hospital. Marsi was face up with a 16 inch head. Back labor was terrible and she wasn't engaging in the pelvis despite being fully dilated. After going through that for 10 hours, we transferred to the hospital for an epidural to give me some rest. I was hopeful for a natural delivery and had Marsi been in proper position, it would have been. The epidural was sweet relief, I won't lie! If you want natural you can do it. But, not needing to be in so much pain is great too!

Thank you *kiliki* for my beautiful siggy!

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July 29th, 2012, 12:47 PM
lindsey2000k's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 5,966
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I had Bryson with zero pain meds.
I honestly thought it was better than my daughters pit & Epi birth. Yes it hurt but not as bad as I thought and as soon as he came out it was pretty much over.
With my daughter I had a really hard recovery from all the drugs and because I had a epi & was flat on my back I had to be cut so they could get her out.

So if I can talk DH into any more I will totally be going natural again.... and think I am going for a home birth.

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July 29th, 2012, 02:09 PM
luvmykids623's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 13,408
With Aiden I labored without the epidural until they made me get it, because of my blood pressure. I was being induced for pre-e, and my BP shot above 200, and they told me I could either get the epi (because it lowers BP) or I could get a c-section. I went with the epi, and it was nice for the labor pain. I had a spinal for my c-sections with Maryella and the twins. I wish I had the chance to see if I could do it without an epi after Aiden, but no such luck.

Thank you Jaidynsmum for my beautiful siggy!

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July 29th, 2012, 08:45 PM
martilynne's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 12,987
I was tensing up so much during contractions that I wasn't dilating very fast. Once I got the epidural and was able to relax, I was to a 10 in no time. I'm not sure I would've been able to dilate if it wasn't for the epidural. I loved it and plan on getting one again.

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July 29th, 2012, 11:12 PM
missy123's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Savannah GA
Posts: 13,418
I have had 1 natural birth, 2 with demoral, and 1 with an epidural. Every labor is different and going with the mentality that if you need to change your birth plan that is ok is the way to go!

Pregnancy Loss April 2009, September 2010
CP 10/2008, 1/3/11 {missing my babies every single day}Mommy to 4 Children - 3 boys ages 22, 21 and 18 & baby Scarlett
After 2.5 years TTC with 4 losses our Family was given the gift of Miss Scarlett
Do not ever give up hope...

Miss Scarlett... Our miracle girl still brings happy tears to my eyes.

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July 30th, 2012, 08:27 AM
Shadeauxe's Avatar It's me
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 5,820
I go in with the mindset of, I will go natural as long as I can and if it's too overwhelming, then I get the epidural. Both deliveries were great. I got the epidural very close to the end and no issues with pushing or long labors.
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July 30th, 2012, 11:25 AM
K.A.T's Avatar Enjoying her Sticky Bun
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: NYC
Posts: 13,499
With my teen I went all natural. If you want to do it, you can. For me, it's not something I want to do again and I have a high tolerance for pain. With my first son, I had half a dose of demoral since I got to the hospital at 8 cm already. With my newborn, I was induced and would never even think about not getting an epi after being pumped full of pit. That stuff is the devil I think it's best to go in with an open mind and take labor as it comes. If you truly want to go natural, go for it. If you start off natural and can't make it all the way, don't feel ashamed to ask for pain relief. That's what it's there for. Don't let the pressure from anyone else, even your own doctor, steer your decisions.

❤ Big Thanks to Vicki, trishosaurus, & Shortcake for the great siggies of my kids! ❤
Liz (36) Kev (35)
Tiana (16) Doni (14) Lil Kev (8) Ethan 7/23/12 Lil Roo 10/29/11

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July 30th, 2012, 01:38 PM
ashj_1218's Avatar Hiya!
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 11,971
I totally agree with everyone about going in educated, but with an open mind. I think knowing your options if hugely empowering and you will not be "disappointed" with your decisions if you are in control of them. KWIM? Having the knowledge allows you to roll with the punches. As folks said, labor is totally different for different women...and for the same woman having different babies. And a one-size-fits-all birth plan certainly isn't going to work.

I think setting your "ideal" is fine. As is making some back-up plans, what you are okay with and what is not on your radar at all is fine. And smart.

My first birth I was wholly unprepared for what was going to happen. I didn't read, didn't put a seconds thought into what pain meds or not I wanted. I had been a "birth coach" (aka: i watched banies be born and rubbed feet) a couple times before, but no in-depth experience. I just figured I would go as far as I could without meds and go from there. I made it all the way with not even an IV, no interventions or medication at all. The hardest part for me was pushing. But some women love pushing.

With number two, I was delightfully delusional in that I could plan every detail of my birth. I read and studies hynobabies. I devoured every NCB book I could find. I hired a doula. I had so much confidence. And baby had other plans I ended up with late-flipping breech, meconium, monitoring, IV fluids, pitocin, and finally a half-dose of Nubain (weak narcotic) to relax my body enough to get some rest. It was not easy...at all. Very unlike my first birth. I had even opted for an epi not ten minutes before I started pushing (I didn't have it, but I asked!)

BUT, despite my second birth being less than ideal, I still felt in control of my options. I dealt with what was happening the best I could and made decisions based on my reading and newfound knowledge. So, in the end, I was pretty pleased that I managed what I did with that evil pitocin! Lol. And I think that is the key for being happy with your birth. I hear women who want epis and labor too quick to have them be irate at their experience and say it is horrible. And I hear of women who want all natural and end up opting for an epi and loving their birth. I think it is all about the choice in the matter.
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