considering not having an epidural...

subbrocksubbrock Posts: 8,212Registered Users
i had a great birth experience the first time around. i did have an epidural, but it was beginning to wear off so i could still feel my body and what was happening. i couple of pushes and the kid was out.

this time around, i'm totally open to having a natural childbirth. the women's hospital is wonderful and they don't push anything on you, so i'm not worried about getting duped into any sort of intervention that isn't needed. i feel like since i know what to expect, i could do it. but the only thing i'm concerned about is the baby actually coming out. does that hurt as bad as it seems like it does?

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  • cosmicflycosmicfly Posts: 1,814Registered Users
    I didn't find it to hurt really, especially with #s 2 and 3. It was actually more of a relief to push the baby out, if that makes sense.
  • webjockeywebjockey Posts: 2,786Registered Users
    It hurts but it doesn't last as long. Mostly you feel sore afterwards.

    IMHO fear makes pain worse and since you don't seem fearful about the whole thing, it probably will be just fine for you.
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  • iris427iris427 Posts: 6,002Registered Users
    I'm planning to go sans epidural this time too (last time I had an epidural and then a c/s). I'm nervous about transition but I feel like I pretty much went through that without an epi last time, since my Pitocin basically mimicked what I hear a natural labor transition is like (back to back contractions, feeling like you can't do it anymore, etc.). I'm also worried about tensing up during pushing so I'm going to try and learn some relaxation techniques.

    Good luck :)
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  • cosmicflycosmicfly Posts: 1,814Registered Users
    Just clarifying: I didn't find the actual act of pushing out my second and third babies to hurt, but the transition was extremely uncomfortable, to put it mildly. Pushing was quite painful with my first baby. I had an epidural with my first but not with the second or third.
  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    I had Pit and an epi with my first, and went natural with my second. If I remember correctly, iris is right that natural transition is similar to Pit. The difference for me was that the second time when it was natural, I knew that it meant the finish line was near. The first time, I wasn't even that far into labor yet and the Pit made it so unbearable that I was BEGGING for the epi. The pushing itself and the baby actually coming out.... well, this is going to be super-gross but to me it was very much like having a large, difficult bowel movement. Obviously bigger and more intense than a BM, but very similar. And during the push when the baby actually comes out, it only lasts seconds. I found what helped me when I went natural was not to focus too much on pushing... just breathing and gently pushing only when I felt it would be effective, if that makes sense.
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  • subbrocksubbrock Posts: 8,212Registered Users
    someone else told me that pushing is a relief, so i can believe that.

    and i do a lot better when i can anticipate pain rather then when i'm surprised by it. getting my ears pierced for a second time i cried like a baby. getting a 2 hour tattoo i managed to handle just fine. gah. i'm just scared.
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I think the best-kept secret in the birthing world is that late-stage active labor and birth don't hurt any more than early-stage active labor. The contractions are just closer together, not worse. If more women knew that, the epidural revenues would greatly decrease.

    The actual birth...well, I found it really stings a lot (ring-of-fire is an apt term), but it's not unbearable, and it doesn't last long. I liked that part best of all in my natural birth.
  • geekygeeky Posts: 4,995Registered Users
    Pushing was a relief definitely. Transition was quite painful and tough, but I just kept in mind that it would not last forever, just a few more hours. I also took one contraction at a time, I knew they would last only a minute or two and then I'd get a break and I could stand anything for a minute or two.
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  • subbrocksubbrock Posts: 8,212Registered Users
    i'm nervous about the "ring of fire" feel.
  • geekygeeky Posts: 4,995Registered Users
    For me the ring of fire was intense but not horrible or unbearable. And the best part is once you are feeling that, you know you are in the home stretch, which makes it not so bad.
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
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  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    subbrock wrote: »
    i'm nervous about the "ring of fire" feel.


    It's not unbearable. The pressure is more intense than the firey-burning thing. I think most women feel that pressure with an epidural anyway.
  • iris427iris427 Posts: 6,002Registered Users
    subbrock wrote: »
    i'm nervous about the "ring of fire" feel.


    It's not unbearable. The pressure is more intense than the firey-burning thing. I think most women feel that pressure with an epidural anyway.

    From the births I've seen, I would agree with this. Epidurals typically take away sharp pain but not pressure and the pressure itself can also be pretty intense. This was true for my cesarean too, which was done with epidural anesthesia.
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  • iris427iris427 Posts: 6,002Registered Users
    geeky wrote: »
    Pushing was a relief definitely. Transition was quite painful and tough, but I just kept in mind that it would not last forever, just a few more hours. I also took one contraction at a time, I knew they would last only a minute or two and then I'd get a break and I could stand anything for a minute or two.

    That's what killed me with the Pitocin labor. After hours of "transition" I found out I was only 4 cm. If I had been 6 or 7 I might have kept going but I just really lost my focus and became discouraged when I found out I was only 4 cm. And I wasn't getting a break in between contractions because of my daughter's position. I was just in constant pain and I had really been expecting that break in between contractions that everyone talks about.

    It didn't help that the hospital was either discouraging me or outright prohibiting me from doing anything that actually helped too, like laboring in the shower or tub.
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  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    iris427 wrote: »
    subbrock wrote: »
    i'm nervous about the "ring of fire" feel.


    It's not unbearable. The pressure is more intense than the firey-burning thing. I think most women feel that pressure with an epidural anyway.

    From the births I've seen, I would agree with this. Epidurals typically take away sharp pain but not pressure and the pressure itself can also be pretty intense. This was true for my cesarean too, which was done with epidural anesthesia.



    Yes, I also felt the intense pressure during my c-sections. It takes an incredibly deep level of anesthesia to completely block the pressure sensation caused by moving a 7 pound bowling ball through a 4 inch hole. You're most likely going to experience the pressure with or without an epidural. The ring-of-fire is nothing compared to the pressure.
  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    iris427 wrote: »
    And I wasn't getting a break in between contractions because of my daughter's position. I was just in constant pain and I had really been expecting that break in between contractions that everyone talks about.

    My first labor was the same way. I had horrible back labor/pain because of Sol's position and that pain didn't go away between contractions, AND the Pit made everything stronger/more intense. Abram must have been in a better position because I did get to rest between contractions, until the end when they were pretty much back-to-back.

    I have to disagree with RCW that late-stage active labor and birth don't hurt any more than early-stage active. My experience was different, but it may have been because of my water breaking. Before my water broke I found the contractions to be very manageable, but after my water broke they became much more intense.

    I don't recall feeling the "ring of fire" with either labor. I just remember the intense pressure.
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  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    PixieCurl wrote: »
    iris427 wrote: »
    And I wasn't getting a break in between contractions because of my daughter's position. I was just in constant pain and I had really been expecting that break in between contractions that everyone talks about.

    My first labor was the same way. I had horrible back labor/pain because of Sol's position and that pain didn't go away between contractions, AND the Pit made everything stronger/more intense. Abram must have been in a better position because I did get to rest between contractions, until the end when they were pretty much back-to-back.

    I have to disagree with RCW that late-stage active labor and birth don't hurt any more than early-stage active. My experience was different, but it may have been because of my water breaking. Before my water broke I found the contractions to be very manageable, but after my water broke they became much more intense.

    I don't recall feeling the "ring of fire" with either labor. I just remember the intense pressure.


    All my labors have started with water breaking, so I don't have any experience of what active labor feels like with an intact bag, early or late. It may be less painful. I just know that there wasn't much difference between early and late active labor with a broken bag.
  • geekygeeky Posts: 4,995Registered Users
    I had an intact bag right until almost pushing time with both babies. It definitely got A LOT more intense after the water broke both times. I would say even before the bag broke it got more intense for me in full-on active labor than in early labor, but each time it got to a certain intensity and then did not get worse, just longer. It certainly was not more than I could bear.
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    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • fuzzbucketfuzzbucket Posts: 996Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    If I were to have another baby (which I'm not) I would consider no epi either (an no hospital, but that is another thread). With my second, the epi didn't take and they didn't know right away, so I had pitocin to "help things along". Then, there was an emergency across the hall, so they couldn't fix the epidural. Basically, I had an un-medicated, pitocin birth to a nearly 10 pound baby. I think no epi would have been no problem, by comparison. I made it to 6+ cm without one and didn't think it was unbearable to that point.

    I agree that, once you hit the ring of fire, you are home free.
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  • rileysmama32208rileysmama32208 Posts: 69Registered Users
    i didn't have any epi or anything with my son, and I know it hurt like heck, but i kept waiting for that ring of fire thing people have been mentioning, and i never felt it. not even a little.. i didn't even know he was out! and that was no tearing or bruising on my part, and he was 8lbs 8oz.

    what scared me was not having any idea what to expect, lol. i kept thinking that i had many hours and hours left to go, but my labor was 10 hours, start to finish.
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  • subbrocksubbrock Posts: 8,212Registered Users
    i think i can do it. well, i take that back, i KNOW i can do it, but i think i'm going to try actually try.
  • DelmaDelma Posts: 1,121Registered Users
    subbrock wrote: »
    i think i can do it. well, i take that back, i KNOW i can do it, but i think i'm going to try actually try.


    I'm on fb too much because I really wanted to like this lol, goodluck mama whatever you decide:iconbiggrin:
  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    I had one with an epidural and one without meds. The difference for me was fatigue rather than pain. I just couldn't handle 30 hours of active labour (and 2 nights of no sleep) the first time around. The second time, it was much shorter (12 hours) and much more manageable.

    Statistics are in your favour: the second birth is typically the shortest and least complicated. You'll do great!
  • PoPo Posts: 2,607Registered Users
    I just had a natural delivery in September. About 5 hours into my labor, I started to get really worried about pushing. The thought of pushing a 7 or 8 lb human being out of my vagina freaked the hell out of me and I seriously contemplated getting an epidural. I have to say now that pushing feels awesome. It is such a relief and your body pretty much takes over at that point. It's kinda like taking a crap (sorry!). I didn't really experience the "ring of fire." It just felt like intense stretching.

    Good luck!

    eta: Transition was a killer, but I knew that when you start feeling like you would rather die that you'll probably have a baby in your arms within an hour.
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  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    Po wrote: »
    eta: Transition was a killer, but I knew that when you start feeling like you would rather die that you'll probably have a baby in your arms within an hour.

    What helped me get through transition was (1) thinking this is what I wanted, and knowing how I'd feel if I caved and asked for an epi, and (2) knowing that it was probably too late to get one anyway, since things were moving so fast. I knew I probably wouldn't even be able to sit still long enough to get it.
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  • AmnerisAmneris Posts: 15,117Registered Users
    subbrock wrote: »
    i had a great birth experience the first time around. i did have an epidural, but it was beginning to wear off so i could still feel my body and what was happening. i couple of pushes and the kid was out.

    this time around, i'm totally open to having a natural childbirth. the women's hospital is wonderful and they don't push anything on you, so i'm not worried about getting duped into any sort of intervention that isn't needed. i feel like since i know what to expect, i could do it. but the only thing i'm concerned about is the baby actually coming out. does that hurt as bad as it seems like it does?

    For me, it burned like heck when the baby was crowning but that was for a VERY short time.... a minute maybe? Totally bearable. For me, the sheer length and intensity of pushing was the hardest part, not the level of pain and not the baby coming out. You totally can do it!
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  • RheannaRheanna Posts: 2,614Registered Users
    FWIW, I had Ava totally naturally and not by choice, so I was scared as hell. I was in labor for 26 hours. I had not quite yet gotten over H1N1 flu as I was in the hospital Saturday and Sunday with the flu and a nearly 104 degree fever and back Wednesday very early in labor. Did it hurt? Yes. Would I do it again? Absolutely! If/when I ever have another baby, I plan on going the natural way, because now I know that I can. And so can you. :)

    For me, contractions were the absolute worst. Pushing was a total relief and I never felt the "ring of fire" others mentioned. And as someone else mentioned, I did not find contractions at the beginning to be any worse than contractions at the end. They just lasted longer and I had more pressure.

    I'm a wuss, and I'm really glad I didn't have the epidural, even after 2 nights of zero sleep (due to labor - she was born at around 4 am after labor started the previous morning at around 2 am, before I had slept any) and such a long labor. I'm still glad.

    I have faith in you. :)
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  • SugarNutsSugarNuts Posts: 250Registered Users
    I had a epidural. I knew that I did not have any tolerance for pain.

    OP, my hat is off to you for wanting to go natural. Actually, my hat is off to anyone in here that went natural. My sisters and Mother all had natural births. They said that it was tolerable. It was the afterward that hurt the most i.e. tearing.

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  • sexyjacksparrowsexyjacksparrow Posts: 439Registered Users
    I didn't have an epidural and the pain was intense but bearable (I did have pethidine but it diudn't do anythign for the pain). I'm glad I didn't have the epi as it meant I could move around a lot in labour and adopt positions that I was happy with rather than lying down all the time.

    Still, am envious of a 'couple of pushes' - - I had to push for 2 and a half hours to get Xavier out (and even then only after an episiotomy) !
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