When I had my first I didn't even consider a drug free birth. I didn't want to feel anything... I was terrified. We took a Lamaze class because I knew labor would start at home and I wanted to be prepared for the time before I got my epidural.
I was due July 2nd but I really wanted a June birthday so I decided on the night of the 29th to try mineral oil to get things going. BIG mistake!!! I woke up at around 2:30 am with horrible intestinal cramps and back pain. I took a bath, then the contractions started.
I got to the hospital at 4:30. I was only 2cm and completely effaced. I had been 2cm and 80% at 38 weeks! They gave me stadol(sp?) as soon as I got there because I was in so much pain. I was breathing through the contractions like I had learned in Lamaze but I did not feel in control. My Dr came in at 7:30 and immediately broke my water. I was 3-4 cm. I was really in pain then, so they gave me more stadol. The anesthesiologist came in at 8:30 and gave me my epidural. He told me to be sure and tell him if I had any tingling. I told him I felt a tingle shoot down my left leg but he didn't say or do anything about it. My family came in but I was so out of it, I didn't know what was going on. They checked me again at 10:30 and of course I was still 4 so they put me on pitocin. They came in and increased it every 30 minutes. By noon they had it up to 48. Checked me at 12:30, I was 5cm. I guess that still wasn't fast enough for them. Maybe they were afraid I wouldn't go in time for the dr to get home in time for dinner. They had me lie on my side and cranked it up to 60 then to 72. They checked me again at 1:30, I was 8. Then by 2 I was complete and started to push. I remembered what my Lamaze instructor said and pushed with my abs like I was trying to pop a seatbelt off. It worked. I only pushed for 25 minutes. Two hours later I finally got to hold and nurse him. He did good despite the separation and delay.
By the time they moved me to my recovery room I had begun to get the feeling back in my right leg but not my left.. The one with the tingle. I didn't see him again until 7:50. I don't recall what time... And didn't write it down.. He went back to the nursery. They brought him to me every few hours to nurse. I was exhausted and hung over so I slept. Scott had to carry me to the bathroom because I didnt regain feeling in my leg completely until 7 the next morning! The second night was horrible. I was more coherent. I had started getting severe separation anxiety. The nursery was on a separate floor but I still went to check on him. He was lying in his little bed alone... Squalling! I went back to my room sobbing and made Scott go get him!
All in all it wasn't a bad experience... I brought home a healthy 7lb 12oz baby boy. It just wasn't great.
I'm using the term natural childbirth loosely. A better term would probably be drug free birth. It's nearly impossible to go to an ob and hospital and not receive any interventions. Stripping the membrane and artificially rupturing the membrane being the hardest to resist.
When I got pregnant with Jacob I was staying home taking care of Joshua. I had more time to research. Scott and I loved going to Barnes and Noble to hang out, browse and buy books. I lent out my library... And didn't get it back. So I don't remember what books I had that swayed me. But I knew I didn't want a repeat of last time. I wanted to be present. I didn't want my water broke early and I didn't want pitocin. Above all, I did NOT want an epidural! I kept a little bit of an open mind because I didn't want to feel like a failure if I didn't make it. I told Scott not to ask me if I was OK... Which he had a habit of doing... Because it might make me doubt myself. And for no one to offer or even mention pain medication. If I decided I needed it I would ask for it! I also decided if I were less than 5cm when I got to the hospital, I wasn't staying.
I went over and over it in my mind... I read that 2nd labors are typically half what your first was. 12 hr average for 1st so 6 hrs for 2nd. I wrote down, and still have what I might be dilated at each hour of labor. I started having complete faith in my body... Gods design.
Joshua and I weren't early risers but when we did get up I started feeling like I was having some pre labor contractions. It was 3 weeks before my due date but I just had that feeling. I thought, "If I'm going to have a baby today... I need some groceries!" So off to Walmart we went. Everytime I would pick up something heavy I would have a contraction. Not painful, but enough to make me pause. In the parking lot while I was loading into my car the guy getting the carts noticed me and I asked if I need help. Normally I would politely decline but this time I accepted. He even got Joshua out of the buggy for me! I had to drive past my doctors office on the way home so I pulled into the parking lot. I thought maybe I'd just run in and see if he would check me to see if I was in labor. The lot was empty, I remembered they didn't do office visits on that day. So I drove on home. I got all the groceries in, put away the cold stuff, and left the rest on the kitchen floor. Joshua had fell asleep on the way home. I laid back in the recliner where I had done all my visualizing. I dozed off for a bit. I woke up at 1:11 and timed my first real contraction. It still wasn't painful it just felt more intense. I relaxed as much as I could. When Joshua woke up I called my neighbor and she came over and got him. I called Scott then I called my dr at about 3:30. My contractions had started coming every 2-3 minutes. Scott pulled in the drive way at 4:15 and I hopped in. I started feeling a little pain when I got in the car but I was on top of it.
It was 4:45 by the time I got registered and they checked me. I was 5cm!!!! Yay!!! I found out when I got there my GBS had came back positive so they had to hook me up to an IV. They almost gave me penicillin... Which it clearly stated in my chart I am allergic to. Luckily I was with it this time and caught it before she hooked it up. At least I could still get up an go pee! At 5:30 I threw up... Then I thought my water had broken. At my 20wk ultrasound I had a low lying placenta. They checked again at 28wks and said it had moved up but I guess not quite high enough because it was blood not water. A nurse checked me at 6 and said I was 6cm but 15 minutes later my dr came in and checked and said I was 8. He broke my water.... He said he wanted to make sure there wasn't blood in the amniotic fluid. There wasn't. At this point i was think to myself that I was crazy for not getting an epidural! I then reminded myself that this was transition and it was almost over. Checked again at 6:30... I was 9. They started "prepping" me. I was up in stirrups and started pushing at 6:39. He was born at 6:43! They did take him to the warmer to do a few things but I got to nurse him by 7. The labor was a little chaotic. But I was on the high of my life! Elation! I had pain but it was manageable and for a short amount of time.
They took him to the nursery. I cleaned myself up and walked over and watched him for a bit then went to my recovery room and ate. I went back to the nursery just as he was getting ready to get his first bath. The nurse let me come in and video it. It was a good experience. I thought it was great at the time with all the oxytocin and endorphins coursing through my body!
Summers birth was remarkably similar to Jacobs. A little better. 3 checks in 2hrs verses 5. Scott left for work at about 6:15. I was trying to go back to sleep when I had a contraction that felt a little different than a Braxton Hicks. I got up and went to the bathroom and had a little bloody show. Nothing like with Jacob. I called Scott just as he was walking in the office and told him to come on back home. I stood and swayed through my contractions. I had more that way but they weren't as uncomfortable. At 8:15 I had a little more bloody show. We decided to head for the hospital.
I was 5-6cm when I got there. It was 4 weeks before my due date this time so my GBS results hadn't came back yet. Luckily, since I went so quickly last time, they didn't bother with the antibiotics. They did however give me a heplock. At 11 I started to get VERY uncomfortable and decided to labor stand up again. I got sick, the nurse came in and checked me. I was 8. About 10-15 minutes later my dr came in. I was 9 and "stretchy" so he broke my water and I started pushing. Five minutes later at 11:44 she was born. She was laid immediately on my chest but then taken to the warmer to be assessed. Meanwhile the placenta was delivered. The dr pressed on my belly and blood squirted out so they gave me some pitocin. THEN they gave her back to me to nurse. The afterpains were horrible. I'm not so sure he didn't tug on the cord a little to hasten things.
Again they took her to the nursery for a few hours. She roomed in the remainder of our stay with the exception of a few short trips to the nursery for hearing tests and whatnot.
I did even more research before my next two births and came in armed with a birthing plan. Although I still succumbed to some interventions. I'll cover them in my next post.