Discussion Forum -> Topics so far: Epidurals; Identity; Personality's effects on birth -> Epidurals

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dyaneavonlea I wasn't quite sure where to put this post. I considered the Health section, but I thought it would be okay to write in this free-for-all spot. (Thank you Allison, for creating it!) I am due with our second child in 10 weeks. I am starting to obsess and freak out about going through labor and also about the health of my baby. With my first child, I was in a terribly painful labor for 19 hours (from 7:00 p.m. until 1:30 p.m. the next day). I had a doula who (although she was wonderful in many ways) was anti-epidural and I did not feel like I could have one without being judged. I had 2 shots of Fentanyl at the very end of labor, which really helped me, but in retrospect I am bummed out that I was in so much pain for most of the experience. I do not want to go through that again if I can possbily help it. I realize I may have no choice. While I am incredibly and profoundly grateful that I gave birth to a healthy baby, (& that I got through labor without the epidural) I am hoping this second time I do not need to go through that kind of pain. So...............I am eager to hear about other positive epidural experiences from others who belong to this list. I don't feel like going on a wild goose chase on the internet about birth experiences, i
allisongilbert This is a great topic!
I have a good epidural story:
My water broke 2 weeks early with my first. I had my mind set on a labor without drugs. But my labor never started. I waited over 24 hours before I would let them induce me with pitocin - which is a dangerous thing to do! Once I got the pitocin, I refused the epidural. After a good 10 hours of laboring like a maniac on pitocin without the epidural and getting nowhere, my husband (who didn't want to pressure me knowing my hard-line), was told by the doctor that if someone gets pitocin, they need an epidural. I wish someone had told me that earlier! Less than 1/2 hour after getting the epidural, I was smiling and completed dilated. Before accepting the epidural, I had wasted a lot of time laboring in pain and getting nowhere for nothing.

With my second child, I was ready to push so fast, I hardly labored at all. Didn't need pitocin, didn't need an epidural. The nurse said, "Don't push!" so the doctor could get there in time! My doula then asked the nurse, "Can't you catch a baby!?" Luckily my doctor got there and my daughter followed immediately.

dyaneavonlea That was a great story!!! I hope my second labor goes like yours did. I can dream, right???? ;) Thank you so much for sharing it. I saw on the stats for this section which say there have been 10 views of this topic, Allison. That means (I think) 8 other moms have checked this area out. Hellloooo out there -- I'd love to hear from more moms too.

nexxjenn My first labor, long, hard, interventions. 29 hours of labor, pitocin, epidural 5 hours from the end. Totally relaxed my body and let the labor happen. Pushed out my boy in 26 minutes. big grin

Second labor, about 12 hours. Most of it at home. I read lots of stories from Ina May Gaskins book. I took a hypnobirthing class. I went in knowing that it would be a totally different birth. Was 6 cm. when I arrived at hospital. I progressed really quickly. My ob checked on me then my doula called her back in shortly after because I was pushing the baby girl out. Arrived at hospital 12:20 pm, baby girl born 1:26 pm. Second labor was totally do-able. Your body is meant to do this, and the first birth paves the way. You can do this, and just keep your mind in the realm that says you can do it. Really read Ina May Gaskins birth stories. It's a little hippy dippy, but reinforces our abilities.

Cheers! big grin
allisongilbert I was reading a book called, "Depression in New Mothers" by Kathleen A. Kendall-Thackett, PhD, IBCLC, where she writes about the effect of a negative birth experience. 40% of mothers are unhappy with their birth experience. 3% end up with full Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and 24% display at least one symptom of PTSD. The rate of PTSD in the city of Mannhattan after 9/11 was 7.5% An interesting comparison that begs us to figure out how to support mothers better. During childbirth, mothers can feel out of control of their situation, helpless and unsupported. Here is a link to an article that Kathleen Kendall-Thackett wrote that you might find helpful if you've had a negative birth experience: "Making Peace with Your Birth Experience" http://www.llli.org/NB/NBMarApr02p44.html
dyaneavonlea Thanks Allison, I meant to write this much sooner than now.....oh well.
I just packed my bag for the hospital so I'm ready to go now....even though I have technically 4 weeks to my due date, I have several friends who went into labor at least one week earlier than their predicted due date, so I feel very Girl Scouty to be prepared.

I am feeling a little better about what is to come, although all my close friends know I'm still freaked out (Jenn?) ;) I visited a friend at the hospital yesterday who had an adorable newborn son at her side, and it was an affirming experience for me.

Last week I had a good talk with my OB/GYN in which I reviewed my first birth experience and my hopes for this second labor; she was reassuring and I felt heard.

I'll keep you posted, that's for sure! smile
take good care, Dyane
allisongilbert My first came 2 weeks early so it's a good idea to be Girl Scouty! big grin Sounds like you're doing what you need to do to take good care of yourself and it's helping. Of course you might still freak out at times - it's only natural. Please do keep me updated and send me photos too!
dyaneavonlea Thank you Allison, for the support - you are so helpful and comforting, even if it's "just" online tongue
Today I spoke with Cynthia at Dominican - she had to cancel our Birth Refresher course a couple days ago, to my chagrin (it was scheduled for the next two Mondays) and I was bummed...... but then she told me that if I wanted to I could stop by and meet with her, free of charge, with any questions or concerns I had. She was so kind on the phone and her offer was quite generous. Since then I decided to purchase a DVD online ("Laugh and Learn about Childbirth") that got great reviews from something like 14 families....I'll let you know if it's good.

Craig & I are going to also take a tour of Dominican's birth center just in case that's where we wind up -- we got the last room at Sutter with Avi, and so I realized we could have easily been told to go to Dominican - so I want to be familiar with their center.

I'll definitely keep you updated and send you photos of course. Thanks again, Dy