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Noreen Claire

*UPDATE in post#1* anxiety over giving birth again...

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UPDATE:

Long story, short: My anxiety got so bad that I couldn't cope anymore, so I asked to be induced 2 days before my due date. Second day of induction I asked for an epidural, which took my anxiety away the minute my toes got all warm and tingly. (However, the itching was horrible and there is still something wrong with the nerves in my left leg.) Baby was born with a grand total of 2 pushes.

:wub: I am now the proud mama of FIVE boys!  :wub: 

 

 

I just don't want to go through labor and delivery again.  :scared:  There, I said it.

 

I have four boys (20, 7, 4, and 2); each was delivered vaginally and without pain medication. All were post-dates, so three were induced; the youngest was the only one where I went into labor on my own. If I were to hazard a guess, I would say that the amount of time I spend, on average, in active labor is about an hour - with about 15 minutes of that pushing, at most. I'm 34+ weeks pregnant with baby #5, and the due date is suddenly coming very fast. 

 

The problem is that I'm scared to death of delivering again...  :crying:

 

A tv commercial last night, including maybe 5 seconds of a woman in labor, sent me into a total, all-night anxiety attack. I have always had a mild, undiagnosed/untreated level of anxiety and this is generally made worse during pregnancy. However, it's usually better towards the end, not worse!

 

I know that my fears are probably exacerbated by the fact that I am seriously sleep-deprived (2yr old still wakes every night and I get up at least 2 more times to pee), I have gotten exactly NO exercise the last 34 weeks (too tired - no sleep!), my entire midsection aches all day long, my sciatica is a mess and the usual treatments aren't helping, and my 7yr old has been going through some physical/mental/emotional issues all summer that we are still dealing with. It's been a tough year so far.

 

Logically, I can understand why I'm such a mess, but that doesn't change the fact that every time I think about labor and delivery I want to run away screaming or roll into a ball and weep. :crying:  Has anyone else ever felt this way? How did you manage?

Edited by Noreen Claire
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Yeah, I did that.

 

I got through it thinking that with my last 2 it was just an hour or two. I can live through anything for an hour or two.

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My third birth was bad and scary, I woke up in cold sweats for a while over it. When I was pregnant with my fourth I felt a lot of anxiety leading up to it, BUT when hard labor actually started I was too Overwhelmed with what was actually going on to think straight enough to be afraid, if that makes sense. :). I guess I have a pattern of making myself sick with worry beforehand and then doing fine in the actual event. I don't know if that's helpful to you at all.

Big hugs and prayers.

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With my DS 3, for the entire first trimester the one thing that set off morning sickness was the thought of labor. Even someone saying the word made me want to hurl. I was so anxious. I will say, as much as hypnosis stuff doesn't help me at all IN labor, it really really helped with pregnancy. Maybe get one of the hypnobabies tracks and listen to it once a day? Or another anxiety type hypnosis track? 

 

Hugs mama. Honestly, just try not to think about it, if nothing else works. 

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I had some of that w/ my 3rd and 4th. It is one thing when you've never had a kid you can believe all the lovely stories but once you've been through labor you know better :) All of my labors were med free too, last 3 at home. I only had about an hour of active labor last time but it was so intense I couldn't even think. Oh, and pushing- hands down the most painful part of labor (followed closely by afterpains that get worse every time). I know the pain doesn't long, which I guess is some solace but boy does it suck while it is happening. IF I ever get pregnant again I believe I'll be heavily using meditation especially preceding labor. Good luck to you! You can do it, you will do it!

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I only had c-sections, but I'm thinking there are only two ways out of your condition. Labor and delivery or c-section. C-sections do have a recovery period, but my friends with a normal delivery had a *much* shorter recovery time as well as less time in the hospital.

 

Best wishes for a quick and easy delivery!

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I might just be an odd one, but the book Ina May's Guide to Childbirth is really empowering to me. In the weeks before I am due, I usually watch a bunch of birth videos on youtube. It kind of pumps me up for labor. I've had 6 babies and never had meds for them. I do get a little bit of anxiety right before because I know how much it hurts though. I also think taking a childbirth class like Bradley or Hynobabies is helpful because they teach you coping strategies for the pain. I never really got into the "hypno" part of hypnobabies and certainly never had a quiet, painfree birth, but I still thought the things I learned were helpful.

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 Maybe get one of the hypnobabies tracks and listen to it once a day? Or another anxiety type hypnosis track? 

 

 

I have never heard of hypnobabies or anxiety hypnosis tracks... off to see if my library carries these!

 

I might just be an odd one, but the book Ina May's Guide to Childbirth is really empowering to me.

 

I have that book around here somewhere - maybe it's time to read it again? 

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I was that way the weeks leading up to having my third. Labor and recovery from number 2 was still fresh in my head! I don't have any advice really- just hugs. Sorry you are dealing with this- sounds like an exhausting 9 months. It will be all worth it when you get that little bundle handed to you. :)

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I had all mine vaginally too.  None in the hospital so no meds. 

 

With each one as "the day" approached I definitely started to feel like you.  Just.don't.want.to. 

 

I found that reading positive birth experiences really did help me.  It not only gave me the confidence that I could do it, but also got me excited about meeting my new little one.   I had a few books that shared stories (back in the day), I'm not sure where to find them online.   Maybe you can ask here, if you think that would help? 

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I had five unmedicated births and when it came to number six I Just.Could.Not.Do.It and chose to have an epidural. I don't know if that will even be an option with your labor going so fast, but it was definitely the right choice for me. I just couldn't face the agony again

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I think if you have to do it, you will do it and be ok.  :grouphug:  I am ridiculously impressed that you were induced without pain meds - just wow! 

 

I know a mom who had 6 without meds and got meds for the last one - and she was SO glad she did!  It worked out.

 

If I were you, I'd go ahead and discuss how you are feeling about it with your medical folks and plan for an epidural now.  That way, they know what you have in mind, and will be prepared to hook you up as soon as you get to the hospital.  The pain meds have come a long way in the last decade. 

 

 

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I had a traumatic delivery with my 5th (who ended up being quite a large baby), unmedicated.  I have a very low pain tolerance, and I also have quick labors, so there was no time for an epidural.  I had also missed one with my 3rd and had a scary hemorrhage.

 

At any rate, I had the same thing as you after delivering my 5th - severe anxiety about labor.  I would break into cold sweats, and I thought about the labor for the next baby constantly after having #5.

 

Finally, at some point during this last pregnancy, I said to hell with it and asked for a scheduled induction so I could have an epidural.  Normally I would be completely opposed to such a thing for the risks, etc. but the relief in constant anxiety (and the epidural itself!) was worth it, for me.

 

I was induced at 39 weeks; the baby was born with a true knot in the cord and everything went fine.  I was not afraid.

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I think if you have to do it, you will do it and be ok.  :grouphug:  I am ridiculously impressed that you were induced without pain meds - just wow! 

 

I know a mom who had 6 without meds and got meds for the last one - and she was SO glad she did!  It worked out.

 

If I were you, I'd go ahead and discuss how you are feeling about it with your medical folks and plan for an epidural now.  That way, they know what you have in mind, and will be prepared to hook you up as soon as you get to the hospital.  The pain meds have come a long way in the last decade. 

 

If she has 1 hour active labors, even knowing beforehand that she wants an epidural may very well mean there is not enough time for one.  They have to do all that intake questioning/ascertaining you're actually in labor, which takes half an hour, then they take your blood, then process it, which is another half an hour, then they have to go find the anaesthesiologist, which is another half an hour, etc.  

 

I have missed two epidurals by relying on the "tell them I want one in advance" method.  My labors are just too fast and no one seems to believe that yes, I will have the baby within an hour or two of getting to the hospital.

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Finally, at some point during this last pregnancy, I said to hell with it and asked for a scheduled induction so I could have an epidural.  Normally I would be completely opposed to such a thing for the risks, etc. but the relief in constant anxiety (and the epidural itself!) was worth it, for me.

 

I was induced at 39 weeks; the baby was born with a true knot in the cord and everything went fine.  I was not afraid.

 

You know, this isn't a terrible idea at all. I'm a home birther, so not big on meds and inductions, but I am a HUGE believer that mom's mental health is extremely important. And if you are going to have anxiety all this pregnancy, then do what has to be done to alleviate that. Anxiety isn't good for the baby, seriously. It can effect birth rate, stress hormones, etc. If scheduling an induction with an epidural first would let you enjoy the pregnancy, without fear of labor, do it. And again, i say that as someone planning to birth on her bed, probably close to 42 weeks. 

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If she has 1 hour active labors, even knowing beforehand that she wants an epidural may very well mean there is not enough time for one.  They have to do all that intake questioning/ascertaining you're actually in labor, which takes half an hour, then they take your blood, then process it, which is another half an hour, then they have to go find the anaesthesiologist, which is another half an hour, etc.  

 

I have missed two epidurals by relying on the "tell them I want one in advance" method.  My labors are just too fast and no one seems to believe that yes, I will have the baby within an hour or two of getting to the hospital.

Wow, you must have been annoyed!  Well, that is a good argument for a scheduled induction, then! 

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Personally, the thought of a needle in my back is scarier than the pain of childbirth... and I still feel that way after 6 unmedicated births. However, I do believe that anxiety can impede the progress of labor. Ina May discusses that in her book in relation to having people in the room that make the mother uncomfortable. For that reason, I think the hypnobabies might be helpful. But I think scheduling an induction and epidural might be helpful if your anxiety is that bad. My sister with her first was in painful labor for a long time with no progress, but as soon as she got an epidural she could relax enough that she dilated rather quickly afterwards. So I do think pain meds can be very helpful.

 

I was having serious anxiety about my last baby, because he was due only 4 weeks before DH was scheduled to deploy. I wanted more time to recover from childbirth before single parenting 6 kids. I cried and cried and cried to my midwife at every appointment about wanting to have him early. At 38 weeks she stripped my membranes and he was born the next day. And man, that was EXACTLY what I needed. I think pregnancy hormones exacerbated the anxiety I was feeling, but man, those last few weeks were rough and I was so relieved to have him out.

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I felt that way after 3 unmedicated births and then watching someone else give birth. I was scared to death.

 

I got an epidural at the next birth. It was great. I've now had three medicated births and the easiest recoveries were the three with medication. Additionally, the first three births (unmedicated) all were followed by breast infections, the last three (medicated) weren't. I think part of that was because I wasn't exhausted after delivery; exhaustion can be caused by pain and can really run your immune system down. Heck, I napped during the medicated labors.

 

Emily

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I have given birth to ten children...all but the last one were natural at home or at a birth center. I totally understand your anxiety. My anxiety about labor got worse with each pregnancy. It might help to really think about what, exactly, you are afraid of. Is it the pain? The feeling of being out of control? Whatever it is, face it head on. If it is something you can do something about (like the pain) then take those steps. Just get the epidural...or at least give yourself permission to consider it.

 

My last pregnancy I had a bunch of complications and spent ten days on hospital bedrest before I was induced. I got the epidural and it was so nice. I could feel pressure but no pain. If I had another one, I'd get the epidural again. I think natural childbirth is great and I think it is an awesome experience that everyone should do once (if they have the chance) but I wouldn't do it again.

 

Susan in TX

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And if you get to the end of your pregnancy, and your anxiety is better, you can cancel the induction and do your normal thing. But having it planned (with epidural in place before starting induction meds) would give you some peace of mind during the pregnancy. 

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 The pain meds have come a long way in the last decade. 

 

My midwife said that they FINALLY have the ability to use laughing gas in the hospital where I delivered the last 3. She said that it takes the edge off of the pain and that you are in control of using it whenever you want/need it. My fear is that I will puke all over the place, as I get really nauseous from most pain meds. If it's the same stuff I had 20+ years ago when I had my wisdom teeth out...ugh. They never did get that carpet clean.  :leaving:

 

...i say that as someone planning to birth on her bed, probably close to 42 weeks. 

 

All of my babies were post-dates (42wks, 41wk+1, 41wks+3, 41wks+1). That being said, I won't be allowed to go much past 40wks this time as I am 42 and they consider my pregnancy 'high risk'. If I'm forced to be induced, I will discuss pain meds at that paint.

 

With the last baby, I went into labor on my own. I woke up w/contractions starting at 5am, we called my mother to come watch the boys at 6am when they were getting stronger/closer, got to the hospital at 7am (husband needed to stop for gas - ha!), and baby was born at 8:20ish. I started talking about pain meds before 8am, but the midwife said that she would break my water and the baby would be delivered before the paperwork was done - she was right!

 

Baby #3 was almost born in the 'laboring' tub (I went from zero dilation to pushing in minutes) - the midwife held him in as two other nurses and my husband pulled me out and carried me to a gurney. Tub births ARE NOT ALLOWED... one nurse kept talking about all the paperwork that would have to be submitted and how much trouble they would have been in! These babies come out fast - it just hurts a lot, too!

 

Personally, the thought of a needle in my back is scarier than the pain of childbirth...

 

:iagree: Yup. Totally.

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:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

I've never gotten to deliver vaginally, but have done long labors that resulted in c-sections. I worked myself up into a tizzy with the last few and finally learned to ask for some meds just to relax beforehand. They helped, a lot. I think having a plan in place helps. 

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Oh,if they have gas, you should be good!  You can use it just during the contractions, and as soon as you stop breathing it in, the effects are over. Within seconds. So if you breathe it in and get nauseas you can just stop. It's a lesser concentration, i believe, than they use for dental work. And I bet you also had iv drugs for the wisdom teeth removal, which I think would be more likely to have caused the vomiting. 

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It's very typical. Me too.

 

Every one is asking me if I'm getting excited now I'm getting so close.

 

Nope. I mean, sure I'm happy for baby girl and we love her and all that.

 

It's just that I've done the delivery part every which way possible and none of them are something I'm particuliarly looking forward to. I even had few deliveries that were nearly painless, without meds or with, and I still feel that way.

 

I am working really hard on accepting the simple fact that control is an illusion and what will be will be and that the odds are the worst will temporary and we will both survive it just fine in the end.

 

That's about as positive as I can muster these days with my experience and knowledge of maternal medical care in my locale.

 

ETA: and yeah, I don't watch any negative or weird crap on tv or the news. My pregnancy dreams, when I'm fortunate eight I sleep, are freaky enough.

Edited by Murphy101
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Giving props to hypnobirthing, here. I am an anxious person in general and my third birth was traumatic. My fourth prospect of labor was terrifying and I was also on blood thinners and was convinced I would bleed to death. Fourth pregnancy also got scary at the end and baby was induced; I used hypnobirthing and no pain meds. (I used a different cassette tape than the hypnobirthing "official" one because negative connotations with the official hypnobirthing cassette. I'm sure there aren't even such things as cassette tapes now, lol.) It was okay, even with the induction. I only lost my mind for about 5 minutes when baby was *right there*, ready for take-off and there was no medical staff in the room. I hollared something at DH like, "Geeeeeeeeettttttt them!! The baby is coming out!" :)

 

So I would say yeah, learn self-hypnosis and listen to your tapes in labor.

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Personally, the thought of a needle in my back is scarier than the pain of childbirth... and I still feel that way after 6 unmedicated births. 

 

I used to have a very real fear of needles. I had an epidural and honestly, it just felt like pressure. I'd recommend it to anyone. I went through over 24 hours of unmedicated labor before I started the meds, and I wish I'd just gone in and had it done right away.

 

There's not a blessed thing wrong with being medicated if you need it. As others have said, your peace of mind and comfort are important. 

 

I love pain control meds and am unashamed.  :)  :)  :)

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Pain meds. No one is giving out medals for non medicated deliveries.

 

 

There's not a blessed thing wrong with being medicated if you need it. As others have said, your peace of mind and comfort are important. 

 

I love pain control meds and am unashamed.  :)  :)  :)

 

 

I don't tolerate pain control medications well. I get obnoxiously nauseous and vomit everywhere. I can't even handle Aleve - it's that bad. I'm not against them, I just don't think that they are for me.

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I don't tolerate pain control medications well. I get obnoxiously nauseous and vomit everywhere. I can't even handle Aleve - it's that bad. I'm not against them, I just don't think that they are for me.

For myself, I had had two very rapid labors and I was more afraid of expecting to have an epidural and being too late for one (unintentional unmedicated birth) than I was afraid to have a planned unmedicated birth. My first two births, I had the epidural, but they debated it with Baby #2 because I was progressing so fast. Also, I thought being catheterized to pee after Baby#2 because my epidural had not worn off yet was revolting. These were reasons I thought it would be good for me to plan an unmedicated birth with hypnosis. :)

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Been there, done that. The last baby in particular was horrible, and I'm at home so no pain control at all. I think in some respects the more babies one has the less they can fool themselves it won't absolutely suck, but I have long labors (half a day to three days of early labor and a good three hours of active labor, mostly transition :( )and I think that makes the anticipation of being 'stuck' in agony that much worse in my mind. With my faster birth, #4, it wasn't so terrible.

 

I also think birth PTSD is a real thing and I had it pretty badly after my first. To some extent after #5 too. It's common to panic about birth, but that doesn't make it stink less.

 

This time around I'm just focusing on positive birth stories and switching things up a bit. I have t had much luck with hypnobabies but will try it again. I'm ordering a birth tub to see if the water helps with some of my awful transition nonsense. I'm also going to try being more alone and see if that stresses me out less - my midwives and husband are great but I think when I'm aware of them it worsens the panic.

 

I nearly considered a hospital birth this time just for the epidural, but I've had such worse side effects from pushing while numb, not to mention the whole stressful environment, that it wasn't really feasible for me. It was a fun dream for all of two seconds though ;)

 

All this to say - you're NOT alone. And solutions vary by person, but mine has been to take active control of my mindset and environment of this birth and fill my brain win as much positivity about the whole thing as possible. I've made it through five births, three with no interventions or pain meds. I can do it again. If I can make it one hour I can make it another, and everyone in my birth team knows when I hit that "I can't do this" stage I'm usually ten minutes out from a baby ;) All these things together ameliorates 80% of the panic and the other 20% I'll just have to stomach. I have fifteen-ish more weeks to figure it out!

 

Hugs to you and your birth coming up!

Edited by Arctic Mama
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I might just be an odd one, but the book Ina May's Guide to Childbirth is really empowering to me. In the weeks before I am due, I usually watch a bunch of birth videos on youtube. It kind of pumps me up for labor. I've had 6 babies and never had meds for them. I do get a little bit of anxiety right before because I know how much it hurts though. I also think taking a childbirth class like Bradley or Hynobabies is helpful because they teach you coping strategies for the pain. I never really got into the "hypno" part of hypnobabies and certainly never had a quiet, painfree birth, but I still thought the things I learned were helpful.

I did a lot of that with baby #1 and it would have helped more but her labor was super complicated. I kind of skipped it the last four babies and am now back on the same train for this one. The birth videos and reviewing my peaceful homebirth materials, including hypnobabies and Ina May, really has helped. I was freaking out more a month ago then I am now :)

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Pain meds. No one is giving out medals for non medicated deliveries.

I have to say comments like this are kind of unhelpful - not everyone can give birth in a hospital with a good outcome - I happen to be one of them. It's not about having medals or bravery badges but very real issues with maternal care and safety in labor, especially in some locations. My midwives are the only ones who haven't damaged my pelvic floor or keep threatening to wheel me in for another c-section :(

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Pain meds. No one is giving out medals for non medicated deliveries.

 

To be fair, the reason people opt for un medicated delivery isn't for bragging rights or a medal. I avoid meds when possible in labor because every medication given has risks, so if I don't need them, it's better to avoid the risks. My sister passed out cold and took several minutes to be revived after her epidural, because of the drop in blood pressure. Some babies can go into distress if mom's blood pressure goes too low. I had an epidural for my c-section, and was itchy for two days from side effects of the meds used. 

 

Trust me, no one is skipping the meds in hopes of a merit badge or trophy. We have actual reasons. 

 

That said, I am one that said go ahead and schedule an induction with meds in this scenario, if it relieves that panic about it, because any risks would be outweighed by the benefit of less anxiety. 

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My midwife said that they FINALLY have the ability to use laughing gas in the hospital where I delivered the last 3. She said that it takes the edge off of the pain and that you are in control of using it whenever you want/need it. My fear is that I will puke all over the place, as I get really nauseous from most pain meds. If it's the same stuff I had 20+ years ago when I had my wisdom teeth out...ugh. They never did get that carpet clean. :leaving:

 

 

All of my babies were post-dates (42wks, 41wk+1, 41wks+3, 41wks+1). That being said, I won't be allowed to go much past 40wks this time as I am 42 and they consider my pregnancy 'high risk'. If I'm forced to be induced, I will discuss pain meds at that paint.

 

With the last baby, I went into labor on my own. I woke up w/contractions starting at 5am, we called my mother to come watch the boys at 6am when they were getting stronger/closer, got to the hospital at 7am (husband needed to stop for gas - ha!), and baby was born at 8:20ish. I started talking about pain meds before 8am, but the midwife said that she would break my water and the baby would be delivered before the paperwork was done - she was right!

 

Baby #3 was almost born in the 'laboring' tub (I went from zero dilation to pushing in minutes) - the midwife held him in as two other nurses and my husband pulled me out and carried me to a gurney. Tub births ARE NOT ALLOWED... one nurse kept talking about all the paperwork that would have to be submitted and how much trouble they would have been in! These babies come out fast - it just hurts a lot, too!

 

 

:iagree: Yup. Totally.

I had a "not allowed" water birth, that was my best birth ever. I didn't want them to make me get out of the tub so I started pushing when I felt ready without warning anyone first. Baby came right out, the nurse midwife barely managed to get to me in time to help.

 

I was mighty pleased with myself...

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Hypnobabies...

 

Did you know there is an identified gene associated with lower likelihood of hypnosis working?

 

I have it.

 

Hypnobabies does nothing for me.

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To be fair, the reason people opt for un medicated delivery isn't for bragging rights or a medal. I avoid meds when possible in labor because every medication given has risks, so if I don't need them, it's better to avoid the risks. My sister passed out cold and took several minutes to be revived after her epidural, because of the drop in blood pressure. Some babies can go into distress if mom's blood pressure goes too low. I had an epidural for my c-section, and was itchy for two days from side effects of the meds used. 

 

Trust me, no one is skipping the meds in hopes of a merit badge or trophy. We have actual reasons. 

 

That said, I am one that said go ahead and schedule an induction with meds in this scenario, if it relieves that panic about it, because any risks would be outweighed by the benefit of less anxiety. 

 

The pressure I've gotten from family and etc. is largely of the "getting medals" variety.  I know there are good reasons not to get pain meds (and *really* good reasons for some people who have bad reactions to them or more risk factors), but mostly what I get is this pressure to be "natural" (which is a preferential term) and safe and etc.

 

I wonder why no one says this to people who are having some other kind of surgery?  I don't hear much rah-rah about how good it is to have a root canal with no pain meds, or to have anaesthesia-free amputations, or whatever.  Possibly it is because the pain meds can affect the baby too - but it seems like a huge amount of emphasis is put on unmedicated birth in comparison to all the other chemicals women expose their unborn babies to (anti-depressants, other psych meds, tylenol, chemicals in food, etc.)

 

I dunno, I just know that I went through a few unnecessarily traumatic births, and had anxiety about them for months and years, because of trying to meet some ideal that only pregnant women are expected to meet.

 

Bah humbug, I say.

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Yeah. I've had all unmedicated births, and occasionally I realize that I don't really wa t to do that again. It's all worth it and everything, but man, labor is not exactly fun. My last labor was super fast and somewhat traumatic due to the speed and the baby's unexpected funky position. Thankfully he and I were/are both completely fine, but it's not a situation we would really like to repeat. Plus, I'm older (technically advanced maternal age) and just feel like maybe my good luck will run out. Not that I believe in luck, but still.

 

Fwiw, my midwife (the same as I used last time) is way less concerned than I am. But I think some anxiety is completely normal. There's just SO much at stake there when it comes to birth.

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For myself, I had had two very rapid labors and I was more afraid of expecting to have an epidural and being too late for one (unintentional unmedicated birth) than I was afraid to have a planned unmedicated birth. My first two births, I had the epidural, but they debated it with Baby #2 because I was progressing so fast. Also, I thought being catheterized to pee after Baby#2 because my epidural had not worn off yet was revolting. These were reasons I thought it would be good for me to plan an unmedicated birth with hypnosis. :)

I was given a Foley cath after the epidural with number 1 and I was like, "what the he*l are you doing?! I didn't read about THIS in any of the books!" Lol! With the next, the (really awesome) nurse asked if I wanted an epidural. I said no way. Not doing the Foley again. She laughed and said that is the most disturbing part for a lot of women.

 

OP, I don't really have advice, just sympathy. As my pregnancies progressed, I felt major claustrophobia, which is very anxiety inducing, just for a different reason. I was actually looking forward to labor and delivery to relieve the claustrophobia!

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Haha! And I've had a great experience with foleys and prefer them over any other induction method - being catheterized for anesthesia is a different ball of wax and rather unpleasant, but as an induction method they're awesome.

 

We are all definitely individual in our needs :)

Edited by Arctic Mama
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The pressure I've gotten from family and etc. is largely of the "getting medals" variety.  I know there are good reasons not to get pain meds (and *really* good reasons for some people who have bad reactions to them or more risk factors), but mostly what I get is this pressure to be "natural" (which is a preferential term) and safe and etc.

 

I wonder why no one says this to people who are having some other kind of surgery?  I don't hear much rah-rah about how good it is to have a root canal with no pain meds, or to have anaesthesia-free amputations, or whatever.  Possibly it is because the pain meds can affect the baby too - but it seems like a huge amount of emphasis is put on unmedicated birth in comparison to all the other chemicals women expose their unborn babies to (anti-depressants, other psych meds, tylenol, chemicals in food, etc.)

 

I dunno, I just know that I went through a few unnecessarily traumatic births, and had anxiety about them for months and years, because of trying to meet some ideal that only pregnant women are expected to meet.

 

Bah humbug, I say.

 

LOL. Probably because nobody's trying to bond with their tooth or establish a breastfeeding relationship with their gangrenous arm, so who cares if you're knocked out completely or so woozy you have no idea what's going on.

 

Most people want to be conscious and aware as their child is being born so it's natural to be more cautious about the potential side-effects of anesthesia in childbirth, especially if you have a history of bad reactions. I'd rather be aware and in pain during childbirth than risk the side effects of pain meds. No "getting medals" here, just a history of bad reactions to anesthesia & dangerous drops in blood pressure.

 

For OP, I completely understand the anxiety. I always get about midway through my 3rd trimester and start thinking, "What have I gotten myself into?! This giant thing is going to have to get out of my body somehow!" I had a traumatic birth with my last, and I'm really struggling with what I'm going to do this time around. I think it's fine to make a different choice than your previous births if that's what you need to do.

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An epidural doesn't really make you woozy at all, though, in my experience.

 

That demerol (sp?) stuff does, and it was terrible, but the epidural felt no different in terms of awareness from my unmedicated births.  I don't think anything knocks you out completely anymore, unless you get an incorrect dose maybe.

 

In fact, with the unmedicated ones, I was so traumatized and exhausted from the pain that I had a harder time right afterward.

 

I was conscious and aware as my child was being born both ways - I was more aware when I had the epidural because I wasn't out of my mind with pain.  With the unmedicated births I was in so much pain I was just screaming and begging for it to be over.

 

I have a really low pain tolerance :)

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I also suggest hypnobabies - it was awesome for my last two births.

 

You may be able to download just the birth affirmation track - it is not a hypnosis track - and you can list to it a couple times a day.

 

They also (or used to at least) have a Fear Release track (hypnosis based) that may be very helpful and available for independent download to use without doing the full program.

 

Both of those may help.

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I don't tolerate pain control medications well. I get obnoxiously nauseous and vomit everywhere. I can't even handle Aleve - it's that bad. I'm not against them, I just don't think that they are for me.

 

Some pain meds make me very nauseous, but I didn't have that problem with the epidural. Possibly they gave me something for nausea at the same time, as a preventative. You could definitely ask for that, if you want.

 

But if an epidural is not for you, I understand.

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

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An epidural doesn't really make you woozy at all, though, in my experience.

 

:iagree:  The epidural didn't make me feel out of it at all. I was totally aware of what was going on, just much more comfortable.

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Haha! And I've had a great experience with foleys and prefer them over any other induction method - being catheterized for anesthesia is a different ball of wax and rather unpleasant, but as an induction method they're awesome.

 

We are all definitely individual in our needs :)

 

I think she meant as a urinary catheter, not in the cervix to induce labor. 

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Yeah, the epidural issues isn't being woozy (again, unless low blood pressure results), but that it can cause fever which can then mean the baby gets treated for an infection it doesn't have, it can cause low blood pressure that causes fetal distress, it can prolong pushing time by up to an hour which some doctors won't allow and will then result in a c-section, it lowers the mother's levels of oxytocin (which can slow labor and impact breastfeeding), greatly increases the chance of a posterior baby due to paralysis of the pelvic floor muscles, and depending on the dosage can keep the mom from changing positions easily to speed labor along or help a large baby get through the pelvis. 

 

Now, those are the risks, but there are benefits as well. obviously! And for many women the benefits outweigh the risks. For others, they don't. 

 

As for other procedures, when I've had anesthesia I've definitely been told about the risks, and if there was a way to avoid the procedure we did. 

 

Edited to Add: Wether they benefits outweigh the risks also depends on circumstances, obviously. I'm not saying I'd never have one. I've had one. If I had another super long labor, or needed say, forceps, or whatever, sure. Sign me up. But for me personally the increased risk of problems especially the ones that might lead to a c-section aren't worth it for me. But avoiding another c-section is a huge goal of mine. I recover terribly from them. Someone else may not have the fear of c-section that I do. 

Edited by ktgrok
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My births were all unmedicated with long, hard labors.  Honestly, the way I got through the last one (which we had decided would be our final kid) was to keep repeating to myself, "Once this is over, you never have to do this again!"  That was my mantra LOL.  I actually think it did make the pain more tolerable!

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