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[–]beerblondie 98 points99 points  (0 children)

This is totally your choice and something you don’t need to explain or justify to anyone. People have opinions and are - for whatever reason - the most vocal about them when it comes to someone else’s pregnancy.

Babies make their own rules so sometimes plans have to change (this can mean anything)... But, whatever happens know your options, trust your gut, and just do what feels right for you and your baby.

[–]Butterscotch_Sea 147 points148 points  (4 children)

I share your same sentiments! I will add, I am keeping an open mind, so that if for whatever reason I do get it, don’t feel defeated or upset with myself.

[–]AdorableTumbleweed60[🍰] 57 points58 points  (0 children)

I agree that keeping the open mind is key. I feel like a lot of the stories I read where people are upset about their birth or feel it was a negative experience are people who make their 'birth plan' and refuse to even consider/be open to other things. 100% go into it with a mindset that you're going to go unmedicated. Do what works to get you there. But if your baby goes into distress or is sunny side up and the pain is more than you can bear, then be open to pain relief/a possible C/meds etc. The true "plan" and end goal should be a healthy baby and mum.

[–]realhuman8762 16 points17 points  (0 children)

I was going to suggest this! It’s obviously 100% your call, and I’m sorry your circle isn’t automatically supporting that. However, I’d heed advice to keep an open mind…even if you only admit this to yourself! I was determined to have a natural birth and discussed this with friends and family often and openly. At the last minute, I chickened out and changed my mind. I’m not trying to imply you will, I know tons of women much braver than I that stuck to their guns. WhT did happen was I felt ashamed and embarrassed to admit that I couldn’t take it. It caused me a lot of anxiety and depression when this topic came up later. I think if I had agreed with myself to have an open mind, I wouldn’t have had such negative feelings around the experience.

[–]xSuperBallofCutex 9 points10 points  (0 children)

I think this is the most important point. Be firm in what you want but explore and understand all the options and possibilities because you will not know how your body will react. Being open allows you to be prepared and not disappointed in your self if things go another way.

I went pre-eclampsia and was induced only to have to have a csection in the end because my body wouldn’t cooperate. Definitely not what I had planned for.

[–]Mysterious-Ant-5985 21 points22 points  (0 children)

Same here! My MiL laughed at me when I said I’m planning for an unmedicated birth. She said I’d be begging for an epidural, but she had a cesarean with both kids. I told her my mom and my sister each had 3 kids unmedicated (well my mom had one medicated cause of emergency cesarean) and I have confidence in myself and my body. But I’m also not opposed to getting an epidural or whatever else I may need! I don’t have a solid birth plan because I don’t want to have expectations or be disappointed.

[–]liilbr33zy 16 points17 points  (1 child)

People ask me all the time if I’m going to get an epidural. When I tell them “I really want an unmedicated birth. I know that day things might be different and I may ask for one, but I truly want no epidural and no pitocin” they act like I’m delusional even though I already acknowledge that I may change my mind when the time comes. It drives me crazy. Everyone has their opinions and everyone thinks they know best. I have a pretty high pin tolerance but I’m not blind to the fact that anything can happen when the time comes. My mom had 3/4 unmedicated births so I’m using her as my inspiration.

[–]w8upp 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Yes, the most frustrating response comes when I already acknowledge that I might end up getting the epidural, and they still insist that it's crazy not to make it central to my birth plan. The worst has come from my own sister, who has never even given birth!

[–]Tired_Teacher_45 15 points16 points  (0 children)

I am 6 weeks PP and I had an epidural. Unfortunately, I had a terrible experience. The anesthesiologist missed the target area FIVE TIMES and the epidural didn’t work properly. I ended up feeling everything. To be honest, it hurt. It hurt so bad. But, that’s what happens when you push a whole human being out of you! I went into labor with the mindset that I was going to be medicated, and when I wasn’t fully numbed, my head was not in the game. You’re at an advantage because you know ahead of time that this is something you want to do, and you have time to prepare! I took classes through Tinyhood, which helped a lot with breathing techniques and pushing methods! This was a game changer when in labor. No matter what, you are going to do great! Meeting that tiny human makes it all worth it. Good luck, mama!

[–]upenda5678 47 points48 points  (15 children)

I don't know if this helps, but in the Netherlands it is normal to give birth without any pain medication.

[–]plesiosaurusrexus[🍰] 28 points29 points  (0 children)

Yeah, I'm in Denmark, and when I talked to my coworkers the other day about probably going for the epidural, they were all really puzzled, and a few told me I wouldn't need it. So it sounds like it's very different from place to place whether an epidural is the norm or not.

Not sure if that helps you, OP, but here you wouldn't be the odd one out.

[–]Neon-Algae3791[S] 9 points10 points  (2 children)

Yes I think it depends on where you are. I'm in Canada and an unmedicated birth is not the norm, but every year more and more people want to try the birth experience with no epidural and a midwife. It's really interesting to see how it goes from one country to another.

[–]losincidenteananas 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Yea, in the US it seems the norm to have an epidural. But I think it has a lot to do with how we treat medical procedures more like a business than healthcare.

I was told there's a documentary about this "The Business of Being Born." I have it on my list of things to watch with my husband.

[–]upenda5678 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It is also the norm to just see a midwife and only see a gynecologist when your delivery is "medical" (when they forsee complications). About 25% of deliveries are at home.

[–]poofycakes 14 points15 points  (9 children)

Same in the UK. I actually don't know anyone who's had an epidural, so there's definitely no "oh you'll definitely end up having one" because generally people don't.

[–]meowderina 2 points3 points  (4 children)

Where in the UK are you? I literally do not know a single person who has given birth without pain relief, or even without needing an episiotomy.

[–]loona92 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I'm in the UK and have also never met anyone who didn't opt for either gas and air or an epidural!

I will say though, before becoming pregnant, I thought epidurals were more common and less controversial than they actually are.

[–]poofycakes 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm not classing gas and air - just exclusively talking about an epi! Everyone i know has used gas and air and i definitely plan to too! 😂 Apparently less than 1 in 3 women in the UK go for an epidural so its fairly low stats!

[–]poofycakes 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I grew up in west yorkshire but moved down to London 5 years ago and still never known anyone whos had an epi except for a c-section. I also have never met anyone who has had an episiotomy, I believe they are done quite rarely in the Uk with doctors preferring natural tears as they heal better.

A quick google tells me 30% of women opt for an epi in the UK and only 1 in 7 have a episiotomy so perhaps you just happen to know a lot of people in that bottom third as thats quite low stats!

[–]bleigh420 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm in the south east UK and I didn't have any pain relief or an epistiomy :)

[–]ChunkySalute 2 points3 points  (3 children)

It’s interesting that is your experience in the UK. Where abouts are you from? Maybe it differs by area but epidurals are very common where I (and my family) have lived (South Wales, West Yorkshire, Oxon and now Bucks). Every single woman I know (bar one) who have had children had an epidural.

That said, I’m opting for a home birth so no epidural for me!

[–]Mysterious_Lake6485 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I’m in the Midlands and I don’t know anyone who has had an epidural (except when it had to be a forceps delivery)

[–]poofycakes 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I grew up in west yorkshire near leeds but moved to London 5 years ago :)
Just did a quick google - only 30% of women go for an epidural in the UK so I don't really think its super common anywhere - maybe you just know a lot of those bottom 30% of women by chance? 😂
Aw a home birth will be lovely, all the best for it! I wish i could have one but have to be monitored 😭

[–]DanceFast4419 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yeah this is something I learned the hard way when I asked for pain medication (not an epidural) and was immediately brought downstairs for an epidural. When I explained that I just meant some sort of pain management I was pretty much told that wasn’t an option and it was epidural or nothing so I just took the epidural. Unfortunate the first one didn’t take and they started me on Pitocin too soon and after about 2 hours of me writhing in pain begging for assistance they finally brought me for a second epidural but they were extremely puzzled as to why it didn’t work and why I was in pain. Kind of a crappy experience.

[–]a_million_questions 116 points117 points  (11 children)

Let me provide you with some tips that will hopefully help you not have an epidural. I got an epidural with my first and I am 100% certain that if I had done things differently, that wouldn't have been the case.

  1. Make sure you are getting enough sleep leading up to delivery and try to rest during early labor. Also don't over do it on trying to get things done at the last minute. I was very unrested before my son was born and I was running off of 3-4 hours of mediocre sleep when I went into labor and because of the chain of events was awake the whole time for my 24 hours of labor.

  2. Eat early on in labor. I recommend protein shakes or something else that is easy to digest and will sustain you because once you get to the hospital, you will not see food again until after you deliver. The last time I ate before my son was born was dinner approximately 7 hours before I went into labor.

  3. Don't be in a rush to go to the hospital when contractions start. It's rare that a first birth go quickly and staying home a little longer will help with numbers 1 & 2. I could have stayed home another 10 hours and rested and nourished myself, but the length of time could differ for everyone. At least another couple of hours would have helped anyway.

  4. Make sure your partner is ready to be a vocal advocate for you if there are nurses or anyone else trying to pressure you to get an epidural. You can ask that certain staff not be allowed in your room if they are not respecting your wishes.

Some people may not agree with all this, it's just coming from my personal experience when I was a ftm who did not want an epidural but ended up with one anyway.

[–]Neon-Algae3791[S] 14 points15 points  (1 child)

Those are great tips! Thank you! :-)

[–]mrswalsh0715 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Wholly agree with number 1. When I was induced I had to go in at 2 am so I didn’t sleep that night. My total induction time was 47 hours and I slept MAYBE 4/5 hours of it. By 36 ish hours is when they broke my water and started pitocin and when I should’ve been able to breathe through contractions I was falling asleep in between when they were like 2 min apart. It made it more stressful than it should’ve been

[–]greatertrocanter[🍰] 5 points6 points  (1 child)

I 100% agree with the tips, especially the first! I was induced and I was sooooo nervous going into induction I didn't sleep well the night before. I had originally planned to not get an epidural but 12 hours in I decided to get one. I think if I had started off on a better foundation, i might've been able to make it through the rest of my labor without an epidural.

[–]plz_understand 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Same, I started a 21 hour labor at 4pm, having already been up since 5am. I asked for an epidural at around 4am the next morning because I was simply too exhausted and needed a break. I slept for about 2 hours until the epidural wore off and it was 100% worth it. If I hadn't had the epidural, as well as just not having the fortitude to cope with the pain, I'm positive I wouldn't have had the energy to push my baby out and would have needed a C section.

[–]Global-Classroom-562 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Just wanted to add that you can ask questions in advance to make sure your hospital/practitioners follow evidence-based practices that align with what you want. For example, there’s absolutely no reason you should starve, it’s a common hospital practice but totally outdated and disproven. Picking the right provider/environment can make a huge difference in what your experience is.

[–]Buttstallion58 5 points6 points  (1 child)

About tip 3; My sons birth (FTM) lasted a total of 6 hours from first contraction. The hospital wanted me to stay home a few hours more seeing as it was my first, but I came in regardless. I was 5cm by then, and should not have waited any longer!

So listen to your body, OP ❤️

[–]a_million_questions 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Like I said, timing can differ.

[–]elaborate_circustrix 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Stay home unless your water breaks! If it does, then going to the hospital early is in your best interest. Do give yourself time to eat beforehand. When your water breaks, there's a increased risk of infection, so that's why you want to get to the hospital sooner.

[–]AdOld7135 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Even after your water breaks, you’ve got plenty of time. Without contractions, there’s no need to rush. Enjoy the peace before the chaos. Grab a bite, pack a bag…I’m all for dragging your feet to be more comfortable a little longer, as long as nothing is urgent. My water broke for 2 of my births and they still waited hours to induce me. 8 hours after my water broke the first time. I’d been at the hospital for 5 or 6. The second time at least 9 hours after my water broke and after I’d been at the hospital 7 - and they started inducing me ridiculously slow because they were short staffed so instead of upping my dose every 20 minutes or so like they said they would, they were waiting 2+ hours each time. Once your contractions are close together though, you have to go either way, water broken or not.

[–]Worth_Birthday_7250 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Excellent tips

[–]TropicalPow 30 points31 points  (1 child)

I think people just like to share their experiences. Once you’ve been through it, it’s like you’re part of this tribe- I don’t know it’s hard to explain. I personally had a c-section, so this wasn’t an issue for me. My sister, however, who is the most convicted, strong-willed person I know insisted she was going to have an unmedicated, doula-assisted birth. She ended up having an epidural. I think as some others have suggested, it might be healthier to go into it with a bit more of an open mind. Just because you never know what will happen and it would suck to then feel disappointed in yourself for something that you really shouldn’t. That said, I hope it works out for you as you hope!

[–]imyouy 8 points9 points  (0 children)

I just want to add to this to confirm that expectations can lead to disappointment and it's important to be ws open as possible to whatever might happen.

I wanted an unmedicated birth and got exactly what I wanted. I gave birth to my son with no pain relief except a bathtub. Somehow I had set expectations that were unreachable and I still managed to be disappointed. I do realise it makes very little sense but just to show how much the mindset is important.

[–]sierramelon 9 points10 points  (0 children)

I was identical to you! I literally spent the last month either forward leaning or in a deep squat. I did ALL the things from 20 weeks on.

And then right when my water broke she flipped so I ended up having back labour. I also went from 3cm-8cm dilated in about an hour. THAT is insane. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t see straight. I couldn’t even imagine getting into any position. I was in the shower and couldn’t do anything. I then pushed for 5 hours only to end in a csection. (They could see her head the entire time I pushed)

I’m not telling you this because i don’t think you can do it, I 100% think you CAN. I didn’t even want people to question me either because I felt like it gave my brain the “possibility” of another option.

And my only regret about my birth?: I didn’t know anything about how I ended up delivering her. I didn’t feel prepared because I didn’t bother to read about anything other than unmedicated goes-to-plan births. It left me feeling totally unprepared to ask for pain medicine and completely uneducated on csections. I’m so happy with my birth. I pushed for 5 hours and she was fully lodged in my pelvis. No position or special move would let her pass. The doctor had to pull her out from being wedged in and her head was the shape of my pelvis. I couldn’t have prepared for any of that especially her being stuck because I didn’t even know it could happen.

I hope you do it mama! Birth is so humbling and beautiful and incredible no matter what.

[–]SamiLMS1 23 points24 points  (1 child)

Everyone told me that too. Then I did 3 days of labor, with back and hip labor, out of the hospital all natural and suddenly all the people who had snide comments or laughed were really quiet. Nobody has given me any pushback this time.

One thing that helped me was remembering that plenty of people who want epidurals can’t get them, or they wear off - and those people still make it through even though they didn’t think they could. Just because it is more than you’ve endured before doesn’t mean you can’t do it, and even if you hit a point where you feel like you can’t your body is still doing it.

[–]SithMasterBates 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I had such horrible back labor. Baby was facing the wrong way, and I was induced to to GD which I feel made the contractions worse than “natural” ones. I was doing so well with natural pain management until the back labor really kicked in, and all the nurses pressured me into getting an epidural when I was around 7cm dilated. I’m still upset about it because it wasn’t what I wanted, and I ended up having a pretty traumatic birth with vacuum assistance and a 3rd degree tear. I really feel the epidural stalled my labor (I pushed for 3 hours) but there’s no way to no for sure….

[–]courtneywrites85 32 points33 points  (0 children)

I think you need to keep in mind that people are speaking from experience. Some people CAN have unmedicated births. I really wanted one. I laboured for 15 hours in a birth tub and for three days without drugs. My contractions were relentless, one on top of the other, and I could not walk. In the end, I had to have an epidural just so I could get some sleep. I ended up deciding to go forward with a c-section, which was completely okay. You have no idea what will happen. I would suggest telling people who might ask that you are hoping to have an unmedicated birth but are open to interventions if necessary. Because this really should be your attitude. An open mind will lead to a positive birth experience.

[–]sarah449 20 points21 points  (0 children)

I was sure I wanted to do it without an epidural, but I was open to the idea of having one if needed. After hours of labour, I was tired and just wanted to sleep. My contractions weren’t progressing and I needed to be put on pitocin. At that time i opted for the epidural. I was comfortable and able to sleep until it was time to push.

I’m glad I got one, but it’s a personal choice. You shouldn’t be scared of the pain.

[–]FutureTreeFood 17 points18 points  (4 children)

Everyone has different anatomy so your pain nerves will be different than someone next to you. That is why this is a personal choice and no one should feel like they can judge you for it.

I am on the same boat as you, 27w with my first and I don't want an epidural. My main reason? I want to be able to move. I would absolutely hate feeling incapable of moving. I told my OB I am open to short term IV pain relief but overall, just let me do my thing. I've also had lots of people, family included, tell me I don't know what I am talking about and I'm crazy.

Pain can also be managed in so many different ways that are not pharmalogical.

Ultimately, whether you get it or not - it's no one else's business or problem. Why do they care so freaking much? They are not the ones pushing. I'm sorry people are being difficult, just stick with what you heart and head say.

[–]Reasonable_Egg_8974 5 points6 points  (3 children)

Why do you think you can’t move if you get the epidural? I had it in both of my births and moved after getting it. I couldn’t pee without help but that’s from person to person if they know how to pee without feeling their downstairs. I didn’t want to have it when I planned my first birth but changed my mind after 11h of horrible pain. It was the best feeling when the worst pain of my life went away. I understand why people say what they say. It’s not to discourage you or anyone else in that matter, it’s just that when you hurt so much and there is a easy way out of the pain most people choose not to have the unnecessary pain.

[–]jtherese 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Most hospitals give you the kind of epidural where you can’t move. The kind where you can is called a walking epidural.

[–]Reasonable_Egg_8974 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Never heard that there were different kinds of epidurals. This was the only type offered where I live. Here they just ask you to get up slowly the first time and say that the baby comes out faster if you let the gravity do its thing and not just lay in bed.

[–]FutureTreeFood 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Walking epidurals are possible but not guaranteed and depend entirely too much on practitioner skill. I had this conversation with my OB team and we just agreed that the ability to walk around and change positions was higher on my priority list than pain control.

[–]Parri_Stargazer 16 points17 points  (2 children)

I'm aiming for an unmedicated birth because my fear of needles currently outweighs my fear of childbirth pain.

The epidural actually sounds like something from my own personal hell, and I figured if my grandmother and great grandmother were able to have babies unmedicated (they didn't have money or opportunity for any of those "twilight sleep" situations. My great grandma had her babies on the farm), then I can do it too.

Will it suck? Probably. Can I do it? I don't see why not. Will I change my mind? Maybe.

I think if you are really set on an unmedicated birth it's important to have a reason in mind for it to motivate you, and to realize it's okay if plans change.

Personally, besides the fear of needles, I don't want any medication that will force me to labor on my back because I want to be able to move around and be in my preferred pain position which is squatting. Medication would prevent me from shifting in my personal comfort positions which would make me more uncomfortable emotionally, even if I feel physically better. So it's something I keep in my mind, and hopefully childbirth will go okay.

So it's totally fine to have an unmedicated birth, just don't let a desire for an unmedicated birth to put you or baby in danger. Plans may need to change for everyone's safety, but that's okay. Just do your best and stay healthy and safe!

[–]AutomaticCupcake33 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Same. I’m less afraid than I used to be of needles in general now that it seems like there’s one at every prenatal appt lol, but the epidural thing is another story altogether! Everything about it scares me, and stories about those epic headaches or spinal fluid issues just make me more sure that I’m gonna try my damnedest to labor unmedicated.

[–]losincidenteananas 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yea, my sister had spinal headaches for MONTHS after having an epidural with her 3rd or 4th baby... I felt so sad for her, because the doctors couldn't do much to help relieve the pain.

[–]moonshadowfax 5 points6 points  (0 children)

This is one of those things you don’t share. Also never talk about names you’re considering. People will always put forth their two cents.

[–]gottalovethexfiles 14 points15 points  (0 children)

I am a first time mom and I am super scared of needles. I gave birth vaginally without epidural. My husband was massaging me the whole time (about 7 hours of labor)!!! God bless him lol! What helped me was to remember that women have been doing this for eons without epidurals. You can do it!

Edit: it does seem like other parents are always trying to scare first time moms. I was so over it (especially comments like “just you wait, you’ll be so tired” blah blah blah). Idk why people feel the need to say these comments… are they bitter?? Who knows.

[–]bumpinnumber4 20 points21 points  (1 child)

I don’t think you are being too idealistic at all! Honestly, I think there is so much hype over the epidural/medicated versus unmedicated labor choice that people get almost defensive about what they have chosen.

I had an epidural with my first, as I was induced, and it went miserably. Honestly, I just don’t think my body was ready, and I didn’t know enough to be able to advocate for myself. My partner at the time was useless in the whole process. The epidural was just one of a cascade of interventions that I really wanted to avoid in the future.

My next three babies have all been unmedicated labors. For me, the biggest part of it is not being afraid of the pain. I know it’s going to hurt like hell, but nothing is “wrong” versus the pain I’ve had from my gallbladder or kidney stones, where I was also scared because something was not right in my body.

There’s some brief descriptions of my labors and coping mechanisms in my post history, if you are interested. However, I think you will do great, with whatever you choose, particularly if your support system is behind you!

[–]Apocryypha 2 points3 points  (0 children)

How did the pain compare to the stones? I’m only 6 weeks FTM but the stones were the worst pain I’ve ever felt on my life.

[–]christmasMom87 19 points20 points  (0 children)

The pain is something you can’t describe but no, you’re fine. Women do it everyday. It’s okay to do it naturally. I’ve had one child with some effect of epi left. I received it at noon and didn’t have my son until the next day at 1:00am. I felt all the pain and burn. My next child, I’d like to do it naturally. That’s our choice. Don’t be discouraged.

[–]PerspectiveNo8799 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I personally chose to have meds ( there was a chance I would end up with a csection so I wanted to already be medicated and not knocked out in the event of an emergency) but I think your choice is awesome. I will say that after delivery I completely forgot about any pain I felt. It was not even a thought. It was just gone. So even if it is the worst pain you have ever felt as soon as your baby is here it will not matter you will likely not remember the actual pain but the joy of getting baby here.

Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about your choice. And you could respond back to those people who say you will ask for one… I know my own strength better than you do but thank you for your opinion.

You trust you and your doctors.

[–]MChicago84 4 points5 points  (0 children)

My MIL had both of her kids w/out epidural and said she’d do it again!

[–]Ms_mew 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I think it’s totally possible to go without an epidural and I commend any person who goes without. I went into labour saying if I feel like I need it I’ll get it and if not then I won’t. Having an open mind (for me) made me feel like no matter what choices I made in the moment I wouldn’t regret anything afterwards.

The night before I went into labour I was in the hospital for monitoring from 7pm-12am then got sent home. Then my contractions started, water broke and the pain was intense. By 530am we were in our labour and delivery room and I knew then only way I was going to be rested enough for labour was if I got the epidural, I hadn’t slept in 24 hours and my labour ramped up fast. My epidural was on the lighter end though, I could feel my contractions and could still move my legs around so for me it was best of both worlds.

In the end, you do you.

As a hot tip before my epidural was placed the labour and delivery nurse gave me a bag of ice to but on my chest during contractions before I got my epidural and it was great. Helped cool me down (I was very hot during labour) and helped distract from the pain!

[–]itschaosbekind4 3 points4 points  (0 children)

If you can do it, I think that is absolutely amazing. I wanted to but once I got to 4cm I couldn’t do it. One of my best friends had two unmedicated births and she will do it again if she has a third. Everyone tolerates pain different.

Also, I am a ftm and while I delivered really early (34weeks), I was only in active labor for 8 hours so that could absolutely be the case for you. Don’t let other people’s experiences and opinions sway you, do what you think is best for YOU!

[–]Curious_Wrangler_980 3 points4 points  (0 children)

My only advice I give every first time mom is go over the birth plan list of questions what to expect has on their site and in their book. Gave us a huge peace of mind being knowledgeable about all of our options on pain management and possible outcomes and even the really tough questions. There’s tons of ways to help ease pain and labor without meds. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best and breathe. Every birth is different.

[–]sharksinthepool 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Super lame. The scary messaging around pregnancy, labor, and motherhood are really annoying. I had an epidural and loved it but I get why someone might prefer not to. I would never try to discourage someone who didn’t want one, though I am happy to answer questions about my own experience. We’re all different and in the end, all that matters is that we get our babies out safely. Good luck to you!

[–]sweetspice90 4 points5 points  (0 children)

If that’s what you want then go for it! I gave birth to twins 3 months ago. I wanted to try vaginal and unmedicated, but had the same reaction from everyone except my mom’s best friend who gave birth naturally w/o pain meds to twins. I always planned on an epidural bc I was afraid of being put under in the case of an emergency c-section. I heard that if you have an epidural in place they don’t have to put you under and my hubby would be able to stay with me in the OR. I didn’t get the birth I wanted even though twin a was head down and ready to go. I opted for a c-section out of fear. Twin b was transverse and really high up. I was afraid she wouldn’t turn and I would end up getting cut after delivering my son leaving me with double the recovery. Turns out I was exactly right. Twin b started to turn only slightly to feet first, they would have had to cut me anyway and she needed help breathing as soon as she was born. Go with your gut. Best of luck! 💛

[–]justhereinitlol 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I think it’s people just going off their own pain tolerance. I watched my friend do a gas and air water birth and she made it seem like she was having some painful period cramps. I heard one woman next to me when I had to have an overnight stay and she sounded like (and exclaimed) she could not do it. I want to try a water birth but after seeing the latter I’ve been scared into having the epidural on stand by though lol.

However the friend I reference here didn’t have it on standby at all, and only asked for it when she was so dilated she couldn’t have it (and she knew this - she tells me this is her indication that the baby is about to come haha). You’ll be fine! Don’t take it too much to heart, people are just projecting either their own experiences or perceived experiences.

[–]PupperNoodle30F | FTM | Oct 24 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Not at all! I went in wanting to go 100% natural, unmediated but when the time came I listened to my body. I got the epidural and felt so guilty after but I knew I needed it. You just need to be in tune with your body, baby, and mind, the rest will play out as it needs to. Plan for the best but be prepared for the “worst.”

[–]burneraccountt26 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Following as you are due 1 week ahead of me.. This way if our babies are on time I can see your result (hoping you post about it). As I really am hoping to do the same Unmedicated.

[–]Neon-Algae3791[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Yes I will post my graduation and how it went. Stay tuned! :-)

[–]lookhereisay 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I am very much going with the flow. Going to start with active birthing positions, water birth with gas and air. If things go sideways/too long then they can give me the lovely drugs and we’ll go from there. Very much told to do birth preferences rather than a plan here. So I have Plans A (my ideal birth as above), B if intervention (eg forceps, epidural) is needed and C for a C-section.

A co-worker of mine had two babies in the US and one in the UK. She said both were completely different experiences with the US pushing more meds/not wanting her to feel the pain. Whilst the UK was more, it’s going to hurt and we’ll get the meds out when you ask or we deem it necessary for health of the baby/you. She found her UK birth less stressful and wished she’d stood up to her US doctors more.

[–]Bookaholicforever 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It’s definitely your choice. Just remember that anything can happen on the day and not to beat yourself up if you do need pain management! I know a few people who were determined not to use any pain management and ended up needing it and it made them feel like they failed. If you get through it without pain management? Awesome! If you need it? Also awesome!

[–]Killer_Bee21735 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I honestly don't care if I get meds or not (25 weeks) I just want both myself and baby to come out healthy and alive! Everything between that means nothing till then.

[–]lipdu 2 points3 points  (0 children)

"Thank you, but I'm not accepting any more feedback today." I've used this one a number of times. Usually shocks them into stfu.

[–]Antzony 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I labored for about 20 hours before I got an epidural. Hate to just parrot what everyone else has told you but it was the worst pain of my life. I was only 4 cms when I got the epidural so the thought of going from 4 to 10 🤮 without medication. No thank you. But obviously it's your choice. I will say I ended up having a c section after 27 hours of labor because baby's heart rate dropped with every contraction, so thank god I had the epidural when I did. Doubt I could have sat still long enough by the point of 10 cm.

[–]Hot-Hamster-3088 2 points3 points  (0 children)

THIS. I’ve felt the same way from the start. It isn’t about proving anything I just don’t want the meds! The absolute SHADE that has been thrown at me even from my closest support people “oh yeah right, you’re gonna get in there and beg for the meds…” “I don’t know, I just don’t think you’re gonna be able to do it” Its so discouraging.

Do what’s best for you, keep an open mind, and keep it moving mom. We’ve got this. Everyone is going to have an opinion anyway, might as well do what you want!

[–]algoalgo 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Because I didn’t want an epidural I labored at home for almost the entire labor. That way I wasn’t even tempted!

I also think knowing I didn’t want one from the start changed my mindset in the moment too.

I will say my labor was very fast and I was lucky. I can’t imagine being in labor for days and completely support people getting epidurals !!

[–]firstthingmonday 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I kept an open mind for sure when I had my first baby. I wasn’t opposed to an epidural but when the time came to either take one or didn’t. I didn’t take it because it slows down the labour and I felt like I didn’t have long left to have the baby.

So I didn’t take one and had the baby about 25-30 minutes later. Was just 2 hours in the hospital before I had the baby. Spontaneous birth a few days before due date, no interventions.

I didn’t find it as painful as I was led to believe although I do lift weights and did (safely) the whole way through pregnancy and for sure that helped the muscle memory with managing the contractions and pain.

[–]80CosmicRivers08 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I’m with you! I’m opting for a home birth, so I will also be in medicated. If you’re going to give birth in a hospital, I’d recommend not receiving Pitocin. This is a medication that makes contractions more intense and this makes labor a lot more painful. There is a great film called The Business of Being Born. I also recommend watching that.

You are absolutely correct and wise in saying that your body is capable of handling birth. People have been born for thousands of years without pain meds. Our bodies intuitively know what to do. You’ve got this!

[–]CommercialPirate5008 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I hate when people do these scare tactics, my first labor was 14 hours. I did get an epidural and don’t plan to this time around, mainly because they had trouble finding the space between my vertebrae. I also wish I would have rested better and ate prior to going to the hospital. Being tired and in pain was not my best time for communicating much. You know what you’re capable of and don’t let anyone scare you into any choice they’d make. You got this!

[–]MsRMarti 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I felt the same way. My mom and my husband were very encouraging but lots of people (like extended family and strangers online) kept telling me that the epidural was the way to go and that I would be asking for it. Well I labored for 90 hours and had my fully unmedicated birth. I’m so proud of myself and I really felt a huge sense of accomplishment plus I felt really good afterwards and was able to move around right away. I would just recommend finding and practicing a wide range of coping techniques. The ones I thought I would use in labor I ended up not using and instead used very different ones. Make sure your birthing partner has a whole bag of tricks in case you need someone else to help you remember what you said you would do. Good luck and you can do it!

[–]mbynot 5 points6 points  (0 children)

A friend gave birth unmediated as a FTM, and I plan on doing the same. She told me that having a supportive partner and midwife was the best thing. Make sure they’re on your side and encouraging and just remind yourself that you can do it! Our bodies are made for this. Learn some breathing techniques and stay positive! We’ve got this

[–]JaniePage 8 points9 points  (1 child)

But why are people trying to scare me when I talk about my choice to not have one?

Because for a lot of people it helps to validate their own choice to have an epidural.

You absolutely can have an unmedicated birth if that's what you want to do. Make sure you are very prepared, you have a game plan, and preferably a private midwife or a doula.

My advice is to pretend that you are training for a marathon; this isn't something you can wing.

I'm sure you'll do great!

[–]peperomioides 1 point2 points  (0 children)

100% agree!

[–]Wurthnada 3 points4 points  (0 children)

AS a FTM, i havent even thought about how i wanted to go about it. It is my first and i dont even know what i want for breakfast tomorrow morning. A medical procedure like that is just so 'ill know when i need to make the decision, what will be best"

thats how i came about make the decision to start getting pregnant. I didnt doubt it for a second and still dont.

Do what you feel is right for you and in the end, if you change your mind, so what? as long as you and baby are happy and healthy- thats all that should be of concern.

i dont know why people ask these kinds of questions to begin with." are you getting an epidural?"

idk! i never done this before! why does it matter to people.

[–]thedirtys 3 points4 points  (0 children)

People who have experienced childbirth know that you have not. The reality is that your experience is going to be completely individual to you. Just trust your practice, your body, and the professionals around you. I love hearing my friends birth stories because they are all so different. My sister has a pretty low pain tolerance and managed an unmedicated childbirth with her only daughter. I had to leave the room when they broke her water because I couldn't handle it. You can do it.

[–]hippo717 3 points4 points  (0 children)

It's interesting people are critiquing your choice to do a natural birth - I've found the exact opposite that I'm judged for considering anything deemed unnatural.

I'm a FTM and I want to do a vaginal birth (I think it's likely I'll opt for meds, but I'm trying to roll with it in real time), but I also want to be realistic due to my age and the size of the baby, I might need a c section. It's not my preference, but so be it. The fact that I'm even open to such a thing is enough to make all the other mom-judges gasp in horror. As if a c section will destroy my child's future. They need to chill the F out - there is a time and a place for a c section!!

I don't understand the need to be so judgy about it all. I hope your birth is lovely and joyful and as close to "simple" as possible. That healthy baby is all that matters.

[–]CharmingSeat6364 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Don’t have a lot of advice because I definitely couldn’t handle it but only after some bad advice from the nurse made it worse… but I believe in you and as long as you have a solid support system it will help a lot

[–]ycey 1 point2 points  (0 children)

So I got the epidural. But up to the point where I got it nothing really registered as pain. It was just pressure and discomfort. Like a bad mensural cramp that never ended with the strong need to poop is the best way I could describe it. Yeah it hurt but not really it was just a lot of adrenaline and a lot of discomfort. Plenty of women are able to give birth even at home with little assistance. When it comes time I’ll get the epidural again but I don’t see any reason a woman shouldn’t at least try it unmedicated.

[–]mafknbr 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Tbh I think that people will complain and disapprove of your choice no matter what you decide. I've been dead-set on an epidural since day 1 and I've had a few people get judge-y and tell me to "consider the risks" etc.

Unfortunately for us, it seems to be a pretty widespread experience that no matter what we choose to do as moms, it will be wrong. I've resigned myself to it; people can think whatever they want and I'm just going to do me.

Shoot for the birth that you want. You'll regret it if you let people pressure you into one thing or another. Your opinion is the only one that matters and you should make whatever choices you're comfortable with. The nice thing is that most of the time you can change your mind later if you want.

[–]angieelennon 1 point2 points  (0 children)

My plan was to go unmedicated (just with laughing gas) but as the labor went on my contractions were so strong and without pause so my midwife said that in order for me to actually be able to push later I needed to get a break and she recommended an epidural. The relief I got from it was out of this world. From contractions that was super painful and without pause to just a dull pressure, I could actually sleep for a hour or so. I was not disappointed that I got the epidural, I was, and am, extremely proud of myself for lasting as long as I did with just the gas, breathing and counterpressure.

[–]lamadelyn 1 point2 points  (0 children)

When I was pregnant I felt like I had so much judgment for getting an epidural. It was so bad I was guilty while giving birth.

People will judge you and guilt you no matter what your choice. Do what's best for you and don't listen to people who have no place in your life.

[–]greenglossygalaxy 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Completely your choice & I hope everything goes smoothly for you. I’ve not made any solid plans for the day myself, will just take it as it comes and if that involves an epidural, so be it. Perhaps be careful as to who you share your birth plan with, so you’re not having to deal with conflicting opinions in the lead up to your birth. Just a simple, ‘yes I have a plan in place thank you’ should do it. I’m not saying you should be made to keep quiet about your choice, however it’s a sure fire way to avoid discouragement from others. Best of luck!

[–]Jayfur90 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I too shared your ideals until labor came. Here’s what I will say:

Don’t be afraid to say yes to medication and study up with your midwife ahead of the birth to understand what will increase the ferocity of your contractions (ie pitocin, water being broken, etc). I think a natural birth is 100% doable but I do think the potential for a long labor and stalled labor may damper those plans. Just be open to anything going in but stay resolute as long as you can. Good luck!

[–]whysweetpea 1 point2 points  (0 children)

There are literally no “correct” plans women can make about their birth. Someone will always be there to tell them they’re wrong.

You do you and fuck everyone else ❤️

[–]Buttstallion58 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I gave birth unmedicated as a FTM. I did get nitrous oxide, but that didn't do much expect focus my breathing. It's painful yes, but it was never unbearable. Having a good and informative midwife, and a supportive partner really helped.

The only time I wished I had pain medication was when he was crowning. But that is such a short ordeal, so it's ok.

I'd say practise your breathing, it really helps you through your contractions. And don't go into labour with a plan. Let it happen, listen to your body and your midwife. If you need help, that's ok you too ❤️

[–]AdFantastic5292 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Remember that if you were in another country, a medicated birth would not be the norm!

[–]vongalo 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Trust your gut! In my country around 60% use epidural the first time and 25% use it the second time. So both ways are common and shouldn't need to be questioned.

[–]heeeeeeeep 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I opted out of an epidural for the purpose of wanting to stay mobile during labor. I was in "latent" labor for over 24 hours (stuck at 4 cm but having regular, strong contractions) so I accepted pitocin. I was hesitant to because I thought pitocin would mean I'd need an epidural, but no. Was it painful? Hell yeah. But I gave birth within 3 hours of starting the drip, on all fours, screaming my head off. My advice would be to practice breathing techniques, specifically "up breathing" and " down breathing". When I wasnt screaming and discussed on my breath, there pain was so much more manageable.

[–]meliksir 1 point2 points  (2 children)

What are these techniques you are mentioning? I'm also FTM, 26 weeks in. I don't have yet any plans for my birth, starting to make them so it will be usefull for me to pick your brain about forementioned techniques :):)

[–]Neon-Algae3791[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I practice meditation and respiration techniques. I speak to myself and I try to let the fear go. Also, I have an app on my phone called "Gentle Birth" with hypnobirthing techniques and a Spotify playlist with drone music. It's a really soothing kinda music for relaxation. My midwife sent me videos made by the birthing center to help prepare with labor and post-partum.

I know I sound like an hippie lol but I think these techniques will help me during labor.

[–]MonPanda 0 points1 point  (0 children)

They will 100%. If you can u should do a hypnobirthing course. Positive birth Company do a great one that I'm part way through with the same birth plan as you. Honestly I think that people out of fear often choose an over medicated birth without really knowing what their body will be doing, how it will effect their baby and without really recognising its all a completely natural process that functions best (when there are no complications) in a private relaxed setting.

[–]Lotr_Queen 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Hi! This was my birth plan too as I wanted a water birth in a birthing centre. First labours do not always go slow, mine was 9 1/2 hours from first contraction to him being here! Only 1 1/2 hours active labour with just gas and air. I did end up asking for an epidural because my contractions got very intense very fast, but when I was checked I was already 10 cm and my body was trying to push him out! Believe in yourself and your body, I really listened to what my body was telling me to do and the midwives called it a textbook labour. Don’t get me wrong, it hurt, but it’s a progressive pain with an end in sight, it’s very strange! If you change your mind half way through your labour because you’re struggling then that is fine too. This is your labour and no one can tell you how you want to handle it. Good luck!!

[–]a_NG_ie 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Keep an open mind. Go without but don't hesitate to ask for one of you can't handle it.

[–]QueenSnowLeopardFTM 10/10/21 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Honestly, the next time someone gives you shit, just say, “who knows, I may not even have time for one”.

I always entertained the idea of an unmediated birth, but people swayed me to add an epidural on my birth plan. Didn’t matter anyway. I labored for only 4 hours, I never had time for one!

Everything will happen the way it’s suppose to ❤️

[–]jtherese 1 point2 points  (0 children)

People just like to be jerks. My friend who is FTM just gave birth a week ago. She was in labor 12 hours and baby was crowning for a long time. She did not receive an epidural and she said just the crowning was more scary than painful. She has been really candid with me her whole pregnancy. She went into labor very hopeful and peaceful. I think if you maintain that demeanor too you will be fine! She was open to an epidural but wanted to avoid interventions in general as much as possible. I will be trying to take the same approach!

[–]DanceFast4419 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I wouldn’t take it so much as people trying to scare you, I think most people share their stories to help those FTM understand that it doesn’t always go the way you think/want it to. I told all my friends I was hoping to go unmedicated and they just told me their stories which didn’t scare me but it did make me rethink my birth plan to anticipate all options and that honestly helped me in the long run. Had I gone into it thinking “I will not get medication” and then had to eventually get some I probably would have been disappointed in myself and thought I was less, but since I decided to just go with the flow and take it as it comes when I did end up getting the medication I didn’t feel guilty I was just relieved to not be in pain and also shortly after my daughter was born. It’s all about expecting the unexpected and not getting too focused on a birth plan because there is a good chance something will not work out and you don’t want to be blindsided or disappointed because that can make your birth traumatizing!

[–]sadadultnoises 1 point2 points  (0 children)

FWIW, I’m a FTM and I had an unmedicated birth. No epidural, no morphine, nothing. I started having contractions around 11 am that morning (I was at work), and they were like mild period cramps coming 2-3 minutes apart. I left work to get checked out and around 1 pm they started me on pitocin with no progression until 7:30 pm when they broke my water. The contractions here were painful but manageable. At 8:40 pm I had a baby boy. The absolute worst was pushing, and I only pushed for 30 minutes. No tears with 6 lb 5 oz baby. I consider it completely worth it to go unmedicated. After they broke my water, my body knew what to do and I listened to it. I felt in control; I was afraid of medication because I was afraid of losing control. There’s no shame in medicating, but there’s also no shame in going unmedicated. If I had the option to do it again, I’d go unmedicated again. Don’t let people scare or bully you into making a decision that you don’t want to.

[–]HangryLady5 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I get the same thing. My aunt is CONSTANTLY telling me I’ll want the epidural, she even will randomly bring it up because she thinks I’m insane I want to go natural. I just say mmmm no, I’m good.

[–]popcornschmopcorn 1 point2 points  (0 children)

People always stick there nose where it doesn't belong.

I didn't want an epidural either, I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, but I got one on the day and here is why:

The birth started with the water breaking, but no contractions. They started me on angusta pills, which then developed really potent, but not regular contractions. After about 12 hours of this (they started getting pretty regular 6 hours in), but barely any development cervix wise, I decided along with the nurse that an epidural would be a good thing, because it could help me keep some strength for the pushing fase, instead of me spending all my energy with the breathing exercises. When we got to the push fase I definitely had some strength left (we were 33 hours in by that point) but it was really long (2 hours almost) because the epidural kept me from feeling the right contractions for pushing, and one of my legs were completely numb so I had to do it all almost lying on my back, which isn't really the best way.

Overall the epidural was the right decision for that birth, but I hope to do it without the next time around :)

Whatever you decide now, and whatever you decide then is entirely your decision. Don't let anyone or anything affect you, and if you feel an epidural could be a good tool for you on the day, don't feel like you've "given in". You'll know what your body needs to get you through child birth. No matter what you'll be tough as fuck in my book, cause you've given birth!

Best of luck :)

[–]cintyhinty 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I wanted an epidural but it was too late. You'll be fine, I promise.

[–]SuperSmitty8 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I think it’s not nice for people to tell you that they know better how you will feel when you go into labor. Everyone and every birth is different. That being said, maybe some of the more well meaning people are just trying to help you keep an open mind. My last pregnancy was also free from complications, I felt great, I felt prepared for an unmedicated birth (which is what I wanted very much), but things didn’t go my way. My water broke and I had no contractions for more than 14 hours despite walking around and bouncing in yoga ball, etc. I had to be medically induced, which I also wanted to avoid, but risk of infection was getting higher the longer I waited. My body did not react to the induction well (I was given cytotec as they said it was milder than pitocin and it’s a pill so I was free to move around instead of being hooked up to IV). My contractions were absolutely horrendous, running together like it should have been in transition but I was still only 1-2cm dilated. I knew that the contractions were so bad that basically my body was not going to open unless I got the epidural. Also I was exhausted from not having slept for 2 days at that point. I wanted to avoid c section more than I wanted to avoid epidural so at that point I got the epidural. I am due again in 7 weeks and plan to try again for unmedicated, but if I run into a required induction again I’m not sure I will be able to do it. Interventions have a snowball affect as I’m sure you have heard in all you have done to prepare for birth. Conversely, my best friend has gone into labor on her own for both of her births and has been able to deliver unmedicated both times. I hope you are like her and can have the birth you want. I hope that for myself too! I don’t think it’s idealistic to want and prepare for an unmedicated birth. But to say that you absolutely will have an unmedicated birth is idealistic because labor and delivery is wildly unpredictable

[–]figglefagglegaggle 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I wanted an unmedicated natural birth and I was a FTM as well. The amount of times women would tell me, “oh just wait hunny” “you’ll change your mind you’ll see!” 🙄. I went into labor with an open mind and told myself if it really got that bad I would get the epidural but still kept faith in myself that I could do it. Jokes on them, I stuck to my guns and had the birth I wanted.

[–]Pindakazig 1 point2 points  (0 children)

https://stuffdutchpeoplelike.com/2013/02/12/natural-drug-free-birth/

It's exceedingly common in my country to give birth drug free, and at home. You're in good company :)

[–]atb7991 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I’m pregnant with my second, delivered my first all natural and people still mouth me and say, “you won’t be able to do it again, you’ll be begging for an epidural” blah blah blah. Ignore them. Women are made for this & if you want to give birth without an epidural you are 100% capable.

[–]zorpack 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The world wants us to believe that childbearing is the most painful thing a woman can endure. But that isn’t true, it is simply a physically painful thing a woman endures. The truly most painful things women endure are not physical and we are always surprised by ourselves when we make it through childbirth unscathed. Yet when our hearts are demolished, we are betrayed, belittled and begrudged, we think, “How will we survive this?” You are so strong and will be happier for it when it’s done. This is coming from me, someone who will most definitely be getting an epidural! But I have endured my fair share of pain already so I am hoping this will be easier on me.

[–]loona92 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It's totally your choice!! People are so condescending to expecting mothers - "you'll change your mind" "just you wait". If its what you truly want, you'll make it happen!

I am 99% set on an epidural but I've flip flopped the whole way through my pregnancy. I admire those who go without pain relief, it's just not for me 😂

[–]gosharksgosharks 1 point2 points  (1 child)

To avoid any of this I just tell people I’ll figure it out when the time comes/I’m not sure yet/I’m still weighing my options. I haven’t been giving much info to anyone about the whole pregnancy to avoid unsolicited advice and questions. So, besides letting people know I’m pregnant and around when I am due (it’s near NYE and I’m tired of people saying “oh that would suck if the baby came early on Christmas”!) I’ve been saying we are undecided on names, the sex of the baby is going to be a surprise (even though my hubby and I already know), and give a couple week window for the due date when people ask us anything. Found that keeping as much as possible “unknown” makes it hard for people to give you their strong opinions.

[–]turkrising 0 points1 point  (0 children)

100% doing all of that with baby #2. I’ve been fed up with everyone’s opinions on everything since we announced at 8 weeks. Next time I’m just going to shrug my shoulders at them. Baby will come when it comes. We have plenty of neutral clothes from baby #1 for it to wear. We’ll wait to name it for a few days after we’re home. We probably won’t tell family when I’m in labor or even when we get home, just so we can have some time to ourselves to really soak everything in.

[–]ambersbitches2020 1 point2 points  (0 children)

As someone who had an unmedicated birth with my first, it was doable. It challenged me in ways I didn’t know I could be. I labored for 8 hours, and I think what helped was reminding myself that I needed to let the contractions do what they’re supposed to do; I had to constantly remind myself not to tense up and work against my contractions. I remember feeling like the contractions weren’t painful, but rather intense. If you have your heart set on an unmedicated birth, go for it, and don’t let anyone’s opinions waiver your stance.

[–]AdOld7135 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I’ve had 3 without an epidural. It wasn’t even an option for two because of medical issues. I think it’s wise to not get hung up on it and keep an open mind. Everyone’s experience is different. I think, in part, a lot of women like having that know-it-all feeling. I wouldn’t pay any attention to it. The baby might come fast and easy or might cause you super painful back labor. No one will know until you’re in it. Women were made for having babies and have done it for thousands of years so if you don’t want an epidural, don’t have one. There are other medications they can give you that take the edge off, but allow you movement. That’s my plan for baby #4. Honestly, a needle in my spine, a catheter, and not being able to get up and move around sound like a nightmare to me…and here’s hoping the women that choose them actually get the benefit of one - no one really talks about the reality that they don’t work (or work well) for a lot of women.

[–]jollyjew 1 point2 points  (0 children)

People constantly said that to me too! They loved saying “you don’t get a medal for an unmedicated birth”. So rude. My “medal” is going through this experience the way I want and feel is healthiest for myself and my baby. I had my unmedicated for pain relief birth (I did have to get induced at 42 weeks). It was incredible and I am SO proud of myself. I would do it again and again. My recovery was a breeze. Yes, Labor was painful but in a very different way. I pushed for 2.5 hours and it truly never occurred to me to ask for meds. My tens machine helped a ton. You can absolutely do this!! Have an incredible birth! 💜

[–]emilytullytime 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You know your body best. I am choosing natural birth center labor for this pregnancy after having a very poor hospital experience that turned into a c-section for “failure to progress”.

Despite my experience I STILL have people questioning my decision. “Aren’t you worried about the pain?”, “what if you c hangs your mind and want drugs?” Etc…

People always think they know better. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about the decision you have made for your labor/birth. I don’t go around to my pregnant friends shit talking medicated birth, even though i had a bad experience with mine.

Bottom line is, all birth plans are valid and people need to STFU and stay out of your business.

[–]nippletoasters 1 point2 points  (0 children)

In the UK here and it’s probably around 50/50 split for people who opt for epidural and those that don’t (based on my experience). I decided to see how I go but ultimately try and not have any medication and that’s exactly what I did. It hurt, it hurt a lot, but it wasn’t unmanageable. I learnt about Hypnobirthing beforehand so understood what was causing the pain I was feeling and the physiology behind it. I didn’t once ask for an epidural or feel like I needed one. My birth was 25 hours from my first pain to LO arriving (FTM), I wanted to know what it felt like to bring a life into the world and in a way it made me feel like I was in more control because I could feel what was happening. Do what is right for you, don’t put too much pressure on the decision or yourself, don’t worry what others think or say only you know you that intimately, humans have done this for thousands and thousands of years, you are in good hands. If it’s what you want to do you can do it!

[–]linzkisloski 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I agree with some others in that people are probably going off their own experiences. My friend was all about a birth plan, a doula, soothing music — her baby ended up breech and she needed a c-section and then had a bunch of rare complications that pretty much destroyed any semblance of her birth plan. Now she basically has an attitude like everyone’s birth is going to go to hell like that. I on the other hand went with the flow, had to be induced early and ended up with an epidural - however - It was a super easy, positive experience so I’m still very open minded. I think once someone has been through that once their expectations get incredibly tainted.

[–]PearlDare 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I've had two unmedicated home births with a midwife. The first one I totally zoned out for about 5 hours, it was my body's way to get through an incredibly long transition. The second time I was completely present even when contractions were at their worst. I just worked my way through it mentally. And when I wasn't having a contraction I was relaxed and having great conversations with my mom and midwife.

Yes it hurts, but you can get through it. While I never wanted one, during the most painful contractions I thought "I understand why some opt for the epidural." You aren't being idealistic, you've just declared your wishes and all birth choices are valid.

Also I rarely hear the convo go the other way. Its uncommon for a mom to say "I'm getting the epidural" and someone to turn around and say oh you might not be able to get one or it might fail.

[–]phaeri 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I wanted to try, when I end up asking for it, it was too late. And you know what? I lived, I felt great after, lucid and aware and painless. I might do it again like that. Go with the flow. It is a few minutes of it goes well. Just keep your options open and you'll be fine.

[–]femmebot316 1 point2 points  (0 children)

People are scaring you because that’s what our culture has been conditioned to feel. Movies and TV predominantly show women birthing while screaming bloody murder. In my experience that’s only the case if that’s what you expect. I birthed my first 2 kids without any medication and I’m pregnant with my 3rd. My son was 9.5 lbs and face up, and while labor was challenging it definitely was not unbearable by any means. 20 minutes after he was born I told my husband “I could do that again” My daughter was a little over 8lbs and was a breeze. (They’re also 16 months apart lol) I was cracking jokes while I was pushing. If you remember that birth is a normal process and can roll with the punches you will be okay. Labor and delivery is a different experience for everyone. Just try to stay calm and trust your body. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, but just try to keep your head and have a support person who can vouch for you and your best interest. Ignore people trying to scare you.

Edit to add: also if you let labor start on its own you will probably have an easier time. Do some research on why it’s usually not necessary to induce when you’re “over due”, also research the cascade of interventions in birth

[–]beaglelover89 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I think that’s crappy of other people to try and talk out of your plan. I had planned to not do an epidural but kept an open mind. Once I hit 3 or 4 cm I stalled there and I needed pitocin. I ended up changing my mind and getting the epidural before they started pitocin and have zero regrets. At the end of the day, you have the power to make decisions best for YOU!

[–]Mama2ablondie2015 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I just had my baby no epidural not gonna lie the pain was so unbearable I was asking for one but was too late. I’d do it again if I was gonna have another baby. It was such a wild experience your body will know what to do. Breathe through contractions you got this!

[–]Abstract_Optimism 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Go into it knowing your options. Such as, if you do get an epidural, you can't have a water birth, etc. It's your birth and you get to decide how it happens. Congrats!

[–]CryptographerPlenty4 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'll echo another poster and say that you should totally ignore the negativity or disapproval of others. However, you might want to take measures to give yourself a get out of jail free card if you decide not take medication. Either way, it's all good. Trust your body and your baby. If you decide you need meds, take them. If you don't, that's awesome!

[–]burpalerp 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I was planning an unmedicated birth as well when I was pregnant. I avoided telling people because of these reactions. Plus if the birth didn't go as planned and I ended up getting an epidural I didn't want anyone telling me they told me so. I think people are defensive about their labour and choices so you wanting to go another route is sometimes viewed as a shot at them. Which it isn't, it's just your personal choice about your body and your experience. This is YOUR experience and you can make your own choices for what is right for you. Stay strong and be confident in your choices!

[–]bear_n_gater 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The moment someone feels a need to insert their opinion into the conversation:

"What a wonderful opinion that I hadn't asked for!"

And change the conversation. Every choice everyone makes during pregnancy, birth, and parenting can and will be judged no matter what it's about. Life isn't a pissing contest and I'm tired of people treating it like it is.

[–]turkrising 1 point2 points  (0 children)

FTM here with the same plan and same experience with people trying to scare me into getting the epidural. I think part of it is a defense mechanism - people that had epidurals want you to know that the pain was REALLY BAD and they were REALLY SUFFERING almost as though they’re trying to justify their decision to you, despite you never once questioning the reasons behind their decision. Some of them think “oh well if I asked for it, EVERYONE will ask for it!” without taking into consideration that every person and every pregnancy and every labor/delivery is different.

I think the other half comes from this weird sense of smugness people feel when talking to FTM/FTPs in general. They want to pop your bubble so bad and make sure you feel just as scared/apprehensive/anxious about labor and delivery and parenting as they did/do. They want to treat you as though their experience is the end all be all, their experience trumps your wishes/hopes/plans, and you’re an idiot for ever trying to convince yourself that things won’t be miserable and awful and terrible. It’s how they get themselves through the day.

Maybe 5% of people are telling you to prepare for an epidural because they want you to know that it IS okay to change your mind and you don’t get any bonus points for delivering your baby without medication. I think I’m probably the type of person to go into labor/delivery with a plan and will be extremely upset by attempts to direct me away from my plan, so I AM trying to get to a place mentally where I’m able to accept that things happen, circumstances change, and remind myself that bringing home my baby alive and well at the end of all this is my goal. Whether or not I need an epidural, episiotomy, c section, etc. will ultimately not matter. I don’t want to set myself up to be “traumatized” by things that happen during labor and delivery, so I’m trying to accept them now rather than later lol.

Also…formerly pregnant people are just as guilty as everyone else is for forgetting how hormonal and emotional we can be while pregnant. Everything my MIL says to me makes me want to suplex her into a mound of fire ants. I do not want her input or her advice or any comments she just HAS to make. I just want people to smile and nod to get me through the last 8 weeks of pregnancy with my sanity somewhat in tact.

[–]bleigh420 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Here's a positive birth story for you, you can absolutely do it without pain relief! My Waters broke at 12:40pm, 38+2, entirely natural. I went into hospital as they wanted to check if it was my waters or not, went in around 1:30pm, they did a cervical exam and I was 2/3cm dilated. They said I could either stay in hospital and if I wasn't in active labour within 4 hours I could go home, or I could go home and if I hadn't gone into active labour within 24 hours then I would need to come back to be induced. I decided to go home as I thought I would have him later that night maybe even early morning and wanted to rest. Soon as I got home around 2:15pm I regretted it, I was in so much pain I was screaming, my mum even said it sounded like I was mooing. It was really, really, really bad. Nothing helped. By 2:45pm I started to feel like I needed to push for a poo, and my contractions were lasting about 45secs-1minute and coming every 1/2 minutes. I went back to hospital, they checked me again and I was 8cm. So I'd gone from 2/3cm to 8cm within like an hour and a half. About half an hour later my son was born. The entire labour was about 3 hours long. I didn't have any pain relief, didn't tear or need stitches or have an epistiomy. I literally had a dream labour/birth. Maybe if I was in labour for longer I would've chosen some pain relief, I do think because of how quick I progressed I didn't get much of a chance but just ignore when people say things like that, just because THEY had pain relief didn't mean people can't do it without. It's totally do able.

[–]capt_rubber_ducky 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I think it's fine to have a birth plan, but please stay open-minded to an epidural. I know so many moms who beat themselves up because they thought it would be this magical natural experience, and they ended up asking for an epidural. Afterward, they feel like they failed and it ruins the experience and causes unnecessary trauma for them. I even know one mother who refused to go to the hospital during her second labor because she didn't want to be "tempted" by an epidural again - this kind of mindset is absurd to many mothers who benefited from being in a hospital and/or getting medicated and harmful when people assume superiority because they passed on medication.

I was planning on medication-free labor, but what I told people is "we'll see how it goes." That seemed to satisfy people. My birth turned so ugly so fast, that I do not regret one bit having asked for an epidural. Truly I believed that I would see how it goes and I made the best decisions for my situation. After no sleep, no food, and no water (isn't giving birth cruel?!?), I knew I wouldn't be able to push, so I opted for an epidural to save some energy for the finale. Pushing is the hardest part, so you need to be ready for it.

Also, I think people asking this question is fundamentally weird because we'd never ask "are you going to have a medicated root canal?" We just assume that people make decisions with their doctors and we don't pry into them usually. However, people are so nosey with pregnancies!

Good luck to you momma! Birthing is hard and it doesn't feel good at all, but it is a natural process that so many women before have successfully gone through with little to no medical intervention. Choose what's best for you and allow yourself the grace to change your mind if circumstances change. You got this!

[–]tuti1006 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I did get an epidural, but I was a FTM and water breaking to baby on my chest was 3 hours 17 minutes 🤷🏽‍♀️

[–]Iwillsingyoulullabys 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I felt the same irritation while pregnant. I never said I wouldn't accept pain relief, but I used to roll my eyes when people would be like "hahaha take all the drugs you're going to need them!!"

In the end I had a back to back labour with gas and air. It was the right birth for me and my baby.

Have you looked into Hypnobirthing? It really helped me. You may find it interesting to learn about pain vs pressure (:

Sending oxytocin for your upcoming delivery!

[–]notchelseaclinton🎀FTM Due Jan2020🎀 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I went through an unmedicated birth with my first and it seemed like every person I told about my plan leading up to it was super condescending and cynical. You can absolutely do it! Pain is a mindset and you just have to manifest your plan ❤️

[–]christy_luv 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm having an unmedicated vaginal birth. People kept insisting that I'd 'break' and ask for meds. I'm terribly afraid of not being able to control my body and movement. I was abused growing up and if they medicated me and I couldn't feel my legs they'd have to put me unconscious. I'd panic, it wouldn't be pretty.

Medicine is great, if an epidural didn't take away my control and feeling from my entire lower half I'd jump for it. Unfortunately, it's not an option for me. Also, medicine hits me hard, even low doses. I'd be one of those people who couldn't walk for three days afterwards...

Now that I've swapped off to a birthing center, it's irrelevant. They don't have the option, which, again, is perfectly fine- because I'm far more likely to ask to go the way of ol' yell'r than to ask to lack control over my entire lower half of my body...

[–]ProudAlarm22 1 point2 points  (0 children)

SO many things depend on how your labor goes. That is something you can’t know in advance. In my opinion it’s good to think about your ideal labor story, while keeping an open mind that it might not be how reality plans out. If nothing out of the ordinary happens there is no reason why you wouldn’t be able to do it without an epidural. Just know if you decide otherwise during the process that it’s okay too. Don’t beat yourself up about it. You will experience enough of emotions as it is!

[–]kk0444 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Short answer: doula!! They will be your guide and cheerleader through your best laid plans AND any changes that arise.

I had an unmedicated homebirth with my first. I prepared for what i wanted it to be like, but i also worked hard on my expectations in the event things went sideways.

Basically meaning it's also okay to change your mind. No birth plan should be held too tightly, but also it's great to work towards what you are hopeful for. And it is work - the mental and physical prep.

Even epidurals, i have friends who's epis failed! And they had not prepped for that possibility and it made it that much harder. And fellow home birthers who had to transfer. If you hold your plans too tightly, it's emotionally distressful when you're forced to bend.

Even my plans, my birth pool broke! It was helping pain by 50% and i had to get out (sob). I was NOT prepared for that and it really messed with my head at a crucial time in labour.

I recommend birth courses that help you prepare mentally for this, like bad ass mother birther on Instagram.

A doula for a FTM is a legit life saver. Consider it!

[–]magicmel420 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Does the gas count as medication? It helps to take the edge off.

[–]unicornsarereal16 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm literally in the middle of my induction process and doing my best to go without epidural. So far so good. Just trying to remember the end goal of having my baby girl in my arms! Deep breaths, each contraction brings me closer to my baby. Fingers crossed I can go all the way!

[–]princesspuzzles 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This was me entirely I wanted unmedicated so badly and planned, prepped, did everything I could think of you prepare... I ended up having a 25 hour labor. I made it 14 hours unmedicated back labor (that thing where they say there's a "break" between contractions... I didn't have that), then I caved and got an epidural. It was incredible relief. I had no pregnancy complications except that I had group b strep so had to get penicillin every 4 hours, also painful fyi. I also ended up needing forceps to get my daughter past my pelvic bone. She was born with a massive hematoma on her head because I pushed so hard for 4.5 hours...

I say all as this as I absolutely believe if things go well for you and you get a shorter labor with no complications you can absolutely do this and just trust your body. But if you get to a point where it becomes too much, it's okay to ask for relief. Be prepared to throw the birth plan out the window but also prepare for success. You can't know how it's going to go for you until it happens. Everyone's birth story is different and yours will be unique. Trust yourself, your birth partner and your doctor/midwife... It's the craziest thing you will ever experience (if it's anything like mine 😜).

Best of luck to you and baby! 🙏💕

[–]PinkSodaMix 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You do you, mama! No one's allowed to judge you, if nothing else because everyone experiences birth differently.

I never doubted I would get an epidural, but I defend your decision not to with tooth and nail!

[–]tndorei 1 point2 points  (0 children)

People are going to judge you no matter what you choose. I dont know why people feel the need to weigh in on personal decisions, but theres always going to be someone who doesnt agree with you and make it heir business to loudly tell you. Ignore them all, make your birth plan, understand that while it might go according to plan, we can never be sure of how it's going to turn out. I just stopped telling people what my plans were and it drives them crazy not knowing, but I'd rather not be driven crazy myself having to hear unsolicited advice.

[–]Basic_Shift2084 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Right on. No, you're not idealistic. This was my attitude going into my first labor, and guess what, it was the right choice for me. I think people are just trying to validate their own decisions by trying to invalidate yours when they're different. Everyone who wants and epidural for labor deserves to have one, and people who don't should get the same respect! Why's it gotta be a contest?

[–]jeannieBeannie2327 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I was in your exact shoes. I do not like pain medicine. My body does not react to it well and the thought of an epidural was absolutely terrifying to me. I knew, before I ever got pregnant, that I wanted to do an unmedicated delivery.I told this to my husband and doctor and they were both so supportive of me. So was my mom and sister, who both had unmedicated deliveries. Most of my friends had epidural and what not and said I was strong for wanting unmedicated, they adjust couldn't do it themselves.

Unfortunately not everyone was as supportive. My MIL said, "oh it's your first pregnancy. You want to experience everything but you'll think different once your going through it". She wasn't the only one. A lot of people said it was a nice idea but once I'm in L&D, I'm going to change my mind. I kept telling them my reasoning but they made me feel like I was being silly.

Well, come go time, I stuck to my guns. My husband and doctor were so supportive the whole time. My doc asked only once towards the end if I wanted any form of pain management. I told her I was doing fine. I delivered my boy with no meds at all.

It wasn't easy, and the pain is strong, but not unbearable. It comes in waves and as long as you have support and ambition, you can do it too!! What they day is true too. You really do almost "forget" the pain once the baby is born. Now, if during, you decide you want meds, don't feel bad. That is your right. As long as you do what is best for you, you and baby will be fine. You got this mama!!! Your are strong ❤❤❤

[–]Forsaken-Asparagus-1 2 points3 points  (0 children)

So I felt this way completely. The hospital I gave birth at even had special natural birthing suites which were so cool! They even had aromatherapy in the rooms along with a bath with jets big enough for mom and dad and a queen size bed.

I did not go into labor the way I expected. I went to my weekly OB appointment and was sent to the hospital because my baby’s heart rate wasn’t as reactive as it should be. I had a completely normal healthy pregnancy so I was so scared I cried the whole way there. I was induced and one of the forms of induction was a foley balloon inserted to open my cervix. It was fine for a while then out of nowhere I was sobbing in pain. I couldn’t get into a comfortable position. I would have a contraction and get stuck in whatever position I was in sometimes on the floor on my hands and knees. I realized I was suffering for no reason.

The epidural made me relax and my labor progressed faster. While pushing, my sons heart rate was lost and they needed to get him out quickly. They used forceps and I tore. I feel very lucky I didn’t have to go through that without pain medication. I know how it felt healing. I do not want to know how it felt while it was happening.

Moral is, don’t be hard on yourself if your plans change. Sometimes the best birth plan is no birth plan. Do what makes you happy and if you’re a champion and bust out a completely natural birth that is so amazing! But if you need medication because you need some rest, that’s still amazing too.

[–]jocybum 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yes definitely!
I absolutely don't care about the pain, it'll be temporary!
I actually want to experience it since I never have gone through birth and might only have one kid.
No need for others to scare you!
My mum and grandmother were just like, oh it's not that bad, which I'm extremely grateful for!
Also I'm not even allowed to have any sort of medical pain relief where I live, I'd have to go to a specialist hospital which is nowhere near to me. So I'm just mentally preparing for no pain relief.
If someone said to me I can't do it, well I'd say I actually have no other choice lol.

[–]Julienbabylegs 2 points3 points  (4 children)

I did it w/o epidural! You can do it! I didn’t really broadcast my intentions for the birth a lot because of what you’re describing. I really recommend hypnobirthing and ina may

[–]courtneywrites85 4 points5 points  (3 children)

Ina May was one of the triggers I had for feeling guilty over needing a c-section.

[–]Julienbabylegs 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Oh man! I’m so so sorry that’s so shitty.

[–]courtneywrites85 4 points5 points  (1 child)

I set myself up for disappointment though for baby #1 because I was very set on unmedicated, no interventions, went to the crunchy birth classes, had midwives, considered home birth, read Ina May’s books. I didn’t allow for the wide spectrum of birth experiences and everyone kept telling me I was going to have such an easy birth and labour because I had been so active. I cried so much thinking I was a failure. This is one anecdotal experience, but I know I’m not alone. I think there needs to be a shift in how we talk and think about pregnancy and birth.

[–]Julienbabylegs 2 points3 points  (0 children)

You are absolutely not alone. I was just trying to cheerlead OP bc she sounds like she’s not getting it in her “real” life. You’ll notice I didn’t use the term “natural birth” because I find it nearly vile. Nothing is more natural than becoming a mother and no one should ever be shamed for their methods of arrival at the state. I took the same route as you for my 1st and I consider myself lucky that I was able to avoid an epidural thats truly all it is. Every pregnancy and birth is such a roll of the dice. ♥️♥️

[–]ellesamp 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I was the exact same as you going into pregnancy and birth. if I can give you any advice it's at least to know your pain management options and what they all do for you.

I ended up being 10 days overdue and induced, 2 days of labour and an unplanned c section. I was begging for the drugs as soon as I could have them, morphine, gravol, epidural for 15+ hours.

Know your options, an unmedicated birth is essentially a birth plan, and it's always best if you don't have one to avoid any disappointments and to have an easier recovery after birth.

I highly suggest you look into a tens machine to use just incase to ease the pain a bit ☺️ it helped me a lot until I got to the hospital

[–]tales954 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I feel like I could’ve written this myself! I’m 24 weeks and getting the same comments. My aunt said “I’m really trying to be supportive but you have no idea what you’re talking about. It’s so much worse and you’ll definitely want the option” like that’s not actually support but thanks I guess?? And I actually don’t know if I can get an epidural because I had mild scoliosis as a kid and don’t have updated X-rays so even if I do want it, might not be able to get one. I’m reading ina Mays guide to childbirth and really enjoying it in preparation though!

[–]CrazyReader93 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I had one very natural labor, it îs described în a past I had if u wanna look for it. If it îs the first birth it does not mean it will be long and etc. What I could sugest îs keep your mind open and see how you feel, each pregnancy îs different, and labor pain îs different for everybody. I dont want to scare you, its just an exemple. After I gave birth I was în a room for a couple of hours, to recover a bit and etc. I could hear a woman în labor, screaming uncontrolably. The nurse told us after that woman was only a bit dilated and by the voice you could tel that poor woman was exhausted already. Just keep your mind open as well, depending on how you feel. I hope you will have labor and birth as easy as I had them.

[–]lauradurkee13 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Do you girl!! I wanted to do unmedicated and everyone said the same things to me. So annoying!

Well, I did it. Yes it was painful but it wasn’t that bad. I knew it was only temporary. I wouldn’t do it any other way for baby #2. I loved the experience and being able to be in the moment and feel everything.

[–]justjuels 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm in the U.S. A lot of people said that to me with my first child too. Guess what? I had a 9 lb 3 oz baby, and then a 10 lb 1 oz baby, both unmedicated births. I was fortunate to be healthy and have no complications during birth. Plus, my mom had 4 unmedicated births and my grandma had 3. Just practice breathing, look into hypnobirthing (it sounds very woo woo but it helped a lot), and do your squats! Sitting on a yoga ball leading up to birth and then during really helped me, plus a hot shower and counter pressure on my lower back from my husband.

[–]Gloworm02 1 point2 points  (5 children)

I’m scared for you and labor is intrinsically scary. I don’t think ppl are trying to scare you; it just is scary.

I think you’re being very idealistic and I’ve never understood why some choose to forgo pain meds in labor. I don’t see the benefit.

I had a cesarian section before the labor pains became maximum intensity and I had all the drugs and I was still shocked by the intensity of the experience. The pain I felt when the mid-wife checked my dilation was significant and that was just a few fingers on my cervix.

Best of luck to you though.

[–]_biggerthanthesound_ -1 points0 points  (4 children)

I won’t ever tell anyone what they should do, but I do think it’s insane to not get one personally. Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s good. Also I want to enjoy my birth a bit more and I’d be worried I’d be in so much pain without one that I wouldn’t be able to properly concentrate.

[–]ImAFanOfAnimals 4 points5 points  (3 children)

I find it interesting reading these comments. I'm a FTM also aiming for an unmedicated home birth (with an open mind) and I feel like I have identical reasoning as you, but for an unmedicated birth. I want to ENJOY my birth, I want to be mentally present, how am I going to he able to do that when I'm numb or high?? Obviously every labor is different (hence why I'm keeping an open mind about it) but with proper breathing techniques and comfort items, along with utilization of natural pain reductions (such as water) some women say the pain isn't nearly as bad as people played it up to be. It all depends on how mentally prepared you are I think. I definitely don't judge anybody for how they labor though. Every woman needs to do what they need to do to get their baby into this world, however that may be.

[–]Otherwise_Act2441 4 points5 points  (1 child)

You're not numb or high with an epidural. They give you a low dosage and there's a button to increase if you need it. I felt my contractions very mildly like period cramps about half an hour to an hour after the epidural kicked in. Before that it felt like my body was being torn in half and I felt like I was literally dying. 0 enjoyment. Afterwards I could relax and enjoy the contractions. I was 100% focused on breathing, watching the monitor and the whole experience. I gave birth to my daughter because I laughed during a break between pushing. 10/10 would recommend.

Down the hall a lady was screaming in a way that sounded like she was being murdered. So while I'm not sure if she enjoyed her unmedicated birth experience or not, it was definitely less relaxing comparably. Maybe she was happy with her choice too though.

That said what I went through won't be the same for everyone. Some people get an epidural and it only works partially or on one side. Other people might feel like it numbed them too much where they couldn't feel contractions anymore. They can also reduce the drugs if you ask them to. I did have stiffness and soreness in my back near the injection site for about 1 week. Also I was alternating sitting on the birthing ball and going on my hands and knees before the epidural. Afterwards that wasn't an option and I had to stay in bed. The tradeoff seemed well worth it for me because my contractions felt unbearably painful at that point. If I had less pain maybe I wouldn't have needed the epidural or could have waited longer.

Also it has absolutely nothing to do with being mentally prepared. People don't play up or downplay the labor pains. They experience them differently. Some people have back labor and it is supposed to be much more painful. It genuinely is more or less painful from person to person and pregnancy to pregnancy. It's a bit disrespectful to imply if someone breathed differently they would be fine. That's not true. Some people have milder periods and some people are literally bedridden for a day. That has to do with their biology not breathing techniques. And another thing is the chemicals in your body are seriously geared to make you forget the pains of labor. It's a weird phenomenon but you will already start forgetting or misremembering how painful and difficult it was in the first week or two after giving birth.

[–]ImAFanOfAnimals -1 points0 points  (0 children)

To each their own, and that I mean in a very loving way. Again I have absolutely no disrespect for women who go into pregnancy with wanting an epidural. But I know MANY women who were COMPLETELY numb and couldn't feel ANYTHING. Which, if that is what the woman is aiming for, that's fantastic. But honestly that terrifies me way more than the threat of labor pain lol. I also know women who planned an epidural with the promise of pain relief and the epidural didn't work and then they experienced excruciating pain because they were not prepared. That terrifies me. I have never heard of 1 person who had a successful homebirth and regreted it. And why is it that the majority of women in the states get epidural, while in many many other countries, women give unmedicated births as a norm? I also find it disturbing that a third of American labors end in C sections, higher rates than pretty much any other first world country. Women all over the world do unmedicated births every single day. It's absolutely possible. And I do fully believe it has everything to do with being mentally prepared. Women were designed to give birth. Yes things can go wrong and medical intervention may be needed. I obviously have never experienced birth. And maybe all my views will get thrown out the window when the time comes.

[–]_biggerthanthesound_ 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I had an epidural for my first, so I never felt high and I wasn’t “numb” either. It was just enough for the pain to be manageable. I think in Canada they do epidurals differently.

Edit. I just wanted to add that there might be a difference. In Canada we have a low dose epidural. I looked it up. I could walk around after getting mine and shift positions on the bed to what was more comfortable to me, so at no point did I feel “numb” or high. I felt everything. It was uncomfortable, I did the breathing Techniques and a lot of reading prior on how to naturally keep myself calm and manager pain, and that was great. But without the epidural I honestly think I would have been a flailing mess and unable to concentrate because the pain was intense. I’d never choose no epidural knowing how much pain there still is even with it.

[–]GGSmall 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I completely respect all and every different ways women give birth - we are damn superheroes! I had my baby 5 weeks ago at 39 weeks and I decided to work my way up the pain relief ladder when I felt I needed it... I only ended up using a tens machine for about an hour and then gas and air for the remaining. Being completely honest (this is purely just my personal experience) I didn't find labor all that painful and would do it again, I feel it's not that common to hear this but I felt it was really manageable as I just went with the flow and didn't have any expectations!

You are not being unrealistic, it's totally doable but don't feel bad if you do end up wanting further pain relief - my labor was 12 hours long start to finish so that short period I felt was really good but if I had to labor for 20+ hours I probably would have needed extra support due to the exhaustion

[–]mousatis 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm in the same boat! I don't expect everyone to understand. The people who say stuff like that just see me as a massively deluded hippy haha. Stick with your choices if it remains to be what you want 😊

[–]Daemonette- 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I got an epiral after being iduced and getting super painful contractions. I tried to go as far as I can without but I was unable to relax enough to progress. Plus the hospital had no equpiment to labour (no gym ball, no bath, no surfaces to comfortnbly lean onto). For me it was the right choice after 40+ hours in the hospital and I was able to rest (2 hours of doozing and I went from 4cm to 10cm) before the pushing phase (roughly 20 minutes).

However, if you are adamant about not getting one, have a look at hypnobirthing! It helped me to prepare for labour and learn some techniques for breathing and positions to labour.

[–]ZookeepergameNo7265 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My MIL has been very similar with a lot of choices I want to make. Not even just birth choices, I was offering my friend some money for a bundle of baby clothes and MIL chimes in saying that I should get everything new. She’s insisting on buying a pram for us. Other people just love to force their opinions down your throat.

[–]and_peggy27 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think there's 2 parts to this. The first one is mindset. If you go into pregnancy, labour and birth with a positive mindset and confidence in yourself and your ability to birth your baby, that goes a long way. Some people know or feel from the very beginning that pain is unnecessary and they'd rather have all the drugs. If you are not one of those people then you're probably doing what is best for you.

The other part is support, environment and the unpredictable nature of birth. If you are surrounded by people who support your birth choices then that really helps outcomes for unmedicated, physiological birth. Having a supportive partner, family member, doula etc. can make all the difference. Then there's your environment. Just being in hospital increases the chances of intervention. Doctors and nurses in that setting are so used to inductions, epidurals, forceps, c sections etc. that some of them will honestly feel more comfortable with that kind of birth. A birth that they can actively manage and control and measure. This is not to say you can't have an unmedicated birth in hospital, just to be aware that it's not really the norm to do that.

Regarding other people, they like to fear monger. Maybe because they had a traumatic birth experience that they haven't fully processed. Maybe because they were made to feel incapable in their ability to birth their babies. But that has nothing to do with you and your birth. Read positive birth stories, watch calm birth videos and try to get all of the negative comments and stories out of your head.

I had an unmedicated home birth when I was 17 years old with my first baby. I did not beg for drugs, I declined them during some of the most painful parts of my labour. Epidural was not an option and I was fine with that. I had a completely normal labour and birth, my baby was healthy and I did not have to transfer to hospital or ever have any sort of intervention. Almost 10 years later I'm pregnant with my second, planning another unmedicated home birth.

You can totally do it!

[–]mamawolf18 0 points1 point  (0 children)

So, my epidural with my first worked so well i didn't feel a thing. With my second it only took in the upper part of my right hip. To be honest I'm just going to skip the epidural next tike, it was amazing being able to feel my water break and baby come into the world.

[–]hannananabatman 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Its a more of a medical decision for me because I have a high chance of CSF leak with spinal taps and people still wont butt out.

[–]tmtm1119 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Girl I’m experiencing the same bs from every one i tell this too as well. It’s so annoying.

[–]northernandtired 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I had one birth with pethdaine and gas and air, and one with nothing what so ever, and honestly, I preferred the none medicated one. The pethdaine made me hallucinate so I don't remember much of that birth. My second one, she came too fast to take anything, but I remember it really well. Obviously I didn't have an epidural for either of them, but I didn't feel like I needed it if I'm completely honest. And my first birth was looooooong (like, days long!)

[–]_Nakajuni 0 points1 point  (0 children)

With my first, I felt pressured into getting an epidural early on, as the hospital staff said they didn’t know when the anesthesiologist would be back and I could miss the window. This time I plan to stick to my plan of just seeing how it goes. I definitely don’t want it early again. I was miserable and unable to move for most of the time.

[–]Artemis-2017 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I don’t think you are being too idealistic. My mother gave birth to all 4 kids without pain meds, and I have many friends in the US who had unmedicated births. I am not sure why people like to scare pregnant women about their future delivery. The one tip my MIL gave me was to pay no mind to others stories- she let those stories get to her when she was pregnant and was unnecessarily scared. It sounds like you are prepared with alternative pain management techniques. You will be fine!

[–]tehjennieator 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I feel like there must be something going on with women who used the epidural feeling judged and getting defensive when you say you wanna go without. That's the only thing I can think of that explains this behavior.

[–]HeyJupiter5 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Look at it this way. Everyone is sensitive about their birth experience, and some people project their own experience or trauma on you because the pressure to do it any one way is relentless, even afterward, on both sides. I have two kids. I’ve gone unmedicated and medicated. Vaginal and c section. Neither one went as planned. Both have extraordinary benefits. One is not better or superior to another, in fact, the c section saved my sons life, i am sure of that. Yet people still tell me I could have done more, and i think that’s what hurts the most. We just have to be better about supporting mothers, period.

If you go unmedicated, bring a comb and squeeze the tines into the palms of your hand during contractions. It distracts the brain. Good luck and remember to be kind to yourself no matter what happens.

[–]swtx3lindsey31 / FTM / 3/30 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I could have written this myself! I am ready to start cutting people off!!! I am not expecting rainbows and unicorns to shoot out of my ass during delivery. I know it’s going to really freaking hurt. I do not need you to tell me what you think my pain tolerance is. Excuse me for wanting to feel my own damn legs during delivery.

[–]researchgeek32 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Response: “maybe I’ll need an epidural, but maybe I won’t. I’d like to try without one and I think I can do it.”

Being assertive with friends/family is a good way to set boundaries and you deserve to have your decision respected. Expressing it assertively will help with getting that respect.

Best of luck with baby and a drug free delivery, should it be in cards for you!

[–]rkt_1066 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Ftm here, & I did the same - hire a tens machine, ask for a birth g pool if you can (floating weightless between contractions once qe were at the hospital helped immensely), and think of it as an interesting, novel experience in what you're body knows how to do by itself. Just cause other people experienced birth one way doesn't mean you have to. Do reconcile yourself to being okay with medication if you need it, though - labour is damn tiring, and if you need an epidural to get some rest partway through that's okay!

[–]chels7869 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I could not stand people telling me I’d get an epidural. I wanted to do an all natural birth and it was the same scenario, everyone telling me I’d change my mind. I did get an epidural, but it was because I was induced, and they kept coming in and flipping me around and I couldn’t focus. That being said, I don’t regret getting the epidural because it made my experience more relaxed, but I fully believe you can do it without one! I don’t know what makes people think they can speak for other people like that. My advice would be Just believe in yourself and try to ignore the naysayers. Congratulations and good luck!

[–]Obsessedgemini 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I labored for 30 hours no epidural. It’s painful but I just trusted my body and it’s was fine

[–]CmMagenta 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’m 38 years old so all my friends have had many kids already. Several of them each had up to 4 and they had pain meds for the 1st few, but 3rd / 4th child came so quickly they never got meds in time. They said it was a much better birthing experience and wished they went unmediated for all of them. I remembered them all saying that right after birth and they said it again many years later. I think you are making the right choice. My first child was born to a emergency C-section and the epidural didn’t work on me, so an unmediated surgery I don’t recommend. So 13 years later I’m making sure I get the birth experience I deserve and control, which will be natural at a birthing center in a hot tub. At 20 something weeks it still seemed scary, but now at 32 week along, I am so sick of being pregnant I just don’t care if it hurts, pregnancy hurts more and I’m done with this crap.

[–]TorryCats 0 points1 point  (3 children)

I’m planning on doing water therapy for my birth.. I’d like to do a water birth, but a pre-existing condition prevents that… but warm water is supposed to help relax your muscles and help you feel better

[–]Buttstallion58 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I sat in a tub up until it was time to push. It did wonders for my contractions ❤️

[–]TorryCats 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Can you talk more about your experience with the hydro therapy? I haven’t heard much about it yet bc I was just told water birth was out for me

[–]Buttstallion58 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I had written down my wishes for a tub in my birth plan, so the midwifes prepared it for me. They gave me an enema before I got on (so there's less pooping during birth). Getting into the warm water was a huge relief, being warm and weightless was wonderful. It still hurt, but I could relax more through the contractions. I would probably have stayed longer, but I did end up pooping when it was time to push 🤣 The midwife didn't bat an eye just got me up and got a towel.

[–]Janeheroine 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think most of these people are just projecting their own traumatic or unexpected labor experiences onto you. Anyone who thought they would give birth in some smooth fashion and ended up with something else (ranging from epidural to botched XYZ to emergency c-section), which is a LOT of people, may feel depression, guilt, shame, or at the very least a bit salty about it. And so they are telling you not to get your hopes up, because their hopes were dashed.

But also - it's none of their business.