Sep 1, 2009

You CAN Handle the Truth #6

Having a baby without an epidural is either (1) CRAZY brave or (2) CRAZY... just plain crazy.

Aside from the obvious, pain-less, labour, I know I was so exhausted from hours of contractions and no sleep that, had I not had the drugs, I'm positive my delivery wouldn't have been as "smooth" as it was. By "smooth", I mean quick. :p Even if you think you can handle the pain, which most of us convince ourselves after we realize we are already handling it, it's important to consider the endurance of labour. The drugs help you relax, perhaps take a nap (yeah right)... conserve your energy for the marathon your about to put yourself through once delivery begins.

Would love to hear from those who opted not to get the drugs (you are my hero)... comments please! :)

Jen :)

12 comments:

Samantha said...

I'm definitely opting FOR the epidural...no question about that! I'm with you, Jen-those who opt not to have it, you are my hero, but I'm just not into "extra" pain...:)

Lora said...

I opted for the epidural...and ended up spending the day laughing in bed chatting with my husband and midwife. One of the books I read said "no one is going to hand you a medal after having an epi free delivery" and I agreed! After going through about 12 hours of labour without I said "why am I doing this if I know I want an epidural! and asked for one.

ssumur said...

With every contraction I would uncontrollably shake. My labor was quick and so when they came to do the epi they had everyone trying to hold me still. The result… my left thigh was numb and I felt the whole pregnancy minus a small part of my leg. I wasn’t planning on a totally natural birth but the pain made me work harder. I remember when I saw her head in the mirror. I started asking them to pull her out lol. I didn’t understand why I still had to push lol. It was worth it all I didn’t even notice the pain after she popped out. I was on a cloud somewhere. I plan on going all natural for the next one! I felt like it was a rewarding experience so why not. Laura R

Mel said...

I knew that it was going to be hard but I didn't know how hard.... Got through it without the epidural and survived... =)I wish I could say that it wasn't that bad but I know I'd be lying...

MommyBrain said...

Well, just call me your hero :) My water broke - at home at 8:00 pm - and I was two weeks early (after having 9 weeks of pre-term labor). We arrived at the hospital - after taking showers and packing - around 9:15 pm. I was already dilated 7 centimeters ... so I just went for it - sans epidural. Natalie was born 4.5 hours after my water broke, but I did have over an hour of pushing. I am glad I was able to do it without an epi because I HATE needles and IVs and catheters ... for me the fear of those 3 things were worse than the thought of a painful labor ... how's that for crazy??!!

Lindsay said...

I didn't have an epidural because I was trying for a VBAC and it was advised not to get one. I had about 4.5 hours of active labour (after my water broke 24hrs before and smaller contractions in between).
I pushed for about 20 minutes, he was out in 5 pushes and although the epidural might have helped the pain of the contractions, pushing him out wasn't too bad and the elation of getting my VBAC was definitely worth opting out of the epidural!

Jen said...

You guys are my heroes! Quite interesting that it seems those who opted out of the epi tended to have shorter active labour... I had about 8 hour of intense contractions before I hit the hospital and by that time I was SO READY for the drugs. I can totally see how it could be done with the epi, I just didn't have the energy or the "balls" ha ha ha.

Jen :)

Sara said...

My plan is to go without the epi! I am currently taking childbirth classes with an awesome instructor who is preparing me to let my body do what it was designed to do. (I never thought I would ever say that - I feel like such a "granola Mom"! Haha!) I certainly don't feel like I have anything to prove to anybody - I am doing it for myself. I've set a goal and hopefully I can achieve it. But I also won't be ashamed if I end up needing the drugs! They're there for a reason! : )

Angelene said...

Hey - Jen, this is my first comment - I hope it works! I didn't have an epi, but had about four doses of fentanyl, which worked quite well for me, and then laughing gas during the first part of pushing. This combo worked quite well for me, when I could no longer manage the contractions on my own (with breathing and coaching). I wouldn't say that makes me brave, because in fact I was afraid to have a big needle jammed in my back! Also, my "true labour" ("four cm dilated w/painful contractions until birth") lasted from 2:30-6:04pm so I wasn't battling for too long - or else maybe I would have gone for the epi! Who knows!?

Stephanie R said...

Hey Jen,

I think I mentioned to you before via facebook that I had a homebirth so it was sans drugs for me! The midwives bring nothing!

It was crazy but so completely wonderful at the same time. For me, I knew the risks of getting an epi so I chose to forgo it and I have very little pain tolerance! But it was doable, anyone can do it, you just have to think of drugs as not an option if you want to go natural.

kellytirman said...

My plan was to go without the epi - however after DAYS of insane early labor (and three nights without a second of sleep) I went ahead and had the epi. As soon as I got it I was grateful. The epi allowed me to finally get a few hours of sleep and I was then able to successfully push her out in under 2.5 hours.

Ameya said...

I will definitely be epi-free. I'm trying for all natural, but if i end up having a long labor, i'll OK the IV meds, but i've done too much researching on epis to have one myself. And they cause labor to be longer because of their numbing-ness.. and that's the scariest part of all, LOL. ;)