Monday, January 23, 2012

Absolutely undecided.

My due date is still a ways off when you count the days.  When you count the weeks even.. knowing the ones under my belt aren't even half the way there, I think I have time.  But I don't.  I DON'T have time to neglect something that has been lingering in my thoughts for years.  YEARS!  I want to figure this one out- and see it through.  Whatever my conclusion is.

So here's my big dilemma....

The dreamy, blessed epidural?
or
A screaming, sweaty natural delivery?
Maybe some of you who have done it natural are put off by my description of it.  Or maybe you are like- if only it were even THAT easy!  Whatever your thought about it is, and believe me I wanna know what your thought about it is, I just have my own thoughts and feelings to sort out about both scenarios.

Some of you may wonder why the crap I'm even considering natural.  I know.  I've heard it all "WHY would you EVER go natural when we have the medicine and technology that we have these days!?  Take advantage, woman!"  Even I on this very blog, typed these words: "NO I don't want to EVER try this birthing thing naturally... I've felt those contractions and they are the devil! So yes... drugs please? And may they do their job."  That was right after birthing Hyrum, my 2nd.  Both my boys have come by way of the epidural.  But there is still that part of me... that womanly urge to experience birth as it was intended... or at least, as so many woman have before.  I hear there is nothing like it.  That although you go through such exhausting pain that afterwards you are just so elated- so lifted- and there is nothing quite like that kind of relief.  I'm sorry... but I feel like I'm missing out on something!!!!  And I kinda want to know what that's like.  Plus, I hear recovery is easier.

Maybe I'm not strong enough?  Or maybe it's not all it's cracked up to be? (going natural)
I mean, I had an open mind the first two times about going natural... but as soon as the pain started I couldn't think about anything other than relieving that.  I'm worried that I'm only going to be down for a natural birth if my contractions start in the morning... then that way I can have the energy to get through the day.  BOTH of my boys were all-night-labors.  When I think about being up all day (and knowing how exhausted I feel by the end) if my contractions were to start THEN, of course I'm going to want the drugs so I can sleep peacefully during those night hours, right?!  But I know that if I think like that I've already decided... I've already weakened my ability to try this thing naturally by listing excuses why I shouldn't.  I just really want to make the decision- that if I AM going to go natural- that I do it now. If I decide to go natural I know I need to prepare myself now and just stick to my guns.  I also know I need the support of Tony to get me through it.  (Honestly he's in support of the drugs!  He tells me he doesn't like seeing me in pain and also- it's kinda nice to get to sleep if you want!)  So I need to know what the heck husbands do during all of it.

My biggest worry... is that with EACH of my babies my contractions hit HARD and would hit about every 30 seconds to every minute.  What if this were happening for 12 hours or more!?  Each of my labors were 12 hours long (and I'm well aware it can be much MUCH longer than that).  I really don't know if I can handle that.  It scares me... it scares me to think I'm such a pansy I can't take something God designed my body to do- and it scares me that if I try, I will regret it!  I hyperventilated when I was feeling contractions with my first labor... my body shut down on me since I wasn't breathing enough/right.  Maybe there's too much to learn to prepare myself for a natural delivery and I won't be able to do it on my own?  I'm not paying for a mid-wife or birthing coach.  So does that mean I might as well forget it and get the drugs?
Then when I think about the perks of the epidural I don't understand why part of me cares to try it naturally.  It really changes everything!  With the epidural I go from being a crazy mess to relaxed and calm.  I get to talk to Tony and family who visit and enjoy the wait.  (Although watching the clock is torture).  So I guess I'm posting about this because I want to see if you have any reason for me to go natural... if it really is more beautiful and worth it.  Is it really worth the pain?  Do I really want to know?  I just need advice and support if I'm going to decide to do this.  Or if you think I should forget all this and plan on the ever popular epidural, I'll take your opinions too.  I'm really not opposed to the drugs, I mean obviously.  Just wondering about my other option.  Really anyone can speak on this matter and anything you can say would be so appreciated as I figure out what I'm going to do.   I've decided to open my thoughts up about this because I want to see what I can gain from other people who have been there.

(pictures of Hyrum and I a few weeks ago.  At least I know however my baby gets here, I'll still be extremely obsessed with them.)

33 lovely comments:

Amanda M. said... Reply To This Comment

I've had three natural births ~ no drugs at all. NOT BY CHOICE! I wanted something for the pain, but it all happened so fast ~ in ALL THREE births ~ that it was too late. {I was lucky to have quick labor and deliveries....sorry!}

I can say for a fact that my recoveries were really quick and that, thankfully, your mind has a way of "forgetting" most of the really hard parts of it. And it does something to my spirit to be able to say, "I've given birth three times, naturally, with no drugs!"

But it doesn't make me any more of a mom than the woman is was able to remember every detail of her children's births.

Try it! And it you are able to do it naturally, then pat yourself on the back. But, if you can't, don't beat yourself up over it. Drugs were invented for a reason! :)

Amanda said... Reply To This Comment

well girl....i have no advice since i am anxiously awaiting our first babe! i have always known i wanted the drugs! i hope with that i can try to enjoy the experience and be nice to people etc. :) but i know things don't always go the way we plan....so i'm going to be ready for anything!

Laura said... Reply To This Comment

I had an epidural with both of mine. But both births were way different. With Cami, I experienced labor naturally for about 35 hours. I progressed slowly, but never stopped in that amount of time. By the time my water broke at the 34 hour mark, and we headed to the hospital, things progressed really quickly, and I almost didn't get the epidural before she came. In fact, I received the epidural about 15 minutes before she came. If I could go back, I would probably have just said, you know what...I made it this far, let's just get this baby out! With Noah, I went in to be induced (which I don't think I'll do again) and had the epidural before any REAL pain hit. It was nice and convenient and all that, but when I look back, I remember and think a lot more about Cami's experience because of the pain involved and the natural side of it. I don't think I would choose to go epidural free, but I do think I might try to go a little while without it instead of getting it at the earliest possible moment. Recovery is recovery, and I don't feel like it was that bed to begin with, so that aspect wouldn't entice me. But like you, I do wonder what empowerment would come from being able to go all the way with no pain medecine. Gook luck while making your decision, and make sure you make it YOUR decision, and not worry about all the rest of us think. OH, and include your husband...since he has to be there to witness it. ;) Happy Pregnancy!

Connie said... Reply To This Comment

Laura, I'm definitely making this my decision, I'm not going to change it based on what people say, per se... I just don't hear enough from women who have done it natural. I do care what other people have to say because I've never been on that "other side" of things- I only know what it's like having an epidural. I'd like to hear experiences and reasons why they chose either an epidural or to go naturally. Right now, if I rely on purely myself and past experience to decide, I'll just go with the drugs because I don't have enough knowledge about what natural births are really like. That's what I'm seeking! I just see it as hours upon hours of torture that doesn't sound too appealing- but that's why I'm SO interested to hear from girls who may say I've got it all wrong. Or maybe I'm right about THAT but there are other reasons to stick it out drug free that I haven't considered on my own. Advice from people who have been there, or know of other's experiences, is definitely interesting and helpful to me right now since I have no idea what I really want yet.

Hannah said... Reply To This Comment

I don't have any babies and have never been preggo, but just wondering if you had heard of hypnobirthing? Maybe it's something to look in to. Give it a Google.

Laura said... Reply To This Comment

Jodie Heiselt has had all of her births naturally. She would be a great resource for information...

snuc said... Reply To This Comment

i'm surprised! because i'm from switzerland and here normally you give birth naturally and epidural, if something's wrong. we are mostly sad, when we can't natural. but i can't say, how it is to give birth, no kids yet. i hope you will find your way!

Carissa Marie said... Reply To This Comment

I just had my first baby in December via completely natural birth at home. Even with the pain still a bit fresh in my mind, I swear up and down that it was one of the most amazing experiences and (despite the nasty looks I tend to get for this) wish it upon all mamas out there!

It all started with watching "The Business of Being Born" - it got me thinking that I should at least research my options a little more because hey, as one sided and fanatic as the people in the video seemed, they had a valid point that if you take the time to research universities before you attend them, shouldn't you be looking a little more closely at your options for the life-changing event of bringing another life into the world? My husband - a lawyer and therefore naturally skeptical and questioning in the most extreme sense - researched right along with me, if not more than me, and, in the end, was the one reasoning with me in the direction of having a home birth.

Anyway, turned out all the "fanatical claims" and what not that were made in the movie and by the natural-birth advocates were right on the money; from the nasty effects and risks in epidurals and pitocin, to the biological (and physical!) benefits in natural birth, to all that it can add to the experience as a family, etc. My experience only sealed all this for me. The one on one care (my midwives were FANTASTIC, warm, but still professional, and amazingly qualified), the bonding experience for my husband and I, the comfort of birthing at home surrounded by people i trusted and who genuinely cared about my little family, the health benefits for baby (I had hyperemesis all 9 months, so baby girl was expected to have nutrient deficiencies which drugs could have exaggerated - she had none though!), etc. I can't recommend natural birthing enough.

If you can, do a little digging around. Watch the business of being born or this video my widwives did (http://southcoastmidwifery.com/southcoast/links/natural-born/), look into Bradley method and hypnobirthing, read books, talk to midwives in your area. Digging around is worth it because at least you can have the peace of mind that you're absolutely making the right decision for you and baby, whatever it is.

Praying God gives you wisdom on your big decision, oh and big congratulations to you and your family!

Makay said... Reply To This Comment

Here is what I have to say as a woman who has never had a child:
I do not think it is worth it- the pain. Really. You should ENJOY the experience, it won't be easy- but it should be something you look back on and smile- not grimace.
---
Personal opinion.
Come on over to my blog and follow (if you don't already) because once I reach 200 followers (I'm only 1 away right now!) I'm going to be hosting a "200 Followers 'Super Yay' Giveaway Party" and you won't wanna miss it. And if you can spread the word! :)
Ky
www.thebirdssay.blogspot.com

Ashley said... Reply To This Comment

I had all of my boys with an epidural. That said, I've always wondered if I could handle doing it naturally. :)
Plus side for epidural: I felt more rested and was able to fully enjoy the delivery part of the process. But I'll always have a what-if in the back of my head. We'll see what happens if we get pregnant with #4!
Good luck to you and your decision making!

Lauren said... Reply To This Comment

Oh, great comments so far! I have been thinking the something and have thought about a home birth... but I don't think I could do it. I get scared. I want a doctor and medicine.. but after having Luke I felt awful. I couldn't hold him. I couldn't walk for hours after. They really did a number on me with that epidural. Do they have a low dose option?? Lol. Oh I'm no help..

shirley elizabeth said... Reply To This Comment

People wrote too much for me to read through and see what they said...but here's what I have to say:

First, oh I loved the epidural. That blessed arrangement. That dream within a dream. But also, by the time I got it the doctor said I had already made it to the worst part of the pain. So it was great - amazing - to have it stop, but if that was the worst (besides the actual coming out) I wonder if I coulda done it.

Second, epidurals slow things down. My guess is, if your contractions are hard and consistent, you won't be in labor for so long without it, especially since it's not your first.

Brittany said... Reply To This Comment

my friend has had 2 babies, and they both were natural. she never considered the epidural though. she always knew she wanted to go naturally. she says she loved her midwives and thought they were amazing at helping her through it. i've never had a baby, but the way some people talk about going naturally, makes it seem like no big deal. but others make it sound like the worst thing that they have gone through. i think it honestly depends on you. how you handle pain, your mindset, your body, etc. and with midwives, it sounds like they really guide you through it, how and when to breathe, how to take your mind to a different place to make it through the labor. hope that helps at least a little bit!

Stephanie [Luxe Boulevard Bridal] said... Reply To This Comment

I have done both. I don't have a preference to natural over epidural during the birthing process. I personally don't like epidural's afterward. Not being able to get up and walk to the bathroom doesn't settle well with me. Not being able to tell when my bladder is full and having the nurse tell me the cramping is just my uterus contracting back doesn't settle well with me. I personally like being able to feel every part of my body and know how and when it's working.
Natural is insanely painful. Like nothing you've ever felt or ever will feel again. Second degree burns don't compare. Don't want to scare you, just being honest! I don't regret my choice at natural birth for a second, either. The healing was quicker. I was out and about within a day. I also think you have an advantage. This is your third delivery. Your body already knows what it is doing and has done all that stretching before. My hubs totally supported me when I said I wanted natural. He stood by me the whole time. Eventually, when I sobbed and yelled out while cringing, he cried right alongside me, telling me he didn't like seeing me in so much pain, but thanked me for doing it to bring our baby into the world. My labor that time was 21 hours. The biggest thing that helped me was walking and squatting until I got to the point I couldn't physically move anymore. I think I was around 7 cm or so. In between, I sat in the warm shower while Patrick poured the water directly up my front, down my back, and repeated. I would do those two things, then sit in bed and rest for a minute. It got me pretty far! Slow deep breaths. Making a concscious effort to relax your body as best as possible through each contraction, so that your cervix can dilate. If you cringe up, so does it. During those last stages, I sat at 8 cm for quite a while because my body couldn't relax. You literally have to tell yourself, "Put your shoulders down, flex only with your hands, breathe deep."

Karm said... Reply To This Comment

Oh my goodness!! I wish I had the epidural!! Honestly, well maybe not. The first 2 were natural deliveries and the last 2 were by c-section.
With Dj and Turtle it was already too late to get the meds. But then again, I don't know if my family would have allowed me to get the meds. ): The females in my family are against the whole thing :-/
But I agree with Amanda, try it. And if you do then YAY! If you don't, it's ok if you didn't. (:

Becca Lee said... Reply To This Comment

I had Leo naturally. I was in labor for 17 hours and, really, and I mean this really, it wasn't that bad. I won't say it didn't hurt, but I'd prepared myself mentally (like Carissa Marie up there). I'd watched documentaries, I'd talked to my friends who'd given birth naturally, I'd read books, books, books out the wazoo. By the end, I came away with pretty strong feelings in favor of natural childbirth.

As far as research goes. . . I would recommend Ina May's Guide to Natural Childbirth. . . in terms of giving you the other side, no one knows natural childbirth like Ina May. Her book is filled with touching stories about different women giving birth naturally, and tells you all about what to expect from your body when birth happens. I'd recommend it even if you planned to have an epidural. I don't know how I would have maintained focus through 17 hours of labor if I didn't at least have some idea of how far I was progressing.

The recovery was speedy fast. The nurses at the hospital kept forgetting that I could move my legs and walk around by myself. It was wonderful.

And after the birth I felt the most amazing, overpowering high I've ever felt in my life. The uninhibited flood of oxytocin right after birth lasts for days. I remember feeling enlightened, grateful, and so much intense love for my baby and, well, pretty much anyone I laid eyes on over those two/three days (maybe it sounds hippie-ish to say it, but I can't think of any other way). I wouldn't trade that memory for anything.

If you do choose to birth naturally, surround yourself with people who support you and understand natural childbirth. I had a doctor who said he was supportive of me in my decision to birth naturally, but he ended up being far less supportive when the time came. (I won't go into my birth story here, but I should tell you some time. Woo!)

Along those lines, I gave birth at a hospital where %99.999 percent of the women in there had epidurals, so the nurses didn't know how to observe a woman giving birth naturally. They kept freaking out unnecessarily (they didn't like me standing up, moving around, all that). They really added some unnecessary stress to the experience. I was pretty good at ignoring them, but I found out later that Jon was stressed to the very bones. He was just exhausted. And my labor had zero complications, so I really didn't need anyone freaking out.

But another thing that I did that I'm so, so glad I did, was I hired a doula. Look into it--it wasn't that expensive, considering she helped me avoid an epidural (or several). It was a matter of $400 versus a few grand that I would have paid for an epidural. Some insurance companies even cover midwives/doulas because they know that, in the end, natural childbirth saves them money. You might look into that. She stayed with me the entire birth (unlike the labor nurses and the doctor, who was only there for the last ten minutes!)

Anyway. I'm so grateful there are options available to women, but I wish that natural childbirth wasn't portrayed as such a crazy, wacko thing to do. Women did it this way for centuries, and still do! And it's not just a Girl Power thing, either, the research supports natural childbirth as a healthier option for both mother and baby, as long as the pregnancy is not an at-risk pregnancy (things like preeclampsia, a mother over 35-40, etc). It's wonderful that we have doctors and NICUs for when things go wrong, but things don't go wrong very often at all.

Anyway, now I've gotten started up again. Whatever you choose will be great for you and your baby. You're an awesome mom. Anyone giving birth in any way is impressive-C-section to home birth. Carrying that little baby for so long and getting it out-it's a miracle no matter how it goes. Anyway, I've gone on long enough. Feel free to ask me anything that pops into your head--I love talking about natural childbirth and my own experiences.

Leticia said... Reply To This Comment

I totally understand how you feel when you say you want to try it naturally. I was induced with my first and ended up with a c-section. I've tried in vain for the last 2 babies to have a successful VBAC. (vaginal birth after cesearean) Most women I know who have had c-sections don't mind having them but I struggle. I've seen many woman birth naturally and LOVE their experience but I have not been able to go into labor myself. SO I often feel like a hypocrite wanting something and advocating something that I still have yet to experience. I think the best thing you can do is educate yourself. Take a childbirth class, kinda expensive but if you are serious about going naturally I highly recommend it. From positions to help you labor easier to helping your husband know what he can do to help. My husband and I loved our Bradley Method class. FInd a doctor who is going to let YOU be in control of your healthcare and not laugh at you when you want to go naturally. My first doctor did that, I should have left her care right then! Anyway, I think the most important thing is to make your labors and birth's better each time. Yes, I've had c-sections, but I have had some great experiences with them too. And it all came from informing myself and doing research. If you're interested I have some great books to reccommend just email me and I'll send you a list! Good luck in this decision Connie, it's a big one!

QueenBee said... Reply To This Comment

CONNIE! You are so brave in my eyes for even considering this. I have always been a HUGE pansy when it comes to handling pain. But with Curtis (my first) I started going into labor at 24 weeks. So by the time I was 35 weeks everyone was ready for my pregnancy to be over. I went into labor (again- i had been dilated to MORE than a 3 since 24 weeks) and we just decided that we had waited long enough. My contraptions were SOOOO easy! I told Joshua I could totally handle it. That was at 2 a.m. then at 7:30 when my water broke things got way more intense. I did what I do best and cried for an epidural. I remember being SO relieved that there was no more pain. For me the epidural didn't slow things down and was actually a blessing in disguise since they thought Curtis was dying if not already dead. I got wheeled in for an emergency c-section and eventually everything was all right. I am personally pro-epidural since I experienced those few contractions without after my water broke and thought my entire body was staging a mutiny on me. LOL. But I definitely admire you and ANY woman won is willing and able to undergo a natural birth. Good luck! And if I ever try it I am definitely looking into the hypo-birthing classes. I think they sound amazing. As well as a possible water birth. But who know. I DO love me some grade-A drugs.

- Berit

Bunnie said... Reply To This Comment

so beautiful!!

http://www.angela2bunnie.blogspot.com

your newest follower :)

Katie Gonzalez said... Reply To This Comment

HI Connie! I'm a new reader here!
Congratulations on baby number three!!!!

I think it's awesome that you are considering going med-free. The way we approach childbirth is such a personal choice. I am definitely not here to say one way is better than another, but I am a BIG fan of natural childbirth and I'm always excited to share my experience with other women who might be curious or considering going that route.

I have a 16m old daughter, and I gave birth to her totally med-free in the hospital with the support of my loving husband, mother and a wonderful nurse and OBGYN.

The truth - labor hurt and was more intense than anything I've ever experienced. There was some screaming, yes (somewhere in the middle of my 12 hour labor), there were a few moments of self-doubt during transition (can I REALLY do this?), but also there was a lot of quiet, too, and confidence - especially the closer I got to the end. I found a place inside myself that I didn't even know existed. It was surprising and surreal. And awesome. I was in touch with my body, and I felt really aware of the whole process. Afterwords I felt pretty amazing - high on life, proud of my body, and like all new mothers, amazed and in love with my baby. I wouldn't have had it any other way. Seriously, I felt AMAZING afterwords.

I have a very low pain tolerance normally! I knew that I couldn't achieve my goal without a lot of mental and physical preparation, and the support of my loved ones - especially my husband! We took Bradley Method classes, which involve both parents by educating about every part of the process, teaching exercises to help you physically during labor, giving strategies for pain management, relaxation, laboring, pushing, etc. The classes greatly reduced our fears and built up our confidence. By the end of the course, I really felt like I had a deep respect for the act of childbirth, and lots of knowledge and strategies under my belt so that I could make informed choices in almost any scenario. It made me feel excited and humbled, and solidified my commitment to my goals.

What I discovered through my experience was that pain, when I don't understand it or think something is wrong, is really scary, and therefore much harder to bear. But the pain you feel from childbirth is a normal part of the process. Knowing that I was OK even though it hurt helped me to endure the pain and discomfort. I knew it would not last forever and that my baby and I were not in danger.

I also really appreciated being in a hospital, and feeling confident that should any complications arise, my baby and I would be in good hands. We had a supportive nurse and doctor who respected our birth goals. Not a single person in the room ever suggested an epidural - which I imagine would have been frustrating, discouraging, or even tempting. I knew it was my choice, but I never once thought about getting one (although I DO remember thinking that I could totally understand why many women would want one!!!!)

Three of my close friends and family members also gave birth med-free using the Bradley Method, and though each had extremely different labors, they were all happy with the experience in the end. If you decide that going med-free is something you want to do, I highly, highly recommend taking some sort of natural childbirth classes if there are any available in your area. It really makes a difference!

And one last thing - I REALLY really enjoyed reading other women's natural childbirth stories to help me wrap my mind around the whole thing before hand. I have bookmarked a bunch of great ones if you want me to send you the links!

Wishing you all the best whatever you decide!!!!!!!!!!!!! Such an exciting time!
Katie

Brenden+Nikki said... Reply To This Comment

Hi Connie. Love your blog and your photography is beautiful.

I have two babies and with my first I was all for going natural. I had researched the Hypnobirthing method, took a Hypnobirthing class with my husband and was 100% prepared and ready for a natural birth. Ha ha then my water broke and my body didn't do anything for almost 7 hours so they started me on Pitocin. I tried everything before they gave me Pit and even once they did I refused the epidural for two hours. Pit is horrible! I didn't make it past two hours and got the epidural. I thought I'd be so disappointed in myself, but the pure heavenly relief I felt once I got the epi was amazing! I couldn't feel a thing (literally couldn't move my legs) but I only pushed for 20 minutes and then had my beautiful 8lb,5oz baby boy in my arms (quite a feat in my opinion since I am only 5 feet tall, ha ha but that's just me tooting my horn). I loved it! I enjoyed every minute of my labor and delivery and remember every detail...focusing on the baby during each contraction, concentrating on pushing in the right place, the last push, the beautiful cry, my amazing L&D nurse. My recovery was wonderful honestly. Since I breastfeed I never take any pain meds besides Ibuprofen and I felt fantastic.

Second time around (18 months later) I was in labor with my daughter. The entire pregnancy I never considered natural since I had such a great experience with the epidural. She came fast, 4 hours from start to finish and I only pushed for 6 minutes this time around. I got an epidural again (close call this time, got the epi and she was here 45 minutes after that)so I was able to feel a lot more than I did with my son....it wasn't painful but definitely enough pressure to confirm that I was glad I got the epidural (that "pushing out a bowling ball" theory is so right). Anyway, I loved being so present and in control the entire L&D, I was able to feel enough that I knew when she was "right there"...again, recovery was amazing, and I was out shopping for a birthday present for my niece two days after giving birth.

We're due with #3 at the end of August and I plan on getting an epidural again.

Here's the bottom line in my opinion: I have a number of friends that have done it natural and loved it. I think if you're properly prepared with the right frame of mind, you can totally do it. I highly recommend Hypnobirthing in that case. I also have a family member who had her first few natural and then on her last one got an epidural and said she was crazy for not getting an epidural for all of them. She actually said her recovery was better with the epidural because she wasn't so exhausted afterwards. If you do decide to go natural, stay away from those negative people that love to tell their horror stories - it makes such a difference if you feel confident and sure of your decision.

I also think that recovery can be fantastic even for those of us who have epidurals (I honestly have no idea what an epidural has to do with recovery anyway)...I think it all depends on how long your labor was and how long and hard you had to push. I feel blessed that both my kids came quick and I feel that is 100% of the reason why I felt so good afterwards. Makes sense....If I only had to push for 20 minutes and 6 minutes there wasn't much trauma going on down there compared to someone who had to push for 3 hours (those women are super heroes!)

Anyway, that's my two cents! Hope it helped for what it's worth.

Annie said... Reply To This Comment

Connie,

I had both my babies with an epidural. I pushed for 5 minutes with each one, my recovery was wonderful, and everybody was healthy. I felt the pressure, I knew when to push, I could tell my body was ready- even with the epidural. I cannot say enough about how thankful I was to have it. After my water breaks, things get intense and very painful. I know I would be the woman who tenses up so much that I would never dilate. For that alone, the epidural will always be in my birthing plan. Good luck with your decision! I know what mine would be ;)

wholesouls2 said... Reply To This Comment

From the wisdom of your mother who gave birth to you naturally---go for it, in all reality the pain is gradual (sustained but gradual) and you who have suffered surgeries in the past, and lived to tell the tale, go ahead and have a different experience this time and join the ranks of the been there and done that. And from the standpoint of the drugs since Anne and Perris were epidural babies, with Anne, afterwards I absolutely pucked everywhere with a sick stomache and with Perris I was so weak I couldn't hold the camera or the baby without falling over. It was nice to have all my faculty's with you present in the room. I could enjoy my beautiful baby all the more. Mike was the same way! No wonder you are twins! Love, Mother

Becky said... Reply To This Comment

Hello. I don't know you, but this is something that I struggled with when I gave birth to my son, who is almost a year old. Despite the pain, it was one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever had. I had a ridiculously long labor, and there were several times that I thought to myself "I can't do this." But I did. And so can you. Good luck with the decision!

One of the best pieces of advices I have ever heard about it was "your body was made to do this."

Mikelle said... Reply To This Comment

I've had two with and two without. My epidurals made the birth process so much more enjoyable, but there is also something amazing about pushing that little body out on your own. My recovery has been quick with all 4, so I didn't notice a difference with that. I think it would benefit you to educate yourself and try to prepare yourself, no matter which way you end up doing it. I learned many helpful tips on dealing with labor, just by reading blogs, natural childbirth books.

Anybody can do it! I am pretty loud and scream from the pain, and didn't think it was possible, but is was! (Where I live they don't even offer epidurals anymore, so I really had to prepare myself!)

Victoria said... Reply To This Comment

Awhhh you are absolutely gorgeous! What a cute couple you are ^_^ You are exactly right, no matter how baby comes, it will be amazing when you see him!! I am s u p e r excited to be your newest follower!
Biggest love,
Victoria from Unlock Your World
www.vi-key.blogspot.com

Signe said... Reply To This Comment

I dilated from a 3 to an 8 within two hours time. At a 3 they don't give epidurals, at 8 they say it is too late. It was horrible. I passed out, threw up, and pretty much vowed never to let them wait again--of course, I don't have to worry about it anymore, but I would always go for drugs.

Courtney B said... Reply To This Comment

Good luck making this decision! I'm pretty sure that I'm not cut out for natural labor... epidural all the way! At least for my first baby.
Anyway, I know I'm no help to you here.... I just wanted to comment and tell you how CUTE these pictures are :)

Leenie said... Reply To This Comment

I've done both ways with each of the boys: epidural with the first and med-free with the second. But! My body physically reacted poorly to the epidural the first time and I knew with the rest of our children, having epidurals was out of the question due to my circumstance.

When I got preggo with our second, I took Hypnobirthing classes and practiced that a couple months before the baby was born. It was a wonderful investment, and to be totally honest... I didn't recall any pain! I was "hypnotized" throughout most of my labor, but I was still aware of what I was doing, who I was talking to, and where I was at. It was a unique experience and I loved it. I think I will apply those techniques with our future births. :)

Maybe look into Hypnobirthing if you're planning on going natural. It covers everything that you learn in typical childbirth classes, plus it emphasizes more on relaxation techniques.

Anyway. Good luck with whatever you choose to do! Love ya, girl!

Karen Mary Butterfly said... Reply To This Comment

My first birth was so long and exhausting that one dose of epidural just brought me back into the picture, so to speak. I felt more present with it, at that point. however, I never had epidural during the actual birth. Both times too late. I think with or without...it's natural and real no matter what. I am all for comfort. I am going to the dentist tomorrow...if I need any work done, believe me, I want pain medicine for it :) That's just how I look at it. No matter what you decide to do, it will be right for you.

Martha Metzler said... Reply To This Comment

I loved LOVED having a natural birth. If you want to read my birth story here is the link!
http://marthametzler.com/?page_id=1495

Jennifer said... Reply To This Comment

I would compare a natural child birth to your most athletic event you have ever done. It is very mental and you have to have a very strong understanding to what is going on in your body during this whole process. My husband and I took a class based off of the Bradley Method, bradleybirth.com. The class was very small and personal and we learned more than just natural birth but healthy living during pregnancy and how to work as a team. I could never of done it without my husband and was amazed at how well he knew what I needed. Do your research and do what you think is best for you. Congrats!

Ashley Madsen said... Reply To This Comment

My friend just sent me this blog and I love reading it. I don't know what it's like... never been there... but I've had a few friends go natural and they will never do it another way.
Here's the link she sent me. Read it:
http://naturalbirthstories.blogspot.com/