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Epidural: Yay or Nay?

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  • #16
    1



    DH= darling husband i think

    Life on Earth may be punishing, but it includes an annual free trip around the sun!

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    • #17
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      Jokaman: H in DH stands for husband as you guessed rightly. D can stand for dear/ darling/ darned/ dumb/ dastardly/ dreadful etc.

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      • #18
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        @ DCKMB, I had a friend who had an extremely hard labor with her first child so I can empathize. Plus, that back labor I had with my first was no picnic. Made have the next one, right side up, seem much easier by comparison. But you're right, I think having a baby is the hardest thing a woman can ever do and it's a very different experience for each of us. So, no you're not a wuss!

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        • #19
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          I see epidurals everyday.


          I see people who regret not getting epidurals everyday


          Complication risks of epidurals are less than 1%.


          And once you say NO to them, thats the point of no return. Mid-labor, its too late to get one placed.


          Think hard. And read up on the science behind epidurals, where the drug interacts, and where it DOESN"T interact.

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          • #20
            1



            Jokaman70, DH is short for "dear husband." At times, the D might stand for something else. ;-)


            I agree with others who've said preparation is a major part of avoiding meds.


            Investigate the availability of a tub to labor in. Many hospitals now offer jacuzzi tubs that patients can labor in. Seriously, that could be worth switching caregivers and hospitals for. I so wish I'd used a tub with my first. My second labor was so much less intense, as long as I stayed in the water.


            Being at home worked well for me too. With my first, there was a point at which I might have asked for meds if I'd been in the hospital, but there was no way I was going to get in a car in order to get them. Ha!


            Another childbirth prep suggestion to throw out there: Birthing From Within. Often the course itself will have another name, but the instructor will specify affiliation with BFW. There's a book by the same name, which is fabulous. One thing I really appreciated about BFW that I think is missing in some of the other childbirth prep methods is an emphasis on how to handle and process your feelings when things don't go as planned.


            Hypnobabies is another great program. I wish I'd used it, in conjunction with BFW, with my first. Hypnobabies urges you not to use other methods, but I think BFW has a lot to offer dads, while Hypnobabies doesn't....

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            • #21
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              Maba, to find a midwife: Midwifery Today's website http://www.midwiferytoday.com/ or The American College of Nurse-Midwives http://www.midwife.org/.


              A certified nurse-midwife (CNM) delivers in a hospital setting and usually works with a specific OB. Midwifery Today has a listing of lay midwives who'll do a homebirth. They have a doula listing, too. A doula is a birth support woman.


              Most lay midwives will give you a free consult to meet them and ask questions. They're extremely knowledgable, sometimes more so than doctors because they see the whole birth process (the OB usually shows up at the end). The midwife I used for my last birth was so knowledgable about breech births that during the last "refresher" continuing ed she had to take the OB instructor asked HER to go over the part about breech births since she'd done so many. The OB instructor hadn't delivered even one breech.

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              • #22
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                By the way, you can find lots of discussion of birthing on the Mothering.com forums, in the Birth and Beyond subforum. The community is geared toward natural family living, but there's still diversity in terms of birthing choices. The emphasis is on making informed choices.


                http://www.mothering.com/discussions...play.php?f=213

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                • #23
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                  I had totally natural homebirths, so I can't speak from personal experience. But my sister got a hairline fracture in her spine from an epidural, which caused her months of pain.


                  So my vote is: Don't do it.


                  Also: I couldn't believe how alert my babies were compared to all the drugged-out babies I had previously seen in hospitals.

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                  • #24
                    1



                    @Pikaia: Thank you for the detailed response. I will ask about the bathtub in my hospital. The more and more I read here about home-births and mid-wives, the more I'm leaning towards them but I'm not sure the family will accept homebirth Will look BFW, I think I have it on my Amazon wishlist. So many books to read and so little time sigh (so little time because I seem to be sleeping all the time).


                    @DebFM: Thank you for the links. I checked them and there are quite a few midwives in the hospital where my OBs practice is located. I wonder if our insurance will cover seeing both the OB and midwife. DH won't be comfortable with me seeing only a midwife.


                    @GotPrimal: Educating oneself is the key, I agree.


                    @dragonmomma: homebirth, co-sleeping, grain-free, working out everyday...you totally inspire me.

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                    • #25
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                      I had hoped for a natural childbirth - my mom and both my sisters had meds-free births with their kids... I did the hypnobirth and yoga and walked everywhere while pregant and did not want meds, at all... I had a very healthy pregnancy... However, after labor started, I never dilated - not even one inch... After 15 hours, the dr's recommended meds to help induce dilation and increase labor - and at that point, the pain was tremendous so I asked for relief, which was the epidural... Labor continued and after 30 hours of labor, the little guy's heartbeat started slowing down - The dr's went in with a c-section and out he came, fresh as a rose...


                      So, plan as best as you can, given your circumstances and wishes but do know that Mother Nature will kick in, at some point, in her own way... And at the end, what's most important, is that you will have a beautiful little baby...

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                      • #26
                        1

                        [quote]

                        So, plan as best as you can, given your circumstances and wishes but do know that Mother Nature will kick in, at some point, in her own way... And at the end, what&#39;s most important, is that you will have a beautiful little baby...</blockquote>


                        I think this is really important. Being aware of your options, your body, your choices, etc. prior to going into labor, and doing what you can to get the experience you want, w/out stressing over having a &#39;perfect&#39; whatever kind of birth.


                        I know a mom who had planned a homebirth but ended up getting a cesarean in the end, and it was her favorite birth experinence (her first was a vaginal birth in the hospital) b/c she felt empowered and aware of her options throughout the whole experience. And she went in for surgery knowing why and that it was the best thing for her and her babe.


                        My birth experience was amazing, but different than I had expected (I labored much longer than I would have expected, and I had a heck of a time pushing...). I actually needed to mourn the quick and easy birth I had been expecting before I could really relish my real, raw experience that was amazing in and of itself, but so different from what I had imagined it would be. (Totally not the same as mourning a cesarean or something more extreme, but I still had a period of dealing w/ all the emotions related to it.)


                        I just think Kebekgirl made a great point. Expectations can be tough to deal with, and being open for what comes, while also preparing as much as possible and knowing your options is an important (and difficult) balancing act moms to be face...

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                        • #27
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                          I&#39;m late to the thread, so much of what I would say has already been said, but just to chime in with my own experiences: I&#39;ve given birth to 5 strong, healthy children, all without an epidural. I was so strict with myself during my childbearing years that even an aspirin was out of the question, and certainly nothing strong enough to pass to the fetus. But, and this is a huge but, if I had been faced with a life threatening situation during the birth of my children, I would have taken advantage of what modern science had to offer.


                          You really don&#39;t know what you&#39;ll do until faced with the emergency, just keep yourself open to the possibility. The miracle of that baby in your arms gives you more strength than you can imagine as you&#39;re going through labor. Although some of my births were easier than others, after the first one, knowing the joy that was waiting, the others were that much easier.

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                          • #28
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                            "And at the end, what&#39;s most important, is that you will have a beautiful little baby..."


                            I agree -- THAT is the most important part. I tried to go natural with my first, but eventually the pain became SO intense that we had to go with the epidural. Yes, it probably had some side effects because I developed some lower back difficulties which seem to go back to my delivery position (on the side). However, the labor was not progressing, I was insane with the pain, and if we hadn&#39;t done the epidural then, a c-section might have been the next choice.


                            Information and education are key and also remember, that in the times before modern medicine, mortality rates for women were higher than those of men due to the dangers women faced in childbirth. Yes, most women don&#39;t need a lot of medical intervention in this natural process, but each case is unique.

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                            • #29
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                              I&#39;m reminded of a Robin Williams comedy bit that I heard years ago. He was talking about going to natural childbirth classes with his wife, and how they planned to be totally drug-free. But five minutes into labor she was grabbing him by the neck and screaming "GIVE ME DRUGS! GIVE ME DRUGS!"


                              Natural childbirth is EXTREMELY painful! That&#39;s why I decided to do it at home, and I told the midwife to not even bring any drugs with her, because I knew that if they were available, I would have used them! (And I would have, too.) I left myself with absolutely no choice but to JUST DO IT.

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                              • #30
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                                [quote]

                                Natural childbirth is EXTREMELY painful! That&#39;s why I decided to do it at home, and I told the midwife to not even bring any drugs with her, because I knew that if they were available, I would have used them! (And I would have, too.) I left myself with absolutely no choice but to JUST DO IT.</blockquote>


                                Totally agree w/ this--I don&#39;t think I would have had a drug free, let alone vaginal birth, had I gone to the hospital. (How many moms do you know that are &#39;allowed&#39; to labor for 50 hours in the hospital? I can tell you, not many in the US.)


                                And dragonmama, your midwife had drugs?!! My midwife told me they were not an option in homebirth. (I&#39;m glad about that, but still, didn&#39;t know you COULD have them at a homebirth...)
                                [quote]

                                Information and education are key and also remember, that in the times before modern medicine, mortality rates for women were higher than those of men due to the dangers women faced in childbirth.</blockquote>


                                This just reminds me, I was just watching _the business of being born_ (you can netflix it!), and found it fascinating that the US is 2nd from the bottom in terms of infant and maternal mortality out of all the industrialized nations. I am so grateful for the technology we have, *when it is necessary*, (and in some cases it certainly is and absolutely saves lives!) but I feel *overuse* of that technology can have negative health impacts as well. (1 in 3 women w/ a cesarean in the US? I think that is really overkill!)


                                It&#39;s certainly a complex issue, that&#39;s for sure!

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