Natural or Epidural?

May 3, 2012

24 weeks!  Also known as 6 months.  Also known as a lot of days (too tired to figure out how many days).

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As I tried to think about the changes that have gone on this week I really couldn’t think of very many.  The only thing that comes to mind is how much better this trimester is compared to the first.  I think I went a little crazy those first 15ish weeks and I would get really sad for no reason. It is great to feel like my normal overly peppy person again and I think Billy is happier about that too.

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It is really strange because a question that I get a lot from my students about my pregnancy is if I am going to get an epidural for the delivery.  I don’t remember asking any of my pregnant teachers that but I guess they just really want to know for some reason.

Before I say anything on this post I want to make it clear that I don’t have a strong opinion on this matter except when it comes to myself and I think that whatever a woman chooses to do is up to them and that is awesome.  I only judge people if they don’t like doughnuts or tacos, we might run into problems if you are one of those people.

My decision about this topic:  I will be having an epidural (as long as the circumstances permit). For me personally it hasn’t even been a question in my mind.  I pretty much copy my sister’s life and she always had one so I will too;)  She let me be in the room when she had her kids which I am so thankful for because I have a tiny idea of what it will be like.  Those experiences made me start thinking about decisions like this one a long time ago and helped me to figure out what I wanted to do in the future.

The only pain I can endure is when it comes to running and eating too much on Thanksgiving, other than that I just don’t like it.  I have done my research and talked to my doctors and my brother that is a doctor and I know that there are things like the recovery taking longer etc. to think about but overall I feel good about my decision to have an epidural. Make sense?

What about you?  Natural or epidural?  What did you do or what will you do in the future?  Was it a hard or easy decision for you?

Denise May 3, 2012 at 10:30 pm

I’ve given birth to 3 children. Two natural and one with an epidural.

Baby #1-8 hours of labor and deathly afraid of needles. The thought of an epidural scared me more then birth itself.

Baby #2-4 hours of labor, still terrified of needles, hopped in the tub to see if it helped, ended up begging for an epidural but it was too late, dialated to 10 time for baby.

Baby #3-my water broke at home. Started pitocin in the hospital (needle), contractions started, and all I could think of was my past labors and OMG, this is going to huuuuuuuurt, screw the needle, I don’t want to feel anything, where’s my epidural!!!!! And got one. ha!

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Christine @ BookishlyB May 3, 2012 at 10:32 pm

I haven’t had a baby, but I am a firm believer in everyone being able to make up their own minds without guilt. I feel like there is a really strong pro-breastfeeding, natural birthing, co-sleeping, doula using movement on the rise and while I think it’s GREAT for mom’s to have options I don’t think women should be made to feel guilty because they decide to do what’s best for them and their families.

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Jill May 3, 2012 at 10:41 pm

With my first pregnancy I was in labour for 8 hrs (was induced) and had no epidural. Honestly the epidural freaked me out more than the pain itself. It was a pretty easy decision for me.

I’m currently pregnant with my second and would like to do it without an epidural again but plans can change!
I do agree with u though…what is it with people asking that question?

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Erin May 3, 2012 at 10:45 pm

I’ve never given birth so I really have no idea, but I always assumed I’d start labor and then if I needed an epidural, I scream until I got one :) I think it’s different for everybody and every situation- no right or wrong!

Meanwhile- you look WAY TOO CUTE!! Love the belly!!

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Lauren Q May 3, 2012 at 11:12 pm

I am planning on going the natural route. Ideally I will be in a birthing center, not a hospital… But that is just me. With most things, but especially pregnancy/children, you have to do what is best for you and your family. :-)

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Missy May 3, 2012 at 11:16 pm

I went natural for my first and I’m glad I did even though I have long labors. I planned to have my others natural too but freaked out remembering the pain. So I got the epidural. The epidural on my 3rd labor was hard to get in and I had some bad side effects so when number 4 came I planned to go natural again. I almost make it but nope, I got the epidural again. My water broke and he came about 15min after the epidural. So close. :-)
I tell you all this because it doesn’t matter what you do. All my kids are fairly normal. :-) You will do what works for you in that moment and it will be fine, no matter what you chose.
I will say my husband,hands down, is all for epidurals. He had a super, super hard time with watching me in pain.

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Beth May 3, 2012 at 11:22 pm

All three of mine were unmedicated. My first was delivered in a teeny tiny hospital that only had an anesthesiologist on call and only used epidurals for emergencies and scheduled c-sections. I am not even joking. There were 10 beds on the entire maternity floor.

Anyway…I was induced with my first and it was only moderately uncomfortable until I hit 7 cm and then it hurt like hell…for 10 minutes. After the unmedicated induction the other two births were a breeze. With my third I couldn’t even tell for sure I was in labor and only arrived at the hospital 15 minutes before he was born. Please note, however, that I have always had a high pain threshold.

My belief is whatever works for you works for you, and whatever works for me works for me. The type of birthing experience other women choose to have is none of my business. If you want an epidural, get an epidural. Your birth experience should be as wonderful and as positive as you can make it. You, BTW, are a very cute pregnant person.

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Amber May 3, 2012 at 11:23 pm

I had two labors and had a epidural with each, I really did want a natural labor but had to be induced both times (16 days overdue) which made me feel scared and not in control of my labor any way so I was happy with the epidural it kept me calm. My first labor with the epidural stopped working for me after 5 hours and the second one I ended up with a spinal headache for 13 days after. As long as the end resulted in a beautiful healthy baby, blessed.

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Lauren May 3, 2012 at 11:50 pm

My plan was always to wait and see how it goes. If the pain is manageable natural would be great but if it’s not an epidural is fine too. I ended up with a c-section which wasn’t what I had hoped for but recovery was pretty easy for me and I never had much pain and didn’t take any pain meds. Whatever you choose is the right choice.

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Natalia May 3, 2012 at 11:54 pm

I was induced and had an epidural, and I don’t regret either decision. My labor was amazing. I started on the pitocin around 6:15 am, the contractions didn’t start getting painful until 10:00 am, I got my epidural at 10:30 am, and had my baby right before noon after pushing for 6-7 minutes. I walked out of the hospital on my own 24 hours later. The “recovery” consisted of me having to remind myself that I wasn’t supposed to lift or push heavy things. But other than that, I was totally fine. Honestly, I would take labor/delivery over pregnancy any day.

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Shannon May 3, 2012 at 11:58 pm

I think it’s great that your sister was able to help form what you want for your childbirth. Whatever can ease the stress is awesome :-). Also, you look adorable.
Finally. Go to sleep!!! Its too late for you to be up ;-)

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renate Kooij May 4, 2012 at 12:05 am

Good for you to follow your own feeling about this. I had both my children at home, so natural. But I am from the Netherlands and here it is very common that way and not very common to get a epidural. Luckily both my deliveries were fast and without any complications, so I didn’t feel any need for pain relief. In the US it is more common to get a epidural (so I have heard) and I think that is a good thing. Here if woman want one they can only get one during “office hours” (or they have to be in extreme agony) and most deliveries don’t happen during that time!
You look so good pregnant. I love your latest picture. Enjoy your pregnancy (and delivery) it is an amazing experience!

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Megan D May 4, 2012 at 12:06 am

You look so friggin cute!

What a weird question to ask….anyone!! I have had one birth medicated and one undedicated. I am happy with my decision each time because for THAT birth, that is what worked for ME. Ultimately this is your birth and no one else’s so I am happy that you have figured out what works for you. Don’t let anyone tell you that one way is better than another because both have their pros and cons and as long as you are happy (albeit very tired and happy) in the end, that is all that matters. And believe me, when you are holding that precious baby girl, it doesn’t matter how the heck she got there!

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Dani @ RunFitMama May 10, 2012 at 2:57 pm

I love your last sentence- that once you’re holding your baby, it doesn’t matter how the heck she got there. I struggled for a long time after needing a c-section with my son, but as long as the baby arrives safely and healthy, all is good!

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Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More May 4, 2012 at 12:45 am

Epidural with both my deliveries. Easy decision for me. I had to be induced (10 days overdue!) with both my pregnancies. I had the drug buffet!

If there is a third pregnancy for me (very doubtful!), I would have another epidural, but would love to go into labor naturally for once.

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Michele Richards May 4, 2012 at 4:19 am

Hi Janae, I think its a good idea to keep an open mind. Things dont always turn out as you plan them. I had an emergency caesarean for my first pregnancy and I can tell you I didnt plan that, I was totally set for the challenge of a natural birth and it was disappointing not to have that but the most important thing is that you get your little baby delivered in the safest manner for your situation at the time. In a perfect world, none of us would need medical intervention of any kind and we would all have relatively painfree births but always keep the end in sight!

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trisha May 4, 2012 at 4:25 am

I went in thinking I was going to be all natural. Few hours in I took everything they gave me ha ha. 3 happy children later it really didn’t matter. :-).

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eep May 4, 2012 at 4:31 am

Man, you’re adorable! I have had two kids, no epidurals. I loved the whole childbirth experience and wish I would do it again. Alas, we are done with having children, so I have to live vicariously through bloggers.

I wish I could have an epidural for my toe. I stubbed it last night (on a Tonka truck, oh the perils of having boys) and rebroke an old injury. I have a half marathon Sunday and if it hurts as much in two days as it does now, I don’t think I can do it. Boo.

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Losing Lindy May 4, 2012 at 4:43 am

I had one. I would have another baby just to have another one. LOL

When I was making this decision, my mom said to me, “There is not an award afterwards for one way or the other, the baby is the award, and you will have one no matter what happens”.

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RunningISMyDiet May 4, 2012 at 11:29 pm

Well said :)

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Melissa May 4, 2012 at 5:02 am

I definitely had an epidural. It was funny because my mom was watching a lot of “Baby Story” episodes when I was pregnant (mine was her first grandchild), and she was like “they give you an epidural right away! I didn’t get mine until I was 7 cm. I think you should wait until later in the labor so you know what it actually feels like.” I did not follow that advice….I got the epidural as soon as they would give it to me.

Nobody told me how much it stinks to actually get the epidural though. That was probably the worst part of my labor.

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Katie @ Peace Love & Oats May 4, 2012 at 5:02 am

you look so cute with your baby bump! I have never had a baby, soooo no opinions here. No idea how painful it really is… don’t really want to think about it until I have to, haha. Have a great day!

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Christine May 4, 2012 at 5:02 am

4 babies, 4 epidurals, wouldn’t do it differently if I had to choose again.

I just get really tense with the pain and it lasts a long time, the epidural helps me to relax and makes the delivery process faster.

BTW – my 7 mile run this morning ROCKED! Best longish run I’ve had since having my last baby! (even though the snake I passed freaked me out a little)

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Karli May 4, 2012 at 5:11 am

I got the epidural and loved it, I was able to relax and enjoy my delivery

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey May 4, 2012 at 5:23 am

I got to go in for my niece’s birth as well – my sister had an epidural, which kept her comfortable, but by the time she went to push, she could feel everything, which the doctor said worked out in her benefit because she only had to push for 10 minutes. I don’t know what I”ll do when I have kids someday – I always say I would like to do a natural birth, but things change!

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Bethany May 4, 2012 at 5:36 am

My babies are 20 & 16, both natural. Just to give you an idea you never know how things will go, the babies arrive when they are ready.
#1. Five & 1/2 weeks early my water broke, after stopping at work to give someone my calendar to cancel appointments, got to the hospital. After about an hour of labor the pain was getting bad and I asked for some pain meds and it was too late, she was born about 1/2 hour later. Total time 3 hours 5 lbs 1 oz.

#2. 8 days late still a quick labor about 4 hours and once again I waited to long for meds. More pushing with this one about 1/2 of real hard work. and it hurts 7lbs 11 oz. I though she was a moose compared to my first daughter, but she was still the smallest in the nursery.
Good luck! You have a great support system you will be fine.

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Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health May 4, 2012 at 5:52 am

I would judge someone too if they didn’t like junk food ;). I’m like you and I totally believe that that each woman should be able to decide for herself and without judgment! I’m going to be screaming for the epidural haha. I want as little pain as possible!

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Becky Przy May 4, 2012 at 5:55 am

I was sure I wanted a natural childbirth–but then the contractions started;-) An epidural was the best decision ever! I even took a nap. I was sore at the injection site of the needle for about 2 weeks or so.

Also, I know you are on the taller side and my MD stated the Mayo clinic did a study that taller women have easier births…I don’t know if she said it to calm my fears, but I was only in labor for 5 hours and had to only push 3x’s:-)

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Heidi @ Idlehide May 4, 2012 at 5:57 am

Even though I prefer to do things the natural way (when possible) I am totally going to for an epidural. It just seems like child birth is too painful without it. I’m with ya!

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Angela May 4, 2012 at 6:00 am

I had an epidural, but I was in labor so long that it wore off, so I felt everything. I am all for the epidural if the mom wants it, and natural is great too. I guess this wasn’t much help…lol

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Jamily May 4, 2012 at 6:03 am

I just had my baby 7 weeks ago. Going into it I wanted to have as natural of a birth as I could but I was open to other options if it came down to it. By the time I was in hard labor for 19 hrs and only 4 cm, I decide to go with he epidural. I was so tired and I wanted to be strong enough to push well when the time came. I’m glad I went with the epi because I was able to sleep and rest. I had a lot more energy when it came time to push and I’m grateful for that.

But by the time I was ready to push my epi had worn off and I was evacuated into the hallway because there was a tornado outside! I had her in a triage room without windows. It was crazy!

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Adrienne May 4, 2012 at 6:07 am

Emergency c-section with my first.
Natural with my second and third. I agree it is everyones own choice.
I did have a doula with my third baby. She was amazing! Wish I hired a doula for all my births.
In the end..no matter what you decide you get a beautiful baby and all the rest is a big blur. No regrets!

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Mary May 4, 2012 at 7:40 pm

So random ish question… I know I don’t know you but we both love this blog so we are friends. Right?
How was your VBAC experience? I had an emergancy C also and am pregnant with my second and am undecided about scheduling another C or not. The convince of know when to bring my little lady to grandmas is nice. But I hated the c recovery the first time

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Adrienne May 5, 2012 at 6:14 am

Great experience! Not all doctors will do a VBAC though. Make sure yours does. I had no issues. I knew I could deliver because my first was an emergency c-section because she was face first. I started to push and instead of being head irst, she was face first. Anyway…I would totally do a VBAC!

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Dani @ RunFitMama May 10, 2012 at 3:02 pm

I’m in the same boat- had an emergency c-section with my first and am due with my second in July. I’d like to have a VBAC but my fear is I’ll end up with another cesarean.

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Linda May 4, 2012 at 6:16 am

I went natural for my son and it was hell. I was in labor for 29 hours, pushed for 2 hours, than had to have an emergency C-section because his heart rate was dropping. They had to put me out, so I was not able to see him until he was almost 3 hours old…it was awful.
Then when I had my daughter, I wanted very badly to have a VBAC and I had an epidural. Best decision ever. I had such a great labor and wished I had gotten an epidural for my first delivery. I think you are making the right decision!

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Mary May 4, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Glad to know you liked your VBAC. I am torn.
My emergancy C I was awake for and saw her immediately

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Lindsey May 4, 2012 at 6:16 am

I have one main goal with my labor for when I am pregnant – at the end of it I want a healthy baby out and a healthy Mom holding that baby – two goals I guess ;) So whatever it takes to complete the process at easy and least stressful as possible will happen. No other questions asked.

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Katie @ msfitrunner May 4, 2012 at 6:22 am

I went natural for all 3, no drugs. Needles in my back scare me more than the pain of childbirth. Also the thought of not being able to feel half my body after and all of the horror stories and possible side effects of getting one just made me feel like I wanted to just do it, experience it and be done. It wasn’t so bad;)
And I say to each her own! It’s a totally personal decision and what works for one doesn’t work for the next. By my third, I wasn’t even admitted to the hospital – he was on the table 10 minutes after I got to labor and delivery, so I wasn’t even hooked up to anything. That made the decision easy:)
You will do great either way!!

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Heather @ Run Eat Play May 4, 2012 at 6:27 am

I didn’t have an epidural with my first son (he was 1 lb. 14 oz) but I did have one with my second son, which I was greatful for. I would love to be able to have a natural birth, but I can’t deal with pain very well. And Jaden didn’t want to come out of me, so I am glad that I went with the epidural.

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Kari @ Running Ricig May 4, 2012 at 6:33 am

You saw your sister give birth? That’s kind of amazing and probably really great for you going into this. If I was having kids, I’d be epidural all the way.

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Tiffany May 4, 2012 at 6:35 am

I have no babies, but I can’t believe your students are asking you that! Kinda personal! Sheeeesh. But I think one thing you learn as a teacher is that not all kids have learned tact (yet) although some people never learn it.

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Kattrina May 4, 2012 at 6:57 am

Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s just kids! I get asked that all the time by adults. And adults that are strangers. Maybe the tactless students are children of the tactless adults!

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Tiffany May 4, 2012 at 6:49 am

(a different Tiffany ;-))

I don’t have any children yet but I am totally with you on the eppidural – even if I can’t spell it ;-) I can’t handle pain and I’m freaked out enough about getting pregnant, giving birth, babies in general – def. avoiding unnecessary pain. If I want to be hardcore I’ll go run haha.

I agree tho that everyone should do what they are comfortable with – it is your body and you make the decisions – end of story. Unless they don’t like tacos or donuts – totally with you on that one! haha

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Verlin May 4, 2012 at 6:54 am

I had the first one without an epidural (not by choice – the place I was at didn’t offer them routinely and made it a “big deal” to get one). Had an epidural with the second one and …. ahhhh … MUCH better experience. Loved it. If I’d had a third, I would have been phoning from the hospital parking lot telling them to get the needle ready for me. To each his how, but if someone asks, I highly recommend them!

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Kattrina May 4, 2012 at 6:54 am

I am hoping to have a birth center birth with no epidural. We’ll see how that goes though. Like you always assuming you’d have an epidural, I always assumed I wouldn’t. I have no idea why. My sister has had two children and she was induced for both and had an epidural both times. If I have to be induced, I’ll get an epidural. I hear birth with pitocin is more painful.

I think it’s bad to judge people on how they want to labor/deliver. The majority of people want what’s best for their children and that means something different to everyone. My sister is all about medication and that is completely fine with me. I chose the birthing center because I felt like the people there were nicer to me and wouldn’t push me into something I didn’t want (pitocin, C-section, etc.). That was just my feeling.

I will probably cry like a baby when I give birth and wish I had chosen meds!

I am 22 weeks today and I am ten times bigger than you. It is completely obvious that I am having a boy because I look like there is a basketball inside of me!

I am always surprised by people’s questions. Along with asking if I want an epidural or not, I get asked (at least once a day) if I was going to find out the sex of my baby. People can be weird. There is something about pregnancy that makes people (random strangers) think they can ask the most personal questions around. Strange.

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Michelle M. May 4, 2012 at 6:59 am

epidural. Wasn’t even a question. I actually fell asleep while they were doing mine LOL

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katie@newmamamac May 4, 2012 at 7:00 am

i went in there saying i would do whatever felt right. it felt right (AKA NECESSARY) for me to get an epidural. i have no regrets with that decision. my baby is happy and normal and is actually hitting most milestones early, hes a baby genius ;)

i will tell you one thing that i wish people had told me. and maybe it doesnt happen to everyone but it happened to me (and my mom). after i gave birth i shook like a crazy person. like i was shaking so bad i couldnt hold my baby for very long. this lasted probably 30 minutes. i am not trying to scare you but i kept looking up at my mom and saying “mom what is going on what is wrong” and she kept saying “its ok, its normal it happens”. and it is normal and it does happen. but how come no one told me? i would have felt better if i was prepared. i am not sure if this was due to an epidural or not. maybe the medicine affects people differently. my mother and i are on the small side so maybe it was just too much. they say all the fluid loss causes your body to go into shock. makes sense. i am also a nurse and don’t remember learning about it in nursing school.
i hope i didnt scare you! it may not happen to you, ask your sister!
kudos for being honest about getting an epidural, there is nothing wrong with that decision :)

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Katie May 4, 2012 at 1:46 pm

I got the “shakes” after as well. I hated that!

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Lindsay May 4, 2012 at 10:39 pm

I got the horrible shakes as well… But mine were right after I got the epidural. I really wished I had known beforehand, too, because I was freaking out thinking the epidural was ruining me.

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Krissy @ Shiawase Life May 4, 2012 at 7:06 am

I think kids ask that kind of stuff now cos they watch 16 and pregnant and those kinds of shows…

I say way to go for sticking to your decision. It’s a personal one!!

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Jen K May 4, 2012 at 7:10 am

I have absolutely zero opinion on this question. (I’m not a momma yet… someday!) But I wanted to tell you how absolutely adorable you are with your bump. She’s going to be an extra cute baby (I can tell)!

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Heather May 4, 2012 at 7:12 am

Epidural!!!! :) I had a c-section, but I was definitely all about having an epidural. My best friend had one and told me it was the best thing ever…she didn’t feel anything! Of course I will most likely have c-sections for the rest of mine but if I had the choice, I’d get it. But I agree w/ everyone: do what is best for you and your family!!

You are lookin’ great!! Glad you’re feeling better this trimester!!

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Caitlin @ This Bride's Joyride May 4, 2012 at 7:17 am

Ok seriously, I pray I look like you when I’m 6 months pregnant! Too cute!

I’m not pregnant but when I am I’m not sure what my plan will be. While I may try for going natural, I think it if comes down to it I’d get an epidural.

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Julia May 4, 2012 at 7:19 am

Epidural. Now, I haven’t had kids yet, but in medical school I spend several weeks in the labor and delivery unit. Many of the mothers to be who originally were going to do it without gave in and got one. It’s a simple procedure to do (a med student can do it), and the way I look at it, if God allowed people to discover a simple procedure that can help reduce discomfort, well then allow them to help you!

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Girl Child May 30, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Amen Sista!! Three kids, three epis..

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Amanda May 4, 2012 at 7:22 am

I am probably a couple of years away from having my first child, but no question: epidural! I am grateful for modern medicine and if it’s available, I’m taking it!

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Karen May 4, 2012 at 7:24 am

I had a C-section with my first daughter (she was breech) and a VBAC with my second. My doctor recommended I have an epidural when my second daughter was born, so I did. The awful thing was, it only worked on one side of my body. But a little pain relief is better than none at all. Even though my epidural didn’t exactly work, I would recommend getting one.

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Dina May 4, 2012 at 7:28 am

With my daughter, I thought I wanted to go through labor naturally. It was so HARD. After 8 hours of labor, I got an epidural and it was the best decision I could have made. Before the epidural, I was in so much pain I couldn’t talk or get comfortable in any position at all. I couldn’t even stand to be touched because it just make the pain so much worse. I just wanted it to be over with. After I got the epidural, I could relax (I actually took a nap during labor) and really enjoy the birth of my baby. I’m pregnant now, and I’ll be asking for an epidural as soon as I walk into the hospital.

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Kath May 4, 2012 at 7:31 am

Eating too much at Thanksgiving – ha!

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Deirdre @ Oh Well Whatever May 4, 2012 at 7:35 am

I had an epidural with Ryleigh. At first I had this idea in my head of the whole natural home birth in water but when I really stopped to listen to myself I realized that just wasn’t what I wanted. I think it had gotten so “trendy” and seemed like what you are supposed to do now a days. But honestly I was more comfortable with the hospital, doctor, pain management kind of thing.

Don’t ever let anyones opinion sway you or feel badly about yours. Everyone has opinions, especially during this time in your life.

Personally I was terrified of getting the epidural and as it turned out it was no big deal at all. I didn’t even know she had done it, it was over in no time. My personal issue with it was that my body pushed it out really quick so I had to keep asking them to max it out but I was still feeling tons of pressure, and some pain.

You are young, healthy and active -that is what is going to help you on the recovery not whether or not you had an epidural.

My best bit of advice is to go into this experience open minded. You can’t go in with a 35 page birth plan mapping out how you want the whole experience to go down. You have no control what so ever, once you give up the desire to plan out “the perfect birth” it will be fine. Gotta just go with the flow on this one. My birth was nothing like I would have planned/wanted but I was relaxed the entire time and went with it and even though it was a horor story to some every time I look back on it I have nothing but good memories. All 26 hours of it ; )

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Melissa May 4, 2012 at 7:55 am

If you get an epidural, the nurses can tell you the ‘right time’ to get it, once you hit a certain centimeter dilation (way far into labour, I believe it’s closer to 7-8), you wont’ be able to have one. Keep in mind that epidurals can often lengthen labour because they then require more monitoring on your little one (meaning you cannot move out of bed as much and let your body help it along) and can prevent someone from feeling the need to push. However, labour is a painful experience, and from having practicums through maternity/labour delivery I would say that almost everyone gets an epidural :). Either way you chose, you’re going to be absolutely incredible, I have been told that doing yoga/learning relaxation or meditation techniques can work wonders for labour,
XO

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Stephanie May 4, 2012 at 8:03 am

I had an epidural with my first but it wasn’t a good experience. The dose was so high that I couldn’t tell when it was time to push. They had to tell me.

If I need to, I will get an epidural with this baby as well. I just hope that I get to experience the feeling of needing to push and what it’s like when she finally enters the world.

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Cailin May 4, 2012 at 8:04 am

I had epidurals with both of my children so far. With the first one I had already been in labor for about 15 hours before I had it. I was exhausted and the epi allowed me to relax. unfortunately, by the time I was in active labor (6 hours later)the epi was wearing out. It took two hours of pushing and I felt too much!

With #2, I had an epi and the birth experience was wonderful. I walked the hospital track, got my epi and baby was born soon after. I smiled the whole time, laughed and was still wearing my lip gloss. After my first long, painful, sweaty labor, it was like a dream!

Now, expecting #3 and I just go into it having no expectations, but hope for a healthy baby! And, yes, with plans for an epidural.

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Abby @ Change of Pace May 4, 2012 at 8:05 am

Your belly is adorable!!
I have no idea whether I’ll try natural or go epidural when the time comes. I think I’m leaning towards epidural, but time will tell!

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Leyna May 4, 2012 at 8:05 am

I had the epidural placed with my first, but as soon as the needle was in, felt the urge to push. So I got the needle placed, but never got the medication. I was very thankful for that as I was trying for a natural childbirth. I agree with you – it is a personal decision. Mine was not wanting to have a catheter or not be able to move around. Plus sometimes epidurals can stall labor and result in a c-section (and I really didn’t want that!!). I would reccomend taking a prepared childbirth class and getting all the info before you really make a decision. I had always thought that I would get one and then surprised myself by not really wanting one in the end (until I went into transition and thought I was going to die). My second baby I went all natural (even with pitocin to induce labor), and it was fantastic. It only hurts for a little bit.

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Brigette May 4, 2012 at 8:07 am

I had one with and one without and let me tell you . . . that epidural was freakin’ awesome!!

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Jenny @ simply be me May 4, 2012 at 8:08 am

With my first I went in wanting a natural birth but also kept an open mind since I had no idea what to expect. I had a very quick labour and near the end I was begging for drugs but at that point it was too late :) I’m going into this one the same way, I’ll go natural as long as I can but it’s nice knowing there are options available.

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Renee May 4, 2012 at 8:12 am

When you’re pregnant, people feel like they have the right to ask you any personal question they want…what’s next? How much do you weigh? Good grief, I get tired of it.

You look adorable!

I have had 2 unmedicated births and am planning to do the same for my 3rd. It was an easy decision for me…I’m stubborn like that. Anyway I have heard so many good stories from both sides–so do whatever you feel is best for you.

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Ricole Runs May 4, 2012 at 8:13 am

Oh no. I don’t really like doughnuts! And I prefer to spell it donuts. Don’t hate me! I love all other dessert type things! I’m sure I will have an epidural as well, I’m a whiny baby about all things pain related that don’t have to do with running!

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Ricole Runs May 4, 2012 at 8:14 am

PS – except I forgot to mention, the only reason I might not get an epidural is because I am TERRIFIED of the epidural needle. See, I’m a baby!

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Ali Mc May 4, 2012 at 8:46 am

This made me laugh b/c that’s exactly what I said – in pre-natal class I said “I’m not against having drugs but I’d have to be in a heck of a lot of pain to want a needle in my back” – 11hrs of back labour, I BEGGED for that needle in my back ;) lol

then I napped peacefully until they told me it was time to push ;)

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Liz Dean May 4, 2012 at 8:24 am

Such a huge question and such a personal decision. Every woman is different, so there isn’t one right answer for everyone.
With my first, I didn’t prepare at all for a natural birth and just thought I’d go with it when the time came. I was going to try to wait as long as possible to get an epidural. I was in extreme pain and only dilated to a 4 when I got to the hospital. I thought with those contractions I had to be further along! Nope. Unfortunately, and especially with your first when you get an epidural it usually slows labor down, which then means you get pumped full of pitocin, all of which happened to me. I pushed for 4 hrs and 45 mins, the longest they’ve said they let anyone push in forever. I just didn’t want a c-section so my doc said keep pushing (even though I couldn’t tell what I was doing, another bummer). I was SO swollen after from the pushing and all the fluids they gave me in the IV’s after 14 hrs…I wouldn’t wish that on anyone!

So, although I was grateful to not feel the pain, it ended up slowing things way down and quite honestly, it was not the best experience-besides the second he came out, what a relief and best moment ever when I saw him!

I told myself I wanted a totally different experience if I had a second baby and it sure is already. We have been going to a birth center since I was 12 weeks and I cannot even tell you the difference, in the best way possible! You do everything the exact same you would at an OB, only it’s way more friendly, cozy and the midwives seriously, seriously care about what is going on with you and giving you the best experience possible. They will sit and talk to you for as long as you want, no rush at all.
I have been preparing my body and mind to go natural since 12 weeks and I still have 3 more months to go. I want my body to do exactly what it’s supposed to do when baby wants to come on their own time.
I’m not opposed to the hospital, but this has been by far 10 times better already than with my first. If something is wrong, we’ll go with it and do whatever we need to, but since I’m low risk, there is nothing in the way of a natural, drug free birth in July :) I think that if you take the time to prepare and have the tools to deal with the pain, it normally works out and every single woman I’ve talked to has said they pretty much never tear (or slightly) and they heal way quicker since they can feel exactly what’s going on.
It takes a strong woman, their partner and help of a midwife, doula or whoever to make it happen, so I hope it happens quickly this time for me :) We’ll see!
Nothing wrong with an epidural, but researching and being very educated about both ways never hurts.

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Liz Dean May 4, 2012 at 8:24 am

And sorry, that was a way longer post than I intended :)

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Holly May 4, 2012 at 8:30 am

Epidural all the way. At my first doctor’s appointment after finding out we were pregnant, the nurse was like ‘do you plan on an epidural or natural birth?’ I just said ‘Bring on the drugs!!’ Haha :D

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Kara May 4, 2012 at 8:34 am

I was afraid to get an epidural, so I didn’t with either child. I do have some regrets. The pain with the second child was so severe that I blacked out and remember nothing from the first 15 minutes of his life!! Had I not been such a chicken I may have been able to cherish that time. I was forbidden to have another child because my husband said he could not watch me go through that again, but believe me I was blessed with two and that is plenty for me!

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hikermom May 4, 2012 at 8:34 am

I had both of my boys naturally. No pain meds. I knew this would be my choice from the start. Right decision for me. Both of my labors went pretty quickly, so that was nice.

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Michelle M May 4, 2012 at 8:35 am

I’ve had two pregnancies which gave us 3 kids. :-) My first was our son and I had wanted an epidural. I dreamed of that epidural. I never even imagined I’d have a natural birth, but in the time it took to get up to maternity from the parking lot, my water broke and I ended up being fully dilated by the time I was examined just a few moments later. The nurses didn’t have time to even put my IV in and my doctor wasn’t there until my son was already born. He was definitely ready to be born.
Second pregnancy, our twin girls were born. I had wanted a natural delivery since I’d done it once and decided it was the way for me. However, our doctor let us know that Baby B was breach and of course there tend to be more complications with twin births in general, so he’d recommended an epidural as to be ready ‘just in case.’ Made perfect sense to me, so I had the epidural and then ended up having both our girls vaginally, but I have to say, I’m glad I had that epidural beacuse at one point, when Baby B was needing to come on out, I looked down and the DR was in up to his elbow, trying to get ahold of her feet to help her out. That freaked me out more than the rest of the delivery.
If we were to have another child, I don’t know if I’d be able to decide if I wanted an epidural or not. There were too many positives with both experiences for me.

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Shawn May 4, 2012 at 8:36 am

With my first child i talked tough and thought i was going to go natural. Turns out I’m not as tough as I thought and as soon as it started hurting I begged for the epidural!! With kid #2 it was not a question – give me the epidural as soon as you can!!
No matter what you chose it will be a great experience!!

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Ali Mc May 4, 2012 at 8:43 am

Good girl. There is a lot of controversy about this topic but the bottom line is – each woman has to choose what’s best for them, and the baby. When you’re in the moment of childbirth your mind is on the baby, but more so it’s on the pain! I would say the best advice is to have an IDEA of what you plan to do, but don’t plan what to do, if that makes sense? I had such a plan – I wanted to do it all natural and it just wasn’t working for me. Everything that could go wrong did and I after 11 hrs of painful back labour where I was forced to lie in a hospital bed and 5.5 cms I was SCREAMING for that epidural. I think if I ever have another kid I’ll get one as soon as I walk in the hospital. It was great.

I hope you have a swift and easy labour :)

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Donna Porter May 4, 2012 at 8:46 am

Having three children, I have had three totally different birthing experiences. #1, my water broke at home, I had the epidural and regretted it. I wanted to get up and walk after delivery and I couldn’t because I could barely feel my legs. It was a weird feeling and I didn’t like it. Plus, I have had nothing but back pain since! #2, 8 days late, finally went into labor and had an iv of pain killer (Stadol, sp?) but it made me sleepy so they turned off the iv. Recovery was fast :) #3, seriously my labor was 13 minutes and she was almost born on the autobahn (we were in Germany). Obviously it was a natural childbirth. Everyone is entitled to their own birthing plan and my only advice is DO YOUR RESEARCH before you make up your mind. Each time you walk into that delivery room, you will have a different experience. Please don’t do something just because your sister did it or a friend did it…make it your own experience :)

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Yo Momma Runs May 4, 2012 at 8:51 am

I’ve had all the birth options possible — maybe. First one, I had the nubain(sp?) shot because I was too cheap to pay for the epidural. Second one, with a midwife. Then my twins were c-section (hated it!). My favorite birth was the middle one, but the other two had a lot of weirdness going on with me delivering too early.

I copy my big sister with everything too, but unfortunately I had my babies first so I couldn’t copy her! How do I even make decisions without her doing it first???? Seriously, I love her.

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Cindi B May 4, 2012 at 8:52 am

I had an (unplanned) epidural with my daughter and hated it–the loss of control and sensation was a big issue for me and it negatively affected my daughter’s and my recovery afterwards. I had a natural birth with my twins and chose to hire a doula and a natural-minded/supportive OB to assist me. Best decision of my LIFE (besides marrying my husband and all, lol)! I’m now trained as a doula myself, it was such an empowering experience and it felt like an accomplishment that surpassed any marathon I’d ever run. I’m always one to advocate women going into birth (and motherhood) educated and empowered–no matter what their choices end up being. I knew that most OB’s are trained to detect pathology in birth and work from that viewpoint–it is rare that they see natural, physiological birth anymore (especially with twins–I had several nurses and the anesthesiologist who was on standby mention to me that they’d NEVER witnessed a natural birth of twins. How sad is that?). So, knowing that, I looked for the best support I could get to have a natural birth, since the experience I had with my daughter’s birth was so frustrating. Though, I was absolutely open (and prepared for) the case of complications occurring, I wanted to aim for the best birth possible with my twins. Overall, I knew that I had the ability to do challenging things–run long races and train hard for different events. Natural childbirth was another one of those sorts of experiences to train and be properly prepared for, and I succeeded. In then end, even if you go into it with the idea of having an epidural, be prepared for the possibility that you may not get it in time, it may not work or work properly, and that it may affect your recovery–so, just like you’d prepare for any other big life event or race with lots of variables, educate and prepare yourself for your daughter’s birth, and you’ll feel content no matter what! I wish you the absolute best, no matter what!

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Michelle May 4, 2012 at 8:53 am

I think going in with an open mind is best. There are things you can’t control and being at peace with that is going to help you with your birth experience! In the big picture – labor and delivery is one day. Yes, it’s a big deal but there are so many other days that follow that will be more important.

As for me – I was induced with both (not super happy about that – but my kids don’t want to come out on their own) and had epidurals both times. No regrets!

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Jana (Running Vegetarian) May 4, 2012 at 8:53 am

My plan was to go natural but allow myself an epi if the pain got to intense. In the end I needed a c-section.

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TriMoEngr May 4, 2012 at 8:57 am

Had 2 epidurals – I believe God invented anesthesiologists (sp?) for a reason. Kind of “He helps those who help themselves” sort of thing. That said, it made all the difference in the world with my first baby and didn’t really ease much of the pain with the 2nd. She had her head turned to the side and the back labor was insane (and not eased by the epi). In fact, I don’t remember feeling any of the contractions in my stomach at all with her – just hideous back pain. It made me question whether or not I was even in labor. I was so relieved when the nurse said I was a “keeper” at the hospital.

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Jennifer May 4, 2012 at 9:05 am

EPIDURAL =HEAVEN.
BAHAHHAAH. Seriously, I’ve had 5 kids, 2 those were natural. Epidural is Heaven and those births were so FUN and ENJOYABLE! The other 2, did not enjoy :( i felt like i was pushing out a bowling ball….which you kinda are. :)

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Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile May 4, 2012 at 9:06 am

I’ve got a looong way to go till I have a baby, but I don’t think I would be able to give birth without an epidural. That just sounds way too painful!

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Neina May 4, 2012 at 9:06 am

The delivery of my kiddo was crazy! I like many women was afraid of the epidural needles, so I was one of those women who was dead set on not having one….do not give me an epidural even if I ask for one! Well, a good 18 hours of labor, fully dilated, pushed 1 hours, no baby…. epidural (HALLELUJAH!!!) pushed another 1 hour…..no baby…..C section. If I ever did it again I would take the drugs for sure….after all thats why they were invented!

I fully believe that it is up to every woman to decide for herself and you should feel comfortable with your decision. It is your body and it is your pain. All depends on how YOU want to manage it.

PS: My hubby and I are going to run the Dirty Dash in Midway in June (our first any kind of race) and the other day while running I got so emotional/excited/nervous that I will be: a) running a race b) running with my hubby for fun….(even though I am secretly planning to beat him!) that I couldn’t help but think back to your posts about being super excited that you get to run with Billy that in my head I was like….now I know what Janae is talking about! Just want to thank you for taking the time to make us all laugh and get excited about life!

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Monica May 4, 2012 at 9:06 am

With my first and I was in labor with her for 8-9 hours in the hospital and I had an epidural for 7 of those hours. With my second I planned on going natural, I was in labor for 5 hours and labored at home for 4 of those hours, went to the hospital when I was at a 9, got an epidural when I was at a 10 because I wanted it for pushing (which I hear they almost never do but it just worked out for me that way). Looking back I know I could have done it without the epidural but I had a great birth and felt super awesome after. I did a program called Hypnobabies which I recommend to everyone I know whether or not they want to go natural. It is an amazing program and I LOVED it.

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Sarah May 4, 2012 at 9:21 am

Got an epidural. Knew I wanted one. Got one before the pain got bad enough to ask for it. Didn’t have any issues with recovering and ended up having a c-section anyways, so they just gave me more drugs through the cath for that.

most of my friends who said they wanted to go natural ended up getting one and I didn’t want to seem naive like them. ha

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Melissa May 4, 2012 at 9:24 am

My first born was natural – a 24 hour ordeal that ended with me pushing out a 10lb child. Ugh. I was so exhausted and tired and hurting that I could care less that I had a baby. #2 and #3 were with epidurals. I was relaxed and happy. I laughed out #2 as everyone was cracking jokes as I was delivering. With #3, I was able to sleep through my labor during the night and wake up when they told me I was ready to start pushing. Wonderful! All of my kids were huge, so my labors tend to be long. I don’t think I could handle another natural. I’m pregnant with #4 and definitely getting an epidural when it’s time!

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Bess @ Bess Be Fit May 4, 2012 at 9:31 am

Never been pregnant but when the time comes…oh yes I want the epidural.

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Lindsay @ Lindsay's List May 4, 2012 at 9:32 am

One natural, one epidural. GO NATURAL! Feels so empowering – you can do it, Janae!

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Lindsay May 4, 2012 at 9:44 am

Epidural! I am like you and had my mind made up way before I was even married. Mind you, I am DEATHLY afraid of needles…. But I couldn’t bare the thought of having a baby naturally. If there are meds to prevent pain, why not use them, right :). I also did research and I felt it was the best option for me. Fast forward to this past December… I was having horrible contractions… Went to the hospital and 5 minutes later, my water broke. Just FYI, your contractions will get ten times worse once your water breaks. An hour later I was hurting BAD when they finally gave me the epidural. Even tho I was so afraid of needles, I didn’t even notice what was going on or feel them stick me. Once the epidural was in… LIFE WAS GOOD. I slept, I laughed, I was comfortable. When it was time to push, I still felt no pain. The doc ended up pulling Ellie out with forceps and again, no pain! Anyway, I LOVED the epidural and will do it with my other children.

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Lisa May 4, 2012 at 9:50 am

I went natural, not by choice. The nurses didn’t believe that I was having contractions and my labor was short. My baby was only 5 pounds 1 ounce and the delivery was not bad at all. I think that if I had had the contractions for longer then I would definitely have wanted the epidural.
Good luck!
You’ll know what’s best. :)

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Ashley G May 4, 2012 at 9:51 am

My mom had pretty gruesome child-births (she’s super tiny– the nurse nearly passed out when she walked into the room and saw my mom’s labor) So now, the thought of birthing a child makes me want to pass out, honestly, and I even have a pretty high pain threshold. So I’ll be having an epidural when that happens for us.

I have tremendous respect for women who go sans drugs. I wish I could do it, but I’m pretty set on the epidural.

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Lindie May 4, 2012 at 10:00 am

Hey Janae! You look so stinkin’ cute! I agree with you that it’s totally a personal choice! ( that and formula feeding vs. Breast feeding)!! It’s up to you and what works best for you! :)

I had an epidural with my daughter, and WILL have one again with this daughter in t minus 19 days!! My experience was incredible! Good luck and don’t let anyone pressure you or make you think your decision is the wrong one!!

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Meagan May 4, 2012 at 10:06 am

Epidural!!

Was so easy! Even hubby said to get one if it wouldn’t hurt the baby.

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Asya May 4, 2012 at 10:07 am

Like many others have said, I believe it’s a woman’s choice to decide.

What I don’t like, is the term “natural”. What about using an epidural makes the birth unnatural? Are medically necessary c-section “natural”? IMHO, as long as the baby comes out, it’s natural! I prefer the terms medicated and unmedicated.

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Catey May 4, 2012 at 10:23 am

I had an epidural with my first, learned it was not for me. So for all the rest since then I’ve gone without. (grand total….1 w/epi, 7 w/out, next baby due in 3 1/2wks-planning w/out again) Birth and running actually mesh a lot for me-during labor I’ve thought back to making it through difficult long runs, and during difficult long runs I’ve thought back to making it through difficult labors and births! :)

If you’ve done your research, know the pros and cons, risk and benefits then be confident in your decision! Everyone will have their stories that they want to share, both good and bad, just ignore them all! In the end you do what’s right for you!

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Annette@FitnessPerks May 4, 2012 at 10:34 am

Never had a baby–but I’m rooting for natural. But we shall see!

I think it’s everyone’s personal decision, and no one should judge!

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Jaeme + Randy May 4, 2012 at 10:35 am

You are so adorable!

I will definitely be going for the epidural. I think it’s great that people want to do “natural” (although giving birth truely is natural whether you have medication or not) ,but I want to just enjoy the experience and I know I won’t otherwise. I will be asking for only half a dose at a time though because I am a very lightweight when it comes to any medication :). I get sick from pain medication way too easy.

I used to work on a maternity floor so I will tell you this just from my work experience. I know everyone has their own experiences but this is my observations. There was not a very big difference in recovery time for natural vs epidural. Most docs won’t make you so numb that you can’t feel anything at all, so you can still get up and walk a few hours after delivery. The biggest side effect I think was nausea and some women took a little bit of time before they could feel the sensation of needing to pee :). But as far as recovery, getting up and walking, etc I would say most everyone could do that within a few hours. And I never saw it effect anyone to the point of not being able to feed or care for baby immediately following delivery. Just food for thought :).

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Riley May 4, 2012 at 10:37 am

I didn’t know you could do it naturally =) Epidural all the way for me!

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RunEatRepeat May 4, 2012 at 10:54 am

Heck, I want the epidural the night I get pregnant ;)

Ha!

It’s YOUR vagine, YOU are in charge. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

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Lora May 4, 2012 at 11:26 am

Super tough question…..I didn’t have an epidural, before I went into labor I felt very strongly about not getting one, but now a year later I can’t remember why :)
One reason I think was because I wanted the freedom to move around, I didn’t want to be stuck in bed.

I would recommend watching “The Business of being Born” it is produced by Rikki Lake, there is a book too…..it was a very thought provoking film about childbirth and it helped me with my decision.

Natural, epidural, c-section, it doesn’t matter, it will be an amazing day because you will get to meet your little girl!

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Kristine May 7, 2012 at 7:59 am

Lora-
That movie changed my life! I recommend it to EVERY mother and their husband/partner.

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Joanna@Drizzleofsunshine May 4, 2012 at 11:27 am

I love how most of the comments go along the lines of “to each their own.” I really hate when people get mad at others for choosing one side or the other. I firmly believe that you should do what’s best for you. I am now in my second trimester and I’m starting to think about this question a lot. I am leaning toward natural but keeping an open mind that if I want one that day I’ll go for it. I’m not for or against either side. I think the needle scares me the most.

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Jessica May 4, 2012 at 11:40 am

I’ve had this conversation lots of times being pregs too…It’s so interesting how big the “natural” movement is now, and how there are so many different classes and techniques and things you can do to prep to do it “all natural.” I am all for everyone doing what works for THEM, but what bugs me is when people make it seem like women are more powerful or something because they do it natural. As if giving birth isn’t enough of an amazing feat even if you have medicine! :)

My mom laughs because she had all babies natural (and that was really the norm back then), and there wasn’t any of the hype around the ‘get-in-the-tub, sit-on-an-exercise-ball, have-a-coach, hypno-breathing’ “techniques” that there is now. (NOT that any of that is bad!)

I’m right with her…I’m planning on going into it as calm as I can, and as open-minded as I can. I will most likely have an epidural, but I’ll see how it goes first, because I am a little nervous about the epidural. I feel like some women I know who do all the prep-work to make sure they can do it natural are way more stressed going in and way more upset if their plan changes. I don’t think anyone should feel like less of an amazing women for ANY way they choose to give birth!

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Elizabeth May 4, 2012 at 11:44 am

Natural all the way and stay at home as long as you can and do not let them induce you!!!!

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Megan May 4, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Oh yeah epidural! Best I had felt in 2 months! I was a tually comfortable!! Well.. Until it was time to push…

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Tracy May 4, 2012 at 12:08 pm

All I can say is – DO NOT try to be a hero! Do what works best for you and what you feel best about doing. I was induced, went into labor, had an epidural and ended up having a c-section. I was SO upset because of all the c-section stories I had heard about the harder recovery, etc. but obviously I wanted to do whatever my dr. recommended was best for my son. I LOVE my ob-gyn and in 2 weeks I was given the all clear to go back to working out. I am sure your doctors will take wonderful care of you. The fact that you are working out like you are is going to make labor so much easier and you will be back to running (or perhaps first ellipticalling – running may take slightly longer!) in no time!

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Lisa May 4, 2012 at 12:23 pm

I, like you, never considered anything other than doing it with an epidural. And, I don’t have any regrets about doing it – although b/c it felt so weird to push and not feel it by about half way through I had them turn it off so that I could actually tell when I was doing anything effective. So, I got some of both in the end I guess – didn’t have to feel most of the labor, but got some of the “natural” experience in the pushing stage. Also, I was induced, so I had to have pitocin anyway, but pitocin really does suck and getting an epidural often leads to needing it, so that’s something to bear in mind and research a little if you’re not aware of it (like me – I didn’t even know what it was before I needed to be induced). And another funny thing about having a baby – there’s parts of it that I don’t remember. My husband says I threw up at one point and I have absolutely no memory of that. I’m kind of glad about that LOL! Anyway, wish you all the best with yours – it really is an amazing experience!

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Teresa May 4, 2012 at 12:35 pm

I had an epidural with #1 and fully intend to get one (if circumstances permit) for baby #2 due in September. I think women who go the natural route are superheroes….I, however, am not! ;)

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Karina Powell May 4, 2012 at 1:04 pm

HOW pretty are you!? awww you are glowing! I am totally going epidural. ha well planning on it, I am the same way, I don’t like pain! You look so darling!!

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Carolyn May 4, 2012 at 1:07 pm

I have LOVED reading all the comments on this post. So fun to read different stories and how respectful most people are of each other. I do agree with most in that in the end all that matters is a healthy baby and it doesn’t matter how that baby got here.

As for me I have 3 boys, my oldest I had to be induced and I really wanted to go natural but the induction was hard and long so I finally gave into an epidural and honestly it was a perfect birth and I didn’t even care that I had given in when he was born. With my 2nd and 3rd I went into labor naturally and was able to do it without medications. Each labor and delivery was special to me and I don’t regret any of my decisions. I do have to say that I really liked not having drugs though, I loved the feeling of actually being able to feel them come out and know exactly when they left me for the first time. Yes it was painful but after being induced and trying to go natural that pain was much worse than going into labor naturally and being able to labor naturally.

It is so weird that people ask you that. I teach high school and my high school kids were always asking me that too. You look great btw!

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~K~ May 4, 2012 at 1:56 pm

2 kids with epidural and easy decision for me! One of my friends (who birthed 4 of her own!) said why not get the epidural and ENJOY the experience of labor!? I agreed.
Hey, here’s a question for your students to ask ya — are ya getting an enema? ;-) Those aren’t so typical these days (you may hafta actually REQUEST one if you want one). That same friend advised i get one and i thought NO WAY! Then after having my first kid, i came home and when i needed to poo, i tore the stitches, long story is it took 6 months to heal and even affected breast feeding b/c i had to take some meds for the infection there that the baby couldn’t have….Anyhoo, 2nd child, i got that enema and things were much better! I know my situation isn’t typical but yes, i wish i’d listened to my friend when i was delivering my first kid! (Don’t you love the way mothers like to scare prego people with their stories?! Seriously, i just like to advise everyone to get an enema, as un-fun as that may be! It’s worth it!)

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Raina May 4, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Wow! You are PREGNANT! Life is taking an exciting new turn :)
What wonderful news!!
I think an epidural would have been nice.. I had planned on one, but didn’t end up having time for one with my first. When I got to the hospital it was time to push! But i learned then that my body could handle what a baby had to dish out- with God’s help.

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Kelly Jo May 4, 2012 at 2:23 pm

I mean seriously, how cute are you!!!!!!!! You have the most perfect baby bump, and that is exactly what it is, a bump!!!!! 2 cute!!!! I have no say in this post, I have 2 children, first one was emergency c-section, and I was put to sleep, second was a scheduled c-section and I had a spinal. But I say go for the drugs!!!

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Lisa May 4, 2012 at 4:17 pm

I was one of “those moms” ;) with an extensive birth plan. I knew from the very beginning that I truly wanted no medication at all while giving birth. That went out the window when my water broke, but my contractions were not enough to get things moving, so the nurse in triage informed me that they would have to start pitocin. I immediately broke down and started bawling…”this was not in my plan!!!” well, you can imagine what they told me to do with my plan. ;)
I did NOT want to be tied down in a bed, IV in arm, but guess what, it happened. I told the triage nurse that I did not want pain medication, and do you know what she told me? “good luck with that. it’s the worst pain you could ever imagine”. Seriously?? I was pissed! And scared. I am a HUGE weenie, HUGE. hate pain, terrified of needles, and was really scared after she told me, “imagine the worst pain that could possibly be inflected, and then know it’s worse than that.” My husband could see my anxiety, and I was incredibly pissed off at this nurse. (Thank GOSH she was not one that ended up in my room). My husband just told me to remember what we had practiced, and that I COULD still do this if I wanted. I continued on as *hoping* I could go without pain meds, but also was open minded that if it truly was that bad, I didn’t have anything to prove. (I personally just didn’t want the drugs going to my baby). I am relaying this story from the nurse not to scare you! I thought of the worst pain possible….(hmm, maybe someone skinning me alive?? I mean seriously!) and I guess I can thank that nurse, because the pain of child birth, even with the pitocin contractions, was not nearly comparable to the “worst pain I could ever imagine”. Yes, it hurt at times, but it was totally doable, even for weenie me!

I know you are a music person, and what really, truly helped me was music. I had made a play list in advance, of some very special songs that meant a lot to me, as well as “power songs” (i.e. what you would want to listen to at mile 22 of a marathon!) During labor I sat on my “ab” ball and had my i-pod on concentrating. Later when I had to move to bed, we played my ‘song list” out loud and the doctor and nurses loved it. It lifted me up, made me laugh, and I was even singing at one point! (I highly recommend Salt N’ Pepa’s “Push It!” hee hee). I’m telling you, the music was my pain medication. If you have powerful ties to it, it will do the same for you during childbirth, as it does during a difficult run.

Having said all of that, I truly believe that everyone needs to make the best decision for themselves. It is such a personal decision, and nobody should ever be made to feel bad about it. (In my case, I was being chastised for NOT wanting meds. I had many people tell me, “huh, let’s see if you still feel that way when you start having contractions.” And then of course THAT wasn’t good enough for them when I didn’t get meds, b/c my labor was just under 5 hours. Good grief!) My pain level was manageable, but every birth experience is different. Who knows what decision would have been made had I been in labor for 19 hours as my sister in law had. You just never know, and in the end, when you’re holding that sweet babe of yours, it doesn’t matter how they got there.

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Catey May 5, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Oh my goodness-I can’t believe that nurse said those things to you!! I want to smack her for you no matter how long it’s been since that happened. Bless your husband for being wonderful for you!

I had to laugh-I am a weenie too when it comes to pain (dh makes fun of me because I throw a fit when he tries to pop a zit on my face because it hurst too much), but birth is just something completely different! Awesome to see what the body can do. :)

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Holly May 4, 2012 at 4:23 pm

My first I did natural, which was super tough because the contractions were intense and she was face up so it made it harder for her to get out. My 2nd my water broke but contractions didn’t start so I needed pitocin and after having been up for 24 hours I knew I wouldn’t be any good with the pain so I had an epidural. I was scared but glad I had one. I actually recovered just fine from it with no complications. Good Luck!

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Lea May 4, 2012 at 4:25 pm

2 babies and 2 epidurals. Don’t regret it at all.

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Stephanie May 4, 2012 at 5:26 pm

With my first pregnancy my water broke so I was admitted to the hospital but not much was happening. They started PIT and with every contraction my daughters heart rate dropped. They decided to put this thing in her head to better assess the situation but I was not dilated AT ALL. I thought that freaking nurse was trying to climb inside of me and it hurt BADLY!! They finally decided that there was no way she was going to get that thing on the babies head if I could feel what she was doing. Is this too graphic?? Sorry! ;) Anyways, they gave me the epidural and it was a good thing they did because I ended up with an emergency c-section. Now that would have been painful ;) I think everyone should just do what they feel is best but they should also be ready to change their minds pretty dang quick because you can’t always decide. I will say that no matter what, I was planning on an epidural, I didn’t want to suffer through such things. And frankly, I was more scared of having people stare at my crotch than needles. I guess I was so scared I just decided not to dilate…I showed them, no one was looking at my crotch :D By the way, you look cuter and cuter every week, I love it!!

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Katie M. May 4, 2012 at 6:12 pm

I think it’s only something you can decide for yourself. I have had 3 kids and have gone thru doula training and been in births with other mothers. I’ve been induced and I’ve had births with no pain meds. I think it depends on how much of the birth process you want to experience. You can be pain free or you can feel everything. Some people’s view is “why should I have to be in unnecessary pain” and some people feel they aren’t experiencing the birth as a whole if they have medication. I personally have felt unsatisfied by having an epidural. I feel as tho I cheated. (kinda like catching a ride on all the uphill portions of a marathon.) My experience has been that as soon as they start with interventions (breaking your water, scraping your membranes, and giving you Pitocen) there is more needs for other interventions (ie pain meds, epidurals). Pitocen theoretically makes you dialate quicker and speeds up the birth process. It also made two of my babies have distress and caused me increased pain which in one case caused me to request an epidural. I think babies know when it’s time to come. Some babies need to “cook” a little longer. Mine always come late. :P Just do your research before you make decisions! GL so happy for you and your husband. Babies rawk!

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Amylee May 4, 2012 at 6:29 pm

I’m an epidural girl as well, however, none of mine worked the way I would have liked. Annie came too fast and after he thread the catheter, he didn’t have time to hang the bag. Will was the opposite, and my epidural wore off at the end. I have high hopes that baby #3 will be a little more pain free than the other 2. Honestly, I believe that there are lots of options, and they are all GOOD. Everyone is different and it’s important to make the best decision for you! I was grateful that with Annie I had a little more experience in knowing how to handle the pain because- oh my- I was not planning on a natural delivery! I’m grateful I had a “backup” I guess :). You will do great and you will be so happy to have that little girl in your arms- no matter how she gets here! A Priesthood blessing always helps :)

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Missy May 4, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Aww look at your little belly! So cute! My best friend had an epidural, the pain was just too much for her to handle. Just do what is best for you!

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Madeline @ Food Fitness and Family May 4, 2012 at 6:55 pm

I had an epidural because contractions HURT haha. I just asked that the anesthesiologist gave me a low dose to start with … and ultimately they never upped it because I progressed so quickly. I “felt” everything and wasn’t completely out of pain but I wouldn’t change it. I felt the urge to push and could feel the contractions coming which made for a really quick, and smooth delivery. I also was up and in the shower not long after giving birth and my recovery was a breeze.

I know some people have “harder” recoveries but sometimes people do too with natural births. Every birth experience and recovery is unique so I just say go with your gut with what you feel is right for YOU! :)

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Rene' May 4, 2012 at 7:30 pm

4 kids for me. The first 3 natural. The third weighed close to 10 pounds and I swore if I had another baby I would finally get that epidural. With my 4th, I had the epidural as soon as I go to the hospital and it was the best thing ever. I couldn’t figure out why I had never done it before. I watched tv, talked on the phone. My husband’s words, “Wow, this labor is kind of boring.” Seriously, I will take boring any day. Good luck my friend. You will do great!

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Mary May 4, 2012 at 7:32 pm

I LOVED my epidural. My anestiologist’s name was Kevin and I still love him.
Didn’t matter because I ended up having a C section (read that section in the book even if you don’t want one I had no idea what to expect and it was terrifying)

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Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy May 4, 2012 at 7:38 pm

My mom had my sisters and I naturally, and she tells me that I should get an epidural when the time comes. So a few years from now, I will be doing my research, and probably getting an epidural :).

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lindsay May 4, 2012 at 8:17 pm

i agree! to each their own. they know their bodies too. and yes, i think i would have an epidural… no shame. I need drugs. haha.

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Jodi May 4, 2012 at 8:17 pm

I was induced. My labor experience went something like this: OK we are going to start pitocin now. Thirty minutes later, hmm I think that is a cramp, maybe that’s a cramp. I really don’t want to feel cramps today. Can I please have my epidural now. :). I ended up having a c-section and am convinced the doctors give you happy drugs for that. Regardless of what you choose, it will be hands-down the happiest day of your life. TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES!!

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Leslie May 4, 2012 at 9:25 pm

I had an epidural and LOVED it!!! My whole family was in the room with me up till the actual pushing and we were able to have a great time because I wasn’t suffering. I was very lucky, I did get induced, in labor for about 12 hrs. but only maybey 2 of those were painful.

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Jennifer May 4, 2012 at 10:39 pm

I had an epidural with both of my kids and wouldn’t change it. The epidural I had from Utah Valley Regional was wayyyy better because I didn’t feel a thing! They also gave me a pump and the epidural ran continuously until I gave birth. The one I had from Orem Community was not as good. They gave it to me and it started to wear off right before I gave birth. I was in a panic and they gave me another dose, but I could still feel the contractions, but they didn’t hurt very much. One word of advice is that as soon as they offer the epidural take it. Dont wait even 20 minutes more because I made that mistake the first time and it hurt!!

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sophie May 5, 2012 at 4:35 am

I’ve had 3 kids: 2 with an epidural and one without.
The first — had to be induced. The pain with pitocin was unbearable, so got an epi at 7 cm

Second — labor came way too fast for an epi, was 8 cm when I got to the hospital. And this my biggest baby — 8 lbs 9 oz. Was very painful, but she wanted to come out, so it was over quickly.

Third – got an epidural at 7cm.

Bottom line — you can’t always predict how it will go, you may have a preference but every labor is different so I guess you need to be open to anything!!

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kderoll May 5, 2012 at 8:16 am

I ended up having an epidural. I didn’t have a plan, but figured I’d wait and see. My first answer when they asked was no, but then I realized that I hadn’t really slept in 2 days and they couldn’t give me a time frame for how long labor would take and at the time I really wanted a nap. I requested the lowest amount that they could administer and then had the option of increasing it if I wanted to. I was able to still move my legs and feel the contractions, but not to the degree that they were before. I delivered about 2 hours later (after 20 minutes or less of actually “pushing.” Within an hour and a half, I was cleared to get up and walk around. We were discharged from the hospital less than 24 hours later.
The most painful and difficult part of it all was when my milk came in. From day one I knew that I wouldn’t breast feed, but I never imagined that that would be the part of pregnancy/labor/birth etc. that would hurt the most (physically).

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Erika@YouJustDidWhat May 5, 2012 at 8:20 am

I chose an epidural and I am SO glad I did. Those that do it naturally are warriors!! Amazing!
I labored at home for the worst 9 hours of my life. I had a tough delivery.
The only thing about the epidural is you sometimes don’t know if you are pushing hard enough because you can’t feel much, even though you can feel the pressure.

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Jacqueline May 5, 2012 at 10:07 am

Do whatcha wanna do! I am definitely all about choice, everyone is different and every labor and delivery is a little different. Whatever works the best for you is just great! Enjoy every minute, they grow so fast!

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Lindsey May 5, 2012 at 10:23 am

I just gave birth a week ago. I was in labor for 52 hours and pushed for 2.5 hours! I did it all natural only because I wanted to see if I could do it. The thing I will say about natural is that once he was finally out I felt FANTASTIC! I hated being pregnant and felt like a million bucks just seconds after he came out! Even though I said “F natural” once he was finally out, I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat if it means this quick of a recovery. I for sure thought I’d get an epidural the next time around but again, I am amazed at how quickly I recovered. We’ll see how far I get. The memory of how incredibly painful it was may come back and I may opt out of the natural birth next time around. You just have to do what is right for you!

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Run Jilly Bean May 5, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Natural with my son 4 years ago for two reasons: the thought of a needle in my spine terrified me and I also didn’t want him exposed to any drugs. I count it as my first and only marathon. I pushed for four hours and it was hard, but so worth it in the end. I just hope I get to do it again.

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Cortney May 6, 2012 at 11:36 am

The cool thing is that in an unmedicated birth the baby helps, too. The newborn reflex is to push against your hands when you press their feet, because they do the same thing in the birthing canal as they feel the muscles contracting on them- they’re “pushing” to get out, too :) Also, they turn in the canal like a key in a lock when they move into the pelvis. I remember reading a midwife’s account of how she witnessed a doctor witnessing a natural birth for the first time. He exclaimed “Look at that baby SPIN!” because he truly had *no idea* that they did that :) Birth is fascinating to me.

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Cortney May 6, 2012 at 11:32 am

As long as you’ve thoroughly researched your options and have chosen what’s right for you, it’s the right decision. You’re the one who has to go through it, after all.

My concern is when women just kind of go along with the status quo. I’ve had friends who seriously didn’t even understand how labor worked- as in, how the contractions work to open your cervix like a door to your vaginal canal. I guess I’m just saying that it boggles my mind how people can spend more time researching buying a car than researching their birth options. I agree that the natural birth movement can be caustic, but I think their message is vital to let women know that they do have choices. Having choices is empowering, and being educated about those choices is empowering. If that choice is an elective c-section, being induced, going natural, getting an epidural, or having other pain medication, go for it and embrace that choice.

It’s not a judgment, but more of a sadness that I feel when women shirk the decision making and just do whatever their doctor tells them to without any questions at all because that’s the way it’s always been done. I cannot understand that lack of initiative/curiosity when it comes to something as important as your body and your child.

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Amber Farmer May 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Hey- So, my first I had an epidural and it was great. So why not do it again, right??

My second, epidural. But- While giving me the epidural he pushed through to far, forgot what it’s called. So he had to redo it. Ya, not fun.

Then, labor was all fine. AFTER, I got a spinal headache. Horrible! I had to have a blood patch done. After they took out my IV- they had to put it back in to get a ton of blood from me. Then they had to put it in my back where he pushed through and ‘patch’ the hole he made. That hurt SO bad.

Then, my back was so sore for a week after. Terrible after just having birth to deal with that as well.

I had my back ‘go out’ 6 months after birth and it hasn’t been the same. And now- 2 years later, I have pain in my spine where the epidural was, and I read it’s very common. Sometimes it hurts when I run. And it hurts if I lean on it on the wrong spot on my bed.

So, I would never do an epi again and I would advise against. Just my opinion.

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Ashlee May 6, 2012 at 10:21 pm

I think you have to decide for yourself. I went natural with both of mine and loved it, but I’m definitely not against epidurals, just scared of needles. Plus I’m a little spiteful and people believed that I couldn’t do it, so I did it. Twice. Eat it nonbelievers.

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Kristine May 7, 2012 at 8:06 am

I labored for 24 hours, pushed for 2.5 hours and then got an epidural. My little man just didn’t want to come out! I am glad I got one and I am glad I didn’t have it for the time I did. It gave me a chance to feel what a contraction was and to figure out how to push before losing some feeling. With my epidural, I could still feel my legs and the contractions but they were only dull and much more manageable. I also tore a bit so it was nice to have minimal feeling when I was being stitched up. I felt great right after giving birth and was even able to go walk with help within a few hours.
I firmly believe you have to do what you are most comfortable with! You must own your birth experience and make it enjoyable and memorable for YOU….no one else :) All that matters is a healthy happy baby!!

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Bridie May 7, 2012 at 10:36 am

My first delivery was a loss at 18 weeks, and I went for the epidural – there was nothing to numb the emotional pain, but I was going to do whatever I could to block out the physical! My 2nd delivery was a 27 week preemie, and I couldn’t have an epidural. Labor took 12 hours and it hurt so much!

With my third, I delivered at 33 weeks and had been in labor for 4 days in the hospital while they were trying to stop contractions. I couldn’t have drugs because they needed to know how I felt. When they decided it was time to deliver, I had an epidural and it was the sweetest relief of my life! Then I had to push for an hour: spoiler alert, the epidural doesn’t help much with the pain of pushing. It took an hour and it sucked. But three years later I am finally forgetting how much it sucked!

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kelsey May 7, 2012 at 12:17 pm

It’s so interesting to read everyone’s comments. Women love to talk about their birthing experiences, and I’m no different! I know it’s been said, but I agree, do your research, and do whatever YOU feel is best.

I went into my first birth wanting to go natural; then I hit transition and wanted to die. I caved and got the epi, and went through hell afterward. Everything that they warn you about happening, happened. I was nauseous and puking, I had a fever, and I couldn’t push on my back (this might not seem like a big deal, but when you’re numb from the waist down, try holding yourself up without lying on your back). I finally had a horrific vacuum delivery (after 19 hours) and my baby was rushed to the NICU where I didn’t get to even meet her for 5 hours. The epidural worked a little TOO well, and I wasn’t told to go to the bathroom afterward. That ended in my bladder basically “breaking” and I had to go home with a catheter for a week. Carrying around a pee bag while trying to take care of your first born child was NOT FUN. I didn’t fully “heal” for about 3 months after. I swore I would never do that again.

Baby number 2, I had a midwife. I was in a hospital, and I had full support from her and my mom. The birth was incredible. I have never in my life felt so empowered. I lived off of that high for months afterward, telling everyone who would listen how amazing it was. You will never feel that with anything else (not even a marathon). I believe a woman was designed to give birth, and your body just kind of takes over and knows exactly what to do. My midwife was there, and she helped, but I did it, and knew what to do. It was awesome, and I seriously cannot wait to experience that again.

I obviously had two drastically different experiences, but like others have said, I got two perfect babies out of it in the end. Even though one wasn’t healthy at first, due to the epidural and the fever I got from it during labor, she ended up fine and is a beautiful 4 year old now. I was going to say that if you’ve already made up your mind to get an epidural, DON’T watch “The Business of Being Born.” It might freak you out. It’s a documentary, so it’s definitely one-sided, but I enjoyed it.

Birth is a personal experience. Do what is right for you and what you feel will help you gain the most from that experience. Be informed. Know the risks. They can happen to anyone. Some people have amazing results with epidurals, but everyone is different. You are darling, I wish you the best.

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Rachel May 7, 2012 at 12:24 pm

I was trying to do natural — I knew i definitely did not want c-section. I was induced the night of my due date. By the morning, I was still 3cm dilated. My OB/GYN broke my water and then she said I could take the epidural at any time moving forward. For an hour, I held off on it. Then I felt contractions — the Nurse came in and asked me how I was feeling. I told her I thought about getting on the ball for some exercise and she said, “Are you sure you just don’t want the epidural?” I was like, “Um, okay. I guess!” So she left the room to get the doctor and not even 5-minutes later, I was like, “WHERE THE F IS SHE?” HAHAAH. The doctor came in and it took forever to get the epidural b/c I kept having contractions. After the epidural she told my husband to eat lunch b/c it would be awhile. Only half an hour went by and I went from 3 cm to a full 10 and ready to push. I pushed for 10 minutes and baby slipped right out. No problems and I asked my OB if i could the next day. I hope my next delivery is that easy. In fact, I hope the entire pregnancy is that easy. ;o)

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Liz @ runbakerace May 7, 2012 at 4:24 pm

I had an epidural at 6cm and it was such a blessing! I was miserable for the first 12 hours and it was a welcome relief before having to push. You feel that anyways :)

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becky May 7, 2012 at 7:23 pm

You are possibly one of the cutest pregnant ladies I’ve seen. :) Congrats

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Elizabeth May 8, 2012 at 11:59 am

I had an epidural both times. It is totally a personal decision, but for me it was never a question. I would never have a root canal without pain meds, so why would I want to give birth without them??

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Leonor @FoodFaithFitness May 8, 2012 at 2:25 pm

With my first baby, she came too soon. No time for drugs. With my second, he came too soon for the epidural to take full effect. With my third, I made them give me epidural BEFORE breaking my water. It was so nice having an epidural.

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Martha May 8, 2012 at 11:17 pm

I had an epidural for my c section in December….not my first choice but I got out of childbirth. Do what you need to do and don’t worry about others’ opinions!!

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Mara BHF May 9, 2012 at 12:53 pm

I had an epidural for my first, because … well, I couldn’t take the pain and it was going on and on and on forever. But, alas, all babies come out, and so did mine.
My second baby was labored for the 20 minute ride to the hospital, and born 2 minutes after arriving in the ER triage. She was all natural, duh.
After realizing how “accompishable” it was to go natural I thought I would do it again, but got an epi for my third. Natural again (on purpose this time) for the fourth. My fifth I delivered in a tub of water (no epi), and went home 2 hours later (after hemmoraging, puking, showering, nursing and eating a full meal). I think in each case, you just know what you need at the time. Educate yourself on the options, and be flexible enough to change your mind as needed.

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Heather May 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Two babies. Two epidurals. Easy decision. No regret.

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Margie May 20, 2012 at 7:58 am

Good for you for knowing what you want! I had two drug-free births, and that was the right choice for me. My fear of needles is greater than my fear of pain!

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