I'm pregnant with my second child and am planning a natural birth. I was convinced by my doctor to induce with my first child because he was estimated at 9 lbs. Oh if I knew then what I know now! This time I am educating myself even more about natural birth and have been seeing a midwife who has been so awesome and supportive.
But, I have a big concern and wanted to know if anyone else has experienced this or knows anyone who has gone through this. I have a herniated disk and a torn disk, at L4-5 and L5-S1 respectively, with severe spinal stenosis for which I had surgery (a diskectomy) back in February (2009). I was the poster child for the operation until I went back to work and my disk reherniated in April. I have been through physical therapy, chiropractic therapy and massage therapy, which have helped tremendously. However, I'm still in daily pain and unable to work more than about 25 hours a week in the office due to the pain that increases while sitting. I'm lucky to still have my job (and health insurance).
Now, I'm 15 weeks pregnant and the pain has been acting up again since getting pregnant. I'm guessing this is because I'm stretching and my ligaments are more loose. However, my chiropractor (who is wonderful) is really concerned about how this pregnancy is going to affect my back and pain levels. Quite frankly, I'm scared that it will get as bad as it did before my surgery (which was so bad, I couldn't walk unassisted). He thinks I may have to have a c-section, or at least an epidural.
Is it still possible to have a natural childbirth? I'm getting conflicting opinions from the doctors. I'd like to hear from anyone who has experienced back problem with pregnancy and birth, from midwives or others who have seen situations like this, and any advice for how to prepare for a natural childbirth with this kind of situation. Please help! I want so desperately to have a better birth experience this time around and feel trapped because of this stupid back issue. I just need to know if someone has done this before and been okay. It would really boost my failing confidence and hope for a wonderful birth.