UPDATE #2 (I DID IT!!!!!!!!): Need to Vent, Having a Natural Hospital Birth

Hello Ladies,

Just needed a little bit of support and encouragment I guess. I am currently 23 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child, however it's almost like my first all over again because this is my first time having a natural childbirth. My first son was induced and I had an epidural with my second son. On a side note I actually didn't know I was in labor with my second son. Since my first labor was induced I didn't know what it felt like to labor naturally. The night before he was born I started to have what I thought was an upset stomach, lol! I went to sleep that night, woke up the next morning with my "stomach ache" not knowing what was going on until I went to the bathroom and saw a toilet full of blood (sorry if that was too graphic). Anyway, I went to the hospital and by the time I got there I was 4 cm dilated and 90% effaced. At 7 cm I was given an epidural even though I told the nurses I was ok. I did NOT like the feeling of being medicated, not to mention the IV and process of getting the epidural. I knew there had to be a better way, so I began doing research. That's when I learned of the many benefits of natural childbirth. It never dawned on me before that I DO have options and I DO have a say in how my children are born.


But here is the problem, I would really love to have a midwife. That would be my dream! But unfortunately I live in a state where midwives cannot practice legally. I also wanted to get a doula but my husband was not on board for that. He feels like we can handle it on our own. We told our doctor on our last appointment that we intend to go natural. She took it pretty well. The only thing that bothered me is that she didn't want to look at our birth plan. Our hospital actually offers the option to have a water labor. They also provide birth balls and a squat bar for pushing, so that made me feel a little better. I guess I'm just a little apprehensive about having the support I need. I know my husband supports me, but he has yet to read any of the books I ordered. Oh, and I also wanted to take a Bradley class, but the closest one is 2 hours away in another city. Has anyone on here had a natural childbirth in a hospital, no midwife or doula? I know in my heart that I can do this. But sometimes those little  what if's try to pop up into my mind. Any suggestions, support, and encouragement anyone has to offer is welcomed and much needed. Thanks!




UPDATE: I just want to say thanks to everyone for your responses. I almost got "suckered" into being induced on this Monday (which is my due date). I really didn't want to do it but then I started thinking that maybe it was for my baby's health. After a long talk with my husband he convinced me that it wasn't necessary and we should just stick to our plan and give our son more time. I'm happy to stick to my guns but I'm also a little disappointed about having to wait to hold my little one in my arms. As of my last dr's appointment yesterday I was only 2 cm. I"ll be 40 weeks Sunday and it just doesn't seem like I"m making any progress. I'm a bit discouraged and trying not to get depressed. I don't feel like I'm getting the proper encouragement from my husband either to keep going. Has anyone ever had to go past their due date to get the birth they wanted? Any words of advice or encouragement would be greatly appreciated right now. Thanks for giving me an outlet to vent my frustrations.



UPDATE#2:  Thanks once again to everyone who responded and offered their support and encouragement. I am SO very proud to say that I had my very first natural childbirth experience and I would not have had it any other way!! My little one was born on June 14th, a day after his due date. I actually went into labor around 11:30 PM the night before. I had a feeling I was in labor but I wasn't sure, so I played some Mahjongg until I got tired and then I went to bed and attempted to get some sleep. Throughout the night I was a bit uncomfortable so I didn't really sleep much. The next morning I noticed that my contractions went from being about 10 to 15 mins apart the night before to about 5 to 7 mins. I called my doctor's office and was advised to come in to get checked. When I got there she told me that I was at 3.5 cm and 40% effaced. She said that I could either go walk for a while and come back or I could go straight to labor and delivery. I think I was so excited at the idea of being in labor that I opted to go to labor and delivery. That was around 10:30 the morning of the 14th and my son was born at 11:00 that night!


I think what surprised me the most was that the pain wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Contractions with Pitocin hurt way worse! I had opted to have a water labor, so the nurses kept asking me "would you like to get in the tub now?", and each time I told them that I'd wait because I kept expecting the pain to get worse, but it never really did. What helped me the most was walking. I walked pretty much the whole time except for when I had to get on the EFM. Things didn't really get intense until about an hour and a half before I started pushing. The contractions REALLY started coming, but I wasn't checked the whole day so I didn't know how dilated I was. Right before I started pushing I went to the bathroom because I thought I had to do #2, and as it happened a nurse was passing by and heard me groaning in my room and came in to check on me as I was on the toilet. I told her that I felt like I needed to use it, and she told me to wait so she could check me.  She had a feeling it was time to push, and sure enough when she checked me I was at 7 cm. It seemed that right after she checked me I got a really intense urge to push and she told me to go right ahead and she'd call the doctor in. From there everything is a blur, it happened so quickly. I got on the bed and pushed about 3 or 4 times and he was out! Another surprise was that the pushing wasn't painful. It just felt like I was constipated and taking a good dump :)


I also have to give the hospital staff kudos because they were very supportive of my natural birth. The nurses weren't pushy and I wasn't offered any drugs. They gave me my space to manage my pain the way I saw fit. It was truly a stress free experience, I loved it. And my husband did a WONDERFUL job. I couldn't have made it without him! So thanks again to everyone. I'm so glad I saw the Business of Being Born. It truly changed my outlook on what birth is all about.

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Yes, I've had two natural births in a hospital, no midwife or doula.  My doctor was fine with natural birth, thought it was great.  She did read my birth plan when I gave it to her, and discussed it with me.  So that worries me a bit about your doctor...next appointment make a point of going over it with her.


I never felt the need to have a doula or any other person besides my husband--for support.  I educated myself, asked tons of questions, went to a birthing class.  I explained things to my hubby, so he could provide knowledgeable support.  If you can get your husband to read the books, great.  But that might not happen.  Just make sure he understands how MUCH you are going to need his support.  He is very important part of this baby's birth.  Best wishes!

Thanks so much for that advice. Yeah I'm going to be sure that my doctor knows that I'm serious about going unmedicated. She had the attitude like she doesn't mind, but she doesn't understand. She told me that she had a C-Section with her first child and the second was medicated and she had no desire to go unmedicated, but she understands a woman wanting to choose how her birth process goes. I watched a natural birth video last night and I'm not going to lie it scared me! I wished I hadn't watched it. And it was so graphic too, it was just too much for me. But even still I believe that I can do this.!

I had a VBAC in a hospital 12/09. I was supposed to have a midwife but the nurse wouldn't call her so I had a Dr. and thankfully he gave me all my preferences or I would have been throwing a fit. I only had my husband and sister in law for support and that was enough for me. It was all natural, just had a saline lock on to make the dr./staff feel better. Had no complications and was the first to hold my beautiful daughter!


I would recommend that you husband know what you want in detail and in writing before you enter the hospital. I was in active labor when I arrived and they were ready to do stuff that I did not want and my sister in law was with me at the time and told the nurse what I wanted and it really helped to have someone to be my voice while I concentrated on contractions. I am having a home birth during my next pregnancy, due Sept 28. Take deep breathes and trust in the fact that you were made to birth!  :) Wish you the best!

I know you mentioned wanting to take a bradley class and that it is two hours away from you. Have you thought about hypnobirthing or hypnobabies? You can buy those dvds online from amazon and listen to them on your time/ at your own pace.  Just a suggestion.
Thanks for the tip! I've heard of hypnobirthing but I'm not really familiar with what it is. I've ordered a book on the Bradley method already. I'll have to look into that too.
I also know a certified childbirth educator that offers online courses, if you're interested. I haven't taken her classes, but just in knowing her, I would say she's probably more in line with Bradley. http://esalibirth.com/

You can do it but get a natural birthing method in place. You don't have to take the classes but read a book or two. I used hypnobirthing but my midwives actually say they've seen the best results with hypnobabies. The hospital will most likely try to encourage intervention... it's the status quo. Fighting with them on the matter is not something you should have to worry about. Try to set up a system where the nurses ask your husband about whether or not interventions should be used so they don't prevent you from doing what you need to do. 

You CAN DO THIS! Just remember that if/ when you reach that point where you hit a wall and think that maybe you can't, that means you are almost done!

Wow thanks so much, that's good advice! I took an unmedicated childbirth class that my hospital offered, and one of the husbands there told my husband the same thing. He said once you feel like you can't go any further you're almost done! We've decided that we're going to go through labor as much as possible at home before going to the hospital. I think the most important part for me is getting mentally prepared. When my mind is strong in a certain area, anything is possible! I'm getting excited about it now so I know that I'll be ready for that day when in comes.

I have.  First delivery in 2002 I was 17 and had no support.  It ended in an "emergency" c-section.  In 2008, I went in at 37 weeks 8cm, and wanted an epi.  Successful VBAC 1.

This past year, I decided I wanted to have a natural medicated birth.  My doctor was on board with my birth plan.  At 36 weeks I went in thinking I was in active labor and was dilated to 4cm.  The nurse I got and the on call doctor were horrible.  They kept wanting to give me antibiotics even though my strep B test was negative and I had a yeast infection which the antibiotics would have made worse.  The doc wouldn't allow me out of bed, she was freaking my husband out with outdated information, asking if I wanted my baby to die... blah, blah blah.  I said I was going to leave AMA if they continued to touch me and did not listen to me, she told me she would hold me down if I tried.  At that point I kicked everyone out of my room.  By morning contractions had stopped and get this, she says "Would you like me to break your water?"  She's lucky I didn't freak out.

Between that and my birth, I think I became known at the hospital.  I was calling L/D, speaking with the charge nurses and calling the admin departments about their L/D policies and how they were incorrect (ACOG had just changed the stats).  I also hired a doula thinking I didn't need her, but wanted someone that had the same info I did.  Turns out she was wonderful during transition!  The doc on call the day my little man was born was also WONDERFUL!  Birth story here  Birth photos

I would continue to plant the idea in your husbands head about a doula and  ask your husband if he would be willing to at least meet with a few.  Your doctor may not be wanting to look at your birth plan because you aren't near your due date yet.  Just keep bringing it up and let her know it is important to you.  I would also make appts with any other doctors in the practice and talk about your plan with them as well (you don't know who will be on call).  Good luck!

Excellent information! Thanks so much. I guess since my husband coaches little league football he feels like he can coach this too :) When you said you were calling the L/D nurses what was that for? Was it for information? I didn't know that patients were allowed to call. I might need to do that too.
I was calling to get information, see what their policies were, who the head nurses were, etc.  If I needed to go in (which I did a few times) I would call to see what doctor was on call, sometimes I even waited to in until shift change.  I was probably bothering them, but they needed to know I was not going to tolerate being bullied/harassed (at least that was my view). Have you signed up for a hospital tour?  They typically do them near the end of your pregnancy, but you could go now if you wanted to.

I just had my first baby in a small hospital with a midwife. The OB Docs in town are also pretty flexible and tolerant of natural birth practices but we switched to the midwives because we had the option. I'm working on getting my birth story written down because I had several complications that would have ended in c-section had I stayed with the OB Docs (the doctor on duty that night ADMITTED this to me). I also decided to have an epidural after 14 hours of excruciating back labor and I believe that also saved me from the c-section as I truly was not going to be able to push on my own without it at that point. My labor was 20 hours total in hospital.

That being said, I believe that you can have a natural birth in a hospital w/o a midwife in the majority of circumstances (my circumstances were not normal, yet I still managed a vaginal birth because I educated and advocated for myself.)


If I were you I would consider NOT using the words "birth plan." A stigma has developed against these words and people who type up birth plans are seen as inflexible, difficult patients. Instead, decide on a personal, prioritized list of possibilities with your husband and then go through them item by item at your appointments when your doctor asks for questions. We did this prioritization as an exercise in our Bradley class.

For example our highest priority was not to be induced, then to have no epidural, then to have intermittent monitoring and a saline-lock so that I would be able to move around. Then not to have my water broken, then to be allowed to get in a shower or bath, then to be allowed food if I wanted it, etc.

When I was at my doctors appointments I just went through these items one at a time over the course of several visits. I would say things like, "As you know, I want to have a natural birth without an epidural. It is very important to me that my birth starts naturally, without being induced. How comfortable are you with letting me go to 39, 40, or 41 weeks without scheduling an induction?" Or, "As you know, I don't want to be induced. If my amniotic sac breaks, but I have not begun having contractions, how long will I be allowed to wait before I am pressured to begin induction? 12 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours?" Or, "As we've discussed, I'm going to try to have an un-medicated birth. It's very important to me that I have the option of moving around. Will I be able to have only intermittent fetal monitoring so that I am not strapped down?" Etcetera.


Remember you are in charge. Everything they want to do to speed your labor along should be discussed with you and your approval given. Despite being in an unbelievable amount of pain, I was able to discuss pros and cons of every proposed intervention that came up during my labor such as having my waters broken after 8 hours and getting an epidural after 14 hours. My husband, who is a doctor, was not! He did not speak up on my behalf and was completely silent. He could not stand to see me in so much pain so the only one continuing to advocate for no interventions was me! Not all women are capable of speaking up for their preferences during a painful labor. Discuss this with your husband. Does he think he can remain level headed during your labor? What we think happened to us is that my husband was physically and emotionally exhausted and brain-dead, after pressing on my back and watching me suffer for hours, while I was amped up on hormones. If he can't do this for you, that is one area where a doula can be very helpful. Also be sure to discuss this during an interview with your doula - how do they handle those situations where a doctor wants to say, start you on Pitocin after 5 hours of labor, and you can hardly speak?


Hope this is helpful!



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