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.
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>>>>
I actually felt like we hired our doula for my husband. She was a gift for him as much as for myself. Her presence allowed him to be enraptured with the birth of our son, not stuck in fighting mode---having to push for our wishes. She was an encouragement to him, while he felt powerless to ease my pain. Ladies, it's very hard on most guys to see us go through that! Many guys will lovingly suggest we accept the offers of things that might "help" speed up the labor, relieve pain, or "just get this over with," so that they don't have to see us "suffering."
Having our doula present let my husband just focus on helping me relax and enjoy the moment of our son's birth. He even got out the camera and took pictures. Those memories are so much more cherish-able than the ones we would have had, had he had to interface with nurses and the OB the entire time.
Really, a doula isn't there to take away the husband's job---she's there to give him the freedom to actually ENJOY the birth. Just something to think about!
Hi I am a Nurse Midwife -( originally a nurse midwife from the UK ) I chose to catch babies in the hospital system for one reason if we do not get in there and show the 98% of American woman who birth in hospital there is another way we will never make a change in the system. In the short 4 years I have been in the US I have seen a huge change in the birth community. I now see moms with birth plans, labor in water and skin to skin at birth more often – and I am not talking about my clients is a given. Our clients eat and drink in labor and often refuse an IV and the nurses are getting used to it is not longer the drama in used to be.
So my best advice to you is to let labor start on its own, stay at home as long as possible and have the people who support you understand your wishes. Wishing you a peaceful birth.
The thing about hospitals is that you really have to have a support group with you who are willing to put up a fight-if your husband is comfortable with that, then great, but if not maybe he'd be ok with a sister, friend etc? you won't be in any position to argue with the staff so you need strong people in your court. With my first I was in a hospital and was threatened every 3 hours or so with a c-section if i didn't start progressing by their clock. My husband fought for our baby tooth and nail for 42 hours because I was obviously way too busy. In the end, things went mostly my way and I did have a vaginal birth. Go in strong and make sure you realize that you are a paying customer!! Everything they tell you is a suggestion. You can walk, eat, drink and push in any position you want. What will they do, kick you out? It is your body and your baby. You can do this.
I'm so sorry you're feeling a little unsure about how things are going to go for your next birth. I am in a similar situation to you and I got a lot of good advice from my mother who is a birth coach. She had 7 children all natural so she really knows what she is talking about. She did it back in the day when doctors were much less understanding of birth plans. One piece of advice she gave me was to have my husband there, but also have a friend there who has given birth naturally before (you don't have to pay her like a doula so your husband will probably be fine with it). His job will be to support you and rub your back and do anything that you want him to do. Your experienced friends job will be to run interference for you when it comes to nurses and doctors and to do anything else that you need, like when it comes to transition, she's been there before and she can help you stay focused when you start to feel like you won't make it. At some hospitals the nurses and doctors will want to check your progress a lot and rush you along but your friend and husband will be there to let them know that you are doing just fine, you don't need to be checked and to tell them what it is the nurses can actually do for you. If you don't have a friend you think you can ask, start asking around on here or on facebook if anyone would be interested in being your make-shift birth buddy (NOT to take the role of your husband but to help with things he can't or won't be able to do). Then meet up for lunch two to four times a month and get close and comfortable with each other so she knows exactly what it is you need. My mom did this with my aunt. My aunt was there for my moms births and my mom was there for all of hers (the both had 7 kids naturally).
The other thing I would recommend to you is to read Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method. It is such a great read and VERY similar to the Bradley Method (my friend used the Bradley Method and then read my Hypnobirthing book and was so glad she did because she said it gives so many more relaxation techniques than the Bradley M. does). As you read the book you will feel so much more confident in yourself and in your ability to give birth and it spells out relaxation techniques AND it comes with a CD of relaxation practices so that you can start practicing now by yourself or with your husband and you don't really NEED to take the classes (although you can).
I recommend Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method to ANYONE who is going to have a baby, even if they want to have the epidural because it just helps to calm your nerves. It makes pregnancy and preparing for birth so much more peaceful and calm and if you can go into your birth feeling like that you are likely to have a much easier time and less complications. I wish I was there to be your birth buddy! Good luck!
Let me start by saying this...YOU CAN DO IT especially if you have a team that supports you. Ask yourself this, how was your husband for your first child? Being induced is a hard labor, Did he encourage you to get pain medicine or did he try and talk you out of it or did he not say anything because he didn't know any better. Doula's do and they can be your voice and your support when you are concentrating on the important things, like giving birth! Your husband is there to support you, and the Doula would be there to support you both.
Is your husband truly on board with you doing this natural or is he just agreeing with you to make you happy? I know my husband does that a lot.
As far as your doctor not wanting to look at your birth plan, that makes me nervous too....then again, I don't trust my doctors to know entirely whats going on either. You might want to ask her why she doesn't want to look at your birth plan? It will be hard, but worth the pain. If you have a team in place that supports you in your desire to have a natural un-medicated birth, then they won't be so quick to offer it to you. You will want it, you will think you can't go on, but like you said in one of your replies, when you get to that point, your almost there.
First let me say that you have clearly worked very hard to learn all you can about natural childbirth. That is fantastic. I am convinced you have all the knowledge you need. And you've received excellent advice so far.
One little tip or trick I want to give you is this: make a sign that says "Natural Birth in Progress. Please do not offer Pain Medication." and tape it to your hospital room entrance. You can make this sign TODAY, either on the computer or just hand-drawn, and put it in your hospital bag along with some masking tape. I have done this when I attended births and I really believe it helped get the nursing staff on board, especially when there were shift changes.
Best wishes for a healthy and satisfying birth!