Hi girls. This is going to seem like an odd question from someone having baby no 3 but I'd just love to hear from people who've experience delivery without epidural. I had the epidural both times with my other children. First time around I was induced and opted for the epidural very early. Second time round I was managing great with gas and air but due to a lack of progress I took the epidural...after 12 hours of pain, I was just too knackered to keep going. This time around I'm really hoping to do without the epidural but what I'm worried about is that I've never felt the actual delivery of my baby. I know exactly what the contractions are like but both times I was numb to baby coming out through the birth canal if you know what I mean. I'm using the gentle birth programme and I'm hopeful this will help get me through the contractions but my one fear is that if I don't get the epidural I won't cope when baby is being born. Can anyone tell me is the delivery worse than the pain of contractions? Am I just fearing the unknown.
I had my baby without pain relief and I'm hoping to do it again. I laboured away at home by myself and arrived to the hospital at 9.5cm so I was too late for epi even if I wanted it!!! To be fair the contractions are pretty manageable (well they were with me, I had alot of pilates and used the ball at home) so the main pain I remember is DS crowning, it was a burning sensation. I remember being really tired even though I was only pushing 20 mins and the main feeling I had was I thought I was going to poop but it was baby I was feeling!!!! All in all I had a great experience and my only worry now is I'm expecting this little one to have the same experience but I'd never be that lucky twice would I?!!?!? I would say go into it with an open mind and if you feel you can manage without brilliant and if not there's nothing wrong with pain relief. I did find (and I haven't had the experience before DS) that I was able to control my breathing and pushing alot more as I was feeling the baby deliver so I only had a very small tear and no other complications. Good luck.
I was induced and had epi on first and found the whole experience absolutely awful. On 2nd I had no epi and definitely a better experience even though at one stage I was roaring for pain relief.
Like babydust said the worst pain was when baby was crowning. My God the burning was unreal but it didnt last long. I knew exactly when to push and I felt in control unlike the first time.
First two I just had gas and air. I had diamorphine with DD. DS1 was a very fast labour but the contractions were so intense. Was a relief to start pushing. DS2 and DD were both long labours (20 hours +) and mostly manageable until near the end. I found the last hour of contractions tough in both and worse than pushing. Crowning is painful but you know you are so close that it keeps you going.
I found that when the pain started to become nearly unbearable it was time to push and that distracts you from the pain. That's what I will focus on this time.
Gentle birthing is good for coping with the pain.. I did this on my first two but not on my third and probably why I ended up with the diamorphine.
Thanks girls. With my second i was at home for a long time. I was 4 centimeters on admission and 6 centimeters an hour later. Everyone thought things were going nice and quickly. But after then my waters went and there was meconium in them so I had to get into bed for continuous trace. 4 hours later on gas and air i was still only 6 centimeters. It was then I baled and asked for the epidural because I felt I couldn't keep going indefinitely with no progress. I was always sorry after because I ended up with coached pushing that didn't feel right. Without pressure its hard to know how push They only allowed me 20 minutes of pushing before rushing me to theatre for a c section. Thankfully baby arrived with forceps while they were trying to top up the epidural. Proof to me that the body will deliver on its own because I couldn't actually feel anything. I just started pushing unknowns to myself. I'd really love to avoid so much intervention by skipping the epidural this time.
I had my DS2 4 weeks ago without epi, I had my 1st son over 2 years ago with epi so know the difference. I found contractions with no.2 so much more intense and they nearly floored me. I got to 6cm when my waters broke but once my waters broke I went straight to 10cm and the intensity went.
I found the pushing part no where near as painful as the contractions beforehand. It was more physical than actual pain. I really don't remember much pain or the crowning part or anything and I tore but don't remember that being painful either.
I never got an unbelieveable urge to push either just like a poo really. The contractions to push we're fine too.
Had my 2nd with g and a. Intense, yes and painful but thr feeling of being in control was amazing and the recovery was fantastic. Most of the pushing was involuntary ... My body knew what to do. I'd do it again if I could! And I did gentle birth, didn't take away the pain at the end but certainly calmed me and kept me at home for longer.
For me, delivery pain wAs easier than contraction pain. The contractions had taken over my whole body but the pushing was very localised pain. And as mentioned, you know it means the end is near. My baby was very big and I tore again but hopefully on a third you'll have a shorter labour and no tearing.
I will be looking for epi this time, but I now know I can cope without it and if I can, anyone can!
Sparkly Pooh Bear
Some great replies there just wanted to add I found my tens machine brilliant, my last 2 labours were au natural and my tens was a godsend. I also used gentlebirth which was great but the tens gave me something to focus on and I felt I had some control having my boost button to push when having contractions.
I laboured at home (ds is a week old) for 9 hours in comfort, the last hour and journey to hospital was very uncomfortable but well worth it. I had the epi on my first and absolutely hated it and the recovery time afterwards.
I'm expecting my second at the moment and I'm going to play it by ear but hoping I wont need epidural. I had it with my 1st as I found the contractions so unbearable that I even vomited with them and the gas and air wasn't doing anything, I even sent himself out to tell the midwife that the gas and air was broken. He felt a right fool when they told him "its always flowing she's obviously just not getting any benefit from it" I had to have my epi topped up as my labour went on for a long time, but by the time I was 10cm and felt the need to push my top up had wore off and I actually think it was the best thing ever, as I could sense when I had to push I could feel the crowning and it was horrendous. I will never forget turning to my OH crying saying "its stinging, its burning I cant do it". My midwife told me when to push and when to pant but I could sense it myself anyways. My first was 9lb 12 oz and almost 2ft long, i'm hoping this one will be smaller. I only had to have a few stitches aswel.