Monday, April 25, 2011

Pregnancy Pictures And Natural Labor

22 Weeks Pregnant (Baby #3)

With my 2 other children, I've been induced (one a week late, one a week early).  I'm really not sure why I was induced a week early with my 2nd child... I disliked the whole procedure.  Water was broken, contractions started, contractions stopped.  Pitocin was given... then given some more, and more and more... and then epidural was given.  By the time I hit my transition mark (which was from 4 to 5 cm) the baby was in distress.  Oxygen was administered to me, and by this time epidural had completely wore off!  I felt everything (with a whole bunch of pitocin in my system).  Baby was out 15 minutes later.

With all that being said, I'd LOVE to go into labor on my own and I'm praying fervently for that!  Would you join me?  I also have been researching NATURAL LABOR and I desire to go that route.  I do not look down upon women that choose epidurals... I've had 2.  BUT, I am looking into my rights and so many things I was never "taught" by the medical profession.

Pros Of Natural Labor

Natural labor is not simply something for mothers to endure; the process provides key mental and physical benefits for mother and baby. When not interfered with, natural labor helps to protect the fetal brain, prepare his lungs, and build his immune system. When uninterrupted, hormonal interplays provide imprinting and attachment between mother and baby, protect mother’s mood, and initiate instinctual parenting behaviors.

  • Most natural childbirth techniques are not invasive, so there is little potential for harm/side affects for the baby.
  • There is no loss of sensation or alertness.
  • You are not tied down to the bed but free to move around.
  • More likely to have the natural bonding process between mom and baby.
  • Less likely to have negative effects of medication after delivery.
  • More likely to get up, walk around, and feel more yourself after labor.

How To Prepare For Natural Labor
  • Develop a birth plan.
  • Communicate your wishes to your doctor or midwife.
  • Consider hiring a Doula if your doctor won't be present. throughout the duration of your delivery.
  • Consider childbirth education.
  • Be prepared but have realistic expectations.
  • Research different coping mechanisms during labor (rubbing your back, birthing ball, cold therapy, laboring in a tub with jets, etc).

How about you?  What have your experiences been like? 

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  1. Traci,
    I was also induced and had epidurals with my first two babies. With my 3rd I had a midwife who broke my water when I was two weeks overdue and I delivered naturally. It was my best birth experience. With my fourth baby, I sort of started labor on my own which I have never had with my other 3 deliveries and so the doctor broke my water and I delivered naturally as well. It was great to have both experiences and I really enjoyed my last two deliveries compared to my first two. I prayed for the fourth delivery that I would go into labor on my own and I did! It was so exciting, I will be praying that it will happen for you as well!

  2. I've had 2 natural childbirths and loved the experiences! I posted the stories on my blog ( if you'd like to read them. If you are delivering in a hospital, I would definitely have a doula to help you throughout labor, since most doctors only come in time to catch the baby. We didn't take a childbirth course, but my sister had her workbook from the Bradley method classes she took, so my hubs and I went through it together.

  3. I would love to do natural childbirth, too! I had an epidural with Brad and thankfully an easy labor (I was induced also) but for a few hours after he was delivered I couldn't use my legs from the epidural and also the next few days my right foot and then big toe were still numb!

  4. I did have an epidural with my first pregnancy, and it really was a wonderful experience! I am now 32 weeks along with my 2nd baby and I'm sort of planning on going into labor without any expectations. I would love to be able to experience natural childbirth, but I'm not against getting another epidural if that seems to be the way to go when the time comes. I wish you the best of luck! :)

  5. Well, I was completely un-medicated with my first. With my second, due to certain circumstances (that I know now could've been handled differently), my labor was augmented with pitocin (not fun!) but I still did not choose an epidural. (I probably would have if it had lasted any longer though! That was rough!) All I can say is read, read, read! One great book that helped me a lot is Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon. And I've only heard great things about having a doula. (Oh, and I have a few posts about pregnancy that you might find encouraging on my blog if you want to stop by and read them sometime.) :)

  6. oh how I love a sweet pregnant belly!!!! :) Great pics :)
    As for natural labor, I will say that's all I know because I gave birth in a military hospital at night when the only anesthesiologist would only come in for emergencies (it was also Friday night), so natural birth it was. I was given stadol to take the "edge" off ... but the RECOVERY was SO easy (I even had a stitch or two). Of course, everyone is different. I will pray God allows you to have the birth experience you want & He knows is best (granted HE is the author of NATURAL child birth!). I will add I had 2 additional c-sections because of breech babies - and I still say NATURAL was the best/easiest!

  7. I've had 3 babies. My first one, the water broke itself around 3pm. Got to the hospital around 5:30pm. They put me on pitocin and I did have some stadol for pain dulling. He arrived at 9:30pm. 7lbs 8oz.

    My 2nd boy . . . I had gone into labor with him at 34 weeks (Sept 20th). I think we were way off on the week count. They made my labor stop with Brethine (sp?). That stuff was the worst! I was due with him at the end of Oct (the 26th I think), but he finally came on the 14th of Oct. all by himself. I had no intervention because he came so fast. We arrived at the hospital at 9:30am and he was born at 10:40am. 9lbs 1oz. Huge baby - I'm only 5'1" :)

    My daughter was born 9 days early. Went all natural with her, too. I did get to sit in a whirlpool bath, sat on the birth ball - I LOVED that thing and walked around a little. I went to the hospital around 7:30am and she was born around 9:30am.

    I would stay as relaxed as possible and breath through the contractions. I think being as relaxed as you can is a huge help, but that's just been from my own experience. I never had an epidural and only had stadol with my first one. To me, the most unbearable pain is right before pushing and during pushing!

    Sorry for such a huge comment! :)

  8. Oh, I'm happy for you and I do hope you go into labor naturally. I can't wait to see the first pics of your new little baby.

  9. Congrats! I am very pro-epidural (my dad's an anesthesiologist, I come by it honestly!) but supportive of others who want to try it without medication.

    The only warning I will give you is that often women who desire unmedicated births are encouraged to stay home as long as possible. The idea sounds nice, and there's no one offering you meds. However, a girlfriend of mine did this and when she got to the hospital it was discovered her baby's cord was around his neck. She was rushed to C-section and her child was okay, but it could've been bad.

    I say go for it, but still go to the hospital so they can monitor your little bambino :-)

  10. You look beautiful Traci!

    I was very blessed in that I had four completely natural labor and deliveries. I do not look down on those that do not choose this way, but I do think it is the best way for mom and baby. God created us to do this so we CAN do this. Of course, I know there are medical emergencies that require help. I am praying for you that God guides you in what to do. Blessings!

  11. My husband and I took Bradley Natural Childbirth classes with our first. I had planned for an all natural birth with a group of midwives and ended up with a C-section. After 32+ hours of labor they found out she was breech. I was so upset but it went well and I was so calm I knew it was God showing me He was with me and the one in control, not me.
    With my second I switched to a family doctor who supported my desire for a VBAC. I did not have any meds or interventions. Arrived at the hospital at about 5 in the morning and he was born at 2:05 in the afternoon. It was the most amazing experience. I was up and walking around immediately after. The difference in recoveries was significant.
    Now that I have written a book...sorry but I just love birth stories. Can't wait to hear yours :)

  12. My mother in law directed me to your blog after seeing this post today! :) We have quite a few things in common just from this post alone.
    I am also about to have baby #3. I had two pitocin induced, epidural childbirths and desire a natural birth this time around.
    I am 37, almost 38 weeks tomorrow. We took Bradley classes and feel really prepared. Our Bradley instructor will be with us hopefully as well but I think my husband is ready for the task! :)
    Can't wait to hear how yours goes. I'm going to add you to my to read list! :)

  13. Traci You look so cute!!

  14. My goodness! You are coming right along, aren't you! Beautiful! I wish you a safe and painless delivery, and I'm sure you'll do great! You and the little one are in my prayers!

  15. I might start by saying, i don't in anyway begrudge those who have epidurals, because each to their own! I couldn't stand being numb, and kinda get high off the pain lol

    Having said that, with my fourth a month away, I am in a midwife program which aims for drug free (I've had pethidine with the first 3) and i am so psyched about trying without it!

    If you want an epidural free birth, than i will pray it goes that way for you!
    While i am adamant that child birth is primarily about having a baby :) i know it means alot to a woman to be satisfied with how it turns out!

    AND as a nursing student headed for midwifery, I love hearing all these stories, and how other mums feel about different aspects! I really hope to be able to give other women a positive satisfying birth experience, however it goes!

  16. I have had two completely natural births and an induction with no epidural. My midwife has delivered all 3 babies. I can definitely say that the induction was the hardest of the 3! The pain was MUCH worse and our little B came out not breathing. She was resuscitated quickly, but the whole experience just seemed so unnecessary. Anyway...I definitely recommend having a birth plan, but on the advice of my midwife, I have always tried to be flexible and willing to have an epidural. Her experience was that with her fourth, she refused to have one. After laboring for 24 hours, she finally accepted one and the baby came almost immediately--being relaxed is the key, and if your body needs an epidural to relax, by all means have one! I hope your birth goes wonderfully!

  17. Praying you have a wonderful rest of your pregnancy, good labor, and delivery!

    You look great!! :)

  18. Anonymous6:31 AM

    Hi Traci,
    You look beautiful!!
    I had four "natural" births. The doctor did break my water to get things going, and then I usually had my babies within 3 hours from then.
    I think mindset is a huge part of it. I went in knowing I really wanted to do it without drugs, but was open to it if absolutely necessary.
    I was excited to meet my babies and knew with every contraction I was getting closer. My husband and I prayed throughout and it was nothing I could not handle although intense at times. I did feel amazing after each of my deliveries and always said...that wasn't so bad....I could do this again!! I was so happy that I was able to do it on my own, because the thought of an epidural scared me more than the pain.
    I'll pray for you...

  19. Traci - You look just radiantly beautiful. I will pray with you that you go into natural labor this's always the best way. =) Blessings to you Sweet Dear. XO

  20. Traci.. you are glowing with the beauty of your pregnancy! I cant offer advice on your labour as I had four c-sections myself, but I pray that you are led by the Spirit to make the right choices for you and that God blesses the remainder of your pregnancy and the birth of your sweet baby.

    Love & Blessings

  21. you are beautiful!! =)

    i had my daughter 11 years ago ... i was young and asked no questions, but trusted my doctor entirely. after 12 hours of labor (including epidural, pitocin, and lots of narcotics) i was told i needed a csection. i had only dilated to 4cm and "wasn't progressing." i was devastated but went with their suggestion.

    fast forward 11 years ... i just had my second baby, a gift!, this month! this time around, i did so much research, soul-searching, seeking and discussing w/my hubby and trusted friends. however, in our small town, our hospital and my ob/gyn do not allow vbac's - so i had no choice, another csection.

    i find the csection rate pretty alarming (and it's growing!). i regret not being able to experience natural labor, and encourage women to be informed and be their own advocate (particularly when having their first csection, which often lays the groundwork for subsequent csections).


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