19 Weeks & Medicated or Not?

Nineteen weeks and we are almost half-way there!  I look forward to writing these posts more than any of my other ones… I could talk pregnancy all day with you if you don’t mind.  I just find it all so interesting and of course it consumes my brain.  The thing I love most about this part of the blog is hearing your experiences and having your amazing advice.  I appreciate it so incredibly much.

*I’m at the point where I spill at least once a day on my chest or stomach while I eat.  Just expect my clothes to always look like this.

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*When my sister was doing my makeup she noticed all of those little white hairs that we have on our faces (or that I do?!?) have gotten a lot longer… she said the same thing happens to her when she is pregnant.  She took care of them for me (THANKS SIS… you saved me again)!

*Fruit.  Bowls like this are complete magic to me.  If I see something like this then I don’t leave it’s side until I have had as much fruit as possible.

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*I miss loving dessert:)  It used to be such a big part of my life but this is probably really good for me and the baby ha!

*Sweet potato fries have sounded really good this week.  I don’t know if I would call them a craving or not but I’ve wanted them often.  We just make them at home.  Also, I thought this was appropriate since the baby was the size of a sweet potato last week:)

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*I felt morning sickness on Sunday again.  It only lasted for the day (hallelujah) but it was a nice reminder of how hard those first few months were (if you are there right now, I hope you start feeling better asap)!

*I’m tired again this week which is a strange thing because I feel so tired but from 2-4 a.m. I am wide awake.

*I still love hot dogs, cottage cheese, grapes, peaches, enchiladas (extra sour cream please) and eating 12 meals a day.

*The internet (most reliable source ever) told us that you could hear the baby’s heartbeat with a stethoscope at this point…  we haven’t been able to hear it yet but as soon as we do I’ll probably carry around Andrew’s stethoscope with me everywhere I go.

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*42 miles of running last week and not enough strength training.  My sister is big on doing strength training (the safe exercises) while pregnant because it helps her so much with delivery and recovery… I need her to call me each day and remind me of that.  Running is feeling great still (tiring, but great for being 19 weeks pregnant) and I thought for sure I would need a belly band by now but I haven’t yet.  I’m sure that time will come soon!

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Let’s talk about the actual birth today.  We are still 21 weeks away from that time but I’m clearly really looking forward to meeting her and so her birth is always on my mind! With Brooke I had NO idea what I was doing.  I didn’t really prepare that much for her birth because I kind of wanted to go into it naive and have my own experience with everything.  I loved doing it that way (for me) for my first baby but it is also so nice to know a bit more about what to expect this time around.

Brooke came to me almost two weeks early!  If you were a reader back then you probably remember that it was quite an interesting time!  I got off the plane (my doctor said I was more than okay to take the flight to California because he thought I would go over my due date) and the contractions followed very shortly after.  I think all of the stress of life is what put me into labor.  I was staying with people that I had never met before until my apartment was ready (they were the best), I had never met my doctor and all of my stuff was packed in the pod.  I think Brooke knew I was missing my family like crazy because of moving and she came to me early to be with me:)

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I went to a local hospital the morning of 8/15 after being awake all night with contractions.  I requested an epidural first thing because I was tired!  They told me that they didn’t do those until I was at a 7 cm dilated.  I moved really slow and finally I reached 7 cm and I was more than ready for a break!  Once I had the epidural I fell asleep (which they woke me up because they didn’t want me to move even slower).  I would look at the computer screen and be amazed at the huge contractions that were happening and I didn’t feel a thing with the epidural.  I also was very nervous about the needle that came with the epidural but it wasn’t bad at all.  Once they told me to push I definitely felt a lot of pressure but no pain.  It was harder to push just because I couldn’t really feel anything and didn’t know what I was supposed to be doing but overall I had a great experience PERSONALLY with an epidural.  I also felt like I recovered pretty well afterwards and was probably too active too quickly after having Brooke. One thing I’ll be changing this time with our little girl will be I am going to be staying at the hospital for 2 nights, not just 1 like I did with Brooke.  I’m going to truly take time afterwards so much easier (I’m also not going to be moving into a new apartment and obsessed with getting back in shape like I was before… that deserves a whole other blog post).  So the plan for December is that I will be getting another epidural!  I would LOVE to hear your experiences and what has worked for YOU!! I find this all so interesting.

PS this is one of my favorite pictures ever with Brooke, she was just 16 hours old:)

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Moms reading… what were YOUR experiences with the birth(s) of your little ones?   Did you do it natural or did you have an epidural!  I really want to know how everything worked for you!!  Share your stories!

Moms that ran during pregnancy… when did you start wearing a belly band, if you did wear one?

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116 comments

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I had an epidural with all three births. Each time I pushed two times and my babies were born. I got my epidural at 6cm with each of them. I did freak a little about getting them. It is a weird feeling and they made my husband step into the hall way. I had easy deliveries ans I loved my experience with epidurals. I know everyone is different and kuddos to all the mama’s that gave birth without one! I remember you running the day before Brooke arrived. I am excited that you are having a December baby. All the extra love of family around!

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My doctor said wear one a belly band when it gets uncomfortable. It never did and I never wore one. Ran till 2 days before birth.

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With my first she came so fast there was no time for anything, so I felt everything but it really did go quickly. Contractions started at 7:30Pm and I had her by 1 Am. My second I was scheduled for induction on 6/3 but ended up going in 6/2 around 10PM. I was having bad back labor with her (and probably had been for 2 days) so I got an epidural so I could rest a little. They finally broke my water around 1 AM and she was here by 2Am. Funny thing is they kept saying my 2nd was at least 8lbs but she was only 6lbs 10ozs.

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I had 3 wonderful epidural experiences!!! I know a lot of people have had awful side effects and headaches etc but I had it all 3 times and it was great! For my first 2 babies I wanted to go all natural to prove something to myself and was so hard on myself after for giving up (I felt like) and getting medication but by my last baby I got the epidural as soon as I started feeling pain and really enjoyed and soaked in her whole (crazy fast!) birth because she’s our last.
Do what’s best for you and the baby and enjoy the process as much as you can! :)

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You look so cute!!!

For childbirth, I went with the less popular option.. I had a scheduled c-section. I had really awful back problems throughout the pregnancy (I was in a head on collision a few years ago and it still causes problems). Pregnancy was really hard on it, especially at the end. My doctor gave me the option because of it, and because of concerns that labour would make it even worse, so I decided to do the scheduled section. People (and the internet!) sacred the crap out of me about having the section, but for me, it was the right choice. Everything went well, and I was up walking around again a few hours later! I think what’s right for everyone is different.

I did run though most of my pregnancy, and I think it helped a lot! It was good for my back to keep active, and it was nice time to think about everything.

I’m so excited for you guys, and really enjoying reading about the pregnancy!

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Epidurals all the way!! My dad is an anesthesiologist and would take us to the hospital on “Take your Daughter to Work Day” (do they do that anymore?) and I was able to see quite a few. I was amazed at how quickly those women would be in so much pain and then be laughing and thanking Dad when the anesthesia kicked in, haha! Pain of any kind drains energy and I loved that I had energy after each of my deliveries to enjoy my time with my little one. Women who do it without epidurals are seriously warriors, but it is just not for me! To each their own as long as it is safe, I say!

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So I just had my second 6 weeks ago, my first is five years old. This time I did Body Pump till a couple days before I delivered and I swear it helped my labor go so much faster! Also, read about eating dates the last few weeks of your pregnancy. I was pretty religious about that and it is supposed to help soften your cervix so I like to think that helped too. I did the epidural with both. I can’t believe they made you wait til you were at a 7 before letting you have one! When they asked me what my birth plan was I told them to get an epidural ASAP and within 30 minutes the anesthesiologist was in my room. I think both times it actually helped speed up my labor because I was able to relax. The first time I didn’t feel a thing with the epidural , the second time I could feel pressure which I think helped me to push better. I always worried about getting a spinal headache from the epidural but was willing to take the risk.

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When I got to the hospital I was 6 cm dilated with my daughter. I got an epidural right away which helped with the first part of labor but for some reason seemed to stop working after that. I pushed for 4 (!!!!) hours before Ava was born and I feel like I felt everything. It was really rough and I tore in 5 spots. Definitely not the best experience but I got an amazing baby at the end! I would certainly get an epidural again and hope that it works better. And that I won’t have to push so long- that was rough! My doctor promised me that a second baby would come much faster and easier. I’m still trying to mentally be ok with getting pregnant and doing it again. Ava is only 7 months old though, so I have time ?

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I had an epidural and I would again. I still felt the contractions and the need to push, just not so much pain. I know not everyone is so lucky. My daughter was face up, but no one knew until she was almost all the way out. This explained why things moved along well in the beginning, then slowed waaay down. I love birth stories!

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I had a all natural childbirth with my son! I tore a little, but aside from that, everything went really smooth. Although it was painful, I think I played it up to be this totally excruciating experience and was surprised by how ‘manageable’ the pain was. When it did get really uncomfortable, I pictured myself running or I put on my race day face and pushed (haha, no pun intended!) through! I was open to getting an epidural if I felt like I needed one (i.e. if I was exhausted, etc.) but didn’t feel like I needed it! Ultimately, whatever is healthiest for mom and baby is what I go for! ;) I am SO excited for this birth experience for you Janae! You’ll do amazing!

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Baby #1-I was more afraid of an epidural then childbirth so went natural. (8 hours in labor)Baby #2-I was still afraid of the epidural but was more let’s see how it goes. After 2 hours in the hospital I said I wanted one and was told it was too late… so natural, again. (4 hours of labor) Baby #3-my water broke at home so we went to the hospital and was admitted and I wasn’t having contractions so they induced me…. after about an hour I said I’m not doing this again (knowing what was ahead) and asked for the epidural. So I had about 3 hours of tv watching and relaxing before I had to push. I still was super sore afterwards but I felt like it wasn’t as stressful and didn’t want to die. ? (Baby born 7 hours after arriving to hospital).

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I wanted to wait and see how things felt but I did get an epidural with my first because I had broken my tailbone a few weeks prior! Unfortunately, the epidural had to be turned off because I couldn’t feel my legs (or anything) to push. Once I was in enough pain to have them turn it on again, I over rode it and never felt it again. I got another epidural with my second and things were much smoother.
I ran until about 30 weeks with my first and I didn’t even know belly bands were a thing!
Love reading about your pregnancy and your growing family!

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I think what you mean to say instead of “natural” is medicated or unmedicated. It is natural to give birth if you have an epidural or you do not. Just because a woman might choose to use an epidural doesn’t mean her child’s birth is any less natural than if she choose not to get one.

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Great point! Thanks Roberta! Changed the title!

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I respectfully disagree. Epidurals purposefully block the natural physical process a woman goes through in labor. Women using epidurals need medical leading for pushing and other labor processes because the epidural has blocked their body’s signaling. Without an epidural or pain blocking, women naturally move through the phases of labor as their body dictates, not the medication. Hence the terminology, natural. Now let me say I’m not saying women shouldn’t have them, everyone should do what works for them! Always! All women are warriors. But do your homework- I did and was shocked. Did you know that the US is one of the only countries in the modernized world giving epidurals upon request? And that the US lags behind many of Its international counterparts in this field of medicine? Do lots of research to make the best decision for you! I did after my friend had a bad experience. What I learned scared me out of an epidural. I had two natural childbirths and I’m not especially tough. In fact the first night in the hospital I stubbed my toe and cried. My husband couldn’t help but laugh at me!! After all that labor with minimal tears (mostly happy ones!). Anyway, I suppose it’s all in how you define natural, but I thought I’d offer a different viewpoint. I don’t think it’s meant offensively to those electing epidurals but understand that it’s a sensitive topic. Also remember, the worst part of pain is the surprise of it– which isn’t present in labor as you know what you’re in for more or less!! Moms are all champions!

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I’ll spare you the details of my labor experience, I’ll say, I started with the epidural and I have no regrets.

Rock tape that tummy!!

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I have a very low pain threshold so I was all about the epidural. I never had Braxton-Hicks with her so the only contractions I knew of were the real ones (that started 30 minutes after my water broke at 39w5d)
I got to the hospital around 5 am and got my epidural right away – I was probably only 4 cm. I started pushing at 6 pm (so yes, things were moving very slowly). Pushed for 2 1/2 hours but ultimately had a c-section because her head was just too big.

And then had a repeat c-s with my son.

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I went into prodromal labor (real contractions, no dilating) at 35 weeks and stayed like that until 40 weeks. Three separate times we (me, my husband and our doula) were convinced “it was time” only to go to the hospital and find that I wasn’t dilated at all. The doctors refused to induce, even as I got closer to 40 weeks. By the time I actually started to dilate I was so exhausted from 5 weeks of full-on contractions that our doula said I should get the epidural, otherwise I might not have the energy to push when the time came. I’m glad I did (also because I ended up with a ligament tear in my pelvis) and had a great experience with it

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What a story with Brooke’s birth! I was induced with both (one because he was late, one because my first had issues that they wanted to avoid with my second) and I had an epidural both times. I’ve had a few years to forget the pain before epidural but I think if I have another I would try natural. Kind of for the reasons you explained above of not really knowing when to push and feeling completely out of tune with my body during labor. But there is no judgment coming from me! I do remember feeling desperate for them both times!

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I had epidurals with both of my boys (though I got them really late, 8 and 9 cm), and I had really amazing birth experiences!! I was so relaxed and able to really focus on everything that was happening, and (dare say) that I even enjoyed the delivery because it was so calm. I have amazing memories of that day and I know I wouldn’t have those if I had been thrashing around screaming. Everyone is different but they were great for me!

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I went all natural with both of my kiddos, and I wouldn’t do it any other way. My recovery was so easy and I was even able to walk from the delivery room to my recovery room pushing the bassinet, plus I was able to eat during labor and didn’t even need an IV. The contractions were intense but manageable, and I walked around a lot to push labor along, plus I spent a LOT of time in the birthing tub (but wasn’t allowed to actually deliver in there). My husband also made me a labor playlist and as silly as it sounds that helped me focus and breathe through the pain a lot.

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I hadn’t intended on having an epidural but after 50+ hours of labour and no sleep I was exhausted! The epidural made me relax enough to dilate to 10cm, break my water, and escalate things into an emergency situation where my son’s heart rate was taking a dive with each contraction and push. I ended up with a c section after it all. I will definitely consider getting an epidural earlier for the next one!

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Both of my births were very similar. Both were boys that weighed almost 9 lbs each. Both started about 2:30am with contractions on a Wednesday morning. One in September and 1 in August and they were both born on the 5th. My hospital was about 30 minutes away and I planned on not having an epidural because I hate needles that much. We used the Bradley Method, which is just a concentration and breathing method. The Bradley class we took prior to having my first was so helpful and she encouraged us to stay at home for as long as possible. So my hubby takes all the credit and says he did an awesome job. He took a shower, ironed his clothes and made his coffee all while I was dying! With my first we got there and I was at an 8 and started pushing within an hour of arriving. Now it took me 3 hours to push him out but that’s a different story (praise the Lord for the British nurse who came in and told me what to do to get that baby out). With my second we got there and the nurse screamed down the hall after checking me “she”s at a 9!” He was born within 30 minutes of arriving. Both happy and healthy and I could have went home and hour after. Besides the tearing down there which requires several stitches both times everything was fine. The pain hurt but nothing that was unbearable. I wasn’t a runner when I had my kids but I did walk About 2 miles both evenings before I went into labor.

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I did have an epidural with my first (also because I wanted sleep!).

I hoped for natural with my second, just because I strangely really wanted to experience natural childbirth. I hoped and prayed for a fast delivery, because I was pretty sure I couldn’t do a long labor sans epidural. Thankfully, I got exactly what I hoped for! My water broke at 5:45am, I arrived at the hospital at 7:45am, and I delivered at 8:29am. It was really painful, but there was no time for an epidural. I am so glad I got that experience. I also never want to experience it again! If there is a third baby, sign me up for an epidural immediately ;)

I will say I felt like I pushed faster without an epidural, since I could feel it, and I recovered more easily. That could just be the whole second baby thing though =)

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I had an epidural with both of mine and would do it the same way if I ever had any more. It worked for me and allowed me to rest and be strong when the time came to work. Do what is best for you! I love following along with your expanding family journey!

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My first epidural was great!

My second one things were moving fast but they didn’t believe me. I kept asking for the epidural (I was at 5 cm at admitting) and it was about 2 hours after admitting they gave me the epidural. I kept saying it wAsnt working all that well and they checked me and I was at 10!! So glad I kept being pushy to get it ;)

You’re such a trooper to stay with people you don’t know after giving birth. I’m sure emotionally this birth is going to be so much better for you! And you’ll be so happy to take your girl home to Brooke and Knox.

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That fruit bowl looks amazing. This whole 3rd trimester I’ve craved fruit… so good!

I’m about 3 weeks from my due date with our first so I don’t have hands-on experience, but we’re planning to have an unmedicated birth if we can!

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Homemade fries are the BEST! I love reading these posts so I’m glad you enjoy writing them for us.

https://maureengetsreal.wordpress.com/

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I am a huge advocate of the epidural, the end result is the same no matter how you get that sweetie here and I would rather relax and enjoy labor than lay there in excruciating pain! I had mine after being induced and it helped calm me down and allowed me to talk and laugh with family which was amazing. I ended up having a C-Section because after 26 hours I never even got to a 1!!!!!!! So for me if I didn’t have the epidural I would’ve been put out for the section instead of being awake and hearing my baby’s cry right away. I was able to have her on my chest while they were still stitching me up… to think about going unmedicated and that I wouldn’t have been able to be there when they pulled her out just makes my heart hurt! You never know how things will play out and I would always choose to be aware when that magical moment comes!!!

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I had an epidural with my first and asked for one with my second, but I never got numb the second time — it turned out the tube to the epidural site fell out and was dripping on the floor! Things progressed so quickly anyway (my second was born about an hour and a half after I arrived at the hospital, and it must have taken 45-60 minutes to get admitted to a labor and delivery room) that we didn’t notice the epidural tube fell out and in the end I was glad I went without the epidural. It’s what led me to know that I could handle a natural birth, and my third child was born at home in a water birth — the best of all three birth experiences!

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i had hoped for a completely unmediated birth but ended up having to be put on potocin because I had premature rupture of membranes. Despite the pitocin I still managed to avoid the epidural. It was hard but I had an amazing support team with my husband, sister-in-law, mom, and nurse. I didn’t take any classes to prepare, I just did what felt right for me and that turned out to be deep guttural moaning sounds, haha. I did swear one time when I was in transition and yelled out in pain but looking back I am embarrassed I even did that because it wasn’t necessary. I started apologizing to everyone in the room as soon as I was “with it” again. I only pushed for about 10 minutes. The pushing honestly wasn’t the hard part, because I didn’t have an epidural my body just did the work for me.

Everyone’s birth experience should be as close to what they want as possible. I think it’s so great that you are already preparing for it and hopefully surrounding yourself with a supportive birthing team. I wish you all the best and am a little jealous. Giving birth is the most empowering and transformative experience ever, I wish I could do it more often! Haha.

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We used a midwife run birth center for both my girls. I have nothing against epidurals but I felt like this is the way I wanted to go. So my first was 5 days early and I wasn’t sure I was in labor until the contractions were quite close. She was born in the parking lot of our birth center while I was standing up waiting for my husband to get a nurse. I did not push, gravity did it!! My Target shorts caught her head and my midwife caught the rest. We were home in our own bed 6 hours later. So my 2nd was a week late. I had cramps around 3:45, decided to brine my turkey as I was hosting Thanksgiving the next day, then we headed to the center and arrived at 6, she was born at 6:45. We were home at lunch time and yes I did host Thanksgiving!

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I had an epidural with my first and NOTHING with my second! My first was 3 weeks early so when my water broke I thought I had peed my pants! I was so thankful to have JUST gotten home from work but too embarrassed to tell my husband! When the “pee” didn’t stop dripping/leaking/gushing after about an hour I decided maybe it was time to call the Dr. office. My husband was at work (works nights) so I called him and casually told him my water broke but no rush since I wasn’t contracting. Well, he arrived about 10 minutes later (he works 30 minutes from home!) and was more anxious than I was. We got to the hospital @ 10 that night and tried everything to naturally contract. Nothing was happening so I got Pitocin @ 6:45 the next morning and a few hours later the contractions came on STRONG (and so did the sickness…. I’ll spare you the details) so @ 8cm I requested the epidural. Baby boy came 3 weeks early, with meconium in the waters and I was so thankful he was early! Until he developed jaundice and we had to stay in the PICU for a week.
My second was the EXACT opposite of the first. Thankfully! I started contracting around 5:30 pm or so (and thought it was bad gas pains!), got to the hospital around 7:30 pm maybe and had him around 8! They were still setting up the room when I had the urge to push and there was ZERO time for the epidural! Luckily though it didn’t take much for him to be born and everything was smooth sailing with him (until later!! Hello coffee intolerance while I was nursing/colic and then toddler years!!!!)

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I had my first baby 6 months ago. Like you said with Brooke’s birth, I went into the experience not knowing a thing. But it all worked out well and I loved the experience! I had an epidural, and for me personally, I think it made the experience much more enjoyable. If I’ve learned one thing from childbirth (and being a mother!), just do what’s best for you and your situation!!! Who knows what will happen with this baby?! One thing is for sure, it will be a cutie baby girl!

I love following your blog, Janae!! It sounds silly, but I feel like you’re my friend even though we’ve never met or talked. You’re wonderful!

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Epidural! My cousin had her first child natural, and she swore off more children the experience was so hard on her. She wound up pregnant again, did the epidural the second time around, and was thrilled at how much easier that experience is.

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Janae, I greatly look forward to when I can blame spilling stuff on myself on a pregnant belly! :) I’m a long time reader and I am so so happy for you and your family and the happiness you’ve found!!! I love hearing all things baby too!!

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I had my heart set on a medication free, non-hospital birth with my first. I also hoped to run as long as possible. Instead I wound up with a high risk specialist, 17 weeks of bed rest, and a scheduled C-section. However, I also had a healthy baby girl, which was the most important part! Spending 4 months stuck on the couch worrying about my baby really helped put things in perspective for me. While I would have liked to experience a more traditional birth, I don’t feel the slightest bit bad for having a C-section. I made it through safely and my daughter made it through safely and that is the part that matters most! I was not a candidate for a VBAC due to my complications, so my son was also a C-section.

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I had epidurals with both, mainly because I had to have Pitocin due to stalled labors both times. And pitocin = PAINFUL contractions. One thing to keep in mind is that doctors often say that having an epidural can help move labor along because you can relax and let your body do its job. Kudos to those who do the natural route, but I’m ALL ABOUT the epidural!

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Both my boys had to be induced early as at around 27 weeks I develop a condition called obstetric cholestasis and it’s risky for the baby to carry after 37ish weeks. So the with the first I was induced at 37 and 3. It was awful. Took 46 hours to actually start proper labour (though I’d been in pain for about36). So my contractions were coming every two- three minutes but I was only one cm dilated. So the midwife said I need an epidural which took another two hours for the anaesthetist to come. But after that things escalated really quickly and I went from 3cm – 10cm within 1.5 hours. My epidural didn’t work properly so I was telling them I needed to push but they didn’t think that was right because it was only 1.5 hours later. Then they checked me and sure enough he was almost there so just pushed for about 15 minutes and he came so that was awesome. Once I got into labour everything went extremely well, it was getting into labour that was horrific. With my second I was induced at 38 and 3 and was expecting it to go the same so told them I wanted and epidural straight away. Everything was looking like it was going to be the same as I took ages to go dilate so they couldn’t break my waters So they said to try again the next day (as happened with the first). About midnight I asked for some pethadine as I was so sore and couldn’t lie down. They said they had to check me first as I might be in labour which I didn’t think was the case. So they checked me at 1215 then said nope your not in labour so gave me the pethidine but then the pain just got worse and worse. Then at 1am they moved me to a birthing room as it was getting unbearable and I wanted the gas. Also demanded an epidural but they said they had to wait for my midwife. Also they didn’t think I was actually in labour so didn’t want to give it to me. Then my midwife arrived at 0130 and laughed and said leigh he’s right there. Give me a push and he’ll be out. I was in total shock and denial as I had convinced myself I wasn’t in labour as I didn’t want to get my hopes up as I had the time before. So I didn’t actually get time to get an epidural even though I really wanted one. Then he was born by 0145am. So completely different to the first. I was in absolute shock after though. Couldn’t get my head around the fact he came so quickly!! I also love reading people’s birthing stories.

All the best Janae!!

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With my first I wanted to attempt all natural, but my labor was so long (over 40 hours) and like you I just wanted to nap!!! Well, I ended up not liking the epidural- bc I had so much trouble sleeping it was uncomfortable to sleep on one of my sides so I was sleeping on one only, but that would cause the epidural to wear off on the other side and I would be in pain! Then when it was time to push- I couldn’t figure it out bc I had no feeling so they had to turn it down and I went from feeling no contractions to feeling all of them!!! I ended up with a c section after failure to descend . With my second I attempted a VBAC and actually went all the way to 10Cm with no epidural, but in the end had another c section bc my babe would t descend again!! All in all- I preferred the no epidural and just breathing and walking through contractions

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I love these posts too! As a mom expecting her first baby, it’s so nice to read these comments and not feel judgement or just hear horror stories like you do so many other places when talking about pregnancy, labor, and babies. Thank you everyone for sharing!
Also, I can’t wash my hands or do dishes now without getting water all over my belly. My shirts end up looking the same as yours with huge water splashes all over.

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I’m not a mum but I am an obstetrician and have lost count of the number of babies I have delivered. I think women put a lot of pressure on themselves to achieve a “perfect” labour and delivery, when in reality it is a situation completely out of everyone’s control (even mine as an OB to some extent). Until you are actually in the throes of labour you have no idea what you actually need both physically and mentally to get you through. And sometimes an epidural will actual help facilitate a natural birth if things are progressing slowly. It’s not a defeat and you are not being weak in any way if you choose to have one and as women we have to stop looking at it like that and judging each other’s choices! It’s great to see all the supportive comments on here. I cheer my mums/patients on irrespective of their chosen pain relief method or mode of delivery and never stop being amazed at what the human body is capable of!

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Hi Janae!! I love love love your pregnancy posts. I also think it is such an interesting topic and could talk about it for hours. What does Andrew do that he uses a stethoscope?

For my daughters birth story, things didn’t go as planned. Due to sudden onset severe preeclampsia turned HELLP syndrome, I had to have an emergency c-section.. so I was put to sleep. I was 28 weeks along. My daughter was 2lbs 5oz and 14 inches long. She spent 65 days in the neonatal intensive care unit and we were so blessed that we didn’t have any issues besides her premature birth. She’s almost 15 months old now and totally happy and healthy! However, before all of my health issues, my plan was to not have a plan. I wanted to go into labor with an open mind and try to labor on my own for as long as possible. I always said if when I got to the point of no return and felt like I could handle the pain, I would decline the epidural but if it was unbearable then I would gladly take it :). Any future pregnancies for me will mean a scheduled c-section, but that’s ok. As long as we are both healthy and safe that is all that matters. :)

Can’t wait to keep up with you through this pregnancy! I read during your pregnancy with Brooke and loved your posts. Thanks for being so open with us! You’re the best!

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I was reluctant to get an epidural, but “gave in” eventually, and wish I had gotten it sooner! I felt so much more present after it, and so happy and excited, instead of just in pain. I think it’s so interesting how different everyone’s experience is though, and love reading about it! I wrote more about my experience here: http://montessoriishmom.com/2017/06/30/birth-reflections-why-im-glad-i-got-an-epidural/

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I just had my second baby on Monday. I loved my epidural both times! I can’t believe they made you wait until 7 cm to get it! This time I progressed from 7 to 10 in under an hour so it would make me nervous to wait until then!
A change at our hospital from when we had my 21 month old son is apparently they are “baby friendly” now meaning they don’t take babies to the nursery anymore. They want they to stay with the mother. I was kind of bummed because it’s nice to get an hour or two of sleep here and there knowing baby is being watched by professionals!

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I’m a labor and delivery nurse and my hospital is “baby friendly” too. Most of our patients don’t know that we don’t have a nursery and sometimes they’ve been laboring for over 24 hours, have pushed for hours and just want a few hours sleep. When we can we will bring the babies to the nurse’s station to watch them but it’s not always possible. Most hospitals send surveys to patients and I encourage my patients to let the hospital know how they feel about lack of nursery. Just know that most of your nurses don’t like the lack of nursery either.

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I will definitely do that with the survey! I’m glad to hear the nurses aren’t crazy about it either.

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Love these types of posts!
Baby #1: water broke at 12:30am, went to hospital was 2cm. At 8:30 started pitocin. Checked at 10 and in a lot pain. STILL 2cm so asked for epidural. Got the epidural, fell asleep, nurse woke me around 11:15 to check me and I was at a 10 and just about ready to push! She was born with about 10 -15 min of pushing.
Baby #2: contractions started at 12:30am, went to hospital around 7:30 and was 3cm, started on pitocin shortly after. At about 10:30 asked for epidural. About 2 hours later I was at a 10 and again, only 10-15 min of pushing before she was out.
Baby #3: (side note: tiny little friend had just delivered an almost 10# baby all natural so I wanted to try it….also had kidney stones at 23 weeks w/ this pregnancy with are WAAAAY worse than the worse contractions and I thought ‘if I can get thru THAT, I can try natural delivery!)…so woke up around 8am thinking my water broke but no contractions. Got to the OB’s around 11:30 and sure enough it was my water so she went me to the hospital. They checked me and I was a 5! 5 CM!!! I had had NO contractions yet. Started me on pitocin shortly after. It wasnt til around 3/3:30 that I needed to breathe thru contractions (I was around a 7 I think)…around 4:30 I started to moan and the nurse thought I might be close to transition, she checked me around 5 when I started to do this EMBARRASSING and LOUD tribal moan thing (could NOT keep it in!) and said ‘yep, we need to get you on the bed’ (she had just paged my doctor, I was on the birthing ball) so she put me on the bed, I started to SCREAM and she pushed hte nurse emergency button and 8 nurses rush in. I scream again, feel an IMMENSE pain and yell ‘what just happened?!!’ and the nurse said ‘Congratulations, you just had a baby!’ HA! SO no pushing at all! It was SO wild :)
Baby #4: don’t remember much about hers but it was all natural too. Decided to stay on the bed for this one and everytime I got a painful contraction I would pinch my ankle really hard (it really worked to distract from the pain of the contraction-so strange!). When I got close to 10 I started to do that LOUD weird tribal sound again and hubs said ‘ok I think she’s ready’ (OB stayed w/ me the WHOLE time I was in the hospital!) and I didnt really push her out either, she just sort of slid out (I was instructed to push but my brain wouldn’t let me-was afraid I’d tear in two-that crown of fire is NOT joke!
Baby #5: I went to the hospital w/ contractions at 10:30 and was 4cm. Decided to get the epi right away. Got checked at 11:30 and was complete! Baby was born 15 min later =)
Baby #6: Went in around 3:30am with contractions and was SO tired so got the epi again. Was 4cm when I went in and complete and ready to push at 6am. Baby was out in about 20 minutes.
Am currently 35 weeks with baby #7 and I’m going in not knowing what I’ll do yet (all depends if i’ve had enough sleep or not :)
another interesting fact: Baby #1 I had just visited our good friends and their 4 day old baby the day before my water broke (I was 38 weeks 3 days)…….Baby #3: I visited that SAME couple and their 6 day old baby and again , BAM! the next day my water broke (I was about 38 weeks that time)…those were the only times my water broke on its own before I got to the hospital! So this time I just need to find a newborn to hold in a couple weeks…. ;)

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I was able to give birth without any medication, but certainly not for lack of preparation! I listened to all kinds of birth stories, read a hypnobirthing course , hired a doula, and practiced meditation more than I ever have in my entire life. This is saying a lot for me because I am not a generally calm person! Haha.

I am very glad I prepared, as I was in labor for about 20 hours and had some pretty tricky back labor to navigate as well as a few hours of pushing. I have to say, it was really nice to feel completely awake and have such an alert little girl when she was born. But I also have to say, if I didn’t prepare so much, there was no way on God’s green earth I could have labored that long med free! :)

Now that I’m 12 weeks pregnant again, I still plan on trying for another med free birth. Let’s see how the preparation goes though with a 13 month old running around!

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Please please please get yourself the epidural! Having had my first one with an epidural and my second and third without (not by choice, but because they decided to enter this world so fast), I would most certainly recommend the epidural.

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Was supposed to be natural – I even brought a typed out “birth plan” to the hospital – but ended up having an emergency C section, with spinal. Not awesome. Same with 2nd baby. Similarly not enjoyable. I missed the first few hours with them and recovery took a while. Looking back on it, I know my doctor made the right call.

PS I spill food all the time. At least you have an excuse !

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I did have an epidural. My ‘plan’ was to not have it, until I thought I was dying, then I had no problem with having it. I by no means, wanted to be superwoman, just to say I didn’t have one. I wanted to do what was right for me, however it came about. And my plan went out the window when we found out, she never did turn. She was breech most of my later months, and she didn’t turn, and the procedure to turn her scared me to death of complications, since my insurance wouldn’t cover it, since it was “elective”. We took our chances she would turn, she did not, so a C-section was my only option. I was very nervous of the needle to get the epidural, but everything went fine. I had no bad effects or horror stories from it. All was well. The only disappointing part was…since it made me soooo very sleepy, they whisked the baby away, stitched me up…and I was ‘not’ the first one to hold her. No initial contact. They did let me quickly see her, but I never held her until a few hours later, after we were both cleaned up and I’d slept for a bit. I’ve always been a little bitter about that, I thought you’d still get to hold them right away, but in the end, we were both safe, healthy and no complications.

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I had epidurals with my first 2 kids, and it did not go well! My first baby the epidural totally paralyzed my legs but didn’t take away any pain, I ended up getting a second epidural and he was born with the use of forceps after pushing for hours. My 2nd child went better, but because I was laying down the whole time, he didn’t descend the birth canal correctly and was born face up. I had to push for a really long time because of that and his entire head was covered in a bruise which led to horrible jaundice and a really long hospital stay. With my 3rd I decided to go to a Certified Nurse Midwife who had delivery rights in a really good hospital. Best decision ever! I checked into the hospital at 10 am and walked around and sat on an exercise ball the whole time. She was born at 3:20 pm, easy peasy (except the pain haha). Recovery was a breeze! I seriously felt normal within hours. I’ve learned that every women is incredibly different and we all need to make the choice that is best for our bodies. If your body and your babies respond well to epidurals, get one!!!

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As a mom I had an epidural with my vaginal birth. Best. Thing. Ever.
As a nurse I wish my patients would take the pressure off of themselves. There isn’t a “right” way to give birth and the end goal is a healthy mom and healthy baby. I’ve seen too many moms beat themselves up because they didn’t go natural, too many partners/family members, etc. who pressure the moms.
It’s also stinks that you weren’t able to get an epidural until you were 7 cm. Sometimes your body is so tense and tired from laboring that an epidural helps you relax, sleep and lets you dialate.

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I have had quite the gamut of experiences ranging from non-medicated home birth to an emergency c-section. Honestly, as much as I preferred certain experiences, you have to do what is right for you, your body, and most importantly your baby!

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I should also say that the home birth and c-section were completely unrelated ;) C section because when I was pregnant with the twins, neither baby would engage even though I was 7cm and baby b ended up flipping to feet first anyway.

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The epidural failed 3 out of my 4 deliveries. The 3rd one was the worst because I pushed for almost 3 hours and it was painful!! So with #4 I thought to have a back up plan…so I did Hypno Babies…good thing too. Baby #4 came fast…the anesthesiologist was in the room, but hadn’t done anything yet! But the labor and delivery part is always my favorite part of pregnancy. Hello I get a baby at the end of it!!
And I got a belly band when I staying getting uncomfortable. I think around 22ish weeks!

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With both of my babies my labour was very fast, 6 hours and 3 hours. My water broke at home with both and when we got to the hospital an epidermal was not advised because I was already so dilated and things were progressing so quickly, but the contractions were SO PAINFUL.. I would have loved an epidural.

Andrews look of concentration listening with his stethoscope on your tummy is adorable.

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So I think the new suggestions are to call it a medicated vs an unmedicated birth because if something is “natural” then it implies that all other options are “unnatural” and therefore bad. Anyway, that’s what I read or heard on a podcast and I see their point.

Anyway I had epidurals with all 4 of my kids. I was planning to try unmedicated with my 2nd child but a week before my due date my husband had an emergency appendectomy with a 3 day hospital stay since it had ruptured. THEN his internal staple came undone and caused internal bleeding and he was back in the hospital for another 10 days. The stress of being with him in the hospital while preparing to have a baby and trying to figure that all out just had me in a terrible head space and I asked for the epidural at 4 cm. We have a great picture of us in the hospital, me with the epidural bag and him with his morphine bag! It was nice afterward because we got to hang out in the hospital together until he was discharged the day before I was.

My 3rd and 4th babies I got the epidural too late and they didn’t kick in with enough time so I felt everything as they came out. ? But the recovery and walking to the wheelchair on my own was really nice since I didn’t have the epidural in long enough to numb my legs (or anything else for that matter) compared to my first 2.

And I didn’t start running til between 2 & 3 but my ligaments get so loose and I get symphysis pubis separation so I couldn’t run with any pregnancy anyway. I’m amazed at how much you are able to still run!

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I love hearing about birth stories!! I have three kids. I did epidural with my first and the last two I did natural. My second child I labored in the bathtub but got out to deliver. My third child was delivered in the bathtub. I highly recommend a water birth. It was truly amazing. I will be honest, it hurts like heck but totally worth it!

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I did it natural with the anticipation of doing hypnobirthing and going unmedicated. BUT after 34 hours of contractions I was at pure exhaustion and got an epidural just so I could sleep 4-5 hours before pushing. It was not what I was expecting, but it was my birth story and I’m happy he and I are here and safe.
After only 3 weeks I am getting to the point of wanting to get back to exercising, and it’s killing me. I feel so ready, BUT I’m still trying to let myself heal. I’ve been taking walks, though I would love to start strength training and lifting again.

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With my first son, I was in labor for four hours and didn’t have time to choose. I arrived at the hospital minutes before I started pushing. I think I pushed twice and he was out! Since my labor pains weren’t that bad, I decided to not have an epidural with my second son either. I was in labor around six hours with him. I found that it helped to be on my knees and elbows during a contraction. I know…..sounds weird but the pain of the contraction seemed less and easier to get through than lying on my back. No matter what you choose, you will do great! The first look of her sweet face and it will be worth it!

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I had an all natural childbirth with my daughter 10 years ago. I was in labor for 8 hours. After my daughter was born, I had so much energy. I wanted to go for a run. I tore a little, there were lots of loud yelling but everything went well. Now, I am pregnant with my second. My first is born in December and second is due in December. I am 17 weeks. I am planning to go all natural again. It is so much fun to read you pregnancy blogs. I can eat fruit all day long. Love grapes and can eat French fries often. I sure enjoy water with lots of ice. I am wide awake from 2am to 4am as well. Not interested in foods I use to enjoy before I got pregnant. I do not know the gender of my baby yet. My husband thinks we are having a boy. You look beautiful!! Congratulations!!!

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This is a great post for those of us that are considering pregnancy and are kind of stressed about the unknowns of childbirth. Thank you!

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Love your blog and you guys! :) so happy for you!!!

I had an epidural with my 1st and 2nd babe!! With my 2nd the first epidural didn’t work so I had to get another one!! I was a nervous wreck, but I WILL have an epidural if we are blessed with anymore babies!!! Loved having an epidural!

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After 12 hours of intense labor without breaks between contractions, I opted for a walking epidural with my first little one. I also delivered her on a walking epidural (which barely took the edge off ) and I was so relieved to be out of pain once she was delivered I almost forgot I had a baby! My second was induced and then delivered on a full epidural and I was able to be more mentally present for his birth. I know epidurals are not the trendy thing to do at the moment, but it was the best decision and I’m so grateful for supportive nurses and midwives! ?? Congratulations on your new munchkin! Babies are such blessings ?

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You have such a tiny cute bump! Can’t believe you have a baby the size of a sweet potato in there :)

I went into my labour with an open mind but I knew I wanted to try without an epidural if I could (I liked the idea of being able to move about and they don’t seem to offer walking epidurals here). As it turned out adrenaline gave me a natural one and I didn’t feel the contractions once I was in the pushing stage! That was great from the pain point of view, but like you, it meant I didn’t know when to push and I exhausted myself pretty badly by pushing for so long (the baby was doing fine so they let me push for longer than usual). I did have pethidin a bit earlier so I could rest, as it would still be a while before he came, and that was great (until I got weirded out by feeling spacey and wanted it to stop!). I needed a ventouse suction cup to get him out at the very end, but on the whole I was pretty happy with how it went, and I recovered quickly. Afterwards wasn’t so great as I was so exhausted I forgot I had a baby and thought it was all a dream! But we recovered from that after a few hours and never looked back :) See, we’re all with you on wanting to share our baby stories :) I’m just glad to hear you had a positive experience with Brookes, no matter what it involved.

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My advice three kids in, is to head into labor without any expectations. If you want to try naturally and then decide its not for you, great. If as soon as you get there you want the epidural go for it. I had three natural births and I loved it. I love giving birth, however my labors are really really fast 3 hours, 30 minutes and 20 minutes … fast so for me natural was best. My sister has had four births and four epidurals and loved it just as much. I would gain as much knowledge as you can about both scenarios and C-sections bc you just never know what is going to come up. My 2nd was almost a C-section bc the stinker flipped at 37 weeks and they thought for sure she wouldn’t flip back, she flipped the next night and I had her the night after that … but I was so unprepared for a C-section. I read up and talked to friends in the event that my third was a C-section and felt totally comfortable with however he decided to make his appearance. He was born in a fast 15 maybe 20 minute labor and delivery that had us all scrambling to get situated before I had to have my four year old deliver me. If someday I am blessed with a fourth my goal is to get them earth side safely for both of us.

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First daughter I had an epidural and then I slowed down and went into 22 hours of labor with her, which then caused her to start to get a fever because my water had been broken so long. After she was born she was in the nicu for 3 days because her white blood count was off. So with our second daughter, 10 years after the first :) I thought I’d try and go natural. That didn’t last long. I requested an epidural and my doc said you aren’t ready yet. So I waited and then at one point she checked me and said “oops now it’s too late to give you one” you’re about to push. I was like “WHAT THE HECK”… anyway, had our second daughter natural. Maybe I’m a woos but I don’t recommend it LOL. PAINFUL experience. I kid. Ironically though, after she was born my placenta wouldn’t come out so after going through a painful natural birth they had to give me a spinal anyway so they could remove my placenta. Our girls are now 25 & 15 and we are extremely BLESSED.

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I had an epidural with my first but I didn’t feel it really helped much. So with my second I opted for no epidural. It might have taken the edge off ;). But I wouldn’t change anything. Luckily both deliveries were really fast. Bottom line – do what’s best for you. Best of luck to you!

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With the first I was at 5 cm and asked for the epidural, when he put the needle in he said in a few moments your legs may feel a little numb. I said well my lips feel numb now…..ha! His reply, “Well, that shouldn’t have happened!”….Oops. He explained I will probably have the awful headache side effects when it is all said and done. I didn’t know what to expect but sure enough I got them.

About 24 hours after giving birth my head was pounding….for me it was a million times worse than the worse hangover I have ever had…ha! (be glad you have never tried alcohol!) Once home I literally took drugs for the headaches for the following 48 hours. I couldn’t lift my head off the pillow or it just pounded. My sister stayed a week with hubby and I and she helped out a ton because I couldn’t do anything. I felt awful and soooo emotional because I wasn’t bonding with my newborn and figured she would be emotional scarred due to it.

I was scared to get the epidural again for the 2nd and 3rd deliveries but I did and they went smoothly. Thank Goodness!

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I did not want an epidural at all when I gave birth. It all happenes pretty quickly. My water broke at 445pm and I delivered my twins at 10:03pm and 11pm. I got to 8cm and got an epidural. The nurses told me that I should get one because of the twins, if an emergency c section was needed then I would be put to sleep. So I got one and it slow things down and I couldn’t really feel when it was time but I could kinda tell. Anyways, didn’t need a c section after all, but it did take 57 minutes of pushing to get the 2nd twin out and his heart rate got up to 200. But all in all, I will never get an epidural again. It was a great experience but I have a high tolerance for pain and I hated not being able to feel what was happening. Everyone is different and for some people the epidural makes you relax so you dilate faster. I just personally want to feel everything. Your birth is your decision and you know what your body needs.

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I had no “birth plan” other than to get my baby out as safely and quickly as possible! Since it was my first, I had no idea what it would all be like, and so I figured if it got too bad, I’d get an epidural, and if it didn’t, I wouldn’t. I think everyone’s experience and every labor is so different, so I didn’t want to fix in my head a plan for how it would go and be stressed out if my “plan” had to change. I went for a long time without an epidural, but they broke my water in the hospital and told me that things could move fast after that so if I was considering an epidural I should ask sooner rather than later. I ended up getting one and am so glad I did for two reasons – first, it was amazing and I had no pain after, and second (and more importantly), we had a little scare with my son’s heartbeat. I had to get him out very quickly or I was going to be taken for an emergency c-section. Because I had the epidural, it was easier for the doctor to use a vacuum to help get him out faster. And if I hadn’t been able to deliver him quickly, the epidural could have been topped off for the C-section as opposed to having to put me under general anesthesia – I would have been devastated if I missed his birth entirely! Long-winded way of saying, appreciating that everyone and every experience is different, I 100% recommend getting an epidural and credit it (and my amazing doctor) for being able to have a successful vaginal delivery of my healthy, beautiful baby boy. Congratulations on your pregnancy, and hope you have a safe and smooth delivery!

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I didn’t have an epidural with either of my kids. The first was a home birth, but I’m pretty sure that had we been in the hospital I would have asked for it, because it was a loooooong and exhausting labour. Though surprisingly, I had a lot of energy and willpower. I am still amazed by myself when I look back on it. With my second, I gave birth at a birth centre with no access to an epidural, but he came so fast that I wouldn’t have time anyways. I was happy with my decision both times, but definitely would not have regretted having got one had the pain become too much. Good luck! Giving birth is the hardest thing in the world but also the most magical.

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2 natural birth for me, a 9-6 baby and a 9-14 baby. The latter basically birthed himself so fast that I tried NOT to push while the doc and nurse got ready. So just know you may not have control over whether you get an epidural or not! :) But trust me, you could do without one if you wanted!–you are strong! Recovery was easy as pie with the second. First was rougher due to an episiotomy and 2 hours of pushing.

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I love reading labor stories–I’m glad your first was so great! I am not against epidurals, and I’m a huge fan of natural births. There are a lot of benefits of natural births, and newer research is even showing longer-term health outcomes in relation to postpartum depression and more benefits that haven’t been completely explained due to the hormones that are present during labor that are suppressed by epidurals. (I read about it last year in a book called “gentle birth, gentle mothering: the wisdom and science of gentle choices in pregnancy, birth and parenting” by Sarah J. Buckley, MD–she is way more liberal in birthing choices than I was, but that chapter on the research of hormones during labor and delivery is so interesting!)

My first was natural and our birthing class educator had really good breathing and pressure-point techniques for me and my husband to practice–which we did and they were very helpful for labor and delivery. I always thought I’d get an epidural until I read this article about the purpose of pain during labor: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3rJ7pJO8WZSTGtlNnNKOWJ2Qlk
(a friend of mine gave it to me from NYC). I was amazed that even though labor started at 10pm and baby was born at 1:30am and I was up the rest of the night loving that baby, I had a wonderful energy and could walk around very quickly after baby was born. Only thing I would change looking back is leaving the hospital sooner.

My second baby was induced, and I still did natural. She came quickly and again I walked with her to the nursery as they bathed her, etc. I felt so good and energized. We left before 24 hours after she was born and it was perfect! No interruptions all the time from hospital staff, especially after just falling asleep…

My third baby I actually had at home. My beloved doctor that delivered 1&2 passed away, so in my search for a new doc I chose a midwife. Not intending on home birth until a couple months before birth. It was amazing. I wrote a huge looooonnnnng post with all details here, if you are interested: http://sammela.blogspot.com/2016/03/nicos-home-birth-story.html?m=1

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I regard getting an epidural like getting Novocain for a root canal. Would I ever ask someone whether he/she opted to go natural or unmedicated with a root canal? Of course not!

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I did natural child birth with both kids – My son was 9.5 lbs and my daughter was 8lb 13oz. I don’t really recommend it. It really, really hurts. I didn’t have time for one with the second. Anyone can do it if labor doesn’t last too long. And while the second one hurt, it went so fast that I could deal with it. There are people who make such a big deal about natural childbirth and I just have to say that everyone should just do what feels right for them. What other people do/think just doesn’t matter.

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Hi Janae! I’m so happy for you that you will have the support you need when the baby comes. That is so important! Doing it on your own in a new place is so hard. So I’m sure this time around everything will be great!
As for me, my first two babies were induced (first due to low fluid and second due to pre-eclampsia). Pitocin , the medicine they use to induce contractions, is horrible. It makes the contractions so much longer and harder. So with both, I tried to go without the epidural, but it was so hard. However, both times, the epidural didn’t work that well. I don’t think I felt everything, but it was definitely not smooth sailing for me. Also with the second, because i had blood pressure issues, the epidural made me feel so sick as well. And I was always woozy and very tired afterwards. So glad you had good experiences with it! Not so for me.
Fast forward to our third and I went into labor while on a weekend getaway (in the middle of nowhere in Maine…two weeks early after my mid-wife told me I’d be fine to go away). Anyway, because labor came on on it’s own for me (finally), the contractions were hard, but just gradually got worse, not like with the Pitocin. We got to the hospital and I was 7!! cm. I was feeling ok so refused pain meds. Everything was going well. Then they broke my water….and it was hell from there. I screamed a lot…normally I am very quiet while in pain. And I pushed for awhile (they also used the vacuum at one point to help her around my pubic bone). But I did it and it was an amazing release at the end.
The best part was I felt the best I had ever felt after I gave birth. I was alert and had energy to really enjoy the moment. It was excrutiatingly hard, but it was well worth it with how much better I felt afterwards.
We aren’t having any more children, but if I did, I would try unmedicated if possible.
That being said, everyone’s experience is so different. Do whatever is best for you! Which as I’ve learned is different for every birth.
Good luck! Such a special time!

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I had an epidural with both of my babies. I am everyone’s best friend with the epidural. I thank everyone for everything. First kid, I laughed a ton that day, watched movies and had a great day. Second kid was so just as nice of a day. I love that I was able to have a pleasant experience. The entire process was very calm. The one thing I made sure to do differently the second time around, was the catheter. I refused to have one the second time around. The first time it was left in while I was pushing. For two months after I had zero bladder control. That was a nightmare. Neither of my children came out sedated due to my epidural. Both were good and ready to eat.
Just like with breastfeeding, you do what works for you and your baby.

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What most people don’t realize is that birth doesn’t have to be painful. It’s really all about changing the negative thoughts about childbirth (that our society has created) to positive ones. I have had two natural, unmedicated births and while both were very different, they were both beautiful and I was able to stay relaxed and comfortable for the majority of the time. Our bodies know just what to do, it’s pretty amazing! With that said, I respect every woman’s decision for how to give birth, but I do believe we need educate ourselves and research all the options thoroughly.

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I had both of my children naturally, so I can’t compare it to a medicated birth. But I wouldn’t do anything differently. We took Bradley-Method childbirth classes (it is also called “Husband-Coached Childbirth,” which I bet Andrew would like.) Hypnobirthing is another good natural childbirth class. I would just encourage you to do your research. I loved being in control during my labors, able to walk around, eat, drink (they were born in a midwifery center, where they encourage you to do those things). I felt it was the healthiest option for my babies and me. Praying for a beautiful birth for you!

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I had Intrathecal morphine injected into my spine. It blocked the pain and I still was able to walk and move my legs. Worked well.

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I went into my first birth the same way as you did (with no plan). They had me in bed and monitored the whole time and it was so painful and hard and I ended up taking pain meds. I did not get an epidural but I probably should have!! With my second I was much more confident about what I didn’t want. I did not want to have an IV or be in the bed, so I asked my doctor and he said as long as things were going well it wouldn’t be a problem. I moved around with my labor and only got into bed when it was time to push. I didn’t need any meds or the epidural, it was a much better experience for me.

I wanted to do both births ‘naturally’ and was super upset with myself after my first that I couldn’t do it. Looking back, with a fresh perspective and some life experience, I realise how silly I was being and am sad I even put energy into feeling bad about myself! Birth is serious business and it’s crazy hard at times. Never worry about what it is supposed to be and always have faith in your decisions. We all are doing the very best we can and all want to do what is right for our babies. Whatever you choose will be what is right for YOU :)

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I have had three kids and each was different than the other. I am a BIG researcher and class taker so I knew everything there was to know before I had kid #1. I had my birth plan ready and I wanted a 100% natural birth… but this would be easier in bullet format.
Kid 1- I was two weeks over the due date and at the pleading of my Dr. I finally consented to be induced. This is HARD because the natural progression of contractions helps your endorphins kick in and combat the pain. When you get induced, the Pitocin doesn’t allow for that natural progression. I was barely dilated when they induced, I also had group b strep which meant I had to have penicillin and that was honestly the worst. I was induced at 6 am and around 5 that evening I was only dilated to a 3. I could have cried (but didn’t because I am not super emotional and in front of strangers, no way!). After my husband begged and pleaded I finally consented to an epidural. I was worried that when I was finally at a 10 I would have no strength to push and be forced to have a c-section which I absolutely DID NOT WANT. So I had an epidural and it was crazy! I couldn’t feel a thing. When it wore off they double dosed me so when it was actually time to push, I REALLY couldn’t feel a thing! The process took 21 hours and my little guy was born healthy (the cord was wrapped around his neck twice which made my Dr. nervous, but aside from that) and ready to go. Super alert. Super active. My recovery was easy peasy. I never experienced enough pain to take anything other than ibuprofen.
Kid 2- Hoped to do natural and had my birth plan ready. When I was 1 day over my due date my Dr. measured me and realized I was measuring much smaller than I had the two weeks prior and sent me for a non stress test. There we determined that I’d been leaking amniotic fluid for who knows how long! (I did tell my Dr. I had to wear pads because I was always peeing my pants which was new) As I was overdue and the fluids were low I had to go back for a test every other day to make sure the levels could still support the baby. I still wasn’t dilated at all. But on my 9th day overdue I went in for the test at 4:00 in the afternoon and the levels were too low and they said they were admitting me. By five I was hooked to pitocin (my nemesis) once again. Around 10 in the evening I decided to get an epidural because I wasn’t progressing and I really thought it would take a long time… however, the epidural DID NOT WORK, and then I started progressing crazy fast. I went from a 4 to a 10 in less than two hours and so number two was a natural birth. It did hurt like the dickens and that ring of fire everyone talks about is no joke! I recovered great from that one as well. And again, the only pain management I used post birth was ibuprofen.
Kid 3- I was diagnosed with complete placenta previa which means you have to have a c-section. That was a challenging concept for me because I despise a lot of medical intervention, but that was the only way to keep us alive, so that was what we did. Frustratingly, each hospital has its own set of protocols for a placenta previa c-section and I had to fight with the specialist and hospital administration to not schedule it for 36 weeks (which is the norm) because my medical history suggests that my babies are always past their due dates and within healthy weight range 7lb ll oz, 7 lb 8 oz. I thought inducing too early would be dangerous for my baby and I fought hard to push it back and I prevailed on that battle. #3 was born via c-section weighting 6 lb 8 oz. My recovery for a c-section was fine. I was up walking within and hour. I only used pain killers the first day and I walked for a few hours in the hospital each subsequent day I was there and left at the earliest chance! The lasting effects of a c-section; however, haven’t been super pleasant. If you are interested to know more about that, feel free to email.
I am now pregnant with #4 (November 4th, but realistically probably later, here we come!) and my ultrasound shows no placenta previa which makes me a great candidate for a vbac. I am hoping to do it natural, but if it doesn’t work out, I’m not stressed out. The HEALTHIEST way to give birth is the way that gives birth to a healthy baby. Epidural, natural, c-section, at the end of the day, all my recoveries were fine. I am fortunate that my pregnancies are so awful (seriously, I throw up every day until I give birth) that AS SOON as that baby is out I am ready to go and so happy. For me it is an immediate thing, and I realize that not all people feel that way, but I LOVE life right after giving birth. I hope all goes well with you, and that you have a supportive team around you, I feel like that is the biggest necessity. Don’t put pressure on yourself or tell yourself that there is only one way, because there are LOTS of ways to have a successful birth and be a great mom.

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All 3 of mine were without epidurals. I actually tried each time to get one but for one reason or another (I waited too long and was at 10cm, I had to have my blood tested for something, etc) I was always without. At least I knew from the first baby that while it was painful, it wasn’t that bad.

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My delivery was pretty much the opposite of what I had planned. I had hoped for a calm water birth with my midwife and ended up after 39 hours in the hospital with an epidural. I did everything I could to labor naturally but after throwing up for 24 hours and doing lunges on the stairs to push my contractions I was done, I had nothing left and needed To go to the hospital for help (pitocin). It turned out to be a good thing that my plan didn’t work because my baby needed medical support at birth and being in the hospital already meant he got what he needed quickly. It was hard and heartbreaking at times and resulted in a week at the NICU but now I’m home with my 8 week old healthy baby and life is wonderful. The delivery is just one (or two) days, the rest is a lifetime of love.

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I love talking about epidurals because I have 3 kiddos and COMPLETELY different birth experiences with each one! With my 1st, the epidural was so potent that I could not feel a thing for hours. My legs could have fallen off and I wouldn’t have known it. I didn’t like it, but I was also scared of the pain.

With baby 2, he came so fast there was no time for an epidural to work. Mentally I was not prepared for a natural birth and the pain (like being struck by lightning from the inside out ?) was so intense that it really took away from the joy of the experience for me. If I had planned on a natural birth and prepared for it, I know it would have been a different story.

Baby #3 was another epidural and THE BEST birth experience because I could still feel my legs, move them, and even wiggle my toes. I could feel where the baby was (his feet were up in my rib age as his head emerged, and I could not believe he was so long!), and I had control over pushing and could feel what I was doing – but there was NO PAIN!! I was also up and walking again and feeling really good the quickest of my 3. I wonder if they just used a lower dose? I was so grateful for it!!!

Wishing you a smooth and uneventful rest of your pregnancy, and the delivery experience you desire!! ❤️

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My one and only birth experience with my daughter was great! I was induced a day after my due date. They started me on pitocin at 11am and the pain was bearable until around 5pm when they broke my water. I quickly dilated to around 7 cm and asked for an epidural at that point. It definitely helped! I started pushing a few hours later and then my doctor had to go in to do an emergency c-section for another patient and told me to hold it and stop pushing because she really wanted to do the delivery! I love her so I said ok. That part was hard. I waited and finally pushed for almost an hour at 4am. My recovery was super quick and easy!

I was very active and ran until 38 weeks with no belly band. I could have gone longer but started worrying that she would come early if I kept moving around too much. I kept up with other things like walking and barre and strength though. I definitely think being so active helped me recover quickly and with very little pain.

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I’m like 80% sure I’m going to do an epidural with this little guy (coming in October). Seems like if there’s no risk to the baby, why be in pain if you don’t have to?

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My second labor was very different from my 1st, but that’s what I wanted! The first time around I let fear take over, where the second time I knew exactly what to expect and what I wanted. I still have such clear images from my second labor, which I think is so cool! Good luck to you throughout this journey. Such an exciting time in your life!

Here is my post comparing both birth stories. http://www.healthyfamilydefined.com/birth-stories-compared/

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We did unmedicated (Bradley Method), mostly because I am DEATHLY afraid of needles. Labor is definitely like running a marathon — you are so incredibly tired, yet giddy and famished. A clif bar never tasted so good :) I wrote all about my birth story here (I LOVE reading about pregnancy and birth stories too!): http://www.yrtwentynine.com/2016/05/the-story-of-being-born-owen.html

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I had an epidural and I truly needed it! I went into the experience hoping to go without, if possible, and I tried as long as I could but my baby stalled at 7cm and I turned into a lifeless zombie from exhaustion. I’m not sure what would’ve happened to me and my baby if this was the olden days. I felt like, in my situation, the epidural saved us both. I know that sounds dramatic but it’s the truth. I went to sleep and when I woke up, I felt so refreshed and strong. I pushed for almost 3 hours after that and was convinced I could push forever if I needed to.

I had no idea I was going to have such a long, exhausting labor and delivery! I can’t imagine how I would’ve managed if I hadn’t kept exercising all through my pregnancy.

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I would love to read a blog about your opinion now on getting in shape after a baby. I don’t have any kids but we are considering them in the near future and that is one reason I keep putting it off.. as terrible as that is to admit. I have worked so hard to get where I am and I don’t want to lose all of it! Tell me I am crazy! (I already know it)

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Having had my first baby in December (1994) , my advice would be to get as much as you can done in November. I had all my decorating, shopping, wrapping etc. done by December 1st. Then all I had to focus on was my baby and how I was feeling, resting, eating. No stressing about Christmas. Of course no one expected me to do any cooking/baking so I got off easy that year. HA! Baby arrived December 19th and I was able to just relax and enjoy my family.

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I have 4 kiddos. I had an epidural with my first 2 and it was great. I rested and was able to enjoy the birth without wanting it to just be over because it’s so painful. My 3rd came too fast, so I delivered her natural. I came 20 min after walking into the hospital. My doc checked me and said, “I hope you didn’t want an epidural because you’re already 8 cm, the baby is coming now” ugh, terrible pain but, by far the easiest and quickest recovery. I literally felt back to “normal” minutes after giving birth. I was up and moving and showered with no pain immediately following her birth. I wanted an epidural wirh my 4th but it didn’t work! Actually, it completely numbed 1 entire leg and that’s it! The doc said, the only option was to pull it and stick me a second time. Terrible. Luckily, he was born really fast too. But yeesh!

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I had a fully unmedicated birth in a hospital, didn’t even have an IV placed. Honestly for me, I’ve felt worse during bad marathons than the entire 22 hours of labor. Transition was very hard for me because the contractions were coming so fast and furious with no break in between. However, this made the pushing part of labor so much easier–you get a break between pushes!

I labored mostly at home which likely made a big difference. Believe in yourself that you can do it, prepare for it, and you CAN do it!

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Has Andrew done his OBGYN clinical rotation yet? I wasn’t interested in being an OB nurse, but I remember that clinical to be one of my most interesting. I’m now getting my FNP and am currently in my OB rotation, and am 24 weeks pregnant. It’s such a neat experience to learn about other women’s pregnancies in the clinical setting, all while I’m going through it myself.
This is my first baby, so I’m inexperienced, but do not plan on getting an epidural (unless, of course, I need a c-section). My reasoning isn’t typical, though. I’m a NICU nurse and am terrified of anything slowing labor, or being added (like Pitocin) to then speed it up.There is probably nothing to be afraid of, but I see the worst of the worst at my job and am comforted by the idea of letting my body tell me what’s going on. Being numb and unable to move freaks me out WAY more than intense pain. Also, going back to nursing school, the only patient I saw who received an epidural had a horrific reaction to it and was unbelievably itchy for several hours afterward — to the point where she couldn’t even go see her baby! Again, unlikely to happen, but I’d still choose pain over itching, too.
I’ve followed your blog for years and I have to say that it’s so nice to see you (seem to) embrace your changing body more this pregnancy than last. I remember reading and being concerned because I always felt like you thought you HAD to run up until the point you gave birth, and then picked it up again almost immediately afterwards. To each their own, and I know I don’t know you personally, but you just seem to be in a healthier, more relaxed, place this time.
Oh, and I started wearing my belly band at 22 weeks :)

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Epidurals ALL THE WAY!! I love having an epidural and have never wanted to even try doing it natural. I think those women that do are amazing though. I’m 36 weeks pregnant with my 4th (a girl) and I’m definitely having another epidural. I’m still run/walking 3-5 miles a day and haven’t used a belly band at all. My belly doesn’t hurt while running but deep inside my bum muscles does hurt so I’m trying to keep that in mind. I’ve strength trained 4-5 days a week too and I think it’s made a world of difference. We’ll see how birth and recovery go. All my other births have been amazingly fast and easy so fingers crossed this one is too!! I love these baby updates.

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I’ve had three pregnancies with totally different labors and totally different deliveries. I’ve done two medicated one with a spinal block and one with an epidural and I don’t regret either of those. My most recent pregnancy I got to the hospital and was too far along for anything and delivered her tell me a medicated barely even in the bed 15 minutes after arriving. If I could do it again I would probably go and medicated but only if I could guarantee that it was a short delivery, otherwise bring on the drugs.

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I had epidurals with all three pregnancies and labor got easier each time. It wasn’t until my third that my doctor, who was the same each time, put it in perspective for me that made great sense. She told me that when you don’t have an epidural it hurts so much that your body can’t help but fight the contraction and it can actually prolong your labor, but when you have an epidural and are relaxed your body is able to do what it’s suppposed to and dilate faster. With that knowledge finally resonating with me, I rested easier, enjoyed my labor more, and actually delivered much faster. I feel labor is so personal for each mother though and you should definitely just follow your gut and do what feels right for you at the time.

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Had epidural after 9 hours of crappy labor with the first (my doctor said it was likely due to tight muscles and not being able to relax into it) . He was born 17 hours after I went into labor, yuck. Because of that, I waited hours after my water broke with the second. I didn’t have contractions so I took a nap, showered, walked 4 miles, hung with my other son, got a GIANT burrito (I think you can appreciate that) on the way to the hospital so I wouldn’t get Hangry. I guess that put me over the edge because he was born 45 minutes after arriving at the hospital and there was no time for an epidural. I was literally screaming “GIVE ME DRUGS! I AM GOING TO DIE”. =)

The third was 2 weeks overdue (what the heck?!) and after being induced (I waited as long as I could), I got an epidural and he was born like an hour later.

I only stayed in the hospital 1 night with all of them, HATE hospitals. Too noisy and too many interruptions. I would highly recommend going home but maybe arranging 2-3 nights without the other kids so you can relax at home. Third baby was hardest recovery for me (physically). Maybe because I had 3 within 3.5 years!

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I am allergic to the anesthesia compounds standardly used in epidurals. So, for Kid1 I tried no meds at all for 24 hours of active labor (21 hours of 1+ min long and less than 5 min apart) and then got an IV to take the edge off. As soon as I was a little more relaxed, I went from 8cm to full delivery in 1 hour (this kid was 7lb9oz at 41 weeks). With Kid2 I was on bedrest from weeks 29-1/2 to 38 with preterm labor, continually effacing and dilating. The good news was that when I went into full labor, it was 4-1/2 hours from start to finish. The bad news was that my uterus was so tired from 2 months of pre-term labor that my contractions were 4, 5, 6 piggybacked in a row and I didn’t have time to catch my breath during or inbetween sets…so I got a specialized epidural with a narcotic instead of the standard anesthesia. They say it doesn’t work quite the same but it did take the edge off enough to breath…and relax just enough that Kid2 basically crawled out on his own 20 minutes later, two super easy pushes (he was 8lbs and 38 weeks). Kid3 was a normal pregnancy and the only one I ran during (until 30 weeks, then lots of walking up until delivery). His labor was 5-1/2 hours, start to finish, but was back labor. The anesthesiologist at that hospital wanted an epidural but didn’t believe my allergy so I kicked him out of the room and told him not to come back. The midwife and I compromised with a low-level fentanyl IV after my water broke. 4 hrs later, right after the dose wore off, I shifted, the nurse checked, baby shifted, and I went from 9cm to Kid3 rocketing out 10 min later, no pushing required (7lbs5oz at 39-1/2 weeks). Relaxation is apparently key for my deliveries – as soon as I relax enough, out they come, surprising the doctors and nurses every single time (they never believed me that I would go that fast and could push so soon after hitting 8cm). So…epidural, IV, no meds at all…do whatever works for you…and change your mind any time you want to!

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Oh gosh so exciting!! The second half of your pregnancy will fly by! And it’s so neat that Brooke and Knox get to experience this birth with you also. Your heart will melt all over again when you see them caring for the little one.

I had an epidural with both of my boys and also couldn’t believe the comfort it gave me. I thought maybe it would take away from the birth somehow (not being able to feel my legs!) but it didn’t at all. In fact I think I was more calm which made the babies more calm so – all in all – epidural = calm and happy family :)

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While spending 2 nights at the hospital after the birth sounds nice to you now, I have to say you might be surprised at how quickly you actually are ready to go home! With my first baby I had an epidural that FAILED and I felt everything for hours. When I was completely ready to push and they called my OB for delivery she made anesthesiology come back and take out the epidural catheter that wasn’t working and give me a single spinal shot that worked and she knew it would last just long enough to deliver. With my second, my epidural was perfection and I actually delivered him less than an hour later because my labor was so fast and easy! It ended up that I labored completely on my own naturally and was actually 10 cm when the put the epidural in (but we didn’t know that). After he was born I felt SO good and was dying to go home! Unlike my first baby, the second one took to breastfeeding immediately and I felt like I knew what I was doing (I had stopped nursing my 1st at 3 months because we were failing). It was all just so good. I felt great and was getting around just fine. He was nursing like a champ. We practically ran out of the hospital at the 24 hour mark! So seriously, don’t be shocked if you find yourself ready to sleep in your own bed after just one night in the hospital. You never know how things will turn out!

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All three of my births were different. I did my first all natural/no meds and went into labor on my own before my due date. My second I had a c section because of complications with the placenta. Then with my third, I went three days over my due date and was induced with pitocin and then got an epidural at 7 cm. All three of my births were amazing. The epidural on my third was perfect. I couldn’t feel the pain but I could still move my legs and as soon as she was born they took it out and I was able to move around. Whatever you do will be perfect and just the way your baby girl is supposed to arrive! ❤️

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I’ve had 3 fantastic unmedicated births under a midwife lead model where I was encouraged to move about and work with gravity. I used hot water with all three as my form of pain relief, the first two were born in the shower, the third was an unplanned water birth in the tub which was amazing. I left the hospital four hours later feeling fantastic, and he was by far my biggest at 9lb3oz. I’m always surprised that so many women seem to do the pushing and delivery lying on their back- I found this position to be unbearable and so made sure I was upright and had gravity assisting, definitely had good deliveries without too much pushing this way. You don’t have to lie down ladies! I’m always surprised when I hear of friends who have delivered in hospitals where they were not allowed to deliver anywhere but on the bed – a bit old fashioned if you ask me. Anyway, every birth is freaking fantastic no matter how they get out, it’s so amazing to bring a new human into the world, aren’t we lucky as women that we get to do this. Best of luck to all of you with births coming up, you’ll do exactly what you need to so that your baby can enter the world as safely as possible.

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I had my first two naturally and my third with an epidural. I just didn’t feel like being a hero that 3rd time, I guess, and after I had the epidural that last time I was kicking myself for holding out the first two times – haha!

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I went in to be induced on my due date only to find out that I was actually already in labor at that time (because who actually knows what it feels like if it’s your first child :)). They started Pitocin at 6:00 am, broke my water at 8:00 am, and I was pushing at 2:30 pm. I ABSOLUTELY loved the epidural. Prior to them breaking my water, contractions weren’t that bad. Once they did break my water, it was so painful I couldn’t even breath. I requested the epidural (I was at 4cm then), they got it in, and I napped until I started pushing. We came home the next day and I had no problem with recovery. My thought is “why go through all of that pain if you have the chance to get extra rest before life really gets crazy?” I know a lot of people are huge advocates for natural birth, but I had a wonderful birth experience and would not change any part of it.

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I had two natural births at home. My oldest is 1.5 and my youngest is 2.5 months old so I remember their births clearly ;). It was hard – but I wouldn’t do it any other way now (although I’m done having kids). I was active throughout both pregnancies & did a lot of yoga to focus on my breath. Good thing because paying attention to my breathing was the only way I got through the contractions. It’s an amazing experience to hop back into your own bed with your brand new baby. My first labour was 24 hours, second was 3. I would totally recommend unmedicated. I had a midwife both times and didn’t prep too much for either. Best of luck to you!

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I did a natural childbirth. It was supposed to be a home birth, but when I was at the one week after my due date appointment there wasn’t enough amniotic fluid and the doc made me go directly to the hospital (I hadn’t packed a bag, since I was planning a home birth). They broke my water and I immediately started teeny tiny contractions. It took about 14 hours and wasn’t too bad. My midwife kept making me sit because she thought my legs would get tired (lady- I’m a marathoner – duh!)! I still wished I had walked around the room more, I only remember the pain getting to me when I was in the bed.

I used a band for quite a while – maybe 20 or 22 weeks or so until 37 weeks (when running felt a little painful so I stopped).

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I feel so blessed my 2 births went as they did! Our daughter, who is now 9, was premature by almost 2 months. I had woken up early the morning of her birth and went to pace the floor because I didn’t want to sit/lay/etc but I didn’t realize I was in labor. Had period type cramps too. Went to get “checked” in a few hours and had a tiny leak with the amniotic fluid then was checked and 10cm! They started a little Pitocin to help me along then they had to break my water and I pushed for 40 min or so and she was born. A little jaundice was all she had.

Our little man that was born Feb 28th of this year was 1 day overdue and I had my membrane sweep on my due date the day before. I woke up that morning with period type cramps and contractions but had false labor earlier in Feb so wanted to make sure it was go time. They kept coming but I was still trying to get my daughter’s breakfast ready lol. The on call nurse said to head to the hospital. Hubby got my stuff and the ride over was pretty intense contraction wise and I was LUCKY my water didn’t break in the car or else I would of had him! I entered the hospital at 7:36am and had him at 8:10am! Once I got into the room and onto the bed I was already 10cm (again like previously) and my water broke after like 3 contractions then struggled a bit with keeping my energy for pushing but then he was born! He had irregular breathing later that night after he was born so he was in the NICU to be watched for a few days but was all good.

Can’t wait to hear your birthing story this time around!!!

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Ok judging by the number of comments on this post people love to talk about their birth stories, and I do too!

For my first (now 2yo girl) my water broke, labor didn’t progress, had to be induced, got epidural, pushed for 4 hours, was told I needed to start considering c-section vs foreceps, they eventually managed to vacuum her out (plus episiotomy). NOT a fun time.

For my second (4mo boy), I started having very mild contractions at 7pm, went and ate dinner feeling slightly uncomfortable, 8pm started timing on an app that said “you should leave for the hospital now” but I didn’t want to be one of those women who get to the hospital at 2cm and are told to go home. Arrived at hospital at 9pm, fully dialated, baby born at 9:30pm. Told them I wanted an epidural but it was obviously too late at that point lol. So all in it was 2.5 hours from thinking something *might* be happening to holding baby in my arms. And despite not having an epidural I had a much easier time with the birth itself and with recovery.

So of course we’re all different but second babies can be VERY fast! Good luck!

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Hi!! I ran with both of my deliveries on the day I went into labor– 5 miles with my first and 6 miles with my 2nd. I think this is partially why both of my labors were FAST! (4 hours total with 1st, 3hrs total with 2nd). But, the labor was absolutely the worst pain I have ever been through. Went from no dilation to a 10 in such a short time was crazy, and I felt like my body was in total shock. Anyway, I had an unmedicated birth with both, and felt amazing immediately after having both girls. I walked myself to the recovery room/drove myself home/etc. all this to say, I think that running got me in the best shape possible to birth and recover and I highly recommend continuing as long as everything feels good for YOU!!! Running is the best ?

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I’m loving your pregnancy updates! I had an unmedicated birth at a birth center with my daughter and I absolutely loved the experience! Having an unmedicated birth definitely requires a lot of preparation ahead of time and we took a Bradley Method Birthing Class to get ready for it. I think I really lucked out and had a relatively easy labor, I actually thought I was having false contractions because they just felt like period cramps (my period cramps are horrible) and then we showed up at the birth center for my regularly schedule 39 week appointment and I was 9 cm dilated! My daughter was born 3 hours later and everyone that worked at the birth center was in shock that I had come in not thinking I was in labor… haha!

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We have about the same due date this time!! I’m currently 22 weeks pregnant due on 12/11! I had an AMAZING natural birth experience with my first daughter almost 2 years ago. I like to share it because when I was pregnant with her all I read about natural births were HORROR stories about how awful it was and I went into it thinking that it really wasn’t an option for me. I didn’t think I could do it. BUT I DID! And if I can do it, anyone can! Here is my birth story with her if you want to check it out: https://www.adwellandco.com/2015/12/29/20151216lucys-birth-day/ :)

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