I'm watching the new lifetime show One Born Every Minute. The woman said they have a 90% epidural rate...and they keep showing all these women screaming and moaning with their laboring....

I'm still way more afraid of that needle in my back than the labor pain. Am I nuts? Or do you think because I am so afraid of the needle I can make it through the birth without the epi?

I will happily take iv meds or a shot anywhere in my arm or leg...just not that epidural. It scares the freaking crap out of me...

I hope I am strong enough!


  1. If it helps, I felt almost no pain during labour (only if I tried to walk when I was too close to a contraction or when lying on my back - lying on my back HURT, all other times, nothing). It was hard, like pushing a piano up a flight of stairs, but that was about it. There was *strain* but no *pain* (I had to get an episiotomy, so they gave me a local anesthetic, which meant that I didn't feel the stretching quite as intensely as I otherwise would have, but that part was over really quickly, so I doubt it would have made much difference).

    So yeah, if you lie on your back where your body has to work against gravity to get the baby out, it'll hurt like hell (because you'll be trying to do it "wrong" & that's where the pain comes from. The body can tell something isn't right, so it hurts to let you know something's wrong) & because hospitals like women on their backs so that the doctors can see better, that's why the epidural rate is so high.

    If you stand, squat or go on all fours, your body is working *with* gravity, so there's no pain & it just feels like a tough workout. And for the record, as far as workouts go, Jillian Michaels is about 100 times worse. I had 36 hours of *active* labour & came out of it thinking "well, that wasn't so bad, I don't know what everyone complains about", 8 minutes into 30 Day Shred I was sobbing on the floor convinced I was going to die.

  2. I am not really sure what the hospital policy is on moving around - I have my childbirth class this week so I'm going to ask. I know they have labor tubs though (which I plan to use if I need it) and showers, etc, so I do hope that I'll be able to squat and move around and stuff.

    I'm pretty certain though that when it comes time to push it'll be on my back...hopefully that part will be over quickly!

  3. The birth pool was awesome! It was the only place I was actually able to get some sleep, haha!

  4. I agree that I wasn't in pain (just uncomfortable) for most of the labor. Only the last hour and the pushing was painful. I actually didn't ask for drugs until it was too late so that is why I didn't have any. My labor lasted only 9 hours from start to finish and they didn't break my water till I delivered so that helped. I also stayed home for 4 hours of that and walked around and rocked in my glider. But these are the two things that helped me through the whole active labor process:

    1. Contractions last for only seconds/minute. Think of getting through one at time when they start getting really uncomfortable. It seemed tolerable if I thought about getting through the next minute or two.

    2. When it comes to the end you will want to push and they want you to wait for the doctor (damn people want to torture you) I was terrified I would push when I wasn't supposed to so my birthing class instructor said- If you are taking deep breaths in and out then your not able to push. To really push you have to hold you breathe. Breathe through the painful part and you will be fine.

    I am sure you will be ok. Just remember to go in with an open mind and don't be disappointed if it doesn't turn out exactly how you planned.


  5. Thanks Kimmy. This is good advice. I am hoping to get to that point where i can't have the epi because i am too far I will keep the one at a time thing in mind, also the breathing instead of pushing thing.

  6. I was much more terrified of a needle in my spine than labour pains. I ended up only having one shot of morphine in my thigh as pain relief, and it had worn off by the time I gave birth.

    I know everyone tolerates pain differently, but labour pains weren't bad for me at all. I've had worse gas/stomach pains. I went into labour feeling as though I could deal with the pain and I think that helped a lot. Go into it positively and hopefully it'll be a positive experience. I know it sounds crazy, but I actually enjoyed the birthing process!

  7. Thanks Lisa.

    I had kidney stones back about 10 years ago - and that was absolute misery. All the nurses told me if I could get through those, I could survive labor, so I'm going to draw from that experience too!