I got a comment on one of my previous posts about a precip delivery who didn't get an epidural before she delivered and who had great control vs. some patients who I see come in who don't have such good control.
"Sometimes losing control is how a woman copes with birthing naturally.
While swearing and writhing all over the bed are annoying to you, it's the
I agree totally with this statement. After going back to read my previous blog, I probably should have tried to make my point a little clearer and not come across so grouchy about it. I have nothing against someone going unblocked or without pain medicine during a delivery. In fact, I admire them! Totally, 100% admire them. They have something that a lot of people don't have: mental and physical strength and endurance!
The patients that I really, truly feel sorry for are the 1st time moms, especially, who come into labor not knowing anything about what it's going to be like. Or even worse, those who come in after doing all kinds of research on the Internet or listening to horror stories from friends and in turn come in scared spitless and with a complete unrealistic idea of how it's going to go. I think the one advice I can give to first time mom's is:
1) come in with an open mind. The best way to end up with a primary c/s is to be the mom who comes in saying she doesn't even want a saline lock. As hard as it can be, trust the nurses and the doctors who are taking care of you. They aren't out to get you, they aren't out to try and dash all your hopes and dreams, all we want is the best labor experience we can give you and above all else, a healthy mom and baby in the end.
2) Don't watch TLC's "Baby Story" and expect your labor to be just like that. According to them, you can get pregnant, have a baby and be home with your baby all in about 45 minutes...trust me, it doesn't really happen that way! As much as I love those kinds of shows, you have to take them with a grain of salt ;)
Back to the epidural/pain meds thing; as a labor nurse, when my patients hurt, I hurt. When I seem them crying in bed from the contractions, whether they're 1cm or 8cm, I don't want them to hurt. I wouldn't be a very good nurse if I WANTED my patients to have pain! I've seen so many mom's come in and not even really understand what an epidural is, and what they've heard about makes them totally freaked about them.
Epidurals DON'T hurt your baby, they DON'T make your baby sleepy, I have NEVER seen someone paralyzed from an epidural (and I don't think any of our anesthesiologists have either), and they DON'T stop labor. Epidurals DO enable you to be able to rest, and maybe even enjoy your labor, they DO let your body relax and not fight the pain which in turn usually makes your labor progress at a smoother rate, they DO let you (hopefully) rest and save energy for pushing out your adorable baby instead of fighting and tensing up the entire labor.
My other little "speech" for new mom's is that if you come in 7-8cm, with you BOW broken and you don't want an epidural, more power to you. You've almost made it, I will do everything in my power to help you achieve your goal. Mom's who come in for inductions, I will STILL do everything in my power to help you achieve your goal, but I will tell you up front that it's going to be a little different being induced than if your body sends you into labor 100% on it's own time schedule. Pitocin contractions are different from "regular" and once your bag of water is broken, it's a whole NEW ballgame. At least at my hospital, if you're being induced using pitocin, I can't let you in the tub, and you're on a leash known as monitor cables. That means I can't let you walk the halls either :( Trust me, this isn't my choice, I would love to let you use the tub, walk laps in the halls, because I know that stuff works! I will never, never, never tell a patient that she "has to get an epidural." It's a free country!!! But I hurt when you hurt, and when I see you crying it makes me want to cry. I will do everything I possibly can to make sure that you have the labor experience you want, but I want you to be able to ENJOY your labor if you can, not spend most of it curled up in a ball crying because you hurt so much you can hardly breathe.