Pain Medication Or Not?
I am having an inner-battle with myself regarding my delivery. When I first became pregnant I wanted to have a home water birth. Then I decided I wasn't comfortable enough to do so. I was then dead-set on not having any pain medication (i.e. epidural). Now that I am almost 9 months pregnant and I have felt pregnancy pains, I am afraid that I will be unable to handle the labour pains. Along with this, I am extremely afraid of the feeling of numbness. Being numb makes me unreasonably anxious, it is almost like it is a phobia of mine.
My husband and I have decided that our number one concern during delivery is that every one in the room (my husband, my mother, and myself) are calm and relaxed. Again-if I am in pain, will I be calm? If I am numb, will I be calm? I think the answer is no to both of these.
What are things I can do to make my labour easy, relaxing, and calm-even if it is in the hospital?
Have you considered hiring a doula? She can help you to remain calm and comfortable and provide you with suggestions for natural pain relief. I have found that the more worried you are about the pain, the more you will tense up and be uncomfortable during contractions.
For me, I was honestly more calm during my natural births then then the one where I submitted to an epidural. I also felt better afterwards. However, every woman and every situation is different. I would definitely look into getting someone to support you and help you achieve your wishes for a natural, calm birth. I do not think you will regret it at all.
Since this is your first baby, I would also consider signing up for a short childbirth class session if you can find one.
The benefits of a water birth is that the water acts as a natural epidural (okay, labour is still intense, but the water does relax you which helps with the pain). The more relaxed you are the less pain you will have.
I would highly recommend finding a doula or support person who knows how to coach a woman through labour. Even though you're in your final weeks of pregnancy, it's still possible to find a doula. Another alternative is to use a midwife at the hospital (if they have them). Midwives are much better at helping you use different positions, applying counter pressure to your back during contractions, etc. and all of these things help to lessen pain and help baby come into position better.
I'd encourage you to see a Chiropractor or CranioSacral therapist who can help get your skeletal system into good alignment. This will help to facilitate a faster, easier birth.
Stay home as long as you possibly can, because when you're home you're in your natural surroundings. Having a doula can help because the doula can come to your house and give you a good idea as to when it's a good time to go to the hospital. If you go too early, they'll likely send you home or tell you to go walk around the mall for a few hours. I'd rather be home during early and most of active labour.
Things that help to relax:
Candles (if you like candles - be careful with the ones that have perfumes because you may not like the smell of those during labour)
Warm bath (as long as you bag is in tact) - this is WONDERFUL
Relaxing music - whatever it is that you like, that you find relaxing
Going for a stroll with your husband or your best support person
Slow Dancing (no kidding) - You've got to take a look at this page and the video on the page.
And here's a video that I thought would be empowering for you. The title is "From Fear To Freedom"
I hope you'll be able the home birth you wanted, in the setting you feel more comfortable in, which is the hospital, this time around.