Post # 1
how did it work out for you?
I want an epidural, but I like the idea of delaying it as long as I can. I want to be able to move around, do some yoga, walk the hallways, etc. as long as I can. This is because I want to aim for a shorter labor and pushing time, less tearing, and just more control overall. I do not believe I can do the entire labor and delivery without the pain relief though.
So if this was your plan, how did it all turn out? How long were you able to last? What was the result?
Post # 3
This was my plan and, honestly, at the time, it was such a blur that I got the epi pretty early on. They asked me if I was planning to get the epi when I first got there, and I said “probably”, and they just brought a guy in a while later. I didn’t really think to argue, there was so much going on at that point.
If this is your plan, I recommend you tell your husband EXACTLY what your plan is and have him be your advocate. Have him remind you how you wanted things to go when you’re in the heat of the moment, and have him stand up for you to staff.
Good luck 🙂
Post # 4
My friend did this and she recommends against it!
She said to get it earlier because you have to stay perfectly still as they put the needle into your back. And she said by the time she got hers and contractions were 1 minute long and 1 minute apart, she was shaking and it was hell to stay still.
She said if she did it all again she’d get it earlier, as staying still for the thing was the worst part.
And for her, the ideal birth plan of moving around a lot went out the window due to the monitoring devices and IVs she had to wear due to the way things went (not in plan).
For what it’s worth, she said she could still feel what was going on with the pushing, and she said pushing was pretty easy.
Post # 5
Interesting thread! This is my plan as well and I’m curious to hear more stories about how it’s gone for people. I really like the idea of using gravity to help move this baby down but I know I’m going to want an epidural at some stage. For those who have gone this route, what stage were you at when you got it? I think I’m going to definitely want it before the transition phase but I don’t know how soon before that (sorry heathaah if I threadjacked a bit!)
Post # 6
I’ll also be following this thread because this is totally my plan as well, or my hope at least, for exactly the same reasons! Also, with regards to what @cvbee mentioned, I’ve heard you can ask them to place the epi early on but not actually start administering any meds until you’re ready, so that’s something I was planning to ask about once I get there. My friend did that for hers and totally recommended it.
Post # 7
I held out till about 5.5cm (with back labor = ouch!), and I don’t think that it helped anything on the tearing side. My labor was very short (checked in at about 11am and had my son at 3:30pm), tore like crazy (47 stitches), and only pushed 2-3 times. For me, the epi sped up labor big time. My son had the UC wrapped around his shoulders so he needed out quickly anyways, but under normal circumstances, it might have been nice to take it slower.
Post # 8
@AvantLaLettre: That’s a really good idea! I never would have thought of asking them to place the epi early but holding off on administering the meds until later. I wonder if my hospital will do that…..
Post # 9
I did this and think I’ll go the same route again. I was more lets see what labor is like before deciding if I want an epidural or not. For me nothing was bad until my water broke and then whew it was a lot of pain, looooooooooooootttttttttsssssss of pain. I kept thinking I was about to have the baby since the first time I was checked I was almost 6 cm. But many hours later I realized we still had many hours to go so I was ready for the epi. I got it after the point where I’d already puked and was pretty shaky from the pain and my husband was probably traumatized with the grip I had on him while it was put in but it only takes like 10 seconds. I did have to wait about an hour for the dr to arrive so that kinda stunk. I think if you do wait though you have to prepare yourself for everything – like you might have the baby without pain meds, you might get to a point where you feel like you can’t do it (but you can), so you kinda have to prep like you were going to go med free in case you get to those points.
Post # 10
With my now 3 year old I didn’t want an EPI but ended up getting one at 7cm. It was hard to sit still but doable.
Post # 11
Hmm, I might ask if they can place the epi early so I can try to hold out as long as possible without the fear of not being able to sit still later to actually get the epi.
I definitely want to be able to walk around, use the birthing ball, etc. So we’ll see!
Post # 12
You can also ask your OB if they will do a “walking” epi or a self-administered epi (which is kind of like the self-morphine drip. You can push a button and control it yourself.)
Post # 13
I delayed mine and it worked out great. My timeline went like this,
(Copied from a previous post) – The anesthesiologist made it so I could still feel pressure (so not totally gone) but no intense pain. That really helped with pushing. I did labor for about 24 hours without getting it first because I didn’t want it to wear off before it came time to push. I went into labor around 7am Thursday, then went to the hospital at 11pm Thursday, got a shot of nubain around 2am Friday to help me sleep, got into the waterbath around 3am and stayed in til 6am (I actually fell asleep in the tub! oops), then an epidural at 11am Friday and started pushing at 3pm and had her at 3:30pm Friday. I loved all of my decisions and my hospital. (end copy)
I tried walking around before the epi and actually felt worse. Then I tried the birthing ball and it made me puke becuase of all the motion. All I wanted to do was lay there anyways so it really didn’t matter to me if I got the epidural. I ended up getting it when I did because my OBGYN was going off duty and another from her practice was coming in. She advised me that if I wanted one I should get it within the hour because the anesthesiologist had just had a shift change so the guy was “fresh”. I had no issue staying still and by the time I got it my nubain had worn off. I think I was about 6 cm but I rapidly progressed after the epi because the new doctor came in and broke what was left of my water (apparently my water hadn’t completely broken naturally and we didn’t realize for a while). My contractions were never regular so I’m not sure how those would play into it.
Good luck and sorry for my ramblings! It’s early for me.
Post # 14
I didn’t want an epi, and labored until about 2 am (after being induced at 7am the morning before) without any pain meds. I didn’t get an epi, but had a one time shot of some pain meds (into my spine) since there was no break at all between contractions and I couldn’t go any longer. I asked for pain meds and they had to fix my IV and give me IV fluids (which I hadn’t been getting all along, since I was drinking water and gatorade during labor) before calling the guy. It took about 40 minutes. After the pain meds, I rested for a while, DS’s heartrate started fluctuating, and I was ready to push, so we got started. I pushed for 3 hours and had a very large baby, and needed an episiotomy to get him out. Waiting on pain meds and having a fairly slow labor didn’t help the pushing go faster or stop me from needing an episiotomy.
I think it is so hard to plan these things, but it’s great to think about them in advance and have an idea of what you want to do in different scenarios.
If you are induced, you have to be on monitors a lot, so I ended up in bed a lot of the time (at least while pitocin was being administered, from 7am to 5pm). Our hospital only had 2 wireless monitors and one was broken, so I couldn’t get up and walk a lot.
If you want to move around, you should check and see if you can once the epi is placed, even if they haven’t started the meds. If you aren’t getting IV fluids when you decide you want pain meds, you have to have an entire bag before they will do an epi or spinal shot of pain meds. Also, sometimes it can take an hour or two for the anesthesiologist to get to you.
Post # 15
I think it all depends on your hospital and their policies. I would contact them and see what their recommendations are. When I got mine I was induced and got it earlier than I planned, I also had a walking epidural which meant I felt every contraction with no pain. The one time I was feeling pain I pushed a little button and it went away. My anesthesiologist was there within a half hour. It all depends on what is going on.
Post # 16
I wanted to see if I could go without but ended up getting one around 7cm. I never know when people declare that labor started. For me, I started having super mild contractions but lost my plug on Saturday evening. Then nothing until about 3am Sunday morning. Slow and steady contractions all day on Sunday, gradually getting closer together. Water broke around 9pm on Sunday and we went to the hospital about an hour later because the contractions were MUCH closer together. I made it a few more hours, until they were right on top of one another without much break in between. I was able to stay still during the placement (the nurse let me kind of hug her around her waist–they made my husband leave the room). Beforehand, I thought I may freak out during the placement but I basically don’t even remember any pain there might have been with it. I was kind of distracted by other pain. My drugs were perfect. I was able to rest and I could still roll myself from side to side but could feel the pain. I could feel when it was time to push. Once she was born and I was stitched up and ready to be moved to my regular room, I could walk to the bathroom myself. No being forced in bed for hours or anything. I guess my tips are to labor at home (or wherever that’s NOT the hospital) for as long as you can. While my doctor had said that I’d be able to move around at the hospital (as long as nothing was wrong with me or the baby), the nurses wouldn’t let me. I had to labor in the bed. This time I may push the issue more. Or maybe not. Who knows. Good luck, though!