Did epidural help?

posted 8 months ago in Pregnancy
Post # 31
Member
1551 posts
Bumble bee

It only took on one side, the other side I felt everything but they tried a few times to fix it and it got much better. I definitely recommend it and my experience was rare. 

Post # 32
Member
464 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: City, State

I planned to try and go without an epidural, but as a pp said, the exhaustion can get you in the end.

I had my first contraction at 1:30am and laboured most of the day at home before going to hospital around 7pm. By 11pm I had nothing left and had run out of strategies to get past the pain. I was told I was 9cm and could still have an epidural if I wanted, so I did. Don’t think I got full dose or however it works, but it gave me a one hour break before pushing. It was just what I needed and I’m so glad I got it.

Post # 33
Member
7865 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I went into labor/delivery with a desire to do an unmedicated birth, but also a very open mind. While pregnant I’d read Ina May Gaskin’s book on childbirth and followed a few doulas on Instagram who were very much pro the natural birth experience. I found the birth stories I readi n those books and saw on Instagram really empowering and wanted that experience for myself, if possible. But I’m also a realist and knew that the birth could go in many different directions and was not something I’d be able to control, so I didn’t get too hung up on a particular “birth plan” or anything. Like, I had my “ideal” scenario (unmedicated), but also knew I may not have the pain tolerance and/or there may be complications that would make that ideal impossible, and so I was prepared for that.

Anyway, my water ended up breaking before I was in active labor, so I had to be induced with pitocin. I labored on pitocin without an epidural for a few hours. At first it was manageable, but by the end of that period, the contractions were coming every 90 seconds, lasting a minute, and I was losing it. The hardest part for me was not knowing when it would be over. I think if I’d known I had to endure one or two more hours, I could have probably gotten through it without an epi, but labor doesn’t work that way lol. Since it was my first baby, and I was only 1 cm when admitted, the doctor told me it could take a full 24 hrs before I’d even get into active labor. 

At some point a switch flipped in my brain. I went from thinking “this suckks but at least I’m mobile and can labor on the exercise ball, walk around, etc. – how nice!” to “I don’t care if I never walk again, GIVE ME THE EPIDURAL!!!!!!!!” Seriously…I just didn’t have that kind of pain tolerance and was losing my mind.

So, I got the epidural. And for me, it was a friggin godsend. A+ experience, 5/5 rating! I felt no pain with the insertion (just a little prick when they numbed the area), and almost immediately the contractions became bearable. Within 20 min I had no pain at all. 

My biggest fear with the epidural (which I got from reading all these natural mama books/blogs) was that it would stall my  labor and lead to more interventions, ultimately a csection. My personal experience was the total opposite. Once the epi was in, I went from 3-10cm in about 90 minuts after having taken hours to get just from 1 to 3 before I had the epi. My body could finally relax, and I believe that helped me progress. 

When it came time to push, I could feel a lot of pressure in my butt (like a need to bear down) and could feel each contraction. It wasn’t painful exactly, just kinda uncomfortable. For me, I felt exactly as much as I wanted to. I didn’t want to be totally numb, but I didn’t want to be in agony either. The pushing/birthing experience, while physically exhausting and truly some of the hardest work I’ve ever done, was definitely manageable from a pain perspective with the epidural. While pushing, I felt every contraction before it even showed up on the monitor (again, with the epi the contractions felt like pressure – they weren’t painful), so I knew when I needed to push. I also felt some burning from the ring of fire – it wasn’t excruciating at all, but it was enough to make me damn glad I wasn’t feeling the full, unmedicated force of it! 

After an hour of pushing, my baby was here! I just had one small 1st degree tear “up high.” My recovery from labor/delivery and the epidural was super easy. We did an hour of skin to skin right after she was born, and by the end of that I felt basically normal (other than the feeling that a bowling ball had just fallen out of my butt lol). I could stand up and walk to the bathroom without assistance. No residual issues from the epidural.

Anyway everyone’s experience is different of course and there are no guarantees with birth, but for me, as somoene who initially didn’t want an epidural, the experience could not have been better. I will 100% get an epidural if I have another kid, no question. All the things the natural birth literature made me fear about an epi (that it leads to more interventions, that it stalls labor, etc.) proved wholly untrue for me personally. 

Post # 34
Member
1624 posts
Bumble bee

tiffanybruiser :  lol yes about the butt pressure, I kept telling the nurse that I felt like she was going to come out of my butt when it was getting close to the time to push. 

Post # 35
Member
181 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I have two kids. I had an epidural for one, and not the other (labor progressed quickly). I can confirm that the epidural helps.

Post # 36
Member
7865 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

MrsMellyBean :  Exactly! Such a weird feeling. It really is true that you use the same muscles to push a poop out as you do to push a baby out lol. And strangely, even though I didnt’ tear down there, I had a lot more pain in the butt area than anywhere else in those first days postpartum. It just ached and would be excruciating anytime I coughed or sneezed. 

Post # 38
Member
4060 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I was unmedicated for #1, got the epi with #2.

I got it in at 7cm, and was at 10 within about 30 minutes, so it definitely didn’t stall anything. I also jacked up my dosage big time (they gave me the button-why?), so i didn’t feel a single thing. Not even pressure.

For me, the epi was tied with my husband and kids as the best thing to ever happen to me. 

I know a lot of people mention tears etc, but my experience was the opposite. My son was so fast i didn’t have time for an epidural,  and i got a fourth degree tear. This was largely because i was so desperate for it to end i pushed way too hard. With my daughter,  i had barely anything because i eased off since it wasn’t so unbearable. 

Post # 39
Member
7453 posts
Busy Beekeeper

Kate127 :  I personally have 3 friends who only had the epidural work on one side. And we’re in Boston with the best hospitals around (and they were all at different hospitals). I think it’s more common than people think. 

Post # 40
Member
1246 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Helped me tremendously. I had one of those situations where my water broke a couple of weeks early, so of course, the hospital machine wants to admit you and start the clock, even though I was having very weak-sauce contractions. Enter pitocin. Ow. Enter Nubain. No help. Hours and hours of toughing it out with the pitocin and not progressing very far, I opted for an epidural. 

I took like a two-hour nap and woke up several centimeters more dilated than when I’d gone to sleep. It was what my body needed, I guess. (Someone up-thread mentioned that if you need pitocin, just accept the eventuality of the epidural, and I agree.) 

When it came time to push, it was beginning to wear off, enough that I could feel some pain, but mostly pressure. (This may also have been because I had to push for quite some time, but I digress.) I could feel some discomfort during stitching afterward, and the whole not-being-able-to-walk-or-pee phenomenon is super odd. But 10/10 would do again if my next labor goes similarly. Huge help.

Post # 41
Member
824 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

rose1992 :  I agree with pp who said it was magical! I was induced and started having hard contractions!! I was having them every 90 seconds to 2 minutes apart so getting the epidural was amazing!! All I could feel was pressure. I had the kind where I could push a button to give myself more once the light turned green. I would push it whenever it turned green everytime. When it was time to push they didnt let me push the button so I could feel the contractions a little. I did feel then slightly towards the end but it was very tolerable!! The epidural definatly made it all easier for me personally!!

Post # 42
Member
604 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

slomotion :  LOL I really want to know what the margarita drugs were! I want some next time 🙂

Post # 43
Member
9672 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

mrskitty5 :  Idk man but they were amazing! And apparently I ordered cookies while on them so when I came down I had cookies waiting. 

Post # 44
Member
604 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

slomotion :  Sounds like a magical delivery!

Post # 45
Member
634 posts
Busy bee

I was open to having an epidural, but the nurses didn’t offer it. At one point during labour I mentioned it and they laughed! Apparently I was way too far along for an epidural and baby was going to be out within minutes. He was. I did not experience “ring of fire.” I did experiense butt labour though. I wish I had known that you really need to push through the entire nether region. I think for a while I was holding my butt in and trying to push through my vagina. That doesn’t work at all. You just gotta push it ALL. 

Leave a comment


Find Amazing Vendors