Did epidural help?

posted 10 months ago in Pregnancy
Post # 47
Member
1220 posts
Bumble bee

I had never had any medical procedure that required anesthesia so I wasn’t aware but turns out I am extremely sensitive to it! After the anesthesiologist had left my room and the nurses were preparing to leave, I casually mentioned to my husband that I couldn’t feel anything from my neck down. He freaked and told the nurse – SHE freaked and paged the anesthesiologist. He had to dial my epidural dosage waaaay down (and I was already on a pretty low dose) and then he stayed to monitor me because he was also concerned by the extremity of my reaction.  My husband says it was super scary to see me being flopped around like a rag doll but I was so out of it that I didn’t even notice/care.

Once they fixed the dosage issue, I got 5 glorious GLORIOUS hours of sleep but the epi also completely stalled my labor so I had to get pitocin and labored for 2 hours after that. I could definitely feel the contractions but more like a tightening belt around my abdomen vs the pain pre-epidural. However, pushing was pretty unpleasant: I actively pushed for 2 hours which was thoroughly exhausting and eventually had to get an episiotomy.

If I have another baby I would maybe take some birthing classes to learn better pain coping mechanisms and maybe (tmi) get some perineal massages to avoid another episiotomy, but I’m still completely open to an epidural.

Post # 49
Member
7879 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

daisy123 :  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.

Omg that cracked me up! I don’t even know how you would do that? I honestly just felt like I was trying to take the biggest shit of my life – I couldn’t differentiate between the muscle during labor. My midwife laughed at me because I asked if I had pooped and I was bummed that I didn’t – I had been constipated leading up to labor and the thought of pooping after labor was terrifying.

Post # 50
Member
7814 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

LilliV : dont worry, i shit enough during the pushing part for both of us. i knew it was gonna happen…i didnt poop much at all the day or two before i went into labor. alas…!

Post # 51
Member
374 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I didn’t have one but all of my friends who were induced all said they were very thankful for an epidural (or wished they’d had one). 

My labour wasn’t induced and to be honest I really surprised myself how much I could cope with things once I got in ‘the zone’. However I was in the lucky position of having a birth pool, a doula, midwives who let me get on with it etc. If I’d have been wired up to a drip I don’t doubt I would have had one! 

Long way of saying, if for any reason you need to be induced I’d really consider getting an epidural early on. If labour comes on naturally see how far you can get but don’t hesitate to ask for one if you want it (maybe make sure your birth partner has a cue to know you really mean it if you ask for one so they can put pressure on your caregivers to make it snappy!!). 

Post # 52
Member
7879 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

LadyKM :  jumping off of your point – for people who don’t want an epidural our midwife told us to basically have a “safe word” which meant “no for real give me that epidural now before I cut you” that way if you just blurted out that you might want an epidure they’d know you needed reassurance that you’re doing great without and to help you with some other coping strategies. The safe word meant to call the anesthesiologist. 

Post # 53
Member
4811 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

tiffanybruiser :  thanks bee! 

So induction went amazingly, had the gel inserted at 7:30pm (appt was pushed back), 10pm started getting intense contractions 5 minutes apart, 2am water broke, off to the hospital we went. Got the epidural at 330am when I was 5cm dilated and wow what a difference it made! Like PPs said, you can still feel the contractions coming but the pain is at 0! 

No complications, our little baby girl born at 1144am Wed, Dec 12th weighing just under 8lbs. 

Recovery is going well, I definitely recommend the epidural.

Post # 54
Member
4811 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

LilliV :  lol well then my safe words were “GIVE ME THE NEEDLE ILL PUT IT IN MYSELF!!!” lol literally me before the pain meds. 

Post # 55
Member
7879 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

lifeisbeeutiful :  hahahahaha. It was her recommendation for moms who were planning to go med free only. If you said in advance you wanted drugs then they hooked you straight up. 

Post # 56
Member
203 posts
Helper bee

I can’t compare it to not having one, but I was glad I got one for both of my deliveries, although each experience was completely different. For my first delivery I got the epidural when I was maybe 5cm dialated. I will say that immediately after it kicked in, my body completely relaxed and my baby dropped rapidly, which was a bit harrowing as nurses had to move me around quickly in order to get his heart rate back to normal. It went smoothly after that and the only adverse things for me were that I could not feel when I had to push as good, so it took 3 hours of pushing to have my baby, and I got the shivers pretty bad. But I did not feel too much pain and overall my labor was 11 hours total.

On my second one I was induced at 10 days past my due date. My doctor this time told me well ahead of time that I could get the epidural whenever I wanted as nobody was going to award any gold medals for not getting one. After the hubby and I heard the screams of an adjacent mommy, I quickly buzzed the nurse to schedule the epidural ASAP, LOL. This time things were not as smooth as far as administering it. Bascially the anesthesiologist got it wrong and they had to insert it twice. NOT FUN. But once it kicked in, it was all good. I actually felt that it was pretty strong and I did get a bit of anxiety as I could not feel a thing and it almost gave me a scary “paralyzed” sensation. But since it was my second baby, I literally pushed like two times and the baby popped out after waiting 40 weeks and 10 days – thank God!

The second time I also found out that you can push this little button and up the epidural if you start feeling pain. I did not know that the first time around. Also, the first time around it seemed like one of my legs would still get a little prickly or “asleep” feeling for maybe 6 months after baby was born, but eventually that feeling did go away. All in all, I recommend it if you can get it and have done your research.

Post # 57
Member
242 posts
Helper bee

I know you’ve got lots of advice on here but just wanted to add my two cents…

My epidural didn’t work. Part of my left leg went numb but that was it. It took them forever to get the needle in, and then they kept having me roll around to see if the epidural would take. Finally I said screw it, take it out, and we went all natural.

I’m not saying this to scare you, I’m just saying it because even though I wanted an epidural and it didn’t work, everything was fine. Sure, it hurt. But (partly because I didn’t have an epidural) things progressed quite swiftly, and as soon as she was out, the pain was done. Also, this is not to say that you shouldn’t have one. By all means, if you want it, go for it! It is to say, though, that even if things don’t go as you expect, they still turn out.

Good luck!

Post # 58
Member
611 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

rose1992 :  oh my goodness. It was the best thing ever. I was very nervous about the birth and so many people encouraged me to “go natural”. Pfffff. I knew it wasn’t for me because I wanna cry when I get my eyebrows threaded! 

I endured a couple hours of close contractions only because the anaesthetists were swapping shifts and I wanted someone fresh, rather than someone who was finishing up after 12 hrs. The midwife was lovely when I asked if I sucked for not being brave…she basically said, “well think of the next 10 hours or so of being on a flight together…do you want to fly economy or first class?”. First class baby! 

I was scared of the needle but it was way better than labour pains for me. Once it worked, I was so so happy! I was like, yay! We can play board games! We can have a nap! Alas I ended up in emergency c section shortly after due to fetal distress (nothing to do with the epidural) so I didn’t get to enjoy my epidural as much as I would have liked, lol! 

I would 100% get one again. 

 

Post # 59
Member
2523 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I was planning on going natural unless I had to get pitocin or labor all night- both which happened.  I didn’t even try- got the epidural right away and it was AMAZING.  Pain went from 10000 to 0 the instant it went in.  I was one of those weirdos that happened to be able to move their lower half pretty decently with one.  I could feel pressure at times, and it was uncomfortable, but not painful.  Pushing was hard and there was definitely pain- but nowhere near the amount of pain as the contractions I felt before the epidural.  There were lots of parts of my labor that I was literally perfectly comfortable just waiting/ trying to get rest.  My baby’s cord was wrapped around her neck and her heart rate went all crazy and she wasn’t in a great position- I was super super close to having a Csection (my doctor told me she was shocked that as a first time mom my labor wasn’t a csection)- and if I didn’t have the epidural to give me the extra ability to just push through the pain (it got to the point where they told me she had to be born on the next push or they were doing a csection), I have no doubt I would have ended up with a Csection.  If I have another baby- I would definitely get an epidural again.

Post # 60
Member
1158 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

rose1992 :  Late to the thread but I was SO nervous about getting an epidural. The thought of something in my back, the long needle, having to sit still during contractions … it all made me anxious. So I went in not knowing, but wanting to wait and see how it went before getting one. 

I was 6cm when they first got me into the labor suite and checked me. I made it to 8cm before deciding the contractions were unbearable and wanted the epidural. It was a BREEZE. My husband couldn’t be in the room but my L+D nurse was a rockstar and made me feel so at ease. It worked quickly and I felt such relief. I could rest a bit. About an hour later, I started to be able to feel the contractions again on my left side – I told my nurse, they repositioned me a bit, gave me a little extra bolus in the epidural and it went back to normal. I got some rest while they waited for me to finish dilating and my water to break, then I pushed 40 minutes and voila. I don’t think I’d have enjoyed my labor if I had to do those last 2cm and pushing without pain relief. I was exhausting myself and while I didn’t sleep, it was nice to rest my body before pushing. If/when I have another child I will definitely get another epidural if I can! 

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