Post # 17
We live in a relatively smaller town (but not super small – we have 3 hospitals in our county) and my midwife said that if you want an epidural and it’s “after hours” (like in tne evening or at night) to keep in mind it might take an hour or so before the anesthesiologist comes in because they don’t always have someone in-hospital in evenings or at night and have to page the on call anesthesiologist to come in from home. It might be worth asking how long it will be between the time you request the epi to the time they actually administer it. I was under the impression that you ask for it, and 15 minutes later (or so) the guy shows up! Good thing to keep in mind, especially if you get to that point where you just can’t take it anymore.
Post # 18
I prepared for a med-free birth, but my plan was to get an epidural, if needed. I ended up getting the epidural at about 5 cms, roughly 2 hours after we got to the hospital (or 3 hours after labor started). My labor was also very fast; the whole thing only lasted about 9 hours (6 hours after I had the epidural placed). I also hardly tore (I don’t think I needed any stitches), and had a very fast, easy recovery. I have the same plan in mind with birthing #2: I would like to try for a med-free birth, but I’m ok with getting an epidural, if need be.
For me, my water broke first, and contractions very quickly intensified and became close together. About 2 hours after my water broke the first time, my water broke again, and I started having contractions 1 minute long, 2 minutes apart. I dealt with that for about an hour before the epidural was placed.
I think it’s a good idea to have some specific goals in mind, but be aware that things may change and you may need to re-evaluate, in the moment. For me, it wasn’t the pain that was the worst part. For me, it was the sheer exhaustion of constant strong contractions and the dehydration (I was basically throwing up with every single contraction). All the things I thought I’d want to do during labor (move around, change positions, use the shower, eat/drink as wanted, etc…) kinda went out the window when I realized labor (for me) meant feeling bone tired and puking so much I had to have some anti-nausea meds and a saline drip. I really just wanted to lie down and sleep, and the epidural let me do that, so I have no regrets. 🙂 My suggestion to others is that most first time mothers don’t know how their bodies will react to labor; it’s good to plan out ahead of time what you would like to happen, but it’s also good to remember to be flexible and re-evaluate your plan as needed.
Post # 19
I got one 6 hours before I started pushing, mostly so I could sleep. I could feel every push and knew when to push through the contractions, it was a lot of pressure but it wasn’t painful. I was really grateful for the sleep as my labor went over 30 hours.