Post # 1
So I guess this is sort of a spin off from the other “scared of delivery” thread. When I think about what I am afraid of during delivery, it is pretty much all related to the epidural. Yet, I am petrified of not having one. I have no idea what to do!
With the epi, I am afraid of (and I know some of these things don’t happen to everyone, or even to most people):
-Chronic back pain afterwards
-The epi wearing off too early (and not having learned enough alternate pain management techniques)
-Not getting the epi on time and panicking when I realize I can’t have one.
-Going numb on one side only
-The pain and risks involved in putting the epi in
-CATHETER (which I am wondering if you need regardless?)
-Not being able to get out of bed during labor
The main reason I want one is the RING OF FIRE! I feel like I could handle contractions for a couple reasons. I have always had bad cramps and stomach issues, so I know I have a high pain tolerance for that type/location of pain only (not for other types at all!!). Also I had a very painful miscarrage during which I asked in the ER “is this what labor feels like?” to which my nurse responded “no, labor shouldn’t be this bad.” (My miscarrage experience was definately an exception to how they normally are.)
But that ring of fire! I don’t want to feel the baby come out down there. But is that really a reason to get an epi?? If I need an episiotomy or if I tear, I won’t be able to tolerate that kind of pain.
What do you think???
Post # 3
Other natural moms I’ve talked to ALL (well all but 1) has said that the contractions were much worse than the pushing/ring of fire… And that being able to feel what was going on was actually very helpful in them feeling in control & not tearing.
For myself, being able to move in labor (to help it progress via gravity) is REALLY important to me. If I was having a hospital birth anyways. lol
Post # 4
Hmmm, have you looked into other options for pain management? There are a lot of meds and med-free options out there besides just getting an epidural or not! Specifically, I’m thinking you might start researching and ask your doctor about a pudendal block, based on your concerns. Not every doctor/hospital does it, but it’s basically a local anesthetic shot applied very shortly before or after the actual birth (e.g. right before crowning or right after the baby is actually delivered).
Secondly, I’ll say that I had an epidural and it was pure bliss, but I know not everyone has as good of an experience as I did. However, once you get to the point of an episiotomy or tearing or feeling the ring of fire, it’s not that big of a deal. There is so much other stuff going on, and all of those things only last a split second, that it’s literally the shortest part of labor. Plus, if it all of a sudden hurts, and the pain doesn’t immediately dissapate, your doctors can still give you a local anesthetic that will have immediate relief. So it’s not like you’ll be in angonizing pain for hours on end from tearing/episiotomy/ring of fire. 🙂
Post # 5
I tore and needed many stitches (yuck) so yeah I was grateful I had that epidural while they were sewing me up. The plan this time is to go without an epidural, so ooooooh yeah… we’ll see. I’ll make sure to compare the experiences.
The epidural itself from my experience feels like a bee sting, and then a weird little cold zap goes down your leg. For me it wasn’t painful, maybe a little unpleasant. But once it was in I could actually speak without crying, and even managed a nap. So by the time I was ready to push I felt well rested and ready, I’d brushed my hair and put some chapstick on and wasn’t a disheveled wreck like before.
I needed a catheter during labor only because I was on an IV the whole time, and reached a point where I could no longer go use the toilet through the contractions. I couldn’t feel it, I actually didn’t notice it was in until I said “Hey I haven’t had to pee for awhile.” Once I had the baby I used the toilet on my own minutes after I was stitched up. But no chronic back pain. I got the epidural 6 hours before I started pushing and was sleeping most of that time. Before I got the epidural I was walking around (cussing), on the birthing ball, leaning over the bed while Darling Husband rubbed my back. At one point I was walking around in the hallways in my gown with all the other about to pop moms and we were all nodding at each other like “Hey, what’s up. This is super fun right?”
The one thing that freaked me out was, my legs felt like they weighed 100 pounds each when they got me out of bed to pee. I was semi walking with help, but it was a weird sensation! It wore off though, by the next day I was sore but walking around, going down the hall to the nursery, chatting with other moms.
Maybe I didn’t have a typical experience, but when all was said and done, I totally didn’t regret having it. 2 days of pitocin induced pain was plenty. I’ll be interested to see how this time compares to the last time.
ETA: And no matter what, preparing yourself for any and all experiences can only help you. I’m shooting for an unmedicated birth this time with no pain relief, so I’m preparing like I would prepare for a final exam or something. I’ve researched c-sections, and of course I’ve already had a birth experience with an epidural as well. If you’re prepared for any outcome it makes it easier to get your game face on rather than panicking about the unknown. The way your body sort of guides you through the process is amazing!
Post # 6
I’m going to do it natural style, however I don’t have any negative feelings towards those who chose to have one. For me, as amnystik said, I don’t want to get stuck lying in a bed for hours, I want to move around and do what works for me. Plus I’m more than likely going to have a water birth anyways.
I watched my sister go through some crazy things with just trying to get her epi in. First only one half of her body went numb. Then they took it out placed it differently and then she couldn’t hear anything. Then the placed it again. I don’t want someone messing with my spine like that. Seems scary.
Post # 7
I have had a delivery with pitocin and no pain medication and one with an epi/spinal block. The one without pain med I also had an episiotomy and I didn’t really notice at the time. I tore beyond the episiotomy and felt most of my stitches (the numbing medicaiton wore off because I needed so many)Honestly getting the epi was scary to me, but the relief was amazing. I didn’t need a catheter because I was already at 10 when I got it. I was up moving pretty quickly afterwards and that first pee was much more comfortable then with out the epi.
My husband’s co-worker is one of those rare people that was paralyzed and had problems with nerve pain and walking for months. For that and other reasons I plan to go natural again with #3.
Post # 8
the epidural was amazing and honestly the pain was not bad at all putting it in. i must be honest though and say that my first epidural didn’t work. i didn’t know this was possible, but apparently its pretty common (15% of the time). they kept pumping more meds in and nothing was changing and contractions were getting worse. when i was faced with the IDEA of going without one i flipped out. they ended up doing it again and it worked perfectly. it wasn’t in the right place apparently. doing it the second time when i was in the middle of super painful contractions was more difficult that the first time when i was merely uncomfortable.
honestly it was such a relief not to have to get out of bed to pee and whatnot. after my water broke every time i’d get up, fluid just drained out. it was so gross. i basically had to walk around with a towel between my legs.
the catheter is no big deal. once the epi is in, you can’t feel them put in the catheter. after 10 hours of no progress i ended up with a c-section anyway so they just turned up the epidural at that point, which made things easier. i hadn’t had any lingering back pain or anything like that.
Post # 9
I’ve had 2 babies with epidurals. Yes, I had to be catheterized and could not get out of bed. But let me tell you, after hours of strong contractions I was SUPER happy to get the Epi. It was like heaven. Seriously.
Post # 10
@eeniebeans: Were you able to sleep? Sleep saved me. After 24 hours of non stop one right after the other strong contractions, my eyes were bloodshot and I felt like I was having a mental breakdown. I woke up and felt like a Disney princess, bluebirds were going to fly through the window and start braiding my hair haha!
Post # 11
From all the people I have talked to, I have to say I agree with @runsyellowlites: Most people say the contractions are the hardest part and the “ring of fire” doesnt last too long, whereas the contractions can go on for hours.
@heathaah: I am also terrified of the same things you listed about epi as well as what my doctor told me that it can (sometimes) slow labor down a little bit. I am praying I can avoid it if possible. If for some reason I do have to have an epi I would really want to have the regular “shot” rather than the iv that stays in your back. But if you want to have an epi you should definitely go for it. Just do what you are comfortable and happy with. Thats what my doctor always tells me.
Post # 12
KatyElle Actually, I was very lucky in that both of my labors happened fast enough (9 hours and 6.5 hours) so that I didn’t need/get a chance to sleep. So when I say “hours” of contractions I mean like between 4-5 hours of contractions. I know, I know- I shouldn’t complain at all! 🙂 Your Disney Princess description is PRICELESS!
Post # 13
I had a natural delivery because I was afraid of an epidural. The “ring of fire” never entered my mind. Yes, I tore a little, but it really didn’t bother me much after the fact and the stitches hurt more than the actual tearing. Also, I didn’t even think about anything else when they told me that they could see hair. For what it’s worth, I loved my birth and wouldn’t have a medicated birth as long as everything was healthy with the baby.
Post # 14
@TheFutureMcBride: How bad do the stitches hurt would you say? I’m not so much scared about the pushing because I feel I can overcome it with focus, but I am scared about the tearing if there is no pain relief.
Post # 15
I’m not exactly scared of the epidural…I’m scared that for one reason or another I won’t be able to get it. I can’t bear the thought of child birth without an epidural.
Post # 16
@KatyElle: I didn’t think the stitches are too bad. They use a novcaine/lidocaine type medicine that feels like a pinch and a bee sting and then you are numb. Once that wears off, it they are still stitching you up it is like hard pinches I would say.