or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › On Epidurals & FEelings Twords Women Who Get Them
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

On Epidurals & FEelings Twords Women Who Get Them - Page 4

post #61 of 106
Quote:
With comments such as going painfree is going through a real childbirth (bascially saying women who choose epidurals are not allowed to say they gave birth ) and so on is sort of disgusting to me.
Actually, the ladies were talking about being strapped down on an operating table and not participating at all in the birth of their children. And, they were talking about their own feelings about their own births, not that anyone who gets a c/s isn't allowed to say they gave birth. Women who give birth vag are an important part of childbirth, and they are very much active in the process. I've never given birth without an epi, but I very much know that I've been through childbirth!! Those ladies weren't giving a judgement, just saying how they felt about their own experiences, let's not attack them for that.
post #62 of 106
I think most posters here have made clear that it isn't really an issue, if a woman gets an epidural. It is the fact that the established medical practice is to routinely offer them, and to do so without offering a woman full understanding of the consequences.

As a nurse, yes I have seen women have very severe complications from an epidural. I personally have not seen anyone die from one, but our local hospital has. i worked for years with a nurse who got an infection at her epidural site, and spent the first four weeks of her baby's life in the ICU of a large research hospital 50 miles away.

From the insider's point of view, I feel like epidurals are routinely offered and even pushed because it is easier to manage the woman's labor. Staffing at hospitals is very tight. A woman who lays in bed and watches tv is a heck of alot easier to take care of than a woman who needs you in there for every contraction, talking her through it, rubbing her back, supporting her. Who would employ all the anesthesiologists if we didn't have a 90% epidural rate at our local hospital? It is very much about management and money, NOT about compassionate pain relief for women.

I am no friend of epidurals. I think they are a gateway into the cascade of interventions that hurts more than it helps. I also think they are an amazing thing in some instances. There are some births where I think the only thing that prevented a c-section was the epidural. Letting mom sleep and rest while getting IV fluids was what was needed. Some women who are sexual abuse survivors find birth an empowering experience. For some of them, they find it a horrible experience; for those women, an epidural allows them to be more present for the birth, in a better headspace than they would be without it.

I am just sad that so many women want an epidural, or feel pushed into it, because of their own feelings of fear. Which is, of course, merely a reflection of societal feelings towards pain and women's bodies. I am sad that women do not give themselves the chance, or are not given the chance to birth how they were made to birth. I am happy that women have the opportunity for pain relief; I just wish it wasn't treated like the "best" option by the medical community, and that we as a medical community were more in tune to the idea that a good outcome is not just a live baby and live mama. A good outcome is a mother who is not only healthy, holding her healthy baby in her arms, but who also feels she was a part of a wonderful process. That she birthed on her terms, and she was supported. That she and her baby were honored, and her birth was treated as the sacred event it is. No matter the means, be they a UC or an elective C-section, or something in the middle; if all mamas felt that way after their births, I think our world would be a much better place.
post #63 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMoe
My first and so far only childbirth was a horrible exp. I was also given pitocin when I was at 8cm... but I never did have an epidural.


But with that said, I wonder if that was actually foolish on my part. I lay there in complete agony and for what? To carry some sort of badge of honor? It could also be argued that having a difficult childbirth could be hard on the fetus as the mother's BP is elevated and the mother of course undergoes other stresses due to the pain of childbirth.

With comments such as going painfree is going through a real childbirth (bascially saying women who choose epidurals are not allowed to say they gave birth : ) and so on is sort of disgusting to me. Just because you felt MORE pain doesn't make you any better than anyone else.

You mention the risks of having an epidural. There are also risks getting into your car and driving on the highway. There are also risks in having a homebirth.
That sounds extremely difficult to have to lay in a hospital bed with pitocin. I would've had an epi, for sure. But natural birth is not just about going pain relief free -- it's about avoiding certain siutations to begin with. As the pps mentioned, it's about the obstetrical system that has been set up to expect women to 1) lay in a bed during birth, which is the worst place you can be, and 2) to have augmentation forced on them when things don't progress normally from having to lay in the bed, etc.

There are risks to everything in life. Nothing is risk free. But there are ways you can lower your risks. I do not go skydiving. I have eliminated that risk of death from my life. I drive a safe car with lots of airbags. I have lowered my risks of dying in a car accident. (As compared to, say, driving a Ford Festiva with no airbags.)
post #64 of 106
I had an epidural for my induced labor with dd but I would like a homebirth for my next birth because I know that I can labor & birth without drugs. I don't think that people who love/want drugs right away are "wrong" or "bad", but I feel sorry for them that they don't have enough confidence in their body's ability to labor naturally and normally.
post #65 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by lorijds
I am just sad that so many women want an epidural, or feel pushed into it, because of their own feelings of fear. Which is, of course, merely a reflection of societal feelings towards pain and women's bodies. I am sad that women do not give themselves the chance, or are not given the chance to birth how they were made to birth. I am happy that women have the opportunity for pain relief; I just wish it wasn't treated like the "best" option by the medical community, and that we as a medical community were more in tune to the idea that a good outcome is not just a live baby and live mama. A good outcome is a mother who is not only healthy, holding her healthy baby in her arms, but who also feels she was a part of a wonderful process. That she birthed on her terms, and she was supported. That she and her baby were honored, and her birth was treated as the sacred event it is. No matter the means, be they a UC or an elective C-section, or something in the middle; if all mamas felt that way after their births, I think our world would be a much better place.
post #66 of 106
Quote:
I think women who get epidurals are brave... Brave to let a sharp object near such a sensitive area like the spinal column... Sorry in my world, Sharp ojbjects and my spine are never to meet unless medically neccissary
Yeah that! No needles near my beloved spinal cord, thankyouverymuch.

Of course there is a time and a place for compassionate use of pain relieving drugs, but in the end I think that women are not given full disclosure of the true ramifications of the use of epidurals and that to me is a huge concern. It's not the drugs themselves, it's the system and how they do not give all of the facts so that women can make informed choices for themselves.

That said, I do feel like I've received fairly negative comments from people when I say I'm giving birth at home. I've been called anything from a "martyr" and "crazy" at worst, and "adventurous" at best. I've had MEN (of all people) say that the best things about birth are a) epidural and b)demerol and that their best advice for me is to ask for the epidural the moment I walk in the door. I'm sorry but where is that darn rolling eyes smiley when I need it? Then of course when I say that I'm planning a homebirth with a midwife, they sometimes ask "why, when you can have drugs at the hospital?" Aargh.

I fully admit that I do judge people who have epidurals, but it's not really about the pain relieving aspect of it that bugs me. I judge them for not taking the time and making the effort to get the facts and to become fully informed about this very important decision. I can see many scenarios where there is truly a use for these 'tools' (and many women have written about their own stories in this thread). I am a firm believer that if the medical/pharma establishment helped to REALLY educate women on the repercussions of their choices, that the number of medicalized births would decrease dramatically.
post #67 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lorijds
Staffing at hospitals is very tight. A woman who lays in bed and watches tv is a heck of alot easier to take care of than a woman who needs you in there for every contraction, talking her through it, rubbing her back, supporting her. Who would employ all the anesthesiologists if we didn't have a 90% epidural rate at our local hospital? It is very much about management and money, NOT about compassionate pain relief for women.
The hospital staff ignored me... and I was pree and had other medical issues to boot... unless of course it was to come into the room to be rude to me because I was sitting up instead of laying flat on my back. I never got any sort of comfort (back rubbing, talking) or coaching from the hospital staff for my natural childbirth... in fact I was treated really nasty by my first nurse - so bad I told her she was fired and to get the hell out of my room. The next nurse was very nice but didn't coach me either. So on that note, I doubt a hospital would employ douals for each woman giving birth...
post #68 of 106
I did that intervention free at home sort of birth, and I'll try to tell anyone that seems remotely interested that I think it's totally the way to go. I felt such a high after dd's birth, I guess it's made me passionate on the subject, lol. I hope my passion for freedom from intervention doesn't come across as being down on women who have them. Maybe sometimes passion for one thing can come across as judgemental of alternatives. Lemme tell ya though, if I have to be or wanted to be in the hospital birthing, I'd get the epidural. Maybe some other drugs besides. I can't fathom handling the stress that busy enviorment would be to me while birthing otherwise.
post #69 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMoe
My first and so far only childbirth was a horrible exp. I was also given pitocin when I was at 8cm... but I never did have an epidural.


But with that said, I wonder if that was actually foolish on my part. I lay there in complete agony and for what? To carry some sort of badge of honor? It could also be argued that having a difficult childbirth could be hard on the fetus as the mother's BP is elevated and the mother of course undergoes other stresses due to the pain of childbirth.

With comments such as going painfree is going through a real childbirth (bascially saying women who choose epidurals are not allowed to say they gave birth : ) and so on is sort of disgusting to me. Just because you felt MORE pain doesn't make you any better than anyone else.
There is a big difference between experiencing pain and experiencing suffering. What you describe above sounds like it might be suffering. What I experienced with my own labor was simply pain, not suffering.

~claudia
post #70 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMoe
I lay there in complete agony and for what? To carry some sort of badge of honor?
you were probably in such agony due to the pitocin and being in bed.

what for? for the baby, for myself (to avoid a higher chance of episiotomy, forceps, prolonged pushing, C-section, catheter, etc and to be able to experience the birth process and sensations fully rather than being partially numb or out of it with a spinal headache after the baby is born).

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMoe
It could also be argued that having a difficult childbirth could be hard on the fetus as the mother's BP is elevated and the mother of course undergoes other stresses due to the pain of childbirth.
a fetus is made to handle the stresses of normal labor- it's painful- that's why the body secretes endorphins- the baby also secretes endorphins and some adrenaline- these hormones then aid in the baby being able to breath easier and transition to the outside world easier. there is a critical interplay of hormones that goes on- mother and baby in a normal labor are both made to handle that- see http://www.pregnancy.com.au/labour_hormones.htm now pit. labor is a whole different story or very prolonged labors...I had a "difficult" labor myself due to some complications with scar tissue on my cervix and ds was fine Apgars of 9 and 10

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMoe
You mention the risks of having an epidural. There are also risks getting into your car and driving on the highway. There are also risks in having a homebirth.
There are also risks in having a hospital birth (statistically hospital birth is more risky) one of them being interventions such as pitocin, epi, and all that usually follows. Birth has inherent risk- one way to reduce that risk is to not have an epi or any other drugs unless absolutely necessary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMoe
...it doesn't mean that all things natural are positive or that all things natural feel good. Nor does it mean we should be forced to me a marytr.
I have never felt like a martyr- giving birth naturally (although extremely painful due to some complications) was the empowering, liberating thing I have ever done in my life- I have so much more confidence in my body and in myself- it was a life changing experience for me. I never felt as though I "had to" give birth naturally- I wanted to experience birth fully and have confidence that my body could do what it was made to do. It hurt like a SOB but I wasn't "suffering" until the end and it was almost over anyway. It was just intense pain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMoe
What about liberating women? What about freedom of choice and the freedom to be who we are, not what others tell us that we should be.

I agree- sure all women have the freedom to choose what they want and that's great, the thing that makes MDC different is that people who really believe in natural birth are the majority here and we support each other because many of us experience nothing but being told to "get the epi", and that "we're crazy" in real life, so this is a haven for us to rant and vent about how much it sucks that the people we know aren't willing to do any research and then expect us who have educated ourselves to just "get the epi it's great! "
In my opinion the most liberating thing in the world for me was learning about natural birth, realizing my body was capable of something so amazing without having to be poked, prodded, cut, or pumped full of drugs. To me there is nothing liberating about being treated like an invalid strapped down flat on my back to a bed with monitors and people telling me to "push push push" and not being in full control of my body.
post #71 of 106
LoveChild421:

post #72 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by charmcitymama
Also, does anyone know anyone paralyzed by an epidural or a baby with brain damage? I have never heard of anyone actually having that happen, have you?
Yeah, actually I do. This woman was my neighbor when she became paralysed by an epidural (for those that are wondering, she got a blood clot at the insertion site which lead to permanent paralysis). It's rare, but it does happen. Her comment was 'it doesn't matter how rare it is when it is you'.

And as an L&D nurse, I can tell you that lesser complications are so common as to be considered 'routine'.
post #73 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by lorijds
From the insider's point of view, I feel like epidurals are routinely offered and even pushed because it is easier to manage the woman's labor. Staffing at hospitals is very tight. A woman who lays in bed and watches tv is a heck of alot easier to take care of than a woman who needs you in there for every contraction, talking her through it, rubbing her back, supporting her. Who would employ all the anesthesiologists if we didn't have a 90% epidural rate at our local hospital? It is very much about management and money, NOT about compassionate pain relief for women.
Having worked L&D for almost 5 years, I have to say :. Great post.
post #74 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMoe
The hospital staff ignored me... and I was pree and had other medical issues to boot... unless of course it was to come into the room to be rude to me because I was sitting up instead of laying flat on my back. I never got any sort of comfort (back rubbing, talking) or coaching from the hospital staff for my natural childbirth... in fact I was treated really nasty by my first nurse - so bad I told her she was fired and to get the hell out of my room. The next nurse was very nice but didn't coach me either. So on that note, I doubt a hospital would employ douals for each woman giving birth...
This is horrible... no one deserves to be treated that way. Can I ask, then, why you are wanting another hospital birth?
post #75 of 106
I had an epidural...after 14 hours of active labor and having learned that I was still at a 3... I couldn't take it more.... I was given pitocin against my birth plan wishes... I really do think that without pitocin I could have done it naturally. But that's another issue...
post #76 of 106
i planned for a natural birth with a midwife at a hospital.

i went into labor at 2 a.m. after sleeping for about 1 hour. i was in labor for 24 hours and the baby was in a posterior position. i had access to a shower, massage, and a doula. nobody mentioned any interventions to me, i did not have an iv. the nurse held a waterproof monitor onto my belly to check the baby while i was in the shower so i didn't have to be on the bed. my husband and i took classes, read books and did everything we could think of during labor. my midwife has been practicing over 25 years.

i ended up with an epidural. after not being able to sit down, lay down or otherwise rest for over 24 hours, and not sleeping from the night before, i was exhausted. i had progressed only 1 centimeter in seven hours.

this thread doesn't bother me, b/c i think that judging someone is more harmful to the person judging than the person being judged. and next time, i plan on having a home birth. but i don't regret my hospital birth and don't regret that i used pain relief. i knew all the risks involved, and i hated being hooked up to the iv's, the cathether, and all the other "stuff". but i'm not going to beat myself up about it either, just b/c it's not "crunchy" to use pain relief during labor.
post #77 of 106
massagemom I hope you don't feel like any of us would judge you- I think most of us would have done the same thing in your situation- you tried your darndest- you were very informed. Your situation is much different than, say my friend who got the epi after an hour of contractions and talked on her cellphone til it was time to push...still I try hard not to judge her but rather the medical establishment that pushes that sort of mentality on us.
post #78 of 106
massagemom-your situation is completely different. again, it was compassionate use of pain relieving medication and you made the choice in a fully informed manner. crunchiness has nothing to do with it. so glad that you had the option to have the medication so that you could rest and birth your baby.

it makes my stomach turn to hear, over and over, the same stories from women: "my baby was too big", "i was overdue" leading to induction, leading to epidural, leading to "emergency c-section" or else somebody dies... then come to find out the baby was barely 7 lbs, or that "overdue" was past edd by 3 days. this is just a tragedy that women are fed these lines time and again. people are shocked when i refuse to tell them our edd, i tell them that due dates are a guesstimate at best and we're expecting our baby any time between early oct and early november. this has confused many people, surprisingly.
post #79 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by lorijds
From the insider's point of view, I feel like epidurals are routinely offered and even pushed because it is easier to manage the woman's labor. Staffing at hospitals is very tight. A woman who lays in bed and watches tv is a heck of alot easier to take care of than a woman who needs you in there for every contraction, talking her through it, rubbing her back, supporting her. Who would employ all the anesthesiologists if we didn't have a 90% epidural rate at our local hospital? It is very much about management and money, NOT about compassionate pain relief for women.
This was exactly how I felt for my second birth. My nurse was in and out of the room since she had several other patients but I believe she spent more time with me since the other patients had all gotten their epidurals at 3cm and I was still chugging along without one at 8cm. I was stuck there for four hours and kept feeling an urge to push. Each time she checked me to find I was still an 8 she offered an epi even though I had made it clear I didn't want pain meds. I course had let them do AROM to help things along which led to a low fever within an hour which led to an iv and "we'll just put in some pit while we're at it." You're typical cascade of interventions. Yeah it is definitely very hard to go without pain meds if you're not having a natural labor. Once I was able to cut those things out I had not trouble forgoing the pain meds. But anyway she was definitely having to give me more attention and was more than happy to finally get to call the anesthesiologist to give me my epi at 8cm. I wish she had told me to get out of the bed and try to walk a bit or squat or something but no they just wanted me in that bed being still.

Quote:
I have never felt like a martyr- giving birth naturally (although extremely painful due to some complications) was the empowering, liberating thing I have ever done in my life- I have so much more confidence in my body and in myself- it was a life changing experience for me. I never felt as though I "had to" give birth naturally- I wanted to experience birth fully and have confidence that my body could do what it was made to do. It hurt like a SOB but I wasn't "suffering" until the end and it was almost over anyway. It was just intense pain.
Yes!
post #80 of 106
I can't imagine why anybody would feel that having a natural childbirth makes you a martyr. I feel like a martyr to established medical practice for having had three c-sections that I didn't want (the first while I was screaming that I didn't want one, and pleading with my ex to make them stop). I'd love to know what it would feel like if my body delivered a baby by itself - quite amazing, I think, but I'm never going to know. I don't thinkn that wanting to makes me a martyr - quite the opposite, really.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Birth and Beyond
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › On Epidurals & FEelings Twords Women Who Get Them