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Signing Up For An Epidural - Page 6

post #101 of 167
Quote:
i havent read all of the pages but i just saw one where there was a woman reading a magazine after the epidural and i just want to say how that is NOT the norm.

Well actually it IS the norm- statistically epidurals work properly a great majority of the time. It's not a guarantee(and maybe that's what you meant), but that is what usually happens.

In my case, working properly meant I didn't feel the epis going in (at all. No pain, not even from the needle), could still feel contractions and an urge to push, so had both pushing stages self directed- one on hands and knees, one on my my side. I felt the baby in the canal both times. I think those last two- ability to position myself however I wanted, and feel the baby in the canal- are unusual, and probably because I live in a crunchy city with a crunchy hospital whose amazine anesthesiology department values those kinds of things. I definitely wouldn't expect most epidural experiences to be like that. But usually they do work properly, and you sit there reading magazines. The thing with that is that you may be totally numb, unable to move at all, which can be very disconcerting for many people, and then certainly sometimes they don't work. That's definitely a risk I knew I was taking when I went in for the epi, and I think one most women are aware of- the world loves to tell a pregnant woman horror stories right?

I also did not wait until I was at the end of my coping skills to get the epi with my second child. I guess you could say I got it "just in case," but it already hurt pretty bad, and I knew whenever I wanted to get it I'd need to be able to lie still for about 4 minutes. I didn't think I'd be capable of doing that when labor got more intense.

Funnily enough you guys are getting me excited for the possibility of NCB for this one. I actually did have that high after both my births- more intense with my first; it lasted 4 days, maybe because my epi was a very low dose. But I think there are just a couple of misstated facts up there that aren't going to help your credibility if you are trying to convince a woman who wants an epi to try naturally.
post #102 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by danotoyou2 View Post
This is a GREAT point. I've talked to many women who wanted an epidural, and for one reason or another weren't able to get one (or it didn't work). Then, they had to deal with the pain, and didn't know how to cope. Then it can turn into a very traumatic experience.

That is a good point. My labour plan was get an epidural. I found out during prenatal class that my local hospital rarely does epis. They also didn't cover breathing in prenatal. hey just said it was a waste of time to practice as the nurses would tell you how to breathe. Which they do, but towards the end of my oregnancy, I started to get soem braxtron hicks that were pretty painful. And no nurse weith me to tell me what to do. So I asked a nurse friend of mine, and she showed me the breathging stuff, so that's what got me thru early labour, and whenever a nurse wasn't around during hard labour.
post #103 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by hempmama View Post
Well actually it IS the norm- statistically epidurals work properly a great majority of the time. It's not a guarantee(and maybe that's what you meant), but that is what usually happens.

.

as someone who worked in a hospital for over 5 years with laboring women I know this is not the case, a great percentage of women have them not work at all and an even greater number have them not work properly (i am not even talking about the complications from them like getting too high a dosage at one time, or having the needle not put in properly or falling out, i am merely talking about the meds not working for some women).
post #104 of 167
I think working in one hospital gives you a great perspective on what happens in that hospital. I am not so sure it tells you about the results of anesthesia nation wide. If I were to tell you about my friends' births, I would tell you that an epidural works 100% of the time, causes no complications, and never interferes with BFing. It's a good thing we have more objective statistics- I did research on them 4 years ago at this point, so it's possible it's changed (though I doubt they've gotten LESS effective)but over 80% of the time, they are effective on both sides. The most common complain is only working on one side- less than 10% (but that's still a big number, and definitely one that shines bright in my mind when I think about NCB for the next one), with not working at all being, I think, under 5%. There is also the matter of individual anesthesiology departments- as I said mine is particularly good, and tracks these things fairly closely. Their complication rate is much lower than above. Maybe your hospital is more on the other side- I grew up in the deep south, and there was definitely far less concern for a woman's birth experience overall in hospital environments than I find here.

Not to quibble, I'm just very sure of this.
post #105 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by hempmama View Post
I think working in one hospital gives you a great perspective on what happens in that hospital. I am not so sure it tells you about the results of anesthesia nation wide. If I were to tell you about my friends' births, I would tell you that an epidural works 100% of the time, causes no complications, and never interferes with BFing. It's a good thing we have more objective statistics- I did research on them 4 years ago at this point, so it's possible it's changed (though I doubt they've gotten LESS effective)but over 80% of the time, they are effective on both sides. The most common complain is only working on one side- less than 10% (but that's still a big number, and definitely one that shines bright in my mind when I think about NCB for the next one), with not working at all being, I think, under 5%. There is also the matter of individual anesthesiology departments- as I said mine is particularly good, and tracks these things fairly closely. Their complication rate is much lower than above. Maybe your hospital is more on the other side- I grew up in the deep south, and there was definitely far less concern for a woman's birth experience overall in hospital environments than I find here.

Not to quibble, I'm just very sure of this.

i live in texas and i worked in hospitals in texas and louisiana so maybe that is the problem... only between 20-25% of our patients had epis that worked 100% without complications and that number was pretty much dead on for everywhere I worked.
post #106 of 167
I worked in several hospitals over the years--most had excellent anesthesiology departments, but some just didn't care. The first hospital I worked in didn't really care--and, as a bonus, the manager of L&D preferred to hire only new grads--no one with experience elsewhere worked there. So, none of us knew that it wasn't "normal" to get epidurals that didn't work over half of the time. Now, I look back, and I feel bad for those women. But, I did learn alot about laboring coping skills.

My epidural didn't work well. So much so that we just pulled it, so that at least I wasn't confined to bed anymore. The second one worked better, but not great. I researched alot of stuff about my hospital birth, but I never thought to ask about anesthesia. For this next baby, the anesthesia department is at the top of my list of questions.
post #107 of 167
I think it's important to remember that an uncomplicated epidural does NOT mean that a woman is so comfortable that she'll be reading magazines. Many women still do feel the contractions as a strong, intense pressure... just not so painful.
post #108 of 167
I had an epidural with my first and it did not work properly. It worked great to numb me from the crotch down but I still had a lot of feeling left in my abdominal area. It locked me in because after having it I could not get up, could not move my legs or hips at all...not even enough to roll myself on my side. It was pure torture not to be able to move around in an attempt to relieve some of the pain.

After that experience I tried to research the effectiveness of epidurals and the best study I could find stated that epidurals were effective enough to perform c-sections 80% of the time. The other 20% required additional measures to numb the area. Not a lot of discussion about how ineffective those 20% were...I'd imagine you wouldn't want to be numb enough for surgery when having a vaginal birth anyhow but I'm sure there was a wide range there. I haven't looked into it in the last few years so hopefully there is better info on that now.
post #109 of 167
I just want to share that a lot of my friends/peers in the Philippines also believe that with every childbirth comes an epidural.
They think I'm a bit strange for declining one and believe with all their heart that they cannot give birth without one.
It is definitely the norm there just as a c-section would be in the near future.
post #110 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanCrunchyMama View Post
Saddle block? Never heard of that term. What is it?

It is another type of spinal pain relief, it numbs the anus, vagina, and perineum (the areas that would touch a saddle). The saddle provided more reliable pain relief without causing me to be completely numb from the waist down. I could still move my legs and felt the contractions and knew when to push. The saddle is more for delivery, not really used during labor as it does nothing to take away the discomfort from contractions.
post #111 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenOfThePride View Post
I had a traumatic natural birth 4 months ago. If I ever get pregnant again, I would seriously consider an epidural.
This was me 5 weeks ago. I told myself that if I ever have another baby I will get an epi. I *know* the risks involved. I didn't have fear of pain for this baby, in fact I had the opposite... but after my painful birth experience I now have fear.

I keep waiting for time to skew my memories, but not so far.
post #112 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by erin_brycesmom View Post
I had an epidural with my first and it did not work properly. It worked great to numb me from the crotch down but I still had a lot of feeling left in my abdominal area. It locked me in because after having it I could not get up, could not move my legs or hips at all...not even enough to roll myself on my side. It was pure torture not to be able to move around in an attempt to relieve some of the pain.
I didn't have an epidural but because dd's heartrate went down too low during the birth, and care was transferred to an OB, I was REQUIRED to remain flat on my back, knees up, pushing, so they could monitor the baby. My mw also had to rub dd's head the whole time to keep her heartrate up. In this way we avoided a c-sec (which the OB wanted to do) but I HATED HATED HATED that I could not move, it was torture and so painful. So NOT getting an epidural is no guarantee that you WOULD be able to move. That's one thing I was so ticked off and disillusioned about, I couldn't do the usual things women do for comfort measures when they were giving birth without pain meds.
post #113 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by xelakann View Post
I keep waiting for time to skew my memories, but not so far.
It took me around 15 months or so for it to fade a bit into the background.

I always wanted an epidural. Long story short, I didn't get one. I really don't see much redeeming about having to go through all of pain and terror when you don't have to. I am not having any more, but if I were, I would seriously consider planning an induction just so I would get an epidural the next time around.
post #114 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emese'sMom View Post
I didn't have an epidural but because dd's heartrate went down too low during the birth, and care was transferred to an OB, I was REQUIRED to remain flat on my back, knees up, pushing, so they could monitor the baby. My mw also had to rub dd's head the whole time to keep her heartrate up. In this way we avoided a c-sec (which the OB wanted to do) but I HATED HATED HATED that I could not move, it was torture and so painful. So NOT getting an epidural is no guarantee that you WOULD be able to move. That's one thing I was so ticked off and disillusioned about, I couldn't do the usual things women do for comfort measures when they were giving birth without pain meds.
So sorry you could not move!! I guess I don't understand what was going on because I don't see any reason why you would have to remain flat on your back. Was this just for pushing? Regardless, you still had more movement range than most who get an epidural and I had my epidural for hours and hours and hours before I even started pushing.

Having the epidural would not have granted you the movement either though. Generally speaking just about every single mother who does not get an epidural is able to move but most who do get the epidural have significant restricted movement. There really isn't much of a comparison there.

So yeah, not getting the epidural does pretty much guarantee that you will be able to move.

...as much as anything can be guaranteed in childbirth.
post #115 of 167
I thought I wanted one with my first. Why? Well because labor hurts and why wouldn't I want medication to stop the pain?
Because no one told me it was better for me and the baby not to have one. Because no one told me about the side effects or risks. Because no one told me it hurts but not so bad that I couldn't handle it. Because no one told me that the "pain" is part of the process and experience.

I ended up with a spinal and a c-section though no epidural.
The second time around I was smarter and had a HBAC.
post #116 of 167
A friend of mine had a n epidural with her first child, she had laboured for 8 hours and was very distressed and exhausted from the pain so she requested an epidural. Apparently her labour progressed really quickly from there, probably because she was a bit more relaxed and able to work with her body instead of against it. I saw pictures of her birth and after the epidural she was still able to stand and walk around and get into all sorts of different positions, I think she was in a deep squat at one stage and then over a birthing ball at another

I will definitely be signing up for an Epidural when I give birth....a C-Section might be a tad bit painful without one
post #117 of 167
Hi! Just a friendly reminder to help keep the discussion on track:

Quote:
Mothering.com is the website of natural family living and advocates natural solutions to parenting challenges. We host discussion of nighttime parenting, loving discipline, natural birth, homebirth, successful breastfeeding, alternative and complementary home remedies, informed consent, and many other topics from a natural point of view.
Here are several Mothering Magazine links about birth interventions:

Hidden Risks of Epidurals

Obstetrical Interventions

Epidural Epidemic

Hormonal Blueprint for Labor

Wake Up!
post #118 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgia View Post
Hi! Just a friendly reminder to help keep the discussion on track:



Here are several Mothering Magazine links about birth interventions:

Hidden Risks of Epidurals

Obstetrical Interventions

Epidural Epidemic

Hormonal Blueprint for Labor

Wake Up!

thank you for the reminder, I think we all forget sometimes that MDC is supposed to be about since it is such a huge forum.
post #119 of 167


BTW, my reminder wasn't to anyone in particular Sometimes the advocacy issue gets set aside. It's important to remember that labor/birth interventions have their place.

Birth is very personal and can be an emotional topic. Thanks to everyone for such a respectful discussion
post #120 of 167
Thread Starter 
I would imagine that you have to sign a waiver of some sort when you agree to an epidural, correct? What does it say exactly?

I would imagine that the waiver outlines some risks, but then again, a woman in the throes of labor isn't exactly operating from her most objective self.
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