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Signing Up For An Epidural - Page 2

post #21 of 167
I was dead set against them: dangerous, didn't want want anyone near my spine, what if something goes wrong, etc.

Then I actually experienced labor. Very intense, very quick, no break in between contractions. All 3 of my labors were like that. I walked around at 3-4cm for weeks and when labor started there was no rest.

I am so thankful that I had the option for an epidural and there was no pressure from anyone to go either way. It was the best decision I made. I had a great doc; I was comfortable but not numb. I could feel and move my legs, and as soon as it was pulled I was up and about.
post #22 of 167
I left the option open for myself. I decided I'd get one if I felt like it, and wouldn't if I was doing ok. I was in horrible back labor and was given pit on top of that. I toughed it out as long as I could, but I was getting NO break between contractions, the nurses were ticking me off because they couldn't position the monitors correctly and thus weren't seeing just how strong the contractions were, and I'd had enough. I was much calmer after I had the epi. It also allowed me to remain awake when I ended up with a c-section (fetal distress) so I was able to see my son immediately.

I'm keeping the same mentality for this one. I'll get one if I feel I need it, and won't if I don't. I have a pretty low pain tolerance so I'm not going to delude myself into thinking I'd refuse one under any circumstances, but I'm also not enough of a wuss to automatically say that I WILL get one, ya know?
post #23 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stace View Post
the nurses were ticking me off because they couldn't position the monitors correctly and thus weren't seeing just how strong the contractions were,
Just want to clarify that regardless of how well-placed an external monitor is, it will not indicate strength of contractions. Palpation and an IUPC indicate strength.

Carry on.
post #24 of 167
I read this thread b/c this is what my SIL is saying and, as a 2x homebirther who felt no need for an epi either time with pretty serious labor pain, it kinda bothers me. However, I think it's a good reminder that anything I feel strongly about, and have strong values about, someone else may feel equally strongly about and have equally strong values about, in the completely opposite direction.

I think it really bothers me if people have an epi just because that's what everybody does or because someone pressures them into it. I will be bothered if SIL has one that has a negative impact on my niece/nephew & brother's birth experience. But I won't be bothered by her choosing one if I get the feeling after talking with her more than she's choosing it because of strong feelings and values she holds sincerely.
post #25 of 167
I agree that alot of it is our culture. I've never been on a hospital tour where someone doesn't make some joke like "can I get my epidural now?"
post #26 of 167
I'm really surprised by how many people say it's because they fear the pain... but have never gone through it. It doesn't hurt for everyone! And, from what I understand, every birth is different. Some people have painful first births, and go on to have painless second births (and sometimes, painful third births!).

I don't see the sense in getting one before you even know if it's painful. I even had a pitocin augmented labor (and the pit was maxed out) where I didn't feel the need for drugs. It just didn't hurt that much. Intense, oh yeah. But not painful. Then I went on to have a 3 day labor for a homebirth; again, intense but not at all painful.

There are so many risks... not the least of which is distress to the baby, an "epidural fever" and an increased risk of ending in a cesarean. But I guess most people aren't informed of those risks, or think it won't happen to them.
post #27 of 167
Before labor, I kind of decided that I wasn't going to say no to myself if I wanted an epidural. If I did fine without it, great. If I wanted one, I would get it.

Turns out, it didn't work, but that's another story. We removed it, I labored many more hours, then it was replaced because I wanted it in case I needed a c-section. I wanted to be awake for the section.

I hear what you're saying, though. I have a friend that is all about NCB. All about it. She's done it twice, and is pregnant with her third. But she HATES breastfeeding and weans at like 11 months. I do NOT get this. AT ALL. I think it's insane. For me, I was all about an epidural, but I am still breastfeeding at 15 months with no intention of quitting. I love the breastfeeding part of having a baby. NCB? Not so much. Everyone has different priorities.
post #28 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by danotoyou2 View Post
I'm really surprised by how many people say it's because they fear the pain... but have never gone through it. It doesn't hurt for everyone! And, from what I understand, every birth is different. Some people have painful first births, and go on to have painless second births (and sometimes, painful third births!).

I don't see the sense in getting one before you even know if it's painful. I even had a pitocin augmented labor (and the pit was maxed out) where I didn't feel the need for drugs. It just didn't hurt that much. Intense, oh yeah. But not painful. Then I went on to have a 3 day labor for a homebirth; again, intense but not at all painful.

There are so many risks... not the least of which is distress to the baby, an "epidural fever" and an increased risk of ending in a cesarean. But I guess most people aren't informed of those risks, or think it won't happen to them.

It's not that I was frightened of the pain-but I don't like pain. Why would I go thru that if I didn't have to? My friend who had an epi had pics of herself during labour, sitting up in bed smiling and eating a burger. I have no pics of me in labour, but believe me, I was not smiling, eating & talking to my family. I was NOT a pretty sight! My s-i-l. who had an epi with each of her kids, came in to see me during labour. She thought we'd sit & look at magazines, and chill. Yeah, that would actually be my ideal labour.

I have more trouble understanding why someone whould't want one than why they would. I don't even understand why I'd consider not even trying to get one if I ever have a vbac.

If I did get an epi, I'd want it early on-they put my spinal in during a contraction, and it was beyond awful. Took a dr. and 2 nurses to hold me down. I never want to go thru that again. (In case anyone missed my ealier post, I eneded up with a c-section after all that, hence the spinal-yep, horrendous labour pain with no epi, and I needed a c-section anyhow))
post #29 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by velouria View Post
Personally, I think a lot of people might not know any different. They may not know anyone who went without one. Or they may think, "Why not?"

I'd done a lot of research beforehand and decided that I did NOT want an epidural. The risks weren't worth it to me UNLESS 1) I was having a long labor and needed a rest, or 2) I was having a hard time coping with the pain.

I was induced with Pitocin because my water broke but labor didn't begin on its own. I didn't *need* an epidural. Quite honestly, I did not find contractions painful. Intense? Absolutely! But not "painful". Actually pushing the baby out through my narrow pelvis hurt like HELL, though. I seriously thought I was going to die. Transition wouldn't have been uncomfortable had it not been for the unbearable rectal pressure.

*Contractions*, though, were a piece of cake. They weren't nearly as painful as intestinal cramps from food poisoning, viral gastroenteritis, a migraine headache, or even a charley horse. For me, it was more like a vise-like tightening sensation.

Having been terrified of childbirth since I could remember, this realization was pretty shocking to me.
Well, I had the opposite experience. Contractions hurt like hell and pushing was a piece of cake in comparison. So you never know....

I have a very high pain tolerance, and yet I was screaming through my contractions twoard the end. I was barely aware of the tightening sensation because of the incredible pain. I know baby was face up as of the NST I had several days before, and m/w confirmed that he was still that way when I got to the hospital after 48 hours of labor and with contractions so painful I couldn't lie down for them to place the monitor. He came out face down, and I am positive that he turned just as I began to push, because the difference between my pushing contractions and the whole prior ordeal was so tremendous.
post #30 of 167
I planned on it for DD1 from early pregnancy. It wasnt a fear based decision. I felt like I was well educated on it and felt there were no real risks, so I figured why would I want to go through pain if I could have it relieved with no risks?

I realized with future pregnancies that "well educated" depends on what it is that you read. I changed my mind about risks and decided to be at home for any future births.
post #31 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by lanamommyphd07 View Post
I would bet that these folks also take medication during menstruation to kill the pain too.
I take an Aleve as soon as my period hits, even if my cramps haven't started. I don't have the luxury of doing "natural" pain management for four days every month when I need to work. :

That said, most women I know who have epidurals didn't even really consider an unmedicated birth. I think the epidural and it's effects have become accepted as the normal course of things, which is depressing.

For myself, I'm just terrified of anything being shot into my spine.
post #32 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanCrunchyMama View Post
One of my husband's friends just knew she wanted an epidural. She decided this before her son's birth, and followed through with that plan.

If you made the same decision before one of your children's births, how and why did you come to that decision?

I'm just trying to understand where she's coming from.
I think some women can sense intuitively that their births will be especially painful. I think epidurals should be just one of many options available to women who need pain management... they are not inherently evil, and many women do have good experiences with them (I have). But unfortunately many women never even consider other alternatives, and/ or get the epidurals way too early in labor.
post #33 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by lanamommyphd07 View Post
I didn't have one, but I've heard over and over from friends that they plan to dilate to x-cm, then get the epidural. I always ask why, and they typically say they're afraid of the pain. So my guess is it's fear-driven. I would bet that these folks also take medication during menstruation to kill the pain too.
As someone who had a traumatically painful birth, I can assure you that it has little or nothing to do with pain threshold or being "fear-driven." Some births are just brutal. I got through 3 unmedicated births before my trauma with little problem, so I've got a decent pain threshold and was actually incredibly confident going into my traumatic birth.
post #34 of 167
I planned on a medication free birth. But then I labored for 50 hours with contractions 2 minutes apart, lasting five minutes and they were so bad that I couldn't talk through them. I had horrible, horrible back labor, and after being in labor for more than two days, I couldn't take anymore. I was exhausted and I didn't even feel human. Plus, my labor had stalled and I was only at 5cm, where I'd been for five hours.

Oh and for the record, I have an incredibly high pain threshold.

The epi allowed me to get a breather. I was able to enjoy the experience and I was able to regroup and rest a little before my daughter was born. I think I was able to enjoy her and bond with her more than if I'd stayed in pain. I progressed much faster after the epi too since I was more relaxed, was able to eat and drink a bit, and wasn't tensing up.

The actual epi itself was wonderful-- I had a very sweet, helpful doctor and she did it just enough so that I could still feel my legs and feel pressure from each contraction. I pushed in a squatting position and ended up delivering my dd on hands and knees, which was great.
post #35 of 167
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShareBear View Post
I didn't get epidurals with my two, but can I share the experience of a friend? She had her first with no epidural but I suspect only under pressure from her very crunchy MIL. The whole experience wasn't great because the labor was very long, she was exhausted, the baby needed extra care at birth, breastfeeding was a nightmare, etc.

With her second, she decided to get an epidural because her own mother, who's a very mainstream pediatrics nurse, had convinced her that they were "perfectly safe," and "why suffer through it if you don't have to," and after all she had had such a tough experience with her first baby. As it turned out, she had a very quick labor, two hours from first twinge to baby out, and it was too late for an epidural by the time she got to the hospital.
I wonder if your friend had a difficult birth the first time around because her course of actions did not come from her (but from someone outside of her). If she wasn't convinced going drug-free was the way to go, I can't imagine it would bode well for the birth.

It's an interesting twist of fate that she wasn't able to get her epidural the second time around, almost if life was saying,"You really can do this."
post #36 of 167
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by angelcat View Post
Um, labour hurts, and I don't like pain..
Now that I've given birth once (and drug-free), I would be MUCH more scared of the needle in my spine (and it's possible short-term and long-term side effects) than the intensity of labor.

But that's just my experience, and I know it doesn't represent everyone else's.
post #37 of 167
I'm jealous of all of these people that were allowed to eat after having an epi. I was still only allowed to have water. I was starving!! :
post #38 of 167
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmama8824 View Post
it's mainly because they are scared of what it will feel like and would rather not endure the pain...
But do they know that the pain has a purpose? And that some people don't even experience labor or birth as pain?
post #39 of 167
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DBZ View Post
I planned to go natural with my first but I ended up being induced and it was hell.

Thankfully, with my third I learned that labor is nothing like my first.
Yeah, I've heard that Pit can be pretty nasty.

The more I read MDC, the more worried I become about my next birth (whenever that's gonna be). My first birth was so quick and not painful, so learning that subsequent births can actually more difficult is not reassuring.
post #40 of 167
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Sonja View Post
I changed my mind during pregnancy and am now happily planning my 3rd Hypnobabies birth. My dislike of needles won out.
What was your lightbulb moment? What got you to re-think your decision?
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