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Signing Up For An Epidural - Page 3

post #41 of 167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitter_patter View Post
I had a saddle block because I *wanted* one.
Saddle block? Never heard of that term. What is it?
post #42 of 167
I was very strongly against having an epidural. I did Hypnobabies and had a Hypnobabies-trained doula.

My labor was not pain-free, in fact the pain was excruciating, back labor, you know the drill . But, I was coping w/ it pretty well with my HB techniques and if I had been able to get to transition and then give birth within the first 10 hours I was at the hospital, I definitely could have done it without an epidural.

However, when I got to 7cm, I stopped dilating. Was it b/c I was in a hospital? Just what my body was doing? Baby not in the right position? I had the urge to push but was definitely not dilated enough to push. After a few hours like that, and NO progress on dilation (it had been 8 hours since I had dilated a cm), I made the decision, with the support of my doula who I trusted, to get an epi. It was not for the pain so much as the total exhaustion and also in hopes that somehow the epidural would cause a change, allow me to dilate. My doula said that epidurals are really made for cases like this, and that sometimes removing the pain can cause the mother to relax enough that the baby can move into a better position and dilation can resume.

It seemed to "work", in that I did dilate from 7 to 10 after the epi, in about 4 hours, and pushed Nora out in just a few pushes.

I sorta wonder if, even though I was using Hypnobabies relaxation techniques (can't say that I was truly in hypnosis), I really just could not "let" my cervix dilate, due to the pain + the need to resist the urge to push? It was very stressful.

So, as far as the labor goes, I am glad I got the epidural, for my particular labor. I also have a mild fear of needles but it really wasn't that bad. If you're getting the epi, you don't see the needle going in, and I didn't feel it, either. Besides, compared to the contractions, that was NOTHING - you could have pounded my toe with a sledgehammer at that point and I probably would either have not noticed or thanked you for taking my mind off of the labor pain!

But, I had a rough start with breastfeeding and can't help but wonder if the epidural contributed to that. I would prefer with any future children not to have an epidural, but I will not feel bad about it if I decide to get one. They carry risks, but IMO so does continuing to labor when you are totally exhausted and not progressing, but having contractions so painful and close together that any "rest" is impossible. I think if I had not had the epi I might have ended up with a C-section.
post #43 of 167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hempmama View Post
I don't know what choice I'll make with my third. I'm contemplating going without it, but I've got several months to decide still.

I'm not positive why you asked.
I'm sorry to hear that you experienced such pain, and in your situation, I can understand why you chose to get epidurals.

My question came from trying to understand someone else's perspective and trying to stand in someone else's shoes on this topic. If a woman is a first-time mom, I have a hard time understanding how she just knows she wants an epidural when she's never given birth before.

And in my husband's friend's case, we shared part of our pregnancy/birth journey with her, not from a fear-inducing perspective but from a "Wow, this (natural childbirth thing) far exceded our expecations on many levels, and we want to share this "secret' with others embarking on this journey." And even then, I guess, for whatever reason (which is why I'm asking all of you), the epidural was decided upon well in advance.

Little one is calling...
post #44 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by kate3 View Post
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.
Ditto this, except I only have one child. I will still go into any subsequent labors with the intention of delivering unmedicated, but if the ctx are right on top of each other so that I can't even think, I'm not opposed to getting another epidural.
post #45 of 167
Thread Starter 
[QUOTE=hempmama;10050053]
I'm not positive why you askedQUOTE]

OK, I'm back to finish my thought.

I'll offer my experience and perspective with birth, so maybe there will be clarification around why I'm asking such a question.

In my first trimester, I watched hospital births on Discovery Health Channel, like many women. Whenever I saw a needle being inserted into a woman's spine, I thought to myself, "That part of labor and birth is gonna be kinda scary." Epidurals, at that point, were just part of the routine and something that I would take part in too.

At the end of my first trimester, I received a list of suggested reading from my yoga instructor, and I bought _Ina May's Guide To Childbirth_ and _Birthing From Within_. I read them simultaneously and experienced an awakening.

"Wow! My body was built to do this! I can do this! There is a rhyme and reason for every sensation in labor and birth! And there is a chance that intervening with unecessary technology and medication may cause complications with the baby or me. Hmm...better try my darndest (rounding up my birth team, reading, meditating, etc.) to give it a go without the meds. If I really can't handle it, I'll take the epi, but I'm going to do everything I possibly can to avoid it and other interventions."

So with that realization and the journey that unfolded, it's difficult for me to understand why my husband's friend would sign up for an epidural before going into labor.

I understand that my perspective is unique to me and that to each her own. I just wanted to hear first-hand from moms who have been there.
post #46 of 167
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by velouria View Post
Quite honestly, I did not find contractions painful. Intense? Absolutely! But not "painful".
Me neither. I was waiting for it to get REALLY bad. I figured if women were pretty routinely asking for an epi, then it MUST be BAD.:

Well, it never got REALLY bad, and I was ready to push in our bathroom at home. But I held our daughter in until we arrived at the hospital and I was given "permission" to push. That's why I'm staying home next time.
post #47 of 167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holly6737 View Post
My second birth was a homebirth, so no epidurals there!
Same question to you...what was your lightbulb moment? How and why did you explore natural birth?
post #48 of 167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avasmomleigh View Post
This time, I am hoping for better mw support, not looking for DH to remember a dang thing except to be physically present with a hopefully less terrified look on his face, and I am trying to get some some supportive friends to talk to me on the phone to give me encouragement (I don't live near family/friends-just moved).
In my reflections about our pregnancy and birth process, I've underestimated (or at least, didn't give enough thought about) our birth support team. Without truly supportive people, it'd sure make the experience more difficult to navigate. Best to you in rounding up your support network.
post #49 of 167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmama View Post
Of my patients who plan epidurals in advance, a fair number have a history of sexual abuse/assault, and want to remove potential trigger from their memories of their child's birth.

Personally, I don't care who gets one or why. It's not my birth. If they want a block, fine. If they don't want one, fine. Their call.
I understand that any emotional trauma can thwart progress in labor; however (pardon my ignorance), is there an especially strong link between sexual assault/abuse and birth? I'm assuming you mean that the abuse did NOT result in the pregnancy, but that the history of abuse may present itself in unfavorable ways in birth? In what ways?
post #50 of 167
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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.

I'm sorry.

In your case, however, you're speaking from first-hand experience, unlike first-time mamas.
post #51 of 167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LotusBirthMama View Post
My thinking is this. If I am in the hospital next time, I will again get the epi. If we home birth, I obviously won't. For me, just knowing the drugs are there makes it worse to labor w/o them.
It's great to hear that sometimes things don't take a turn for the worst after the epi.

The c-section rate amongst our friends (who have birthed at different hospitals in California) is 68%. From an outsider's perspective, it seems many of those surgeries were a result of the domino effect of medicalized birth.
post #52 of 167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romana9+2 View Post
I had a horrendously painful NCB with my first. While I've decided to go natural again (planning a homebirth), I can fully understand why a different woman in my position would opt to sign up for an epidural. The pain was so bad and lasted so long I ended up with mild PTSD. I'm not looking forward to giving birth again and I did not enjoy the NCB.
You have responded to my other posts before, and I'm surprised to hear that you had such difficult natural births (because you come across as such a strong advocate). What keeps you on the NCB path?
post #53 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanCrunchyMama View Post
is there an especially strong link between sexual assault/abuse and birth? I'm assuming you mean that the abuse did NOT result in the pregnancy, but that the history of abuse may present itself in unfavorable ways in birth? In what ways?
My understanding (from women very close to me) is that it often has more to do with having a bunch of people invading you, literally. For many abuse survivors merely going to the GYN for a routine checkup can become a trigger. Add to that the usual hospital birthing experience of complete loss of self and sense of control and I think you've got an obvious recipe for serious triggers. Maybe having the epi allows the mind to remain clear and more able to consciouly process what is going on? Or just allows a sense of retained control.

I appreciate your asking this question sincerely. It is something I have often wondered myself.
post #54 of 167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueridgewoman View Post
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.
That's amazing! I didn't even know this was possible. Every woman who gets an epidural should experience this level of expertise and care. It would surely cut down on interventions, IMO.
post #55 of 167

Regarding sexual assault and birth

For some, the intense pressure in the pelvic region, as well as any pain that is present, can trigger memories of rape. I also think that it has something to do with being in "labor land" where you go into a different part of yourself to deal with contractions. For me, getting drunk can trigger memories, because I 'let go' and those thoughts surface. But I can definitely understand how labor would do it for other women.
post #56 of 167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stace View Post
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!! :

I've been waiting for someone to use that smiley!
post #57 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanCrunchyMama View Post
I understand that any emotional trauma can thwart progress in labor; however (pardon my ignorance), is there an especially strong link between sexual assault/abuse and birth? I'm assuming you mean that the abuse did NOT result in the pregnancy, but that the history of abuse may present itself in unfavorable ways in birth? In what ways?
A lot of survivors have strong feelings about birth/labor, partly because of the loss of control (labor is a lot of things, but controllable isn't one of them) and partly because of so much intense sensation focused in the vagina. This isn't true of every survivor, of course, but history of sexual assault/abuse can absolutely be an issue in pregnancy and birth. Some survivors prefer to have an epidural so they can dissociate from the intense bodywork of labor/birth.

Penny Simkin has written an excellent book on labor support for survivors, and I think anyone working with birthing women should read it.
post #58 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post
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.
This is interesting to me, too...I have friends and acquaintances who are huge NCB proponents, but also practice CIO!! What, you're super-concerned about the baby during labor, but once she's born, set her aside? :
post #59 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by angelcat View Post
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?
What I meant was that it doesn't ALWAYS hurt for women. In your case, you went through enough labor to know that this particular birth was a painful one for you. It doesn't mean that another woman would have a painful first birth, or even that your next birth will be painful.

I just don't see the sense in planning for it to be painful. I can certainly understand having a plan B for if it IS painful, but not planning on it being painful... Unless, of course, a woman has only ever heard of painful labors and what she sees on TV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by angelcat View Post
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.
For one, the possible complications are enough for me to never get an epidural. Not to mention the idea of a needle in my spine. But the complications to me and the baby are just not worth the risk. No intervention is without risk, and for me, it doesn't seem worthwhile.

And, the part of natural labor that isn't talked about... the hormones! OMG, it's 100 times better than sex. Henci Goer talks about this in her book, explaining that the hormones are blocked in a medicated birth. And wow, I wouldn't miss that for the world. It's the reason I want to give birth again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by angelcat View Post
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))
I had 20 hours in the hospital with pitocin augmented labor and magnesium sulfate... and still ended up with a cesarean. For me, the labor was the best part. I was so glad to have been able to labor for so long, to give my baby the hormones he needed for a safe arrival. Not to mention the fact that I found labor fun and exhilarating. I guess it all depends on your perspective.
post #60 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by danotoyou2 View Post
What I meant was that it doesn't ALWAYS hurt for women. In your case, you went through enough labor to know that this particular birth was a painful one for you. It doesn't mean that another woman would have a painful first birth, or even that your next birth will be painful.

I just don't see the sense in planning for it to be painful. I can certainly understand having a plan B for if it IS painful, but not planning on it being painful... Unless, of course, a woman has only ever heard of painful labors and what she sees on TV.



For one, the possible complications are enough for me to never get an epidural. Not to mention the idea of a needle in my spine. But the complications to me and the baby are just not worth the risk. No intervention is without risk, and for me, it doesn't seem worthwhile.

And, the part of natural labor that isn't talked about... the hormones! OMG, it's 100 times better than sex. Henci Goer talks about this in her book, explaining that the hormones are blocked in a medicated birth. And wow, I wouldn't miss that for the world. It's the reason I want to give birth again.



I had 20 hours in the hospital with pitocin augmented labor and magnesium sulfate... and still ended up with a cesarean. For me, the labor was the best part. I was so glad to have been able to labor for so long, to give my baby the hormones he needed for a safe arrival. Not to mention the fact that I found labor fun and exhilarating. I guess it all depends on your perspective.

In the event I have another child, and decide to vbac, I wouldn't plan on an epidural. I just think I'd be nuts not to, but I still wouldn't. There was something...almost empowering? about not having one.

For me, labour was aboslutely nothing like sex, and I'm glad. It would just weird for me if it was. I guess each to their own.

My dr. did say labour was good for the baby, even if I did end up with a c-section, which was why I didn't schedule one even though I am pretty sure I could have. BUt I tend to get a little hostile when women who've never had a c-section hear I had opne, and say I"m lucky, cause I didn't go thru labour. Um yeah, I did, and the c-section recovery was worse than labour!
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