or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › Your Epidural experience
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Your Epidural experience - Page 3

post #41 of 74
I've had two. My first was after 8 hours of intense labor and I had only dialated 1 cm. Baby was at a +3 station, but because of cervical surgery in the past I wasn't dialating (scar tissue.) My OB wanted to get me off my feet because my cervix was swelling - so at that point I opted for an epidural. I felt pressure, urge to push, but no pain (DS was 7.9 lbs.)

With DD, it was frustrating, I labored until 4 cms at home, had a labor check and got pressured into getting my water broken at the hospital (don't ask, I was so conflicted about it...) I knew what breaking my membranes would do to labor intensity and about an hour after that I caved (despite working with a hypnobirthing person for 6 weeks leading up to the birth.) I had an epidural at 7 cms dialated.

My hospital does a walking epidural that's patient controlled (ie you get a button on the delivery system to press.) It doesn't wear off (the first birth it took 36 hours from my water spontaneously breaking at home and my epidural was in from 8 hours on...no problems.) The second time the baby was a 9 pounder and I made them dump out the spinal (they mix that into that epi concoction.) I had relief during labor, but all of the pressure, burning and pain during delivery (plus the doctor sucked - versus my first OB who was amazing and made me feel very supported - I think that had a LOT to do with birth experience...)

Both times the anesthesiologist was a family friend and no problems with administration or any side effects. Both babies nursed fine (but I was insistant upon putting them immediately to the breast, no bottles, pacis or anything along those lines...)
post #42 of 74
Suddenly remembered my cousins wife story, I talk about my awful experience but hers was worse. Her epidural left her paralysed from the waist down for a few days. It obviously resolved itself BUT it was vey frightenng for the Doctors and family.
post #43 of 74
Epidurals seem to only work on the left side for me, and, while it would seem rational for that to mean only 50% pain, it was just 100% pain concentrated on one side.

Plus they put me in an oxygen mask and bp issues. It also stalled my labor, so pitocin was needed. (ended up being 14 hour labor). 2nd was 16 hour labor. Then at home, unmedicated was 4.5 hours!

(also note this is a really good hospital)
post #44 of 74
I was hoping for a natural birth, ended up being induced because of an issue with my amniotic fluids, and then had pitocin, my water broken, and the epidural. Basically every intervention minus the C!

All that said, I had a great birth. My epidural was very well done, quick and efficient and I would actually pick up both of my legs and my hips, felt the contractions but not the pain. I got the pitocin at 7am, the epidural at 1pm, and had my baby at 10 pm. I was afaid the epidural would make me feel paralyzed, but that was not the case.

I hear your predicament--I had a good birth all around, but I was "sweating out toxins" for about six months so part of me would try to avoid all those drugs again if possible.
post #45 of 74
No personal experience with one, but I am always surprised at the wide range of sensation/feeling/motion that epidurals do or do not allow. It seems like a good epidural for most women are those that let you feel the pressure and the urge to push, and give you some ability to move or get into different positions to push. It's too bad that this is not a consistent outcome of epidurals.

Love the comments about what Kitzinger and Davis-Floyd said regarding control and how women perceive their epidurals.
post #46 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by rixafreeze View Post
It seems like a good epidural for most women are those that let you feel the pressure and the urge to push, and give you some ability to move or get into different positions to push. It's too bad that this is not a consistent outcome of epidurals.
I posted a poll a while back asking about epidural experiences & level of feeling ... while it's just MDC anecdotal, it seemed to work out to be about 50/50 in terms of being able to feel enough to effectively labor while still experiencing pain relief.
post #47 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by rixafreeze View Post
It seems like a good epidural for most women are those that let you feel the pressure and the urge to push, and give you some ability to move or get into different positions to push. It's too bad that this is not a consistent outcome of epidurals.
It is too bad. I didn't feel pressure or the urge to push, but I still had the ability to move around easily. I've always wondered how that was possible...how I could have complete control over my hips and legs but absolutely positively no sensation of the contractions at all. It seems like the two things would be linked.
post #48 of 74
My last birth I was planning a HB, but I had a placental abruption. I didnt know it during labor, but the pain was out of this world, worse than being induced with my first. I mean you could not breathe through these like you could not breathe through being stabbed. So I went to the hospital for pain relief.
I got the epidural right away and I was already at 7cm. It was PERFECT. I could feel no more pain, but still pressure. No bad side effects. I had it for about an hour and I felt the urge to push. I pushed her out. No pain. It was terrific, seriously! Since I hadnt had it very long, it took no time at all to wear off when we were done. I was discharged later that day.
So, I am very pro natural birth, had a homebirth with my second, but man, that epidural (and whole hospital exprerience, they were so nice and supportive) was great. I think if one chooses that route, to try and hold out as long as possible until you are in active labor and your body is well on its way to birthing. I wouldnt have wanted to lie around like that for the whole day before giving birth.
post #49 of 74
I had an epidural with dd1. I got it right around 6-7cm dilated during some intense active labor. I had a really hard time trying to hold still and sit up so they could get the needle in my back. My contractions were about 2 minutes apart and very long and the pressure sitting put on my cervix made me squirm with pain so every time I would move I could feel the needle scrape my spine.

Then the damn thing didn't work. It numbed the left half of me but not the right, and not my crotch at all. So I could feel my contractions but I had to stay lying down for them and I felt every single rip and tear when she was on her way out. I left that birth pretty shocked and bitter.

I would never, ever have another one. I had dd2 in a hospital birth center and was completely unmedicated. But about 5 hours in the pain was so intense that I was losing my resolve and actually entertaining the idea of doing another epidural. My doc came in and checked my cervix and I was 9 centimeters! So obviously an epidural wasn't going to happen at this point and finding out that I was so far along completely renewed my faith in my body and I pushed her out, screaming like a banshee on my knees in the birthing tub. I loved her birth.
post #50 of 74
Yah, me too. A few other moms mentioned this also. I certainly never knew it was a possibility. And to top it all off, the anaesthesiologist was arguing with the nurses who brought in another dr. to redo my meds and it was awful. Plus, I even dilated unevenly. (the side i could feel everything dilated while the flooded, drugged side I couldn't move didn't dilate as fast.

I've heard it referred to as a "window" when the medication doesn't reach everywhere it is supposed to. Well, I say it was way more like a door. A big door.

And I will never have another catheter voluntarily done to me again. That was humiliating and very uncomfortable.

That was with my first when I was young. Since then I have had two water births and I can say that water does wonders for pain, much more than meds ever did for me.
post #51 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by redebeth View Post
Yah, me too. A few other moms mentioned this also. I certainly never knew it was a possibility. And to top it all off, the anaesthesiologist was arguing with the nurses who brought in another dr. to redo my meds and it was awful. Plus, I even dilated unevenly. (the side i could feel everything dilated while the flooded, drugged side I couldn't move didn't dilate as fast.

I've heard it referred to as a "window" when the medication doesn't reach everywhere it is supposed to. Well, I say it was way more like a door. A big door.

And I will never have another catheter voluntarily done to me again. That was humiliating and very uncomfortable.

That was with my first when I was young. Since then I have had two water births and I can say that water does wonders for pain, much more than meds ever did for me.
Oh wow I forgot about the catheter! They gave it to me after I got the epidural and then I was pumped full of fluids throughout. then it came out when it was time to push. After she was born, they said that I couldn't go to my room until I peed. So the nurses helped me to the bathroom and there I sat. For 10 minutes. I could not pee. I was too swollen down there and it wouldn't come out. So unfortunately, I needed yet another catheter. But there was no epidural this time to take the edge off of what I was feeling down there so I felt everything. I cried like a baby the whole time. I felt so ripped apart and then I felt like I was being violated further by the catheter. My nurse was really kind though and she felt so bad for me and tried to be so gentle. I appreciated the sympathy because I felt so small and alone after that birth.
post #52 of 74
I have to say I was always jealous of moms that had labors that went well with an epidural. The whole reason I went with one in the first place is because I had talked to about 5 moms who had one and they raved about its virtues and I was sold. I'm glad that they had good experiences.
post #53 of 74
Did anyone else not get a catheter with their epidural? The doctors never even mentioned one. The epidural I had was a catheter in my back and I had a button I could push if I wanted another dose of it. Feeling started to come back within 15 minutes of them taking it out and I never had any problems. I was up and going to the bathroom within an hour. I really hope the next one is as easy.
post #54 of 74
Haven't read all the replies yet....

My epidural with DD1 worked, but I hated it. As a result of the epidural I had several lovely things attached to me. Catheter, blood pressure cuff, oxygen mask, IV and the epidural itself. I looked like I was in a hospital bed SICK, not having having a bay. It was uncomfortable and never want to feel like that again.
post #55 of 74
Oh, Honeydee, I was swollen too, but not that bad. You just made me feel so sad thinking about you having to get another one. You forgot for a reason , I think.

Also, I forgot to mention that the anaestesiologist told me that the epidural didn't work because I gained so much weight, she couldn't find the right spot or something.




Seriously.


I was like 5'5" and 170#, and almost 42 weeks pregnant. She was E V I L .....
post #56 of 74
First time I had to be cathed because I had the epi/fluids for so long (I started on IV antibiotics 24 hours after my water broke) It wasn't bad - and I was very apprehensive about it. The OB did it herself and it was actually a huge relief (I said to her, "That's it? Like tapping a keg! ) But I think a huge factor was that the OB was so supportive, involved and hands on. She's a mom herself and a generally caring and gentle practitioner.

No cath the second time - I didn't labor long at all once they broke my water. But I'm still upset about that birth - the OB was detached and my L&D nurse was panicky and irritating (versus the first time - she was amazing.)
post #57 of 74
Quote:
Also, I forgot to mention that the anaestesiologist told me that the epidural didn't work because I gained so much weight, she couldn't find the right spot or something.
Jerk: Sounds like she was trying to cover her own incompetence.

post #58 of 74
I had an epi with DD eight months ago, and IMO, it was a good experience. DD was born about three weeks before due date, because I became extremely ill with preeclampsia (terrible vomiting, nausea, back pain, etc.). After the docs finally figured out how to diminish the effects of the pre-E, I was so sick and exhausted that I asked for the epi. It didn't hurt going in, and at first, I wasn't even sure it was working--I could easily move my legs and toes and everything. I wasn't in pain, though...Then, after they broke my water "to move things along and avoid a C-section," I hit transition and the contractions were unbearable for me (I hadn't even finished my childbirth prep class, because of DD's early arrival!). So the anesthesiologist came in and upped the meds in my epi, and then I literally couldn't feel anything. Couldn't move my legs at all, or tell when it was time to push. I was scared I wouldn't know how to push then--but the docs said "push," and I did great--pushed her out in nine pushes! I actually felt very lucky to have the epi work so well for me that day, because I literally just felt so exhausted and "pained out" from the pre-E, you know? I'm definitely considering having a natural birth for next time though...because of some BFing problems in the beginning that I worry were related to the epi. We'll see.
post #59 of 74
I had a cathetter and it hurt so bad to pee afterit was taken out. I was checked and I had no tears/grazes in that particular area, te only thing it could have been was the catheter removal causing some damage according to my MW.
post #60 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by YesandNo View Post
I think a lot of the horror stories you hear have to do with improperly placed or improperly dosed epidurals. If you have a high-quality hospital, it can be a positive experience. I have no regrets.
This can be true but it's about the practitioner, not the hospital. I had an interesting experience. My OB asked me about my plans for anaesthesia (this was in the UK, and epidurals are somewhat less common there). When I said I was considering epidural, she referred me to the consultant anaesthetist as she didn't like the look of my spine. The consultant had a look at me and said that with my back, I needed someone experienced and wrote it in my notes.

I ended up with an emergency Caesarean, and I had a Senior Registrar (so he'd been practising for at least 5 years) and while it did work and I had no complications, he had trouble placing the epidural and couldn't do combined spinal-epidural (desirable in this case as spinal offers a faster onset of pain relief and would have reduced the waiting time to begin surgery).

Since it was a Caesearean I had a foley placed (after I was numb, thankfully) and it was very odd to feel it when the anaesthetic wore off. I had issues passing urine afterwards so I stayed cath'ed for 18 hours. I don't recommend this.

Obviously, since this was a surgical epidural it was a much higher dose, with the attendant issues (i.e. I was numb to the chest and it took hours to wear off). The low-dose "mobile" epidural usually used in L&D is different.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Birth and Beyond
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › Your Epidural experience