Did you have a spinal or an epidural with your c-section? - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: Did you have a spinal or an epidural with your c-section?
Epidural 43 51.19%
Spinal Tap 31 36.90%
Other: General etc..... 10 11.90%
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#1 of 47 Old 04-05-2003, 02:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was given a spinal and when I started to hear about others having an epidural. My obgyn said a spinal is standard for c-sections. I am confused cuz I keep reading about others having epidurals. What did you have and what do you know about this? I am hoping for a VBAC but in case I need to have a C-Section again, I want the best number for me.
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#2 of 47 Old 04-05-2003, 12:54 PM
 
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I had an epidural during labor. Labor didn't progess so I had to have a c-section - they just added more stuff to the same epidural - I think there's not much difference b/w a spinal and an epidural is there? I thought it was just the amount of anaesthetic they put in. With the epidural I could feel my legs but they were heavy, when they topped it up for the c-section, I couldn't feel them at all and couldn't move. You need more drugs for the c-section than for the typical epidural during labor. BTW my baby's apgars were 8 and 9 after all those drugs and she was very alert and awake for 4 hours. I refused all narcotics during labor. Of course she was in the Observation Nursery for that time and I couldn't see her!! I'm taking a burly bouncer with me next time to make sure my baby is brought to me!! (assuming she's healthy of course).
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#3 of 47 Old 04-05-2003, 01:00 PM
 
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I had a spinal because it was an "emergency." I guess at that point it had become an emergency, but things had been dealt with better earlier that emergency would never have happened.

That was over six years ago, and at that time I learned that there are more risks with spinals, but they are easier to do quickly. But at least at that time, epidurals were the standard.

BTW, I did have a VBAC, at home.

Deirdre
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#4 of 47 Old 04-05-2003, 01:39 PM
 
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I had a spinal because there was no time to wait for an epidural to take effect. Baby's heartrate kept getting slower and slower and when it had dropped below 15 beats per minute, she had to come out STAT (prolapsed cord).
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#5 of 47 Old 04-05-2003, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mine was not an emergency, at least it did not feel like it. I found out he was breech (lotus not frank) at 39.5 weeks and we tried natural ways and a version treatment to turn him and then my water broke so they did the c with a spinal. They did say they wanted me to come in right away 10:00 a.m. cuz he could swallow melaconium being breech. But they did not do it till 1 p.m. His scores were 9 and 9 so he was healthy and he nursed within 45 minutes like a pro.

Congrats Deidre on the VBAC.
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#6 of 47 Old 04-06-2003, 11:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by wombat
I'm taking a burly bouncer with me next time to make sure my baby is brought to me!! (assuming she's healthy of course).
What is a burly bouncer?
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#7 of 47 Old 04-06-2003, 11:41 PM
 
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I had a spinal.
My son was breech and I went into labor two weeks early, I was 4cm by the time I got to the hospital (didn't know I was in labor) my water hadn't broken yet.

Chelly
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#8 of 47 Old 04-07-2003, 06:50 PM
 
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i had the regular epidural with my first child and then chose the shot for the second child.
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#9 of 47 Old 04-07-2003, 07:22 PM
 
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oops a bouncer is one of those tough guys they have at night clubs - to enforce the rules. And burly is well built. Do you use these words in America?
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#10 of 47 Old 04-07-2003, 07:41 PM
 
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ROTFLOL - yes...in fact DH was one for awhile. I was so into your post that I assumed a "burly bouncer" was some sort of sling...or bouncy seat...or something!!!:LOL:LOL:LOL

I am so embarassed...
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#11 of 47 Old 04-07-2003, 07:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by chie96

I am so embarassed...
dont be i thought the same thing! i guess when you becoem a mama your mind works in mysterious ways LOL

you should market a bouncy chair with that name "the burly bouncer" LOL
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#12 of 47 Old 04-08-2003, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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too funny. i had a doulah and she is not a bouncer but she is assertive.
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#13 of 47 Old 04-09-2003, 03:22 PM
 
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I had a spinal with my emergency csection. It didnt work and went up into my chest. I felt the whole thing. The cutting the ripping the pulling and pushing and stuffing all my guts back in and sewing me up. It was a nightmare and I was on the table more than an hour.

I got an epidural with my planned csection. It was WONDERFUL pain relief. No pain at the incision site, I felt some pushing and them pulling the baby out but NO pain. I could still move my legs. I was on the table 30 minutes, in recovery an hour and a half and that was it. It was a great experience and I would have an epidural over a spinal any day of the week.

I will note I chose my method of anest. after much research and with talking to hundreds of women who had spinals and epidurals for csection births.
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#14 of 47 Old 04-09-2003, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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wow unbelievable.

if you would be willing i would love more info on your research. you can post here or PM me. thank you.
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#15 of 47 Old 04-09-2003, 08:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by kaje62
wow unbelievable.

if you would be willing i would love more info on your research. you can post here or PM me. thank you.
Sure I dont care sharing.

For one, I heard over and over again from women with spinals that had areas that were not numb or became numb after the section began this led to one of two things: being knocked out or feeling the whole thing. A problem with spinals is once it is administered you have a small window of time that it works. They base the dosage on your weight and height. The thing is, you can get too little or too much. If you get too much it can go up into your chest and depress your breathing -- this was me. My pulse ox was horrible and I was on oxygen and the screaming and cussing at the top of my lungs didnt help. There is no long term pain relief with a spinal -- your method of pain relief is drugs by mouth, shots or a PCA pump. I think all of those SUCK.

Why I chose an epidural?
My csection was planned. Part of the reason it was planned is because I wanted a particular doctor, particular pain relief, and I didnt want anything to be rushed and screwed up. I felt like this out weighed me going into labor and letting Jack arrive in his own time. I needed some reassurance I was going to have some control and a better outcome with my planning. One of the reasons I went with the epidural was because for me it seemed like the lesser of two evils. If it was uneven or their were areas of numbness they could put more in through the catheter in my back. With a spinal this was not an option. Because I chose the epidural with the catheter I had a PCA pump with demerol going directly into where the epidural was put in. Let me tell you how WONDERFUL this was. There was NO PAIN and I was not drugged up or dopey, like I would have been taking shots or oral medication or having something in my vein, the medication goes directly in to the area where you need pain relief the most. It administered dosages regularly and if I needed more I could push the button. I pushed it twice in a 17 hour block of time. My mind was not affected at all by this, I was able to move around, even could sit up and stand after my csection. I was sitting up 20 minutes after surgery. After the catheter was removed I still had pain relief. It wore off about 8 hours later. By this time I was walking and moving around and all I needed was some extra strentgth tylenol for pain. I took one demerol orally when I got over zealous the last evening I was in the hospital. An alternative to this is getting a dose of DURAMORPH in your epidural. This will provide pain relief for 15-24 hours. I had talked to multiple people and these were the two methods of pain relief that were most preferred when they had their csections. More people preferred the PCA pump hooked into the epi cath and so that is what I chose. IF I have another csection I would do this again.
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#16 of 47 Old 04-13-2003, 12:06 AM
 
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I've had all three...general for a c, epidural for a C (plus a LOT of extra drugs for it) and a spinal to place and remove the cerclage. Spinal effects wore off quick, I woke up from general almost too soon (before I was into recovery...no morphine yet -oops!) But clear and not foggy. I had a lot of swelling after the epidural delivery, I don't know if it was related (like I said they had to add a lot of drugs.) I got the catheter out and was able to pee fastest after general...my babe died so I got to have all the morphine I needed by pump. Percocet is not as nice. And that thing in my back for the epidural was oogey, plus the lengthy time on the cath. I am not sure it was worth it for pain relief? Maybe so if I couldn't have the morphine. I am also not sure I would let just any random anethes. do a spinal. Epi. is preferable I think.
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#17 of 47 Old 04-15-2003, 01:35 AM
 
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Just a question, but did any of you get to read the package inserts before you were given the anesthesia.

Or were you told to just, "Sign here!"

I know most of these things are done in an emergency, but were you really, I mean, TOTALLY, informed of the benefits and risks of each and every type of anesthesia before it was given or was it just, " this is what we give here at this hospital," or "this is what your doctor/anesthesiologist prefers," and that was that?

Sometimes with a planned c/sec, you can make arrangements ahead of time.

Not always.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#18 of 47 Old 04-15-2003, 10:23 AM
 
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I also had an epidural-very pleased with it considering the circumstances.
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#19 of 47 Old 04-16-2003, 07:10 AM
 
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I voted other because I had an epidural with ds1 and an epidural converted to spinal with ds2

I don't think I can ever let anyone stick needles in my back again after the latter experience

the epid with ds1 worked very well but it was 12 yrs ago and postop painrelief was a pethidine infusion with no PCA (back in the dark ages!) - I hallucinated and begged for it to be taken down after th efirst 24 hours

the spinal with ds2 took 45 mins to site - 45 mins of pain and extreme stress, it was horrible - and then I felt everything including all the hard work it took to birth my very stuck ds; postop pain relief was excellent though, with the spinla wearing off over many hours (can't remember how long but i was up next morning) then anti-inflammatory suppositories a couple of times then oral morphine when I succumbed to a massive dose of mastitis and was extremely crook for several days

very interested to read yr experiences OnTheFence, epid is far superior in postop period, if only I could think rationally about having a needle stuck in my back

this time I have been looking at a GA because of that awful experience but the postop pain relief would be morphine via PCA (not my favourite idea) or possibly a caudal block administered under GA ( I have found an anaesthetist oldfashioned enough to be well trained in giving caudal blocks)
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#20 of 47 Old 04-18-2003, 11:36 AM
 
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They gave me an epidural cause they had to wait for the surgeon to finish up the other sugery he was doing anyways..but I was upside down and on oxygen and really worried by that point so the package on the meds was really the last thing on my mind..

I should have read it while still planning the birth but I was one of those "ah I wont need a csection so I wont bother reading it" types...: ah well..I know better now..

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#21 of 47 Old 04-20-2003, 10:31 PM
 
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my first dd was a c section d/t a failed induction, so i had a epidural already in place, my other 2 were spinals, and they were scheduled c sections
i believe that spinals are chosen over epidurals if it is a planned c section d/t they work quicker and wear off faster. i had no problems with any of mine, you're not suppose to feel any pain just pushing and pulling, with my dd#2 spinal i thought i was going to stop breathing, felt very panicy, so i discussed it with my anes. dr before dd#3 section and told her how i felt, etc, so this time when i started to feel a little" panicy", i let her know and she gave me something iv to calm me



it helped a lot!
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#22 of 47 Old 04-21-2003, 02:44 AM
 
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I had a spinal because I didn't want a tube left in my back. No side effects and it wasn't an emergency (baby wasn't in danger) and it wasn't a scheduled c section either. I had a choice because I didn't have an epidural while I was in labor.
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#23 of 47 Old 04-22-2003, 03:23 PM
 
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Someone asked a while back about the difference between the two, an epidural is a tube stuck into your back connected to and IV and it stays there, a spinal is just a shot of medication into your back and the needle comes out, and it wears off within a couple of hours, maybe sooner. I'm not sure if the actual medication is different or not though if that is what was being asked.

I had a spinal with my emergency c-section at 31 weeks with my dd, and it went fine for me. I didn't feel pain but the pushing, tugging and moving around of internal body parts I did feel like the one gal refered to, like she said I felt like someone was sitting on my upper chest. (Afterwards my hubby thought it would be funny to crack all my toes while my legs were still numb : ) I don't remember being told the risks at all of the spinal but I'm sure the team working with me would've talked to me about it if I had asked, but it was a pretty emergent situation, so they were moving along pretty fast and frankly I wasn't thinking about that at that moment. (And I did have a sucessful VBAC last June with our newest dd. )
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#24 of 47 Old 04-23-2003, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh congrats on your VBAC, great news!
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#25 of 47 Old 04-28-2003, 06:19 PM
 
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During labor, I tried to have an epidural. The doc couldn't get the needle in correctly and some spinal fluid leaked. Right before the Csec, he tried to do a spinal, but it didn't take effect ("I can feel my toes!"), so they put me under. Because of that spinal fluid leak, I had a spinal headache. A spinal headache hurts worse than labor. If I have another C, I will have a general again. I would do anything to avoid a spinal headache.
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#26 of 47 Old 05-06-2003, 12:46 AM
 
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For the first c-section, I had an epidural. It made me loooooopy!. I apparently lectured the neonatologist (I was a high risk premature delivery with twins) on the benefits of breastfeeding (I don't remember this at all). I also hit on another of the obstetricians that I happen to know. My DH thought this was very amusing. Looking back, I suppose it was.

The second, was a different story. I had a spinal block which pissed me off . I was angry the whole delivery (I couldn't move my arms and legs (like I could!)) and hated every minute of it. When DS3 was born, the delivery team sang Happy Birthday to Hunter. I just wanted to get the hell out of there. I wish I could've done it over. The c-section part, I don't really mind. The type of anesthetic, though, I would change.

I suspect if I have another I will have another c-section, as I've already had two and I am too afraid to go VBAC after two. If I hadn't had the second c-section, I probably would go for VBAC.
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#27 of 47 Old 05-27-2003, 10:12 PM
 
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As a L&D nurse, I find it interesting to lurk in these threads. I have never had a C/S, I had one vaginal delivery with an epidural (lengthy induction for blood pressures) and I had an epidural one time before that for some surgery because I have a phobia of general and being intubated to breathe.

My choice for a planned C/S would be a spinal and the reason why is that I feel it is safer. A spinal uses a smaller (thinner) needle than an epidural since it is uneccesary to place a tube to give continuous medication. Thus a much lower risk for a spinal/epidural headache. The spinal is a one time dose of medication into the spinal fluid so it would not work for labor since it would wear off. (Though I have seen it done on the request of a patient who was complete and pushing already but wanted it) At our hospital we do give duramorph into the spinal which gives some partial pain relief for the next 24 hours. This is supplemented by IV meds and later pills if needed. In my experience the spinals also offer more complete relief than the epidurals- I see more people with epidurals have spots that miss getting good relief since the meds don't move as freely to all of the nerves as they do in the spinal fluid. (Though there are always exceptions)

An epidural is a larger needle used to place a catheter (tube) into the epidural space of the back, not into the actual spinal fluid, the area right outside. Occasionally there is a "wet tap" where the needle goes too deep and hits fluid and there is a good chance of a headache from this since it is a larger needle and so the hole doesn't self seal as well as with a spinal needle.

The norm at my hospital is a spinal with planned c/s or laboring women who don't already have epidurals. If an epidural is already in place on a laboring woman it is dosed higher and used.

We do general anesthesia only for a few reasons: low platelet count (risk of bleeding unnoticed internally at the site), a true emergency since it is faster (example prolapsed cord where the baby is in severe distress or a uterine rupture) or a few times when the patient is just afraid of it and refuses "to have needles near their back" (we don't force spinals)

The L&D nurses at our hospital also circulate for the C/S and do the recoveries so I have seen all 3 types of anesthesia many times and I would definitely choose spinal due to the smaller needle.

Just wanted to add my 2 cents.

Part-time L&D RN and Full-time Mama to Xander 4/01 & Carly 6/08
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#28 of 47 Old 05-29-2003, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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azdesertrn,

thanks for your professional opininon

do you have any opinion on VBAC?
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#29 of 47 Old 05-29-2003, 10:11 AM
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During my third day of labor I asked for an epidural (I was going to try and go without but I was MISERABLE after three days). BUT, my epidural didn't work so I just stayed in pain. Then when they decided to do an emergency c-section, they had to really turn up the juice on my epi and give me all sorts of drugs because the epi hadn't been working, which means that during the birth of my dd, I was hallucinating that I was trapped in a kaleidescope. I might have enjoyed that in college, but it was less than enjoyable during the birth of my daughter, to say the least.
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#30 of 47 Old 05-29-2003, 10:38 AM
 
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I had an epidural. I begged for it during my 30th hour of Pitocin induced labor, so they just turned up the juice, added Duramorph, and wheeled me in for the section ten hours later. I had no problems with it. I still believe that my son had nursing problems because of the epidural, morphine, and magnesium sulfate combination though.

~~Kristina~~ Mama to DS(10/30/01), DD1(VBAC 3/28/04) and DD2(HBAC 5/21/06)
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