I had epidurals with my first two births. They worked really, really well.. basically the perfect epidural. They weren't turned off until after the birth, but still I felt an incredible urge to push and felt every sensation except the pain.
I had naturals with my first 2, one in a hospital (it was an icky experience), one at home. I planned a UC with this one, and when I went into labor things were WAY different. She started out posterior and I just could NOT handle it. I wanted to go to the hospital & so we did.
I ended up with an epidural after a few hours, and a failed attempt at pushing (my birth story is in the July DDC forum), and holy crap! I never thought I would have one, but I am SO GLAD they exist!
I really really needed it, and it was done perfectly. I was not too numb, could feel everything I needed to feel and it was a wonderful experience.
6 days later I am just so pleased with my birth experience, and it was SO different that what I had expected it to be.
With my second, I was induced again, and got a spinal at 8cm. It was just getting uncomfortable, but we weren't expecting it to go so well and just wanted to have a non-traumatic birth experience so badly I was happy to have the epidural. So the whole labor went well, really pain free, still felt when to push, and only pushed a few times total. While getting the epidural, I swear he hit a nerve or something, so I jumped reflexively, which was a bit scary and brought some of the risks home as real possibilities to me.
With my third, I am planning not to have an epidural. In hindsight making it to 8cm without being in pain was a breeze, and I think I could get through the last rough part without anything. I am going to take a natural birth class so I am better prepared this time though!
What I do know is that I always allow myself the option of an epi! With my second I asked for it, had it inserted and then there was no time to actually administer the actual drug so I just pushed. Third I did not ask for it and fourth born at home. But i always went into labour with no expectation. I allowed myself to know that if I felt I needed it then I would have to transfer to hospital and get it. Giving myself that option seemed to take off the pressure I was putting on myself. Now having delivered 4 children I realise that when I start to think I need an epi, it usually means my baby will arrive within the hour! Hindsight is a wonderful thing!!! So instead of asking for the epi, I ask for moral and emotional support from my partner and delivery team. Never under estimate the power of positive thinking and words to get you through the final stages before you meet your baby. Good luck with your birth.
That said, with my second birth, we choose to stay at home to avoid ending up in the same situation again.
However, I almost died due to complications both times
Since I have had 2 drug/intervention free births.
If you want me to tell my stories, pm me.
: for you.
Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013. If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!
homeschooling mama to DD 10 & DS 7
I have a friend who wanted a natural childbith and "caved" to the epid. after a long labor; the baby was turned strangely (her forehead was presenting, I think). She pushed and pushed; they ended up needing such strong vaccuum to remove the baby that the doctor was pulling my friend off of the table. If she hadn't had the epid....
So thankful for our healthy baby boy, born Easter morning, 2010!
I know that the epidural was not entirely to blame for all my difficulties, but it played a huge role. With my next two - I took Bradley and had wonderful unmedicated births. I birthed in the tub for my last baby and that was fantastic. I had almost no pain (lots of strong sensations, but not really pain.) They don't call water the midwife's epidural for nothing.
I was really sad that I had the epidural. At the time, I thought it was for the best, because I really did need the rest. I think I would've been more ok with it had I delivered my baby vaginally. But, I ended up having an emergency c/s, so I feel like I got the epidural for nothing.
I think epi's have their time and place. I did not feel I needed one with my second. I didn't have pitocin, so the labor was painful but still doable. Pitocin is made by the devil himself.