Epidural? Yes, please - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 01-01-2011, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I had a c/s after a FTP induction with #1, and a HBAC with complications (shoulder dystocia) for #2. This time I am going back to the hospital and though I am open to attempt to go natural again, I highly doubt I will. My homebirth was EXTREMELY painful. I couldn't enjoy the birth, and after it I was so out of it in shock by the pain. This is my last child, last birth. I want to enjoy it. I had an epidural with my induction, so I know how great they can be for pain relief.

 

Anyone else looking forward to an epidural this time?


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#2 of 15 Old 01-01-2011, 07:53 AM
 
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I had a homebirth my last birth and it was completely pain free. (except for the few minutes of pushing) I was dreading the pain...but it never really showed up.  My first two were hospital births my second an induction and I KNEW I was going to get that epi!

 

My thing is, I just don't like hospitals period and I think it contributed to my pain. I thought my HB would be very painful, but it never got there I think because I was able to stay so comfy.

 

Either way, natural, c/s. epidural.... a healthy baby makes you no worry about any of it!

 

Going for a HB this time around too God willing, never know what may happen. If I go way overdue or something and need an induction in a hospital, I would pre-pay for the epi, lol!


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#3 of 15 Old 01-01-2011, 02:04 PM
 
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My first labor was a home birth and epidural free for 50 hours (including over 7 hours of pushing) and ended in a c-section. I had terrible back labor that was beyond what normal labor feels like but because it was my first I didn't know any better. With my second I went 12 hours and again had terrible back labor that ended in a c-section. During the second half of labor I couldn't move at all to get into any positions. I was in a hospital this time with midwives that supported natural birth but even they could see that my pain was abnormal. I ended up with an epidural and was glad because I was able to push and when that didn't work deal with the reality of another c-section. Turns out I wasn't experiencing normal labor because my pelvis was shaped so that my children could not turn their heads putting more pressure on my back.

 

That said, I am a strong advocate for epidural free births but I learned there are exceptions. See how this labor goes because it might not be as painful and if you need an epidural then go for it. I thought I was being weak by getting the epidural but my midwife told me she could see that in my case it was needed. You may or may not have the same kind of labor (it could have hurt that much because of the position of your baby). With this baby I will have another c-section so pain meds right away!

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#4 of 15 Old 01-01-2011, 02:20 PM
 
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With my first the epidural didn't work and it was pure hell, because I couldnt move because they still treated me as if it did work. Because of this I was completely opposed to getting an epi the second time around. After they turned that pit on though, omg it was either epidural or jump out the window. The epidural was heaven. After I gave birth, I swear I didn't even look like I gave birth. This time around I'm gonna try to go natural, but if I can't no big deal.

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#5 of 15 Old 01-01-2011, 02:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matty02 View Post

My first labor was a home birth and epidural free for 50 hours (including over 7 hours of pushing) and ended in a c-section. I had terrible back labor that was beyond what normal labor feels like but because it was my first I didn't know any better. With my second I went 12 hours and again had terrible back labor that ended in a c-section. During the second half of labor I couldn't move at all to get into any positions. I was in a hospital this time with midwives that supported natural birth but even they could see that my pain was abnormal. I ended up with an epidural and was glad because I was able to push and when that didn't work deal with the reality of another c-section. Turns out I wasn't experiencing normal labor because my pelvis was shaped so that my children could not turn their heads putting more pressure on my back.

 

That said, I am a strong advocate for epidural free births but I learned there are exceptions. See how this labor goes because it might not be as painful and if you need an epidural then go for it. I thought I was being weak by getting the epidural but my midwife told me she could see that in my case it was needed. You may or may not have the same kind of labor (it could have hurt that much because of the position of your baby). With this baby I will have another c-section so pain meds right away!



I don't think wanting an epidural is ever a sign of weakness, whether you've been in labor for 50 hours or 5.


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#6 of 15 Old 01-01-2011, 04:09 PM
 
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I didn't mean to imply an epidural is a sign of weakness at all! I was just stating how I felt before I got one. Once I got one I realized it allowed me to be more present at my child's birth. 

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#7 of 15 Old 01-01-2011, 05:35 PM
 
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I did a med-free birth for my first, and with my second, I hope to do it the same way. Honestly, I think I'd be going with the epidural if there'd been a slightly shorter period between pregnancies. I clearly remember how shellshocked I was by the difficulty of my first labor, but the vividness of the pain has dimmed a great deal.

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#8 of 15 Old 01-02-2011, 10:31 AM
 
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I have had all natural births, they were long ones (30hrs, 20hrs, 35hrs, and 18hrs) so I totally understand that it can be painful and while an epidural is a personal choice, I just wanted to throw out a book recommendation for those thinking of having one.  It's called "A Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" by Henci Goer.  I just think it's best to make an informed decision, one thing that really stands out to me is that when you accept an epi, your risk of all other interventions increase - including c/s (which has lots of risks for mom and baby).  One of the things I'm trying this time for pain relief is hypnobabies, which my sister says is wonderful.

matty02- you are very right that there are exceptions - you were very clearly one!

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#9 of 15 Old 01-02-2011, 10:38 AM
 
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I would love to see mamas leave the option open for epi, and plan on intervention free :) If you need the Epi, take it, but I hate to see people plan for things they may end up not needing that could cause complications.


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#10 of 15 Old 01-02-2011, 10:53 AM
 
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when i was pregnant with my son i took a birthing class and the teacher said that epidurals sometimes only take in one part or don't take but that the chemicals mess with a womens hormones so the natural hormones to deal with pain then don't work and you end up in a lot more pain. i don't know if that is true but it left me really afraid of having an epidural for fear i would end up in more pain rather than less. my son was born at home so no pain epidural or anything and i don't plan one this time around. i think though it is important to do what feels right for you and listen to yourself and your own needs. if that means an epidural then that's what it means.


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#11 of 15 Old 01-02-2011, 11:41 AM
 
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Have not birthed any other place but home- but will say I've had posterior labors, posterior births, 2 day labors etc; and I wouldn't change the awesome feeling natural high/endorphins that kick in once you let your body surrender to the process for anything. Not a judgment but I think in first world countries the pain of labor/birth are so hyped up (yes it can hurt) but if you are fighting the pain it hurts even more and there are ways to make yourself more comfortable water works for me as does silence/darkened room etc; I have nothing else to compare it to so I think I'll refrain from further comments but I would much rather natural birth a baby than go to the dentist- any day!

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#12 of 15 Old 01-02-2011, 12:37 PM
 
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I had a drug-free delivery with my first son (he was stillborn and the emotional pain was so much worse), an epidural with my second, which was horrendous, and with my son Kieran I had no drugs.  I could not believe how much easier the recovery was after a drug-free birth.  Of course, the pain was crazy but it was an amazing feeling.  I will definitely refuse drugs this time. 


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#13 of 15 Old 01-02-2011, 01:47 PM
 
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The only caution I would give is that once you start with interventions you are more likely to have problems which can lead to a c-section.  It doesn't always happen, but it increases your chances & may inhibit your ability to push properly.  I wouldn't say it's a sign of weakness either, just be well-formed about the risks and make the decision that you think is best.  I also wouldn't assume that you'll have such extreme pain with the next one.

 

All that being said, I had an emergency c-section & an amazingly quick & pain-free recovery...even though I really wanted a drug-free water birth with #1, I didn't get it.  Now I feel afraid of the pain & am wondering if I should just have another c-section.  Even the thought of that makes me feel guilty though.  Plus I hated the feeling of the epidural going in even though my back was anesthetized.  One of the worst sensations I've ever had.


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#14 of 15 Old 01-02-2011, 02:02 PM
 
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OP, since you had a HBAC last time, I'm going to go ahead and assume you're well educated on all the risks/benefits of an epidural, and that your choice is a good one. smile.gif

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#15 of 15 Old 01-02-2011, 02:16 PM
 
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I also think it's very important to consider all of your options and not necessarily decide ahead of time that you will take pain meds. What the childbirth teacher said about the epi messing with your natural pain relief hormones IS true, so while you might not have more pain while it is in place and working, if it doesn't work, or when it wears off you will be in far MORE pain than you would have otherwise been. On top of that, it does increase your chances of having a c-section (especially if you get it before you are 5 cm dilated), as well as potentially dangerous low blood pressure (I had a client who needed significant doses of major medications because her blood pressure was so low she was barely conscious), and breastfeeding problems too.

That said, there are times and places where an epidural can be helpful. The book "Birthing From Within" actually calls it a "compassionate epidural". I had an epidural with my second birth, and I have no doubt that it SAVED me from having a c-section. I was stressed and fearful and worried (DD had major issues that would need surgery after birth), and I was incredibly discouraged by my perceived lack of progress. I got the epidural, and within 20 minutes my water broke on its own, and 25 minutes after that, I pushed my little girl out.

Another important note, there are different kinds of epidurals. Most hospitals I have been to laugh at you when you ask for a "walking epidural", but a lot of anesthesiologists will give you a "light" epi, and if you can get one where you can give yourself a boost if needed (they will give you a button to push), you can also control the strength of it. My epidural was very light, I was able to feel each contraction, I just didn't have pain from them, which was very nice when it came time to push because I was able to feel my daughter coming down. I also didn't need a catheter with my epidural, for which I was very thankful. I was up and walking within 1/2 hour - 45 minutes of the birth.


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