3rd Trimester

Please don't throw things :) ...

Okay ladies, I have a question that I realize could cause some drama because people can have very strong opinions but I'm really interested in hearing other's opinions (especially those who have been through this already). (As a side note, I did try to do a google search to find past threads about this but didn't have any luck).

Soooo... *puts on big girl panties before asking*... I'm wondering if you guys are planning on having an epidural or not and why? Are any of you going in planning on not having one but are willing to if you can't handle the pain? And for those of you who have been through this already what was your thoughts before going into labour and what ended up happening?

TIA for sharing, I thought I had my mind all made up but I have my meeting coming up to go over my birthing plan and now that I know I need to make my decision semi-final I got a big nervous and started second guessing myself.


Re: Please don't throw things :) ...

  • I PLAN on not having one, but like you said may change my mind if it gets to unbareable. I think I can do it without, women and animals all over the world do it without pain meds every day, so why can't I, I'm strong enough.Wink That's how I see it. I don't think any less of people that DO decide to have one. Its a matter of opinion and choice.
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  • I know there are some great reasons not to have one..but I honestly just don't think I can handle the pain.Embarrassed I'm going to go as long as I can...but I'm terrified of a pushing an entire human out of my vagina.
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  • image J+MS:
    I know there are some great reasons not to have one..but I honestly just don't think I can handle the pain.Embarrassed I'm going to go as long as I can...but I'm terrified of a pushing an entire human out of my vagina.

    Basically same here... I think I have a high pain tolerance, but we'll find out. 

  • image J+MS:
    I know there are some great reasons not to have one..but I honestly just don't think I can handle the pain.Embarrassed I'm going to go as long as I can...but I'm terrified of a pushing an entire human out of my vagina.

    This is exactly where I am at. But I see so many people who do it naturally or at least try to that I started feeling guilty for planning on having one. But I don't think I can handle the pain.. I'm just a big baby! Embarrassed

  • I plan on having one. Everyone in my family & SO's family will not stop with the guilt trips, stories & unsolicited advice. It's my body, my delivery and I'm doing it my way. To each her own!

  • I wont have an epidural or any other medication unless it is necessary. It's a decision that I made early on and was able to stick to with DS, but I know there is always the chance of change with each birth. Personally, I do not want to introduce the medications into my child's system. If there is any medical reason that I would need to be administered medication, I wont put my child or myself at risk and will agree to it.

  • I took a hypnobirthing course in anticipation of going without. I do not like the idea of relinquishing control over my body and being unable to walk. I am also worried about the potential "intervention cascade." 

    We'll see how it goes. 

  • I had one with my first pregnancy, best decision EVER for me. I was induced and had really rough pitocin contractions but was taking forever to dilate (I was only at a fingertip when my water broke, 4 hours after the pit was started). After I got the epi, I was able to relax and rest up and went from 1cm to 10cm in 5-6 hours. I will add that mine ended up not taking fully on one side, and wore off before I pushed - but it was still nice to have that relief from the pain for a little bit and rest up before pushing! I also likely was able to dilate so quickly after it was administered because I was finally able to relax and that helped move things along finally :)

    I plan on getting one this time as well, unless I follow in my mom's footsteps for this delivery and go SUPER fast and don't have time to get one!

    It's totally up to you, but for me it was a great choice and I have no regrets and no concerns about getting another one.

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  • I didnt have one with my other 2 kids but I'm not against gtg it this time if the pain becomes unbearable. I'm hoping I can go w/o but we'll see.


  • Im a big baby when it comes to pain. But im planning to not have one. Of course this will change if i feel i can not handle much more, but dh and i both have the goal of not having an epidural. He will be a big help on me not getting one and just talking me and breathing me through this whole thing! Im not against the mommies that have had one either. Its our bodies and we all know what is best for us!

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  • I am planning an epi free birth this time around.   I will be delivering in the alternative birthing center within my hospital.  I took a natural childbirh class, done a lot of natural child-birth reading and am also listening to hypno-babies affirmations.  All of this has very little to do with medication in baby's system, but rather a different birthing experience than what I had with my daughter.  I do not judge nor care what anyone chooses in regard to their birth (drug vs drug free).  I don't think anyone who goes at it without drugs is any better of a woman or a mother...so no flames from me! 

    To understand why I am going this route, I need to share my birth story with my daughter.  My labor was very fast and very intense.  Within 3 hours of my first contraction, I arrived at the hospital 8.5cm dilated begging for an epidural.  By the time I was given it, I was urging to push and was at least 9cm.  Right there, I should've been denied.  Anyway, from that point on, my contractions slowed down and my daughters heartrate was dropping below 50 with each one.  Because of the heartrate, she was vacuumed out and I was cut from one end to the other.  I truly believe that if I just sucked it up through that last cm, her heartrate wouldnt have plummeted the way it did and I would've been ready to push her within minutes.  Granted I delivered her safely and within 2 hours of arriving at the hospital. However, I am choosing drug free this time. 

  • I'm not going into it planning on having an epi, but since I haven't done this before we'll have to see. If I do get one I don't want it to be in very early labour (potentially slowing things down) and that they would start me on a very low dosage.

    I'm more concerned about the risks of:
    - narcotics (concerns about the effects on baby)
    - use of forceps/vacuums (injury to baby)
    - episiotomies (I'd rather do everything possible to progress slowly and encourage stretching so an episiotomy isn't necessary and minimize/eliminate tearing)
    - laughing gas (I want to be mentally all-there for the birth)
    - c-sections (recovery, bonding, etc.)
    - inducing artificially/medically (stress of the stronger contractions & forcing your body to do something it's not doing on its own). 

    I just hate seeing women go into childbirth feeling scared and uninformed! Natural or not natural doesn't matter to me... but I think it's a wonderful thing when women educate themselves and don't fear giving birth. 

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  • Pros/cons to having & not having an epi.

    For me: I plan to labor for awhile and if it's extremely painful, I'll request

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  • Pros/cons to having & not having an epi.

    For me: I plan to labor for awhile and if it's extremely painful, I'll request

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  • Im going all natural. Only meds I have taken this whole pregnancy have been prenatal vitamins lol, and brethine 2xs to stop pre-term labor. I figured if my mom could do it, along with the thousands of mothers before her, so can I. Although I do tend to get the "your crazy" comments, especially from my in-laws and their side of the family, I am happy with my choice. In whatever anyone chooses though a big support system is crucial. I am very lucky to have my hubby behind me 100%. I also have a few friends who have made the same choice, and where able to share their experiences with me. No matter what you choose though there will always be someone giving you crap. Hubby got chewed out by my friends significant other for not wanting to catch the baby (or to be anywhere in that region. He wants to be near my head holding my hand, which I also perfer). This guy had the audacity to tell my hubby that our son would feel unloved and neglected for the rest of his life if his dad wasnt the first to hold him. We were both stunned and we havent talked to them in a while needless to say.



  • I plan to hang in there as long as possible just so I can try to make as much progress as I can but the minute I feel like I need the pain to stop, I'll get something for it.
  • I'm getting an epidural but I'm having a c-section :) haha

    But my advise is to expect the unexpected and do not feel like you are failing yourself if you give in for the epi. I remember when I was in the hospital there was a girl who was screaming and cussing and yelling at her mom and DH and I found out she was "going natural." Well then it got real quiet and I asked if she had her baby and they said no, she got the epi ;) She must have been feeling good! I bet her mom and DH were happier, too!

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  • I also plan on going as long as possible without one, but considering I think "lightning crotch" is painful I don't know how long I'll be able to handle it.
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  • I don't plan on it, mostly because I've done it twice without it. 

    The first time, I thought I didn't need it because I was such a bad-ass former college athlete and that I knew what pain was like and I could handle it.  Yeah...um....nope.  I had to have pitocin.  I was completely unprepared for it and had the worst husband ever in providing support.  That birth made me fully believe I would NEVER have another kid.  Ever. 

    The second time, I decided to try drug-free again because I hired a doula and had a new, supportive partner.  It was a much shorter labor, and I wasn't nearly as freaked out as I was the first time.  I had more control over myself, which made it easier.

    We figure it's the third time and my DH says he's okay with not needing any help and I believe him.  I feel like you have to be prepared for it though - it's something that it's verrrrry easy to give up on when it really starts to hurt.  I think being "committed" to the idea and believing in yourself really helps you manage the whole experience better - assuming all is well physically with you and LO, that is. 

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  • We are planning a water birth and if that goes as planned I won't be a candidate for an epi, not in the water. I feel like I have a high pain tolerance and also believe that my body was simply made to do what it will need to do during birth. I think the water will help me greatly and I have a doula and strong support system with my DH and mom. 

    However, I am not on any kind of a high horse and I have no idea what lies ahead. If I can not handle it and have to have medication, then that's the way it will turn out. I can hope I won't need it and hope for the best, though. 


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  • Up until recently, I was all for the epidural.  I am a wuss when it comes to pain and thought the epi would make my birthing experience better.  This changed when DH and I took our child birthing class.  They showed us what exactly an epidural is and how it is administered, and that freaked me out more than anything associated w/ natural child birth.  I just can't get over the whole insertion of the cathedar into your spine aspect of it, plus the use of the a cathedar to help you go to the bathroom before you start pushing.  This made me start looking into other options. 

    Right now, I am considering HypnoBirthing.  I like what I've read so far and am going to sign up for a class.  Hopefully, they will give me a good method to manage the pain.  If, for whatever reason though, the pain becomes worse than my fear of the epidural, I will take that cathedar in my spine and not feel bad about it!  =)  (But honestly, I feel I can definetely do without it.  Women were made for this!!)

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  • I don't plan on getting one the moment I am able to if I can still handle the pain, but I also told the doctor to tell me when it's now or never time to get one so I can make a decision then. I'll go as long as I can without it but I'm not going to feel bad if I decide to get one. I don't know what kind of condition I'll be in at that point so I'm not ruling anything out.
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  • Wow I am really surprised by all the responses.  I wonder if the bump has a particularly epi-free leaning members? Cuz I am literally the only person I know IRL that went med-free.  Ditto to what most other prior med-free Mommies said above as to my reasons and plans for this birth- plan on going natural but will see what happens.  I just want to add that I think it's not just the amount of pain but the duration of your labor that contributes to the decision to get or not get one.  My entire labor from water breaking, then contractions to baby arrival was 8 hours.  Pretty fast for a first timer.  I also wasn't crazy about the idea of a needle in my spine.  FYI at least for me, the aches and pains of pregnancy were much worse than the labor because 1) they last for 9 whole months! and 2) Nature has a way of erasing labor pains from your mind.  I actually looked drugged in my immediately post birth snapshots LOL.  Mother nature's adrenaline, enorphins and whatnot do a great job of getting you through it and at least partially making you forget.  I don't judge any of my friends for getting the epi, just think many underestimate how strong we women are!
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  • I went into it not wanting an epidural, but open minded since I didn't know how it would go.

    I didn't end up having one. I actually went in expecting the worst, so it wasn't as bad as I thought! Even though I had back labor and was throwing up, I only had a little Nubain at 7-8 centimeters and it was enough to let me doze off a bit between contractions. That's it!

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  • i got the epidural.. i was having really bad back labor so it i felt it was pretty much necessary for me... and im thankful i did go with it cause i tore 3 different ways.. ALL the way back to my butthole even (sorry tmi)
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  • I'm being very honest with myself and I know that I'm a big baby when it comes to pain.  that said, I'm not going into it assuming I'll get one.. but I will more than likely end up with one.
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  • I plan on having one as soon as I am able to just like I did with my son. I had a great experience last time and was able to relax during the entire labor.

    I respect women who choose to go med free, but that just isn't for me.

  • I am not planning on having an epidural.  My first birth was a disaster: I was induced, my epi didn't work (and I'm of the opinion that you pretty much need an epi if you are induced, because those contractions are awful); and I ended up with a C-section under general anesthesia.  It was a truly awful experience, and I knew that if I wanted to have a VBAC, I had to plan something entirely different for my next birth.  I just wasn't prepared at all the first time around: I really put faith in that epi working and so when it didn't, I was a basket case.

    I will be delivering in a freestanding birth center, and they don't even have epidurals as an option there.  If I really need one in order to deliver vaginally, then I will ask to be transferred to the hospital, and I WILL do that in a heartbeat over having another C-section.  However, I have done so much to prepare for this birth, so I really think that I'll be able to go med-free.  

    I am VERY pro natural birth, because of my first birth experience, but I would never begrudge another woman her epidural.  I do wish that more women understood that epis aren't always the wonderful thing they seem to be (they do have risks, they don't always work, they can lead to more interventions, etc), but that is not my choice to make for others.  I don't think that the way a woman gives birth defines her as a mother at all, although it is my opinion (based on my own experience) that a birth experience can have longer-lasting effects than a lot of people realize - mine certainly has.  So it's really good that you're taking the time to really think about this.  Good luck with whatever you decide! :)

  • Thank you all so much for your responses! I don't have many people in my life that I can talk to about their experiences with this. And the two I did talk to were on very extreme opposing sides and not at all willing to see the other side so that really didn't help. I have been doing a lot of reading etc about this but wanted to hear from other women who are really going through it rather than just in theory. So thank you, I really appreciate the insights!!

    Have a bit more research to do but as for now it seems like I'll be sticking with my rather informal plan.. last as long as I can without one but be open to having one if needed.

  • I had one with my daughter and I plan on having one again.
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