this is long. but hear me out. Let me start by explaining, I am NOT one of those women who thinks you NEED a natural birth. I don't, in any way, condemn the use of pain meds. or any personal choices made during your labor. in fact, after a long, horrific, all natural birth with my first. I opted for epidural for my 2nd. it was a stinking breeze. So again, for my 3rd, epidural. My fourth was coming and the midwife asks what my plan is, "EPIDURAL!" I said enthusiastically. she suggests other types of medication. nope, nope and nope 3 days ago I finally go into labor. The anesthesiologist comes in, I think "thank god. about time!" He goes on his explanation and warnings. I've heard all this. I know how it goes down. I've heard potential risks. whatever, it's worth it I think. He starts the procedure. First time struck a blood vessel. no biggie he says, we'll stick again. He relocates and tries again, it hurt. and bad. but he readjusted the needle. no sudden headaches, tingling in extremities. etc as he had me watching for. all went well it seemed. a little while into the drip, my contractions are less painful. but i can feel my legs. I can't, however, feel the right side of my chest, and i was quickly losing feeling in my right arm. I alerted the nurse. she called him back, we stopped the drip despite him being adamant it was the blood pressure cuff cutting off circulation. it wasnt. he said when I regain all feeling, we can try a low dose again. eventually, we did. my legs never even lost any feeling this time. my arm, didnt either. some of my back did. the rest I felt. I delivered my perfect baby and felt every bit of it. oh well. sucks, but its over I think to myself. then it happened. they took out the epidural catheter. I started getting this pain in my shoulders up my,neck. maybe the shakes from giving birth? felt like a building tension headache. my husband rubbed my neck, it kind of felt better for the moment. but it grew. it escalated. the light became,too much. my stomach churned and my celebratory meal was left uneaten. my head throbbed and down my,spine it felt like knives. I could no longer sit up. laying down was the only releif and only barely. the baby had her first dirty diaper. I couldnt sit long,enough to change her. I just laid down and cried as my husband did it. he laid her on me to feed. The nurses had been talking to the anesthesiologist asking him to evaluate me. he swore over and over it must be something else, its takes 24 hours for a spinal headache to get bad enough for a blood patch treatment. finally they MADE him come do the proceedure. 3 hours later, i could sit up. I even showered! I was okay through the day. sore. my,back was stiff. but okay. the next day I stood up,to go take a shower...it came,back. mildly at first. but it sure was back. I panicked. i called the nurse in, i talked to my midwife, I heard "its almost impossible for it to be back. but it was almost impossible to show signs as fast as i had too. they sent me home with migraine meds. and the usual ibuprofen. My baby is now 3 days old. I'm home with her, my 2 toddlers and my older daughter. I cant sit up longer than a moment. I cant stand longer than 10 minutes. I cant enjoy my family reunion. I,cant enjoy my newborn baby. I can't feed myself, or my children. I am rendered nearly useless. I'm in misery. between dismissive doctors, a pain killer epidemic, and the worst pain I've ever felt. i can tell you one thing I've learned. take the warnings seriously. I still don't know how I will manage and cope, I can just pray to have some relief sooner than later. be weary ladies.