Epidural — The Bump
April 2020 Moms

Epidural

Hey April 2020 mamas! 
My names Pamela from Toronto, and I’m due with my first April 15th! 
Just wondering what everyone’s position is on the epidural. This is my first baby so I have nothing to compare this to. Any second/third time moms have any experience? Any first time moms know if they’re going to have one??
xo
P
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Re: Epidural

  • I got one and despite some rare complications, I was glad I went through it. I had a very bad headache for 10 days after that wouldn't go away. Apparently its super rare like 2% of women get it, but it can happen with epidurals. I still am glad I had an epidural as I have white coat syndrome and it made things easier and a little less stressful.
    BabyFruit Ticker
    babybrie2coaster102516
  • I had an elective c section with DS and will with this one too (I have a family history of cephalopelvic disproportion) so I had a spinal. If I had gone natural, I probably would have tried with the gas and air first, since you're really not able to feel much, but definitely better living through chemistry over here!
    Married November 19, 2010
    BFP April 18, 2014 (EDD December 2014) - MMC
    BFP #2 January 2015 - NMC
    BFP #3 October 2017 - F born June 13, 2018
    BFP #4 July 2019 - NMC
    BFP #5 August 2019 - EDD April 2020


    babybrie2
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  • jd614jd614
    Seventh Anniversary 250 Answers 500 Comments 100 Love Its
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    edited August 28
    Had them with both boys around 6cm. Definitely doing it again . The pain was bad enough then, I have no interest going another 4cm! 

    ETA: with my first it only took on 1 side. so there is a chance that happens too...not totally common but it happens. My 2nd was a dream. Got to the hospital , epidural right away, napped for 30 min and they woke me up to push for 20 :)
    babybrie2
  • I'll make it sort of like @ruby_love did. 

    For labor: My labor was about 25 hours long, and I had my epidural around hour 20? My body was just so tired. At that point, I didn't want to walk around or pee 45 times a minute.

    For birth: they turned my epidural off, so I felt all 3 hours of pushing and it didn't affect me knowing when push. I don't know if that's common practice or just how my OB usually does it.

    For after: I was bedbound until my legs regained feeling, but honestly after being awake for 28 hours and going through birth, they wouldn't let me leave the labor room until I took a nap anyway. By the time I woke up, my legs were back in use.

    I would 100% do it again. I would even want it during the birthing process if I could.
    babybrie2mercury94KFrob
  • I had an unmedicated birth with my first. I did start to want an epidural toward the end but the nurse convinced me I was close enough to keep going.

    It was intense but I was glad I was able to do it. I definitely wanted to move around during labor and I appreciated not having to wait afterward for it to wear off.

    That said, some proponents of unmedicated birth can be kind of overbearing about it and make epidurals sound "bad". Every mom is different and every birth is different, and you'll find the right plan for you (and then find that the plan might change a lot).
    babybrie2mercury94
  • mwill291mwill291
    100 Love Its Second Anniversary 10 Comments Name Dropper
    member
    edited August 27
    I have had 2 precipitous deliveries (both approx 4 hours from 1st contraction to delivery). I got an epidural with my first about an hour before delivery and it made delivery much easier. With my second, they were fiddling to get it in in time and as soon as the anesthesiologist got the epidural in, she was crowning and it never had time to kick in. That being said, I'd love to have one but if time doesn't allow, it is doable without. Not pleasant but doable. I know people like to move around during labor, I'm not one of them. All I could muster was laying in fetal position trying not to push until it was time and trying to keep breathing.
    babybrie2KFrob
  • I wasn’t able to get one bc I had a very fast labour (3hrs), and the epidural didn’t arrive fast enough. A non medicated birth was the farthest thing from my plan, and going through that whirlwind was terrifying for me. I felt so unprepared for the pain. Once baby came out, I felt like I was in a fog of adrenaline, thinking “wtf just happened”. The only thing I liked about not having one was I was out of the hospital gown and in my joggers within an hour.  
    I am hoping I can get an epidural this time around - I feel like it will help me be more present, and enjoy the process a little more. 
    babybrie2KFrob
  • Long story short.... my platelets were low at the start of my induction due to eclampsia so they inserted the catheter right away to reduce bleeding. I sat around for 24hrs constantly on the monitor which baby hated so it was constant readjustment which I believe messed with the catheter placement. Once they started the epi it barely worked for one side and not for the other side at all. In the end I had a section and they did a spinal anyways which was the greatest thing ever. 
    Lilypie Maternity tickers

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  • I had the epidural with my son. I have a heart condition and my cardiologist recommended the epidural to help avoid over-stressing my heart with pain. It seemed weird, but it does kind of make sense with the extra stress that comes with too much pain. I definitely plan to do it again. 

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Me 33 DH 33 TTC since Jan 2019 PCOS

    DS1 born September 2017
  • With my first, I had a perfect epidural experience. With my second it was hell. Like @Kathryn0903 I fell into the 2% with rare complications. The anesthesiologists botched my epidural twice causing the most painful headache of my life. I ended up getting two blood patches to get rid of it. The epidural also didn’t end up working so I gave birth naturally. I honestly don’t know if I will get an epidural again. Giving birth naturally was less painful than that damn spinal headache. 

    Not trying to scare anyone but i was naive in thinking nothing like that could happen. This is something I will be talking at length with my doc. 

    Diagnosed PCOS 2013
    TTC since 6/14
    SA normal.

    Clomid cycle #1 - 6/14 = BFN
    Femara cycle #2 - 7/14 = BFN
    Femara cycle #3 - 8/14 = BFN
    Natural Cycle #4 - 9/14 = BFN
    Blood work 9/2014: HgA1C & AMH test. Blood work showed that I am not insulin resistant (wahoo!) but AMH levels were slightly high.
    Natural Cycle 10/14 = BFN
    CD2 Ultrasound & Blood work 10/2014: Ultrasound showed that my uterus and ovaries were of normal size and shape. Ovaries had a number of tiny follicles present.
    RE Appointment for Femvue Ultrasound 10/9/2014: Hurt like a b!tch but tubes are open! I had one good looking follicle to ovulate in the next week or so.
    Femara + Ovidrel 11/14 =BFN
    Femara + Ovidrel + IUI 12/14 = BFP!!! EDD September 5, 2015

  • @coaster102516 yes that spinal headache was terrible. I went 10 days with it before going in to get the blood patch. I'm freaked out about getting another epidural because of it.
    BabyFruit Ticker
    coaster102516
  • With DD1, my water broke without sending me into labor, so I had to be induced to hopefully deliver within 24 hours. Long story short, I labored for 19 hours and never got past 4 cm, so asked for an epi. Within 45 minutes, I reached 10 cm and delivered my daughter. The doctor said that basically my body wouldn’t relax enough to allow for progression, so the epi is actually what allowed me to have a vaginal birth. I had an epi with DD2 as well, and both times I was able to push with no complications (the nurse did have to help me hold my legs up but that was it), and I could monitor where both girls were in the birth canal even while numb.

    TL;DR: every woman’s experience is different. Epi’s can be very beneficial. Do your research, decide what you want for your birth experience and give yourself permission to change your mind.  
    KFrob
  • areseearesee
    Fourth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    member
    I didn't have one with my first, mostly because my labor was super fast (4 hours) and there sort of wasn't time. I'd prefer not to have one (the idea of numb legs and not being able to move around kind of freaks me out), but I am 100% open to it if things go differently this time.
  • As a labour nurse I think it’s best to be educated about your options but don’t go in with a set plan (because chances are it won’t go that way)! 

    Epidurals are usually magical (there’s the odd ones that don’t work perfectly) but unmediated births are also amazing (but quite rare especially with the first baby). 

    Just have an open mind and be prepared even for the fact that an epidural might not even be possible (for multiple reasons). The people who do the best are the ones who stay in control, focus on getting through one contraction at a time and rest and recoup in between. 

    For myself - I’d like to try to go without if I could but if I need one I’d have no problem getting it. I hope to labour at home for as long as possible! 
    fitzandgigglesareseemflowers929ruby_love
  • 4th time mom checking in! I've never had an epidural, though an anesthesiologist did spend over an hour trying to place one during my first pregnancy due to concerns over my escalating BP during labor (I had planned on being med-free but was convinced by my midwife to just try the epidural once my BP hit 200/130). Turns out I didn't have enough space in my spinal block or some other medical mumbo jumbo like that so the anesthesiologist finally gave up right as I hit transition. After 3 med-free births I can confirm the first was the worst because of how long I had to sit completely still during stroooonggggg contractions just to *try* to place the epidural. 

    That said I won't lie and say going med-free is easy. I begged to be knocked unconscious and given a c-section during transition in 2 of my labors and during my most recent one my husband said I looked like I was trying to force-choke (think Darth Vader) my midwife when she said no 😂
    BabyFruit Ticker . Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker . Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    mercury94mflowers929ruby_lovecansav1013
  • I've had two epidurals. One worked great and one did not (barely at all), I had to have a catheter in with one and didn't with the other (was able to get up with assistance). I will definitely be getting one again this time around, when it worked it was just a better labor/delivery experience for me.

    Do your research, speak with your doctor and see what is the best fit for you.

    aresee
  • KFrobKFrob
    Long-Lasting Membership 1000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
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    Everyone's stories with the quick labors are making me so nervous!  My second labor was 5 hours start to finish and I feel like this time around we're going to have to head to the hospital the second contractions start so we make it in time for an epi

    Also, I never once felt the urge to walk around or move once I got the epi
  • With my first baby, he was facing the wrong way so all of my contractions were in my back. The pain was so bad I couldn’t stop throwing up and the only position I could muster was on all fours. The whole labor start to finish was only 5 hours. I had an epidural within an hour of arriving at the hospital and I was at a 5. I was able to take a nap and woke up when I felt the urge to push. 
    With my second, from the time I had my first contraction to the time she was in my arms was 90 minutes. I had an epidural but it only lessened my contraction pain and did nothing for the feeling of her being delivered.
    Third baby I was induced due to worry of him coming too quickly and me not making it to the hospital. I had an epidural as soon as I arrived after the bloodwork was done. I was able to relax through the whole induction and nap. That labor was 6 hours start to finish. I am very much pro epidural!
  • Epidurals aside, I am super duper jealous of all the quick labors! 
  • I hadn't planned in getting one with my first, but because I went into labor just after midnight, I felt like I was going to be too tired to push. I ended up getting one at 8 cm. The way they did mine was perfect. I could still move, I could still feel my body bearing down through contractions, and when to push. I felt him descend trough the birth canal and felt him crown and come out. After, he stayed on me for about an hour and a half before they'd weighed him and my husband got to hold him. At that point, I was able to get up and go to the washroom with a bit of help from my nurse. I'll still try unmediated, because I know they aren't all perfect but at least I won't be as adverse to getting one this time, if I need it. 
    Me: 33 DH: 33
    Married: June 2016
    TTC: Oct 2016
    Dx: PCOS
    Nov. 2017: 2.5 mg Letrozole + TI = BFN
    Dec. 2017: 2.5 mg Letrozole + TI = BFP Jan.25, EDD Oct. 10


  • 4th pregnancy third time mom. 

    With my first I had an epidural. I didn't go in thinking I was going to get one but I wasn't against it. I was terrified of it but I had an amazing nurse who walked me through the whole process and stayed with me. I talked with her and explained things like my body will naturally pass out and convulse if I'm sitting up therefore we believed it would be best I laid down if I got the epidural. I wanted to go as long as possible without an epidural and I did. I was contracting so much my body wouldn't relax enough to dilate more so I got the epidural. Within 2 hours after my body dilated quickly and I had our daughter. 

    After birth I was stuck in bed till the nurses said it was safe to get up and shower ect. I had pain in the area the needle went in and I didn't feel the greatest after. The epidural also made me dd sleepy and hard to breastfeed. 

    With my second I went in again not knowing if I would do the epidural again. They broke my water and contractions started up and hour later. I progressed quickly and thought maybe I would get the epidural but being someone who hates needles the nurse told me they would have to iv me and get me ready but it's possible they wouldn't get the epidural in time. So I said I would not get it. I won't lie it hurt but the instant feeling of relief after our daughter was born and I felt amazing I was up loving no pains didn't even feel like I had just giving birth. 

    With this birth I'm planning a home birth with a midwife and a labour doula for support. I won't have any medicine pain relief but we will work on other options for pain relief and find out what it is I find helps me to work through the pain. One thing that helped me was my husbands humour. 

    I highly suggest finding a labour support doula they can help you with having the birth you want. And go into labour open minded.
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    areseeruby_love
  • @Mrs.DeRuysscher I’m having a homebirth, too! This will be my second one. And I have to say I felt the same way after each baby. After my first, I left the birth center 3 hours later and slept in my own bed! 


    I think everyone has such interesting birth stories that I think we should have a thread for the mamas to share their stories once we get into third trimester, maybe. It will help pass the time. 😊
    mflowers929KFrobMrs.DeRuysscher
  • I was induced last time and ended up getting an epidural halfway through my second round of Pitocin. So after being in labor for about 15 hours. I got it because I was so tired, not progressing, and just couldn't take it anymore. Once the epidural was in I was able to relax and even sleep. Since I wasn't making progress all I wanted to do was sleep anyway lol. I ended up having a C section because after 2 rounds of Pitocin they basically give up, it's too much to put your body through, and I had only dilated to about 5 cm. They used my epidural for the C section and just cranked it up so I was completely numb.
    ***BFP & Child Warning***

    Me: 33, DH: 37 ~ TTC since 2014
    IUI #1-3 (Nov 2015, Feb 2016, May 2016) = BFNs
    IVF ER (July 2016) = 7 PGS normal embryos
    FET #1 (Sept 2016) = BFP! DD born 5/30/17
    FET #2 (April 2019) = BFN
    FET #3 (July 2019) = BFP! EDD 4/4/20
  • I had a horrible and protracted induction due to preeclampsia. After 48 hours of pitocin-induced labor, they were finally able to break my water - and then the effects of all that pitocin finally hit me. I had cascading contractions that hurt so badly I could barely breathe. I asked for the epidural right away but was so dehydrated that they had to wait an hour to pump me full of fluids, and after they finally gave me the epi, I slept for an hour and actually started to make progress. My epi was the only good part of my delivery - I could still feel everything (including the urge to push), and didn’t experience any pain. I pushed for two hours and didn’t experience any discomfort until the very end of when the doctor was sewing up my tear. I was able to get up almost right away afterward.

    I had intended to go med-free and expected to be super disappointed by all the interventions I needed. I’d been fed lots of fearmongering about what pitocin and epidural might do to me and my baby. At the end of the day, I was glad that I’d done a lot of my own research and made decisions based on what I needed at the time, and not based on any “plan” or expectations. 
    sanpelligrinobabiesandbooks
  • This’ll be my first, but I am planning on getting an epidural! I give major props to the mamas who go through it all naturally though. 
  • Ladies, this is a very informative thread. As a FTM, do you have recommendations on how best to familiarize oneself and be best informed of a medicated and non-medicated birth plan? I'm currently reading 'Expecting Better', i'm sure there are chapters on this, however I want to know if there's anything else i can do?
  • @sanpelligrino see if your hospital offers a childbirth class. I did that last time and I think it helped.
    BabyFruit Ticker
    sanpelligrino
  • @sanpelligrino we may be in the minority but we didn’t find the childbirth classes very helpful. It could have been the one we picked because it was geared towards natural and for my first, I knew that wasn’t the route I was taking. 

    We will be scheduling a time to meet with the nurses, Lactation nurse, and anesthesiologists and take a tour once I hit 3rd tri. This was extremely beneficial last time (I’m at the same practice but new hospital)! Plus you get to ask and have everything explained from the experts and some of the people who will actually be in charge of your care. 

    Diagnosed PCOS 2013
    TTC since 6/14
    SA normal.

    Clomid cycle #1 - 6/14 = BFN
    Femara cycle #2 - 7/14 = BFN
    Femara cycle #3 - 8/14 = BFN
    Natural Cycle #4 - 9/14 = BFN
    Blood work 9/2014: HgA1C & AMH test. Blood work showed that I am not insulin resistant (wahoo!) but AMH levels were slightly high.
    Natural Cycle 10/14 = BFN
    CD2 Ultrasound & Blood work 10/2014: Ultrasound showed that my uterus and ovaries were of normal size and shape. Ovaries had a number of tiny follicles present.
    RE Appointment for Femvue Ultrasound 10/9/2014: Hurt like a b!tch but tubes are open! I had one good looking follicle to ovulate in the next week or so.
    Femara + Ovidrel 11/14 =BFN
    Femara + Ovidrel + IUI 12/14 = BFP!!! EDD September 5, 2015

    sanpelligrino
  • @sanpelligrino We did have a good experience with our childbirth class. It was at the hospital with couples due around the same time as us, and they walked us through all the possible interventions. Because my water broke 3.5 weeks early, they were worried about infection and so induced me, and my baby had to be monitored throughout my labor. It wasn't how I imagined things would go, but I understood what they were doing much better for it having been explained in the more calm environment of class.

    If you're interested in natural childbirth, I liked the book Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. It's very "woo-woo", but gave me a good perspective for that side of things.
    sanpelligrino
  • My husband and I took the basic birth class at our hospital- not the whole series. It was perfect for us cause it was a good overview of our options. I wasn’t set on natural childbirth nor was I set on getting all the drugs but was just going to see what happened. I ended up being induced so they gave me cytotec to start opening my cervix and then when that did the job and after the required amount of time they gave me pitocin. After I’d been awake for 24 hours (only 12 being induced) I decided to get the epidural so I could get some sleep. I slept for 3 hours and woke up at 8cm. I could feel the urge to push but was kept in bed for awhile afterwards. 
    sanpelligrino
  • Our OB has a mandatory childbirth class that's very science based, and briefly covers all methods. I loved it! I'm more science/logical type a, so it was nice to know exactly what was happening and when. Then they also have hypnobirthing (something like a 6 classe series) and a natural birthing class if that's your jam. Neither of those were my jam, lol.  Labor took me completely by surprise like an idiot, so DH and I watched YouTube videos on how to breathe while I was getting the baby monitored. The nurses at the hospital were also really great. They have much more experience than I ever could get in a class.

    Side note: my OB also has a breastfeeding class, and being that my husband wouldn't be using his breasts for feeding, I gave him a free pass to skip. In hindsight, I really wish he would have come along and learned too, being that he was the support system (or lack thereof) at home.
    KFrobsanpelligrino
  • Does anyone have any recommendations for med free methods that I can practice on my own and don't cost a boat load?  My situation is that I do not intend to be med free but my last birth was rather quick and I'm scared to death of not getting to the hospital in time for an epi so I want to be prepared in case things don't go as planned.  
  • @KFrob The best thing that has worked for me is focused breathing and visualization. If you can control your breathing through each contraction and ride it like a wave it's a lot easier than fighting against the pain.... which you'll definitely want to do. I usually stare up at the ceiling and let it act as a blank canvas and visualize the rise and fall of each contraction, which helps me relax into it. The breathing is important because you might hold your breath through the pain instinctively and that will only make everything worse. 
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    sanpelligrino
  • Thanks @fitzandgiggles!  I definitely fight the pain....  
  • sanpelligrinosanpelligrino
    100 Comments 100 Love Its Name Dropper Photogenic
    member
    edited September 4
    thank you everyone, looks like the childbirth class would be a great start. I will ask my OB about it during my next visit. As of now, I don't think a natural birth is something i'm swaying towards. I intend to be as pain free (as possible HA!)  and monitored, but after reading several of your stories here, i'm aware that I would need to prepared in case I can't get an epi for some reason. I'm not sure how i can be prepared for that scenario being a FTM :/
  • @sanpelligrino this is part of why I'm going to be hiring a doula who can help me through any scenario that may come up. Their job is to help prepare you for birth and make sure you understand everything that comes up during birth so that you can make clear decisions. I'm going to try to find one who is not super pushy about natural births and is just there to act as support to my decisions.







    mercury94sanpelligrinoaresee
  • @sanpelligrino A doula is also great if you aren't sure how your husband will be as a labor support person. I knew mine would do anything I asked, but that I'd have to verbalize it, he wouldn't be great at suggesting things or such. The doula was great, because she would make the suggestions to him, since there wasn't no way I was able to do that. 
    Me: 33 DH: 33
    Married: June 2016
    TTC: Oct 2016
    Dx: PCOS
    Nov. 2017: 2.5 mg Letrozole + TI = BFN
    Dec. 2017: 2.5 mg Letrozole + TI = BFP Jan.25, EDD Oct. 10


    sanpelligrinokorthouse
  • @KFrob I got a bunch of books from the library, rather than trying to rob a hypno birthing course. I got the hypno book, and one I liked called the yoga birth method. Even though I didn't follow either exactly, having read them gave me extra tools for coping. 
    Me: 33 DH: 33
    Married: June 2016
    TTC: Oct 2016
    Dx: PCOS
    Nov. 2017: 2.5 mg Letrozole + TI = BFN
    Dec. 2017: 2.5 mg Letrozole + TI = BFP Jan.25, EDD Oct. 10


    mandarenee898
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