May 2011 Moms

thoughts on Epi's

are you planning on one? 

they scare me but not having one also scares me.  I need more info  haha.

Re: thoughts on Epi's

  • If it works out (if the appropriate staff is available, if my labour progresses at a rate that lets me), I think I'll get one.

    I don't want to have that as my only plan, though, as plans often don't work out. 

    I have a feeling my birth plan is going to roughly be "get through it. take whatever I can get."

  • I honestly haven't done any research on them. My personal stance however, is that I 110% do not want one. I have heard way too many horror stories about them.

    I understand lots of women have them every day with no problems at all and I don't judge anyone who has one. I myself am just too much of a worrier and I am going to try and stick it out without an epi if I can do it. To me the risk is not worth the benefit. I would suggest talking to you doc about the pros and cons of having an epi and any other options you would have available to you for pain management. 

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  • I had one with DS and I will have one again.  I planned on seeing how I felt while in labor, and after feeling the intense pain that I did, I am glad that I got one.  I was really scared about the actual needle, but it really was not so bad at all.  I give props to anyone that can give birth without one.  I know I am not that strong to make that choice... I am a mess when it comes to being in pain.
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  • When I was pg with DD I ended up getting one, I had a great experience with it and will do it again this time if I feel like I need it. I never had a birth plan I figured things change so much during labor and in the end i just wanted a healthy baby and safe delivery.

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  • I had one with DS, 2 actually- since the first one didn't work.  They kept trying to bolus extra medicine, thinking it would work but it didn't.  3 hours later I got one that worked, and had already gone to 9 cm.  Afterwards it was so awesome- I could feel pressure, but no pain.

    I def DO NOT want to go through what I went through again (pain wise).  I will be getting the epi ASAP!!

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  • I had one and while the pain relief was amazing, I felt like it contributed to my having a c-section.  Epidurals have a high correlation with OP position and that is why I had my c-section.  So since I am trying to have a VBAC this time, I am determined to avoid an epidural.

    I think the epi is a good option for pain relief.  It can lead to some issues like a sudden drop in blood pressure or a fever (if you develop a fever from the epidural, they can't distinguish it from a real fever and they will have to treat the baby like it has an infection).  If you get an epidural, you are more likely to have a vacuum or forceps delivery, or a malpositioned baby.  A lot of people think epidurals can slow or stop labor progress, but for some people they also help progress.  And they may make you more likely to have a c/s.

    So those are the concerns about an epi.  The insertion itself is really not that scary and if you decide to get one, you will be in enough pain that you won't really care.  Seriously, please don't stress about the epi.  I promise it is not scary.


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  • They're not scary whatsoever- I had 1 when I birthed DS #1- thank goodness I did since I ended up w/an emergency c-section! 

    With DS#2, I tried (unsuccessfully) for a VBAC and had absolutely NO drugs, no epi- after an hour of pushing, he was stuck, sunnyside up, and cord was tied around neck which caused him to have fetal decels... ended up with another emergency c-section and getting the gas and put under w/general anesthesia- missed his entire birth.  I WISH I would've had the epidural at that point.

     I never got a "spinal" headache, I didn't get bruising or paralysis, blood pressure issues, etc.  My epidural was a godsend.


  • To me ... the Epi is the best invention in modern medicine. lol It was a lifesaver, and totally wonderful. I had not one tiny litle problem and birth was a breeze. After the Epi, I was a happy person and actually enjoyed giving birth.

    What I WILL skip is Stadol (or whatever the narcotic that is supposed to take the "edge" off pain). It was worthless. Totally did not work. I was actually dead set against using it before, but in the heat of the moment, I hesitated on getting an Epi so early in case it delayed labor. I also wanted to be able to get up and walk around.

    So I broke down and got Stadol. Stupid. It didn't work, I was in major pain, couldn't walk around anyway, since i was in so much pain. At one point, I was so spazzed out, I ripped off my blood pressure cuff and refused to put it back on. The nurses were NOT pleased with me, lol.

    So I got the Epi, and within MINUTES I was laughing, smiling ... and then SLEEPING. They woke me up to give birth. I pushed about 3 times and done. baby perfect.

    Needless to say, I will do an Epi again, without hesitation.


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  • imageiris427:

    I had one and while the pain relief was amazing, I felt like it contributed to my having a c-section.  Epidurals have a high correlation with OP position and that is why I had my c-section.  .

    This is the only negative but I plan on talking to my OB about what we can do to prevent a c-section.

    Aside from that, I had an epidural when I was 15 for knee surgery and with no problems so I am not worried about the procedure itself.

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  • I had one with my son, and after 2 weeks of pro-longed early labor, it was heavenly to have some relief and get some good sleep. I ended up needing an emergency c/s and we don't know if the epi had anything to do with it or not. But i never regretted getting one and I had no side effects what so ever. 

    Epi are one of those things that some people feel very passionate about. I think you have to do what it right for you, and you never know what is going to happen once labor starts. But if you want to go natural, I think you have to be committed to it 110%  and be prepared for the pain. But if for some reason it doesn't happen, don't beat yourself up about it. 

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  • I am definitely getting an epi, I know I have very low tolerance for pain and there is no chance I'll get through labor without it.  I understand there are risks associated with an epi, but they do not seem to outweigh the benefits for me.

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  • Before DD's birth I was torn on them. Didn't want any negative side effects and I HATE needles. Fortunately (?) I didn't have to make that decision as I was checked in to the hospital at 8-9 cm and didn't get the option to get one.

    Not sure what I will do this time. I have survived natural child birth, but I honestly don't know if I will choose to do it again. Something I will be thinking a lot about in the coming months!

  • I am of course considering it as an option. I appreciate PP experience and listing possible effects.  I, however, am looking into relaxation and natural pain management techniques. I would like to avoid a cascade of interventions if it is the right choice for us. 
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  • I would very strongly prefer not to have one.  I don't believe in "unnecessary" drugs/medications and think an Epi has negative consequences on both baby and mother.  However, having never given birth before I am trying keeping an open mind that the pain might be too much or an Epi might be needed to help my body relax so I can sleep.

  • I will get one. I had them for both my kids, and I had very different experiences.

    For DD#1 - the epi wore off and by the time I was ready to push, I could pretty much feel everything.  She did end up needing to be vacuumed out, but all in all everything ended up alright.

    For DD#2 - The epi was the best thing I've ever done.  I didn't feel a thing at all, except that I knew when I needed to push.  They had a little difficultly getting her out because her umbilical cord was very very short and she kept trying to go back in. I felt absolutely NONE of the tugging or anything.  No vacuum or forceps necessary though. I am praying that my experience is more like DD#2.  Seriously, it makes me look forward to giving birth this time around!

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  • I love it when people say they will NEVER get one.  I said I wouldn't get one, just because I was terrified of side-effects, but I was induced for high b/p and the contractions were the WORST pain of my entire life (and I have a high pain threshold).  Once I got the epi, I had no pain, yet  could move my legs and there was no numbness.  It was amazing.  By the time I was 9cm, it had worn off and I could feel the baby pushing to get out, but I ended up needed a c/section anyways.  I do not think the epi contributed to that, though.

    I say just keep an open mind.  I had a friend who was against them, but her labor stalled and the epi allowed her body to relax enough to fully dilate.  

    I have heard to stay away from the Stadol. It just makes you feel drunk. 

    I am having a c-section this time and I am hoping to get an epi, and not a spinal. 

    image Liam Henry: 9/5/09 Emmeline Claire: 5/23/11
  • My plan is to go all "natural", meaning no pain meds. Having said that, I'm not going in there to try and be a hero or one up someone else. I have a plan, but I know things change and that means my plan might change too. :)
  • Not planning on it.  I had a med-free birth with DS and plan to do the same this time around.

  • I got one in the early stages of labor with DD, and it stopped my labor completely. I needed to wait until 12 hours later to start pitocen because of it being after hours. Once I started the pitocen, I couldn't feel a single contraction. I regret getting it so early, because it had worn off completely by the time I was ready to push.

    Getting the actual epi was nothing at all!! They even had to redo it 4 times because they kept getting the catheter in a bad place. So, even having a rough time getting one started, it was nothing at all!! 

    I had no headache afterwards, but did have a dull ache in my back at the spot where it was for a few weeks afterward, nothing intense, just a weird feeling there.

    This time, I will have another epi, but hope to let my labor progress more before I get one. Hopefully that will keep labor going and it won't stop. But if it does I will know to demand pitocen right away to avoid another 26 hour labor.

    It was completely worth it!!! Whatever you decide will be great, no one gets a medal after giving birth! So do whatever you feel is right, and you may change your mind that day! 

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  • I was fully intending and had prepared for a natural med-free birth.  I had not intended and was unprepared for having both back labor and regular contractions.  I made it to a 6 w/o one, and I'm glad I did--when I finally gave in, I felt like I had given it my best shot.  At the point I got it, they were losing DD on the monitor, and I finally decided that I needed to choose.  I only had my epi for a very short time--once it was in, I went from a 6-10 in the blink of an eye.  I don't regret the decision, b/c I made the decision--no one else did.  No one pushed me one way or the other, everyone supported my plan and wishes 110%.  TBS, I fully intend on attempting another med-free birth, and if I don't make it, I will wait until the last minute to have one again.  I want to be medicated for as short a time as possible, if at all.

    In terms of being scared, I was terrified of the epi.  Terrified.  I told the anesthesiolgist that repeatedly.  And that needle was about 1% of the pain I was feeling from labor, and I still felt everything, meaning no pain but knew when to push, etc.  That doesn't mean that would happen again, but I understand the fear and can say it wasn't so bad in my experience.

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  • I had a bad experience with the epi.

    I was induced, and the contractions were OMG bad. They offered the epi, and I said "YES"! The anesthesiologist put it in once, and my left arm and leg shot out like a reflex. He took that out, and put it in again, again it didn't go right. He took that out, and put it in a 3rd time, and finally got it right. At that point I didn't think anything of it, because I had relief.

    Fast forward to pushing. The nurses were telling me "chin to your chest and hold behind your knees while you push." As I was attempting to do this and push, I was getting sharp pains in my neck, upper back, and right arm. I thought, maybe I'm not doing something right. Finally after pushing for 2 hrs. DS was born.

    Fast forward about 2 hrs. The nurses were insisting that I eat, I just couldn't. They wanted me to walk to the post-partum room, I couldn't. I could hardly sit up in the wheelchair. That was Monday. Tuesday came around, and I was having a hard time sitting up long enough to nurse DS. My neck would get stiff as a board, and my upper back felt like something was trying to crush my spine. I could barely stand up long enough to walk to the restroom. Every two hours a nurse was coming in giving me pain medicine for this "headache". The medicine did nothing.

    Wednesday comes along, and I'm fed up. I don't know what is going on and I'm starting to get scared. Finally a nurse comes in with some sense, and asks me my symptoms. I tell her, and she immediately has me lay completely flat in the bed, she says she will be back in 10 min. She came back 10 min. later and asked me how I felt, I was in no pain, I felt normal. She immediately said "You have a spinal headache, I'm calling the anesthesiologist for a blood patch". About 30 min. later, he was putting in the stuff for another epi., but instead of medicine they use you own blood, inject it into your spine, and it clots where the spinal fluid is leaking. I immediately felt relief. Thank God.

    Fast forward to Friday (the Friday after Thanksgiving). I start getting a headache, so I take a Tylenol thinking nothing of it. By Friday night, every symptom had come back. The blood patch didn't work. I was miserable the entire weekend. Finally Monday, we got a hold of the anesthesiologist, and he said to come back in for another blood patch. I had to do that again, and again had immediate relief.

    By the time all was said and done, I had 6 epidurals in one week. 3 attempts at birth, 1 at the first blood patch, and 2 for the 2nd blood patch. I have no idea what I am going to do for this birth. I am torn. If I have to get induced again, I have to get the epi. because that pain is excruciating. If labor goes on it's own, I think I will tough it out, but I just don't know. 

    PLEASE, do your research about possible complications from a epidural. I had no clue what a spinal headache was, until I was already 2 days into it.  

  • My thoughts are... I want to go natural as long as possible, all the way if I can.  but the moment they Say Pitocin... I will start chanting epi until they get it to me!!!.  With my last one I went a long time on Pit with no pain killer and I wanted to die.  In fact my heartrate started to drop due to the stress that my body wasn under. 
  • I'm planning on having one.  I have a high pain threshhold due to severe cramps before BCP, but I'm not one to let myself be in pain if I don't have to.  I want to go without for as long as I can because I don't want it to wear off before pushing.  I think a lot of what I do will be wait and see when it happens.
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  • Not planning on it. Cascade of intervention led me to a c/s last time, and I will do what I can to avoid it. 
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