Epidural or no epidural? — The Bump
Birth Stories

Epidural or no epidural?

Can epidurals make labor longer since you can’t feel as much and listen to your body?
I’ve had some friends say they loved the epidural and some say that they didn’t want it and had a relatively fast and easy delivery. I’m on the fence. Anybody have stories with/without the epidural?

Re: Epidural or no epidural?

  • I required an epidural for both deliveries due to severe pelvic girdle pain with the baby trying to descend. The contractions for me were nothing compared to that pain. I labored unmedicated for hours with both kids and no progress with dilation only to cave, get an epidural, and become fully dilated and deliver within an hour. Obviously my body needs it. This time around I will be getting one much sooner and save myself the time and misery. 

    Obviously I’m not every woman, but I fully support women who choose these. I fully believe I would have had c sections for failure to progress if not for getting epidurals when I did. 
  • I was induced and could not take the pain of the oxytocin contractions.  The epidural was painless for me (although I had two contractions while receiving it so that pain might have masked the epidural being placed).  I was about 4cm dilated at that time.  I also had concerns about the epidural making labour longer but I think it actually made mine faster.  Within two hours I was at 9.5cm and almost ready to push.  The nurse said it sometimes relaxes the muscles letting you dilate faster.  That was my experience!
  • Loading the player...
  • I was induced and could not take the pain of the oxytocin contractions.  The epidural was painless for me (although I had two contractions while receiving it so that pain might have masked the epidural being placed).  I was about 4cm dilated at that time.  I also had concerns about the epidural making labour longer but I think it actually made mine faster.  Within two hours I was at 9.5cm and almost ready to push.  The nurse said it sometimes relaxes the muscles letting you dilate faster.  That was my experience!
    Sounds like my experience. But I want to add that for anyone reading this, it’s largely a myth that induction contractions are “worse” than “natural” ones. It’s all the same hormone. I’ve experienced both and they both hurt equally. However, if you have an aggressive nurse/doc, ramping up the drip may make them come more quickly with little break in between, making it less bearable. 

    I came in with DD with ROM and strong contractions every two minutes. The impatient night shift doc wanted to start pitocin anyway and both myself and the nurse had to advocate that I was doing fine on my own. Pitocin is not there to ram the kid through as fast as possible but some use it as such and I think this leads to epidurals because women don’t get breaks to get their bearings. 
  • I was induced and could not take the pain of the oxytocin contractions.  The epidural was painless for me (although I had two contractions while receiving it so that pain might have masked the epidural being placed).  I was about 4cm dilated at that time.  I also had concerns about the epidural making labour longer but I think it actually made mine faster.  Within two hours I was at 9.5cm and almost ready to push.  The nurse said it sometimes relaxes the muscles letting you dilate faster.  That was my experience!
    Sounds like my experience. But I want to add that for anyone reading this, it’s largely a myth that induction contractions are “worse” than “natural” ones. It’s all the same hormone. I’ve experienced both and they both hurt equally. However, if you have an aggressive nurse/doc, ramping up the drip may make them come more quickly with little break in between, making it less bearable. 

    I came in with DD with ROM and strong contractions every two minutes. The impatient night shift doc wanted to start pitocin anyway and both myself and the nurse had to advocate that I was doing fine on my own. Pitocin is not there to ram the kid through as fast as possible but some use it as such and I think this leads to epidurals because women don’t get breaks to get their bearings. 
    Totally!  I was handling them okay when all the sudden I didn’t get any breaks between contractions.  It was constant, that is when I decided on the epidural.
  • @knottieaae78e9c2b19c1ef How awful! I’m glad it turned out ok. 
  • YMMV - my epidural took away the contraction pain but I still had the ability to "feel" my contractions in the form of pressure towards my back/bottom. Around 5 seconds after I started feeling the pressure the nurse would tell me I was having a contraction from it showing up on the monitor. Since I knew when they were happening they took off the contraction monitor towards the end as I was pretty much pushing when the urge came on my own 
    *TW* History:
    Me: 33 DH: 35 | Together since 2007 | Married July 2016

    TTC #1 since 7.2017
    Dx: low morph (1%), ANA positive, low decidualization score, high TSH and testosterone, histone antibodies

    IUI #1-3 all BFN
    IVF #1 | 6.11.19 | 24R, 17M, 15F, 6B, PGT-A tested - 5 normal, 3 girls & 2 boys
    FET #1 | 9.10.19 | BFN "I know you, but we've never met. I'm with you, but I don't know your name"
    RPL, Receptiva, & ERA testing | all normal/negative, recommended going on gluten and dairy free diet for next FET
    FET #2 | 3.31.20 | Opted to cancelled due to pandemic, continued diet and tried naturally over the summer
    2nd Opinion with another RE | 8.20.20 | Not immune to measles (received 1 dose); SA results similar to 2 years ago; decided to move forward with FET #2 redo at start of next cycle
    Surprise natural BFP! | 9.22.20 | MC 10.23.20 at 8 weeks
    TTCAL naturally | starting 11.22.20

    Initial consultation with Reproductive Immunologist | 9.14.21
    Decidualization score biopsy | 10.1.21 | abnormal - low score of 1; endometrial scratch recommended and progesterone supplementation
    Saline sono | 10.15.21 | normal
    Bloodwork | 10.21.21 high TSH, high testosterone, positive for anti-nuclear antibodies and histone antibodies
    BFP! | 11.3.21 | EDD 7.14.22 B) | biopsy provided same effect as endometrial scratch; added supplemental progesterone and estrogen, prednisone, levothyroxine, and MTX to maintain pregnancy
    DS born 7.19.22 after induction
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards