I was so nervous about the epidural with my son. By the time I was in labor and they came to give it to me I couldn't have cared less, and I PROMISE I didn't feel a thing. My pain melted away! I was still able to "feel" the contractions and able to push, so I was not completely numb. I'm sure there are women out there with unpleasant experiences, but it worked for me and I was able to relax and enjoy my labor afterward. Good luck!
I had an epidural with my first son and I loved it! I plan on doing it again with this one. Some say that it makes it more difficult to push, but I didn't have that problem at all. Actually, the epidural made me relaxed and more focused on what I was doing and not on the pain. I only pushed for 10 minutes and my son was out. There was no fetal distress or lower heart rate and he was wide-eyed and alert after birth. I had no subsequent side effects either and was up walking around an hour after I gave birth. The procedure itself was virtually painless (think of finger *****). I waited until I was 6-7 centimeters dilated before I had it done because I wanted to walk around as much as possible beforehand. Once I got the epidural and didn't fight against the contractions, I dilated from the 6-7 to 10 in less than 20 minutes.
I just wanted to say that this is just MY experience and the decision needs to be yours. There are pros and cons to anything and the epidural is no exception. Some people have very different reactions then I did and you will probably hear horror stories and good stories, but don't let EITHER influence you. It's a decision you need to make for yourself with the advice from your doctor. :)
I had an epidural for my c-section and trust me when you're in that kind of labor pain, a stick of a needle is NOTHING. It was instant pain relief. The only thing I experienced was after the baby had been delivered and it was time for me to go into the recovery room, I started dry heaving but they said that was normal but doesn't happen to everyone. I think about a week after I had her I had slight headaches (nothing that a little IB Pro fin or Tylenol couldn't fix) Everybody is different though, but I would strongly recommend holding off on the Epidural as long as possible b/c they told me that it would slow my contractions down if given to me too soon. I definitely think it is an option for you to consider if you're looking to avoid the "pain" of laboring, however some women just decide that they want to get the most out of their delivery & go ahead with FULL blown pain of labor...I definitely praise them b/c I don't think I could handle it. But think it through and God will point you in the direction you need to take! Congratulations and good luck!!!
I agree with the other ladies...I had an epidural and it was great. it hardly hurts (just a little sting) and then you're not in huge amounts of pain and you can focus on enjoying the process of welcoming your baby into the world!! I had NO problem pushing, and I'm definitely doing the epidural again. they gave me the epidural after they manually broke my water, about 45mins before my daughter was born and it was great.
the only thing negative I had was the shaking afterwards as the epidural wore off...I shook like a leaf, lol, but other than that everything was so easy and I loved it. My entire birthing experience was fun and I was alert and able to enjoy it. I also tore VERY bad (and that thing about women tearing because they have an epidural has absolutely no research to back it up...they did everything for me that they would normally have done, including massaging/sweeping the vagina to stretch it..some women just tear) and I had to be transferred directly to OR to be sewn for an hour and a half...and they were able to simply crank up the epidural and go to work, which was fantastic because I lost so much blood that any time gap would have been very dangerous.
but it's completely up to you... I just, personally, had a wonderful experience.
I had an epidural last time (I was induced and struggled for as long as I could without one, but the back labour I experienced made it impossible to continue unmedicated - I doubt I would have had the strength - or sanity - to push DS out without one!) Once I received it, I was numb from the waist down - they kept checking me with ice cubes to see if I could feel anything. I was relaxed and happy....they let me doze for a bit before I had to push. Pushing was easy - I could still do it, and DS was out in 20 minutes.
I had very minor tearing and the epidural lasted through that, while my OB stitched me up.
I'll go with the flow again this time, but if I need another epidural, I certainly won't refuse one.
I don't have any experiences, as this is my first baby. But I do want to say that I like all of your advice! I really want to try to do it myself and if I can, then I wont refuse to take the epidural. What really annoys me is when ladies that already have kids try to scare me into making the decisions they made! It's really irritating! Every decision I make about my pregnancy, there comes somebody to tell me how wrong it is!!! So I'm glad that the advice you all gave was from very positive experiences but you're not trying to push your decisions! Thank you for that!
I have had 2 epidurals. The first one well, let me tell the story....my labor was progressing QUICK. I was admitted at around 4:30 pm by 5:15 my water broke..I was sent to a room and begged for an epi. (I had my previous one natural and was in no mood to do THAT again). By the time the anasthesiologist got there it was around 6. As I was sitting on the edge of the bed and he was putting the catheter in the baby dropped likea ton of bricks and I suddenly felt the urge to push. I prayed that the baby would wait until he was done with my epi. After he finished the nurse came over to lay me back down and yelped...the baby was crowning...he was born at 6:20. I might as well have not had it becuase it had barely taken affect.
The second one. The doc that did it was an idiot. He missed the epidural space and was fishing around in my back poking the needle around. It didn't HURT but once in awhile he hit a nerve and it sent a zinging pain down my right leg which made me wanna jump but i couldn't. After about 5 minutes he got it in right. After all was said and done my back a good bit in that spot. I'm not one to need/want pain meds after birth but i finally broke down and asked for an ibuprofen. All in all it wasn't too bad and I was glad I got it.
I can say that from the perspective of someone who has had a baby naturally it is a BEAUTIFUL thing. Hurts like you know what but right after it was like it never happened. I had very supportive nurses that time who talked me through my contractions. The next time I really wanted to go natural but the staff wasn't so supportive and i gave in. This last time I had all of my other kids there and got the epidural becuase I didn't want to scare the crap out of them by screaming my head off in pain.
As alternatives there is demerol, breathing techniques, relaxation techniques and the bradley method....I've never used any of those. Some hospitals offer a walking epidural as well.
Just remember you are not any less of a woman if you choose to have one.
I had an epidural with my first. It only lasted 3 hours out of the 23 hours that I was in labour. I was progressing okay until I had the epidural. Doc said it slowed the process substantially (she was expecting the baby about 8 hours earlier). The epidural had run out by the time I had to push so I was able to feel everything. I pushed for 3 hours with my first. Other than that, I had no side effects nor have had any back issues since having the epidural.
With my second, I chose fentynyl (spelling???). It by no means, eliminates the pain but it does take the edge off. If I chose to have more children I will use this method again rather than an epidural. My labour was 5 hours start to finish with this one.
I cant tell you about my experience with one, but I have heard some really bad stories. Every person is different!!! I was too scared of them putting a needle next to my spine plus I dont like drugs! I had 3 babys drug free and will do it again with this one. My outlook on it is, I feel like the epidurals make your labor take longer cause you cant feel what is going on. My longest labor was 4 hrs and I was induced. My last one was a hr and half. I love it. But again everyone is diff. and every labor is diff. Good luck with whatever decision you make!!! I wish you the BEST!!!
I had an epidural with my first two daughters. I chose not to have one with my third daughter and I wish I wouldn't have had epidurals with the first two.
The epidural inhibits a complex mix of hormones to be released in your body that help you bond to your baby. It can also slow labor down for the majority of women. Being able to walk and move around will be most effective in reducing your labor time.
I also loved that I could choose the position I wanted to birth in, instead of on my back or semi-sitting (both of which are the worst positions to birth in). If you DO get an epidural please know that they can lean the bed down in such a way that you're almost squatting but being supported by the bed still. You'll have gravity on your side and will reduce tearing by being in a squatting position.
I also felt like I could take on the world after I gave birth w/o the epidural. I was in awe of what I had done. It took me a few days to really grasp my feelings on the entire situation but it was amazing. I tore with my first two girls but I had no tearing or stitches with my epidural-free birth.
There are some drugs that can take the edge off but you'll still feel the pain. Birth is hard and it is incredibly painful. I wish you much luck in whatever you do choose!
I have to comment on what Joy said about "feeling on top of the world" after. I too felt that way after having my 3rd child natural. You have this sense of tremendous accomplishment. I was so proud of myself I wanted to tell the world LOL. BTW out of 5 births so far....that was by far my quickest, easiest, most painless recovery. I was up walking around right after and couldn't have felt better considering what my body had just gone through!!!!
I had an epidural with my first. It was ok, I was scared of the whole process, and the guy who did it yelled at me. He did it incorrectly, and it wore off within an hour, but they were able to fix that. After that it was great. Had my daughter 8 hours later, which was fine because I couldn't feel a thing and was able to get some sleep. I did tear a little but that was because she came out with her hands on her face. I would get the epidural again knowing how it helped me. But I am still totally scared of the needle in back.
i had an epidural with my twins and i don't feel like any less of a woman for it and i was as on top of the world after seeing my boys as any other mom.
i had horribly intense back labor. i couldn't even walk. the needle freaked me out a bit but when the doctor was doing the procedure i could barely feel the pinch of the needle. i must say it was the best decision i made. there was no way i would have been able to go through labor naturally. if i was to get pregnant again i would not hesitate to get it.
I had an epidural when i had my daughter and actually could still feel the pain on one side of my body. I have no explanation for it, just know it was very painful, but only on one side.
I have a friend whose sister got an epidural. She gave birth 7 years ago and she's still having back pain cause of it. I also did hear from different ladies that they were able to recuperate waaayy faster when they did it without anesthetics. This is why I'm planning on delivering this baby au naturale, I hope I don't chicken out!
An epidural affecting bonding with the baby - that's the first time I've ever heard that! It totally did NOT affect how I bonded with DS right from the beginning. Once he was checked out and cleaned up, he was given back to me....skin to skin contact, breastfed shortly thereafter. Both he and I were alert. They had me get up not that long afterwards, too, to make sure I was fine - and I was.
I agree w/ Limonada on what she is saying. I have had epidurals w/ some of my kids and not others and when I didn't have one, it was not by my choice. I was in so much pain those other times and don't enjoy being in pain myself. Me bonding w/ my babies has never been an issue and I did BF as soon as the baby was checked as well. They also got me up after like an hour of giving birth. I thought they were nuts, but they do want to make sure you are fine and I always have been. With this last baby, it only worked on half of me and not the other half. I can only guess that it was administered wrong because I had never had that problem before with previous babies. I also had no problems holding my own legs or with pushing.
I think you will get stories of good experiences and bad experiences but you would no matter what question you asked. That's just with anything but I think all in all the epidural is a good thing and even if you choose not to have one, I am so glad that women have this option today to have one.
Also, there is such a thing as a "walking epidural", where you can get up and walk. Most people don't know about it, but I saw it on a documentary on Discovery Health. They play all sorts of labor and delivery shows on that channel and I did see a woman that got one and got up and walked around the hospital. BUT in the end, she ended up getting the dr. to give her the real deal.
Oh, and my healing was no different whether I had an epidural or not.
Anyway, that was my experience....Good luck w/ your decision :)
Thank you for all your stories! It is so reassuring to read so many positives about epidurals!
I have been told that the biggest down side is that you cant move about for a awhile. (at my hospital they don't offer the "walking" epidural) How long does it take to totally wear off after they stop administering the epidural? The thought of not being able to feel your legs really scares me???!!
I have given birth 3 times , so far. with the first 2 I did no medication and it was a wonderful although painful experience. admittedly at the end of my 2nd labor i decided I wanted pain meds, it was'nt that I could'nt handle it it was that I did'nt want to on like that for several more hours, but the nurse checked me and i was fully dialated and ready to push, so I was ok as long as I knew that it would be over soon! with my 3rd labor I dilated to a 7cm on my own and then decided to have something, I am afraid of have someone put a needle in my spine (as a do know some people who have had complications and the idea just freaks me out more than labor) , so i asked them for some kind of pain med to go in through an IV they gave it to me (it was some combination of demeral and something else) it did take the edge off the contractions, but i could still feel them and it made be very drowsy, which I was'nt used to in labor. it wore off after about 45 minutes and then i was in more pain than i was before the meds, although then the nurse came and checked me and said i was fully dialated and time to push and that they could'nt give me anymore meds, because it could make the baby less alert. he was very alert when he came out juts 15 minutes later and he and I were just fine. however since when it wore off it was almost worse I think because it did'nt build up the way it does naturally and just hit me kinda at once, I am going to try to not do any meds again (I am currently 9 1/2 weeks pregnant). i do agree with some of the other women that i felt great after giving birth without meds, felt fine right after!. i am not against meds however if they are needed. i plan to go natural again, but if I need to i will take something again.
I was induced for my son, I had the epidural about an hour and 15 minutes after they put the pitocin in my IV. That was approx 1pm. I slept until 4 30pm and my son was born at 4 45pm. I was eating supper at 6pm and in the shower at 7 30pm. Honestly, the IV was more of a pain then the epidural! I will definately be having an epidural with this baby too!
Do I feel like less of a woman? No. It is your personal decision what you chose to do whether it be pain meds or breastfeeding. Only you can make the right decisions for you :)
The eipidural wore of very quickly.....within the half hour. Like I said, they had me walk around within the hour or so after giving birth to make sure I was ok.....and I didn't have trouble walking around.
Yes, it wears off quickly and at no point did I not feel my legs. They just felt heavy, but had totally feeling in them. I could still move, you are not immobile. And I too was walking around within an hour without any trouble.
Hospitals don't offer walking epidurals anymore because of liability.
Limonada- I never said having an epidural meant no one will bond with their baby. EVERYONE is different. But not having one increases the chances of having an easier and better bonding experience. Anytime you take drugs out of the equation the consequences will be greater than if you had had them. I've been on both sides of the fence and am speaking from experience and research. The drugs inhibit a hormonal reaction in the mother that CAN cause her to feel out of it, not interested, too tired and dizzy, etc., etc. There is so much info out there on it.
Having an epi doesn't make anyone less of a woman. Having a c-section doesn't make anyone less of a woman. Having a natural birth doesn't make someone better than all the rest. I'm only talking about the risks involved and everyone has to make an educated choice for themselves. Epidurals are drugs, they are synthetic and they do have many risks.
Original poster- it can wear off pretty quickly once it is turned off. But your legs may feel shaky and like Jell-O. I think they had me lay there for an hour before letting me get up to pee.
Perhaps the worst part of the epidural for me was the catheter. I shudder to think about it. I didn't feel it but the thought of it and having a pee bag next to the bed and not having control of my own bladder just freak me out. No biggee for some but I forgot to mention that.