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What was your epidural experience?

  1. Coral

    clementine / 874 posts

    I don't have any basis for comparison but my epi pretty much sucked. Mine seemed to work great for a very very short time and then I could feel lots and lots of pain (I was on a very high dosage of pitocin) but my legs were numb for DAYS after. It felt like it wasn't working because my experience was not one of those magical epidural experiences but I really don't know. The pain was so bad (and I was so tired from 32 hours) that I was hallucinating.
    Next time, I want to go into labor naturally (I never want an induction again that isn't medically necessary). Being tied down to a bed for 32 hours sucked, so I want to labor on my own as much as possible.

  2. littlejoy

    pomegranate / 3375 posts

    @youboots: You had the craziest epidural experience I've ever seen. That anesthesiologist telling you he was tired.

  3. youboots

    honeydew / 7622 posts

    @littlejoy: I think my whole birth experience was pretty crazy and full of interventions- glad you were there!

  4. gentlelunette

    kiwi / 698 posts

    Both of my epidural experiences were extremely positive. With my first, I was exhausted after 24 hours of labour and once my water broke I just couldn't handle it anymore. Epi went in at 5cm and my midwife checked me immediately after and I had jumped to 8cm. Within an hour I was fully dilated and they were able to just let me rest while the baby laboured down on her own. I could feel the tightening in my belly but it wasn't painful, just pressure. And I could move my legs pretty well. Once she was crowing I started pushing and 40 minutes later she was born. As soon as it was turned off I started regaining feeling in my legs and was home within 4 hours of her birth.

    With my second, the contraction were strong when I was at 5cm and I had already decided on another epidural. We got to the hospital and had it put in and it took effect immediately. Same story- could move my legs and feel the contractions but no pain. Baby laboured down until crowning and was out in two pushes. We were home within 4 hours again.

    The whole atmosphere in the room was happy and calm. My midwives and my husband and I were laughing and joking and having fun. I felt calm and rested when my girls came into the world. No negative side effects at all.

  5. cascademom

    coconut / 8861 posts

    I loved my epidurals. My first one was great because my LO kept moving around and knocking off the monitor. It did wonders for the pain. It was amped half way through. Fantastic.

    My second one was good, just okay. It took awhile to get since they had to run my blood work for high blood pressure. Once I got it, it was good. I was able to relax while they waited for the antibiotics to work. My LO #2 had other ideas. He put so much pressure down there that he popped his water bag while I was in the bed. It was funny. They came into the room to start that part of the labor, but he did it already. They were clean up crew for it because I didn't notice the blood and stuff.

    All in all, good experiences for epidurals. I enjoyed mine. It made labor a lot more relaxing.

  6. littlejoy

    pomegranate / 3375 posts

    I was a birth photographer for over 5 years ... I've only seen one semi-odd epidural experience where it failed, but it didn't cause complications that I know of. Of all of the epi births I've witnessed, all resulted in successful vaginal births. It's always amazing to me when a mama isn't making much progress (and is exhausted), and the epidural allows her to rest and her body just does some work on its own ... a blessing for many mamas.

  7. smocks

    apricot / 483 posts

    I have pretty vague recollections of both of my labors, but that's probably because they were both pretty easy and I had epi's for both.

    DD: water broke at home, went to the hospital and wasn't contracting much at all on my own so when they gave me pit, they asked if I wanted the epi. I went for it. Barely remember any pain, really chill labor. 9 hours from water breaking (4cm dilated at that point) to her being born, with probably 15-20 minutes of pushing. No pain, great experience.

    DS: was having mild contractions in the morning so I asked doctors office if I should go in bc I was dilated to 5" the day before. Went in, they gave me pit as well along with another perfect epi, and basically the same experience. 9ish hours start to finish, 20-30 minutes pushing, calm and quiet, able to focus on pushing without pain (just pressure).

    I would do it again in a heartbeat. The chill/sting from the pitocin was worse than any pushing because of the epidurals.

  8. nana87

    cantaloupe / 6171 posts

    I had two extremely similar births-- both were inductions for different reasons, and for both I put off the epi for as long as I could so that I could still move around, so about 12 of pitocin first. Both times it was amazing when I finally got it! Let me take a nap and finish dilating. Both times I could still feel enough to push-- w lo1 I pushed about half an hour, and just 5 mins for lo2! No real side effects afterwards, some swelling w lo1 though that could have been the fluids anyway (36 hr labor...) and some itching w 2

    Eta we prob won't have another but if I did I think I'd get the epi sooner this time!

  9. Alba4

    nectarine / 2951 posts

    I used zero pain meds when I delivered vaginally with my first son. I labored in a tub (amazing) and hired a doula. Luckily, my labor was pretty swift (@8 hours from active labor to delivery) and 1 hour pushing. I was so mentally prepared and wanted it more than anything. Labor was hard, but I was very much in control.

    With DS2, everything was different. I was high risk due to my placenta previa, and I was put on modified bedrest starting @ 15 weeks. It was unclear whether or not I was going to require a C-section, so we never hired a doula. My placenta moved by 35 weeks and I was cleared for a vaginal birth.

    My husband and I decided to try for another Med-free birth. I was physically weaker due to bedrest and we used a different hospital (with no tub). My husband did an amazing job helping me labor, but I Had a hard time handling the intensity of labor around 8 cm and I was just so exhausted. I asked for an epidural. It was perfect and not too strong. I was able to calm myself, sleep, and literally within 45 minutes I was ready to push. I still had feeling, but it took the edge off. I had 20 minutes of pushing before my chunky 9lb 11oz baby was born and it was so peaceful!

    Having experienced both med-free and epidural births, I recommend you play it by ear and see how it goes! Both were amazing experiences. I didn't have any negative side effects from the epidural, except it took a couple hours of monitoring before they let me walk due to my low blood pressure.

  10. gentlelunette

    kiwi / 698 posts

    Just want to add, I used a mirror to help guide my pushing with both births. I never in a million years thought I would do that, but it really helped me focus my pushing and making them work for me. Worth considering!

  11. Mrs. Sunshine

    hostess / cantaloupe / 6486 posts

    I had an epi with DD1. I was induced. Pit started at 10 am and DD was here by 415, 3 pushes. I waited until I was nearly 9 cm dilated but I felt so much better afterward.
    I was pain med free with DD2. I was induced again. Pit started at 530 am and DD was here at 945 am. Again, 3 pushes. Comparing the 2 births, it's really how I felt after that's the difference. I would do either one again but I didn't like not being able to walk after having DD1. BUT I tore both times and getting stitched up is way better when you can't feel anything than it feels when you're waiting for your numbing shot to work.

  12. alphagam84

    persimmon / 1095 posts

    I LOVED my epidural! I was having a slow labor already. I think it was because it was my first labor/delivery and my dr said I had a very tight pelvic floor so I think the baby had a hard time coming down. It worked great and I never had any pain. I could feel my drs hands when pushing so no issues there. When DD was coming out and the ring of fire happened I remember it not feeling good and thinking I'd like it to stop but it wasn't even pain. I can't imagine what it would have felt like if I didn't have an epidural!

  13. Mrs. Deer

    blogger / persimmon / 1231 posts

    Wish I could reply to you all individually, but thank you so much! Lots to think about.

  14. Portboston

    persimmon / 1281 posts

    I was trying (very hard) for a natural labor. After 26 hours of back labor, my son wasn't turning and my contractions were beginning to fade out & become less strong. They wanted to give me pitocin so I opted for an epidural. I asked for the lowest possible dosage so it just took the edge off. I could still totally feel it when I pushed him out and screamed the entire time. I was able to walk to the bathroom about 30 min after delivery so I think it was a super low dose but I'm so glad I did it and really wish I would have done it earlier.

  15. snowjewelz

    wonderful kiwi / 23653 posts

    Good both time!

    With DD1, there was just one spot it didn't get to and that spot hurt a lot for a while (can't remember if it hurt during pushing)

    With DD2, I was shaking like crazy when I first got it which surprised me. But otherwise it was great.

    No after effects both times. I love me some epidural!

  16. Mrs. Cookie

    blogger / persimmon / 1225 posts

    I had an epi with both of my boys.

    The first one was great, after 24 hours of laboring and stalling at 7 cm, it was amazing relief but not too strong, I could still move my legs. My sister thinks they turned it down before pushing because I felt a lot more. By the end of the 2.5 hours of pushing I could really tell when the next contraction started and I felt a ton of pressure.

    It was only after I got my second epi that I realized how much I liked my first one! My second labor was 12 hours from start to finish. I got the epi right away and it was WAY too intense. I hated the feeling of it. But despite feeling absolutely nothing, I pushed my son out in ten minutes.

    I dream about going med-free with a potential third kiddo because I have always wanted to do it but I really feel like I'd need to mentally prepare for that. If anything I would try to request a less strong epidural!

    Good luck in your decision!!

  17. winniebee

    hostess / wonderful grape / 20803 posts

    I've had 3.

    DS1 - typical epidural experience I would say. Got it around 5-6 cm once contractions got really bad. Worked very well (but I probably self-administered too much after my initial dosing and so I couldn't walk for quite a while after).

    DS2 - great epidural experience, once I finally got it. I asked for it at 6;30 and didn't get it until almost 9....I was screaming obscenities and was just really really over labor at that point. I delivered him 45 mins later. I would say that the dosing was absolutely perfect and was just enough to take the edge off and I could feel the sensation of pushing but no pain. I also could walk almost immediately after which was great.

    DS3 (our angel) - I had an epidural with this birth as well. It was not a typical labor experience since I was full term but I did get the epidural once the contractions became more painful. It was not a great epidural experience though...and I'm not sure how much of that had to do with the fact that it was just an awful situation. The epidural placement felt weird to me at first and my blood pressure tanked after and I got pretty sick. It was an effective epidural. I couldn't walk for awhile after birth though.

    I plan to get another epidural this time around as well. After laboring so long with DS2 without one, I have zero desire to do that again.

  18. Mrs.Pinecone316

    persimmon / 1316 posts

    I started to feel some contractions on one side of my stomach. They gave me a "push" of the meds in the epidural to make it stronger and was told it would wear off before it was time to push. OMG I couldn't feel anything from the stomach down. I could have had my legs amputated and not known. Well, I def didn't feel any pressure or urge to push whatsoever when it was time, they just checked me because my contractions were so close together and she was basically ready to come out. My body was doing all the pushing for me because I sure wasn't able to being so numb but she was out 10 minutes later so I basically had a pain free birth which was wonderful. But my legs were numb for another 8 hrs after the epidural was off but once it wore off it was fine.


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