Is it Normal to be worried about an epodoral?

APRIL - posted on 10/11/2009 ( 69 moms have responded )

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My question is that I'm having my first Baby and everyone says ask for the epyodoral right away! But the thought of having something in my spine bugs me alot. Anyone have any other suggestion for pain during labor that have helped them?

69 Comments

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Danielle - posted on 10/18/2009

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I just recently had my son. I was going to do it the all natural way. I ended up being in labor for 16 hours. They do have another pain med. that they can put through your IV however, it only lasts about an hour and you can only get it every 2 or 3 hours. It helped a little but my contractions got so intense that the med. only worked about 30 min. I ended up getting the epidural and i can honestly say it was not as bad as you would think. Getting the IV in my hand hurt worst. I felt so much more at ease once i got the epidural and I was actually able to rest for about 3 hours than I had to start pushing. I went 13 hours without the epidural and only 3 hours with it. I would recomend the epidural.

Kat - posted on 10/18/2009

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I have just wrote a conversation aout epidurals,i dont agree with them as my cousin died from having one.If you have the choice have gas and air it works wonders and you dont have to recover from it like you do and epidural,you will experience child birth the way it is having the sensation taken away and being told what to do and when to push is not experiencing it first hand,if you use gas and air remember when you have delivered your baby the pain goes straight away,so please think about it-read my post good luck.

Jessica - posted on 10/18/2009

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My epidural did wonders for me when i had my first child. I was in so much pain and hadn't slept hardly at all. The nurses walk you through it all. They tell you to stay very still and they tell you to put your chin to your chest. They also give you a pillow to hug as well. You just breath through the contractions and when the medicine is in then you'll be able to relax and sleep. I would worry to much sweeite about the epidural. Once you hold that baby in your arms thats all that matters.

[deleted account]

dont stress too much hunni. my little boy is now 7 weeks- he is my first and im a second year nursing student so my thoughts on having an epidural were a no no due to the fact that i knew what would happen if something went wrong- dont mean to scare you. i was in labour for 44 hours - by the time i had the epidural i had been in labour for 40 hours and the doctor strongly suggested i have an epidural due to the fact they wantef to bring me on further- i was only 8cm's and had been for a little while. before then id had gas and a pethidine shot. to my suprise - the epidural was not that bad at all. the pethidine was good but wore off after a certain period. i also had warm showers- i was in and out, in and out and that was great!! good luck april! :) you'll enjoy being a mum. :)

Marquita - posted on 10/17/2009

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I had the epiderium twice!! I had to have a c-section! If you are having the baby natural you do need to ask for the euperdrial before you dilate 5 if you get pass that your out of luck you not gonna be able to get it! Also, you do have another option but it dont work as good as the epiderium. It's administred the same way as the epiderium!

Kat - posted on 10/17/2009

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hello, i had to have one put in at 8 cm for uncontrollable pushing. i didnt even feel it. the tape on my back annoyed me more than anything. by the time it kicked in i was getting stiches so it didnt do anything for me in labour lol. i had a tens machine. im not sure if it helped or it was more psychological... it did feel nice though until towards the end when it became annoying with all the leads. i also had the water injections. these were pretty interesting. hurt way more than i thought they would going in... gave me a fright lol but worked excellently and helped me cope really well at around 5-7cms. i had a very long labour being induced which was tough. i also had gas. the gas was AWESOME!! lol the only way i can describe that is it feels like the sound a helicopters blades make. i think when it comes to pain reieif its each to their own. you just dont know what is going to work for you until you are there. the best advice i can give is just to try and stay calm and focused otherwise your energy wont be directed in the right places and youll be overwhelmed and exhausted when you didnt have to be. i hope this helps :)

Christina - posted on 10/17/2009

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I had to be induced. I asked them to break my water first to see if I would go without using Pitocin, but that didn't work. I did just fine breathing through the contractions, but immediately after they administered the Pitocin, I got to the point to where I had no break in between my contractions and knew that I was going to be worn out by the time it really counts. I feel you there about having something stuck in my spine, but honestly...it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. One little pinch and it was amazing. Everything was so much calmer. My husband and I laughed, we watched tv, and I was ready when it was time to push. The rule of thumb is to try to wait until you're at least 4cm. You're only allowed 3 cassettes of the medicine. If it's you're first, you have no idea how long you could be in there. I'd want to save it for when you really need it. Good luck! You'll do great!

Cleo - posted on 10/16/2009

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my best advice to you is to do what you feel is best for you. Listen to your body and you'll be fine. I can't tell you what was best for me because we're two totally different people with two totally different bodies

Amanda - posted on 10/16/2009

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I was terrified of the epidural and had heard tons of horror stories, so I went in with the plan to try without the epidural, but it was unbarable! Coming from someone who passes out from getting her finger pricked, I totally get the anxiety, but I can honestly say once it was over it wasn't that bad. Honestly, it was more in my head than the actual feeling of getting the epidural that bothered me and the only thing that has been bad about it is I am still a little tender at the spot that was stuck on my back and it has been 10 weeks.

Bethany - posted on 10/16/2009

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Wow, I see that am definitely in the minority. But childbirth is NOT something to fear! Your body was designed to be able to do this! Sure, it doesn't necessarily feel the greatest and it's hard work, but it doesn't have to be this horrible, excruciating experience.

Bethany - posted on 10/16/2009

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You have several very legitimate reasons to be worried about an epidural.



1) it pumps drugs into your unborn baby.

2) it lengthens labor

3) it significantly increases the baby's risk of "fetal distress."

4) it also increases your chance of ending up with a c-section due to a "stalled" labor (keeps you on your back, which is the worst position to give birth in because it closes the pelvic opening).

5) only about 20% of epidurals are "perfect," meaning that they fully numb and last as long as they're supposed to.

6) women can have pain for months or years after having an epidural when it's done incorrectly.



I would suggest taking a good natural childbirth class instead of the hospital class or Lamaze. I personally loved my Bradley class, but have also heard very good things about Hypnobirthing (weird name, but is actually better than it sounds).



I did my first child all natural, no drugs, no nothing. What helped me the most was slow abdominal breathing. It feels like you're breathing into your stomach rather than your lungs. To practice take a slow breath and try to focus the airflow into your pelvic area. If your stomach is moving more than your chest when you breathe, you're probably doing it right. So during labor, I'd start my slow abdominal breathing as soon as I felt a contraction starting, and with each breath out would completely relax my body. If I felt an area was tense, I purposefully relaxed that area.



Short, quick breathing causes your body to tense up, which also makes you feel way more pain than is really there. Then we tend to tense up even more when we feel the pain, which generally causes us to tense up and freak out. By doing slow, controlled breathing and relaxing entirely, you minimize any pain you have.



I gave birth in a hospital, but had a midwife and kept the lights dim and the room quiet. If you can, move around during labor. Between contractions, walk the hall or climb some stairs. It really helps labor progress and helps shift the baby into the right position.



One last thing. Many women who try natural without being totally prepared ask for an epidural during transition, which is the 10-45 minute period right before you push. It is the most difficult part because you start feeling like you can't do it anymore, and get panicky. But, you CAN do it! If you suddenly feel like you can't do it, then you're almost there.



Oh girl, take a Bradley class. Seriously. It's a long series, but so worth it if you get a good instructor!

Kelly - posted on 10/16/2009

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There is no needle in the epidural. When I was pregnant, I was scared to death cause all I heard was the needle is huge! When I got to the hospital and they asked me if I wanted it, I asked the nurse to describe to me what happens, etc. I'm petrified of needles! Its crazy how scared I'm of them. I took the epidural and it was nothing. The rest of my labor was a breeze. I had other pain medication thinking it was going to be enough. It wasnt. I can tolerate pain but it was more about getting comfortable. Dont be scared of the epidural. It doesnt hurt cause they numb you with a shot and then put the catheter in. Plus, the epidural helped a lot when I had my 24 stitches. lol If I can do it, anybody can! Check out this article and hope this helps! http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_n...

User - posted on 10/16/2009

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My advice is see how you go, get straight on the gas and air, see how you feel. Dont focus on the pain it will make it worse, its all psycological . I lasted on gas and air until it was time to push then had a shot of pethadine. Remember to BREATH. Im sure you will suprise yourself how well u will cope when you are positive about the experience. Good luck to you.

[deleted account]

I had a epidural, and had a lame right foot for 7 months. The tests done to my foot showed no response, and I was told that I will never be able to walk normal. I did not except it. Done excersise ect. Took very long to recover, but today I walk perfectly normal. Think twice. especially if you have circulation and neurological problems which the doctor gave as a excuse for the "fault"

Alysha - posted on 10/16/2009

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i had the epidural, u do not feel it after it is in....to be honest i didnt want the epidural,but i was induced n after so long i had to get it...its fine to worry about gettin it...i did i was scared somethin was gonna happen to my son

Jessica - posted on 10/16/2009

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my baby is 4minths old, and he was my first.. and i got that epidural.. I was scared to death about it cause what some ppl say.. but it was great, nothing bad happened... Im glad that i got it.. I would get it if i was you..

Christina - posted on 10/16/2009

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i hate needles...when they would do blood work for my while i was pregnant i used to be so nervous...i was even thinkin that i might not take any drugsbut after feelin those strong contractions trust me you r not gonna care about a needle...i didnt think twice when they asked me if i want the epyodoral and once i got i did Not feel any pain at all...so to me it was great

Amanda - posted on 10/16/2009

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I just had my first child. I was worried to death about the epidural. But the pain was so terrible that i took it. I never felt a thing when they put it in, and no side affects from it. I too was scared about something in my back, but when you hurt that bad, you wont worry about something in your back. Just tell yourself that lots of people have tried epidurals with success... its not bad at all.

Brenda - posted on 10/16/2009

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When i was in labor i sat in a warm tub and that helped so much. I was so against the epyodoral. I didn't like the fact of any thing in my spine either. Trooth is that when ur in that much pain you stop caring about all that and i finally broke down and got it any way. It was one of the best moves i made it made the whole thing soooo much better for me. but if you wanna stay strong go with staidol its in the I.V. and it works for about 20 min. at a time but you can get it every hr.

Pia - posted on 10/15/2009

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It is very normal to be worried.

Before I went into labor I always said I wouldn't have one, but circumstances changed and I had one.

Having had one though, I am still going to try and not have one with my next birth. I think give it a try without one for a while, if you feel like you can't handle the pain then request one.

[deleted account]

Trust me, having something in your spine will be the least of your worries if the pain is intense enough!! My sun was face up instead of face down so i had major back labor! They could have removed my spine for all i cared if it would have made the pain stop!! The epidural gives you a chance to get it together and focus so that you can push properly (you can still feel pressure when the contractions hit) and you can feel enough to push and still have lots of control. Would recommend it to anyone...and ask for it right away.

Connie - posted on 10/15/2009

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I just had my first baby and I can tell you I was as apprehensive as you were until my labor pains started!! My water broke at home and by the time I got to the hospital (10 minutes) they were unbearable and I was only 2 centimeters dialated. Believe me, once you are in pain like that, you wont even think about the prick from a needle, in fact, I was relieved when I saw my doctor entered the room with it. Almost instantly the pain was gone and I was actually able to "enjoy" the rest of the birth without having to focus on just the pain. I would do it the same way again in a heartbeat

User - posted on 10/15/2009

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I didn't want to have an epidural either, but after laboring for hours the pain got so unbearable, i gave in and got the epidural and end the end i had to get a c-section so if i hadn't gotten the epidural earlier i would have needed it anyway.

Annie - posted on 10/15/2009

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I didn't get one at all, almost but chickened out. Honestly I was fine without it. The IV medication worked well for me. They only time I was even told it would be better if I had one was after my daughter was born and the doctor was stiching up where I tore. It hurt to get the local pain relief for that, a lot but as far as for delievery not everyone needs it. If your nervous about it don't do it.

Carol - posted on 10/15/2009

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i agree i was so freeked out about the idea of an epyodral that i did not have one i was in labor for 21 hrs and had to push for over 3 hrs just think to your self that it will all be over. a nice worm shower helped me. plus there is a shot they can give you that makes you fall asleep between contractions and that also helped me out.

Ange - posted on 10/15/2009

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I think everyone is a little put off at the thought of the whole spine/needle scenario, but honestly, it was the best decision I made for myself. The pain for me was overwhelming. My daughter had the largest head & came out like a toddler ;) Without the epidural I wasn't able to push fully. It was so incredibly painful that I had to hold back a little. When they topped it up, I pushed like my eyes were going to pop right out of my head - I even held them in at one point! ha ha.
It's such a beautiful experience. Try it without pain relief, but don't be afraid to ask for it either. It made the whole experience so much better for me.

Amber - posted on 10/15/2009

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Hunny, listen, you do what you feel is best for you. Whatever you are comfortable with. I have had 5 children and 3 epidurals. All you feel is a pinch. And to answer your question, YES, it is normal for you to be a little worried, there is a needle going into your spine. Im not going to sugar coat anything for you, labor HURTS !! Everyone is different. I have heard women didn't even feel pain, maybe in their back, but that's it. Strange as that may sound, but its true. LOL.. Its kinda hard to ask others about their labor, cause like I said, everyone is different. I wish you all the best and congrats on your little one. :)

Colleen - posted on 10/15/2009

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I was really scared. I'm petrified of needles so that's why. I knew I'd want one because I have a low tolerance for pain, but I pretty much put it off as long as I could because I was so scared of the needle. Honestly though, it was fine. I asked them not to show me the needle or anything, and it was over before I knew it, and once it kicked in, HEAVEN!

Nea - posted on 10/14/2009

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I had and ep. with both my kiddos so im really no help but after 40 hrs of labor EACH baby, i couldnt deal with the pain any longer, lol The first one I got made me slightly nervous, but it turned out ok, the second one tickled like crazy, haha

[deleted account]

I can understand your fear. I was terrified of the thought of a needle going anywhere near me when I was pregnant with my first. The other choices for pain relief are gas (which doesn't do a thing for me) and pethidene (which is good, but very short term). A friend of mine did self-hypnosis, but that takes a lot of practice and discipline.

When it comes time, if you're like me you'll just want something to take the pain away. I ended up having a epi because I just couldn't bear it. Actually, I had an epi with both my kids. Some people don't find it that painful. Another friend of mine just went all natural... nothing, not even gas. My labours tend to be hard and fast (7 1/2 hrs and 5 hrs).

I'm not sure how they administer epidurals in the states, but here in Australia they hook you up to a machine that delivers the medication. My OB thinks that the only pain-free delivery is via c-section, so when it was time to start pushing, he turned off the machine. It was actually really good to have it off because I could feel what I was doing and was much more effective in delivering without complications (such as tearing).

So, if you do have an epidural, you can request to have it turned off when it comes time to deliver. It only takes a couple contractions for the epi to wear off and you can feel what's going on. I did try to push before the epi wore off the second time, and it's a lot harder because you can't feel anything.

Good luck, and don't worry too much about epidurals. As long as you have a basic birth plan (an idea of what you want to have happen), you'll be fine. Just remember to be flexible with your plan, because things don't always go to plan. :-)

Heather - posted on 10/14/2009

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I did try other pain meds that were given through my IV... but found that they did not help at all for the stronger contractions... I ended up getting an epidural anyways and the process barely hurts at all and is totally worth it in the end!

Christi - posted on 10/14/2009

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i had an epidural when i had my emergency c-section and honestly, i hated it. now i had such a bad experience because my scoliosis made it extremely difficult to place it correctly, but after it was placed i was so thankful to have it and didn't feel it at all.

Heidi - posted on 10/14/2009

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I got mine after they broke my water completely. I was totally worked about it, I'm an absolute baby when it comes to needles but it was the best thing for me especially since after I pushed for 2 hours they had to use forceps so instead of having to wait longer they just upped my dosage. But really to each their own, I felt that without it I would have been completely stressed! good luck!!

Adrianne - posted on 10/14/2009

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dont do it.i have had them before and they suck.i hurt my back worse.i have done labor and delivery without it and its bad but you can do it.i was able to take a hot shower and that really really helped.baths are great if the hospital has them.you are a woman and your body wont fail you.its not easy but so worth it.look up the movie ricki lake did about natural labor.it is a great video and helped me with my choice.good luck!and you can do it without drugs that arent good for you or the baby.see that video

Carrie - posted on 10/14/2009

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what my doc's told me is, if u use any other types of med then ur baby will be pretty much drugged to when its time to come out into the world. i did but didnt want med. the epidoral is not bad at all i couldnt even really feel it at all and the pain from labor will prob be bad so it will not bother u either way. just keep in mind that it will help u not hurt u in the long run. everything will be just fine :) good luck and congrads

Jennifer - posted on 10/14/2009

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My only suggestion....... if you are getting it... and YOU dont think its working the way it should...make sure you speak up... i kept speaking up.... my epideral did not work until right when I pushed.

Lisa - posted on 10/14/2009

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YES!!! I didn't want anything near my spine either! I'm allergic to lidocaine, so it was easier for me to give the staff a NO and have them go with it ( not that all of the nurses/ docs were happy about it). In the end, it is YOUR baby, YOUR body, and YOUR experience...don't let anyone else tell you how to do it. If you don't want an epi or a spinal block, then say so. You can have analgesics instead. I had phenegrin combined with something else ( can't remember what - they gave it to me in one shot ) and I was fine. It took enough of the edge off, and I was fine. GOOD LUCK! :)

Katie - posted on 10/14/2009

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Quoting Angela:

First off Congratulations on your baby!!! I would love to hear your birth story!

*Find a great prenatal Class
*The more education you get about labor and birth the less fear you have
*Un medicated babies have a better latch with breast feeding
*Surround yourself with positive people who will respect your decision to not have pain
medication
*Stay calm and know that you'll be alright
I am a first time mom and I too was petrified of "pain" however, after taking the Bradley Method of prenatal class all the fear was gone. I gave birth to my son at home ( within 6 hours from the 1st contraction to pushing)Midwives and no medication.
To validate all this, I really really really really hate pain but in all honesty it wasn't unbearable because as they taught us in class, birth is a natural process just get into the best and most comfortable position while having a contraction. For me it was squatting on the toilet and walking. One thing that I can say is I was comfortable and calm. I knew the baby had to come out and I took care in learning how that happens because that's how I learn. Contractions were worse when I tried laying down or standing still.


I had the epidural and all kinds of pain meds durring labor, and I am breast feeding and my daughter never has had any trouble latching on. I had never heard that information before, but I don't think it applies to everybody.

Katie - posted on 10/14/2009

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I just had my first baby, shes one month old now. All I could think about was how afraid of the epidural I was!! But, when the time came and I finally got it, it was great. I didn't have any after effect and it didn't hurt at all going in, of coarse they numb you first. I don't even remember when they took it out. Everybody's experience is different but I wanted to tell you about mine to ease your mind a little bit. You have nothing to worry about!! Good luck!

Ashlyn - posted on 10/14/2009

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iv pain meds or just go all natrual is the only two other things i can tell you for help but i will say this u cant really feel it

Nikki - posted on 10/14/2009

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I waited till I was between 8-9 cm and I wish I hadn't taken the IV they had given me cause the epodoral worked way better. I did have headaches for the first week but trust me don't wait!

Abby - posted on 10/14/2009

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Well to tell you the truth, I was terrified about the epidural with my first child. But after it was all over and done I felt wonderful. Yes it does hurt a bit. Kinda like a bad bee sting then pressure from them pushing the tube into your spine. I have had 4 kids but had to have 5 epidurals. I still am scared of them. It's not as bad as most people makes it sound though.

[deleted account]

I am more scared of an epidural than I am of natural child birth..I had to have a c-section with my twins so I have experienced both natural w/my 1sst two and the second one was induced with lots of pitocin and still I didn't get one..I have more of a problem with people messing with me than with enduring the contractions and pushing..so I know how you feel..if you can go natural..I think it's best.

Summer - posted on 10/14/2009

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you can do a spinal block which is just a shot, the epidural is not as bad as we make it out in our minds.... i never felt it... but geeees i was greatful to have it....

Jamie - posted on 10/14/2009

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I can never get the epi because of surgery I had to have on my back when I was younger. I tried to go withough any pain medications but I had extreme back labor, so they gave me stadol and it helped me. If you don't want to get the epi then ask your doctor what other options you have for pain management. Next time I plan on taking a class and learning the Bradley Method.

Angela - posted on 10/14/2009

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First off Congratulations on your baby!!! I would love to hear your birth story!

*Find a great prenatal Class
*The more education you get about labor and birth the less fear you have
*Un medicated babies have a better latch with breast feeding
*Surround yourself with positive people who will respect your decision to not have pain
medication
*Stay calm and know that you'll be alright
I am a first time mom and I too was petrified of "pain" however, after taking the Bradley Method of prenatal class all the fear was gone. I gave birth to my son at home ( within 6 hours from the 1st contraction to pushing)Midwives and no medication.
To validate all this, I really really really really hate pain but in all honesty it wasn't unbearable because as they taught us in class, birth is a natural process just get into the best and most comfortable position while having a contraction. For me it was squatting on the toilet and walking. One thing that I can say is I was comfortable and calm. I knew the baby had to come out and I took care in learning how that happens because that's how I learn. Contractions were worse when I tried laying down or standing still.

Lisa - posted on 10/14/2009

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Hi ya, yeah i have had 5 kids and could never bring myself to having that stuck right in my back so i went with all the other options. pethidene was the stuff for me, tell them to put it straight into your vein, works better lol and water eg bath takes the edge off hope that helps all the best

Amber - posted on 10/13/2009

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they cannot give you the epidoral right away. you have to be i think its 3 or 4 centemeters first. but they do give you some pain meds until you get to that point. now when it comes time to get it, just relax and try to think of something else. because all you will be thinking about is... is it in yet... or, will it go in the right place and that will make you panic. i had my first son when i was 14, i dont remember much about that time because i was in so much pain from going into labor on my own. now that im 20 and had my second son, they had to induce my labor because i was 1 week late. so all i felt was them putting the needle in my back. i didnt feel it the first time because my body was so sore and worn out, being that i was so young. i hope this helps and i hope i didnt scare you

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