any gd / bad stories of having a spinal rather than an epidural

Dianne - posted on 03/10/2010 ( 25 moms have responded )

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i have a high chance of having to have a c sec as my baby is breech and ive been recommended to have a spinal block if i do but am worried about side effects

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Emma - posted on 06/03/2011

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Hi im haveing a c section on the 15th of this month and i am realy scared of needles i might be haveing a spinal and i want to know if it realy hurts when they put it in.

Julie - posted on 04/14/2010

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I had my first c-section a year ago, also because my baby was breech. I tried everything to get him to turn & nothing worked. I second Sylvia - do NOT let them try to turn your baby head-down through your abdonmen, called an ECV (external cephalic version)!!! It hurt SO bad and it didn't work. I cried all the way home & started my maternity leave because I could NOT go back to work. It hurt bad for a week & took a couple weeks to feel better again.
Anyway, I had the spinal. It worked great! I was numb from my bust down. My arms felt super heavy but I could still wiggle my fingers & even managed to scratch my nose. I didn't get the spinal headache & I've had no after-effects. My surgeon also added some kind of block to my incision. I got my spinal at 8am & didn't get feeling back until about 10:30pm that night!
Good luck and enjoy your little when he/she arrives!

Jean - posted on 03/29/2010

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I have had 4 c sections. I have had 3 spinals and 1 epidural. I would recommend the spinal due to the fact that it lasts longer the epidural wore off so quickly that I was in pain while waiting for the drugs to kick in. I had no side effects that I could speak of for either and had 4 wonderfully healthy babies!

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Maybe I am too late to comment here- but I had 1 epidural and 2 spinals for my 3 c sections. The epidural I could still feel MUCH pressure and cramping and it was NOT at all a pain free c section. With the spinals, I felt NOTHING and never got the "possible" spinal headache they speak of. Also, I just barely felt the epidural going in but when I did it felt like when you hit your funny bone. I didn't feel any part of the spinal injection- didn't even know they did it!! LOL! Sooooo, from my experience I would go with the spinal.

Meg - posted on 03/26/2010

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I was terrified of the spinal, afraid of the spinal headache, etc...My doc reassured me that that was so so rare these days. Still, decided to have a natural birth. Baby had other ideas and I had an emergency c with no time to spare so we did the spinal. It was totally painless, a total relief to have the pain stop instantly (no gearing up to the right dose like with epi)...my bp did go pretty low after the surgery, but they say that was due to the surgery, not the spinal. I had no negative side effects from the spinal. It did take a bit longer than they expected for me to get feeling back (a couple hours) but it was painless and easy and I'll do it again next time.

Joyanne - posted on 03/26/2010

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I have had 3 c-section and i went through hell with my 1st so i got knocked out on my second and third same as the 1st so it comes down too the woman herself i say do what feels right for you and your child

Joy - posted on 03/20/2010

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I've had both and honestly I don't know if I could tell the difference. I had a spinal with my first, so I was able to walk to the OR, with the epidural, I was numb before I got there. If you are really concerned about it, maybe you can see if your doctor could set up a time where you could speak with an anesthesiologist? never hurts to ask.

Cherish - posted on 03/20/2010

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I had 5 epidurals,I had no problems until the 5th one.
I leaked spinal fulid and got a violent spinal headache.
That was the worst pain EVER,so much worse than labor.
I would NEVER get another epidural.
Tho I know it is rare to get a spinal headache,most people do not,but I would never risk that again.
I could not even sleep,I crawled to the bathroom once a day,it is all I could bear,I am NOT a big cryaby and have a high pain tolerance,never ever would I get a epidural!

I never had a spinal but I would do that instead,or just have them use general anesthetic and knock you out :)

Angele - posted on 03/20/2010

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I had a spinal during my c-section (my son was breech too) and I had no problems with it. The numbness did end up going up pretty high (to my chest), which was a bit scary; but the anesthesiologist told me that, as long as my arms were not numb, it was ok. I did get itchy everywhere (especially my arms and nose), but I'm not sure if that was because of the spinal or another med that they gave me at the same time. Once the numbness went away, I felt fine. I've had no lasting effects from the spinal.

Flavia - posted on 03/19/2010

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I had 2 epidurals .. the second one didn't work but i was fine.. no side effect beside the fact that i couldn't feel when i had to urinate ..:) a bit embarrassing but nothing else .

Dianne - posted on 03/19/2010

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I had one; it was easier than an epidural and better at blocking pain. Easier to "get over" too.

Linda - posted on 03/19/2010

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I had a c-section actually 2 c-sections. I was awake during the second one and had a spinal. I have had no problems with it nor any since.

Dianne - posted on 03/18/2010

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thanks everyone for the info, it ended up that i managed to vaginally deliver my breech baby without any pain relief even though he was definitely stubborn about it (20hrs) :)

[deleted account]

I had C-sections with both and the spinal was fine, but the hospital I gave birth in changed their pain management protocol between the two. With the first I had a drip with a little button I pushed when I needed more meds and it was great, with the second they put a 24 hour dose of morphine into my spinal. Pain management wise it was fine, but it made me incredibly itchy and since it was in my system they couldn't take it out to relive my discomfort, I would definately not want that again.

Amanda - posted on 03/17/2010

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I had been in labor for 41 hours (hard labor) and they made the decision to do a c-section because my son was apparently really comfortable. My epidural had stopped working hours before and I even had them turn it up. The only option I had for pain relief was the spinal block and I actually had no problems, not even tenderness at the injection site. I expected it to all hurt terribly but it honestly didn't hurt and I'm a needle sissy!

Monique - posted on 03/17/2010

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Hi Dianne, I had a vaginal birth with my first child and a c-section with my second, both I had to have spinals because of lower disc problems and both worked with full effect and no side effects, as a nurse all I can say is that the staff have to advise you of any and all complications so that you can make an informed choice, the chances are very low of any complications, hope that helps.

Sheilawalkowiak10 - posted on 03/16/2010

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I had 3 C-Sections. 1 with the block and 2 with the epidural. I prefer the epidural myself. Less recovery time. If you are in pain they will not give you anything until you can feel your toes.

Kerry - posted on 03/16/2010

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I didn't have any real side affects after. I vomited twice quickly in recovery and that was it. With the epidural I felt drained for days after.

Kerry - posted on 03/16/2010

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I had an epidural with my first c-section, and a spinal with my second. They both worked well for me. It took a quite a bit longer for the feeling to return to the bottom half of my body after the spinal. Just go with what you are comfortable with. They both feel about the same when they are being administered. So if you are worried about the epidural not taking. Then go with the spinal.

LaCi - posted on 03/16/2010

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I had a c-section, had the spinal block. It really wasn't bad. They had to stick me twice, I only numbed up to my legs the first time. It's very unpleasant when they're doing it but honestly it only lasts a minute. Possibly from the sticking me twice, not sure, but afterward there were some occasions in which my back would feel REALLY weird if I bent it a certain way. But that went away. You feel super weird when the feeling comes back though. I felt like my belly was made of stretch armstrong material ;)

Andrea - posted on 03/16/2010

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I didn't know there was a choice - there isn't much difference from what I understand. I had an epidural during labour with my first but ended up with a c-section and they just topped up the epidural. I'm having my second c-section on March 26th and they are going to do a spinal this time because I won't have any drugs in my already like last time. I was not given a choice, and I would want the one that is more guaranteed to work which from what I understand is the spinal. There are potential side effects either way but they are small - I have had no issues at least and hopefully won't the second time around!

Tanya - posted on 03/10/2010

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Hi Dianne,

I have had C sec twice and both times I had spinal block. My C sec no complications whats so ever. But when I get really tried I get back pain. My kids are 7 and 5. Don't get scared there is only small chance anything going wrong. Like any other surgery they have to tell you what can go wrong....

Good luck

Brittany - posted on 03/10/2010

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I had a c section because my baby was measuring 10lbs on the ultrasound. I had a spinal block and everything was fine. A lot of people have problems with epidurals not working. i also feel like the spinal worked faster from what I have heard about the epidurals. As soon as I got my spinal I could not feel anything.

Sylvia - posted on 03/10/2010

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I have had 3 c section, I had epidural, after 3 tries to no avali it did not work no one unstood why, time was running out and I had to be knocked out, the baby heart was in destressed and I had emergency. and i was just fine afterwards. also having a brech child u DO NOT WANT THE DR. TO TURN UR BABY IN YOUR STOMACH AT THIS POINT, I screams like I was giving birh 2 times not pain med nothing!!!

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