Epidural or IV meds

Aly - posted on 05/16/2010 ( 198 moms have responded )

23

20

1

I was getting ready to write my birth plan and my obgyn told me I should get an epidural. I have a some what low pain tolerance, but a high anxiety with blood and needles. Yeah I know what your thinking and "your having a baby?" But I was wondering other mom's point of view of having one, or just going going with IV pain meds? Thank you

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Shirley - posted on 05/20/2010

8

20

0

As an experienced labor and mother baby nurse, with over 30 years experience, I need to add a little information here.
It is not correct that the epidural medication does not get to the baby. The belief that the medicine does not affect the baby is just that. A belief. The epidural does not affect your baby's breathing at birth as the IV meds might, but it does make babies sleepier, and they are more difficult to arouse and suckle effectively. I am also a lactation nurse, and everyone in the industry knows that the epidural babies are sleepy. The IV meds have to be timed properly to avoid the infant having difficulty breathing at birth. There are so many variables on how this would be managed, it's crazy. I work with a physician who won't let his patients have narcotics after 6 cm. Most prefer to stop IV narcotics at 8 cm.
Fentanyl or nubain work well, and wear off within an hour. Stadol is heavier and I hated working with it. It does make women very groggy, and affects the newborn more. Fentanyl is used 50 to 100 mcg a dose. Each hospital has their own typical protocols.
The most effective way to cope with labor without either IV meds or an epidural are:
Stay out of bed as much as possible.
Avoid a semi-reclining position, as this increases pain for most women.
Stay in the shower or tub as much as possible. Find out if your hospital has telemetry that can be used in water.
Hum or sigh with contractions, instead of trying to just breathe. It cuts the pain well, and helps you relax without your having any great relaxation skills.
Most modern hospitals don't have a lot of nurses with good labor support skills. So many women have chosen anesthesia, that the newer nurses have not had a chance to develop those skills. A doula would help, because she would be there just for you and also to support your partner.
It's very difficult to plan for something you have never experienced.
There is no wrong way to have a baby, but there are risks to epidurals that do not exist with IV meds, and with coping with labor. It's up to you to see what works for you. Some labors are efficient, and manageable. Some are very long and difficult, and anesthesia is a great gift.
Try to avoid having your water broken early in the labor. It intensifies pain unnecessarily. It is not easy to negotiate with most providers, but some are easy going about this.
No one should feel guilty about whatever they do to cope with labor, but unfortunately in our current culture, the majority of women don't have an accurate picture of the benefits or risks of an epidural.
Good luck with whatever you choose.
Penny Simkin's book The Birth Partner is a great resource. Take a look at it! Shirley

Donna - posted on 05/19/2010

1

9

0

It is always safer for you and your baby to go natural but I know doctors usually advise pain medications, especially for those with a low pain threshold. And if that's what you need to get through the delivery then perhaps you should although I am totally against all 'unnecessary' drugs and it could slow down your labour too as well as drug your baby. You should be up walking or at least sitting on a big exercise ball or a rocking chair so you're working with gravity and not against it. The most important thing you need to remember is to be in tune with your body and work with it, (Do not fight against the pain of the contraction! Breath through it, Screaming just wastes your energy!) relax, and breath. If you are not relaxed, your labour will be longer and harder. Having a good, experienced doula with you to help you relax and get through the contractions, could be what you need instead of an epidural. I think you should do some research on doulas and even midwives, talk to them, ask them for advice. If you are married or have a partner and he/she will be with you that's great but they are not trained to know what to do to make it easier for you and they are too involved to be objective.I know you took chilbirth classes but they are of very little help when it comes right down to the real labour. Doulas are trained to help you and your spouse make it a good birth experience for all of you.Your baby does about 60% of the work during labour and birth. Keep that in mind when you are having a contraction. You do not want a drugged baby who is not able to do their part either. Your baby can birth itself if all you do is breath, no pushing - I've seen it!. And do not allow the doctor to do an episiotomy - a tear heals quicker and is less painful but if you gently push and give your perinium time to stretch (that's when it burns) you can deliver without a tear too. Doctors always want to get the delivery over with quickly so they can carry on with their life. If there is an emergency with the baby and the delivery needs to be done quickly either vaginally or by c-section then make sure you know why, demand an explanation. Something as simple as you changing your position could prevent it and an experienced well-trained doula could be invaluable in this situation. My experience: approx 65 deliveries, assisted in over 200 births and not one were given any pain medication. The only episiotomy was for a breach birth to get the head out and many did not even tear.Those who did exactly what we advised had wonderful births that they look back on with joy and pride in their accomplishment.You can do it too!

Marlana - posted on 05/20/2010

56

13

5

I was in the exact same spot you are now. I have a very low tolerance for pain and am terrified of needles. The epidural doesnt hurt at all. They give you a smaller shot to numb the area first. And they wont show you the needle either, I asked and he wouldnt even show me.
Before the epidural the nurse suggested that I get IV pain meds and I chose not to because these pain meds are a pregnancy category C. These means that they cross the placenta and can affect the baby. Where as an epidural does not cross the placenta to the baby. My daughter was my sole concern while making this decision and that is why I chose only epidural.

Melissa - posted on 05/19/2010

1

7

0

I was reading through most of your responses and I thought I would post my 2 cents. I am the mother of 3 and also a childbirth educator. I have my own opinions about pain medications, but those are not relevant. What I wanted to tell you was that the decision about pain medication is totally up to you, and please do not let the nurses, doctors or others influence your decision. ALL medication that you take into your body affects the baby, regardless of the method that you take it.Why do you think you are not allowed to take advil....

As far as which is better, they really do affect you differently. The IV meds (demerol, morphine etc.) do not take the pain away, not even close, they just make you feel like you don't care. They can only be given in the early stages of labour as they have serious side effects on the babies. Epidural can be given any time, but they prefer to give them in active labour (once ctx are at least 5 minutes apart).It can either speed things up or slow them down. You won't be able to get up and move around and yes it can affect baby. Epidural tend to lead to babies being harder to breastfeed as they are really sleepy and don't latch very well. It takes a while for the medication to leave their system (up to a couple of days)

Both can and are used with great results. My advice, see how things go and decide then. Remember, a lot of your pain tolerance is all how you view the pain...

[deleted account]

Epidurals can slow the path of labour and increase the risk of c section and intervention. Why not look at alternative coping strategies such as aromatherapy and massage?

This conversation has been closed to further comments

198 Comments

View replies by

Misty - posted on 05/20/2010

1

17

0

I have had an epidural, IV Pain meds, and natural. The epidural didn't work right during delivery, the IV meds made me drunk and loopy, and the natural birth was thankfully over pretty quick. Don't get the IV meds. I was loopy and goofy for hours after the birth.

Brittany - posted on 05/20/2010

98

22

3

I think you should keep an open mind......I went in thinking I wanted a completely natural labor. I was in labor for 56 hours though & after about 49 hours I caved in & took the epidural. After that I was completely fine....other than having to have an emergency c-section. Everyone's birth story is different, just as everyone's pain tolerance is different. Do what makes YOU happy, it's your delivery no one else's. :)

Also...I too am TERRIFIED of needles....but with that said, after being in labor so long I never noticed the needle going into my back at all. All I felt was instant relief. When I had my second chiuld we did a planned c-section (my hospital doesn't do VBACs) & I was completely aware when I had my spinal, & even then I didn't really feel it. It was just a little pinch.

Hope this helps....congratulations on your upcoming delivery!

Sarah - posted on 05/20/2010

26

7

0

I had your same problem. With me, however, my needle hatred way out weighed the idea of pain. For me, needles cause me to pass out. Because of that, I chose not to have any sort of medications at all. I have also heard a lot of horror stories about drugs/epidural, which made me want them even less.

However, consider that typically with an epidural they have to give you pitocin (not sure on the spelling). The epidural makes it so that you can't feel the contractions so they have to give you the pitocin. The pitocin makes the contractions harder ... Do you see the cycle here?

Personally, I found the pain of labor itself really was not as bad as I had thought. The 7-10 centimeter (to me) was by far worse. Again, that was just me.

I think that if after you read these things and talk to your doctor/nurse/midwife and some friends, what ever decision you make will be the right one for you. Just make sure that what ever your plan is you have it written down so that everyone will follow it. You don't want to go in there deciding one thing and have the doctor 'help' you decide another while you are in pain.

Janey - posted on 05/20/2010

1

11

0

I'm like you...low pain tolerance and not a fan of needles. I had an epidural with both of my deliveries and I would do it again in a heartbeat. For me, the benefit of not feeling any pain for the duration of labour and delivery outweighed the 10 to 15 seconds of being poked with a needle. If you decide to get an epidural, my best advice is to breath and relax

Jessica - posted on 05/20/2010

6

16

0

Had my baby 6 months ago and the anesthisiologist didn't make it in time to give my epidural, which I really wanted. Do yourself a favor and go with the epidural. You will feel everything if you dont and it hurts like hell!

Veronica - posted on 05/20/2010

176

13

23

I've only had one child, but personally I didn't like the IV meds. They gave me something called Nubane to "take the edge off" of the contractions before it was time for the epidural. All the nubane did was make me feel drunk and I could still feel everybit of the contractions. And I was so loopy I couldn't even reposition myself to try and get comfortable. If I have another baby I will just wait for the epidural. I was terrified of the epidural at first cuz I hate needles, but let me tell you compared to the contractions the epidural was nothing.

Sofia - posted on 05/20/2010

8

1

1

Before I had my first child I read about both & decided no thank you.Babys born with epidurals have a much higher rate of infections after etc. Ive had 4 children naturaly(two at home in peace) & survived to tell about it.During labor and child birth our bodies actualy produce our own form of pain relief. I wont say it doesnt hurt , but ; we get kind of out of it and time flies. Once youre holding the baby its like "what pain?" Im really glad I Can say I did it myself & had a clear enough mind & body to really get the most of the experiance. I can tell you honestly that I had much less pain while I was calm & relaxed. The thing that messed with me the most was if I was feeling stressed (fear is not your friend when it comes to labor). If you can think of a time when you were really worried about doing something that turned out to be amazing thats usually what giving birth is like, so whatever you decide when the time comes just stay focused on that wonderful baby whos waiting to meet you n the needles wont matter too much.

Barbara - posted on 05/20/2010

3

0

0

I did not want anything but my obgyn wanted me to have epidural because i was having twins. I was glad it really allowed me to not feel the pain and enjoy seeing my little girls in to the world.In did not need I.V drugs epidural was enough to get me through both births. Iv grugs were not an option because of tyhe effect it wouldhave on the babies but you will know what is right when the time comes believe in your self and take the doctors advice in to account. Also not big on needels or pain but things went great. Good luck!!!!

[deleted account]

I too have a low pain tolerance and a huge fear of needles. I have 2 daughters, and have had two very different experiences with both. The first one I was induced and decided to have the epidural after the contractions became unbearable. The worst part was having a contraction while the needle was being inserted, because you can't move at all!! The needle was a breeze after that :0) Once the drugs took effect though, I could relax...I even got a little sleep. I was so happy with how my first labour went that I went into my second one asking for the epidural right away. However, it wasn't meant to be. Where my first lasted 9 hours, my second lasted less than 2! I wish now that I had gone in with more of an open mind. I was so set on having the epidural, and got so freaked out when I realized it wasn't going to happen, that I never got myself mentally prepared for the delivery. Yeah, it hurts and is probably the worst pain you'll ever feel, but it's also true when they say you forget that pain as soon as you hold your little bundle.
It's already been said by lots of other posters here, but go in with an open mind - try to mentally prepare yourself for the different possibilities and you'll be happy with your experience no matter what you decide.

Kristina - posted on 05/20/2010

10

26

0

I just had my first child in March of this year. I had made up my mind about not gettin any drugs. It was an experience I will never forget and NEVER change for the world. I was in active labour for 4 and 1/2 hours. I've been told that gettin drugs seems to make labour take longer so I chose not to get any drugs. It was wonderful. If you can I'd suggest that you not get any drugs. But you do need to keep and open mind and do what makes you feel comfortable.

Danielle - posted on 05/20/2010

3

2

0

That is true to a point. IV meds are felt by baby, epidural meds are not due to the blood brain barrier.

Kathi - posted on 05/20/2010

2

0

0

I went through labor with no drugs... I have 2 boys. I didn't want drugs or an epi unless it was absolutely neccesary... I wanted to have them natural due to issues that may arise from an epi such as slowing labor and the affects the drugs could have on my children... Although you have asked for advice, you are the only one who can make the decision, do not let anyone not even your doctor tell you what you should do. Good luck to you and congratulations

Jennifer - posted on 05/20/2010

11

2

0

If the epidural works it's fantastic. I had one but it was left too late into labour to work properly, so it was not brilliant. I have also had just normal pain meds - and they worked too. The other thing with epidural is that you can't feel to push the baby out and it ends up hard work and sometimes forceps.

[deleted account]

EPIDURAL. You also have to think about the procedures that happen after the baby has been born. Once you have the baby and your adrenaline stops, there is the after birth delivery and the almost inevitable stitches. AND, if you don't like needles, then you really won't like getting stitched up without and epidural to ensure not being able to feel anything.

Sue - posted on 05/20/2010

1

24

0

I got the IV meds just so that I can rest awhile because I was only 1 centimeter but my water broke so that gave me 2 hours sleep. After that that gave me a little more saying it takes the edge off for 2 hours' well it was no use the 2nd time and I didnt get the epidural and got through it fine. I think if I got the epidural I wouldn't have been able to deliver because she didn't want to come out to begin with. My 2nd baby I got the epidural because I knew somehow he was going to be big but the he was having a hard time putting that needle in my spine and I just wanted him to stop. When he FINALLY got that damn thing in, WOW, what a difference. NO PAIN. But ended up with a c-section anyways because yes he was big: 10lbs 2 oz

Jessie - posted on 05/20/2010

17

38

0

Not to sound snotty, and childbirth is definitely the hardest work you may ever do in your life, BUT, don't forget about the baby in this whole process! Any kind of medication you get, the baby gets-try to wait until later in your labor if possible-then your baby won't get as much of the meds...

Ruth - posted on 05/20/2010

1

0

0

hm i used both. You can't see them insert the epidural and you are in so much freaking pain you won't be thinking about a needle

[deleted account]

Hello!

I, like you, am afraid of needles (terrified!!!). And I got the "You're having a baby?" remarks too. = )

Throughout my whole pregnancy, my biggest fear was the blood work and the hospital stay (needle, needle, needle). I said to EVERYONE that I would not get an epi and am proud to say that I did not budge. I have a high pain tolerance level (no drugs; not even aspirin for headaches.) I'm for poster child for drug-free America.

So when the time came for me to head to the hospital, I was crying more out of fear of the needles then the actual labor pain (which was intense). When I got to the room, I was crying so hard because the nurse kept insisting that I was going to get the epi. When the IV was inserted (that was a bad moment for me), the other nurse in the room asked if I wanted something to help me calm down. Since the IV was there I said "Sure". Nurse's words: "This was help you calm down. You'll still feel the labor pain but it will help take the edge off." Let me just tell you, it KNOCKED ME OUT! I was in labor in the hospital from 12:30pm and woke up at 9:30pm and said "I have to push". At 10:16pm, my daughter was born.

I don't remember a lot of what was going on prior to pushing her out. I had a 4th degree tear. I felt the doctor stitching me up. The doctor said "You wouldn't feel this if you had the epi." HA!!! It didn't hurt; I just said I felt it. ; )

My point is: It's up to you. Don't let anyone push you into something you don't want to do. I completely understand your fear and hope that what ever you choose, it's by your doing.

Do your research. I did mine and even to this day, am proud that I did not need an epi. My 4th degree tear wasn't that bad (even though I was told otherwise). I was walking around the next day with NO DRUGS!!!

Congrats to you and the father of the baby on this very exciting time in your life. I wish you the best of luck with what ever you decide to do.

Danielle - posted on 05/20/2010

3

2

0

I am seeing a lot of myths a false info in some of these posts. First of all, get educated about pitocin, Epidurals, episiotomies, and female anatomy. Many women have no idea what reproductive organs are where, sad but true. Secondly, Epidurals are great but not perfect. Any responsible anesthesiologist will make you watch an educational video about Epidurals. All of the things I have seen on ppl post are possible risks associated w/ epidurals, and your anesthesiologist should review risks and side effects with you prior to insertion. Everyone who has talked about the "bad effects" chose to get one knowing that these things could happen. Why? Because labor one of the hardest undertakings in the world. There is a reason why epidurals are so popular.BTW, they do not cause you to lose control of your bowels, the baby pushes it out with its huge head. What do you think is behind your vagina.....psst, its your rectum.

Britney - posted on 05/20/2010

16

1

0

i didn't get any pain meds for mostly selfish reasons, like you i have a low pain tolerance and HATE needles. i didn't even want an IV but they made me have it because i was dehydrated. i went through the whole thing with no medication because,if you think about it, its like stubbing your toe; it hurts once it happens, and a little while after, but then the pain is gone and you forget about it. if you get an epidural, many women have to get petosin because they cannot feel their contractions and their bodies get so relaxed that contractions may even stop. so that is another needle and drugs going into your body, with the IV and the Epidural and the Petosin. in my opinion, if you need the pain medication, just use the IV, they will most likely make you have an IV anyways, so at least then its only one needle and not 3. good luck and i hope you have a great birth!

Alexandra - posted on 05/20/2010

581

24

1

Have an epidural and be done with it! Enjoy the labor and your baby, not the awful pain. There is a reason why epidural exists in this world.

Melissa - posted on 05/20/2010

1

0

0

Epidural! I have had two of them and never looked once at the needle. I just told them that I have a hard time with needles and so I never saw them.

Amanda - posted on 05/20/2010

29

92

0

honestly once your labor starts you will want the drugs. i have the same issues as you... low tolerance for pain and high anxiety with needles. but when i went into labor i went from 4 cm to 10 cm in a couple of hours and wanted to push, but my son had not dropped yet. and they told me to breathe through the contractions til they could give me an epidural. it is very difficult to breather through the contractions... all you want to do is push. but you don't ever see the needle for the epidural, cause it goes in your back. trust me you will want it... especially if you have a long labor.

[deleted account]

I'm the same way... I do have a high pain tolerance, but was scared to death of the giant needle! Believe me, when the time came, it was like, "Hey, when can I have the giant needle already!!!!!" =)

Carolyn - posted on 05/20/2010

1

18

0

Get the epidural! You won't even see the needle and they give you a numbing shot first, so you won't even feel the epidural needle either. My first delivery I was in labor for 22 hours. I was already anxious enough about everything, so having less pain helped me cope some and you can rest too. I also had back labor with both children...it is worse than the contractions. The IV pain meds are ok for afterwards (especially if you're like me and have a c-section), but they will be no match for the pain of labor like an epidural. Good luck with your delivery and best wishes for your new addition.

Margaret - posted on 05/20/2010

15

1

1

BTW, pitocin is a nice drug for the convenience of the doctor and the hospital--it increases the force of the contractions and guess what--increases the pain you're feeling. I found this out when my kids were in their 30's! Had I known this at the time, that "We're just going to give you a little something to help the contractions" would have met with a very rude response from me. It made manageable contractions unbearable and after the pitocin, my hopes of natural childbirth were out the window.

Katherine - posted on 05/20/2010

61

11

3

I think I have a pretty hight pain tolerance and labored for 7 hours before finally asking for the epi. I never saw a needle, but I'm sure you would want to explain your fear so they could take extra precautions. My baby was born healthy and alert. I was able to get up within an hour and frankly I wouldn't have wanted to any earlier. I'm sure for some it is different. When I did have the epi placed I had no feeling in my lower extremities, it was a little weird, but so is labor, so I just went with it. With the help of the nurses I was able to position myself on all fours for a while to help the baby drop. When I was in active labor I was able to concentrate on pushing and with the help of a mirror I could see my progress since I could not really feel it. I actually really enjoyed labor because there was not much pain associated with it. Best of luck to you!

Galadriel - posted on 05/20/2010

50

16

11

I started out wanting natural but did not progress past 4cm cause I was fighting the pain of the contractions. I tried the iv med but it didn't help cause the entire time I was relaxed on it the stupid nurse would not let me rest at all. I finally broke down and got an epidural and delivered less than 2hrs later. I was terrified of the epidural but actually it was nice to be able to think about something besides the pain. I got epi's with both my other deliveries and definately appreciated them. The biggest drawback, in MY opinion, is that it takes a while to wear off so you can't get up or shift positions without help until it does. I would definately recomend that you not rule out medications if they are available to you, especially if you have a low tollerance.

Elaine - posted on 05/20/2010

1

1

0

I have both of mine natural (not by choice). My birth plan was to get an epidural. Fortunately, mine were mercifully quick. Given the choice, no pain would have been preferable. I don't know how women can go for hours in labor without an epidural. In the end you need to do what you are comfortable with. Try it without but keep the option open if you need it. Best of luck :)

Carmen - posted on 05/20/2010

2

20

0

I had my second baby 9months ago & I'm terrified of a needle.
I was in so much pain with my first daughter I was begging for an epidural. I didn't see the size of the needle all I felt was a tiny prick not painfull at all, like I expected. As soon as the epidural took effect it was heaven it made my birth experience more pleasant

Heather - posted on 05/20/2010

2

0

0

Yeah, Margaret, it was a bad experience. I spoke with the nurse teaching our birthing classes because I do have mild curvature of the spine. She said that would not be a problem and that x-rays would only be needed if I had a back INJURY or SURGERY. Well, that turned out to be a problem because the doc giving the epidural immediately noticed my scoliosis and said that he should have been handed x-rays. Since my scoliosis did play a part, I did not look into the matter further. I cannot say it was totally to blame because I have spoken to other people who have curvature and had no problems with the epidural AND talked to others who don't have scoliosis but have experienced damage to their back from the epidural. I know most people just love it. I just posted this so that people would hear what could go wrong with the epidural. I would not wish that type of back pain and immobility on anyone...at age 28, I felt like I was about age 68. :(

Faith - posted on 05/20/2010

186

42

16

i personally feared the epidural. They broke my water at 830 in the morning and i refused any meds until that evening. I had both. i first took the iv and we had hoped it would relax me enough to dialate more. it was only in effect for 3 or 4 hours, and i slept through the whole time. Once it wore off and that first contraction i woke up in horrible pain. i stuck it out for awhile, and i wasn't dialating like i should, and eventually tey threatened c-section becuase waiting much longer could have put the baby in distress. I then talked it over with my hubby, and went for the pitocin AND epidural and was only in labor a few more hours. It turns out that it was better for me than iv meds.

Also, i was sexually abused and i just couldn't get relaxed enough. Take into consideration that if anything like that happened to you, that you could be the same way. My MIL is a midwife and says in delivering babies, shes seen quite a few of the same thing.

GOOD LUCK!

Maya - posted on 05/20/2010

8

18

0

i had a epidural but i asked my doc. to put a low dose of it so i can feel the contractions so go ahead one

[deleted account]

Aly, the process doesn't take long and you don't even see the needle. Generally they give you a pillow to lean over and hug. I had a nurse holding my shoulders down (you are kind of suppose to be "crunching" over and relaxed). I also don't care for needles. I was scared to death of getting this done, but it was not as bad as I had made it out to be.

Take everyone else's advice and see what your labor is like. My sister has gone thru two deliveries, and had no pain meds at all. Me, I needed it. I pray that you have a safe delivery!

Margaret - posted on 05/20/2010

15

1

1

Good golly, Heather! Was your anesthesiologist an amateur? Mine got it on one try both times and my only aftereffects were a restful sleep after each birth was over and I was back in my room. I'd seriously look into that anesthesiologist's track record. It sounds like he or she gave you the epidural wayyyyyyyyyy too early if it took you several hours to push the baby out.

Heather - posted on 05/20/2010

2

0

0

With my first child, I had a really bad experience with the epidural. It took 7 tries, and I experienced damage to my back. It took three years and various physical therapists, massage therapists and chiropractor visits to get things back to normal. The active birthing process took several hours because I could not feel if I was pushing. It was terrible. With my second child, I opted to use only a drip, and as everyone has said, it makes you loopy and barely numbs the pain. However, the active birthing process went quickly, and it did not hurt nearly as bad as the back pain I endured for such a long time with the epidural. I have heard of many people experiencing back problems after an epidural, so just keep this in mind. :)

Margaret - posted on 05/20/2010

15

1

1

Yup, I was going to go through the whole thing with no pain meds, but after more than 20 hours of hard labor both times, I thanked God for my epidurals. I was too tired of fighting excruciating pain at that point to remember why I ever thought I'd do "natural childbirth". Childbirth was natural enough already.

Jessie - posted on 05/20/2010

17

38

0

Do the IV thing-I've had 4 children, the first 2 were epidurals, and my oldest I was sat up too fast ( you are supposed to lie completely flat for 24 hrs after the epi ) and I ended up with severe headaches, due to the spinal sac where the needle for the epi was injected leaking, as a result of being sat up too fast. My 2nd child was also born with me having an epi, which this time went very well, but when I had my 3rd I decided to go as close to natural as possible, which really wasn't any worse than having all the complications of the epi the first time around ( my headaches were so severe with the first child I would vomit unexpectedly and The doctor was worried I was gonna get dehydrated, so I ended up on an IV anyway ). I did have IV meds, because I don't feel like I have high tolerance for pain either. But, I just had my youngest 5 weeks ago, and she was born COMPLETELY natural, luckily she was small! By the time we got to the hospital, I was 9 cm, and there was no time for an epi, of which I was begging for when we got there, lol! I didn't even have an episiotomy, or any numbing medication in my vaginal area! All natural! I know that the first incident was not necessarily normal, but I felt so much better the times that I didn't have an epi-and you will notice a difference in your baby also-she/he will probably be much more alert and focused after birth-that was a huge benefit when my youngest was born-there were no drugs in her system at all-good luck!

Laura - posted on 05/20/2010

1

8

0

I've had three kids. My middle child, I had nothing. He was 9 1/2 lbs and it was the worse kind of pain imaginable. I have a high tolerance for pain and I will never, ever do that again. My first and my last I went with teh epidural and felt no pain. I will always suggest to anyone to get the epi. I was aware of everything and had such easy births with my two that I did get the epi. I don't think the pain meds help much as I had it with my first before my epidural and as labor progress, they do nothing and you'll be asking for the epidural anyway! Good luck!

Casey Leigh - posted on 05/20/2010

1

9

0

Honestly, a birth plan is all fine and good, but you are really not gonna know what you want untill you are actually in labor. There is really no way of knowing how much pain or little pain you will be in, untill labor begins. I had my one and only 2.5 years ago, and I remember knowing that the thought of an epidural scared me, but I would be open to it if I truly needed it. I remember the mid wife who taught our child birth classes reiterated the point that we are not super heros so accept the drugs if you need them. I ended up getting an epidural, and my labor only lasted 4 hours, that which I got through 3 of them without anything. The epidural actually ended up interrupted pushing. In retrospect, I would have declined and just got through the last hour on my own. I am not going to bs you....the epidural hurts like hell....but delivering a baby does too. But I can honestly say, when they put your beautiful bundle of joy in your arms, its almost as if the pain is forgotten.....not completely but you get the point. Trust your body...it will tell you what it needs. Definitely become very familiar with your breathing exercises....they will get you through a lot. You are about to be a mom your instinctual powers are on a record high. Best of luck to you, and enjoy your little one when he or she finally makes their appearance...

Danielle - posted on 05/20/2010

3

2

0

Take it from a L&D nurse, get the epidural. The IV meds are great for early labor, but cannot be given in the last two hours( which are the worst). I love natural labor, and if you prepare yourself, you can do it. But pitocin contractions are so much harder to breathe through. I've had an epidural, and it is nothing, the IV hurt much worse. Ultimately you have to do what is right for you. Good luck!

Binaz - posted on 05/20/2010

16

49

0

I 2 hv a v low tolerance 2wards pain & i swear by an epidural. I was admitted at around 1:00 pm on 11th of sept with a 1 cm dilation.
I dint feel anything but my BP was shooting so I was induced. upto 9:30 pm i was only 3 cms dilated & throwing up like hell it was tht my body was trying 2 resist the pain by pushing my baby upwards with vomits. abt 12:30 in the night i was 4cms dilated & the doc gave me an epidural after abt 15mins i dint feel a thing i felt my contractions only in the form of tremors on the tummy & by 2:30 am i was 8cms dilated & ready 4 the final pushing Bezad was born after 3 - 4 such contracytions @ 3:15am & i dint feel a thing neither the vaccum pump or the baby coming out or the stitch nothing at all. I wud recomend tht u keep the epidural in ur birthplans

Amy - posted on 05/20/2010

4

30

0

The IV drugs make you woozie and the Epidural if done right is fine. I wold try my best to avoid both. :) Just stay OUT of the bed walking around taking warm showers and BEST if they will let you is sitting in the bathtub. I had my last one and labored the entire time in the bath it was AWESOME!!! I got out right before it was time to push and I would do it that way again everytime. :)

Good luck.

Kerry - posted on 05/20/2010

1

1

0

you wont see the epidural being put in but you will have to have an IV and if you are going to get syntocion for augmentation get the epidural it can be intense and you'll be screaming for one when it is to late.

Monique - posted on 05/20/2010

8

11

0

epidural, all the way. I had a 21 hour labor and i tried to go as long as possible without it, but when I hadn't slept in 48 hours and they kept telling me to try to get some sleep (yeah, okay!) they gave me an epidural and i was finally able to fall asleep. It was a godsend, I don't think I would have had the energy to do it without it! You don't see them give you the epidural, and at that point when you get the IV you don't even care (and I HATE needles!)



Oh and as far as not liking that you can't get up and walk around right after - trust me, that's the last thing you're going to want to do! But I was able to get up and walk to the bathroom within an hour - as soon as the baby comes out they turn off the epidural and it starts to wear off.

Sonia - posted on 05/20/2010

19

48

1

I had an epidural c-section with my little girl (only child, for now!). I didn't even know when they put in the needle! The doctor wiped my lower back with something to make it numb, and injected the needle before I realy knew what was going on. I saw nothing, and it was painfree and wonderful! The most wonderful experience of my life! I would go with epidural again, and would advise anyone that had to choose, to go with epidural. You may be a little weak in the knees afterwards, but what better excuse to stay in bed and rest with your little bundle of joy! :-) Good luck and enjoy every moment with your baby!

Stacey - posted on 05/20/2010

5

15

0

I have a low tolerance to pain as well nor do I like needles. I was induced at 37 weeks with my first child because of low fluid. I was in labor for 24 hours. I wanted to try to do it naturally. I looked at it as a test of perseverance so I had very little meds. The drs told me that I should probably get an epidural at about 23 hrs. because I had had about an hour of sleep. They told me that I would be too tired to push, so I did. About 45 mins later I had her on my side. It was more comfortable than on my back. It actually helped with the pain of the contractions as well. Go with what your gut tells you and what you think is best for you. If you stay calm and "get in the zone" , weird as it seems that will also help with the pain. I thought I was going to be a screamer, that it was going to be a nightmare, but I was actually very calm and it really wasn't as bad as you hear. My friends and family were very surprised. Don't let people scare you about how much pain you will be in. You can do it!!! Good Luck with your decision!

Carla - posted on 05/20/2010

26

0

0

When I had my first son, I went in planning to NOT have anything. I have a very high tolerance for pain, and did not want to give my baby anything that could harm him. Well, I was unprepared for the excruciating pain that would quickly follow. They convinced me to have demural. I knew I was in trouble when I asked them when it would start working and they told me that is it, it only takes the edge off! I was seeing double of everyone, was not right in my head, very out of it, and in excruciating pain. They then ordered the epidural, but the dr. was with a heart patient and I had to wait. When I had my next two children, I went in and said, the minute I can have an epidural, I want one. All three children are fine, and you do not have to watch them do it, just close your eyes. You do have to be completely still, which is hard when you are in labor and contractions are right on top of each other. So, it is easier to do it before they get too close together, and you have some time between them to be still so they can get it done. Child birth hurts. There is not point in suffering anymore than you have to, if you ask me. I was planning on being big brave Mommy, but learned Mommy could use a little help. I did have to have potocian (sp?) to induce labor, so they did say that could be why I had off the charts labor pain, but no matter, it hurt, and I wanted to go home and do this another day. So, it is a personal choice, but why suffer?

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms