should i get an epideral or not?

Audge - posted on 07/21/2009 ( 134 moms have responded )

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i don't kno if i want one. a needle in my spine? it's not that im scared of it but i dont wan psyiatica nerve damage n stuff

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Shauna - posted on 07/21/2009

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Going into my first delivery I had decided I didn't want one. After 16 hours I'd had enough and asked for one. I don't think it's something you can definitively decide before you're in labor. Your labor may be so short that you don't have the option, or it can be long and tiring and you decide like I did that you needed some rest before pushing. And not all epidurals take the same way. I think you should keep an open mind going in and express your concerns to your doctor and anethesiologist.

Sarah - posted on 07/23/2009

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It is not a question of if you can handle a needle in your spine. It is, can you handle the intesity of labor and stay in control the whole time to not need any pain control. Labor is intense and requires focus and patience. Speaking from experience, the needle in the back is the least of your worries. I always wanted a natural child birth experience but did not achieve it the first two times. I lost control with my middle child and demanded an epi right towards the end. It was not as bad as I had always feared and it was a life saver. However, I just had my third baby and the nurses worked with me to support a natural delivery. I was finally successful in having a natural birth. You may not know your choice until you are there in the hospital making it. Don't feel like you have to choose now and dont feel pressured to choose one way or the other. You will know when it is time. Good luck and God bless.

Elizabeth - posted on 07/21/2009

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You have already gotten some excellent advise above in these comments. I work in Labor and Delv. as a nurse and see people struggle with this decision everyday. You are already ahead of most by doing your research early. Then you just need to wait and see what type of labor you have(determined by luck, anatomy,fetal position, etc) and evaluate your pain tolerance honestly as you progress. Many find the pain is not as intense as they expected and would rather deal with it as a natural process.Others have a much harder labor or less pain tolerance and are overwhelmed. We don't give out trophies for performance so, the only goal is a happy,healthy mom and baby at the conclusion. I usually advise moms to see how it goes, do the best you can, learn breathing techniques and really practice them in advance so they will help, and if somewhere along the way you decide you need an epidural, DON"T FEEL GUILTY. I have seen some moms exhausted and on the verge of a c section for failure to progress. Sometimes they just cannot get enough muscle relaxation to let the uterus do its job until they get the epidural. I have seen an epidural save many people from c sections. All this said, I had two "natural" childbirths many years ago before epidural were so popular. I also lucked out and had two very easy labors that made it possible. With my first, my bag of waters remained intact until I was dilated to ten. It served as a cushion or pillow between the baby's head and my cervix with each contraction ,making them much more bearable. I had a very supportive Dr. who was patient to wait for this process. With my second baby, the Dr. broke my water early to speed things along(sometimes a necessity--I had a high fever of unknown origin and best to get baby delivered asap). The contractions instantly became almost overwhelming. Luckily, my labor then progressed so quickly, there was no time to think about an epidural. I will also add that in early labor(if your bag of water is not broken) warm baths(not too hot) are almost like an epidural--I soaked for almost 3 hours at home and progressed easily to six centimeters without much discomfort. Best of luck--childbirth is a glorious experience--it is an honor every day at work just to be present at a birth--hope you get a loving, caring, enthusiastic, competent nurse to assist you.

Cheryl - posted on 07/21/2009

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I had planned on getting one my whole pregnancy, but when the day came, everything happened so fast that I didn't have time to get one. I had demoral, or however u spell it. That medication in my i.v worked just fine for me........My sister had an epidural and she has bad back pain ever since......my cousin had 3 epidurals which never worked and that was during ONE pregnancy!!!

Cristine - posted on 07/21/2009

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It's really just a personal preference. I've had two babies and two epidurals. They were LIFE SAVERS! I'm not one who ever wanted to experience a natural childbirth, so the second the nurse said I was progressed enough to have the epidural, I quickly replied that I wanted it! The risk of damage or adverse symptoms is so low. I never had any problem with mine.

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Kristy - posted on 05/02/2010

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Four kids, four different births. I had a spinal block with the first.. not sure now what the heck it is because it didn't do much.. second one I had the little bit of demorol (sp?) in the iv, and that was it.. and I asked for an epidural, but it was too late.. and I actually said " well, no epidural, no baby today.. I am shutting this show down and going home...".. as if I could pull the crowning head of my son back in.. put the whole thing on hold until someone told me I could have an epidural!.. lol.. obviously I gave in, went ahead and had him without, and I survived.. When I found out I was pregnant with my third, first doctors appoitment I told the doc.. hey.. go ahead and write epidural there in big bold letters on my chart and highlight it so no one can miss it. I had one with the third delivery and I LOVED it! They told me when to push, and I asked for lipgloss and joked inbetween. Fourth delivery I had emergency C-section.. not the kind of experience I wish for anyone.. no lipgloss moments there. What I liked most about the epidural is that I wasn't so physically and mentally exhausted after delivery, and I was able to enjoy it and focus on her birth more then my labor. I was able to really enjoy her and those tender moments after she was born. it's totally a personal choice, but it is a choice i would make and make sure my doctor is aware of before delivery. ( ya gotta get it before you get too far or ya can't get it at all!)

Lyn - posted on 05/02/2010

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Don't if you don't want to. I had one with my first son. I was so off my face from everything else they tried that I didn't keep still and had a spinal headache for 2 weeks afterwards. Not fun.

Krysta - posted on 05/02/2010

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i had one and it really really helped. not only for pain but to dilate. I went to 3 cms with pitocin without it. Hope things go well

Jackie - posted on 05/02/2010

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Only you can make that choice. I had two natural child births and it wasn't near as bad as some think. By the time you get the epideral most of your hardest pain is over.

Karen - posted on 08/16/2009

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Same as my story, on my first opted for an epidural but local ansthetic hadnt worked.....agony!!! 3 more attempts and just wasnt working so went natural and was not as bad as I expected it to be....so on 2nd went natural. The worst experience of both births for me was the attempted epi and recovering my back( over 2 years). planning my 3rd which Im sure will be natural also if all goes well xx

Kim - posted on 08/13/2009

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I had an epidural with every one of my kids - I have 6. It was a huge blessing with our last one, because the placenta abrupted and we had an emergency c-section! Having the epidural in place already made it much easier. None of our children experienced any issues as a result and I wouldn't have a baby without one!

Kimber - posted on 08/12/2009

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I have had 3 births now, all med-free and they were awesome experiences. I have heard way too many horror stories of women taking epidurals and ending up with c-sections due to complications and the inability to push the baby out. I took Bradley classes and I also prayed during my labors and fully gave the pain to God. Good luck!

Kim - posted on 08/12/2009

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Whether or not you get an epidural, make sure you have some kind of pain management plan. Hypnobirthing is a form of self hypnosis that my sister used and, well, let just say that it's truly amazing to see a woman give birth to a 10 lb baby without the use of pain meds! I had an epidural and I can't even remember what the needle felt like. It is true that sometimes an epidural can be dangerous, but so can giving birht in general, driving a car, walking down the sidewalk....you just have to decide what is most comprtable for you. But it is important that you have some kind of pain management plan, so if you decide not to go with the epidural, do some research to find out what will work best for you so that you and your baby will have a positive birthing experience. Congrats!!

Heidi - posted on 08/12/2009

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I had an epidural with my 1st & it took 2 hours to push her out & my recovery was 8 weeks cuz I used muscles I didn't need to. With my 2nd I went all natural no drugs & it was amazing, he came out in 20 minutes & I fully recovered in 10 days! Just remember your pain gets to a point where it plateaus & doesn't get any worse around 8 cms. If you can do without it its SO worth it! A doula is way better than an epidural! Good luck.

[deleted account]

I recommend you take birthing classes, ask all the questions you need to, and read as much as you can before making a decision. There are risks to an epi but they're small. And some of the "consequences" women blame on their epis were actually a result of the birth experience and not the drug at all. My epi was a wonderful thing at my first birth; I wanted one for my second but didn't get to the hospital in time. :( But I survived that experience too. You're strong, you're capable of more than you think. But it's nice to know you have drugs there if you need them! So inform yourself now and be open to making the decision based on your needs at the time. Every woman is different.

Rachelle - posted on 08/11/2009

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i thought i wouldnt handle labour as well as i did, i was set for the drugs and knew if it got to a certain point i would have an epidural as well but i actually survived the whole this with just gas, and oh how good that gas is...

she was also 9lb7oz so not at all on the small side. good luck

Caitlin - posted on 08/11/2009

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You cannot make that decision ahead of time, you just need to be open to the idea. I wasn't sure if I wanted one, but after eight hours of labor and two hours of hard labor, I asked for one, I can tell you I never felt the needle. And it made the whole world better! You just need to see how labor goes for you, I have heard if you go naturally it is easier to go without an epideral because you body is ready and working in your favor. ut if induced your body is sometimes fighting the birth and it came be a little more painful. Just play it by ear and see how labor is for you...it might be horrible while in labor...but trust me, you forget about the pain once you have your little one.

Dawn - posted on 08/11/2009

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Wait until you are in labour to decide but remember this...."DON'T BE A HERO!!!" If you want it, don't let anyone make you feel bad abou that decision.

Ebony - posted on 08/11/2009

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i have only had one child and it was a horrible experience! i wasn't dialating so after about 24hrs they gave me an epidural.... and it was fabulous! i will be requesting one for my next child! keep in mind the slim chance of the side effects though.... that's what made me hold out so long but in the end it was so worth it!

Kendra - posted on 08/11/2009

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I think the best thing to do is keep an open mind about it. Don't make a definite decision...there is no real reason you cannot make a decision after you see how you handle labor.You may not have a choice. I didn't with either one of my kids. My son was breech, so I had to have a c-section and was not in labor very long at all. My daughter came 3 weeks early and so fast that I did not have time to have any medication, so I had completely natural childbirth, which had never been my intention as she was a scheduled c-section. Personally, I do not think I would choose natural birth.

Nicole - posted on 08/10/2009

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I never had an epidural, one because I have a younger brother (15 years younger) and my mom had the epidural with him, and they couldn't wake him at first and that was scary, I know thats just one persons experience but that was enough for me! I'll take the pain so my child doesn't even have the chance of a side effect. I understand there are times when it is too much pain/stress on the mother and one is needed, but I would really try first, I know from my friends as soon as they got to 4 cm they were requesting it so they experienced little pain, I told both of them that they should have waited to see what the pain is like because mine was hard, my daughters legs were hyper extended so her legs bend the opposite way at the knees, and acted as an anchor dragging, it was hard but bareable when I set my mind to it. I was just worried about the baby b/c with the hyper extension I should of had a c-section, but they didn't figure it out till she came out! So if you need one thats your decision, and totally fine, but I hope you wait a little to make that decision, because as much as it hurt, I made it bearable , and I wasn't over medicated after she was born and was able to breastfeed and be very aware even after 27 hours of labor and 5 pushing! Congrats on your baby, its the best thing in the world the first time you see their little face!

Claire - posted on 08/10/2009

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During my first labour after more than 24 hrs the midwifes broke my waters to "help" speed things up unfortunately for me all it actually acomplished was to get me screaming for an epidural as the gas and air didn't help. The epidural was fab i was able to still feel that i was having a contraction but they were no longer so painfull i was able to rest more rather then spend time between pains dreading the next one. I was even more gratefull for the epidural when after another 7 hours i was still only 6 cm baby was showing signs of distress and was whisked into surgery for an emergancy c-section which due to the epidural i was awake for so still got to cuddle my newborn(if only i knew then what i know now 13 yrs later, you forget this little bundle of lovleyness becomes a grown person with raging hormones) Labour and delivery is such a small part of yours and your child life go with the flow your body will let you know what it needs. Good luck

Emily - posted on 08/09/2009

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i had one and it turned out i didnt even need one, as soon as it started working i was ready to push, but i must say i dontknow wht i would have done without one!!!

Tracy - posted on 08/08/2009

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Some people can deal with pain, some don't have much pain at all, so it will be up to you. I wanted one when I had my daughter and didn't get one because I was ready to deliver before the dr.'s thought I would be ready. I didn't have any problems with giving birth and it didn't hurt that much, So, I would say no, if you think you can handle whatever pain you will have.

Ciara - posted on 08/07/2009

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It really comes down to personal choice and your pain levels, I had an epi with my first son and my doc was amazing I actually fell asleep during it!! and with my second son i went too fast and had him all natural. I wanted drugs the second time around but honestly it wasnt AS bad as I expected it to be.

Cathralynn - posted on 08/07/2009

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I think it boils down to what makes you comfortable. I wanted to wait and see but my labor was really fast. By the time I was at the hospital my water broke and then the pain started. I know I am a complete weakling and I wanted an epi at least to set it up. It requires lab work and setting it up when hopefully when not having contractions. I wasn't scared of the needle and so had no worries. My doc was wonderful and it didn't hurt at all, I didn't even see it. But I know even tho my labor was only like 4hrs once my water broke that I would rather have been relaxed and happy. I had a wonderful experience and touched my babies head coming out amazing! I was giggling with the docs and stuff. That being said if you are worried bout the needle don't do it. Just go with your gut and be as relaxed as possible. It will be amazing, congrats!

Lynne - posted on 08/07/2009

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Don't take it. When I had my 1'st child I took it and it took 3 yrs just for the pain to go away. Every know and then when I have my menstrual period it really hurts and worse having cramps. So every time I get pregnant, I can;t stand up or lay on my back, I had to lay on my side. This happen when I was 1 month pregnant with all my other 4 boys. My younger sister took it too so she has it worse then me, it's like all of a sudden her back is hurting and she start to cry. I'm not trying to scared you, but thats the pain I go thru.

Annick - posted on 08/07/2009

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Helo there you look great. Yes like anything there is always a chance of something going wrong. My first child i went totally natural and second i had a epi but with epi you dont feel a thing at all you try to push and then your baby is there.

Just check that the anethatist you get has done plenty epidurals and tell him your concerns, there are no rules its what you feel comfortable with. Your own gut feeling is always right. Take care Annick

Denise - posted on 08/07/2009

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I had an epideral with my 3rd, and last, son 26 years ago. I had no problems.

Sarah - posted on 08/07/2009

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I am a labor and delivery nurse. The horrifying things they say about epidurals are not always true. First, the odds of nerve damage are very very rare, i have worked in l&d for 8yrs and havent seen any nerve damage yet. also the needle in your back is there for a brief moment, the anesthesiologist then removes the needle and all that is left in your back is a catheter. its very thin and flexible. and as for it slowly down your labor that isn't always true too. If you don't do well with pain and aren't able to relax with your contx then i would recommend getting one bc if your body cant relax you wont dilate. If you do plan on trying to go natural I highly suggest taking a birthing class. you can always play your labor by hear and if you get to the point where you can't take the pain just ask for the epidural. another key point is repositioning. dnt stay on your back all the time, go from side to side this helps with labor progression. there is also the birthing ball and also try squatting. not sure where you are delivering but ask them if they have telemetry monitoring so will be able to walk in the halls and not be stuck in bed. I hope i was a help. Congrats ahead of time:)

Toni - posted on 08/07/2009

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i would say no..think about it. I have 3 sisters that all had the epideral and they were fine..they laughted through labor. I myself had 5 kids, that includes a set of twins, and i never once had it!! So much better being aware and i thought it was a good feeling in a weird way pushing the kids out and having that experience!

[deleted account]

To tell you the truth, delivering naturally feels like .....have you ever opened your mouth, stick your fingers on each side of you lips (left and right) and pulled side to side, you get a burnign sensation. Dats how i felt, accompanied by having to take a big doo doo...lol....

the worst part for me was the contraction pains, they gave me demarol, but all it really did was put me to sleep until the contractions came. By the time I was finally fully dialated, i forgot about the epidural and delivered naturally.

The reason many people choose not to do epidural is because you can't feel much when your pushing, so if you cant feel yourself pushing you might not be able to push baby out, so that is when some doctors have to do c-section.

Beverly - posted on 08/07/2009

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I would definately get one. I was terrified because of the stories i had heard others talk about. But I am glad I had one. It doesn't take away all the pain but makes it more tollerable. Nerve damage is very rare. they just have to disclose all of the possibilities. I have 3 kids and am very glad I had the epidural or don;t know if I would have made it. very long labors. one was 27 1/2 hours and the last two were 13 hours,

Alicia - posted on 08/07/2009

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I had a epideral its just a little pressure which is not bad compared to labor pain...when you get it makes you feel much better! So I say epideral

[deleted account]

It is a personal choice, but end the end, I didn't' have a choice in the matter. Both pregnancies...I have a special disorder (forgot technical term) whereas when I'm pregnant or go into labor my blood platelets drop WAY below normal. Therefore, anesthesiologist won't do the epidural because it could cause greater problems. My advice is to always have a game plan B because you never know. I'm really glad I took the Lamaze classes. They really helped me to focus.

Camille - posted on 08/07/2009

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They rarely have permanent damage but they can. So basically, try to avoid one, but if you really need relief to go on, get one! That's my advice anyway. I ended up getting one after a night of back labor. Good luck. =)

Jessica - posted on 08/07/2009

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all i can say is that you can plan whatever you want, but you're pretty much guaranteed, nothing is going to go as you hope!....i planned on natural childbirth but once i got to the hospital, i was having second thoughts and in the end didn't have a choice. everything happened so fast that by the time anyone uttered the word "drugs" my son was out! my doctor didn't even make it for the birth and she only lived 15 min. from the hospital! so if you do decide that you want the epi...remember that you might not get what you wish for!

Louise - posted on 08/07/2009

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you will know when if you want an epidural at the birth i said i would never have one but after a few hours in labour i just i wanted a epidural i could not take any more and it was great there was no pain, and i just had to push her out i was just sat watching telly while the contractions were going on and did not feel a thing. Every birth is different good luck hope all goes well for you

[deleted account]

If you can help it, don't get it. I purposely had al three of my children at home partly so that an epi wouldn't even be an option. Despite what they might say, the drugs in the epi do effect your baby. Can make a baby more sleepy, sometimes making them too tired to nurse. They can also sometimes make you so numb that you can't push, resulting in a C-section. Take a look at your hospitals C-section rate too. Don't let them push you into an unnecissary C-section. My mother was in labor with me for over 30 hours before I finally came, but she insisted on no drugs, and no C-section. And, I'm here, healthy and normal. Don't let them scare you by saying that the baby's heart rate is dropping when you have a contraction. That is NORMAL. Baby's heart rates do drop durring contractions. My mother is an RN in an OR in a hospital, and feels much better about home births than she does about hospital births, because she sees women get pushed into C-sections everyday that don't need it. It's good for the hospital, because they make more money and spend less time actually delivering. So, I would say NO to the epi. Just not worth the risk.



By the way, I did tear with my second one, and that really didn't make anything feel any differently than if I hadn't teared. Other than when I had to pee and then it would sting a little. But, that's what a squirt bottle with a little clean water in it is for. And don't let them cut you there either. Easier to heal from a natural tear than a cut. Didn't even need to get stiches when I tore naturally.



If you haven't taken Bradley classes (which I did with my second, more for my husband's bennifit than mine), then take some time to read up on the early signs of labor. If you know how to recognize the early signs, then you can take a nap before you get into active labor. Heck even in active labor I've dosed off in between contractions without an epi. There really isn't anything to be scared of when it comes to natural birth.



You WILL get to a point where you will feel like you CAN"T do this any more, but you CAN. Every time I've gotten to that point and even told the people around me to make it stop. But, that's when you are getting close. If you get an epi at this point, then it can slow the labor down. You are strong, and you can get through this. You will feel like a rock star when you are all done. Maybe a rock star with a bit of a hurting hang over, but a rock star none the less. You do need to rest for a few days after any labor, but it is easier to get up and walk around afterwards if you don't have the epi. I've had several friends get epis and 98% of those friend's ended up with a C-section.

The pain afterwards subsides after a few days, and before you know it you will be completely fine.

Isobel - posted on 08/06/2009

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I will say this...I had an epidural with my first baby, (I would have taken a brick to the head if it were all they offered, haha) I did not with my second...it is difficult to determine which was better (if one was). I was in labour with my first for 23 hours, she was my first, I was terrified and exhausted and the labour was induced, and therefore had no natural progression. My second, however, was born completely naturally at 2 o'clock in the afternoon...no drugs no nothin', it took an hour and a half. (I did however have problems getting up and walking for a couple of weeks, but that might have been exhaustion).

I guess my point is this...every birth is different, wait to find out what you need, and trust your own instincts

good luck!

Jane - posted on 08/06/2009

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why be in pain if you don't have to be? what if you tear and then you have to deal w/that pain as well?
i had them for both of my kids and it was fine. i didn't feel anyting when it was being done b/c they numb your back where it's going to go and they are sooooo precise w/it, it's amazing. that pain was just not for me so even if they had told me it was going to hurt, i would not have cared. i went from grabbing onto everything and wincing in pain to watching the Food Network while i read a magazine and got to know the nurse very well and laughing and having a great time. i think pain exhausts a person and you will need all of your energy to care for your child whether you're going to nurse or be making bottles. it's 2009 - get the epidural. you don't need to impress anyone by not getting one. my theory is that i would not have a kidney removed w/out anesthesia, why would i have a baby and be in pain if i don't have to?
also, when that little bunny is handed to you, you want to be able to enjoy that moment of love at first sight, you don't want to be so knocked out from the pain that you don't fully enjoy it.
for me, this is a time to fully enjoy, not prove how much pain you can take or not take.

Natasha - posted on 08/06/2009

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when i had my child i was set to have natural childbirth, and i held out for as long as i could, but the pain got the better of me and took the epideral and it made me comfortable until it was time to give birth and that was six years ago and i am fine

[deleted account]

OH! And one more thing - when the time came to get the epidural... I didn't feel a thing! You are so focused on the pain that you can't even feel anything else and you don't care about anything else. All I know is that I was sooooo excited that I was finally going to get some relief from the pain, that they could've sawed my arm off and I didn't care as long as it would've made me feel better! So don't worry about any needle pain at all! It is definitely scarier to WATCH someone get it than to be the one receiving it!

[deleted account]

Anesthesiologists have been giving epidurals for so long, it's very very VERY rare to hear of anyone having nerve damage. Seriously. Check out the anesthesiologist's background - and let his/her record speak for him.



I didn't get my epidural until late because there were a few emergency C sections that got the anie's proirity attention before me, so I experienced a lot of labor without. I also was induced, so the pitosin made the pain EXCRUCIATING! I screamed and cried and begged for drugs! Now, I don't know what it's like without the pitosin, but if it's anything close to what I experienced - you'll want the epi! At least I would've... because it was harsh!



Ironically, I got the epi, and just mere minutes after it was finally in effect, my son was ready to come out NOW! My son was born almost immediately and it took extra long before I could leave the delivery room because the epi takes a while to wear off. I couldn't feel/move my legs for hours!



It's a personal decision, though. There ARE other pain meds you can take other than the epi. Frankly, if I didn't have the severe pain from the Pitocin, perhaps I wouldn't have felt the need to go through with the epi, and the regular pain meds would've been enough.



Good luck in whatever you decide! I suggest talking to your ani and see what he/she thinks would be best for you (and to see what their track record is like).

Deanna - posted on 08/06/2009

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honestly, I did it with my first but I don't know if I will with my next. After all the numbness was gone it felt like someone hit me in the back with a 2x4 for the next 2 months. I think the epidural hurt more than the contractions. it made it hard when it came to the actual birth, because when the contractions came was not when the doctors told me to push. I still felt a lot of the birth, I guess it didn't hurt as bad though.

Sharon - posted on 08/04/2009

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OMG I just read Loureens post. UM, NEVER let anyone but an anesthesiologist and an experienced one at that put the line in.



Quick tips.... REALLY round out your back. It stretches your spine and makes a larger opening for them to get the line in.



Make them wait for contractions to pass. IF you are in a really intense contraction - it hurts more putting that needle in. However if you are running out of time, take the pain, its way less than the 8lb bowling ball headed out of your vagina.



What I know is that I had a wonderful time in labor. Everything was free and easy and relaxed. People socialising and joking. I loved it.

Sharon - posted on 08/04/2009

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Epidurals are AWESOME!! I had three and they were all fantastic. With the last one I had some leakage and got the god awful headache, but it healed with no extra help.



I can't rave enough about them.

Bridget - posted on 08/04/2009

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I can tell you that I was undecided even while I was in labor. I didn't like the issues that can go with having an epidural and my main concerns where having a catheter, being confined to the bed and monitor and slowing down labor. These were the factors that kept me leaning toward going natural. When I was in labor I kept thinking "if this is only the beginning of the pain I'll never make it." The next thing I knew I was pushing and my daughter was born. I did take an IV narcotic (Nubain) because my doctors where concerned about my blood pressure and thought pain meds might help bring it down. I don't react well to narcotics so I stopped them after about half a dose. This did help bring down my pressure and helped me rest a little before the real work of pushing. This is what worked for me, but everyone in different. Good luck!

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i wanted to go drug free, all i had was gas and air for 31 hours, after this enough was enough, and i decided upon epidrual, why i didnt do it before i will never know just being stubborn, it does not harm the baby, it makes things better for you, sure there are some risks, but at the end of the day there are risks just giving birth, so i say go for it, if i am lucky enough to get pregnant again and am offered an epidural early on i will definitely say yes. i hate needles but the good thing is you cant see it, and to be honest i dont remember feeling it go in either, cos the labour pains had been pretty bad so i think it was a relief to finally have something good and relaxing good luck with the labour and the birth, just remember whatever you decided you get an amazing reward at the end a little person who will love and adore you

Megan - posted on 08/04/2009

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I had my daughter 4 months ago and I did not have any form of pain medicince. I was also induced which makes your contractions more painful. The experiance was definatly an "out of body." I have become an advocate for natural labor now. I think women are much stronger than they give themselves credit for. I will tell you it wasn't pretty.. I was moaning and vomitting in so much pain but, it's only one day (maybe 2) of your whole life. I think you can tough it out that long. After giving birth they were stiching me back up and I was like can I shower when you are done. You recover from labor and delievery much faster when you go drug free. Three hours after I had her I packed up our delievery room and walked down the hall to our post-partum room. You can do it girl! Good Luck! The reward is amazing. You feel like you ran a marathon but you get the best prize in the world!

Jamie - posted on 07/29/2009

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This decision is one only you can decide. I did not get an epidural with my first two children and I was set against not getting one with my third also. I too, was scared of nerve damage. In the end, I decided to go ahead and get one with my third child and WOW, it was amazing! It made everything so much easier. It was nice to be able to be more focused on what was happening.

Charlie - posted on 07/28/2009

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i was in induced labor for two days and without dialating , i thought i have to get an epidural as the pain was unbearable .
The woman who tried to give it to me explained all the things that could go wrong at the time i thought " i dont care just put it in " well she stabbed me multiple times in the spine missing the spot each time , now i was scared !!! the head aneathitist ( god how do you spell that ) came in and ended up doing it , well everything went numb except for the contractions even after the highest dose they could give me , so no i wont be getting another one EVER !!

Candace - posted on 07/28/2009

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I have 4 kids.My first 3 with an epidural and my last without and epidural because it didn't work. I will never go without one again. I have not had any side effects and none of my kids did either. I was able to take a nap before delivering my first 3 so I had plenty of energy to push them out in the 5 minutes that it took. And then I was able to enjoy my babies and my visitors right after they were born. I was very weak with my 4th because the contractions wore me out and I had a hard time pushing her out. Then after the delivery I was still in pain and so tired that I had a hard time enjoying my new bundle of joy and I didn't want any visitors. I was in labor for 9 hours with my first, 3 with my 2nd and 3rd, and 13 hours of labor with my 4th. I do not think the epidural slowed my labor with my first 3. I could not handle the pain of the contractions when they were less than 5 minutes apart so I loved the epidural and I will not have another child without one. But it is your choice. If you can handle the pain then go for it, but I am a wimp and felt more comfortable with the epidural.

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