To epidural, or not to epidural... That is the question.
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Thread: To epidural, or not to epidural... That is the question.

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    Posting Addict marymoonu's Avatar
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    Default To epidural, or not to epidural... That is the question.

    Okay, I know this board attracts natural birth types, and I love and appreciate all the natural birth stories that float around here. However, my births have been nothing close to natural. They were both inductions and both times I had an epidural. With my DS1, my copay for the epidural was $150, and I remember commenting in the days after delivery that it was "the best $150 I've ever spent." The second time around, I was actually doing fine with working through the contractions on my own and with the help of DH, but I got scared of the pain and went for it. It worked great, just as it did the first time. But this time, my blood pressure dropped. The nurses came in and told me they were keeping an eye on me because of low BP, and I wondered what it was. They hadn't told me, but as the tracking from the fetal monitors printed out, it would have my intermittent blood pressure readings printed on it also. It was running 70's-80's/40's. I didn't feel bad at all, but it scared the crap out of me that my BP was that low. What if it dropped any lower, ya know?? Anyway, I know that the BP drop is a relatively common side effect, but I don't know if it will happen again and if it will be worse. And my dad recently had surgery, and his blood pressure dropped from the anesthesia and is STILL running low, like a month later. I seem to remember that these things are more likely to happen if they've happened to an immediate family member, but don't quote me on that one. So anyway, I'm a little freaked out and considering trying to go without it this time, but I'm just a bit scared of the pain. I really think in my case it's mostly mind over matter... I remember the nurses commenting on how big my contractions were on the monitors and how well I was managing them, and I remember feeling in control... But I just got SCARED of the pain. Grrr. I dunno...

    Sean Thomas - 6/30/09 @ 7:17pm 8lb 8oz, 19", 40w5d
    Calvin Michael - 2/28/11 @ 7:39pm 6lb 8oz, 18", 37w5d
    Nolan Matthew - 5/1/13 @ 11:54pm 6lb 4oz, 19", 38w4d

    May 26, 2010 - 7w1d

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    Contributor 2luvs's Avatar
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    I am a huge wuss when it comes to this kind of pain!! With DS the epidural worked wonderfully and I barely felt pressure to push! It was such an easy labor. (I was induced with him due to preeclamp) With DD it was another story, pain was so bad at 3cm I was begging for the epi. It only ended up working on half my body. By the time I was complete I was so exhausted from the pain I, I almost had an emergency c section. Even though my second experience was not as nice as the first, I will be getting on with this baby also. I applaud those of you that can tolerate the pain of child bearing, I am just not one of them

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    Mega Poster Maddz's Avatar
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    I think you should goi in there saying you won't. I was determined that i wouldn't and that's what I did... but my labor was short. I hear that they typically get shorter as you havemore kids... but i wouldn't have a personal experience. I thought the pain was going to be insane... and i know it hurt... but i set my heart. I do also hear that with pitocin (sp?) contractions hurt worse... so i think you should just make adjustments but plan no... But what ever you choose will be what you think i best. good luck
    **Maddie **
    DH Patrick
    DS1 Riley James 04.13.08
    DS2 Kamdyn Carter 01.07.13
    Expecting Daxton Dash 12.19.13





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    Mega Poster Maddz's Avatar
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    also each time is differnent. i hemmoraged with DS so I'm taking a precaution and going to tr y to have some donated blood in advanced just in case.
    **Maddie **
    DH Patrick
    DS1 Riley James 04.13.08
    DS2 Kamdyn Carter 01.07.13
    Expecting Daxton Dash 12.19.13





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    This is such a hard thing to decide on, I had one with my first two and both times it was really pushed by the dr because they wanted to start pitocen to "get things going" my experience with the epi was fine however I suffered through a terrible back pain for a few days after. My last was too quick and I had no choice but to go natural, although it was scary at the time my recovery was beautiful. I'm going to try natural on my own terms this time ( hopefully )
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    Posting Addict sox79's Avatar
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    Ugh. Me and the epidural have had a love hate relationship. First time with DS1 I had the epi, was heaven sent, amazing...until it stopped working when I was about 7-8 cm. I felt everything, and DS was face up so it was a very hard delivery - 1.5 hrs pushing and episiotomy to boot. Was awful . After the delivery when they came to take out the epi, they discovered that it had fallen out all together - medication was running down my back all this time! Anesthesiologist had done a sucky job and couldn't figure out why it wasn't working when they called him.
    Second go around I learned my lesson and had the epi but made sure it was put in properly, had the nurse keep checking. But for an unknown reason the epi once again stopped working as I reached transition and I. Felt. Everything. No rhyme or reason for it this time. It was again pretty horrible.
    So now we come to my 3rd go around and I am too wussy to just say forget the epi - maybe this time around will be different?!? I have longish labors and for the time that the epi worked it was heaven. Will be going for it again this time and hoping 3rd time's the charm
    2luvs likes this.
    ~~ Yaeli ~~

    DH since 6/24/04
    DS1 - 4/9/06
    DS2 - 8/22/08
    DD
    - 5/6/13

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    Prolific Poster blondiess4u's Avatar
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    I am going natural this time.
    With DS1 I was told to plan for a natural childbirth because I had a low platelet count and can't have any epi if it's below 100. Luckily it was right at 100 and I labored until 8cm and then got one. The problem was it worked so well I didnt know when to push and had to get an episiotomy. It was a long and hard recovery.
    With DS2 I had to be induced for his sake and the pitosin made my labor very intense but I still labored until 5cm and by the time I got my epi I was already 10cm and pushing so it didn't work and I felt EVERYTHING. It was so painful and I swore I would never do this again. I still remember the pain so it does make it hard to think of oing it again. The benefit though was an easy recovery. Hardly any tearing and I remember reaching down to pull my baby out cause it was a natural feeling.
    This time I dont want to be hooked up to anything and deliver in the position thats natural for me. I think my labor will go so fast this time like last, that I wont have time for an epi so I want to be prepared.
    I think it's great that delivering in a hospital you still have a choice if if one option is not right for you.
    Samantha


    DS1-5/17/08 6lbs 6oz
    DS2-9/16/11 6lbs 9oz
    DD-5/24/13 7lbs 15oz

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    Posting Addict marymoonu's Avatar
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    Mine have gone the same way both times. I'll spend HOURS at 4cm... Check after check after check, I'll be sitting at 4 hours. They put the epidural in, and within 30 minutes both times, I was fully dilated, ready to push. I'm sure that some of it is related to me not being able to relax and just let it happen (more mind over matter, I suppose). I'd really LOVE the opportunity to go into labor on my own. I'm sure it's no walk in the park, but I've talked to many people who have done it both ways and almost every single one has said that pitocin induction was harder. I want time to labor for a while in the privacy of my home before going to the hospital, ya know? I think I'd be better at it if I could be in my element. That said, I'm not interested in home birth, and I'm 99% sure it's illegal for doctors and midwives to attend homebirths in my state, anyway. But I'd just like to get into a good labor pattern on my own without the aid of pitocin, and make my way to the hospital in my own good time.


    ETA: Yaeli, I couldn't believe that about your epidural FALLING OUT. You'd think that would be the first thing they check when they come in to see why it's not working. Goodness, maybe I should be an anesthesiologist, haha.

    ETA (again, haha): I REALLY hope that my delivery is otherwise like my delivery with DS2... I didn't tear at all! I had 2nd degree tears with DS1 and they were painful for probably 2 weeks or so. After DS2, I felt like a million bucks, up walking around the halls at the hospital (stalking the nursery while they had him for assessments) and just felt great when I got home. I want that kind again!
    Last edited by marymoonu; 11-04-2012 at 11:18 AM.

    Sean Thomas - 6/30/09 @ 7:17pm 8lb 8oz, 19", 40w5d
    Calvin Michael - 2/28/11 @ 7:39pm 6lb 8oz, 18", 37w5d
    Nolan Matthew - 5/1/13 @ 11:54pm 6lb 4oz, 19", 38w4d

    May 26, 2010 - 7w1d

  9. #9
    Posting Addict ILoveMyMiniMe's Avatar
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    My labor with DD started at 9am at my mom's house. (was staying with her at the time).
    * Honestly, I thought I was just having to poop. Mom was mid-morning napping and I didn't wanna wake her up for a painful poop. Little did I know I was in labor..


    We left for the hospital at 10:30.
    Got into a room at 11:15.
    DD was born with 2 pushes at 11:43.

    There really was no time for me to get anything as I was a 9 when I got into my labor room.. IF - big IF - I get to do it the same, I'll go without pain meds of any sorts again..

    One thing it taught me is that nothing will go as planned. If you wanna go without, give it the best shot you can but be prepared for a complete 180 change if things do down hill. And of course, #1 is the health of mom and baby.. if medical intervention is necessary, by all means it should be done.
    blondiess4u likes this.
    Adriana --> <-- DH, Markus
    Liliana Nicole ~ 05.13.03
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    Bram Alexander ~ 04.10.13

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  10. #10
    Posting Addict tink9702's Avatar
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    *lurker from June*

    Here is my 2 cents!

    I've had two natural labors with DS and DD. I labored at home for quite a bit with both and arrived at the hospital at 8cm and 6cm respectively. Knowing I was at 8 and 6 really helped me to mentally say this won't be that much longer. I also think there is a BIG difference between laboring on your back and being able to be in any position you want! I labored standing up and in the tub with DS and squatting and the tub for DD. Having the flexibility to move around while in labor helps a TON with pain management. You cannot do that with an epidural.

    I'd suggest that you don't do an induction if you can avoid it and that you stay at home to labor for awhile before going to the hospital if you really do want an epidural free labor. Also speak to your doctor/midwife - they might have other pain managements option that are available at your hospital. Just because epidural is the most common doesn't mean they don't have other drugs that would allow you to move around and have a bit more control over your labor.

    Either way it's your choice. Don't let anyone make you feel bad for not laboring the way they think you should (whether that's natural or an epidural). It's your birth!
    ~~Mel

    Ethan - June 21, 2009
    Olivia - December 5, 2010
    5w3d - October/November 2012

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