for those of us getting an epi

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lily0624's picture
Joined: 03/21/07
Posts: 591
for those of us getting an epi

since we're starting to get some babies arriving i'm thinking a little more about my last labor. i'm not looking to start a debate about getting vs. not getting an epidural but i wanted to share a little weird something that happened to me so that if it happens to you, you're prepared.

before thomas was born i went nutso reading people's birth stories and trying to prepare. lol. like you can ever really prepare for childbirth!! i did read ONE story about a lady being allergic to the epidural. i have zero allergies so i just skimmed past.

fast forward to my induction. i had lots of pitocin and horrible contractions right on top of each other. tried to go as long as i could without the epi. first mistake: if you want an epi, don't wait. nobody gets a medal for going without it so ask for it as soon as YOU want! i wound up having to wait FOREVER for the epi (by the time i got it, i had only 1 hour more and i was pushing, ha!).

got the epi and....ITCHY!!!! ITCHY ITCHY!!!!! like, the worst itchiness i've ever experienced in my life! omg! i could have ripped my skin off. guess what - i was allergic!!! it happens! if you get the epi just remember in your head that if you get itchy, ASK FOR BENADRYL! shoo! once the nurse gave me benadryl (via the I.V.) the itchiness was gone in a few min.

this was long winded. guess that happens when you re-live your birth stories! just wanted to give you the heads up in case it happens. i will say that even WITH the itchiness i thought the epi was totally worth it!

Joined: 11/01/07
Posts: 650

I had one with Ds and will have one this time. I agree, don;t wait if you want one LOL I was not allergic but I did shake and shiver for a bit. I knew that could happen from others who have had them. DH was a little concerned but I was fine and had NO pain Smile

Joined: 02/20/11
Posts: 865

I had one and it was marvelous! I have to have one for medical reasons this time, bit I would have one anyways! I got chills for about six weeks after but I don't know if that was from the epi or just an after effect from
childbirth.

ashamom27's picture
Joined: 07/06/06
Posts: 1010

Thanks for the advice! I actually want an epi this time. One of my "fears" is that I will get to the hospital and it will be too late. Do you know at what point they don't give you one? Also, what always freaked me out about the epis was the fact that they access your spinal fluid... I worried that I would end up paralyzed... I think I got over that fear...

sandraleigh's picture
Joined: 11/23/06
Posts: 2672

I had one both times before and will again. My hospital won't give you one until you're 4 cm, and I always ask for one as soon as they'll let me.

Asha, I think they probably wouldn't give you one if you were already like, 8 cm or something. Each hospital is probably different though.

Also, make sure you let them know how it's working! Don't hesitate to say it's only working on one side, etc. They can fix it!

I had some back pain at the epi site for a few weeks afterwards, which worried me, but it eventually went away. It was still worth it for me.

Joined: 11/01/07
Posts: 650

"ashamom27" wrote:

Thanks for the advice! I actually want an epi this time. One of my "fears" is that I will get to the hospital and it will be too late. Do you know at what point they don't give you one? Also, what always freaked me out about the epis was the fact that they access your spinal fluid... I worried that I would end up paralyzed... I think I got over that fear...

I think alot of hospitals want you to have an IV and administer a certain amount of fluids. They ask me if I wanted mine after they broke my water and was 5cm.

Jenni Beth's picture
Joined: 03/03/11
Posts: 1407

I will be getting one to keep my pain level down thus keeping my crazy bp down. My goofy fear is that they will stick me wrong and I'll be paralyzed! This is what happens when you are on bedrest and have too much time on your hands to over analyze this.

Summer05's picture
Joined: 09/18/05
Posts: 790

I'm on the fence still. Kinda want labour to progress so quickly that I run out of time for an epi, ha ha. I had back labour last time and if that was to happen again I am sure I will be asking for another epidural. Labour took a long time with DD and I partially blame it on the epi, and didn't like being 'tied' to the bed and unable to have anything but icechips. In general I don't like taking medication but have no delusions about being a martyr during childbirth, lol.

lily0624's picture
Joined: 03/21/07
Posts: 591

"ashamom27" wrote:

Thanks for the advice! I actually want an epi this time. One of my "fears" is that I will get to the hospital and it will be too late. Do you know at what point they don't give you one? Also, what always freaked me out about the epis was the fact that they access your spinal fluid... I worried that I would end up paralyzed... I think I got over that fear...

i'm not sure what is too late. but i think you'd have to be pretty far along to be too late for the epi. i don't remember how far along i was when i got mine but i was pretty far! i remember my doc kept saying, "you know, if you want the epi, you should get it now" and i kept thinking, "nah, this doesn't really hurt all that much." LOL!!! ROFL that's because the pitocin hadn't really kicked in yet and my water wasn't yet broken. after that? OUCHIE!

"Jenni Beth" wrote:

I will be getting one to keep my pain level down thus keeping my crazy bp down. My goofy fear is that they will stick me wrong and I'll be paralyzed! This is what happens when you are on bedrest and have too much time on your hands to over analyze this.

enjoy it! keep that BP down! no, it's not what you originally wanted but really, who cares? what matters is you'll have a healthy baby carter at the end of the day Smile don't worry about them sticking you in the wrong place. they won't.

in fact, i guarantee that once the epi takes effect you'll be ready to marry the anesthesiologist! i told my guy that if i wasn't already having my hubby's baby i'd have his. that's how much better i felt afterwards! haha!

oh and i don't remember the epi hurting. maybe it's blocked from my memory? i just remember having to sit up and sit still in between contractions and that was very hard.

jeepbaby's picture
Joined: 11/08/07
Posts: 492

"ashamom27" wrote:

Thanks for the advice! I actually want an epi this time. One of my "fears" is that I will get to the hospital and it will be too late. Do you know at what point they don't give you one? Also, what always freaked me out about the epis was the fact that they access your spinal fluid... I worried that I would end up paralyzed... I think I got over that fear...

I was 9cm and they gave me mine. Granted DD was still up at -3 so they figured we had a while....

Summer05's picture
Joined: 09/18/05
Posts: 790

Oh yeah I had asked my doctor last week, he says most labours are at least 2 hours so there is still normally lots of time to make the decision, he said it's very rarely someone asks after it's too late.

kmm123's picture
Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 1839

I arrived at 8cm and they assumed I was too late - then I stalled for a few hours and they were fine with giving me one and I actually let them try once then freaked about it and decided I preferred having feeling LOL If I had progressed quickly arriving at 8 cm would have likely been too late but when I stalled and they went to give me pitocin they were fine with giving me an epi then if I wanted one. I doubt I'll have one this time but I'm a never say never kind of gal if it's miserable and I think an epi will help I'll request it Smile I just like the control of feeling my legs and being able to get up even though it's a bit irrational Smile

jac81's picture
Joined: 11/22/10
Posts: 1131

*lurker*

I had an epi with my first birth, but went drug free this last time. Nothing against them, I just don't tolerate anesthesia well. Had issues with my BP dropping after I got mine including the itchiness and shivers.

Also wanted to add that it can sometimes make you nauseous. Labor pains can make you feel sick too, but I didn't feel nauseous until afterwards. They gave me something in my IV that took care of that for me right away so if you feel sick just let them know ASAP so you can enjoy bonding with your LO.

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

The funny thing is, with an epi, you never really know how you might react... even if you've had one before! With my son, I didn't have any reactions or problems at all. I got the epi at the first sign of pain (because I had my first son with no meds and it was terrible... back labor, epesiotomy, tearing internally...) and it worked fine up until he was born. With DD I wanted to see how long I could handle labor without the meds. I was induced around 7AM but nothing happening until they broke my water around noon, and that's when the pit/contractions really started to kick my butt. I got my epi around 1PM and she was born at 3:39PM. I did have a funny side effect with the epi with DD though, first it only worked on the left side and they had to come a re-adjust it, and then it gave me the shakes... like I was a drug addict or something. DH kept asking me if I was cold and I was like no, I just can't stop shaking! Apparently that's just one of the side effects... but I didn't mind so much... it's much better than the pain lol! I didn't have any strange side effects with my epi with DS2, so you just never know...

sandraleigh's picture
Joined: 11/23/06
Posts: 2672

It's true, everyone reacts differently. I've heard for many people that their labour stalls after they get the epi, but mine never did, I dilated faster once I had the epi.

Joined: 11/01/07
Posts: 650

"sandraleigh" wrote:

It's true, everyone reacts differently. I've heard for many people that their labour stalls after they get the epi, but mine never did, I dilated faster once I had the epi.

I dilated pretty fast too once I had it. I got it around 730 ish and was 5cm. At 930 I was 10 cm!