Would you like to be a member of our research panel? Join here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive offered for your views.

epidural

(42 Posts)
MrsRV Mon 14-Apr-14 17:02:27

...does the baby actually coming out still hurt? cringe... like the tearing/stretching/stinging bit!?!

RoseberryTopping Mon 14-Apr-14 17:04:52

I felt 'the ring of fire' when he crowned but it was obviously dulled down a lot. It only lasts a short time though so try not to worry.

I didn't feel a thing, and I had an episiotomy and two labial cuts as well (DD was born with the help of ventouse).

NutellaLawson Mon 14-Apr-14 17:22:42

water birth here and crowning wasn't the ring of fire I expected. After a huge involuntary push during a contraction I felt something really solid and large between my thighs. I remember remarking that it stung a bit but we're talking about a 3 out of 10 in pain. Another push and the rest of head popped out (I guess the chin). Then I had a contraction without a push. a minute rest then another almighty have and the body wooshed out.

I had a 2nd deg tear but it really didn't hurt all that much. What hurt more was afterwards when they midwife kept shoving swabs into the tear to try and stop a persistent bleed. that bloody well smarted.

weatherall Mon 14-Apr-14 17:31:45

I think in the past epidurals left the woman completely numb. But this caused problems as she couldn't feel to push etc. so now most epidurals seem to be given so that they wear off a bit at the end so you can push more easily.

But I've never had one so I don't know personally.

mudpiesfortea Mon 14-Apr-14 17:42:29

I had one with DS and I could feel the sensation of having to push (felt like taking a huge poo) but no pain. I think the epidural helped me with the pushing stage as I was really paranoid about the "ring of fire" and any tearing that would have occurred because I was too afraid to push through the pain

Pobblewhohasnotoes Mon 14-Apr-14 18:00:05

I just had gas and air and felt the whole 'ring of fire' thing. I didn't tear though so that was a bonus.

Pregnantagain7 Mon 14-Apr-14 18:09:27

Yes I could feel pressure but no pain until the ring of fire moment which I could feel, when I had my second epidural I mentioned this to the anaesthetist who said an epidural was analgesia not an anaesthetic.
Could feel more pain with the second but he was 10lb 8 so not surprising really!

Pobblewhohasnotoes Mon 14-Apr-14 18:12:04

I am so having an epidural next time.

Can my birth plan just say the words 'epidural please'?

NutellaLawson Mon 14-Apr-14 19:53:13

I had (and damn well needed) an epidural with my first labour. second labour wasn't so painful so I had a water birth instead.

so you may think you're so going to have another epidural but you might not want it. I didn't and my second (drug free) birth was by FAR the more enjoyable experience.

This is why it is always so pointless when some women brag about how they did it without pain relief and what heroes this makes them compared to others who had an epidural. rubbish. my first labour I had an epidural but it was SO much harder than my second. The epidural didn't work fully but the nerves squashed by baby's head made that labour bloody well deserving of an epidural. The second was nothing in comparison so I didn't need it. I wasn't any braver or stronger second time around. It was just a lot less painful.

VinoTime Mon 14-Apr-14 19:55:32

Didn't feel a thing. Was fabulous grin

Figster Mon 14-Apr-14 19:57:58

I had an episiotomy and forceps it didn't hurt it did feel like my bottom half was tied to a car going 60mph in the opposite direction but strangely it wasn't pain!!

EllaBella220 Mon 14-Apr-14 20:01:05

Ok I've had 2 babies but don't know what this 'ring of fire' is?? Was it so bad that I've just blocked it from memory?

My first experience of epidural was great, no pain, just a weird feeling when I needed to push. Such a nice calm labour but I did feel some 'sensation' from my lower stomach to my thighs. I wouldn't say pain as such, just an indication that things were going on.

Second experience wasn't so great. The epidural didn't seem to work at all so I felt everything.

Are there any restrictions on having an epidural? This will be my 3rd baby and I'm quite overweight already so I'm scared I'll be told I can't have one!

Pregnantagain7 Mon 14-Apr-14 20:01:52

Pobble- my birth plan only has two words on it epidural ASAP, I am panicking that as it's my fourth there won't be time!

Pregnantagain7 Mon 14-Apr-14 20:07:59

The ring of fire is the stretching tearing pain as the head crowns, maybe not ever one gets it but I could just hear this animal screaming and then realised it was me!
Not sure if there's restrictions on an epidural I did see an episode of obem where they struggled to get it in to a very overweight lady but once it was in was fine. It took them a couple of attempts to get mine in and I'm not overweight so no guarantee whatever your weight.

EllaBella220 Mon 14-Apr-14 20:41:38

Pregnantagain......your description of your reaction to the ring of fire made me laugh :D

I'm not covered in rolls of fat so I would hope they wouldn't have too much bother getting the epidural in.

Pregnantagain7 Mon 14-Apr-14 21:38:10

Ella- oh god sorry I didn't mean to suggest you were massively overweight not at all. What I was trying to say in a very cack handed way was I don't think that a few extra pounds should be an issue at all. I said I'm not overweight however I do gain an average of four stone so by the end I probably am! ;)

EllaBella220 Mon 14-Apr-14 22:59:42

Pregnantagain, I didn't think you suggested that at all :D I know you were just saying that you'd seen a massively overweight woman on OBEM have problems getting the epidural but they succeeded but didn't think for a second you were suggesting I was huge xx

I was just about to add that my lower back (where they place the epidural thing) isn't actually fat but gave myself a quick feel to double check and WOW I have put on weight there already!! :'(

ithoughtofitfirst Tue 15-Apr-14 08:01:28

I just remember the mechanics of labour but not the pain. I think the pain was basically so awful I just sort of blacked out!

Would love an epidural this time but I don't want to give them the satisfaction of refusing... which they will.

ImBrian Tue 15-Apr-14 08:09:37

Didn't feel a thing but also couldn't push and ended up with a ventouse.

EllaBella220 Tue 15-Apr-14 20:02:45

Ithoughofitfirst.....they really do seem to refuse giving it a lot, don't they? With my first it was a bit of hmming and haaing over whether I was too late for it or not and with the 2nd my midwife just kept saying no, you don't need it and it'll be much quicker without it. She went on a teabreak and another midwife came to sit with me and when I asked her for it she said of course I could have it and when I told her the other midwife kept refusing she called in another midwife and was giving off about me being told no. As she said, why offer it as pain relief if they are going to just say no to people who ask for it!

MrsRV Wed 16-Apr-14 16:02:05

LET THEM FUCKING TRY & TELL ME NO.

squishysquirmy Wed 16-Apr-14 16:13:49

Mine was perfect - no ring of fire, and no real pain but I could still feel enough to know when to push. Felt like a big poo!

flymo79 Wed 16-Apr-14 16:19:53

mrsRV tbugrin

why do they tell people no? because it's too late?? I'm only 25 weeks so haven't explored the whole birth plan thing.... am I in denial??!

MetalLaLa Wed 16-Apr-14 16:45:48

I had the ring of fire, but then again throughout my pregnancy I insisted I wasn't having an epidural, but I ended up being induced with a back to back baby so my plans went out the window grin Had pethidine twice, TENS machine on, bouncing on the gym ball - midwife told my husband out of the room that I was going to have an epidural whether I liked it or not, she was forceful but it was much appreciated as I had quite an easy recovery and speak positively of an epidural from my experience, but I understand every woman's experience is different.

MrsRV Wed 16-Apr-14 19:16:25

I was told no with DD1 as they were just so busy... I think I was lucky to even make it round to delivery before giving birth!!!! I may just refuse to be induced until I can have an epi this time. I'm liking the stories of feeling nothing. keep em coming ladies. 1.5 weeks to go.

CPtart Wed 16-Apr-14 19:43:30

I had one. All a bit of blur really, but I do remember they struggled to get it in first time. Not sure if they hit a nerve but I felt that type of pain and nearly hit the ceiling.
To me, the epidural hardly seemed to make any difference although maybe I got it too late at 7cm dilated? Two and a half hours of pushing and a second degree tear too.
Didn't need one second time round- all much quicker and straightforward.

GoooRooo Thu 17-Apr-14 09:08:58

I had one and they let it wear off for the pushing bit so that I could feel to push. So, yes it hurt. The head crowning is awful (sorry!) BUT all that said I was really really glad I got to feel what giving birth was like (afterwards on reflection, not at the time) so you might find you look back fondly at it!

Greenstone Thu 17-Apr-14 10:30:12

I had one too and they mostly let it wear off for the pushing. I found the pushing to be incredibly hard work (dripping with sweat etc) but so so much easier than the latent stage which was scary and intense. I do vaguely remember the ring of fire -- if you have an epidural, THE most important thing to do is LISTEN to your midwife when she says just pant now don't push. Once the head is out it's pretty much over.

Oh and you can really get the epi quite late. I got it at 8cm, then mw left me for ages to let it wear off. I'd recommend talking to your mw in advance about this (letting it wear off a bit for the pushing) if at all possible.

MrsRV Fri 18-Apr-14 08:28:19

but I don't want it to wear off... tge thought of it makes me want to cry. oh, & I'm having a giant baby. estimated weight at 36 plus 3 is 7lb2!!!! good job I'm being induced soon!!!!!!!!!

Jcb77 Fri 18-Apr-14 09:38:52

There isn't a set stage at which it's 'too late' to put one in. Depends on the labour. It takes about 20 mins to get one in then about 20 mins to get it working. This obviously varies depending on operator, back, sensitivity to local anaesthetic and (quite frankly) luck. In a woman who has gone from, say, 4 to 8 cm in an hour, with a history of quick labours, there's a good chance that getting one in and working won't happen before delivery. This risk but no benefit. So it might be 'too late'. But in a primip who has taken ages to get to fully, had a high head still and the contractions are going off, there might well be time and benefit (can be used for theatre if things go that way). Also, if the midwife knows the anaesthetist is in theatre and will be another 20 mins, that also adds to a possible 'too late' comment I suppose.
The whole turning it off/down so you can feel to push though - WTF?!? I have never understood that. It's the most painful bit, you haven't built up your tolerance or endorphins..... A aargh! It is possible to push a baby out with an epidural. Not everyone can, but then it's possible that they wouldn't be able to for that baby without one. Instrumental delivery rates go from about 7 to 14% with an epidural, so that's still a lot of women who are able to get it out. I'd insist on the thing being kept topped up!!!

Greenstone Fri 18-Apr-14 10:39:26

That's interesting that instrumental delivery rates are still only at 14% with an epidural. You hear so much about this that I assumed it would be higher. FWIW, when my epi wore off for the pushing, it just meant that I could feel everything I was doing, and the contractions, but the agonising pain wasn't there. So felt in control all around.

MrsRV, there is another line of thought (possibly anecdotal rather than scientific, who knows) that says bigger babies can be more straightforward to deliver because gravity is on your side smile

Whatever happens, it will fine. flowers

squizita Fri 18-Apr-14 11:01:31

My hospital does those new "walking epidurals" - has anyone had one of those? I guess they're less powerful (as you can walk in a limited way) so maybe don't need to wear off to push?

I am quite intrigued as several friends have told me epidurals are a godsend but make it more tiring/longer - the walking one might alleviate that problem to some extent?

Jcb77 Fri 18-Apr-14 11:12:06

Epidurals can increase the length of the second stage (the pushing bit). I guess it partly depends on how the rest of your labour's gone too though. If you've had an early epidural and managed to sleep for a while, it's probably much nicer/easier than if you've had a long latent stage, been in a lot of pain til 8cm then had an epi, but are still exhausted by the time pushing comes around then yeah - anything that makes it longer/more difficult is not going to get full marks!

MabelSideswipe Fri 18-Apr-14 11:16:28

Walking epidurals are usually called low dose epidurals or mobile epidurals. Please do not assume you will be able to walk as that is very rare. You might be able to adoptan upright position with support, get on hand and knees etc. The majority of women with a mobile epidural still labour in bed.

PenguinsLoveFishFingers Fri 18-Apr-14 11:21:31

JCB - Is that 14% figure all births, or first time births? The reason I ask is that the anecdotal experience I have is that most of the first timers who had an epidural ended up with an instrumental delivery (though I'm not suggesting cause and effect, just correlation) whereas those who had an epidural second time tended to manage without. Obviously that is just my anecdote and not proper data, so I'm just wondering whether it's an amalgamated statistic (i.e. whether, for your first, you might see a higher number)?

PenguinsLoveFishFingers Fri 18-Apr-14 11:23:36

I see so many conflicting things about mobile epidurals. The idea of what one means seems to vary a lot from hospital to hospital/ HCP tp HCP. I had always been told what the PP has just said - you might be a bit more mobile but not much. But I was talking to a friend last week who said she was able to walk around, kneel, etc (obviously within the confines of the monitors) and that experience was exactly what she had been told to expect with a mobile epidural.

squizita Fri 18-Apr-14 11:30:55

Hmm... so it seems to depend on where you have it as much as anything? Intereting the stuff I've been given mentions it as 'walking' and is part of Imperial so is it a case of a 'fluffy name' or that their HCPs are confident with using it?
I will ask my MW anyway, she is very straightforward and 'tells it like it is' with RL examples.

MabelSideswipe Fri 18-Apr-14 11:42:15

I think with regards to assisted birth and epiduralsit does depend on when the epidurals given in relation to dilation and also the position of the baby. If the baby is posterior and an epidural is given it is much harder for the baby to rotate and so an assisted delivery is much more likely.

MrsRV Fri 18-Apr-14 20:51:07

my first baby was back to back & I pushed for 4 hours. YES... really... FOUR. I couldn't have an epi as too busy at hosp. I was exhausted & contractions went haywire... they gave me the hormone drip & then realised baby had turned & was stuck before rushing me into theatre for spinal block, episiotomy and forceps delivery. Baby was completely battered & bruised for weeks & it broke my heart everytime I looked at her.

Hence I am frightened and want to feel nothing AT ALL. A week to go til induction and I'm starting to get upset & all the memories are flooding back. If only they could just promise me an epi but I know it all depends on so many different things.

Pregnantagain7 Fri 18-Apr-14 21:46:17

Both mine were mobile epidurals not sure if that is the same as a walking epidural, there was not a chance I could have walked or stood up I could feel my legs and wiggle my toes I certainly didn't feel numb. I would be surprised if a hospital would let you walk with one I would imagine that it's quite unpredictable how it would it would effect you I'm sure they wouldn't want the responsibility if you fell. But maybe walking epidurals are a totally different not really heard much about.

Carsandtrucks Fri 18-Apr-14 21:54:46

Felt him yes but not pain, just felt something coming out. Not painful at all

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now