Talk

Advanced search

Considering my options - please share your experience of epidural?

(27 Posts)
NigellaLawless Fri 26-Aug-11 20:34:55

Hi All

Bear with me this might be a bit of a long one!!!

I am hoping people can share with me their experiences of epidurals to help me make up my mind about my new birth plan.

I am currently 38+6 and from the moment I found out I was pregnant I had a wonderful home water birth planned but that has all gone out of the window in the last 2 months after my blood pressure has gone all dodgy and it has been discovered that I have a slight heart problem.

A water birth at the hospital is not even an option as my maternity unity has v strict criteria around who is allowed in the birth pool.

Unfortunatley this last month of twice weekly hospital visits, tests, worry, symptoms of the heart problem and medication side effects (beta blockers have left me even more exhausted than usual as well as nauseus and with a tingly scalp confused) mean that I spend most of my time feeling like a wet dish rag. I am absolutely shattered (I literally do not know how to express in words how tired I feel) and feel that I have been drained of all my physical and emotional energy.

It occured to me last night that if I was to go into labour ow I would have no reserves of energy to call upon. So I wondered would it be sensible to have an epidural, because if i don't have to deal with pain then I could use all my energy for the actual pushing and not spend any of it on trying to get through the contractions/pain etc.

I am not afraid of pain or physical endurance at all: pre pregnancy i ran half marathons and played roller derby and to be honest I was looking at labour as yet another physical challenge that I would enjoy taking on. But I also like to think of myself as a pragmatist and I see no reason in subjecting myself to a negative experience if it can be avoided.

I only know one person who has had an epidural but she had hers 20 odd years ago so may not have an up to date experience. My mother and sister (whilst v concerned about my health) are very pro drug free births and can come across as quite judgemental so i don't feel I can talk this over with them.

I would really appreciate people sharing their experiences as i am a bit of a worrier and want to amass as much info as i can before making a decision so...
Did you find it easy to get an epidural or did you have to fight for one?
Did you have one early on in labour or only when it had been progressing for a long time or you felt the pain got too much?
Did it allow you to conserve enegry for the actual pushing?
Did you feel the contractions/know when to push or were you totally unable to feel anything?
How long did you stay in hospital after the birth?
And is there anything else you would have like to have known before you made the decision to have an epidural?

Thank you all in advance smile

marthamay Fri 26-Aug-11 21:04:08

Hi nigella, I'm really sorry, I can't share a personal experience because I didn't have an epidural myself - but I did scream the house down trying to get them to give one to me! Actually, I'd written in my birth plan that I DIDN'T want an epidural so they were just following my wishes.
I just wanted to say that if it is going to put you at ease and make you feel more excited about going into labour, then don't listen to anyone being judgy. It's your birth to have in the way you would like.
I'm not so sure about the side effects of an epidural but I don't think they effect the baby in anyway and could be preferable to other types of pain relief. If I were you I'd have a look at the possible repercussions of an epidural (like if it is more likely to slow down the labour, lead to other intervention, assisted delivery, C-section etc.) and make a good informed choice.
I'm sorry you are not going to have the homebirth you initially wanted, I may be in the same boat a little further down the line and I think I would also be considering having an epidural. Good luck!

Secondtimelucky Fri 26-Aug-11 21:05:29

Erm, well I'm not exactly a positive story, but you did say you wanted to amass lots of information.

DD was back to back and I was in the latent stage for a couple of days, unable to sleep and having back pain. Once in hospital, I was pressurised on the timescale, and as I was exhausted eventually consented to ARM, which stopped my contractions and I ended up on syntocinon. I decided I could not do that without an epidural. Because I had to lie down after the epidural, I had to keep it topped up as the back pain was excrutiating lying down. It also didn't get rid of all the back pain, so at the end I had gas and air as well. I couldn't feel anything to push and ended up having to have forceps as DD was becoming distressed.

On your specific questions:
- they were fine about the epidural and got someone to me fast, because they wanted to get me on the drop;
-I had it because of exhaustion and the drip;
-Not really, I was exhausted by the time I had it'
-No, I had to be coached to push;
- I gave birth at 5am and was home the same evening. That was the best bit!

I wish I had known more about doulas, positioning and other methods of support before I had my daughter. Even in a consultant led unit, a lot can be done to make the process more hormone friendly and likely to succeed on its own. I had my second daughter at home, with a wonderful doula, and it was an amazing, positive experience. My first labour left me upset and tearful, my second on a total high.

Now, that's just one view. I know people who've adored their epidural, and it is part of a much bigger picture that mine was so awful. They are great for some people, but I would think very, very carefully myself before ever having one again.

Secondtimelucky Fri 26-Aug-11 21:08:14

Oh, on the tiredness. Are you on maternity leave and do you have other children? If the answers are yes and no, nap, nap, nap. You won't be sleeping well at night, so it's the best thing you can do. i think the body is quite clever too. Despite having contractions, the night before I went into proper labour with DD2, I slept the best i had in months.

uggmum Fri 26-Aug-11 21:21:40

I have 2 dc and have had epidurals for both births. I was induced on both occasions. I was offered an epidural on each occasion. I wasn't actually offered another pain relief.

With dd I had a really long labour, 36 hours. I had an epidural when I was 4 cm. It was a total block. No pain at all and they had to tell me when to push. Had a large episiotomy which I did not feel (until afterwards). I was happy with the epidural but disappointed that I was inactive during labour.

With ds I had a short labour. 6 cm dilated to born within 10 mins. I had an epidural which was effective initially. However, it became ineffective after a few hours and did not work down one side. When I was 6 cm dilated it stopped working completely. I didn't realise it at the time but the drip had become detached from the tube that went into my back. Therefore, full labour and birth and pain.

However, if I had another dc I would probably not have an epidural. As I feel I could probably cope with the pain.

Firawla Fri 26-Aug-11 21:38:45

i had epidural for my 1st and 3rd, never had to fight for them, both those times they were quite happy for me to have it and brought anathasist in quickly, although as someone else mentioned i needed it for them to do some things, like putting in drip and arm so maybe they tend to get it done quicker if its in their interests? but hopefully i dont think you would have to really argue for one if you want it

i had it fairly early on with both of those, but cos they were both inductions i had been in hospital ages already and getting tired, and both back to back so slow painful so i thought lets just get it and conserve some energy. for ds3 i had been intending not to but at the time i thought no, im too tired for this, so just went for the epidural

i think yes it did allow to conserve energy to a certain extent. still had back pain as previous poster mentioned about the back to back, but epidural did improve things a lot and lets you atleast try to rest and close your eyes for a bit although not really able to sleep

with my first i wasnt able to feel to push really, i think the dose they gave me was higher with him than with ds3 as i felt the contractions through the epidural more with him. so depends how many top ups they give you and the strength of the top ups i think. ds1 that i couldnt feel to push at all, ended up as a forceps birth in theatre. ds3 the pushing stage was no problem despite having epidural in, i didnt really feel any pain of that stage, just kept feeling loads of pressure moving down and he just popped out really.. 0 minutes written down for pushing stage!

stayed in hosp for ds1 1 week and ds3 1 night, i dont think having epidural or not makes a huge impact on how long u have to stay in

in contrast to my ds2 who i didnt have any epidural for, i do feel that was the birth that went best and easiest for me, and prefered being able to move around rather than epidural keeping you stuck to the bed but dont regret the 2 epidural i had because in those circumstances i think it was the best decision, and havent suffered any side effects after the epidural and was all fine.

i would say just see how you feel at the time and make the decision as you go. if you do go into labour naturally i think your body digs out some energy reserves from somewhere and gives you some adrenalin to get through it, but if it seems like a long and slow labour sometimes you just wanna go for epidural, so if you need it have it but you never know maybe suprise yourself and feel fine at the time, so don't make your mind up now

LynetteScavo Fri 26-Aug-11 21:52:27

Did you find it easy to get an epidural or did you have to fight for one? - With DC1 very easy. With DC2 the anesthetist refused to administer it because I couldn't keep still.

Did you have one early on in labour or only when it had been progressing for a long time or you felt the pain got too much? - I'd been in labour for 12 hours. The pain was just too much.

Did it allow you to conserve enegry for the actual pushing? - Yes, I was able to sleep.

Did you feel the contractions/know when to push or were you totally unable to feel anything? - I knew when to push towards the end, despite being totally numb from my ribs to my toes. However eventually it was a ventouse delivery with me pushing (probably totally ineffectively) when told to push.

How long did you stay in hospital after the birth? - 24 hours.

And is there anything else you would have like to have known before you made the decision to have an epidural? - That they give you a catheter. Actually I'm glad I didn't know (I wasn't aware of it being, um inserted, but nether the less...I was surprised to find out I'd had one.)

HSMM Fri 26-Aug-11 22:11:49

I had an epidural for mine. I had to fight for it, because I'd put in my birth plan that I didn't want one (!) and my DH was speechless with the shock of the whole labour event!

I was in extreme pain, had one shot of epidural and gave birth with no pain at all. It was a very positive experience for me ... but I suspect they gave it to me when they shouldn't have done, because my DD was born within 20 mins of the first injection.

Mapal Fri 26-Aug-11 22:36:16

Hi. I planned a home birth in water with my one and only DS, 2009, but went into labour 3 weeks early so ended up in hospital. I'm an ex-midwife and was quite anti-epidurals under normal circumstances as I've seen them slow labour down and hinder it. HOWEVER. there is a time and a place for them, and only the mother can decide what's right. I ended up having a hormone drip to speed things along so opted for an epidural. I didn't have to fight for it and it was FANTASTIC. killed the pain but not the sensation, I could feel to push him out a couple of hours later.
You can't know how it's going to be until you're there so never make concrete plans. Remember it Is most likely you will have lots of time in your labour to make these decisions.
I think you are very sensible to be thinking about this before hand, but try to go with the flow when it happens. You may have a very straightforward labour and suprise yourself. Despite being early, having an infection and an epidural, mine was brilliant! I really enjoyed it although it was a far cry from what we'd planned. Xx

somethingkindaoooh Fri 26-Aug-11 22:36:43

Did you find it easy to get an epidural or did you have to fight for one? They were happy to give it to me but it took 5 hrs for the aneatheatist to arrive as she kept getting called off for emergencies! However, it was well worth the wait!!!

Did you have one early on in labour or only when it had been progressing for a long time or you felt the pain got too much? I had been having contractions for 48 hrs by the time I was admitted to hospital so was pretty late on but from what I remember I was about 8cm

Did it allow you to conserve enegry for the actual pushing? Yes I was so so tired by the time I got the epidural I was really grateful to have a bit of a rest before the pushing started.

Did you feel the contractions/know when to push or were you totally unable to feel anything? Yep by the time i was ready to push the epidural had worn off just enough to feel the contractions enough to know when to push! I was up and having a bath about an hour (I think) after DS arrived.

How long did you stay in hospital after the birth? Stayed in less than 24 hrs

And is there anything else you would have like to have known before you made the decision to have an epidural? No not a thing...it was (for me) the best decision I have ever made. Once I had the epidural I actually enjoyed the experience of having my DS!!! I had no stitches, despite DS being nearly 9lb, and no side effects what so eva!! Am def planning on having another with my next which I due in approx 9 wks!!!

spudulika Fri 26-Aug-11 22:41:23

My experience of epidural was fairly negative - good pain relief, but a lot of postnatal problems I felt were linked to having had it.

HOWEVER - most people who have one give it the big thumbs up. But oddly not everyone chooses to have one again if they go on to have another baby afterwards.

All I can say is that it's a very different experience with an epidural than without one.

Without tends to involve a lot of movement. Most women with an epidural stay on the bed. Without is very taxing in terms of your energy and concentration. With - you can have a normal conversation and almost forget you're in labour.

My personal experience was that after my epidural free births I felt more elated than after my one epidural birth.

Hope that helps.

naughtaless Fri 26-Aug-11 22:46:47

DD - Gas and air only, but not for long as it made me sick. 3 days in hospital - this was 16 years ago tho.
DS - Epidural due to Pre Eclampsia, (sorry about this next bit , it won't happen to you, it happened to me as apparently I have a weird system) Epidural, it failed, so I had to be knocked out completly.
Not for the obvious reason, I would of prefered DD's birth anytime, as I could get out of bed for my baby with a lot more ease. - in hospital for 7 days, due more to the pre-eclampsia than the epidural.
You never know you could have a nice easy birth without an epidural.

Mapal Fri 26-Aug-11 22:54:07

Oh, to answer your questions:

Did you find it easy to get an epidural or did you have to fight for one?

Easy

Did you have one early on in labour or only when it had been progressing for a long time or you felt the pain got too much?

I was about 6cm dilated, been cramping on and off for a couple of days but not really experiencing labour as i imagine it to be. But due to infection we needed to speed things up artificially so opted for the epidural then as things were already deviating from normal big time and i was already half way.

Did it allow you to conserve enegry for the actual pushing?

Probably. I'd been awake 2 days straight already. I didn't sleep but could relax.

Did you feel the contractions/know when to push or were you totally unable to feel anything?

Couldn't feel WHEN to push, the midwives coached me. But i felt my DS move down as I pushed him out which was amazing. I could feel when my pushes were effective.

How long did you stay in hospital after the birth?

About 2 days although that was more about ruling out infections than anything else. Nothing to do with the epidural.

And is there anything else you would have like to have known before you made the decision to have an epidural?

No, I used to be a midwife so knew all the pros and cons. I'd prefer to do without next time, but i do not regret the epidural at all.

californiaburrito Sat 27-Aug-11 07:58:21

I had planned a home birth with my first, but ended up transferring to hospital after 3 days of exhausting "early" labour. I had to wait 5-6 hours for the epidural as there were two EMCS as I arrived which backed everything up. During this time I was completely off my head on gas and air, which I will be avoiding this time around. I had requested the epidural primarily due to exhaustion. While they were placing it I found it hard to keep still as I was falling (literally) asleep.

Once it was in place I sent my DH home to let in some people doing work on our house and went to sleep. I slept for about 6 hours until we got to the pushing part. I was careful to keep not to top up the epidural so that I could push effectively. It took me about 10-15 minutes to really feel the contractions enough that I could push effectively. After almost two hours of pushing my DD was delivered by ventouse as she was getting distressed. There is no way I would have been able to manage this if I hadn't had a rest.

I was in the hospital for 3 or 4 days afterwards but I had gone 80 hours between my waters breaking, the baby had passed merconium and then had an instrumental delivery so we both required antibiotics.

On reflection, I would say that epidurals are awesome and, while I am hoping for a home birth next month, if I find myself ending up in hospital for any reason the first words out of my mouth will be "I want an epidural"

Good luck with everything and I hope, whatever you decide, it works out for the best.

Bumpsadaisie Sat 27-Aug-11 09:03:51

I think your body is still equally tired even if you have an epidural - your muscles are still working like billyoh, just you can't feel it. Its quite odd, once its all over, you feel like you have just run a marathon (with all those endorphins etc) even though, bar the pushing stage, you have actually been dozing!

Pushing stage - my epidural didn't work properly so they did a top up, which worked but meant I couldn't feel a thing. So no urge to push. I was pushing for three hours as DD was in a slightly odd position.

If you are on your back the whole time it increases the chances that baby will be in a tricky position, and if you have no urge to push that makes it harder. So you are pushing for longer, meaning more likely you get exhausted and more likely baby starts to get a little distressed. Altogether it means you are more likely to need an instrumental delivery or a CX.

That said, I had an induction, epidural, episiotomy and forceps and although intense at times it was a very positive experience. The hardest bit was on the drip waiting for an epidural, because the anaesthetist had a neo natal emergency to deal with (had a 2 hour wait but I just kept trying to visualise that little baby whose need was greater than mine). Even then tho it wasn't totally horrendous - I wasn't passing out or screaming with pain or anything, it was more that it was very sore and I couldnt imagine being able to carry on with that pain for another x hours. I

The epidural is not pleasant when they put it in, esp when you have to try and keep still during contractions, but once its in its bliss and you kiss the anaesthetist!

I didn't get the headaches post birth that are often a side effect, but I did get a funny sharp neuralgic pain at the site of the epi if I slouched, for some months afterwards. This was v uncomfy but quickly went if i moved position and rubbed it a bit.

Bumpsadaisie Sat 27-Aug-11 09:06:39

PS DD was born at about 10 in the morning and we went home 24 hours later. You have to have a catheter with an epi so they want to make sure you are weeing properly before they let you go.

ballstoit Sat 27-Aug-11 17:27:55

Did you find it easy to get an epidural or did you have to fight for one? Easy both times that I had one. I told them I wanted one, and anaesthetist was there within 1/2 hour.

Did you have one early on in labour or only when it had been progressing for a long time or you felt the pain got too much? Both times it was at the point that the level of monitoring needed (due to mecconium and drip respectively) meant I couldnt actively deal with the pain.

Did it allow you to conserve enegry for the actual pushing? Was already exhausted both times...both epidurals led to forceps delivery as baby was in distress.

Did you feel the contractions/know when to push or were you totally unable to feel anything? I couldnt feel the contractions (epi was topped up for forceps), but MW told me when I was contracting and I pushed. Apparently still very efficient pushes.

How long did you stay in hospital after the birth? DC1 - 29 hours, it was a very long labour and he struggled to breastfeed for 1st 24 hours. DC2 - 9 hours.

And is there anything else you would have like to have known before you made the decision to have an epidural? That it wuld take so long to wear off and the ward staff would not help to lift DC, or help me get anything to eat. DC1 the nrse laughed when I asked her to help me get breakfast...ward hadnt been made aware that I'd had an epidural angry

Starshaped Sat 27-Aug-11 19:51:42

I was induced using the drip and made the decision to have an epidural towards the end of my labour when things started feeling really intense. To be honest, despite ending up have an assisted delivery, episiotomy and a PPH, I found the whole experience pretty positive and would definitely have an epidural again. My answers to your questions are below:

Did you find it easy to get an epidural or did you have to fight for one?
Easy. I told the midwife I wanted one and the anaesthetist arrived about five minutes later and got things going. To be fair, the midwife did later tell me that it normally takes much longer for the anaesthetist to arrive so maybe I was lucky!

Did you have one early on in labour or only when it had been progressing for a long time or you felt the pain got too much?
When the pain got too much. Things initially moved very slowly and I was disheartened by how little things had progressed when I was examined about 8 hours in. Following this, the drip was ramped up again. About an hour later, the pain stepped up a notch and was really intense - I requested an epidural at this point. When I was examined an hour later, I was fully dilated and it was during this period that I was dilating quickly then I made the decision to have the epidural.

Did it allow you to conserve energy for the actual pushing?
Not sure. I only had the epidural quite close to the pushing stage. I was definitely a lot calmer and more chilled out when it came to the pushing though.

Did you feel the contractions/know when to push or were you totally unable to feel anything?
Yes, I could feel a build up of pressure with every contraction so knew when to push but couldn't feel any pain. I'd been apprehensive about not being able to feel my legs/feet with an epidural, so was pleasantly surprised to find I could still feels my legs and wiggle my toes etc.

How long did you stay in hospital after the birth?
Three nights - not because of issues related to the epidural though.

And is there anything else you would have like to have known before you made the decision to have an epidural?
Nope. Midwife and anaesthetist were fab and explained everything to me in detail.

notcitrus Sat 27-Aug-11 20:38:14

I hear you on the tiredness - I swear I slept for much of the week before labour.
In my birth plan I wrote that I was terrified of the idea of an epidural but given I wasn't allowed most other pain relief I didn't want to rule it out totally. Which I think got the point across to the staff as they were great.

I laboured in the MLU pool for 8 hours but as sod all had happened had to get out, when somehow my SPD which had me in a wheelchair already managed to get worse and I was screaming in pain, unable to lie down/sit/kneel and standing was too tiring. At this point a MW kindly suggested that I might want to consider an epi and talking to the anaesthetist, but might as well wait in MLU until he was available.

About 30 min later I was carted downstairs to the delivery suite and this chap grilled me on my medical history (complex!), asked lots of questions and then says "Yes, let's try an epidural. I think you'd like it. OK?" and they tapped me up.

It was WONDERFUL - total pain loss below the waist, except every couple hours at night when the MW had to come top it up. They added syntocin to speed up dilation. So I spent the night attempting to sleep, and finally was fully dilated 30 hours into labour.

At this point they suggested trying to push and I was hauled onto all fours with epi in place. I could feel the head monitor on the baby waggling but that was about it and again sod all happened, except after a couple hours some meconium came out.

This triggered more discussions and we agreed to try a ventouse in a hope to avoid a cs, but they said it was only a 2% chance of working, so would do it in theatre. Amazingly, out popped ds.

At this point I threw up three times over everyone (luckily not ds), possibly epi-related.
Later on the postnatal ward I had really bad diarrhoea which was unpleasant as I was still on the drip. However it avoided that post-natal poo problem!

I did have the shivers for 3 days or so, particularly on the first day after, which is a common reaction, but no headache or other side effects. Ds had to stay in for 3 days so I was with him.

It's possible the epi slowed down labour. However it was very slow already, so can't really tell. Ds's issues were very unlikely to be due to epi and more likely due to painkillers I was taking beforehand if anything.
I'm pretty certain I'd have had to have had a cs otherwise, so probably an improvement.
I'm hoping birth 2 will be a lot shorter and hopefully my pelvis won't fall apart as much, in which case I hope to avoid any more than gas+air, but if not then I want an epidural again.

TransatlanticCityGirl Sat 27-Aug-11 22:18:20

I had an absolutely brilliant experience with an epidural and I wouldn't hesitate to have one again.

An epidural was always part of my birth plan, as so many members of my family (and a number of friends) have had very positive experiences with them. Those who had done it both with and without the epidural encouraged me to go for it as well.

I was induced, as I was 2 weeks overdue (DD was born 16 days late and there were no signs labour would be starting naturally anytime soon). Since the gels and breaking waters had little effect on me, they put me on the drip, and offered me an epidural straight away (at 3cm dilated).

I requested a low dose (also called 'mobile' or 'walking' epidural) and I was able to top up and increase the dose as needed. I was therefore able to stay quite mobile (and in control!) for most of the time. I continued to use the toilet on my own, was able to stand and able sit on a birthing ball.

It was the most incredible thing. I could feel everything that I wanted to feel (feet, toes...) but didn't feel a single contraction. So I happily sat there emailing friends, watching TV, and I even dialed into a conference call at work. LOL!

The atmosphere was really light and jovial - and I have some very positive memories of my pain-free labour.

Unfortunately, we discovered that my DD was a very large baby and it soon became apparent that there was no way she would ever fit through the birth canal (I'm quite small too which didn't help). As a result I had an EMCS, so I never got to the stage of pushing. I have zero doubt it would have ended that way with or without the epidural, and the medical staff confirmed the same, so I'm just glad I didn't suffer needlessly.

That said, by the time the decision for an EMCS was made, I still had a lot of feeling, and I'm pretty sure that I would have felt enough to be able to push effectively, with a bit of guidance as I could not really feel any contractions.

As a side note, I was very against having a c-section and although I was up for having an epidural from the get-go, I was largely on the side of the "anti medicalisation" brigade. But that too turned out to be a very positive experience, and I'm now of the opinion that when it comes to labour and birth, you just have to go with the flow, do what feels right at the time, and stay positive. No matter what, at the end of the day, you will have a gorgeous little baby, and that's all that matters.

Good luck with your decision!

plrae Sun 28-Aug-11 19:25:10

Hi, 3 children, 3 epidurals, fantastic invention. Why put yourself through agony when you don't have to. 1st one was due to sheer exhaustion put in at 6cm and after 32 hours labour and couldn't keep my eyes open, once it was in I slept until I gave birth 4 hours later!! No. 2 was just through choice after good experience with 1st epidural and no 3 was before my labour had properly started, I'd had one contraction but because my blood pressure was up midwife suggested one to bring BP down, I had no pains at all throughout labour and birth. Fantastic and I would definately recommend it, it's your body your choice. Good luck!!

littlewheel Sun 28-Aug-11 20:24:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MooseyMoo Sun 28-Aug-11 20:47:10

Went into hospital after 2 nights of start/stop contractions and found I was 4 cms. However DD was back to back and labour slowed at 7cms. Was told I had to go on syntocin drip and moved to another room. Was hooked up to lots of monitors and was on back where most of contraction pain was. Decided I wanted epidural as was shattered and hadn't got to pushing stage. Took couple of hours as only one anaesthetist on duty, but wouldn't let them up the drip until I had it.

Managed to doze when it was done, but still had urge to push. Wasnt allowed to top up epidural when near pushing stage so could feel contractions. I also had hand on my stomach to feel tummy contract.

Got told off for walking to showers afterwards as went on own. Could walk no problem, but a bit light headed. They monitored my pee to make sure my bladder was working properly. Was in 4 nights but that was to do with breastfeeding rather than effects of epidural.

NigellaLawless Sun 28-Aug-11 22:36:56

Hi everyone, thank you so much for sharing your experiences with me, it has been so helpful to read about your birth stories.

I was so caught up in my original home birth plan and my family's views that I was actually feeling guilty about considering an epidural, but thanks to all of your replies i seem to have shaken that off smile and I am incredibley grateful for that!

I have decided to keep an open mind and do what feels right for me on the day (or night) when my labour actually starts.

Thank you all again grin

LuckyC Fri 02-Sep-11 15:26:27

Did you find it easy to get an epidural or did you have to fight for one?
- Easy after I insisted that I knew what I wanted and got backup from DH and my doula. Found it hard to make up my mind to do it though. Eventually thought 'What was my plan? To have a positive experience. Will this help? Yes.'

Did you have one early on in labour or only when it had been progressing for a long time or you felt the pain got too much?
- Very late on, at 9cms. Had been between 8 and 9 cms for 12 hours and the hospital had decided they wanted to get me on the wotsitcalled induction drip thing to push me through the last cm. I found I only started getting frightened about the pain at about 9cm.

Did it allow you to conserve enegry for the actual pushing?
- Probably. The hospital I was in had a policy of leaving you for an hour after you are at 10cms to give you a rest before pushing. I would have preferred otherwise, but did not think to ask about it.

Did you feel the contractions/know when to push or were you totally unable to feel anything?
- Could feel contractions as tightenings, so knew when to push; felt baby move down and turn which was amazing; did not need coaching; had very fast and effective pushing stage. Was great!

How long did you stay in hospital after the birth?
- Days, but DD was early.

And is there anything else you would have like to have known before you made the decision to have an epidural?
- I had a numb patch on my leg after the epidural which totally freaked me out. Now, 15 months after birth, it has gone.
- I also got frightening shakes coming off it, shaking too hard to hold DD, but that was short-lived.

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