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Anyone been induced without an epidural?

(32 Posts)
BionicEmu Tue 25-Dec-12 22:11:00

I just have no idea what to do for the best.

I'm 35 weeks pregnant with DC2. DC1 was a very fast pre-term delivery at 34+1.

I have fairly severe spinal problems. I have kyphoscoliosis, disc degeneration and bony nodules on my vertebrae. Basically, my spine's screwed. When pregnant I can't have my usual pain relief (tramadol or morphine + epidural/trigger point injections.)

I am literally in agony. I can't do anything without crying. I'm 27 years old and feel like I'm 200. I just want the pain to stop. Saw my obstetrician this week, who is hopeful I'll go into labour very soon. But I'm going to see her at 37 weeks to discuss induction on the grounds of how much pain I'm in & how debilitating it is.

But, I can't have an epidural. Met the anaesthetist, he examined my back & said "no chance." (When I have the routine injections they use x-ray for siting.) My hospital don't do remifentanyl. I can have diamorphine, but have been warned it probably won't have much effect due to my opioid tolerance. So I'm left with gas & air. I had just that for my first labour, and it was fine, but it was all over in 2 hours!

If I end up needing a CS for whatever reason I've been told I'll be knocked out with a general anaesthetic.

Everyone I know who was induced had an epidural. So the thought of going through with this without one terrifies me. And what if I need instrumental help?

I guess I'm really just looking for any thoughts or advice on my situation. It just feels a bit like I'm damned if I do or damned if I don't.

Hooliaaa Wed 26-Dec-12 22:41:03

I was induced with both my labours. The second one I was planning to go in the pool but the baby had occasional dips in heartbeat so I ended up just on gas& air. It was fine though the last half hour was pretty intense. Moving around and bouncing on the ball helped a lot.

PinotGrigioandaMincePie Thu 27-Dec-12 01:19:34

I was induced and had mostly gas and air and one lot of diamorphine to help me to relax early on but this had worn off long before the pushing stage. I found it completely bearable.

I had the syntocin drip after my waters broke but contractions didn't start.

Good luck!

Tinselandchocolates Thu 27-Dec-12 08:09:36

Glad you're getting some positive responses.
I'm surprised you got a "no chance" on the epidural. If you've had epidural pain injections then it is technically feasible if probably difficult. They should look at any old X-rays/screening/pain notes and/or get an ultrasound expert to have a look at your back (you can use ultrasound to locate space for epidural but it's a bit of a new skill).
It may not be possible and may not work, but the procedure is no different to your pain injections, just unguided. Personally I would have given you the option of an attempt by an experienced anaesthetist. Was it a consultant anaesthetist you saw? I'd ask for a second opinion. (I'm a cons anaesth).

BionicEmu Thu 27-Dec-12 11:13:39

Thanks again everyone.

I'm finding it an odd situation to be in, I was admitted at 27 & 29 weeks with contractions and cervical changes so have spent the last couple of months willing the baby to stay in - now I just want it out!

Tinsel Yes, I saw a consultant anaesthetist. He said as he was so experienced he could probably give it a go, but it would be technically very challenge as he'd have to sort of mentally untwist everything and take into account damaged discs etc in order to get a needle in. He said in practice it just wouldn't happen - in all likelihood I'd get the oncall anaesthetist who would just say "No." Also it would be obviously more difficult if I was actually in labour as I'd struggle to stay still.

This is the same anaesthetist who, when I enquired about remifentanyl during labour, said "Oh no, we don't offer that for labour. It would be like using a sledgehammer to knock out a broken tooth." hmm

There's no other hospital to go to. The only other one is the one I had DS at, but that experience was pretty awful, and they made some big mistakes, so I don't feel safe going there.

priscilla101 Thu 27-Dec-12 16:05:09

I was induced without an epidural and it was fine. It did hurt (labour does hurt though) but the gas and air helped. The drip method was a little brutal in the sense that the contractions are forced on you as it were, and at one point I did ask what other pain relief was available, but I didn't take the pethidine offered.

Will your spine issues make labour more painful? How do you feel abou an ELCS? From what I have read on here they are generally better recommended than an EMCS...

Good luck OP x

StuntNun Thu 27-Dec-12 16:22:27

My DS2 was induced with the lowest setting of syntocin and I got by on gas and air, even with the episiotomy and venthouse. I don't think the gas and air would have been enough for me on a higher setting of syntocin or forceps were required but I have a ridiculously low pain threshold. DS1 and DS3 were both born by CS under general anaesthetic, both emergencies due to placental abruption. It's not too bad but you and baby are both very drowsy after delivery. If you are going to have a CS under general anaesthetic then opt for it sooner rather than later so it can be planned. Your birth partner won't be able to be in the room for the delivery but you will want them to be available as soon as possible to look after the baby while you are coming round from the anaesthetic.

BeaWheesht Thu 27-Dec-12 16:30:23

Yes, twice. First time was a piece of piss, second time was pretty painful but that was because she had a massive head and was back to back.

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