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Failed epidural?

(9 Posts)
mollysmummy1970 Tue 04-Mar-14 11:12:13

I gave birth to my DS1 8 weeks ago and have been thinking about the birth ever since.

I was booked in for an induction on the Friday but managed to go into labour myself on the thurs morning. I went into hospital at 1am on the Friday morning and was 4cm. They gave me gas and air and that was all I needed.

At 8am they came into check me and I was still only 4cm, as I wasn't progressing we decided to go ahead with the induction anyway and they put me straight on the drip.

The pain literally changed like they had flicked a switch and I was in agony, they gave me diamorphine and that helped for a couple of hours, managed to drift off a bit and get some rest.

When it wore off I was in agony again and couldn't really cope so was given an epidural. I felt instant relief from having it and managed well again for a couple of hours.

They rechecked me at 12pm and he had gone back to back but I was fully dilated. Now this is where I'm confused, I was writhing about on the bed at this point and felt like I wanted to push but they said not too and to try and let the contractions turn him before I started pushing. This went on until 2pm which was when I started pushing, I could feel EVERYTHING when I was pushing him out, and he arrived at 3.07pm.

After I gave birth I had a retained placenta and a massive pph. And then a third degree tear which I had stitched. I still had to have a local anasthetic to get my stitches so does this mean the epidural had worn off? And is the pain I felt when pushing normal or had I had the epidural too early?

Just because sometimes you hear of people not being able to feel contractions and the midwifes having to tell you when to push, but it definitely wasn't like that for me.

What an essay, ha ha! Thanks if you made it this far!

cravingcake Tue 04-Mar-14 14:00:25


cravingcake Tue 04-Mar-14 14:07:35

Congratulations on your DS. Your birth sounds a bit like mine was with my DS.

Regarding the epidural, they are able to turn it up or down depending on how much pain you are in. Mine started to wear off and they wouldnt top it up when i needed to push. I felt everything (4th degree tear, forceps, episiotomy & shoulder dystocia) and it left me very traumatised. I dont think this is normal to be in that much pain and not 'allowed' pain relief but they said i needed to be able to feel to push.

It would be worth you contactin your hospital/midwife to arrange to go through your notes so you can understand better why things happened the way they did for you. Its sometimes called birth reflections or a birth debrief. I found it very helpful, along with counselling (arranged through the gp).

Pinkbell123 Tue 04-Mar-14 18:43:02

My epidural actually did fail I.e it fell out. I was fully dilated at that point and up until then I had felt pressure but no pain. (Baby turned last min) Did you have one which you could top up yourself? If not it does sound as though the initial dose was wearing off by pushing time.

However I was back to back and was told that an epi doesn't take away all the back to back pain as diff nerves are involved. Not sure if that's correct.

Hope your review went well x

Pinkbell123 Tue 04-Mar-14 18:44:32

Sorry read wrongly and thought you had a review of the birth scheduled. Think you should get one. I'm thinking about it as mine sounds similar - OP, forceps, third degree tear

mollysmummy1970 Tue 04-Mar-14 22:50:49

Thanks for the replies!

Who did you contact to get a review? I think it's more out of curiosity than anything, I felt totally out of it so I can't remember alot of what happened or why it did.

And yeah pinkbell, it was the one that you could top up.

cravingcake Wed 05-Mar-14 06:38:00

My hospital gives you a little leaflet with the contact number for the service but not all do this. You could contact the PALS office at your hospital as they should be able to help or at least get you in touch with the the right people.

Jcb77 Sat 15-Mar-14 21:19:26

Epidurals can do that sadly. Sometimes different stages of labour need different levels of anaesthetic and differently positioned babies an be tricky to get good pain relief with (but not impossible). The idea with the PCEA ( the one where you have the button to top yourself up) is that if you need more you can give yourself more. Usually works very well, but there are always going to be some people who need even more, or a stronger concentration or other drugs. Which usually means either a midwife top-up of the anaesthetist being asked to come back and do it (and be free to do so :-/) depending on local policy. Sometimes as pp said, they can fall out or become dislodged enough so that they're still in skin but not far enough into the epidural space to deliver the drugs adequately. Total pain in the arse.

lighteningmcmama Sun 16-Mar-14 19:58:26

Mine fell out and the anesthetist had to come back and sort it out. Then it worked again for a while and then stopped working. So mine didn't fail completely but yes it wasn't a case of 'oh I had an epidural and it was lovely' as some women report. So for dc2i didn't bother with an epidural, and now I really think it's a shame women are led to believe they can just have an epidural and the pain will go....luckily I had really good breathing techniques from pregnancy yoga smile

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