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Epidural - why wouldn't you?

(232 Posts)
lbsjob87 Sat 31-May-14 23:58:21

I started a thread on AIBU about pain relief in childbirth yesterday that led me to wonder something. Lots of women said they didn't have an epidural because the idea scared them so much, and I just wondered why?
I am 35 weeks with No 2 and am starting to think about a birth plan (although last time has taught me they are not worth it half the time, but anyway.....)
I'm aiming for a VBAC but may yet be advised to have an ELCS. If I do have a VBAC, I will take it as it comes, if it gets too much, I'll probably have an epidural. Last time, my DD was back to back and had shoulder dystosia and an epidural couldn't come quickly enough.
I know it's personal choice/circumstances but I wondered what frightened people about it? Is it the initial needles in the back, the loss of feeling in the legs or a fear of not being "in control" of the pushing?
Last time was a blur, tbh and I really don't remember much about it.
I'm not trying to scare myself, just wondering what others experiences are.

BumgrapesofWrath Sun 01-Jun-14 00:15:58

What has put me off an epidural in the past is how it may be harder to push the baby out as you don't have the "urge".

That said, I found my second labour hard (first born shoulder dystocia like yourself, so second time both myself and medical staff were worried, thus making the experience harder and more painful and intrusive) so if I had baby no.3 I would probably demand an epidural.

steppemum Sun 01-Jun-14 00:17:05

I have 3 dcs
dc 1 was difficult, back to back birth and after 24 hours in labour, I was only 4 cm dilated. They recommended speeding it up with drip and an epidural.

dc 2 and 3, I had natural births, no pain relief, very quick, dc 3 was start (no contractions) to finish (holding baby) 1.5 hours!

I never wanted one. I didn't like the idea of needles in my spine. Partly because of pain (although it really wasn't painful compared to labour) and partly because of a very real fear that if something goes wrong you end up paralysed (rare I know, but it does happen)

I also wanted a natural birth, and my second and third births confirmed to me that when it is going well, birth pain and effort are perfectly do-able. I wanted to push the baby out myself etc.

But that first labour ended up very medical, with epidural, 2 hours pushing nearly a ventouse and so on. The result of all that (once I had my ds safe in my arms) is that I decided actually, the only thing that is important is the baby's safe delivery, however that happens. And whatever pain relief was necessary.

EyelinerQueen Sun 01-Jun-14 00:21:12

I don't want to not be able to feel anything from my waist down.

I don't want to labour on my back on a bed.

I don't want to have to be told when to push.

I don't want an increased risk of an assisted birth.

I want to be in control of my body and try to listen to it as best I can.

I don't want a fuck off gigantic needle in my back.

ThingsThatShine Sun 01-Jun-14 00:29:46

The fear of an epidural for me would be that it can apparently slow things down and may increase risk if needing forceps which I really would not want, also may be more likely to tear as you're not as in tune with when to push. However personally I definitely wouldn't rule it out!

duchesse Sun 01-Jun-14 00:39:19

^I don't want to not be able to feel anything from my waist down.

I don't want to labour on my back on a bed.

I don't want to have to be told when to push.

I don't want an increased risk of an assisted birth.

I want to be in control of my body and try to listen to it as best I can.

I don't want a fuck off gigantic needle in my back.^


Sorry for the rude cut n paste but that's what I think too.

funnyface31 Sun 01-Jun-14 00:41:51

My back has never been the same since I had one 12 years ago. Subsequently, I didn't want one with DS 8. hmm

Sillylass79 Sun 01-Jun-14 00:50:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheOriginalWinkly Sun 01-Jun-14 00:53:35

What eyeliner said, plus

I don't want to be catheterised
I want my hospital stay to be as quick as possible
I like being able to stand up
I don't want anything that will pass over to the baby
I don't want to run the risk of fucking up my back or getting debilitating headaches as a result

But if needs must then needs must.

Nocomet Sun 01-Jun-14 00:54:47

As eyeliner said.

I always watch when I have injections or blood taken, I'm better with kneedkes if I know I'm keeping still at the right time. Huge amnio needle was fine.

The idea of someone putting a needke in my back where clearly I can't see, gives me the shivers.

Anyway, labour isn't please do anything to make it stop pain. It's not nice and I did fetch up with not being able to move sciatica type pains in my legs with DD1, but not unbearable in the wanting anaesthetic way.

DD2 was born at home, deliberately away frim needles and postnatal wards.

steppemum Sun 01-Jun-14 00:55:50

Oh yes, labouring on my back with dc1 was awful.

dc 2 and 3 I gave birth standing

DippyEggNSolders Sun 01-Jun-14 01:01:23

Ditto eyeliner

Catheter's scare me more than big fuck off needles grin

dramajustfollowsme Sun 01-Jun-14 01:11:13

I'm 35+6 with dc2. I am going to be having a meeting with the consultant anaesthetist at some point in the next couple of weeks as I ended up with a post dural puncture headache with dd.
I found that the antenatal classes had kind of brushed over the risks and when I was on the drip the contractions were coming with no break. The mw suggested giving my body a break with an epidural. It worked in some ways as I hadn't been dilating and the epidural helped my body cope with the contractions and I fully dilated quite quickly. However, they knew something wasn't right as I was numb in the wrong places.
When I went to get up after she was born, I honestly thought I was going to die. This headache descended so quickly, I couldn't see. It was horrific.
I had 2 blood patches and was on 16 pro plus a day to sort the headache out. I say headache but it was like the worst migraine/hangover of my life for 2 weeks. I had to be re admitted and left my baby with dh. I was pretty helpless in looking after dd, the drugs and trauma probably contributed to my milk not coming.
I came very close to being very depressed because of it all.
I do not want that to happen again but worry that if I needed an emergency section or something and needed a spinal/epidural. I would rather that than be knocked out completely.
The fear of this happening again made me hold off from trying for baby number 2. It was that bad.
I can still pin point exactly where the needle went in. sad

PacificDogwood Sun 01-Jun-14 01:16:08

I didn't feel very strongly either way and had no issues with the epidural I had for the induced VB of DS1.
The spinal for emCS with DS2 was a much weirder, less pleasant experience… just absolutely zero connection from below my breasts down, v v disconcerting.
No epidural with VBACs x2 which were both lovely experiences.

Good luck - I hope you get the delivery you are hoping for.

PacificDogwood Sun 01-Jun-14 01:17:31

I must be a bit weird: I did not mind being catheterised one bit, it was rather convenient after the CS… grin

steppemum Sun 01-Jun-14 01:20:18

I wasn't catheterised. Is it standard?

PacificDogwood Sun 01-Jun-14 01:23:47

I am not sure - I think it might be for CS?

ILoveCoreyHaim Sun 01-Jun-14 01:25:38

I had 3 with pethidine and gas and air. 2 of them were very painful and long back to backs. I am terrified of needles and having it put into mmy back. IDK why I just am.

ILoveCoreyHaim Sun 01-Jun-14 01:29:00

Also my cousin had one with an ep and one without and said she would do it without an ep if she ever did it again as she didn't like the sensation and didn't feel in control whilst in labour.

Johnthedog Sun 01-Jun-14 01:32:01

They had 5 goes at putting the epidural in me. I lost feeling in my right leg for several days and had a limp as it was like carrying a dead leg around with me. Doctors were trying not to look concerned. It took several weeks to feel sensations in my toes and I could stick pins in the right hand side of my face and not feel it for a year ( if I had wanted too!!). Even now when I am tired/stressed I lose feeling in the right hand side of my face.

ToffeeMoon Sun 01-Jun-14 01:39:02

Epidural drugs do not pass to baby. Posters who said that are misinformed. It is localised, in the spine.

Pethidine passes to the baby.

Caff2 Sun 01-Jun-14 01:39:17

I had no pain relief with DS 1 and was left utterly traumatised by his birth (normal, no ventouse/forceps, slight tear they described as a graze). Second birth ELCS, obviously had a spinal - perfect, calm, no problems was walking about within hours. Not all anaesthesia of this type is dreadful, and for me it was much, much less dreadful than the hideous pain I was in with DS1.

Caff2 Sun 01-Jun-14 01:40:48

I was a bit scared though! I cried a bit when they were doing the anaesthetic, but the lovely midwife held my hand and it was all done very quickly!

PacificDogwood Sun 01-Jun-14 01:41:01

John, whatever numbness you had in your face cannot have been related to your epidural - it affects sensation down the way, not up.

Sillylass79 Sun 01-Jun-14 01:46:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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