Advanced search

Got questions about giving birth? Know what to expect and when to expect it, with the Mumsnet Pregnancy Calendar.

Epidural experiences?

(59 Posts)
LittleRedRidingHoodie Fri 12-Dec-14 18:22:53

I'm 33 weeks and starting to get quite jittery about the prospect of the birth. I'm doing hypnobirthing, for what it's worth, and would like a water birth all being well. However I'm well aware that I can be doing all the relaxation and floating about in water I like and still be in flippin agony.

Everything I read seems to be advising against epidural due to the slowing down of labour, risk of interventions etc. I really, really don't fancy pethidine etc. as I don't like my head feeling 'out of it.'

I'm in a lot of pain already with sacroiliac joint dysfunction and subluxated ribs and the thought of being in greater pain is terrifying me. I'd love to hear your real life epidural experiences, good or bad. Would you have one again?

FATEdestiny Fri 12-Dec-14 18:38:34

My epidural for DC2 made for an idyllic, peaceful tranquil lovely birth.

With hindsight I realise that the epidural for DC1 didn't work and so that was why I continued to be in pain/panicked.

No epidural for DC3 - I would not recommend :|

LittleRedRidingHoodie Fri 12-Dec-14 18:47:42

How come you didn't have an epidural with your third then? Mt enough time? Or you chose not to?

Can I ask if you had to have forceps/ventouse etc with the second?

FATEdestiny Fri 12-Dec-14 18:55:47

I had ventouse with the DC1 and a non working epidural. 50+ hour labour, 22h in delivery room

Normal delivery of DC2 with an early epidural. 26 hour labour, 12h in delivery room.

Normal delivery of DC3, I thought I was super woman and wanted to give it a go without epidural. Horrendous. 23 hours from waters breaking, 14 in delivery room.

DC4 is 11 weeks old. Emergency caesarean due to induction drugs.

Umlauf Fri 12-Dec-14 19:01:32

I had my baby in a country where 95% of births are done with epidural so there just wasn't the fuss made.

It was lovely and I'd not go without again. They didn't wait for dilations or anything so there wasn't any pain at all, just weirdness and pressure.

Maybe it slowed it down, but I'd rather slow and painless than agonizing and quick. We struggled to establish BF but we did eventually, and friends who didn't have one struggled with that too. Don't now down to pressure and just do it your way!

Molotov Fri 12-Dec-14 19:03:45

My only experience of an epidural is that I regret not having one grin

In all seriousness, I laboured for 31 hours with just g&a and was a physical wreck afterwards. I has 'maternal exhaustion' on my notes and ended up with ventouse for dd an ands an episiotomy for me anyway.

At least if I'd had an epi, I'd have been able to sleep through some of the roughest parts smile (although labour was in no way as painful as I'd imagined it to be smile ).

Spellcheck Fri 12-Dec-14 19:04:26

I've had 5 epidurals. With the first 3, the babies were all presenting back-to-back, which prolonged each labour.

First DC - epidural slowed labour down significantly, and she became distressed. EMCS.
Second - epidural marvellous, had a ventouse delivery but all nice and quick.
Third - prolonged labour meant I was totally exhausted. Epidural did the job nicely but baby became distressed and it all resulted in EMCS.
Fourth and fifth - ELCS.

It all depends really on how it goes. But IME, if you need one, they are generally nothing to worry about.

MinnesotaNice Fri 12-Dec-14 19:06:23

Epidurals for DS1 & DS2.

DS1 was an induction, epidural was placed shortly after the drip. DS1 was born about 15 hours later after about 30-45 mins of pushing.

DS2 went into labour at home. Epidural was administered about 30 mins after arriving at the hospital. DS2 born about 3.5 hours later.

Only minor (1st degree?) tearing with each birth. No forceps or ventouse used either time. Both deliveries I felt calm and in control--could feel pressure but no real pain, IYKWIM. Was even able to take a nap during the first labour.

Currently expecting DC3 and fully intend to request an epidural as soon as I arrive at the hospital.

Greenstone Fri 12-Dec-14 19:07:57

I've had two good births, one with an epidural and one without. I did hypno stuff - bit - with first and was coping well but freaked out in transition and got one then. Made everything lovely and calm. 2nd stage was a bit long, about 75 mins, but no instruments or stitching required.

2nd birth was 6 weeks ago and I had zilch pain relief at all - just did deep yoga breathing and it never got too painful until transition when I knew I was almost there. 10 mins pushing and again no instruments or stitches. I've been very very lucky!

funchum8am Fri 12-Dec-14 19:08:41

Best thing that ever happened to me! I was same as you wanting to use hypnobirthing, watervetc but had to be induced in the end and was aware it is best to have one before they hook up the syntocinon drip and it was wonderful! Things were very slow already, hence the drip, so can't comment on that aspect.

tabulahrasa Fri 12-Dec-14 19:11:53

I've had two epidurals (and two labours, so a full set, lol) it didn't slow down labour either time.

The first one, it was uneven and they had to do a top up, which meant that I couldn't tell when I was having a contraction and they had to tell me when to push, but it was fine...pushing took maybe five minutes or so? And because I couldn't feel anything I was chatting away between contractions and feeling perfectly fine.

The second took away the pain but left enough sensation that I could still tell when a contraction was in full swing...but I didn't get the chance to push as the contractions pushed the baby out unassisted confused lol.

I'd have another if I was planning more DC.

purplemurple1 Fri 12-Dec-14 19:12:53

I had a mobile epi at 3 cm, possibly slowed things down but it was still only 6.5hrs from epi to birth. I didn't need any intervention and had one stitch afterwards for a small tear, ds was out in three pushes.

Mobile epi means you cam walk around and feel contractions but without all the pain. It wears off for pushing when you can use gas and air if you want to, I did.

I'm definatly hoping for the same with dc2

Slongette Fri 12-Dec-14 19:13:17

I had an induction (waters broke but no contractions for 24hrs) and I've got a high bmi so was alway geared up for an epidural.

Epidural failed at one point (drip at full whack) not something I would wish on my worst enemy. Lovely anesthetist man came Back and put it back in and it was lovely.

Could still feel my contractions but no pain. Pushed for 3 hrs before they realised DS was back to back, so they whipped me into theatre - 1 set of forceps and an episiotomy later, small boy was born.

12 weeks with DC2 and I'm totally having an epidural when this one decides to come out!

MrsMeeple Fri 12-Dec-14 21:54:15

2 DC. First was 22hours home then 7hrs after admission. Had epidural, then top up, was fabulous. Gave me a very much needed rest. Pushing was still hard work, but I guess it all would have been much more painful without. Second: 22hours at home, then what turned out to be about 2hours in. The anethetist gave me the local and was about to administer the full epidural when the midwife said "um, wait a minute". DC2 arrived 10 minutes later. My only regret re pain management was sterile injections. I regret having them with DC2, and would not recommend them to anyone.

Chalalala Fri 12-Dec-14 23:01:56

I requested an epidural out of sheer exhaustion after about 30 hours of contractions. It allowed me to take a nap and not turn completely crazy from lack of sleep. Everything hurts so much more and is generally so much worse when you're sleep-deprived.

I ended up with forceps and a bad tear, but then DD was back to back and huge, so I'll never know how much the epidural contributed to my mangled bits, if at all.

All in all I think I'd have it again, because the worst part of the whole thing for me (pre and post birth) was the sleep deprivation.

Stripylikeatiger Fri 12-Dec-14 23:14:53

I had a mobile epidural with dc1 but it didn't work! I only asked for an epidural as they wanted to give me a drip to make my contractions stronger and I didn't think I could deal with the increase in pain but actually it was fine.

Dc2 I didn't have an epidural and his birth was less painful than dc1's birth. I just had gas and air as I quite like the feeling but I wouldn't want any drugs like pathadine which stay in your system for a long time. The great thing about gas and air is that when you stop breathing it in after only a few seconds you feel normal again so you can have some distraction from the pain whilst your having a contraction but then be able to make clear headed decisions between contractions.

catkind Fri 12-Dec-14 23:21:03

Mine was great even though it didn't really work. Contractions still very painful. But it worked enough to take an edge off so I could stay in control of things in a very fast labour, and was able to get into positions the midwives needed me in when they were worried about baby.

Worst thing about it was having to have a catheter, which in reality I didn't need because epi hadn't worked much and I was perfectly able to walk off to the toilet.

Artistic Fri 12-Dec-14 23:49:08

Had an epidural for both DC.

DC1 had a super quick labour 5 hours from waters breaking (start) to birth. Had the epidural at some point in the middle, but couldn't push AT ALL and had a ventouse birth with episiotomy. Not terrible in all but wish there were no ventouse.

DC2 - was expecting even quicker labour, but was in early labour for 8 hours with no dilation. But the pain was too much & I was begging for epi. My wise consultant refused as it may stall the labour & end up as CS which I wanted to avoid. So she gave me morphine (or something similar) which made me too drowsy to feel anything, but my waters broke & I was at 8cm within 1 hour! After that she gave me an epidural - mainly to give me some respite so that I could push well. Worked beautifully. Within the next 2 hours I was calm, revived & pushed forceps or ventouse but I had a 2nd degree tear.

In all - I couldn't have done it either time without epidural. But it should be given in the right amount and at the right time - so that you can push!

NotCitrus Fri 12-Dec-14 23:56:32

First time had epi after 8 hours of water and then pelvis falling apart even worse. I was terrified but the anaesthetist was lovely, went through lots of medical history, then said "I think you'll like it"! It was fab, though nothing happened for another 18 hours, and ended up with a ventouse that no-one expected to work - it was just to humour me before a CS! I was able to try pushing on all fours.

Second labour got to the point I had an epidural previously, just as I got to the hospital. I'd had near-daily appts so MrNC just told them to order the epidural and then read my notes, and a student I'd met a couple days earlier confirmed it. Within 20 min I was numb from waist down, with totally floppy knees so no way could I get on all fours. Eventually had a ventouse again.

No regrets in the circs. Very glad I was warned I might get involuntary shivers for up to a week after, as that was seriously odd.

2014MrsH Sat 13-Dec-14 09:07:48

I had wanted a drug free delivery and was against epidurals until my labour last week.

Due to a painful induction and my baby's heartbeat dropping I had to have an emergency forceps and episiotomy delivery.

I was given a dose of pethadine when the contractions became too strong and that didn't even touch the pain. I asked for a mobile epidural which was a god send. It was great because I could still feel everything and when to push, just no pain, plus could walk around straight after my son was born.

Next baby - I'm definitely going for an epidural again smile

redexpat Sat 13-Dec-14 09:24:33

Had one just 11 days ago and it was smile . I could feel that something wad different this time (last time got only 2 paracetamol) but couldnt describe how or even put my finger on it. Turns out dd was back to back, so without the epi would have been just awful. They turned it off at one point to help me push, but in the end put it back on agsin. Oh and the anaethetist was the hottest man id ever seen wink

LittleRedRidingHoodie Sat 13-Dec-14 09:43:16

I feel more reassured about epidurals after reading these posts, thank you. Despite all my friends having had babies, not one of them had an epidural so I was beginning to think it was a very unusual thing to do. Now to discuss with my doula and, I know it's none of her business, but i know she will be keen for me to go natural :-(

fatterface Sat 13-Dec-14 09:56:12

I had three epidurals - all quite late into the labour (8cm-ish) so it didn't slow things down as I was active until then. Meant the actual births were lovely and pain free and I had a little rest before the pushing bit. I had quite long labours though, shortest was over 12 hours. If they had been shorter I might not have had an epidural.

Greenstone Sat 13-Dec-14 09:56:27

Are you entirely sure none of them had epidurals OP wink ?

NickyEds Sat 13-Dec-14 10:37:25

I'm pregnant with Dc2 and, after DS's birth my only birth plan this time will be; If my baby is back to back or I need the Synto drip I want an epidural. I think I might literally write this as the answer to every questionsmile

Join the discussion

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

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: