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Please help, if you have had an epidural

(36 Posts)
Tiredmumno1 Tue 02-Jun-15 18:27:46

Thank you first of all for reading.

I have a decision to make and only one day left to make it, I am scared and freaking myself out sad so can anyone tell me bit by bit how it was having an epidural, what it felt like, what part was painful etc.

I have had 2 previous c sections but under GA and now they would like me to consider an epidural this time, I hate needles, I just don't know what to do, I just need to know what I am letting myself in for if I agree.

If you got this far then I appreciate it as well as any stories or tips. Thank you thanks

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Tue 02-Jun-15 18:31:22

Do you mean for an ELCS? That will be very different to in labour. I thought it was normally a spinal block?

Ducky23 Tue 02-Jun-15 18:33:14

I had an epidural when I was induced with ds. It doesn't hurt having it put in, you don't feel the needle etc.

You sit on the edge of the bed with a pillow and they sort it all out. The only thing I didn't like is at a few points it felt like electric shocks kind of (not painful just uncomfortable) in my hips. Don't know if that's the same for everyone.

My epidural stopped working after around 30 mins. By the time they got the person to come look at it, it was too late as I was ready to push!

Hth smile

fustybritches Tue 02-Jun-15 18:33:55

The needle goes in your back so you don't see it, I found the hardest part was keeping completely still when a contraction hit. I found focusing on the pain soon disappearing helped.

Unless you mean elcs? That hurts after, but not during. Similar recovery I'd imagine (I've had 2 emcs)

angryangryyoungwoman Tue 02-Jun-15 18:34:59

My epidural didn't hurt at all. I have a very low pain threshold too!

BackforGood Tue 02-Jun-15 18:36:11

I HATE needles, but actually it wasn't bad, as it goes in your back so you don't see it.
I had mine after something like 24 - 25 hours of labour though, so it might be different. Mine was a MASSIVE relief. When I became pregnant with dc2, I wnted to book an epidural there and then grin

eurochick Tue 02-Jun-15 18:36:45

The line in the back of my hand turned my stomach every time I saw it. The spinal just felt like a scratch. It didn't bother me at all.

Sizzlesthedog Tue 02-Jun-15 18:37:12

I had one put in during active labour, so hard to keep still while the needle goes in.

It didn't hurt, as in I couldn't feel it go in at all.

Seemed to take a long time fiddling about before, but I was v tired so might be wrong.

I'm terrified of needles and an epidural was the last thing I wanted.

I was a bit bruised where the needle went in. DH noticed.

It took all pain away, but I could still move my legs.

eckythumpenallthat Tue 02-Jun-15 18:37:23

Epidural was a god send but I was mid labour so the worst bit was having to sit really really still while they did it.

But basically I was sat at the edge of the side of the bed and the anaesthetist was behind me on the other side. They wiped my back to clean it up. They gave me a pillow to hug and asked me to lean forwards over it (guessing that's to open up the spine) and they just did it. They did let me have the gas and air to breath on more to keep me calm more than anything while they did it. I was really freaked out pre childbirth and adamant I wasn't having one. But it did not hurt at all. They said it might feel a bit like mini electric shocks as it starts to work but I didn't get that And it kicked in pretty much strait away.

The worst bit though was the headache. Absolutely banging headache. I had to have the light off and was begging for more pain killers it was that bad but apparently that's a common side effect

I ended up with a GA in the end so that stopped the headache! Lol

NotQuiteSoOnEdge Tue 02-Jun-15 18:43:42

Well I had my epidural after I had been in labour for 72 hours with a back to back baby, the pain was already awful, and they were concerned I wouldn't be able to keep still through a contraction. I had to sit cross legged on the bed whilst the needle went in. I can honestly say I have no recollection of any pain from the injection, but I was distracted by a contraction which was made worse by having to hunch over my tummy. However the blessed, blessed relief it brought was well worth it! I relaxed, DS turned over, and came out beautifully all by himself.

I don't think anyone can really say how you will experience it though? I was begging the anaesthetist to bloody well get on and shove the needle in, I was so desperate to stop the pain. I'm guessing if it is a planned one they will take their time and they can anaesthetise bit by bit as they go in, so it shouldn't be horrendous. Can you talk it through with your midwife?

As long as your DC arrives safely, the details of it, however they turn out, end up not mattering somehow. At least, that's what I found. We all have our own journey though.

Lovemylittlebear Tue 02-Jun-15 18:47:04

i had back ti back contractions so epidural wasnt too bad as it worked and took pain away. hardest bit sitting still during contractions...midwife told me off. good luck x

KatyN Tue 02-Jun-15 18:51:28

Mine was totally fine. I didn't see the needle or anything as I was sat with my back to an anethetist. My dh sat facing me and holding the gas and air when necessary. He totally took my mind off what was happening at th back.
Total godsend, would have another in a heartbeat.

Good luck Kxx

Tiredmumno1 Tue 02-Jun-15 19:01:59

Thank you for all your stories. Just to answer, yes it is an ELCS, now I am more confused i will call them tomorrow to check whether it is an epidural or spinal.

Tiredmumno1 Tue 02-Jun-15 19:02:48

Also thank you for the good lucks smilethanks

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Tue 02-Jun-15 19:05:59

Your experience will be very different to someone who has an epidural in labour then. You aren't struggling to stay still. Everything is calm and there is no hurry. As it is for surgical procedure, they will also be giving you a whopping dose and making sure that you are fully numb.

You may experience some of the issues like headache, but many of the common problems with epidural don't need to bother you. smile

Tiredmumno1 Tue 02-Jun-15 19:12:31

Thank you Penguins, I have no idea why I feel so worked up about it, but panic is setting in and I am so close to just saying no, and having the GA again, I am trying to talk myself round smile

WellErrr Tue 02-Jun-15 19:19:02

It will be a spinal, but as far as the patient is concerned it's the same thing.

I've had an epidural in active labour, and a spinal for an ELCS.

I'm assuming you've had a blood test? A blood test is worse than a spinal (not that either are bad smile).

You don't see anything, and you don't feel anything when it goes in. The only thing you feel is a very slight stinging when they put the local anaesthetic in.
In fact, the most uncomfortable part of the whole procedure is when they spray your back with antiseptic, which is COLD! grin

You will be sat on the side of the bed, bent over. The anaesthetist will be behind you and someone else in front of you, holding your hand/hugging you still.

I was so so scared walking to that bed, I was in floods of tears and terrified. But the people are lovely, they are there to help you and after 5 mins, it was done and I felt so silly for being so upset as honestly - it was nothing!

Please go for it - you will forget all about needles etc as soon as you see your baby for the first time.
And the baby will be out no more than around 5 mins after they start, so you won't have long to wait.
Then it takes about 40 mins for them to finish off and stitch you up, and then you're wheeled out with your baby on your chest, you're wide awake and they'll bring you some toast whilst you feed.

It may not be natural birth but it's still lovely flowers

WellErrr Tue 02-Jun-15 19:20:54

In fact it's more than lovely, it's an absolutely beautiful experience, but if you're asleep then you'll miss it!


Methe Tue 02-Jun-15 19:23:00

I've had 3 spirals and not felt any of them really smile

shatteredstudentmum Tue 02-Jun-15 19:25:23

I have had epidural in labour leading to emergency cs and an elective cs, epidural /spinal for both, no difference between them as far as I could tell.

For the elcs I had local anaesthetic first then epidural, lean forward etc. It did hurt with no contractions to take your attention, and I was massively stressed about the whole thing but actually the staff were amazing, really helped my calm down, talked me through it all and it was a really positive birth in the end. I spent days stressing over it to make the decision.

After being completely out of it after ds1's birth it was so nice to be aware and hold him / feed him instantly / hear him cry etc. Definitely the right decision for me.


IPlayBass Tue 02-Jun-15 20:07:00

I've had an emergency cs and two planned ones. I'm a massive wimp and honestly, the needle for the epidural/spinal (I had epodural on the first and two spinals) didn't bother me one bit. It's over with really quickly and then onto the next bit so you don't have time to think about it. As it's your back you don't see the needle which I think helps. I didn't have a headache or electric shock pains or anything afterwards.

The only niggle I have looking back is that both times I wasn't able to breastfeed successfully as my milk didn't come in properly and I've since heard that this could be because of the effects of the epidural/spinal. However, it's just something I've heard from various people and might not be fact.

Tiredmumno1 Tue 02-Jun-15 21:35:28

Thank you Well, I shall read all this again to remind me that others have managed it, at least what you're saying sounds positive, which is a huge help.

Tiredmumno1 Tue 02-Jun-15 21:38:18

Also a big thanks to shattered and play for giving your stories over, fingers crossed i will be brave enough and won't back out.

I really do appreciate you all taking the time to help me, it is helping to keep me slightly calm smile

Number3cometome Wed 03-Jun-15 10:24:51


I had a GA with my first EMCS, and a spinal block with my ELCS.

I am due to have an ELCS in 6 weeks and unfortunately cannot have a epidural or spinal block due to spinal surgery I have had.
I am having a GA and absolutely gutted! I would much prefer the epidural.

You won't feel anything, and if it doesn't work for any reason, they will just pop you asleep.

MumOfOne14 Wed 03-Jun-15 11:48:18

I was already in labor & didn't feel a thing as it went in, which I don't know if it's normal or not. I was in so much pain with contractions i didn't notice any pain if there was any with the epidural. But once it kicked in..... Aaaahhhh relax!! smile I would definitely have one again!

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