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epidural- would you recommend?

(35 Posts)
Whatwillbexo Thu 07-Jan-16 02:27:33

Just as it says in the title
I'm being induced in 3 weeks and not sure what to expect as this is first bubba! I'm hoping that I'll be able to deal with labour with as minimal pain relief as possible, however I'm not ruling out an epidural, what are people's past experiences of having one and what has the outcome been? You hear the risks and scare stories but I'd just like some real people's experiencessmile Thankyou!thanks

tangerinesarenottheonlyfruit Thu 07-Jan-16 02:42:21

What method of induction are they using?

If they are using the Syntocin drip you will almost certainly need an epidural if my experience is anything to go by.

There are different induction methods, and I know nothing about the other ones.

Like you I didn't want an epidural if at all possible, but it became clear very quickly that there was no way I was going to get through the labour without asking for pain relief.

I felt badly prepared even though induction was always a possibility for me. With all the talk of water births (never got near the pool!) breathing, positive thinking etc, no one ever spelt out how likely it was I would want an epidural if I was induced, or went over what the procdure was with me. You may find you are very glad that something that just takes the pain away exists!

So, you are doing the right thing by asking about it, I wished I'd been a bit more prepared.

Why are they inducing you by the way?

tangerinesarenottheonlyfruit Thu 07-Jan-16 02:44:38

I forgot to say, having the epidural in my back wasn't nearly as much of a big deal as I had thought it would be. I was so keen for it to work it didn't seem much of a bother at all!

Whatwillbexo Thu 07-Jan-16 02:52:53

Hi! Thanks for the helpful replysmile not 100% sure yet on the method of induction, they're going to give me a sweep first to see if that works but if it doesn't they've said they will induce me by the 30th (due date) so I'm just seeing how things go! Have you any experience of birth without being induced if it did come to that? Or have you only the one dc? I'm being induced because baby is very large and they said it wouldn't be healthy to let me go past the end of this month basically!
I guess that's the thing with labour, you never know what to expect or how bad the pain will be! Did the epidural completely take the pain away or just take the edge off? I'm abit squeamish when it comes to the needle in the back too!confused

lastnightiwenttomanderley Thu 07-Jan-16 03:04:18

I am needle phobic and an epidural was right at the bottom of my list for pain relief. However, after my waters broke, I had contractions every 40 seconds at 2cm... The midwife strongly recommended it so I could have some respite, otherwise I would knacker myself out!
It was nowhere near as bad as I imagined and I was surprised by how much feeling I still had in my lower limbs. It didn't take the pain away completely (they can adjust the strength) but definitely made it more manageable. You normally get a 'boost' button on it too. In the end I had a mix of epidural and gas and air which I liked as I could control it. Also, without meaning to scare you, DS head was 90th centile. I am 5ft and now (4 months pp) weigh 43kg. .. Thosé two were not particularly compatible so after an hr of pushing and forceps, they went for a c section. As I had the epidural already, all they had to do was increase it.
If your baby is known to be big, at least an epidural will make a c section easier IF you need it (again, when pg I absolutely did not want a section! In the end, it was the only way he was coming out and nowhere near as bad as I imagined!)

RhubarbAndMustard Thu 07-Jan-16 03:04:29

I had an epidural after about the first 12 hours of labour. Baby was back to back so it just got too painful for me. I don't really remember it going in so can't have been too bad and was blessed relief! Felt nothing at all after that.
The only thing with mine was that I think it slowed the labour down. I was put on the syntocin drip after about another 8 hours. After a lot of top ups of the epidural it eventually stopped working and boy did the pain come back with a vengeance. I eventually had a spinal block (again don't remember it going in) and no pain for a forceps delivery.
Every labour is different. I'd say don't rule anything out and use epidural if you want/need to at the time. No experience of induction though.

TakesTwoToTango Thu 07-Jan-16 03:08:38

I've had 3. One for an induction with the synto drip. Ended in forceps delivery because baby was badly positioned but the epi took all the pain away. Second time around it didn't work down one side but I managed with the partial relief, gas and air and local anesthetic for episiotomy for big baby with huge head who was getting distressed. Third time around epidural took a lot of the pain away but could still feel the contractions and when to push etc. no episiotomy or anything else and was fab.

I would say don't worry about the needle as if you are in enough pain to need the epi you won't care/ notice the process of administering it nearly as much as you think!

Also bear in mind that they will tell you about the risks in order to get informed consent to administer it. This includes the risk of complications (about 1:200) but you can always ask the anesthetist what their personal stats are. I did this with my first and she replied that out of x thousand she'd administered, she had never had anyone left with any damage - that made me feel a lot better!

TheDowagerCuntess Thu 07-Jan-16 03:11:42

I was induced with DC1 (well, with both) and had an epidural. Neither I, nor the anaesthetist, realised that I have a slightly curved spine, and so we couldn't work out why I was still in so much pain. It only affected one side. The other side was still experiencing all the pain. Which was a bugger.

I don't know if there's any way of checking that in advance?

Whatwillbexo Thu 07-Jan-16 03:27:04

Thankyou all for the advice! I think you've put my mind at ease abit when it comes to the needle! I had convinced myself that if I needed the epidural enough then I wouldn't care about the needle! I think I'll just have to see how it goes, my friend had one that just didn't seem to work either so I'm abit apprehensive about that although I'm sure it's not overly common. I watched on one born every minute where a woman had an epidural and said she felt absolutely nothing and it was a wonderful experience, I like the thought of it being a wonderful experience- not sure I'd want to feel absolutely nothing though, I've always wanted to know how labour feels grin

frangipani13 Thu 07-Jan-16 04:21:40

My experience sounds exactly like Tangerines. I've only had the one baby but was induced too and have been told induction does tend to be more painful especially if the contractions come thick and fast (I started contracting within 1 hr of the pessary going in). I did 17 hours without any relief but just couldn't stand the pain anymore and the epi was just amazing! Didn't feel any pain when it was being cited at all and it completely transformed my mood and have me the energy and will to carry on. My beautiful 15 week old DD was born by forceps delivery.

I was stupidly stubborn and in hindsight should have had it earlier. I also wish someone had given me the honest truth about how unlikely having a drug free water birth would be with an induction!

Good luck to you.

unimaginativename13 Thu 07-Jan-16 05:07:00

You might just have to play it by ear.

I was induced for 3 days before I went on the drip so by that point I needed pain relief.

I was told to have the epidural sited before the drip as it's difficult to put in when you are contracting.

I think you can only have one from 4cm?? By that point in an induction you maybe really want it.

Also if your high risk of a section ( big baby and induction) then it's good to get it in incase you go down to theatre.

I was in the camp of the less I know the better but they make sure you are fully informed.

It allowed me to sleep after a long old process and I went from 2cm to 7cm while I slept which was nice.

It was also recommended to ease off before the pushing part so you can actually feel to push. My challenge was I couldn't feel my legs so the midwive had to hold them back. I think then you don't need so much assistance like forceps etc

angelpuffs Thu 07-Jan-16 08:30:04

Yes. It was the most wonderful thing in the world when I had DD1. I literally couldn't speak for the pain before I had mine (I was 9cm dilated before they gave it to me) and it I felt like a different person after it. You don't notice the needle because the pain is so severe from the contractions (or mine was) that the needle is barely registered!

tangerinesarenottheonlyfruit Thu 07-Jan-16 08:43:29

I've also had a labour with no induction, yes. There was a huge difference. The pain was manageable, I did it with gas and air.

Induction was much more painful. I would absolutely refuse induction again unless I was totally sure it was the only way to go.

Sizes of babies judged while in utero are notoriously unreliable. Your baby may not even be that big (although of course the opposite us also true, it may be bigger too)

In your position I would go back and ask them to run through your options besides induction, and do more research yourself on it.

Melmam Thu 07-Jan-16 09:21:54

Hey, I was induced via pessory 7 weeks ago and I kept saying before I'm going to go all natural once I got my first contraction the next was 2mins away I lasted 3 hours then got the epidural and it was amazing didn't feel the needle at all ended up needing forceps and epi as baby was big and back to back. Everybody labours differently and at the moment you will do whatever is best for you. Good luck hope all goes well xx

Hootthatnanny Thu 07-Jan-16 11:06:00

I was induced, the pessary worked and I found the contractions manageable enough without an epi, I had pethadine for the initial agony!
I found pushing correctly hard enough without being numb down there as she was malpositioned so I'm glad I didn't in the end, reckon i would've almost certainly needed intervention if I had had one.

I wouldn't rule one out if things are different next time though.

Salene Thu 07-Jan-16 11:18:20

I was induced but had already decided no way was a needle coming near my back

I got through it wth gas and air, the pain was horrific but doable

I'd rather that than a needle in my back that goes wrong and that was a real fear for me

So you can be induced without a EPi but just be prepared it is very painful as contractions come fast and intense

LeotardoDaVinci Thu 07-Jan-16 11:23:00

I have had two epidurals - they were fantastic. I really suffered with the second one until I got the epidural and the difference was amazing. As a result I "enjoyed" both births and was not traumatised by the experience. I don't remember feeling any pain at all once it was in. My second was to be an induction but came fast once I'd had a sweep.

ThePinkParker Thu 07-Jan-16 11:26:39

It really depends on how your labour progresses. I went into spontaneous labour however my contractions never got regular for the whole 40 hours so I was on a drip with continuous contractions towards the end (I only know that as the epidural wore off at 10cm - don't worry they managed to get it topped up) plus I had an epiostiomy so I am so glad they allowed me to have an epidural so I could at least get a couple of hours sleep as I hadn't slept for over 48 hours at that point (got to 6cm before it was administered).
They did tell me earlier on that I couldn't have an epidural due to high blood cell count & I was distraught but the diamorphine was helpful - until it wore off! So that's a route to go down if you needed some relief earlier on.
Try not to plan & see how it goes. You might have a really quick birth when you are induced & this might be easier to cope with.
Good luck! It's such an exciting time. I'd do it all again tomorrow for my lovely 3 month old little boy 😊

Hiphophap123 Thu 07-Jan-16 11:29:43

I had an epidural when baby was in distress and it became apparent that some intervention was needed. It meant I was ready when we had a baby emergency and they were able to get DC out within minutes. I would recommend it in those circumstances as DC would have been harmed if we had had to wait for anesthia for me. I did most of a 24 hour labour (not induced) without and was able to cope with gas and air and a tens machine but took the advice of the Drs and midwives at the hospital. I've heard people saying they didn't like having the epidural put in but I thought it was fine. They had to do it twice but again i thought it was fine. Tbh once u have experienced contractions for 24 hours a needle in the back is nothing. I honestly didn't even feel it. Also It was a nicer experience with it in. I was so much more relaxed and able to discuss what was happening without constant interruptions from contractions. Im pleased I had one. There's no right or wrong with pain relief it's all about the circumstances and your wants/needs.

Runningupthathill82 Thu 07-Jan-16 12:03:32

As others have said, there is no right and wrong and you just have to wait and see what happens.

I didn't want an epidural - or so I thought - but around 18hrs into an excruciating back to back labour it was what I ended up with.
It wasn't a choice between epidural or no pain relief (though that would have been a very valid choice), just that in my case my son was becoming very distressed, so it was epidural and forcep delivery, or c-section.

I was so out of it that I have no recollection of opting to have the epidural (though I obviously did!) And I also don't remember the needle going in or any of that jazz.

Any preconceptions I had about birth went completely out of the window when it came to it. In the same situation I would absolutely have an epidural again.
It turned my labour from a frenzied, agonising whirlwind into something I had a semblance of control over. There were no side effects aside from having a catheter in, which was a bit annoying, but honestly no big deal.

TheFormidableMrsC Thu 07-Jan-16 12:15:01

My experiences only. First baby (17 years ago now), I was in a very very long labour with minimal dilation but massive contractions. Eventually induced (on day 3) to hurry it along. At this point a section was a distinct possibility and the use of forceps and ventouse was decided upon. I was given an epidural and while initially elated at the relief, it slowed everything down and I found it impossible to push when that time eventually came. DD was finally delivered with the aid of ventouse. While I was grateful for the pain relief, the conclusion afterwards was that it was given too late and just made the process more difficult and they forgot to put a catheter in hmm. To be fair, a totally mismanaged birth and I can't entire blame the epidural.

Fast forward 13 years and I had my second baby at 42, no pain relief at all. Yes it bloody hurt, yes it was hard work but I was so glad that I was able to move around, stay upright and my recovery was very quick. I was determined to avoid an epidural and I am glad I did.

In terms of the actual procedure, it was painless, I am terrified of needles but literally didn't feel a thing. They did have to top it up almost immediately as it didn't "spread" sufficiently and all the pain was concentrated in one hip (very odd experience). To be honest, those I know who have had an epidural found it to be a very positive experience. Personally, it wasn't for me.

Finally, you just don't know until you're in it, so keep an open mind about everything. Good luck OP! flowers

RattyCatty Thu 07-Jan-16 12:20:22

whatwillbe I am a FTM and had a growth scan at 32weeks & was told baby was already 5lb - so going to be a whopper! Midwives since have been v unhelpful about size of baby. How did it come to the decision that you would be induced before due date? I'm seeing a midwife tomo so am keen to have the same!

RattyCatty Thu 07-Jan-16 12:25:39

Should have said I'll be 37 weeks on Sunday.

Katieemilyxo Thu 07-Jan-16 12:27:56

I had to have a epidural it was brilliant people say they dont like it as u cant feel the pain when pushing but tbh its simple as pushing like you need a number 2 u do have to have a small tube inserted into ur bladder after with a bag can't remmeber what its called and then its removed and your asked to wee a certain amount if you cant you need a new one till you can rarely that happens though, the needle bit is abit painful but as ur in labour and already in huge amounts of pain you really dont care you just want it gone mine was very successful and I didnt feel a thing apart from the tightening without that I wouldnt of got through it xc

Katieemilyxo Thu 07-Jan-16 12:29:35

Also my child was 9 pound 3 and im only tiny so I wouldnt of coped it depends see how you go I didnt last very long without it xxx

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