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anyone had an epidural?

(39 Posts)
musicmomma Mon 07-Nov-16 15:01:44

I have a disability which means I get very exhausted very quickly and it takes a long time for me to recover. I think I'm going to go for an epidural, any ladies on mumsnet had one? Would you recommend? What were the down sides? Just looking for some advice and support, this is my first baby I'm not sure what to do!

DuckWaddle Mon 07-Nov-16 15:05:47

I had one late on- onviously made me feel great but I think it slowed the labour and also probably influenced the fact I ended up with instrumental birth. Plus it only worked down one side at one point -which focused the pain in one place and was unbelievably painful.
I would play it by ear and see how you feel. In retrospect I wish I hadn't used it but it's always easy to think like that after an event!

Thatwaslulu Mon 07-Nov-16 15:06:28

I had one. It wasn't on my birth plan - I was adamant that I wasn't having one as I didn't fancy a hole in my back - but in the end had the 'choice' between epidural and C section as my baby was distressed and I was exhausted after 2 weeks of slow labour...

Anyway. It was bliss as soon as it started to work. I was so grateful for the pain relief and although I couldn't feel the contractions as such, I still pushed when necessary. The only downside, for me, has been the small scar on my back from the hole. It feels like a little bobble and I hate it, even though it's unnoticeable to anyone else.

DefinitelyNotRuth Mon 07-Nov-16 15:06:40

I had an epidural with my DD2 8 weeks ago and I can honestly say it was the best decision I have ever made! Went completely drug free with DD1 and it was awful! I felt completely out of control and was quite traumatised afterwards. DD2's birth was amazing despite having complications, I felt with it and able to make decisions. I would recommend to anyone!
No side effects either and although I was numb, I could still move both of my legs so could move around a little.
Your decision obviously, but I'd definitely have one if I were you.

OdinsLoveChild Mon 07-Nov-16 15:07:23

I had one, I wouldn't recommend them. Mine didn't work, they topped it up several times and ended up patchy and only numbing one leg. I now suffer with back pain that I had never experienced before. I wouldn't have another one. I had already had 2 children without an epidural and they were genuinely fine, and not as bad as everyone had said it would be. I had the epidural because I was expecting a difficult birth and it would have been easier had I needed a c section.

However, my sister had one and thought it was brilliant. She didn't feel a thing and has had no long lasting issues. She would happily recommend them.

I guess my point is that their different for everyone. You need to make your own mind up.

SmellySphinx Mon 07-Nov-16 15:08:08

When are you due? Sorry I've not had one and have heard and read various stories about epidurals and I want one when I am due Feb next year. Had two babies but with Vontouse, forceps, episiotomy and 2nd degree tear!

So I am also interested in more stories anyone has about them...

nurseinwonderland Mon 07-Nov-16 15:08:30

I had one 11 years ago with eldest DS. I just couldn't handle the pain. Within ten minutes I was sitting in bed pain free reading my book.
The downsides for me were they slowed the labour right down. Had the epidural about 4 in the morning and he was born at 13.40 the same day, so I was very tired by then. I felt a few twinges in my back for around a year after having it, but nothing major.
Decided I didn't want one on ds2, was induced, and I managed with gas and air. Was more painful but a lot quicker (induced 9.45 am, labour started around 4pm, he was born at 9.50pm)

kiki22 Mon 07-Nov-16 15:08:34

I've had 2 epidurals the first time I tried all the lead up drugs before the epidural by this time I was strung out and had no idea what the heck was going on, morphine is not good for me I even had to come off it 12 hours after a C-section because it made me loopy!

Second time I had g&a then right to epidural it was a much better experience ds2 was stuck and I needed to decide what route to take it was so much easier making decisions without the drugs clouding my mind.

I would also say that even with the pethadine I still became exhausted it didn't give me any rest because I was loopy and sick for keeping your energy up I would go straight for the epidural. Its not bad going in and can be topped up when you need it. My c-section with only epidural was by far a nicer experience than first time round.

PassTheCremeEggs Mon 07-Nov-16 15:10:18

Ditto to it not working properly. Mine numbed from a couple of inches below belly button down, meaning I could still feel every contraction. No amount of topping up helped.

They do work for the majority but they're not an absolute dead cert for total pain relief. I also ended up with attempted forceps and then a c-section under GA but can't say that was definitely to do with the epidural - baby was back to back and got a bit stuck.

nurseinwonderland Mon 07-Nov-16 15:10:43

Forgot to say DS1 was a ventouse delivery, which was a bit traumatic and he had a haematoma on his head due to this, which is why I chose not to have an epidural with ds2

Popskipiekin Mon 07-Nov-16 15:12:20

I had same problem as Duck - it only worked on one side for most of the time, so I really didn't get much benefit from it! (and, like Duck, believe me that working on just one side did not reduce the pain by 50%, if anything I felt it increased it...)

It eventually did work with unfortunate bad timing just before I had to start pushing, so I couldn't feel the contractions (but this is probably because I'd been topping up on the medication so much - because it wasn't working down one side - that when it finally worked I had too much in my system). As I couldn't feel the contractions they had to tell me when to push and I too ended up with an assisted birth (ventouse).

Tbh I was so exhausted at the time of requesting an epidural that I don't think I had another option. For my next birth I will try to pace myself better and remain more in control of the pain, but it's easy to say.

The assisted birth was totally fine, by the way.

SpotTheDuck Mon 07-Nov-16 15:13:52

Is the issue that you're likely to get too tired to push? If so an epidural won't help with that, you'll still need to push but you won't be able to feel what you're doing so well.

If you're concerned about your stamina for labour have you looked into instrumental options (forceps, ventouse etc) or even c-section?

I'm also disabled and get fatigued quickly - I didn't ultimately have the strength to push the baby out and had forceps, which wasn't great. Number 2 we're having a c-section as overall that's likely to be a better birth and recovery for me.

mouldycheesefan Mon 07-Nov-16 15:16:22

Yes with a c section. Highly recommend it.
But if you want one get it writ large on your birth plan, I have friends who wanted them but no anaesthetists available etc.

Butterpuff Mon 07-Nov-16 15:16:42

I had one. I had been in going for a couple of days when they decided to induce to try to speed me up. They recommended it as I was already tired and increasing the frequency of contractions would be a real struggle. I cant remember much about it but DH tells me I fell asleep as soon as it started working! I had no lasting effected however I think I had a spinal block too later on as DD didn't do well on the drugs and I needed and Emergency Section. By the time mine was put in I was already high on gas and air and hardly noticed the needles, tubes etc. However I think I would have struggled with all of that from a standing start.

I now want to go home and check my back in the mirror to see if I have a scar from the needle. I never even thought about that.

musicmomma Mon 07-Nov-16 16:38:38

Thank you all so much for taking time to write lovely replies it's really helpful. Yes I am worried I will become exhausted when pushing- I collapse and go floppy and can't speak and I'm terrified of this happening during labour. I'm fully conscious but I can't move or talk when this happens and I'm scared of this happening during labour. The consultant says an epidural will allow me to relax and let my body get on with it until I'm ready to push at the last minute. From your posts it seems like they're good as long as they work? I didn't think about a scar on my back though!

musicmomma Mon 07-Nov-16 16:40:41

I'm due in April , I really don't want to have a forceps delivery but the Dr says this may well happen anyway so I guess I might as well have the epidural in before I get to that stage?

user1471461436 Mon 07-Nov-16 16:46:38

I have had 2 births, both started drug free until baby got distressed and heart beat dipped (both times). The first I was very focussed and calm and had an epidural in order to have forceps. Contractions had been manageable. Recovery from forceps was hard. Second I was very stressed had epidural during late labour then c section. Recovery from section was easier than forceps... All are different! Epidural gave me back ache in recovery but was needed and made it bearable. I have also had a miscarriage with cocodamol - that was the most painful which leads me to the conclusion more stress: more pain!

user1471461436 Mon 07-Nov-16 16:49:20

I dont have a mark from epidural but i have a scar from an episiotomy and section which i dont care a jot about until my hair grows and tickles! At first it was bruised and painful but not as bad as my incisions

Hoppinggreen Mon 07-Nov-16 16:51:23

I did, it was lovely.
I don't have a scar and I walked into the shower just a couple of hours after giving birth.

user1471461436 Mon 07-Nov-16 16:56:15

Just to add - dont buy into the martyrdom of childbirth - do what you need! It wont make you worth less if you take all pain relief and baby will be fine or they wouldnt offer it. If i have another I certainly wont suffer

PonkAlert Mon 07-Nov-16 17:00:33

I've had two. First labour it didn't work at all. There is a one in eight failure rate.

Second labour it worked but it fell out just as I was about to start pushing and I was told nothing could be done. Baby was in a bad position and despite all my effort would not come out, I ended up in theatre with a spinal block. Now that I can recommend! The relief was immense.

Both labours were inductions with drip being cranked up due to dips in baby's heart rate and both absolute agony. The anaesthetist who administered the magical spinal block told me to go for an elective section next time. I assured her there will be no next time!

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Mon 07-Nov-16 17:00:54

I've had two, first labour was a three day stop/starter. They gave me it so I could have a bit of a rest before the pushing stage and it was amazing! Completely relaxed me. The pushing stage took a while because I couldn't feel anything but no forceps.
Second time I asked for one ASAP, the didn't want to but I was insistent and lucky that they had an soneone free to do it. Didn't slow anything down that time. No scar here either.

Lewwat Mon 07-Nov-16 17:03:07

I had one with my first. The only downside was that hours later when the midwife took me to the toilet was that she didn't warn me not to wipe as normal blush I maybe should have been a bit more gentle blush when the numbness wore off it wasn't good!!

Gardencentregroupie Mon 07-Nov-16 17:12:45

I had a mobile epidural, so I could still move around and go to the loo and bounce on a birthing ball, and I was upright for pushing. It was marvellous.

maroda16 Mon 07-Nov-16 17:12:53

I had one, found it great!! Hardly felt it going in! Butterpuff I'm thinking exactly the same thing!! Off to look in the mirrorgrin

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