Advanced search

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

Three Hour Wait for Epidural

(41 Posts)
MyBeautifulBabyGirl Thu 22-Feb-07 21:13:30

Just thinking about my first/only labour....was it standard practice to wait three hours for an Epidural ?
I read earlier that someone had an Epidural sited before they were even started to be just confused me

fishie Thu 22-Feb-07 21:16:58

i never got one at all ended up with cs. complained and got apology. there are lots of things you can do if you are troubled by your birth experience, not just getting apologies but to make you feel better.

AitchTwoOh Thu 22-Feb-07 21:18:08

i got one when my blood pressure shot up and i wasn't responding to beta-blockers. it was a good four or five hours into induction (brought my BP down but didn't work for pain relief... grrr).

lulumama Thu 22-Feb-07 21:18:17

well, it depends very much on the availability of an anesthatist, so 3 hours probably not standard...

i take it you had other pain relief though?

mears Thu 22-Feb-07 21:18:27

Normally an epidural will be sited within 30 mins of requesting it, however if it is out of hours then there is usually only one anaesthetist in the labour ward. That means emergency cases take preference, so if a woman needs a C/S the anaesthetist will be in theatre and the epidural will have to wait. It might be that 2 or 3 women require emergency attention from the anaesthetist in which case you could have a 3 hour wait.

It can be possible to site an epidural prior to induction but IME they do not work well. It is better to have contractions before the epidural goes in to know whether it is hitting the right spot or not.

morningpaper Thu 22-Feb-07 21:18:53

Probably depends how busy the anaesthesiologist (sp?) was

I think that some midwives like to put you off in the hope that you'll just progress without it

littlemissbossy Thu 22-Feb-07 21:32:54

I too had to wait ... around 2.5 hours I think - the anaesthetist was in theatre. TBH it was worth the wait, worked perfectly for me

MyBeautifulBabyGirl Thu 22-Feb-07 21:39:32

*i take it you had other pain relief though? *

Only gas and air..bloody useless

lulumama Thu 22-Feb-07 21:41:30

did you get the epidural in the end? did it work for you? no other pain relief pethidine ?

are you miffed about the whole experience..if so , you can ask to go through your notes with the head of midwifery...

MyBeautifulBabyGirl Thu 22-Feb-07 21:49:03

*you can ask to go through your notes with the head of midwifery*

I can't remember parts of my labour and a big chunk afterwards, that is why someone DID come out with my notes and that is how I know it was three hours wait.

I just remember crying and begging them to turn down the inducement drugs or to let me move off or in the bed of course I wasn't allowed to do either

kathryn77 Thu 22-Feb-07 21:54:28

I had to wait ages too... I guess it is because the anaethist is sometimes in theatre or doing emergencey stuff.

I was really annoyed as it took so long and i did not want an epidural and the midwife recommended one <baby stuck, needed some labour inducing drugs, been there ages> so I was hysterical as was so scared... so made decision then had to literally wait a few hours to get epidural... was furious after as for me, it was a huge decision, and waiting made it worse.

I did go through the notes afterwards and it did explain the problems i had, but no compensation at the time.

Did the epidual work ? How is your little girl?

littlemissbossy Thu 22-Feb-07 21:55:28

I wasn't induced
I only had gas and air until the epidural came

coppertop Thu 22-Feb-07 21:56:49

With dd the MW refused to let me have an epidural as she said I was only having twinges. The nearest I got to one was the MW eventually agreeing to ask the next MW when she did a shift change. Instead dd's head appeared a few minutes later.

In my 2 previous inductions I was offered an epidural fairly early on and it was done very quickly.

MyBeautifulBabyGirl Thu 22-Feb-07 21:57:15

My DD is wonderful, I just need to forget how she was ripped into this world...poor baby

lulumama Thu 22-Feb-07 21:58:32


you sound like you are really distressed my your birth experience....that is indeed fo r you

have you talked the whole thing through with someone independent ?

birth trauma association or sheila kitzinger'sbirth crisis helpline

lulumama Thu 22-Feb-07 22:00:07

did you end up with an emergency CS ? i did after a failed induction, it triggered severe PND for me

i am a trainee doula and a volunteer for the BTA and just started as CS rep for the local branch of the NCT

if you would like to email me for a 'chat' about it, please do

lulumama 21 @ hotmail. com

no spaces!


Guitargirl Thu 22-Feb-07 22:00:16

I also had to wait 3 hours because anaesthetist was in theatre with emergency C-sections.

I was induced at 10am, contractions started around 2pm, manageable up until about 6pm, waters broke at 7pm, was examined and found to be 0cm dilated even though it hurt like hell and asked for pain relief. Was told I couldn't have epidural until I was at least 5cm dilated. When I was examined again at 9:30pm found to be 6cm and they gave the go ahead for the epidural but couldn't actually have one until nearly 1am...will never forget the feeling of total hopelessness at 11pm when told by midwife it would be at least another hour...

kathryn77 Thu 22-Feb-07 22:01:13

How old is DD now? I felt completely traumatised by mine for weeks but slowly recovered. I also could not walk properly and had no strength following epidural. I think talking about it helps and time does heal it.

Talk about it and try to understand what happened asap..... do not want it to ruin relationship with DD.

lulumama Thu 22-Feb-07 22:02:50

meant a 'chat' about your experience, obviously

Nikki76 Thu 22-Feb-07 22:03:38

They broke my waters artificially and gave me a drip as my labour was failing to progress satisfactorily.

I said to them before I agreed to drip/water break please please have the epidural lined up cos I had already been in labour for two days this time and had managed on just one shot of morphine and gas/air. But by this time, I was already finding the contractions really intense and knew I wouldn't be able to take much of it once they stepped a gear.

They happily agreed to all this and then when the contractions were really firing off and I wanted the epidural, it took well over an hour - which felt like a lifetime and was sucking on the gas and air like a stranded fish, but it wasn't helping at that stage. In the end I just sobbed really really hard on the bed and started screaming I pay my taxes where the f**k is anaesthetist, at a dinner party or something and made the student midwife cry.....finally got the epidural and was all happy after and looking for food, but I do feel that they want you to go as far as possible without anything which is fine if that is what you want, but I didn't and really resented all the can you just manage another half an hour etc and all the endless questions!! 'how are you feeling now?' oh just peachy thanks!!

lazyline Thu 22-Feb-07 22:04:25

They tried to get me to have a drip without an epidural as the anaesthetist was on lunch! I said I would just wait. Funnily enough, he turned up 10 minutes later.

Nikki76 Thu 22-Feb-07 22:07:06


Ended up with emergency c section and severe PND after - wonder if there is a link?? I have a hearing problem and so couldn't hear or see what was going on during op and they didn't drop the screen or pop him around as soon as he was born, so only saw him all wrapped up and I know this may sound mad, but I wanted to see him all covered in gunk etc as would have felt he at least came from me, which I didn't feel at the time, even though I know he did...if that makes sense??!!

lulumama Thu 22-Feb-07 22:08:32

makes sense to me Nikki......

look at the links below re birth trauma....very useful

MyBeautifulBabyGirl Thu 22-Feb-07 22:11:21

I have talked to someone, but it didn't make me forget anything,I just got upset again.

lulumama Thu 22-Feb-07 22:18:09

you don;t need to forget it, iFYSWIM..going through the pain of it can be useful long term, to come to terms with it and move on. you don;t have to forget....

it is especially valuable to put a bad birth experience 'to bed' as it were, if you plan on having more children....

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: