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Pain Free Pain Relief?

(32 Posts)
thebump Tue 15-Feb-05 12:49:21

Hi Everyone.

I'm due to have my first baby in a couple of months and like a number of people, am frightened to death of needles.

Although I'd like to think I can tackle child birth with nothing but sheer determination and a small amount of gas and air, I think I may be slightly disillusioned. So I've not ruled out the epidural.
Everyone who I've spoken to so far has told me that I'll be in so much pain, that I won't even feel the needle going in (thats a lot for that guys!) but I was wondering if anyone could tell me what it really feels like?

charliecat Tue 15-Feb-05 12:51:29

For me it was just like your friends have said. With my 2nd dd i was having a contraction as he was putting the neddle in...not that i could feel it....but it was the contraction that hurt not what the bloke behind me was doing. After hed finished I said "You do realise your like god for some women dont you?" He just laughed!

Gwenick Tue 15-Feb-05 12:51:52

OK let me just assure you of something, I'm also terrified of needles BUT when your in the throws of labour it's probably the only time in your life that you honestly won't care.

I'm that scared of them I 'missed' 2 of my bloodtests while pg

leahbump Tue 15-Feb-05 12:52:36

I too am scared of needles and can honestly say that I didn't feel that much, I so uncomfortable anyway.

I felt the drugs go in- v cold. I might have felt them pushing on my back and that was fine also.

Unfortunately i had lots of other needles which wasn't great but the epidural was the easiest of the lot!

ds is now one! I'm facing it all again in 6 months time!

sallystrawberry Tue 15-Feb-05 12:56:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

teabelly Tue 15-Feb-05 13:11:24

Thebump (great name!) are you going to change it afterwards??

Like you I am beyond pertified of needles...I once had to be dragged out from under a bed to be given a pre-med for an operation! . So when I was expecting ds I thought the only option for me was gas and air, and was really nervous about going into labour. But nothing could have prepared me for the painful contractions I had (possibly coz I went from 2-8cm dilated in 20mins). But I have to say that everyone is dh begged me to have an epidural, and eventually I did...and you really really don't notice it. I was given a small local to numb the area, and then they did the main part, at that point, as others have said, you get a cold feeling down your back as the liquid goes in. From that moment on I changed from a screaming banshee to a calm serene normal person and had the most wonderful birth.

...I'm expecting number two in 15 weeks and my major concern now is that because ds came out in a little under 5 hours that I won't have enough time with this one to have an epidural!!!

bakedpotato Tue 15-Feb-05 13:16:58

sigh, so jealous of all of you that had time to have them. they sound blimmin marvellous.

Gwenick Tue 15-Feb-05 13:18:27

ahh don't worry baked - I had pethidine and epidural and it didn't make the slightest bit of difference LOL

Pidge Tue 15-Feb-05 13:20:05

Totally agree with everyone else - I was in so much pain from the contractions I didn't even notice the epidural going in. And I would have married the anaesthetist on the spot if he'd asked me (am not even married to dp!!).

I developed a terrible needle phobia as a child due to having lots of blood tests done for problems with eczema and asthma - had to be held down by 3 nurses to have my rubella at age 13! I managed to overcome it over the years, to the point where I can manage fairly well now. But definitely needing an epidural is the one situation when I was positively joyful at the prospect of that needle.

Expectantmum Tue 15-Feb-05 13:21:13

You ladies are making it all sound soooo easy! Is the epidural really that good? You hear so many mixed reports about it, although I fully intend to when needed !

alicatsg Tue 15-Feb-05 13:26:43

I just remember pressure and a cold feeling. Didn't see the needle as they lie you facing away from it to get at your back. I was more concerned with the infant doctor telling me there were just 3 things to note about epidurals and then listing 7 things. "He can't count! he can't count!!" (on rising note of disbelief). DH claims that its his most embarrassing moment yet.

Regrettably I didn't get much epidural as ds decided he was coming out as the needle went in. I kept putting it off thinking I wouldn't feel the benefit later if I had it too early. Its the Scot in me coming to the fore.

Poshpaws Tue 15-Feb-05 13:27:17

Expectantmum, I found the epi(mobile) an absolute dream. I was not a screaming banshee in labour, but I was in a LOT of pain and although I know I could have gone without the epi, I WANTED one, so I had it.

I went from having a permanent wincing expression on my face and being uable to speak mid contraction to not feeling a thing, and I mean a thing right up to and including stitches. Not having one this time round though (May) as having a homebirth.

Don't quite get the idea of the mobile epi - I still had to stay on the bed and have my legs in stirrups!!

Pidge Tue 15-Feb-05 13:27:29

I needed it sooooo badly - had 48 hours of contractions every 10 minutes, then 8 hours of contractions every 1-2 minutes and still wasn't dilating (only got to 4cm) ... so boy was that epidural popular. And it worked totally for me - I felt nothing from that point on. Had a good nap actually .

But it doesn't work so well for all. And this time round (due in 2 weeks) am hoping for homebirth with just water and gas and air to get me by!

wordgirl Tue 15-Feb-05 13:30:06

PMSL at alicatsg and the infant doctor!

morningpaper Tue 15-Feb-05 13:30:55

I didn't feel a THING having the epidural inserted - however, the epidural didn't work for me, so it's not the pain-free option for everyone.

I wish I'd gone for pethidine before trying the epidural because a few hours after the epidural not working (with re-siting and six top-ups through the epidural) I was hysterical and I think that the pethidine would have been less drastic than 6 lots of epidural medication. It also meant that my legs were completely paralysed for about 12 hours afterwards, which was bloody awful. Would have been great it I was having my legs amputated, but not so useful when giving birth.

Expectantmum Tue 15-Feb-05 14:04:46

Well Poshpaws, you've certainly sold it to me!

galaxy Tue 15-Feb-05 14:07:13

I was having a water birth but my contractions came on so violently after they broke my waters that I turned into a screaming banshee and after 10 minutes was demanding an epidural.

On the plus side, it worked wonders for pain relief but on the down side my contractions stopped about an hour after and I then had to have the drip about 6 hours later to start them again.

I was mobile throughout though (if a little wobbly legged)

Poshpaws Tue 15-Feb-05 14:07:56

Glad to be of service EM .

What I will say is that I am assuming that I was lucky, as I never felt the needle going in, had one 'shot' of it (never had a top up) and could feel my legs (mobile). Also, not one complication afterwards, no headaches, backaches, nothing.

The only reason I am having a homebirth this time is because I want to be at home AFTER the birth so I can get some sleep

thebump Wed 16-Feb-05 12:40:50

Well I've got to say ladies, I'm feeling a little more confident. This afternoon's going to be a test run. I'm off to see my cross-eyed midwife (not kidding!) and she'll no doubt be using me as a pin cushion for one blood test or another!!

And as for the username ... I think I might keep it! At the rate this baby's going, I'll have a huge bump for sometime after the birth anyway! I'm sure I'm carrying triplets! I actually could be as I haven't even had a scan yet (not far off the 3rd trimester!). Disgraceful... Don't even get me started on that one!! Long live the NHS!

morningpaper Wed 16-Feb-05 12:42:06

Poshpaws: I know what you mean about the sleep afterwards! Being kept on the maternity ward felt like torture!

Fran1 Wed 16-Feb-05 12:47:06

I didn't make any plans, i'd see how it went and take whatever pain relief required. I ended up being lucky enough to only have a 6hr labour and only used gas and air. I did beg for pethidine and the midwife kept saying yeah i'll do it in a minute (just to keep me happy) cos i didn't realise at the time baby's head was already virtually out!!

Have you ever had gas and air? I hadn't and was surprised by its effects, i genuinely felt like i wasn't in my body and i went flying in the clouds i could see out of the window - that certainly helped take away the pain!

And believe me i am not normally a wishy washy person , but thats what the gas and air did to me. It was great!

Good luck! and don't worry about the pain, just remember what a beautiful reward you will get at the end!

bonym Wed 16-Feb-05 18:01:10

I had an epidural with dd and yes, it was a blissful relief asI really felt I couldn't cope beforehand and then felt no pain whatsoever afterwards. HOWEVER - I really don't think I would want one this time round (and in fact am booked for a home birth so can't) because I felt it led to more and more intervention - I was confined to the bed, even though it was a "mobile" epidural - constant monitoring - couldn't feel to push and ended up with an episiotomy and ventouse. One of the worse things (for me) was afterwards being absolutely desperate for a wee but not being able to go as I couldn't feel the muscles in my bladder (although could feel that it was full to bursting!) so I had to be catherterised (they took a litre and a half out!! - sorry if tmi.

starlover Wed 16-Feb-05 19:32:41


I didn't want an epidural, although, like you, I hadn't ruled one out. However, I was eventually in so much pain that I really, really couldn't cope with it anymore and I ended up having one.
I barely felt the needle going in, it was just like a small prick in my back and as the others have said, a cold feeling as they put the drugs in, but to be honest, I wouldn't have cared if it had hurt because I would have done anything to get the pain to stop!
Sorry if that sounds a bit scary... you may find that you can cope well with the pain on gas and air in which case you won't need an epidural.
I also had pethidine which was lovely! still a needle, but in the leg rather than the back.
It hurt more having the needle in my hand for my drip to be honest!

When you're in labour, the needles will be the LAST thing on your mind, you will have so many other things to focus on... contractions etc, and of course the imminent arrival of your baby!

lunavix Wed 16-Feb-05 19:40:19

My epidural was fab!

I'd had the pethidine first which was TERRIBLE the head midwife got me in the wrong nerve, paralysed me down my leg (so I HAD to lie down to have ds) made me all sleepy (with contractions every 3 minutes, a nightmare) and then slowed them down!

I had a lovely anaethitist (however you spell that) the needle going in was a tiny bit sharp, but couldn't feel anything for an hour, and after each hour they topped it up!

Only bad thing was they'd just done when when I had to start pushing, and because I couldn't feel anything 'down there' I didn't have an urge to push and couldn't feel myself trying! Unfortunately that wore off!

CrazyDi Wed 16-Feb-05 20:37:07

With my first baby I went in with 'only gas and air' going through my head...after labour started I thought 'to hell with that' and took everything offered and had an epidural. No pain for a fair few hours. I still left hospital saying 'NEVER AGAIN' as it was allowed to wear off for second stage...

With babe number 2 they made excuse after excuse and I never got the epidural...and now I know the difference!! Trust me, I cant emphasisie enough TAKE IT!! You wont even notice the prick of the needle, but the epidural will be pure heaven..I had no probs except like a few I had to stay in a bit longer cos I couldnt wee !!

I am 32 weeks with babe number 3 and I filled out my birth plan the other night and in big black capitals wrote out...EPIDURAL A MUST..NON NEGOTIABLE and Lord help them if they ignore it!!

Good luck and hope I didnt put you off!!

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