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Epidural... ANyone else been terrified?

(23 Posts)
dabihp Thu 31-Mar-05 10:26:35

Am 32 weeeks and facing possible 2nd c-section. Last time (2.5yrs ago) had elective due to baby not dropping. 3 failed attempts at epidural and they decided to knock me out. Felt rubbish for days after, adn took forever for scar to heal..

Was hoping for a vbac, but have heard lots of horror stories (scar rupture, having to stay on bed during labour, failure to progress etc..)

Am TERRIFIED of an epidural (last time they hit the wrong place and I was screaming in agony and shoooting electric shocks down my body).

Anethetist has recommended an epidural, and feel railroaded into it. but am so scared of it (shaking, vomiting, being AWAKE WHILE THEY CUT YOU OPEN!!!)

Any advice, happy vbac delivery stories, or happy epidural stories to share?

pupuce Thu 31-Mar-05 10:30:21

I can give you loads of positive VBAC stories.... and seriously scar rupture is rare and usually (if the care you are getting is good) forseeable !
Would you consider a doula? Merlin who is also having a VBAC (any day now) was very scared too.... maybe she can tell you her thoughts...

dabihp Thu 31-Mar-05 10:32:09

Can u get a Doula on the NHS? lol

Leogaela Thu 31-Mar-05 10:38:32

Yes totally terrified! I planned not to have one at any cost, but ended up having an emergency c-section so didn't have much choice. After they had reassured me the baby was ok my second panic was that I had to have a needle stuck in my spine. Me & dh both told the anaethatist how nervous I was. I was so nervous that I jumped when he first touched my back (although he was not doing anything). Dh held me and talked to me the whole time and i didn't feel a thing!

I didn't have any shaking, felt a little bit sick for a few minutes but was just in a complete panic about having a c-section. It was the green outfits the medics were wearing and the operating room that made me so nervous. Dh talked to me the whole time to calm me down and I didn't feel a thing!

The best part was to hear my babies first cry and have my beautiful little baby laid against my face while the doctors finished what they had to do. I had numb arms and boobs afterwards and it took a couple of hours for it all to wear off but the epidural didn't give me any problems at all.

You are behind a screen when you have a CS so don't know what's going on at all and don't feel anything. If you have to have a CS it is much better to try to go for local anaesthetic.

Make sure the medics know how nervous you are and then they are usually much more careful and understanding, will talk to you and try to calm you.

Good luck!

Chandra Thu 31-Mar-05 10:39:08

Though I wanted to avoid the epidural (I was also very affraid), at the end there was no option and it was a blessing, so I guess that not because you had a bad experience with it once it has to be the same the next one. But I understand your point, the stupid nurse who placed those little tubes in my hand scratched the bone while doing so, as a result I'm still terrified of needles and, it was the most painful thing of the birth and the months afterwards. But I assume if there's a next one the chances of getting the same person again are pretty slim, and even if I got her, it shouldn't be difficicult to ask for another person to do it.

QueenEagle Thu 31-Mar-05 10:46:04

I had epidural with first baby although she was a natural delivery. I was pretty nervous but doing breathing exercises during insertion helped. It was over really quickly and when they'd done I wondered what I was worried about! I can understand why you are nervous tho having already had a bad experience. I'm sure your midwife would be happy to reassure you however. Good luck!

uwila Thu 31-Mar-05 10:49:10

I had an umplanned caesarean two years ago and am now 31 weeks pregnant. Like you, the baby did not decend. Although no one told me this could indicate a problem. I was induced, then the baby went into fetal distress because the cord was wrapped so tightly around her neck that her heart rate dropped. Then, I ended up in emergency caesarean under a general. You are the second person to tell me in recent months that you were advised to have a caesarean because the baby didn't drop. And it makes me question why my midwives/doctors didn't give me similar advice. Just curious, do you know why he/she didn't drop?

As for this pending delivery, I am of quite a different view than you. I am bound and determined to have an elective caesarean this time. Is your fear simply the epidural, or do you want a VBAC for other reasons. Couldn't you ask for a general if you wanted a caesarean? And, if you are going to have a VBAC, don't you still want an epidural.

Incidentally, I had a very easy time with the epidural (although it did have to be adjusted because it was numbing only one side -- but that was no big deal). And, my recovery from caesarean was bad either. Sure, it hurt for a week or two. But I figured that was more than a fair swap for skipping delivery.

welshmum Thu 31-Mar-05 11:23:55

Dabihp, I'm sorry that you had such a rough time and have so many worried about what lies ahead.
I had to have an elective with my first and was given some very good advice by a GP friend and that was to get some good information and then take control as far as possible. So if you do decide to go for an c-section I would ask as many questions as possible, get things straight in your head about the order things are done in and what measures you can take to keep calm and to aid your recovery. I think it helps if you feel that things aren't 'being done to you'.
If it helps I had a very positive experience of the birth and a swift recovery but I asked question after question, insisted on a certain consultant doing the delivery and found out all sorts about epidurals etc etc
Whatever decision you make - all the very best for a better experience this time around.

ladymuck Thu 31-Mar-05 11:27:46

Yes, I was totally in fear of the epidural.. In the end I begged for a GA. I'd had 2 failed epidurals previously.

With a planned c/s you do get to meet the anaethestist a couple of days before you're booked in, so you can discuss your fears then.

Merlin Thu 31-Mar-05 11:28:18

Dabihp - my ears were burning thanks to Pupuce! I had emergency section with DS (he was breech, waters broke, but had no contractions). This time at first I thought yes I'll have another section, but my consultant is all for me having a VBAC. Thanks to Pupuce I have found a lovely doula (shame they are not available on the NHS I agree!) and now I feel quite positive that I can have this baby naturally. An epidural would be my absolute last request if I really cannot stand the pain because I really want to be able to stay mobile. Had a spinal before which was absolutely fine, a dishy anaethitist (sp?) with a lovely bedside manner was a help!!! I really don't want another section because of the longer recovery and don't want to be in hospital for long. So, I'm just going to go with whatever happens, I figure that if it gets to the point where I do need an epi, a bit more possible pain is not a big deal!!!!

dabihp Thu 31-Mar-05 11:28:58

uwila - they said that my pelvis was too small for her head... So I guess there is no chance this time either, BUT,I have spoken to other women who had the same consultant and he sounds a bit scissors happy to me...

Merlin Thu 31-Mar-05 11:33:46

Also meant to add that I found my section went very smoothly, Everyone was really kind and reassuring explaining exactly what was happening when. I was quite concerned that the spinal wouldn't go in the right place because I had a dreadful cough and it was hard for me to suppress it and keep still, but the midwife was fantastic and just held me and talked to me to keep me calm. I think having a good chat with your consultant and/or midwife to voice your fears and concerns is a good idea. You could also write on your birth plan. I'm paranoid that they wont remember that I've had a previous section so I've written it in large letters on my notes at the top of the birth plan!!!

Kelly1978 Thu 31-Mar-05 11:36:29

Dabihp - If you aren't happy with ur consultant, ask for a second opinion. i did regarding my birth, and I was so glad I did, because I got my choice of birth that I was pushing for and it turned out to be the right one.
As for the epidural, I was really scared by it, but it was nowhere near as bad as I expected. I did feel the needle going in a bit, but told them, and they topped up the local, and from then on it was totally painless.
I'm so glad I was awake for the section too, feeling the weight of the babies being lifted out really felt like I had given birth and being able to hear and see them straight away was lovely - I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Rowlers Thu 31-Mar-05 11:38:05

No experience of vbac or c-section but had an epidural with DD. I knew I didn't want to go through massive pain so made it clear this is what I wnated very early on. I was more terrified of giving birth than having epidural.
The anaesthetist was great - I didn't feel a thing at all. Probably because I was concentrating on controlling myself through the huge contractions I was having. He even came back and topped up my dose when I had a patch of pain.
Would say though that I was very achey afterwards as I stayed in the same position due to the numbing effect for too long.

uwila Thu 31-Mar-05 11:39:14

I guess the risk you run is that if your pelvis is too small, you could end up pushing and pushing and pushing and THEN go for an unplanned caesarean. That to me is the worst possible scenario. And one of reasons I desperately want a planned caesarean is because it is the only way to guarantee avoiding and emergency caesarean.

Your choice of course. Can you get a second opinion on the pevis size to head size ration? I thought one of the basic right on the NHS was a second opinion.

mears Thu 31-Mar-05 12:57:56

dabihp - I presume that the last time your baby's head did not engae in the pelvis at all an that is why you had an elective C/S. That is a definate indicator of cephalopelvic disproportion (baby's head too big for pelvis). That is different from the scenario where the head had been in the pelvis and does not descend any further in labour. That can be because of the baby's head being in a poor position in relation to the pelvis or short cord etc. In the second scenarion, that might not be a problem second time around and labour could go very well, thus avoiding an unecessary section. However, some women do not have the confidence to try for VBAC, which in itself is not a good way to approach labour.
If this baby's head does engage, then you would be able to try for a VBAC. If however, the head remains high and does not go into the pelvis at all, you would be recommended to have a repeat C/S. It is usually a spinal anaesthetic that is used rather than a n epidural that takes longer to work. An epidural means there is a catheter (fine tube) inserted into your back. A spinal is an injection of anaethetic inserted a bit deeper into your back but nothing is left in. It works in a slightly different way . You do not always vomit (only if BP drops) and the shaking is for a short while. Much better than a general anaesthetic because you can see your baby immediately and be pain free initially. Much safer anaesthetic for both mum and baby at the end of the day. Hopefully you would not encounter the same problems this time. Discuss it fully with the anaesthetist who will try his/her best to avoid the problems of last time.

Niddlynono Thu 31-Mar-05 13:35:47

I had an epidural 2 and a half years ago (before an emergency CS) and just remember it as being bloody uncomfortable having to bend forwards with this massive belly in the way while the anaesthetist did his stuff.

Naturally I was scared about the CS (it was my first baby) but it was absolutely fine and I seemed to recover very quickly. I'm glad I was awake to hear DS's first cry and was able to see him although I was shaking too much to hold him.

In an ideal world I would opt for an epidural and CS next time.

I hope you feel comfortable with whatever decision you make and that your labour goes well.

suzywong Thu 31-Mar-05 13:47:09

I wasn't scared although dh was when the anaethestist hit my sciatic nerve and my leg jolted.

Had it gladly with ds2 but went in to dreadful dreadful spasms and shivering and chills as they perfomed the em C for ds2, it was absolutely terrifying

pinotgrigio Thu 31-Mar-05 13:54:44

I had an epidural - over in seconds, didn't feel a thing. It was a mobile one, so could still walk around. They kept it nice and topped up and I had a lovely roast dinner and read the paper. Fab. TBH the drip in my hand was more annoying. I would have another without hesitation.

I wouldn't use my bloody annoying tens again and I couldn't bring myself to even bring the gas and air mouthpiece to my mouth without feeling sick. Each to their own though, I know everybody else has no problem with them! I hope this helps you a little with a positive epidural story. I didn't have a c-sec though, so can't help there.

Keane Thu 31-Mar-05 14:08:44

with my first epidural I had a dural tap so when I went for my second "planned" section i was terrified of having any type of needle inserted into my spine. The spinal I had was fine, even though I was panicking, my leg also jolted! but everything was fine, but i was in a panic too

Njata Thu 31-Mar-05 14:15:35

Hi. I had an epidural for my second birth. I have a needle phobia and was so scared that I managed to pursuade the team to let me suck on the gas & air while they did what they had to do! Initially they refused because they said I had to stay totally still etc, but when I explained in erm, explicit shall we say, detail, how I felt, they handed me the gas & air, I sucked it silly and went to my happy place while they did it! It just helped me to be calm and relaxed and that is the most important thing when they do an epidural.

pupuce Thu 31-Mar-05 14:20:12

dabhip - there is a hardship fund for women who can't afford doulas and there are trainee doulas (who can ber very good!) who charge expenses only...
otherwise birth doulas charge between £250 and £500 for the birth and antenatal support.

But I agree with Mears' view though... it's all a question of the baby's head engaging,
You can CAT me if you want to talk about doulas.

Monkeysmom Fri 01-Apr-05 13:12:47

I have a happy epidurial storyto share. My baby was breach so I had to have a planned C-section. I was also terrified but had no choice but to go with it.
It was painless, my dh held my hand, the anesthetist was very, very nice and talked me through the whole process. I was awake through the op and was able to hold the baby straightaway. No headaches, just a little back pain but I can't complain as I guess was nothing compared with going through labour.

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