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Epidural- your experience please

(31 Posts)
Wishfulmakeupping Sun 02-Dec-12 20:14:11

I'm due first baby soon, as im allergic and can have fatal reactions to various anethetics but could safely have an epidural my consultant thinks it better I have one in case of needing a CS or other intervention.
Anyways from learning about epidurals at antenatal class and hearing from people I know I'm worried about it.
Did you have an epidural- how was the birth - did it slow it down/need forceps etc

snowtunesgirl Sun 02-Dec-12 20:19:07

Very much needed as I was induced and DD was back to back. I ended up having and EMCS as well so it was necessary.

However, upon wearing off, they took out the catheter that they had inserted when they gave me my epidural and I couldn't go. sad I had to have the catheter put back in and I had it for two weeks.

It's a side effect of the epidural where the signals from your brain to your bladder get confused.

But all in all, I would still go for it.

GaryBuseysTeeth Sun 02-Dec-12 20:24:28

I was induced early with DS and I don't think I would've had a natural birth without the epidural.
Before going into labour I had expressed a desire for no intervention/pain medication, that went out of the window when they broke my waters! So you don't have to make your mind up until the 11th hour.

They had to put the needle in twice, as it came out the first time, but I was so knackered (pethidine+48hours of labouring) that I didn't realise!

However, I was on a monitor (DS had an erratic heartbeat, which cleared up when he was born), which failed to register my contractions...which meant they didn't give me the epi top-up one I'd used my lot, Ds arrived about 30mins after that.

I was fine after with no side effects.

I would have an epidural again, if I was to have a hospital birth.

Good luck

Mylittlepuds Sun 02-Dec-12 20:25:27

Same as showgirl. Induced and back to back baby. I pregnant again and I'll be skipping the other pain relief drugs such as pethadine which sent me bonkers and going straight for an epi. Weirdly though it only took the edge off for me!

IHeartKingThistle Sun 02-Dec-12 20:26:04

Mine didn't work. Either time sad.

whoneedstosleep Sun 02-Dec-12 20:30:12

Had one first time round. Back to back big baby ending in rotational forceps. That might have happened anyway but I blame the epidural as it meant I was on my back for labour.

Managed with no pain relief 2nd time but still ended up in theatre with tear.

You have to do what you feel is right at the time. As much as I blame the epidural for a tough delivery I couldn't have done without it at that time.

themammy73 Sun 02-Dec-12 20:43:31

Thanks for starting this thread as I have this question too! I'm about to have DC4 and never had an epidural before (gas and air with the two of them, pethidine with the first) but thought I might like one this time. Is it the case that they always have to put a catheter in? This concerns me more than the needle!! I presume they put it in after you are numbed?

kittenskittenskittens Sun 02-Dec-12 21:52:12

I think it's the best thing in the world, I was almost delirious with pain before it, throwing up, constant contractions and very erratic and then the blessed epidural! ( I would have married the anithatist at that point) it does slow it down but your not in pain so why would you care?! I know I would have had the baby in the next hour or 2 without it, as it was it was 5 but I was sat up eating toast drinking tea and chatting with mw, even after you get to 10cm they wait another 2 hours for baby to get as low as possible before pushing, my only advice which I was told before hand by sis not mw was when they say push do it with everything you've got as because your not in pain and up til then they don't rush you you maybe don't try as hard when the reality is you only have an hour before they will assist you and I think alot of first timers would just accept if they are told they need forceps that they do rather then having realised iyswim! It's a personal decision but for me made the birth dare I say enjoyable and when / if you need stitches I layed back enjoying skin to skin without the agony of feeling stitches aswell

kittenskittenskittens Sun 02-Dec-12 21:53:14

And yes they always use a catheter but it's put in after so I never felt a thing

Clarella Sun 02-Dec-12 22:39:40

We had an anethetist (sp?!baby brain!) in our nct group who said all her colleagues had them and she certainly demanded hers when she was ready for it!

I'm intending to try the usual things first but am not going to say no if it gets too much.

Signet2012 Sun 02-Dec-12 22:42:56

My catheter went in before my epidural. The only reason I was having an epidural was be because I was having an emergency section. The catheter went in before hand and I wasn't numbed etc it was a strange feeling but not painful. It didn't get rid of my need to wee even though it was working fine though!

Primrose123 Sun 02-Dec-12 22:43:31

I've had two. The first was is a back to back labour and I was desperate for it. It was wonderful, I didn't feel it going in and the pain stopped very quickly. The second was for a planned CS. It was very slightly painful going in, but not too bad and over in seconds. I would be quite happy to have another epidural.

Jakeyblueblue Mon 03-Dec-12 00:12:04

I had one after vowing I wouldn't and I honestly think it saved me from a section. Ds was 9 1/2 lbs and back to back. I started on the sun night and by tues afternoon I was absolutely Knackered and still only 6cm. There was no way I could have carried on and pushed for 2 hrs without that little rest that the epidural gave me. I had it in about 5pm and was able to get an hours sleep which gave me the energy to carry on. Ds was born at half 5 the following am.
Out of interest I had a walking epidural so still had the use of my legs. I wasn't catheterised and they turned it off when I reached 10cm so I could feel to push.
Like I said, it saved my bacon and I'd advise anyone keep an open mind about having one smile

littlegreenvoice Mon 03-Dec-12 00:25:44

I insisted on having one as soon as I was booked in for labour, I didn't think twice about it. No point in going through so much pain when there is a way to avoid it, I've never been a martyr-type parent!

I don't think it slowed down the labour and I didn't need any forceps, no stitches or anything. My memory of labour (which is a bit hazy now, ten years on!) was efficient and pain-free.

cheapshitwine Mon 03-Dec-12 00:56:07

I had two in quick succession (one for an emc and then had to have another op a couple weeks after the birth and was BF so easier to be awake during op) and IME both were fine - I'm terrified of needles but honestly didn't feel a thing when it went in, and it worked very effectively. I think it's really important to 'go with it' if you know what I mean. Put your trust in the person who administers it (am not even attempting to spell their job title smile) and relax. I know that's easier said than done, but when you're so close to seeing your own little baba, you genuinely find reserves of strength and determination that you never knew you had (I saw it as needing to be brave for my baby.) sorry, that's quite vom inducing! But actually didn't need to be brave, as it wasn't a big deal for me (and the doctors were so supportive and lovely - they all sat round me doing impressions of prawns (you have to sort of curl over your bump, like a prawn, for the injection.) I couldn't think what a prawn looked like (mega baby brain) so they all helped me out smile

Mylittlepuds Mon 03-Dec-12 08:31:08

Oh yes and I can remember when I saw the anaesthetist I thought he was an angel sent from heaven although that may have been the pethadine

HarlettHoHoHoScara Mon 03-Dec-12 08:48:51

I was adamant that I wasn't having one as I wanted an active birth but when I ended up being induced and it then became evident early on that the baby would need a scalp monitor attached and I wouldn't be able to have the active birth I had envisaged, I asked for the epidural at about 5-6cm.

I never lost full control of my legs...they just felt heavier than normal and the epidural wore off/was turned off (not sure which) and by the time I was fully dilated I could feel my contractions and was able to push effectively. Took less than an hour to push DD out and no forceps etc required. She was breastfeeding soon after birth despite needing assistance to get breathing (nothing to do with epidural, the cord was round her neck).

Once back on the ward, I was up and about within a couple of hours and felt absolutely fine.

MrsMerryMeeple Mon 03-Dec-12 09:00:03

I had a walking epidural. No catheter. It was a great relief, finally got some rest before the final stage. I felt all the final stage and was actively pushing. I will be putting the same preference on my birthplan for DC2.

I was rather paranoid, having read newspaper horror stories. But DH knew what I was stressing about and could translate my rambling for the med-staff. And he watched and reassured me that they were being careful and doing it right (as far as he could tell...).

FestiveDigestive Mon 03-Dec-12 09:00:42

I had one and it was the most lovely thing. I couldn't speak for hours beforehand, then it was put it & I felt great. It was such a relief to watch the massive contractions on the monitor but not feel the pain from them anymore.

I did end up with a section. I don't think it was the epidural that caused it though, I was induced & my cervix just refused to open very much.

No problems afterwards and having it put it didn't hurt at all. I also had one before an elective section - so I wasn't already in pain - and that didn't hurt either. There's no stinging sensation just a bit if pressure and then a funny cold feeling as it starts to work. I found having a flu vaccine more uncomfortable!

MoleyMick Mon 03-Dec-12 09:03:41

With DS it didn't work at all hmm with DD it did and it was GLORIOUS! And I was up and about a couple of hours after she was born, all fine.

ThwartedbyMum Mon 03-Dec-12 09:11:22

I loved my epidural! Didn't feel it going in, could still feel my legs but baby was on a monitor so was bed bound. Had a catheter too but didn't actually know or realise until after the birth. The monitor indicated DD's heartbeat was dropping and I wasn't dialating beyond 8cm so was rushed off for a EMCS. I was really glad to have had the epidural then as there was no delay and I actually still felt DD being born.

RPosieB Mon 03-Dec-12 09:16:57

An epidural is a wonderful thing!! However, I really didn't enjoy being totally numb and not being able to move. I couldn't tell if I was pushing or not and although it was brilliant to be pain free I ended up doing the last couple of hours drug free. (It's epidural or nothing here so I was literally drug free!!!) I'm 20 weeks pregnant with no 2 now and would prefer no epidural this time, and certainly not for the delivery......

WhatWouldCaitlinDo Mon 03-Dec-12 09:19:46

I had one at the end of a very long back to back labour (contractions started Mon lunchtime, DC born Thurs at 8.45am). It was fantastic - I was knackered and getting worried about having enough energy to push. After the epidural I slept for 6hrs then sat in bed doing an online grocery order with all the things I couldn't eat while I was pregnant, before pushing the baby out in 40 mins. V civilised!

I didn't sleep on Mon or Tues night so it was a godsend for me. Just make sure you ask soon enough - I had to wait 3hrs as the ward was v busy.

piprabbit Mon 03-Dec-12 09:21:15

Putting the epidural in was fine (this was the bit I had worried about especially).
However, it wasn't full effective on my right-hand side. This meant that I was still in a lot of pain. It was topped up and it was slightly better but not 100% effective as I still needed additional pain relief in the form of diamorphine.

I think it made pushing harder because I couldn't really feel exactly what was happening, plus I was off my head on the diamorphine.

Afterwards, I had what felt like cramp in a couple of the toes on my right foot which took about 3 months to wear off fully.

Having said all that - I would still have an epidural if I was being put on a syntocin drip again.

RightUpMyRue Mon 03-Dec-12 09:29:45

I had quite a long labour and was knackered. The epidural helped to relax me enought to get some rest (not sleep but rest) to gear up for the pushing bit which was over in 20 minutes. I think had I not had the epidural it would have lasted a lot longer because I would have been even more tired.

I didn't feel the needle going in or coming out but I hated the catheter. I couldn't wait to get that thing out of me. The MW on the postnatal ward said to me I couldn't have it out unless I could walk to the loo and seeing as I'd just had a epidural she didn't think that would be for a while. I got up walked down the nurses station, bag of pee in hand, and asked for to be removed now please! This was all within abut an hour or so of DD being born.

No bad effects or horror stories about epidurals from me. If you need/want one you have one. It was what I needed at the time and I'm totally up for having another one this time too.

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