August 19, 2008,
K.M. asks from Sherman, TX on July 24, 2008
I am scheduled to induce on August 6th and can't decide what I want to do for pain management. I've heard lots of mixed reviews on epidurals vs. local anesthesia. Can y'all maybe tell me more, your horror stories, success stories, worries, fears, etc. I guess I just don't want to think I am the only one going through this. Thanks in advance for your help, laughs and answers. :-)
So What Happened?™
First off, thanks to everyone who replied! Your advice helped more than you know. I decided to wait it out and see how long I could hack it. I was given Stadol (sp?) when I went in on Tuesday evening and it did make me feel a little buzzed, like I'd had a few drinks, and decided at 5:30 the following (wed) morning to go ahead and get the epidural...wow is all I can say. Shortly after that, they gave me my pitocin and my water broke and my precious, perfect little baby girl was born at 1:37pm, Wednesday August 6. Should we ever decide to have another one and time and allows for it, I will definetly get an epidural. I don't know what I was so worried about. Thanks again to all!
L.D. answers from San Antonio on July 25, 2008
When I was pregnant for the first time, I was certain I would not use drugs. That being said, induction changes everything. I say once any medical intervention begins, go with it.
L.K. answers from Austin on July 26, 2008
I am a senior midwife student and I would like to give you some advice. First of all you should not be scheduling an induction unless there is a medical emergency and the baby needs to be born. Most first time moms do not show any signs of dilation or progression until labor has started. I never dilated before I went into labor. You have not even reached your due date yet and the majority of first time moms go over there due date. If you let your body go into labor naturally your labor will not be as intense as it would be with an induction. There are many, many risks and side effects with all pain medications, epidurals included. The medication will reach the baby. Studies have shown that the medication will stay in the baby's system for up to 48 hours after birth. Babies born under the influence of drugs are slower to respond, they have more problems eating and their muscle tone is not as good. There is also something called an epidural fever. A lot of the time babies will be born with a fever after mom has had an epidural. If this happens to your baby, the baby will automatically be put in the nursery and subjected to all kinds of tests and be given IV antibiotics. Not to mention there are many side effects of epidurals on the mom. Many times the mom's blood pressure will drop following an epidural, this causes the baby's heart rate to drop and then you will have a c-section. Also, many moms report chronic back pain following an epidural. There are many things you can do naturally to help with pain control. Take a lot of walks, do not lay down in bed the whole time. Warm showers are great. Massages, eating and drinking, rocking on a birth ball, and lots of position changes can all help manage pain without subjecting yourself or your baby to drugs. Please think about other options. There a great book called The thinking woman's guide to better birth by Hence Goer. Or read any book by Sheila Kitzinger. Educate yourself before you let an induction be done for non-emergency reasons. And please let your baby begin it's life without drugs in it's system.
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J.K. answers from Austin on July 25, 2008
I absolutely loved my epidurals. I had three great anesthesiologists place my three epidurals (one for each kid). I knew the fear of the pain would be enough to put me over the edge, so as soon as I started feeling some decent contractions, I asked for the epidural. It kept me comfortable and as rested as possible for the real energy drain - life with a newborn. Labor with my first baby was so wonderful with my epidural that we played games the whole day til she arrived! I was induced with all three kids, the first one since I was slow to progress-just like you. Good luck!
S.O. answers from San Antonio on July 25, 2008
I've had 3 epidurals and was induced on my 3rd. Wouldn't trade it for the world!!!
D.H. answers from San Antonio on July 25, 2008
Congrats on the upcoming event! I personally had an epideral and loved it. I did not go the local anesthesia route because it tends to make me sick and I really wanted to be fully aware of what was going on. I did not have any side effects from the epi. but I know they do exist. Whatever you choose, good luck and enjoy. I cannot tell you how amazing it is to lay your eyes on that little one for the first time!!!
God Bless you,
K.N. answers from Austin on July 24, 2008
I was induced. Basically I wasn't dilated more than 1 when I went into labor (at 41 weeks). My water broke but I didn't know it because I wasn't dilated enough for my water to actually spill out... So by the time I went to the hospital (when contractions were 3 min apart, etc.), my sac had been ruptured for over 12 hours. They gave me antibiotics and pitocin to speed up everything.
I was in labor for 12 hours before I got my epidural... all night long... That was a long night. I was exhausted, hadn't gotten any sleep. And if that was what just the first phase of labor feels like-?! OMG!... I was so ready for an epidural and the nurses basically said it was a foregone conclusion because no one wants to go through the full dilation progression in 12 hrs. And mind you, we went through the pregnancy classes... Did what I was taught while in labor at home--all the breathing, walking, swatting, bending over the sofa.. Picturing the calm places, picturing me holding my baby... I am so impressed by the women who do natural childbirth. However, honestly, no thanks. I didn't want my recollection of her birth to be marred by memories of agony and exhaustion.
I'd choose the epidural again. My friend had both natural and with an epidural; she said if she had to do to again, she'd have the epidural. Ok, I believe her; her perspective was good enough for me. However, the epidural experience wasn't 'fantastic'. Basically, I was numb from the belly button down. Half my body had that super numb itchy feeling (REALLY ITCHY!) but when I tried to scratch, I couldn't feel anything. So I was scratching all over (making big red patches on myself from scratching) but couldn't get any relief. And I couldn't get out of bed, basically I was paralyzed until the birth was over. Had to have help turning from laying on my left side to my right.
I didn't have any complications from the epidural. No headaches immediately afterward or in the months afterward. No infection from the injection site.
I think ultimately you have to take in account why you are being induced before you can decide on the epidural question. How far along is your dilation at the time you get induced? If there is a possibility of an emergency c-section happening, they can do it quicker if you have already had been given the epidural. Will you have a full night's sleep behind you before they induce? Do you have any conditions that could make the epidural risky (or conditions that would cause other complications if your body has to go through the trauma of natural labor)?
Last thought for you: I was over a week past my due date when I went into labor. My husband and I were stubborn about the baby picking her own birthday... (Stupid us!) I would never wait that long again. My daughter swallowed micomium because she was so full term. They told us we wouldn't hear her cry immediately after birth because they had to suction her lungs out first. Scariest moment of my life... eerie silence. They kept her in NICU over night... But we were very lucky; she had no complications from it. However if your doctor is giving you the option of being induced around your due date instead of a week later, if it was me, I would choose the earlier date. I would not go that long past my due date ever again.
Don't stress over the epidural question... the first 8 weeks after your baby comes home are stressful enough. Save your mental energy for that! Big hug!
P.H. answers from Austin on July 25, 2008
If you were thinking about natural childbirth but didn't think it was an option anymore because of the induction, let me tell you that you certainly can do it! I had two inductions due to my late-pregnancy health issues (pre-eclampsia) and still went for it using Hypnobirthing techniques and it was amazing. They have to go easy on the pitocin and turn it up gradually, but once you labor starts it's all yours, and if you trust your body and your baby they already know what to do.
Anyway, think positive, and visualize your beautiful baby...who may be here as I write this! Best wishes!
C.Y. answers from San Antonio on July 25, 2008
Hi. My name is C. and I'm 29. I've had three children and the most recent was last December. With the first one and the last one I had an epidural and I had nothing but success with it. Getting it was relatively painless and I didn't feel the pain of the contractions at all. When it came time to push I had no problems and they all came out with just a couple of pushes. I had no lingering problems and would recommend it to everyone. It made my birthing experiences so much better. I was relaxed and actually able to enjoy everything. I wasn't too tired or hurting to hold my babies and I was alert to everything that was going on. I realize this doesn't happen with everyone but this was my experience. I hope you do what is right for you and have an easy labor and delivery. Enjoy you precious new baby and good luck!
A.H. answers from Odessa on July 25, 2008
I had an epidural, i requested it before they gave me inducing meds. and i did not feel a thing, i felt the need to push when the time was right, but other than that it was a great experiance. The only draw back it i got the shakes for about an hour after. but i was so tired i hardle noticed. and it only lasted about an hour. To me one hour of the shaked compared to 11 hours of pain is a no brainer. Oh i was also awake and coherant the whole time i was never "Druged". It was great. Good luck and enjoy that sweet little baby.