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Personal Delima

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. :-)

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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!

Featured Answers

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.

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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.

Good luck,

1 mom found this helpful

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!

I've had 3 epidurals and was induced on my 3rd. Wouldn't trade it for the world!!!

Hey K.,

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,

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!

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!

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!

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.

Hi K.!!
COngratulations!!!!!! I am a BIG chicken when it comes to pain. I just can't deal with it. I had an epidural the minute I walked thru the door and I can't even remember what a labor pain felt like!! I'd HIGHLY recommend the epidural. I LOVED, LOVED it!! Giood luck with your decision!

Hi K.,
They induced me with my first born son. When your enduced the contractions are so much more painful then when you have them natural. I also had local anesthesia and this did nothing for the pain that I was having. The only thing that help was for me to push and it was not the time for that to happen. Then with my second son I had a epidural and it was so much better. No pain. But if I had it to do over since I did not have to be induced with the second I would have had him natural. With a epidural you will experience a freezing sensation and shake like crazy. They will give you warmed blankets but no matter how many they give you, you just can not get warmed until that sensation goes away on its own. I hope this info will help. Good luck and god bless.

Edidurals are FABULOUS!!! I was nervous about having an edidural with my first so I asked for the local. Since you are not allowed any food during labor, the pain meds made me sick so I was throwing up and still in pain. I finally asked for the epidural and was pain free. I have had 2 other children, 2 other epidurals and no problems. However, I would ask your DR who he/she recemmends to do the epidural.

I LOVED the epidural I had with my first pregnancy. Was sitting watching the monitor and talking to my girlfriend about how I was having a big contraction.
Second delivery I realize now that my epidural didn't work. My body handles pain with vomiting so I was throwing up at the height of every contraction - not pretty. The nurses told me they could give me something for the nausea but only if they gave me Demerol. It got so bad, I gave in and got the Demerol - DON'T DO DEMEROL! Now it may be because I'm a small person (5 ft tall) but it totally made me loopy and I felt drunk - couldn't speak without a slur. Didn't do much for the pain either. Baby was finally delivered and she too was sluggish for the first 24 hours. Not what I would recommend.

K.- Congratulations to start off!!! My husband and I talked about what birthing plan we were going to have before I was pregnant and then when I was we confirmed it and he supported me 100% with the choice, even though it seemed everyone around me thought I was crazy. I did not want anything...no drugs, needles, nothing. I DO NOT like needles so an epidural was not an option for me. I had heard of great happy stories since everyone I knew had one, but on the other end there were ones that made me nervious about it so to solve the problem I went all natural.
Like some of the others who did the same I mentally prepared myself and told me self over and over....there is no plan B, I will do this and my husband and I prayed for the Lord to give me strength when I needed it. There was only my husband and I in the birthing room so I could concentrat on my breathing and stay focused. I talked to my nurses and they were wonderful that no one was allowed in the room but us and no matter what I do not want any drugs. She supported me since she said both her were done with out drugs too. I was a day overdue and walked around for about a month dialated at 1cm. I made sure no matter what I was not going to be induced so I walked every day I went to the pool the night before and swam some laps(nothing to hard). We also prayed that the Lord will have our son come when he was suppose to and when it was time to go to the hospital there would only be one trip. Went in at 5am and had him at 4:01pm. I had hard labor for about 2 hours.

Oh and his head was turned to the side so he was not coming down the canal properly so they gave me different positions to do so he can move to the right postition. If I had the epidural I would of had to have a c-section since you can't move off the bed. I don't remember how much it hurt but I would do it again with out a doubt.I delivered at Round Rock Medical center and the nurses say that 98% of the deliveries have epidurals and that was a year ago. Hope that helps. Sorry for it being so long. Best wishes and God Bless!

I had my baby this past March, and had planned to have a natural birth experience. I was in labor for 28 hours, and it was extremely painful and exhausting. I had practiced breathing techniques and hypnobirthing, both of which helped, and had a doula plus my mom and step-mom there for support... but it was still very difficult. Because everything was taking so long, the doctor started me on Pitocin hoping that it would speed things along. Let me just warn you that the pain increased 500 times once the Pitocin was started. If you get induced, this is the drug that you will be given. Not only that, but it started causing me to feel an uncontrollable urge to push which made things hurt even more. After 3 hours of pushing, the baby just would not come down so I ended up having a C-Section. Once I was in the operating room, I was given the spinal block (same thing as an epidural, I think). The pain from that was NOTHING compared to all the pain from labor I'd felt up to that point. To me, it just felt like a regular shot. AND, they had trouble finding the right spot so I got stuck about 5 times. By this point I was so tired, and in so much pain from the labor that I didn't really feel it or care. Once they gave me the spinal, I was immediately numb. It felt like heaven!!! I felt nothing, not even pressure, during the C-Section. Afterwards, my feet and legs felt tingly as sensation came back but that was all. I did not get any headaches but I did get a little shaky for awhile, like the shivers. My advice would be that if you go into labor on your own, just see how things go then make a decision. You will know, quickly, whether or not you can stand the pain. Same goes for if you end up getting induced - but know that it will hurt more due to the drugs they will give you. If it was me and I could do it all over again, I would have just gotten the epidural from the start. After all was said and done I was so exhausted and run down that it made it very difficult to take care of my newborn, who was up every 2 hours and needed to eat regardless of how tired I was!!! I have heard from other women who got the epidural early that they were able to sleep and rest, and had a more enjoyable experience. With the epidural they will put a catheter in - you won't feel it going in but you will when they take it out later, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, it just burned for a few seconds. Don't worry, you aren't the only one going thru this! And remember that no matter what you end up deciding to do or what ends up happening, the baby you get in the end makes everything worth it - I promise you! Be flexible though, because there is no telling what will end up happening...as I learned with my experience, nothing went according to my plan! Best of luck to you!!

Hi K.,
I am an RN and have worked in labor and delivery for a couple of years. Many people are scared from the stories they have heard about epidural and pain medication. I think the epidurals are great. It lets the mom to be enjoy the labor process and be ready for when it is time for the birth!! Labor can take a long time, whether you are induced or not, but thats what the doctors and nurses are for. There are things they can do to hopefully help speed up your labor. Any iv pain meds will make you sleepy and it won't take the pain away, just the edge off in early labor. I have two boys, both were induced. I had epidural both times. I was able to visit with my family and sleep. It was great. The next thing I new the nurse was saying it was time to start pushing. With my first, I was in labor for 4 hours and pushed literally twice and he was born. My second I was in labor for 3 hours and again pushed twice. I really enjoyed my labor and delivery experience. It is such a happy time and you want to be able to enjoy it. That is the reason I choose to become and labor and delivery nurse. I hope this helps.

Hi K.!

Well you might think I am crazy but i was so scared of pain management thast i refused anything. Yes I had my first two natural and no pain pills or management. My third was a c-section for the well being of health for me and baby. So just to let you know it can be done with none at all... Good Luck


I was in some painful prelabor for 36 hours (full contractions 5-10 minutes apart) before my water broke. I did all that at home. Once my water broke, I went to the hospital. I was completely exhausted by the time the REAL labor started. Epidural made it possible for me to continue, I hadn't slept or eaten. After another 12 hours (patosin was used to regulate my contractions that were still erratic after my water broke). It was still an extremely exhausting and painful experience, but the epidural definitely helped me through the final stages. I had to push for an hour, so, personally, this was the way to go for me. I'm due September 11the with my second, and I plan again on getting an epidural. My only question would be to ask why get an induction. If it is a safety concern, by all means. But I've known several first time moms who were late as much as two weeks. (Those little ones just like their home so much!) Good luck! Baby will come one way or another. :-)

Hey K., i totally know what you're going through. When i had my daughter she was supposed to be born Aug 8 of last yr. instead my doctor induced me on aug 16 b/c she refused to come out! I was worried about the epidurals and what not too. I ended doing an epidural but it just ended up slowing progress(one thing u should keep in mind) and they had to take it out. After that i progressed VERY quickly. Sadly my daughter turned her head at the last second and got stuck on my pelvis. I had to have a C-section to get her out. And now almost a yr later she a healthy happy little girl. Just know that whatever you pick, it will turn out ok. and that the mamas on here will be here when u need us. Good Luck!

P.S. If u need to talk, just write!

J. J


not much more needed to say. Medical technology has come a long way.I have had a child with anesthesia (NO FUN)and 12yrs later had a child w/ an epidural (no brainer), Recently helped my sister in law deliver she was in full force labor before the epidural was put in (to her relief)I would not wish that pain on anyone. People are all different and there is not always that much pain but why take the chance. Enjoy your delivery and see every moment(EPIDURAL)!!!!

I was induced and used an epideral. Had a wonderful labor experience. (had only a 7 hour labor) The epideral allowed me to focus on the labor and enjoy having family around me.

My response will be different than anyone elses, so I'm sure it won't be received well.

Why are you being induced? Your baby and your body are not ready. Your body goes into labor when the baby tells the body that he/she is ready, through the release of hormones. By inducing, you're trying to force both your baby and your body to be ready on *your* time, instead of your baby's time. Inductions put the baby at high risk of distress, because inductions bring unnatural, and unnaturally strong contractions that the baby is not ready for. Inductions can also lead to a cesarean. Most first time moms will go roughly 8 days over their due date, and this is perfectly normal. :) Normal gestation is anywhere from 38-42 weeks, not 40 or even 41.

With an epidural comes added risks to both you and baby, as does local drugs. The epidural poses risks to you labor such as labor arrest or slow progression, dramatic change in blood pressure, a fever that they will take for an infection and do a cesarean, you have a higher risk of having your baby endure an instrumental delivery ( forceps or vacuum ), and the labor narcotis ( demerol, stadol, etc ) pass through the placenta to the baby, and pass through the blood-brain barrier.

By inducing you're adding so many unnecessary risks to your baby as it is. I'd urge you to reconsider, and allow that precious baby decide when he's ready. You won't be pregnant forever, I promise. Take it from someone who ended up learning the hard way, despite all of the "wonderful" induction or epidural stories that are out there. You might not be so "lucky", and in any event...your baby won't be lucky no matter what. You'll still be putting him through a more traumatic and drug-filled labor, if you choose to induce. Pitocin has been linked with autism, and behavioral disorders, as well as severe newborn jaundice.

Please reconsider, for no one else but the baby inside of you.

Home Birth Midwife, and mother of 3. 2 of which I put through traumatic births before doing better by my third. ;)

Hi K.! I am also pregnant with my first child due August 1st. I watched The Business of Being Born and completely freaked myself out about delivering in a hospital. I wanted either a home birth or to go to a birthing center. After I had time to get over that I decided to switch to a hospital that was a bit more relaxing and not so clinical and sterile feeling. I will deliver at Cedar Park Medical instead of Seton 35th. Much happier about that decision. I have discussed with my doctor that i don't want too much intervention. I don't want the nurses putting things in my IV that I don't know about. I decided to keep the epidural as an option because I don't want to say NO and then find out it's too late to get one. It usually takes 30 minutes to get the anesthesiologist and 30 minutes or so for it to take effect. Keep that in mind. I will be using essential oils to help calm me as well as teaching my husband massage techniques for the big day. I have already apologized to him for what I might say during labor. :-)
Botton line, I don't have a birth plan because all things could change. I am keeping an open mind and doing what ever I feel is right for me and my baby. Don't get yourself too tired or worked up. Just let it happen. You could deliver any day now and not have to worry about being induced. Just stay active (carefully) by walking a lot. I have heard about the sex thing bringing on labor too. I might have to try it tonight. I am a small pregnant person as well and it has been hard carrying the weight on my frame. Hip pain is awful at night. Good luck to you!! Maybe we will deliver on the same day!!Let us know what happened!


I am a mom of 3. I had the same dilemma as youwith my first child. I was indiced as well with all three babies. I have to say that the epidural is the best thing since sliced bread. An indiction from my experience can be very uncomfortable but it all gos away with good anesthesia. I was afraid to get the epidural placed, but I have to say that the fear went away once the contractions started. I was greatful for the relief. I wouldn't have changed anything on any of the deliveries. I have no problems with the epidural sites. It will be sore for a couple of weeks, but worth it!!!! The first baby is usually the hardest. The nurses are very helpful. My 2nd and 3rd slid right out no problem... Remember the doctors will not give you anything that will hurt the baby. People do this everyday and it works out fine. Remember to bring snacks to the hospital for you and your coach! If you want some very blunt answers to your baby and mommy questions feel free to write. Good luck!!!

I had an epidural and inductions with both of my girls. The first one I waited almost to late to get. They started putting it in a 7 centimeters when they finished I was 10cm. But the horrible labor pain was gone although I did feel the actual birth. With my second child I got my epidural earlier but my little one didn't like to be monitored. They hadn't broken my water yet, and couldn't monitor internally. They kept making me move and then some of my meds were making me sick. They didn't know it at the time but my epidural wire had come partial out of my back. So I didn't have much to help with the pain. The last two hours were the worst.Induction usually makes the pain more intense quicker, so if you have a low tolerance for pain, I would say to get the epidural. My girls were fine afterward. Hope this Helps! K.

Most doctors only schedule inductions because they are trying to satisfy that pregnant woman infront of them that is tired of being pregnant. I worked for an OB doctor in the past. Most women don't want to wait...... I don't blame them. Wiht my first child..... I was in labor for 18 hours....was sent home twice before they kept me. My contractions were getting stronger but I was not dilating. So they broke my water thinking it would bring me along...but nothing...they gave me pitocin...and still I was moving very slowly.......The doctor finaly let me have an epidural after 16 hours of labor and I was barely a 3. After I got an epidural I relaxed and I dilated in NO TIME!!!!! I only had the starting dose....so by the time I was ready to deliver...I was barely numb. I was able to push...I felt alot of pressure and burning sensation. After the doctor was finished with me I was able to walk to the bathroom!!!! The epidural hurt to me.....but this time around I'm 5 weeks and plan on trying without the epidural...unless the whole I won't dilate thing happens again!!!! Trust your docotr...ask questions....... it will be fine!!!!!!

Good luck!!!


Oh girlfriend, GET THE EPIDURAL!!!
My first child I was afraid of it,
my second child I did have it and it
was AMAZING! I could have had babies all
day long. No sweat. Unfortunately although
the minute I found out I was pregnant with my third
child, my first Dr appt I told them to mark my chart
in big red letters letting them know I definitely
had to have the epidural, but when it came time,
my son came entirely too fast and unexpected.
But I tell you, the epidural was Heaven... Just go for it!

First let me say that Inductions DO NOT ALWAYS WORK! I had an induction and I DID NOT Dilate. Then 3 days later I had cervical ripening (not as scary as it sounds) and I was no more dilated than the night before. The next morning pitocin was started. i was against meds unless the pain was too much to bear and then was open to options. My water was broken about 12:00 when I was barely dilated to a 1-1.5, enough to get the hook in (very painful due to not being dilated enough). Then I had iv pain meds because the doc and nurses thought I might relax a little more to dilate. At about 4 I was dilated to a 2.5-3. I was encouraged to get an epidural to hopefully help speed things along and help me relax and dilate (not to mention it would be needed if a c-section was performed.) I received the epidural at 5:00. At 7:45 I was only dilated to a 4 and my son was showing signs of distress. Another c-section was being performed and finally at 10:06 I was in the or and my son was born.

So...2 inductions and finally a c-section. I think this was because my body and my son were not ready. My son ended up staing in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for 6 days due to all the stress of what went on for 5 days previous to delivery (and they found NOTHING to actually being wrong.)

If you are having an inductions "just because" please consider all your options and consider the fact that you body and child may not be ready for labor. Also you have increased your chance of having a c-section if you are induced.

As for the epidural...The initial stick was what hurt. I had horrible chills and was in and out of being awake after I got the epidural. I had NO after affects from the epidural the following day. As someone else wrote...You are limited before labor in the bed with epidural and after labor with a catheter (if c-section).

Next time around I am supposed to have another c-section but am hoping to go into labor before the scheduled c-section.

Best of luck! I hope things go as you plan or better. Email if you want more details.

Well I had an epidural both times. The first time the epidural did not work. I had a HORRIBLE anesthesiologist that when they called him back he just kept uping the dose of the same drug. So the second time I talk with the anesthesiologist before he started and told him what happened. He said well maybe it was placed wrong etc. So this go around it happened again breakthrough pain. He immediately got a different drug, and I felt NOTHING!!! Totally awesome!! I will say this being induced causes more pain more quickly. I was induced the first time, and water broke the second. I would not worry about not progressing. I progressed well in my first pregnancy, and due to medical reasons was induced(eclampsia). Second go around My water broke, and I had made NO progress at all. Pitocin was used both times and it HURTS!!!! I wish you all the best, and my advice to you is have a plan, but do not be too disappointed if it does not go the way you expect. My first I had a birth plan, and that SO did not turn out like I thought!!!! My second I rolled with the punches and it was just fine!!

I have had 3 kids, all of them natural. The first one wasn't so bad. The second one happend so fast (on the pushing part) that i really didn't have time for drugs... even though i wanted them lol. The third one however, is a different story. I was induced with her... yup pitocin is the magic word. If you've heard horror stories, they're probably true. It actually wasn't tooo bad until I still wasn't progressing enough and the doctor broke my water. I thought I was going to die! The pain increased with the next contraction. Like a ton of bricks hit me. Try it without the epidural first if you want, but fair warning, once the water cushion is gone...... the local stuff didn't work anymore. Good luck and enjoy your baby!

I was induced with my first child and it was really bad. It was just so "unnatural." It was very painful in that I was induced (which doesn't feel like natural contractions)and then given an epidural which I wanted for the pain, but in doing that, I couldn't feel anything, so I didn't know how to push. It was a long drawn out labor and I would NOT recommend it to anyone, especially with your first baby. With my second baby, I just waited it out until labor came on naturally, (6 days past my due date) and it was such an amazing and wonderful experience! I did have an epidural again, but not until towards the end of the labor. Bottom line for me is that babies will come when they're ready and to induce to merely fit our schedule is not the way to go.

I'm a CRNA (certified registered nurse anesthetists). I place and manage labor epidurals for a living. I really do know the risks. Personally I wanted an epidural for my labor. Unfortunately, I never went into labor and I had a spinal block for my C-section. Hope this helps.

Hi K.!

First, you should induce on the 5th (my birthday) - it's a great day to be born! :)

Secondly...both of my girls were induced. I am a firm believer to jump on the epidural ASAP.

With my first daughter, they induced me, but also gave me something else, (which to this day - I still believe was waaaaay too much b/c) that helped me SLEEP for six hours. I woke up and it was time to push and she was here in 30 minutes.

My second, not so much! They came in with something to 'take the edge off'. I don't know what it was - b/c it didn't 'take the edge' off ANYTHING! I think whatever that was lasted about 4 minutes and I couldn't breath b/c of the pain!

So...ask for the big guns right when you go in if you don't want any pain.

For those mothers that do it all natural - my hats off to you! There's no way I could do it!

Congratulations and God Bless!

I can remember feeling the way you are feeling. When I got to the end of my pregnancy, I was still feeling very good and thought, "this baby doesn't need to come out". I was very nervous about labor and the prospect of inducing. Luckily for me, my water broke 2 days before my due date and I didn't have to be induced. Everyone that I know that had to be induced said that they couldn't wait for the epidural. Pitocin makes the contractions sharper. I also had an epidural and it did not make me drowsy or feel like I missed out on some of the experience of my baby's birth.

I have a friend that went into labor and the doctor wouldn't give her an epidural until she was a least 4 centimeters dilated. So she was given demeral for pain. That made her extremely tired and groggy. She said that she feels like she missed a lot of her child birth experience and that her memory of it is still very hazy. She would not recommend any pain meds to anyone, just to have the epidural. Plus, other pain meds can affect the baby because they are put into your bloodstream either orally or through an IV, whereas an epidural is different. It is put directly into your spinal cord to block pain nerves. It is not in your blood so there is no effect on the baby. GOOD LUCK with whatever you decide to do and CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I decided long before I was even thinking about having babies that I would have a natural and/or homebirth. As a compromise to my family, I gave birth in a freestanding birth center last year. It was the LONGEST 19 hours of my life and I would do it again in a second. That moment when I realized that I was in labor was one that I will remember for the rest of my life.

That being said, every birth is different--induction or otherwise. My SIL was induced (with her second) just a day after her due date (for no particular reason)...and gave birth in just a few hours with just a minimum of pain management. I know moms that said the pitocin was worse than anything they had ever experienced.

Do what is going to give you the birth you want. Research your options and make the decision that you can live with. Life is too short for regrets. You can't predict how your birth will go...have an idea of what you would like but be prepared for the unexpected (like going into labor 2.5 weeks before your due date!). Okay, you don't have that much time, but it could still happen before they induce you.

Cytotec is not FDA approved for labor induction and is not manufactured for this purpose--the manufacturer expressly says NOT for use by pregnant women. Please make sure you educate yourself about the risks if your doctor uses this drug.

I hope that you'll let us know how it goes.


Hi K.,
I had an epidural and thought it was really helpful. The contractions got really strong- and I had to wait 4 hours to get the epidural-(during that time I watched an awesome Cowboy/Bills football game- the nurses were laughing at me cause I was working through my contractions during the commercials....lol) but opted not to take pain meds cause I didn't want to be groggy when he was born. I knew I wanted and epidural before I even got there. They gave me a little button and told me to push it when I felt I needed it. When the nurse came in and told me it was time to push of course I mashed the little button :) When I was pushing they did have to slow the meds because I couldn't feel the contractions enough to push effectively. Although I felt pain throughout the delivery I only pushed for 58 minutes. I do believe that the epidural helped me keep my sanity for the 8 hours I was in labor. I also had to get cut for delivery- so I was glad to not feel that! I was scared too- but it is true what they say- once you look into your little ones eyes- you are like "what pain?"

I had so many people tell me that my baby was going to be born sluggish and drugged- but my baby boy was alert from the word go. It was the best choice for me.

Just do what is best for you. I give epidurals a thumbs up!

I hope this helps! Congratulations!

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.

First off ... I wasn't induced, but my first labor progressed slowly after my water broke, so I ended up getting a pitocin drip for the last couple of hours of my labor. I did natural child birth (through a Hypno-birthing class) and it worked great for me. I know natural child birth isn't for everyone, but it can be a wonderful experience.

With my second pregnancy, my boy was a couple of days past due. I knew they were going to talk about inducing at my next obgyn appointment, so I scheduled acupuncture to induce labor. I used Melissa B. Light with Light Family Acupuncture. It worked great. One session and I went into labor that night. My labor progressed quickly and easily. My baby boy was born just over 24 hours after the acupuncture.

Okay, so I know that's not the answer to your question at all. But, I wanted to mention it in case you hadn't heard how successful acupuncture can be in these situations. Maybe you could schedule acupuncture for the second or third. It wouldn't interfere with anything your doctor has planned and it might work as well for you as it did for me. In which you won't have to be induced. Which would be fantastic.

I had our first son and was soo worried about the epidural because I was told it hurt really bad! So when it was time I was nervous and expecting some horrible kind of pain. Well I was told to hold a pillow and bend forward slightly and I did and I waited and could feel him messing around but was waiting for the PAIN, never came he said he was done. And i asked him if he was serisous. Yes he laughed because I told him I thought it was going to hurt. He said not if its done correctly. I had our son by inducing. It wasnt as bad as every one makes out on movies or what friends told me. As long as I pushed on contractions there was minimal pain. The last 2 min of labor before my 9lb 1 oz son was born was painful. My doctor had asked if I wanted the vaccum at first I said no but then the pain was getting heavy so I said yes use it. After my son was born I was got the shivvers I suppose I was cold but I was shaking uncontrollably for about 30 min. Its normal dont worry. The only regret about taking all the meds was I didnt remember seeing my son after he was born, I dont think they gave him to me right away but heck they could have I was doped up. They did have to cut me which I didnt feel anything, when they sewed it up i felt a bit of pulling and told the doc she gave me a shot to numb it. I thought for sure that I was going to be all stretched out down there but everything is back and better. Just incase you were worried about that too. Oh it hurt to sit for a few days and I had to special soak my bottom for 20 min a day and medicate everything down there. Help from mom is a God sent. Find things that are quick and easy to eat, bannans, yougart packs, grapes, ham and cheese, you wont have time to make anything. Your life becomes eat,sleep, feedings, changings, worring. Call the hospital peid ward with any questions you have day or night there is always a nurse that will answer your question no matter how silly it seems. Best of luck and you going to do great. You will be so glad it is over with. 6 months will go by fast. The first 3 are super hard no sleeping mind goes blank and your just mush. God bless you and your new baby. Btw I was 27 when I was prego and had my son four days before I turned 28.


Hi! I'll bet you are so ready to have this baby out! I know I was! I was induced as well, and I received an epidural. It was HEAVEN. My labor took a while to get going, so I teetered around 4 to 5 centimeters for about 5 hours. I was totally comfortable, didn't feel a thing. I slept, I played cards with my husband, I had visitors. It was awesome. While pushing, I was able to feel pressure, but no pain. It was cool, because I knew when to push. I would HIGHLY recommend an epidural. Best of luck and congrats in advance on your new baby!

I had an epidural with my first. Doc put it in too high on my spine so it affected my breathing. He had to do it a little lower and it worked very well at eliminating the pain. My second, both the doc and I did not have enough time to do the epidural. I had her naturally and it was so painful that I do not know how I did it (and it only took 2 hrs). I do not tolerate pain well at all. Right after her birth, the doc gave me a local b4 removing the afterbirth. The local did not help one bit but made me jittery. It is definitely a personal choice. What ever u decide I wish you the best. Congrats on your new baby coming!!!

Hi Kelly, I am a 41 year old my new mom, I have a 23 month old little girl...this is my first child birth, was very nervous, not sure what to expect in regards to pain, but I went all natural, and it was a really good experience for me. I did have a Doula, you should give her a call, she can give you a crash course...once in labor she can help you start dialating should you stop by getting in different posistions and so forth. I was in hard labor from midnight to 5am, did most of my laboring @ home, got to the hosptial was there for about an hour and a half, no drugs, they did ask and I declined, basically once I was ready to push, it's really interesting, the pain stopped, I did feel preasure, but not unbareable preasure and 3 pushes later/30 mins. later Brooke was born, 1 stitch...It was great...my whole life, I always said I would have the drugs, but in the end I decided to go all natural and feel really great about it...give Sharan a call, she was great:) God Bless:) TammyT; Sharon Tilotta - Houston, Texas
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Hi Kelly,
I completely understand your dilema. We ALL want what is best for our babies. I had my first son 4 months ago. After about 2 hours of hard labor I received an epidural and had a wonderful labor experience. I was able to enjoy my husband and other family members and was completely alert during the entire experience. Before the epidural I was in so much pain that I couldn't even talk, yet alone ENJOY anything about the experience. I read some of the posts about the epidural having an affect on the baby- I am not sure this is the case. I was told it would not impact my baby and found that to be the case. Our son was very alert, as was I. I am no expert, but just wanted to share my experience. I encourage you to talk with your doctor. Share your concerns. Do what is best for YOU. Realize that your expectations will most likely change once you actually get in there. That is fine!!!
Be Blessed!

Hi K.,
I had epidurals with both my babies - My first, I didnt get it right away and I was so tired from the strain of the pain that the whole thing was a blurrrr. My second time around, we got the epidural (enduced baby, by the way)right away - 2 pushes and 45 minutes later we had our baby.
Take care,

K., first of all congratulations! How exciting for you. Try and do some research on the affects of drugs on the baby. The epidural has a big effect on the baby for days...
I know my way is not the way for everyone. We did the "Bradley Method." Kind of. Basically I focused all my energy on relaxing and imagined all the muscles in my uterus working together with the baby to open everything up and push her out. It was painful but not unbearable. The very end we very intense and very painful but only for 20 seconds or so. I think it really worked. But I also spent 9 months mentally and emotionally preparing myself. The body naturally produces pain relievers when you go into your body. But when you do other things like inducing and such it messes up the body's natural response. Just thought I'd share.


I had epidurals with all three of my sons. I have curviture in my spine and therefor it is dificult for the anesthesis to put in. The first time only half of me was numbed. It had to be inserted again. This time it didn't even work so I guess you could say I had my first baby sort of naturally. With my other two babies the epidural worked really well. I am about to deliver yet again (due AUG 8)only this time I want to try an all natural birth. I have been preparing by listening to the Natural Labor Companion CD from Earth Mama Angel Baby. It is actually quite nice. It is helping me to relax and to breath deeply.

If you are being induced you will probably want to have a little something. Pitocin makes contractions sharper. Your doctor, nurse, or anethesis should go over the different types of pain killers so you will be familiar with them.

Good luck and God bless you.

Hi K.-

With my first child I was induced because he was a week overdue. I went into the delivery with the attitude that I would try to go without an epidural but if it got too bad I was open to it. After several hours I was so uncomfortable and I was not progressing so I begged for the epidural. Once it was in, I was so much more comfortable and able to relax that I did start progressing much more quickly. My son ended up being 10 lbs. 15 oz. and I did require stitches but I am so glad I had the epidural!! With my two other children I knew going in that I would have an epidural and it was in place before I was uncomfortable making the entire birthing process so much more relaxed and enjoyable than the first. I think if you are someone who is fully committed to having a natural childbirth it can be done, but if you are at all like me and it's not something that you are completely dedicated to you will end up with an epidural before the birth is over so you might as well save yourself the pain and anguish and just go ahead and get one from the start.

I had absolutely no complications as a result of the pitocin or epidural. All 3 of my children were very healthy and wide awake after birth and nursed immediately.

Good Luck,

Petocin contractions are awful! They are not gradual like natural contractions. They come on suddenly and hard and they are one right after another when they really get going. I had many friends who wanted to have natural child birth but had to be induced. When the pain was too bad many nurses tried to talk them into taking some kinds of drugs. Everyone who did this regretted it. Most said that it didn't even take the pain away it just made her so loopy that she couldn't do all those things she has learned about to cope. One mom told me that she didn't remember holding her baby for the first time because she was so doped up.

Let me just say that I am a big fan of the epidural. I was calm through the whole process and remember all of it. I wasn't loopy at all and my daughter didn't seem affected at all. The ones that they have now you controll with a little button so you can give your self more or less. I chose to just give enough to take the pain away but I could still feel every thing that was going on. They didn't have that when I had my first daughter and I really prefer it this way!

I will say that one doctor told me that Petocin's effect on the infant can be traumatic because the contractions are so much worse. He said that a lot of times babies who were induced have really bad ear infections because of a misalignment that can happen due to the intensity of the contractions. I have two children. One was induced and the other wasn't. The one that was induced has had chronic ear infections and had to have tubes in. But I have talked to other parents who had no negative effects from inducing.
Any way I hope I didn't get to long winded. Bottom line GoForTheEpidural! You wont be disappointed!

I was induced with both of my children. The first time I wanted to go through it naturally, without the epidural, and after about 7 hours of labor, I was begging for the epidural. They had me on the IV meds and all they did was make me sick, they didn't help with the pain at all. When I went in to be induced with my son, I told them to put me on the epidural roster! It was so much more pleasant, not having to feel sick for hours, and I had no pain. I was still able to feel to push, in fact, my son was out in 2 pushes. I had no negative side effects. I know that's not always the case, but I definitely recommend the epidural!

I was 37 when I had my first child....I had a very easy pregnancy but started bleeding toward the end. The Dr. couldn't explain it, but since my "plug" had already loosened they decided to induce me the next morning with Pitocin. I did not do an epidural (can't stand things stuck in my back) and really didn't want anything else. Fortunately for me (and to the amazement of the Dr. and my lamaze nurse), delivery was a total of 20 min. The entire labor was less than two hours. They still talk about it, as I swore to them that it would be less than two hours throughout the pregnancy. In the final stages I did ask for drugs, but the baby was already coming out. I am glad that I didn't get any, but if a person chooses to do that then that's their choice. Good luck with your decision.

It all depends on your tolerance for pain. I had Demerol with all three of my kids (all born vaginally AND induced), but my last one was the most painful one of all. Demerol didn't work, and we ended up doing an epidural. However, I had a double reason for that one. I'd planned on having my tubes done after my last one anyway, and my reasoning for agreeing to the epidural was that if my IV failed, they would have another way to administer medicine without sticking me yet again.

I'd heard the horror stories about epidurals too, but I had good results. Sure my back hurt, but it was just an annoying ache and nothing I couldn't handle (and my pain tolerance is LOW!!). The ache lasted a couple or three months, and I have had no further trouble from that.

The way the epidural worked with me is that it numbed me from the waiste down but not to the point that I couldn't feel what was going on but without pain. Therefore, I could feel when I needed to push. My arms felt like lead weights, and I couldn't move my legs, but this is normal with this procedure. If I had to do it all over again, I believe I would have had the eipdural with all three.

I hope I was of some help. Good luck!

One more thing: With my experience with my third, I found that although you're higher than a kite, you can think clearly with Demerol. I made the decision for the epidural while under the influence of two Demerol shots. My speech was slurred and movements slow, but I was thinking clearly. I do not know if everyone reacts the same way though.

I am almost phobic about medical procedures, & after reading Misconceptions by Naomi Wolfe, I decided to have a natural birth. And I used to be someone of the opinion that if you wouldn't have a tooth pulled without anaesthesia, WHY would you have a baby without an epidural. But each medical intervention paves the way for another, increasing your odds of ending up with a C-section. And the path to a C-section is strewn with other issues, like the epidural making the baby sleepy & hindering breastfeeding. Birth is a hugely personal choice, & I'm not writing any of this to criticze you or anyone else. Rather, I feel that our cultural norm is to schedule inductions & have C-sections, & a natural birth is unthinkable to so many. So I'd just like to provide you & any readers with an alternative voice.

I had a natural birth in a hospital, & I have no horror stories. Yes, it hurt. But it was the most empowering thing I will ever experience. So if you think you might possibly be interested, hire a doula & take a Hypnobirthing or Bradley class. Write a birth plan and tell your doctor you want to go into labor naturally & to have your baby naturally. Doctors tend to view pregnancy as a medical condition. It's ridiculous to me that you've been told you are slow to progress 6 days before you're even due. You're not in labor yet! Not everyone is dilated 2-3 cm for a month before giving birth & not everyone has their baby within 40 weeks - mine was 8 days late.

If you're still reading, check out http://www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com/ . And I'd happily recommend a couple of fantastic doulas in Austin if you're interested.

I just read a few other responses & wanted to add that my sister was supposed to be induced with her first child & it didn't work. Something to consider - you may be put through a lot of pain only to find that your baby just isn't working on the doctor's timetable.

Have a great birth, whatever you choose!

Get a second opinion about "having" to be induced. Pitocin doesn't always speed your labor on as fast as most doctors want, which VERY often leads you down the path of a c-section and a baby whose brought into this world heavily drugged. Epidurals and other pain MANAGEMENT drugs often slow down labor and they don't always work and the baby does get some of the drugs. (It's called labor for a reason)

I trusted my doctor that I "had to" be induced 2 weeks early because of high blood pressure. So I went in to the hospital and after 6-7 hours of pitocin and 5 itty-bitty contractions - I took control of MY labor. After 7 hours of monitoring the baby and me and no problems - I decided that it wasn't her time. The doctor told me if I didn't go ahead with HIS plan of MY baby's birth was that the only thing to be gained was a still-born baby (!!!) I refused to let him break my water and we left the hospital. 2 weeks and four days later my beautiful daugther came into the world - without drugs and on her own!

You need to realize that induction is EASY and convenient for the doctor and probably the reason why a lot of them suggest it. Remember - You are in control of the medical treatment that you receive! Be strong and remember that women have been doing this since the beginning of time - without drugs or interventions. Good luck!

let me start by saying with my son i had pitocin and would never use that stuff again..with my daughter i had cytotec and its the best stuff ever i was able to rest between contractions and i didnt get pain meds until i was about to deliver they gave it to me right before i started pushing i had stadol as pain relief(feels like you drank a bottle of wine ) we are done having babies but if we were gonna do it again we would have the cytotec again..

p.s cytotec is another way to induce if you didnt already know

My water broke around 9am and by early afternoon I hadn't felt a thing and I wasn't dilating either, so I ended up on Pitocin to get things moving. I told the nurse "I think I'm gonna wait a while and see how it goes before I ask for the epidural." Two contractions later and I said "Get the anesthesiologist in her NOW!" Those two contractions were the worst pain I have ever experienced and I felt so much better after the epidural took effect. I've heard some anti-epidural people say "I want to EXPERIENCE the birth and FEEL it, and not lay there like a numb dummy." TRUST ME, you EXPERIENCE and FEEL plenty! It's not like you go into a catatonic state and sleep thru the birth. You are still awake, aware, and an active participant in the birth!

Someday if/when we have baby #2, I fully intend to go the epidural route again.

I know this is your first baby and you're probably scared and nervous. Everything will be fine! When you hold your little one for the first time and you can't take your eyes off of him/her for hours on end, you'll forget what you were ever worried about. Good luck to you and congratulations!

Hi K.,
I have T. children 6 and 3 yr olds. I had T. c-sections and I had the epidural twice. The best thing ever invented. Had no problems while, during, or even after. I heard horror stories about the epidural and I can honestly tell you it was great for me.

Talk to your Doctor and ask questions. You may want to get some literature on the different options out there.

Good luck,

There is still a chance you could go into labor on your own! I was induced with our third. Our first child's delivery was a nightmare..epidural wore off and another doc ended up coming in to deliver with the vaccum..in fact, all three of our girls needed a vaccum to come out. The second delivery was better and the epidural served its purpose for the very short time I needed it. Baby 3 I had my water broke then given pitocin..slept, epidural, slept then ready to push. Trust me, you'll know whether or not you want/or can mentally handle whatever pain will come at you. I knew from the beginning I had no desire to put myself through more pain than was necessary. Remember-with the epidural you still feel that baby moving down and coming out..I was in for a rude awakening with the first one..I thought I would feel zero pain..NOT...I am not sure what a local does..if it is meant just for down there?? With the epi I still felt everything down there...Some women can handle it all with nothing, Yeah for them..and some can't, Yeah for them...you'll know as those contractions are creeping up...plus, if you have a prolonged labor at some point you need to sleep...just keep your nurse informed..Pain mangagment is a top priority for them..Good luck and you'll do GREAT!!

i have had 2 babies - here are both stories, totally different, and the reasons behind which one is best (for me)

with my son my waters broke early in labor, i went straight to the hospital and i was about 4 cms dilated, i was in a lot of pain and so i asked for an epidural straight away. this stalled my labor, so i was given medicine to speed it up - and wow that really made it kick in, then i realised that my epidural was only working down one side, so they topped it up. now i couldnt feel anything and i couldnt walk around and let gravity help my baby out. so here i was stuck in the bed on my back. it took 12 hours to get to fully dilated, which was not too long.
but i couldnt feel my contractions at all so i couldnt tell when to push, and my pushing was ineffective so they decided to let my epidural wear off - this was truly awful because i hadnt has the chance to build up to the amount of pain, and i couldnt cope with it. my son was not descending and no amount of pushing was helping, also i was very uptight and scared, so they tried suction which didnt work, and manually pulling him. nothing worked so finally i had a c section.
recovery was sllooow and painful

because i had one c section my doctor advised me to have another with my daughter, but she didnt want that.
one week b4 my scheduled c section i went into labor.
i went into labor at 3 and she was born at 5, we got to the hospital 30 mins before she came out, no time for any pain relief. yes it was painful, but your body works up to it, and if you know you cant have pain relief then you cope with it with breathing. i reaallly wanted pain relief but i was already fully dilated by the time i got into the bed so i knew it wasnt possible. my waters broke right before she was born which i think really helped.

so my best birth was my daughter, yes i had the pain, but i was up and around straight away afterwards and recovery time was zero.
next time i wont allow anyone to break my waters, no epidural, nothing.

of course when you are in the situation all plans go out the window! the best thing is to have no plans and take it one step at a time. plus if you are being induced i think your labor will be more intense so you may want an epidural - they are great when they work, you just cant move around

Hi K.,

I am curious as to why you're inducement is already scheduled when you have not even reached your "due date"... Your baby will come when he or she is ready.

Did you know that you can request that your pitocin drip be started at a slow rate? My baby was due Nov. 20 but he was not born until Dec. 2. We ended up inducing as the doctor was worried he might be too big to fit through my pelvis (9lbs. 4oz at birth). The doctor wanted to start my pitocin at a low level & increase the dosage every 15 minutes. I asked if they could do it every 30 minutes & if my labor didn't progress then we could go to every 15 min. She agreed & we never did have to go to the shorter timeframe.

We did hypnobirthing & I did not need any pain medication. I cannot tell you that there is no pain (because there is), but I do think we (women) have been led to believe that childbirth is too painful. If you do not fear the pain, it is completely manageable. If you can stay focused on breathing & relax with each contraction (I know that sounds crazy-but it works) you can do it!

Happy birthing!

I was 32 when I had my daughter. The epidural was lovely. I was in hard labor for two hours before my doctor was out of surgery and could get to me. He insisted on doing his own epidurals. After a few choice names for him, I was in nurvana (?). It's just a personal preference. My sister-in-law had all of her kids in a birthing room with an audience. (Show off!). Good luck.

I can tell you that with my first child I was young and new to the baby thing...but, my doctor is EXCELLENT! I had my first son naturally, he was induced at 7AM and the hard labor didn't hit until 6PM and 21 minutes later after three pushes he was out. The pain was bad but my tolerance for pain was pretty high back then and it was enough that when I had my daughter I had the epideral with her; I was numb from the neck down, I literally laughed my daughter right out of me. I couldn't help myself, I felt so doped up that when the doctor told me to put my feet in the stirups I laughed at him, telling him I can't feel my feet how am I supposed to get them in there. So my mom and the nurse put my feet in the stirups for me and because I was laughing so hard, the doctor barely got his gloves on in time for her to pop right out, the good news is I felt her coming out but it was hours before I could feel my legs again...unfortunately, they put too much in me and it has caused back problems since so when I was induced with my last child, I couldn't get the epideral again b/c of what it had done to me so they gave me a local which did absolutely nothing, nada, zip, zilch, nothing. I was much older when I gave birth to my last son in which my tolerance for pain was not near as high as it was with the first son which made the pain unbearable for me. I got to a point where I couldn't push anymore, my doctor was so good he knew exactly what to say to keep me going and finally 2 more pushes and my son was born. I was so exhausted, I looked at him, smiled and literally feel back on the bed. As you can see each pregnancy was different for me. It really is up to you on how you would like to give birth. There are so many good stories out there and then there are some not so good stories. I wish you the best of luck with your new little one.

Take care,

I had a normal delivery with my son (now 3 1/2) and had an epidural. Nothing bad happened and everything was fine with us both. I had a c-section with my daughter (now 6 months) and had a spinal block with that. Again, nothing bad happened. My doctor assured us that with both types of pain management, especially the epidural, there is little chance of something going wrong. It doesn't numb you, you can still feel the contractions. It takes the edge off of the pain a little and you can totally move around. I feel that it also helps you relax a little because you are not in so much pain. It's pretty orverwhelming going into labor for the first time and anything that helps you relax is good for you and the baby. Good luck and congratulations.

Hi, K......My opinion is...don't try to be a hero. Just see how it goes and if you want the epidural, then make the decision then. Epidural or not, childbirth is intense and it doesn't make it any less special if you get the epidural. I had two epidurals, the first one went wrong because the catheter in my back dislodged, they put in a new one and smooth sailing after that. While dialated to 10 and in excuciating pain (before the 2nd epidural) they gave me a local, it didn't even take the edge off. Bottom line, do what's best for you at that moment. Don't make the decision now and then be disappointed in yourself when/if you don't follow the "plan". Good luck and Congratulations!!!!

Hi K., my name is C. and I have a wonderful 5 month old named Jack. Anyway I just wanted to give you my opinion on the pain management. Keep in mind that everyone is different on how they handle pain. I have no pain threshold whatsoever. I asked for a Narcotic first off after they broke my water, which is supposed to take the edge off. It was great... for only about 30 minutes. They tell you it lasts about 2 hours. I ended up getting an epidural right after the narcotic wore off. I knew I would have to get some kind of pain management. The epidural feels odd, because you don't have a lot of control over your legs at that point. But it's the best decision I made for myself because after that I could focus on pushing when it was time. Before the epidural, I could not concentrate on much of anything and was extremely stressed. My biggest fear was trying to give birth dealing with the kind of pain that I felt. After I got the epidural I was asked if I could feel the contraction, by my labor and delivery nurse (by the way was awesome)and I said feel what? That's how good it worked for me. Hope this helped.

Are you absolutely sure that you want to induce? The induction medication (Pitocin) makes the labor and pain more intensive and painful. I made the bad mistake of scheduling induction with my first child and ended up having a C-section because my daughter was just not ready to come. All in all, it was a nightmare. I did have an epidural, but I did'nt have a choice due to the surgery.
Have you seen "The Business of Being Born". It's a great movie, you should watch it. It will answer alot of your questions. I wish I would have seen it before the birth of my first child.
Good luck with your decision!

First of all, bless you because I know EXACTLY how you feel. You feel as if you are about to pop, I take it? I was planning on using an epidural from the get go because I do not handle pain very well. I got it early on and I regret it. While I do not like pain; I hate not being able to feel my bottom half even more. You will be surprised what your body can endure but you do what you feel is best for you because no one could tell me that I could not get an epidural laying on that bed LOL! I know this may not comfort you much, but every woman is different. Every story I was told about child birth was way different than mine. I finally had a c-section after it was all said and done. Only one thing rings true about childbirth: Seeing your baby for the first time makes it all worth it!

I was induced with both of my babies, most recently 2 months ago with my son, and had an epidural with both of them. I think they were great. The first time around, I was still able to move my legs a little bit, but didn't feel any pain at all. I wasn't able to feel very much to push and since it was my first baby, I really didn't know what I was doing, so I had some tearing, but I would never have done it without the epidural since the pitocin used for induction can cause some pretty nasty contractions.

This time around, I wasn't able to move at all, but I was able to feel more by the time I had to push, so I could tell that what I was doing was getting results. I didn't get my epidural this time until I was over 5cm dialated on pitocin and I can tell you that I couldn't have gone much longer without pain medication. I was still in triage waiting for a room to open up before I got it and it took longer than I expected. But, all in all, both of my deliveries were very smooth and the pain was totally managed with the epidurals. I would not have done anything differently.

I think you have to go with what you think is best, but I was happy with my epidurals!

Hi K.. Congrats on your upcomming new arrival. I am 28 yrs old and just had my first in March. I decided to have the epidural, but I was a five when they gave it to me, so before that they gave me some pain medicine in my IV. It did nothing to help, only made me sick at my stomach and disoriented. Epidural was great, absolutely no pain after that. I honestly felt no pain down there and could tell I was contracting because of the monitor. My delivery went very smooth and very easy.They wanted to go ahead with my epidural after he broke my water, but I said no, becuase the pain was not that bad and waited almost four hours later when I was starting to hurt. My advice-go ahead and get it before you are in too much pain. Don't worry about getting it too early, becuase they are continuous now and won't "wear off" before you deliver. The stick in the back hurts for a minute and is a bit sore for a short time after your delivery, but well worth the benefits. Good luck! The doc broke my water at 9:30 a.m. and we had a beautiful baby boy by 4:46 p.m., so I wish you a delivery as short and easy as mine.

When it comes to this question every woman is gonna have a different answer for you. Personally, I took the epidural as soon as I could. When I reached the hospital they asked me how much pain I'd like to experience in labor and actually showed me a chart of faces from pain 1-10. I told them absolutely no pain would be ideal. I felt a few contractions that were very mild and got the epidural at 4 centimeters. I have no idea why women think that they cheat themselves out of the birthing process if they take something for the pain. I respect their decision to go all natural but 97% of women get epidurals and most get them after they've said they'll go natural b/c the pain is that bad. I ended up having to have a c-section after 20 hours of labor and my experience was still wonderful (and I was pumped with so many drugs it was scary!). So, the epidural is the most powerful. It can have side effects, but I had none. You just have to listen to your own conscience and your dr. and decide for yourself what's best. Trust me, no matter what you do you're gonna be fine and nothing will take away the joy of holding your first little one in your arms.

I went "all natural" and I felt like the real reason for all that pain is to prepare you for the first few days of motherhood! You feel so empowered to go all natural. Good luck!

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