Seeking Birth Information About Epidurals

Updated on May 23, 2007
L.H. asks from Dallas, TX
38 answers

I am trying to do some research on natural childbirth. In my experience as a doula, I have found that the mother's who ask for an epidural, usually do so at 4cm, This is the end of the latent stage of the first stage of labor. I am wondering if some mothers will share with me why 4cm seems to be hard to get through, to make it to the next stage of 4cm - 8cm. So far the reasons I have derived is that the mother is fatigued and unable to continue with an unmedicated birth, or the mother is hungry and unable to continue without proper nourishment. Of course, I don't discount that the mother is also in pain. Any feedback will be appreciated

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R.

answers from Dallas on

I have 2 children and did not have the epi with either one.
I hate needles and anything in my spine has be very
wary. The new mother in the room next to mine after I had
my second, requested one and they missed.

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N.

answers from Dallas on

I've never had an aversion to the idea of using an epidural, but I wanted to see how long I could go without one because I've always had a pretty high tolerance for pain. I was not dilated at all and my daughter was already 2 weeks late. On my second round of Cytotec, I finally started labor at 4:30 a.m. and my contractions were strong and less than 5 minutes apart by about 6:30 a.m. We went to the hospital and did the whole walking around, using the whirlpool, lower back massage, etc. They broke my water at about noon and my contractions were very strong and running 3 to 4 minutes apart. By about 3:30 p.m., I was beginning to worry that if I didn't go ahead and get the epidural, my window of opportunity would pass and I wouldn't be able to enjoy the birth because I would eventually be in too much pain. At that point, the doc (or nurse, I can't remember which) said I was at a 4 or 5 cm, but they were either lying or I closed back up somehow because at 8:15 p.m. when they finally came in and recommended a c-section, I was only at 3 cm.

I was in a lot of pain up until I got the epi, and the relaxation and other pain reduction techniques we had learned in our birthing class were helping a little. I was not overly tired or hungry that I can recall, but the number one reason I wanted to go ahead and get the epidural at that point was so I would be able to enjoy the birth of my child without worrying about the pain. I could have probably gone longer without it, but again, I knew I wanted the epidural to begin with so for me, it was just a matter of when, not if.

After they gave me the epidural and pitocin to strengthen the contractions even more, I had to wornder how much pain I would have been in had I not gotten the epi. The doctor said my contractions were huge and very strong. They were very close together and they were surprised I wasn't dialating better. I had been having problems with my blood pressure the last couple of weeks, so I think in the end, they opted for the c-section because of my blood pressure and because I just wasn't dialating, but if I had the opportunity to have a vaginal delivery again in the future, I would definitely opt for the epi again. I wanted to enjoy the births of my children, not worry about or have to work thru the pain. If I didn't have a choice, that would be one thing. But fortunately, I did and it was great getting to rest and actually get some sleep while waiting for my little bundle of joy to arrive. Without the epidural, that wouldn't have been possible, not for me anyway. Good luck on your research!

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L.

answers from Dallas on

i had mine at 8cm because they did not know I had progressed so quickly. I knew I wanted one, and begged at that time(8cm) because I felt incredible pressure/pain and I was feeling very faint from it.

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R.M.

answers from Dallas on

I was planning to get an epidural from the moment I found out I was pregnant, but unfortunatley due to progressing too quickly I was unable to get one. I was doing okay until I was about 5 cm, but then the pain became unbearable and by the time the anethesiologist went through the consent, I was a 10. The pain was so excruciating that I did not get to enjoy my son's birth and my husband was unable to either because he was so worried about my pain and focused on me. Next time, I plan to get an epidural as soon as I walk in.

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M.B.

answers from Dallas on

I had my epidural when I got to the hospital for the 2nd time. I think I was around 5 or 6 at that point. My doctor put on my birth plan that I wanted to take the "wait and see how labor went" approach to an epidural. So that is what they did for me. I don't think that getting the epidural for me had anything to do with hunger or being tired, I was tired but I don't think that played into my decision, I think it was mainly just because of the pain that I knew was coming. I was in pain at that point and I knew it was just going to get stronger. And the thought of the delivery part without an epidural scared me more than contractions without an epidural. I think not knowing what kind of pain labor brings or how intense the pain can be for each person, made me want to take the "wait and see" approach. I didn't want to jump into an epidural if the pain was less intense than I had imagined, but I didn't want to exclude having an epidural either if the pain was worse than I had imagined. I think with the first baby you just have to see how it is as you go because no matter how someone else explains it to you or prepares you, it's just different when your going through it yourself and seeing how your own body deals with everything. In the end, I pushed for 2 hours & then had to have a csection. For this reason, I am SO glad that I already had the epidural in, so that all they had to do at that point was put in the different medication for the csection. I also ended up liking my birth experience because I got to experience the labor pains and contractions and feel what it's like to be in labor, but also after I got the epidural, me & my husband got to be "in the moment" and really get excited about seeing our baby and relax some and just kind of soak it all in because we weren't concentrating on dealing with the pain. So I really enjoyed my birthing experience. I know there didn't use to be drugs "back then", but for me, the epidural and csection allowed for us to be able to have a healthy mom & healthy baby. So I wouldn't change a thing.

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E.K.

answers from Dallas on

L.,
I had 2 girls with epidurals and was given at around 3cm. The first child, I felt the pain much more than my second, because with the second, I knew better to ask for one when the pain started shifting to my lower back. I'm pregnant again, and will get another epidural. I was not hungry (last thing on my mind was to eat), but I did take a short nap before the nurses came in and said it was time to push. I'm one of the lucky ones, for my labors are very short...I had my second in 4 hrs. Personally, I think epidurals are the best invention yet. Some women can do with the pain and after you're dialated to a degree, the pain is all the same. I would think that going without an epidural, you get more fatigue because the pain just beats you down. Either way, you're not more of a hero if you go without medication.
Good luck!!

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G.H.

answers from Dallas on

This is just my 2 pennies. When I was pregnant with my first, I had pre-eclampsia. I didn't know if until I went to the dr. for my 36th week visit. My blood pressure was high, and got higher and higher all day. They explained to me that I was going to have a baby that day, that my health was a concern. I didn't really understand much about it at the time. Since I was induced and did not go into labor naturally, I think it was harder to adjust to the contractions. We had various other complications that day, and as the night came on and I was getting exhausted, they offered me an epidural. My aunt arrived, who had been an L&D nurse for years, and that's when I realized that things were maybe worse than they were letting on (which was probably a good thing). I think the epidural let me get some rest at that point. My strength was gone. The magnesium sulfate I was getting to protect me was also slowing labor down. I was blessed with a wonderful nurse who wasn't pushy, but took care of us.
With my second, I let myself get talked into an epidural after saying I didn't want one (pushy nurse this time). Should have stood my ground, but some of the complications from the first birth had cropped up again (I've got a weird bladder) and maybe there was just too much going on at that time. I would have preferred to have gone on without it because I could have easily, but it's not something I lose sleep over. I think we all have different reactions and tolerances to pain.

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M.H.

answers from Dallas on

well ... just for me personally, i started my labor at 4:30 p.m. on a friday afternoon and labored all evening, night, next morning, 'til about 4:00 p.m. the next day and decided just to call the doc and check since it'd been nearly 24 hours. he had me come in, i was only a 3 and hadn't broken water. i took a walk around the hospital and then my water broke w/meconium.

i labored a couple of more hours only to get to a 4 -- and since zachery's heartrate was going to the 90's sometimes, they gave me pitocin. now, i didn't want pitocin and didn't want to get my epidural 'til later so i could be mobile ... but i was getting tired and scared that i'd labored so hard and long and was only a 4. i doubted my ability to cope through the next 6 cm AND push. i got the epidural and got some rest.

of course, i had some trouble pushing -- and had to have forceps, and then we discovered he was sunny-side up and that was why i'd had so much trouble pushing.

i'm SERIOUSLY CONSIDERING a natural childbirth at a birthing center next go around. but i admit, i'm very scared ... i'm very doubtful of my abilities. i'm usually very good w/coping and pain -- and was for a while w/my first baby ... i can only hope i won't labor so long next time and won't have a sunny side baby next time ...

i want to feel more involved and more in it and feel better afterwards, not worse.

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D.

answers from Dallas on

I have delivered 2 children. In both cases, I went into delivery oping to make it through without medication. I labored at home for as long as I could, did my Bradley breathing, etc. I had epidurals both times because I just could not stand the pain. I did have back labor both times, and that could have been why I was in so much pain. Especially for my second, I thought perhaps that I had given in too soon with the first and I was determined to try and wait it out. By the times I was hysterical and crying, my husband encouraged me that having help with pain wasn't being weak, it was using my resources to have the best experience for me. Once I got the meds for both pregnancies, labor was great. I was fully alert and so excited to push the babies out. I was not overtired going into labor and I ate on the way to the hospital both times as well.

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J.L.

answers from Dallas on

I had an epidural with my first child when I got to the hospital but I was already at 8 cm. The main reason for me getting it was due to the fact that I was positive for group b streptococcus. I think staying home for as long as possible makes you more able to deal with the contractions because you are able to move around, take a shower, sit on the yoga ball ect. When you get to the hospital you are at the control of the nurses and doctors and from what I heard at plano presby you are stuck in the bed. I know that I cannot handle labor laying in the bed so I know I would probably get another epidural. This pregnancy I have just switched to the Allen birthing center so an epidural will not happen. I am interested in the possibility of a doula but cost is an issue since ABC is considered out of network and we will be paying a little more out of pocket. Do you know of anyone who is in Collin county that you could reccomend as a low cost doula??

J.

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J.

answers from Dallas on

I have delivered all of my children naturally. But with my first I was ready to cave and get the epidural but it was in transition. My other friends that have given birth naturally also say that transition was te kicker. I can not tell you how dialated I was as I went from a 3 to a 10 in less than an hour. I believe this was NAP natural alignment plateau. Because of this I don't know that you can say at 4 CM women are going to ask for an epidural because the progression to 10 CM is not evenly spaced out. Good Luck finding your answers

Reading some of the other responses I also want to comment that I think birth is not painful if handled in the proper way. If we as women are scared and fight it combined with not being given the room to work with our bodies, have movement etc. yes it can be painful. I think this has more to do with asking for an epidural than being at 4cm.

D.G.

answers from Houston on

Maybe b/c they aren't educated enough to understand transition. They & their birth partner (dad, best friend, etc.) aren't certain of what to do or how to do it to help work through this phase. They are stuck in a hospital setting & think they have to lie in bed the entire time instead of walking, whirlpool, hot shower, rocking, exer-ball, breathing, visualizing, etc.- which also goes along w/ lack of education into patient rights in the birth setting. Lack of committment to natural birth & or lack of self-assurance that they can make it past this point in their labour.

It ain't fun, but it can be done. It did an all natural labour that lasted 46 hours. Baby was doing well, so I stuck it out. I had a real sense of power & accomplishment when it was all over with. Some women run marathons, I ran several in a 2 day period! ;)))))

D.

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J.G.

answers from Dallas on

I got my epi at 5 cm after having bad back labor for 1 1/2 days. I hadn't slept since Sun night (this was Wed morning) for more than 15 min at a time. I was exhausted and in pain! The first epi didn't take. I didn't know that, since this is my only one, but my friend took my husband aside and said "call the nurse, this isn't right". I'm so glad she did! I still didn't have my son for 8 more hours, I really could not have made it longer. My dr's recommended the epi during my discussions long before labor. Their reasons, it relaxes the mother and therefore helps labor without excessive pain. Given my experience, I would have to agree. After the second epi, I was much more comfortable and while pushing for 3 hours was still tough, it was bearable. Throughout it all, my son and I were monitored closely and we were never in any danger. If I go through labor again, an epidural will be a part of it!

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P.

answers from Dallas on

L.,
I am sure you'll receive many replies to this, but I'll add mine in anyway. The reason women ask for epidurals is because labor is the most incredibly painful thing in the world. I realize people do not all feel pain in the same way. I can only speak for myself. I have had 4 children and the pain was just unbearable. I appreciate that you are looking into this and gathering information. I'm sure that it will enable you to better help the laboring mommies!
P.

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A.B.

answers from Dallas on

They started me on pitocin and broke my water at noon... and I was already dialated to 2cm. I was on the pitocin for 7 hours when I started to get uncomfortable. The contractions looked the same on the monitor, but they were feeling more painful. I knew this was because my body was getting tired (and pitocin brings on such strong contractions). After finding out that I was only at 3 cm, I opted for the epidural. It was 7 pm and I knew it was going to be a long labor, so I did it so that I could rest. At 4:30 in the morning, I was only at 4 cms, running a fever, and my son's heart rate was going up. They did a C-section.

I think if I hadn't been induced, and hadn't had an epidural, then I'd have been more likely to have my little guy vaginally. I am going to try a V-bac with the next one, and I recently found out that instead of a sloping vagina... mine is just a drop and turn. This could have been part of my problem, but I KNOW that I am going to have a long labor, and if I want a chance of having a vaginal delivery, then I need to go all natural. I have to be able to move around to help the baby move down.

Anyway, if you have any suggestions or information regarding my situation... then feel free to let me know! I already plan on doing the Bradley classes.

-A.

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K.K.

answers from Dallas on

Hi L.,
I labored at home for about two and a half hours....having taken the Bradley Method classes...I thought I would be at home a while. I thought the contractions would be far apart, but mine were less than five minutes from the first one. I don't remember being at a four or anything until I got to the hospital and found out I was a seven. Maybe because I did have visualizations and knew how to really relax and work with the contractions, I did not feel overwhelmed or panicky. I do remember thinking---"I understand why women get epidurals" (I had really bad back labor), but about that time I was ready to push, so that was probably transition (Total time of labor was 8 hours roughly). I ended in C-section due to an unexplainable pain after I pushed (pushed over 2 hours, she never moved station) so I opted to find out what was wrong...it was a good decision---she was tearing me internally--was face up and head back. So, with my second child--I considered a VBAC, however after researching it,,and the deliveries being only 13 months apart, I opted to do a c-section. I went into labor on my own again, and I do remember going from a 3 to a 4...I was not in relaxation mode--really no mental prep since I knew it was a c-section. I remember starting to get very irritated and impatient.... Maybe it is a state of mind and preparation. I do distinctly remember though that when I got to a four I was very uncomfortable and edgy. Before then, I felt the contractions tightening, but really the pain was minimal and I was reading a book. Something does seem to change at that point in the labor.

Good luck with your research...interesting topic for sure.

K.

L.A.

answers from Dallas on

This may sound odd to you, but I was about a 7 a whole week before I gave birth, my son was 4 days overdue. I was also 60% effaced. My water broke at 11pm and I arrived at the hospital at 12 midnight. By I got to the hospital, I was told by my nurse I wasn't in labor and she was about to send me home, even though I was dilated to a 9 and about 80% effaced. It turns out there was meconium in the fluid and she said that turned my sample negative, (which I find hard to believe given everything else).

I got my epidural around 2 am, b/c I never felt the contractions at 4 cm. But once my water broke, they hit very hard. I got a good nights sleep, and delivered my son 10 hours later after 1 1/2 hours of pushing, I had to have a vacuum delivery. I am 4'11" and he was 8 lb 7 oz!

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H.C.

answers from Dallas on

I was induced, but by the time they started my induction I was already at 4 cm so I got my epidural and petosin at the same time. It was great to watch my huge contractions on the moniter and I was happy not feeling a thing!! I went from 4 to 10 in about 3 hrs. I personally am a huge wimp when it comes to pain so epidural is the only way to go for me!

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J.Z.

answers from Dallas on

Hi L.,

I got my epidural at 5cm.

I wasn't hungry or over-fatigued (even though it was 1:00am)

I asked for it at 5cm because I was in pain!! LOL

I tried to wait as long as I could, but I didn't know how bad it might potentially get!

Probably not what you were looking for, but it is truthful!! :)

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S.B.

answers from Seattle on

With my first, I was already dilated 6cm when I got to the hospital! I have a high threshold for pain, and was doing pretty good...but of course, there was a lot of pain at that point. When I was at 7 cm, they told me if I wanted an epi, it would have to be then...or not at all. So, I opted to have the epi. It was great...took away all of my pain! Woo-Hoo! But, then, my legs started getting a little numb, so they shut it off until they anestheologist (sp?) could come back and adj. my dose. Well, she didn't make it in time, so I had a "somewhat" natural birth. I'm sure I still had some of the effects of the epi, but could definitely feel the birth!

With my second, I had an incduction and an epi almost immediately. This time, they didn't turn it off and I barely could even tell if I was pushing or not. I had a quick labor with both girls. I wasn't hungry at all until after the birth, and wasn't tired either...I just wanted the epi for the pain. And, I don't regret having it, either.

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L.

answers from Dallas on

I think whether or not a person asks for an epidural depends on lots of factors. The most important is probably whether or not she intends to get an epidural. If a mom is using a doula, then most likely she is attempting an unmedicated labor and birth. If that's the case, then I think the next factor is which care provider and birth location the mother has chosen. If she's having an unmedicated labor with a doctor who is not pro-natural childbirth in a hospital that has a 99% epidural rate, she doesn't have much of a chance of making it through without the epidural, from what I've seen with my friends. If she chooses someone who is very pro-unmedicated and has birth in a location that embraces and supports natural childbirth, then she has a much better chance of reaching her non-epidural goal. If she goes into it planning on "whatever happens, happens. I might get an epidural," most likely she will! From what I've seen, you have to have tremendous resolve and lots of support to succeed at unmedicated childbirth, assuming that's the goal. I think another factor, other than resolve, is preparation. You have to know what to expect and be prepared to handle the pain, even before you know what it feels like.

That's just my .02

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T.M.

answers from Dallas on

I requested an epidural because I was in so much pain and so exhausted that I passed out between each contraction and woke up each time in terrible pain. After the epi, I felt pressure and was able to move around but felt none of the pain. I don't feel like I missed out on anything because I received an epidural. If I had not had one, I feel like it would not have been a very good experience.

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K.H.

answers from Dallas on

A really great informative website is www.kimjames.net goes into the risks and benefits of an epidural.

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A.H.

answers from Dallas on

I had an epidural last tuesday and it made my labor absolutely incredible. I was dialated 4 cm for a month... and i asked for it at 5 cm.. it hurt ALOT!! im NOT a sisy kind of girl either!! As long as YOU keep an eye on whats going on around you. I know it's the nurses job but mistakes are made here and there. A woman I know had an epidural and when the babys heart rate came down, the nurses didnt come in the room for 20 minutes. When they pulled back the sheet, the baby had all ready been born and he was blue with the cord around his neck. She never felt him come out b/c of the epidural. I'm NOT saying this to scare anyone. It happens to be a very unlikely situation. I say that YOU should keep your eye on whats going on. I had an epidural and i had NO problems. I dont think i could have made it without the drugs. I got her out in 15 minutes with no tears or rips. Didnt feel ANYTHING. LOVED IT!!! You are going to hear alot of negative about epidural. We all hear it, but i think as long as you pay attentions and do as you're told, it should be a simple AND beneficial procedure!!

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W.B.

answers from Dallas on

I had my first child 6 months ago. I had gestational diabetes and the doctor wanted to deliver her a week early just in case she was getting too big for me to deliver her. I opted for the epidural but didn't have time for it. I was induced around 8:30 AM and the doctor broke the water at 11:30 AM. An hour and a half later my daughter was born...WITHOUT the epidural. They were waiting for me to get to 4cm (I was dilated to 3 for the past 2 1/2 weeks). I skipped right over 4 and dilated straight to 9cm within 45 minutes. Would have went ahead and gotten the epidural but she was already starting to crown so there was no point in getting it done.

I think the doctors want to wait until you're 4cm for the baby's health. When you give birth naturally, it causes more stress on the baby and their heartbeat raises. I'm sure it helps the mother cope with her pain but it's mostly for the baby's sake.

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J.W.

answers from Dallas on

I had an epidural with my first child, but honestly don't have any idea how far I was dialated. My doctor came in and broke my water and asked if I would like an epidural. At that point I said "no." But man oh man! As soon as I had my next contraction, the pain was unbearable!

With my second, there was not time for an epidural. I woke up in hard labor at 7am. By the time we got to the hospital, I had my daughter 15 minutes later.

Even though the pain was extraordinary with my daughter, I think that delivery was the most enjoyable. After my son's delivery all I did was sleep, and honestly don't remember much about it.

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T.G.

answers from Dallas on

I am a mother of three children. My first child I had natural and I was in so much pain that I didn't even care when my child was born and they laid him on my stomach. I was exhausted. My second had to be by c-section (breach) and my third I had an epidural. In my case the epidural was requested before I went into labor and inserted before labor was induced. I was completely relaxed and could still feel everything, but without the pain. It was wonderful. Granted, with my first child I didn't have any help with medication or relaxation techniques, but I did like having childbirth without the pain. I also had no adverse effects from the epidural.

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J.C.

answers from Dallas on

I just had my first baby with no epidural. When I got to the hospital at 3am I was about 4-5 cm dialated. But I didn't think it hurt at that point. When the Dr got there at 7:15, she broke my water. After that, I definitely think the contractions hurt, but in about an hour she was born. I know it was the transition. I loved the birth. As soon as I started pushing, there was no more pain! I tore a tiny bit, but even that didn't hurt. I was up moving around an hour after the birth. It was a wonderful experience and I'll definitely try for no epidural with future babies as well!

Oh, and to answer your question - I think it has to do with the individual's pain tolerance and labor. As stated, I didn't think it hurt until after my water was broken. I also only had about 6 hours of what I considered labor (I had mild regular contractions for 2 days, but I don't think that counts). If I had thought it really hurt and I'd been in labor for 10 hours or something, who is to say I woulnd't have gotten an epidural, too?

One more thing - my husband knew how much I didn't want one and he was so encouraging. Telling me how awesome I was, telling me I was going to make it through just fine. That definitely helps. He went through the Bradley classes with me and knew what to expect.

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A.W.

answers from Knoxville on

Fatigue? Hunger? Not here. It was pain, and I wanted it to stop (or at least ease up). I suppose it took to 4 cm because a) I wanted to try unmedicated, and b) I hung on that long before I thought I was going to climb the walls from hurting.

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C.S.

answers from Dallas on

She's correct, it's the level of pain. The epidural can be a godsend and get you and the baby through the last part of birthing with just enough energy and focus to treasure the experience. It's easier on everybody actually.
C. S.

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J.W.

answers from Dallas on

I have had 3 children now 2 without epidurals an 1 with. My understanding is that in order for a contraction to be effective you have to be able to relax. At the point in which the pain is to intense for you to be able to relax getting that epidural is like heaven. Why did I choose the epidural? 3 hours of transition stage labor. I went into labor at 7pm and 3rd go round stuck it out at home until 2am. When I got to the hospital I told them that if they broke my water I would be done in about 45 minutes. They ignored my suggestion and at 7cm they wanted to make sure that I was really in labor. At 3am I was at 8, the midwife was down the hall sleeping and the nurse did not want to wake her. Labor stalled at 4 am. I sat there until 8 am wishing that I could just go home. "These jerks don't even care." At 8am they put me on pit and broke my water (day late and a dollar short). It was hell but with in an hour "I just had a lip left". I had that lip until about noon. Lilli was no longer tolerating contractions her heart rate dropping into the 50's during a contraction. I forget to relax or even how to think about relaxing, the pain is so horrid and for all I know each contraction is killing my little girl. I wanted to push and they kept telling me no you still have that lip. Anesthesiologist can not get the epidural to go in right so he attempts a bock. He gets that in and then he puts in the epidural "incase we should need it. 2 hours later Lilli is born with her cord tightly around her neck. Had I had it all over to do again I would have got out of bed and 8 cm and woke up the midwife myself. Lilli is now 6 months old and I still have pain from the epidural.

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M.S.

answers from Dallas on

I can't speak for others, but I used an epidural with both of my kids and I was just in alot of pain and wanted relief. It seemed to get more intense to me right before I was given the epidurals.

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A.B.

answers from Dallas on

I was determined to have a natural childbirth and read about the Bradley Method. It helped sooo much! I don't remember any point at which the "pain" changed or became extremely worse, it was all so gradual that I was able to adapt. I got to a 9 and it was hard work and felt like very tight squeezing, but this was 3 yrs ago so maybe I forgot the agony! haha. Then my dr said I needed a c/s. I still don't believe I did since there were no problems (I won't go into all of that), but as soon as she gave me the epi, I went back down to a 7-8! That's what I've always heard one of the major drawbacks w/an epidural is. I am, by no means, a "tough girl" and don't normally do well w/pain, but this is so different. I don't believe it matters what your "threshold" of pain is, if you are determined to do it, you certainly can. Everything I've read also says to tell your nurses ahead of time not to offer the epidural, but that you'll ask if you need one. Once you are at a 9 or just feeling "the squeeze", I always say, they could've told me they were going to pull him out of my nose and I would've said "OKAY"!! I just mean at certain points you'll agree to anything and may regret it later. It's just very tiring and you aren't thinking clearly (which is one way, I got thru it, I think).By the way, I was at a 3 for the last month of my pregnancy so I guess by 4, I was just really getting started!! HAHA

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T.F.

answers from Dallas on

I had my first child on Nov 27th, 2005, a girl coming in at 7 lbs., 13 oz at 1:15 am. I DID NOT have an epi (by choice) and hope to do it again this go around (due May 15th, 2007). Even though for me it wasn't the pain (I was handeling it well), I found the naseua was what got me thinking about possibly getting one. I was worried about getting sick/vomitting (becasue it felt to me like that was going to happen sooner or later) and lossing my strength that way. The nurse gave me something for the naseua, though, and stadol for pain (which I now wish I wouldn't have had because I was pretty much out of it until time to push) and I made it through the naseua.

I know you were wanting info strictly on epis and what it is that cases women to want/get them, but I thought you might want to know what made me CONSIDER one even when I had said from day one that I DIDN'T WANT ONE (I believe in most cases the body can handle birth on it's own).

Hope this helps. And here is some further info on my 1st child's birth if it may at all help you

1-I took childbirth classes and learned relaxation techniques, though didn't practice much before birth
2-I labored mostly at home and would have continued to do so but I was leaking fluid. Got to the hosp at 6 cm. but they did end up busting my fluid at the hosp.
3-was only at the hosp under 2 hrs before delivery
4-I knew instantly when I was ready to push, without even being checked and without the dr. present
5-My baby girl was born in 2 pushes!
6-I was also given anti-seizure meds (Can't remember the name, but it is mentioned on one of your other replies and is given farely often for this prob in this situation) because I had high blood pressure throughout preg. and my sister has "petite mal" seizures from time to time.

Also, as I said I am due in mid may w/ my second (but my ist daughter came 1.5 weeks early) and was wondering if you could answer a question for me???? Since I was only at the hosp for under 2 hrs w/ my first child and prob would have stayed home longer had I not been leaking fluid, when do you think I should go to the hosp. w/ my second child?? I know that the second labor is usually quicker than the first and I live 20-25 min from the hosp. this time where as the first it was only 10 min or less away. I still want to do most of my labor at home (for comfort measures) but don't want to cut it too close. Last time I waited until I knew I was leaking and my contractions were 5 or 6 min appart (I think 5). Any info from a pro would be greatly appreciated! I just hope I can stay at home a good while but get to the hosp in time also for the dr to also get there in time!

Thanks!
T.

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R.W.

answers from Denver on

It is the pain. With my first child, I was induced (I was 2 weeks over my due date) and when the pain started it was fast and furious. I felt like I was hit by a train...no build up. I used a Nurse Midwife (who worked within in a OB/GYN) practice for my 2nd child and that was a wonderful experience...though I was very clear that I did want an epidural. I now have 3 children..used an epidural everytime. I would not have changed a thing and do not feel like the birth of my children were "lesser experience" or unnatural.

I do not feel epidural's take away from the birthing experience and women should not be discouraged from having one if it is what they want. Pain does not glorify childbirth nor is it a badge of honor. A healthy Mom and a healthy baby should be the goal of all births, regardless of how you get there.

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N.

answers from Dallas on

With my first child I ended up having an epidural at 4 cm although I had planned on a natural birth. My Doula was with me and was great, but after laboring for 14 hours and still only at a 4 I allowed the dr to break my water. The labor then became so intense. I really think that if I had let my body do it's thing and not rushed the process that I may have been better able to tolerate the pain. It ended up being 26 hours of labor and really hard on my once I was so medicated. I could hardly push.

My second child came much quicker and I just go to the hospital in time. I was already at a 9 and even though I had planned to have an epidural it was too late. My son was born after only 20 min in the hospital. I was so amazed at the difference in how I felt. It was quick and I pushed him right out with no problem. My recovery was amazing too. I felt so energized immediately after.

Personally I think first births can be so much longer and the mother so afraid and not sure of what to do that she panics. Having a doula is a great help. I know if I had not had mine I would have asked for medication much sooner.

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J.W.

answers from Dallas on

i was induced and had epidurals with both of my girls - with the first one, i made it to around 6cm and the contractions were right on top of one another and were very intense - i was also very tired at that point - with the second one i reach 6-7cm i believe and was doing okay with the contractions - they were beginning to get more painful - i then decided to get an epidural because i figured they would become much more intense, i was a little tired, and it helped speed things up with the first - hope this helps - let me know if you have any other questions about my experience

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J.

answers from Dallas on

I suffered for over 20+ hours before getting my epidural. Not because I wanted to wait that long but because I was not dilating past 2 cm. At that point, yes I was tired but I got the epidural for the pain. I still was at 2 but was given it because it was unbearable. After about 36 hours and still no further dilation I ended up with a c-section. Yes, I tried other relaxation techniques but they just were not working after a while.

It was not a question of if for me anyways, just when. I had no goal to go natural. Why go through all that pain when there is a safe and effective way to stop it??? They dont give out medals in the delivery room for those that went without pain medication ;)

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