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PROS & CONS OF EPIDURALS
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htma4494 posted:
Hi ladies, I am 1st time mommy to be and super excited..My due date is Nov 9th...I have heard so many conflicting stories about epidurals..Some say, definitely get it, some says that its worth getting it but it hurts like hell, others say it didnt' hurt at all and of course I;ve heard a few horror stories about the effects of epidural, so Im freaking out and do not know what to decide on..Please ladies, give me any pros or cons that you have personally expierenced with the edpidural, would you have it again this time around? Would you stay away from it? Any advice will be appreciative..Thanks
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ILOVEGAVIN responded:
Well, I got one with both of my boys. First one only lasted a short while and I felt everything up until they did my c-section. The second time around I was almost 8 centimeters dilated before I even got it and I thought I was going to die! I honestly don't know if I could have had him without it. The only issue I had was after my first I lost feeling from the waste down for a couple hours after he was born, but I don't know if that was due to the epidural or what. I am 100% getting one again this time...hopefully much earlier than last!
 
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Katya1985 responded:
To be honest with you I don't think you will be able to decide on it until you will actually go into labor and start having contractions. Therefore your body will decide for you. When I was pregnant with my first I read all pros and cons and horror stories and good stories and listen to many advises and decided to go without an epidural until I went into labor. My labor was 27 hours in total and I was having horrible horrible contractions back to back and the hospital refused to admit me because I wasn't dilating. When they finally admitted me I was 5cm and thought that I would die from pain or kill someone. So I got an epidural. It felt like angel came down from haven to visit me. Instantly the pain was gone but I could feel my body and by the time to push I could feel contractions a bit again. I did not have any complications either. This time I will get the epidural too, most likely, based on my last delivery and hopefully earlier then last time. I just wish my labor will not be 27 hours.
Me(26),husby(30) Our first son-Stanislav is 3(08/17/08) and now expecting a girl Galina. EDD 09/02/2011
 
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Amy_n_Matt responded:
I think any birth plan is only as good as long as labor goes according to plan . . . which is how often? It's good to be educated and a path to start on, but you just don't know how things will progress. I am like a pp who went to my first delivery thinking I would go natural. My mom did her 4 all natural and my MIL did her 5 all natural. Yeah . . . no. I had to be induced after my water broke but had no contractions, then my progression stopped for several hours at 7 cm, even on the pitocin. I was so exhausted at that point that I knew I couldn't push even if I was at 10 cm, so I asked for my epidural. LOVED IT!! Absolute godsend.

With my second, I had to be induced again but told them that time I would take the epidural as soon as they were ready. I did get freaked with an effect I did not anticipate (my lower right side was paralyzed until they backed off for pushing) but there were no long-term complications.

Yes, you can feel the epidural and it's not the most pleasant sensation, but I would say it's on par with getting an IV and definitely less painful than contractions - at least pitocin-induced contractions, which I hear are more intense than naturally triggered contractions. My mom also pointed out that all but one of her deliveries were for infants 5-6 weeks before their due date (small babies!) and my MIL mentioned much the same. My kiddos were 8 lbs 8 oz and 9 lbs 7 oz, so . . . not small munchkins!! So despite my initial hesitation, I am all for the drugs. But what I would say to you is this: whatever your initial decision, keep an open mind to changes in your plan - oh, and I hope you trust your doc enough to have faith s/he will help guide you through the safest path for both you and Baby. GL!
 
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klynshoe responded:
Here is a great article that discuss the pros and cons. For me, I will be a first time mommy and will be attempting a med-free birth using the Hypnobirthing method. My class instructor told me that using pain meds and/or epidural sedate the baby which is not conducive for that all so important initial bonding which is very important for breastfeeding (which I'm sure is a debatable topic). I guess I would just encourage you to research it and make sure you are fully informed before making a decision. Good luck!

http://childbirthsolutions.com/articles/weighing-the-pros-and-cons-of-the-epidural/
 
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Ihgirl1066 replied to klynshoe's response:
My pro, it worked for 2 stinking hours

My Cons: I heard cracking in my back when they placed it, it made me itchy, couldnt sleep comfortably in bed for 6 weeks after it cuz my back hurt/was uncomfortable.

Yup def not wasting my time with it this time. Once you make it through the contractions, and i had em from 10 pm fri night til i had my son at 638 pm sat night and that was with an induction, and get to push you dont need the epi any way. Once you start pushin through the contractions, they dont hurt at all, i assume when i tore is when i felt the burning, and it was not a bad experience at all to deliver without and epi.
 
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TristaJ90 responded:
I am definitely getting the epidural. It's my first time through but I just don't feel brave enough to face the pain. I once broke3 toes in my foot and I think that was the worst pain of my life. I know that the contractions are going to suck but I definitely dont want to deal with the pain of all of it.
 
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faeln responded:
Like PPs said, do your research and make an educated decision beforehand, but keep an open mind about it. Your body will surprise you, both with how painful L&D can be, and also with how well it will deal with the pain.

Personally, I opted for no epi for either of my kids' births. With my DD, I was in labor for 18 hours. My labor stalled at 6cm for 7 hours, which was absolute torture mentally. All that pain and nothing to show for it. They broke my water and my DD came within 2 hours. Once I got to the pushing point, the pain was bearable again. It still hurt, but pushing through it somehow helped.
This time around with my DS, my labor was only 11 hours; and only 3 of those were hard labor. I noticed my pain increased exponentially after they broke my water (and to be honest, I was wishing for anything to numb the pain and wondering why on Earth I opted to go drug-free again) but DS arrived within 10 minutes. No time for them to get me anything, let alone for it to take effect! In hindsight, with both births, by the time I got to the point where I was done and wanted something, it was pointless to try. I was already to the finish line and just had to push.
That being said, I'm still not sure what I'll do next time around if we decide to go for it again.

I have to say it was nice to be fully alert and aware and able to move immediately following the birth. I felt more like myself.

Whatever you decide, just remember what's best for someone else might not be what's best for you, so don't let anyone scare you into doing what they want you to do. I had to deal with that from various family members and friends. Luckily, my DH, the L&D nurses, and my doc were all very supportive.

Best of luck to you!!
 
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bcfrost816 replied to faeln's response:
I've had 2 wonderful birthing experiences with the epidural and I wouldn't do it any other way!!! (unless of course it wasn't an option). IMO, all that matters is what you want and how you feel. Everyone's experiences with the epi are differant and everyone's pain tolerances are differant too. IMO, the epi doesn't hurt at all.

My first baby my water broke and my total labor was about 8 hours. I think I got the epi around 5 centimeters, and it was wonderful. It took all the pain away, but I could still move and feel the urge to push.

With my second baby I was induced and my total labor was only 4 hours I got the epi after they broke my water and she was born about an hour and a half after that. Again, total pain relief!

I don't know where people get the idea that the epidural makes you groggy or not aware or not able to move after the baby is born. If you only get an epi, that won't happen. Most women get some other type of meds in their IVs (stadol is one) and that could definitely make you sleepy and groggy. I would never take those meds. The epi has no effect on your mental awareness. With both of my deliveries, I was able to get up and walk around no problems after the birth. I never experienced any pain in my back either. It also doesn't stall labor like people think it does, in most cases it speeds it up because your body is able to relax and let the baby pass through the birth canal.

It only matters what you want!! It is not something that anyone should tell you what to do, its always a mom's decision because you are the one going through labor. Good luck
Courtney (28) DH (30) DD Peyton 12/20/08; new baby girl Hayley 9/29/10
 
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kinagi7 replied to bcfrost816's response:
With my first, I did it all natural for 30 hours. My water broke and I wasn't progressing that much, ended up with pitocin, etc. Once it was time to push, I was so exhausted from all this pain and I pushed for 3 hours. With my second one I opted to get an epidural and about an hour after it was placed my baby boy was born. I didn't really feel contractions when it was time to push, but I had strenght to push him out. The nurse was telling me when to puch and I only had a tiny tear. I was walking about an hour after I gave birth. It depends when the doctor turns it off. I felt great. If we ever get pregnant again, I will go for it. I was really scared of a needle going in my back, but it wasn't bad at all. I think the IV hurt more than getting the epidural.
But it depends on your pain tolerance, so do your research and write down all pros and cons, but I think you'll make the final decision once you're in labour.
 
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earleyml1012 responded:
I agree with many of the other posters, that's it's ok to go in with a birth plan but don't freak out if everything doesn't go according to your plans. Just wait and see what your labor is like.

With my DD, I wanted to go all natural b/c I knew that was best for me and baby. However, I didn't expect to be in labor for so long with out much progression. My OB informed me that if you are in too much pain and your body is tightening up, then you can't dilated. Which was my problem, so after 12 hrs of intense contracts and only 4 cm dilated I asked for the epidural. I don't regret it and actually wished I would've asked for it earlier b/c I was so exhausted. The only issue I had was that for the 1st hour of pushing I couldn't feel anything to know if I was pushing correctly, so it took me 2 hrs to get her out. I ended up having a VERY big baby for my size...8lbs14oz. This time around, I plan on asking for one as soon as they let me.
 
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htma4494 replied to earleyml1012's response:
Thank you ladies so much for all of your input and insight, I really appreciate it.Thanks for being so honest and supportive...Anyways, I will continue to reserach and talk to my doctor too, but just like many of you said, I probably wont make a decsion until I am actally in labor. Thank you!


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