To epidural or not?

  • I've been to child birth classes and I know pretty much everything there is to know about the different kinds of pain meds that can be used durning labor. What I'm interested in knowing is how your experience was with or without the epidural or IV medication. I know that everyone's bodies are different, but I thought it would be interesting to hear real life views on the women who have actually been there. I'm still a little undecided on which way I would like to go. It's getting down to the wire in my pregnancy so I'm going to have to make a decision soon and discuss my plan with my doctor. (My dr is male so it doesn't make much sense to ask him seeing as how he's never had to actually give birth! lol)

    I would greatly appreciate any and all responses!! Thanks!! Big Smile

  • After my water broke, my son was born an hour later. the pains were bad but not as bad as others make it sound. (Everyone is different.) i didn't get the chance to have the epidural because everything was so fast. i was in the same boat as you were. So i decided that i would have it. I think it all comes down as in how much confidence you have in yourself. Not implying that you may be weak, but there is so much adrenaline going on at that moment that you don't feel all the pain.

    Good luck though!

    Enjoy your baby!

  • Hello I am pregnant with my second child she is due November 5th. When I went into labor with my 1st child I went to the hospital and was sent home because I wasn't dilating. By the time I went back the pain was fierce and I was already exhausted. They gave me the IV pain medication which helped ease my pain enough where I didn't feel it when they put the epidural in. After that the pain went away and I was able to sleep until it was time to push. Without that rest I don't know if I would have been able to get through all the pushing. I will be asking for the epidural again this time around.


  • Hi, congrats. With my first I didn't have an epidural. I was in pain and I was given demarol that seemed like forever to get because they had to get the doc's approval and the nurses we're changing shifts and then I can't remember all I know is by the time I got it I was still in pain. My contractions we're lasting a minute and coming every minute so the demerol that was supposed to ease the pain in between contractions didn't because there was no in between. Nonetheless it was painful and I beared it. My labor lasted approximately 10-12 hours. With this baby I plan on not getting an epidural. I want to be able to feel when I am having contractions and afraid I won't feel to push. I've never taken any birthing classes and don't plan on because I see moms that do and when the day comes sometimes the techniques work but sometimes the pain is just so unbearable that eventually you need/want the meds. I don't think as moms we should judge moms that get epidurals but some of us do. Some feel strongly about it. Whether I get an epidural or not it's the mom's choice and as long as mom and baby are safe and healthy that's all that really matters. Best of luck and wish me luck on hopefully not needing an epiduralCrying but if I cave so be it. I will post in 6 1/2 weeks once she's here if I rememberBig Smile

  • i have a 2 year old and am going to have #2 any day now with my first i went into labor not wanting anything but after not sleeping at all the night before i went into labor i was so exausted that 12 hours in i gave in and wanted sleep, this went great till her heart rate droped 2 hrs later and had a big scare but all eneded up to be ok, after 36 hrs of labor i had her, i am kinda glad i gave into the eperadural becuase i was so tyred after 2 nights of no sleep i dont think i could have pushed for 2 hours without it. well good luck and dont feal bad either way u chouse its totaly up to u and no one should think differently of u because u got the meds or u didn't


  • I have had one with and one without. I understand that for some women it happens fast and without much pain. But, for me, without the epidural, it was very painful. You usually start contracting before you are at the hospital. So, you might be able to try without at first and decide as you go. Good luck.

  • you are right that every labor and woman is of the other girls said her water broke  and she had her son an hour later and the pains werent that bad..i wish that was me..maybe i would have been able to get through it if  my daughter wasnt so stubborn..i did get an epidural but i was in labor for a total of 34 hours..home for the first 14 and at the hospital for the last 20...i didnt decide to get my epidural until i was in labor for almost 24 hours..GOD BLESS the woman who can get through all that without an epidural..but i surely wasnt one of them..i also pushed for 2 1/2 will know when you are in the pain whether or not you can handle it

  • I had to get both an epidural and a IV Anastesia before I went in for a C-SEC.  I must mention I have never had problems with pain killers, but man my body did not react appropriately to the epidural or the stuff the put in the iv.  MIND you it did take the pain away, but it really made me feel weird when I was recovering.  I did go through a C-sec so I did get more drugs than usual, but I felt like I missed out because I was completely out of it after the birth.  If you are having a C-sec you really don't have a choice. Plus I had a Cather.  My baby ended up in the NICU because she sucked in fluid (common with C-sec) and I had to wait to get the Cather removed.  Then I had to prove I could get up and go to the bathroom before they would let me go see her.  I had her at 8:45 and I did not get the chance to see her until really late that night, like 10 pm.  My hormones were nuts and I was bawling like a big baby.  It was really hard.  Mind you my experience is completely different than many, and it did not go like I planned.

    This is my story, and what happened when I had my baby.

  • I am pregnant with my 4th now. With my first two pregnancies, I was induced both times and had an epidural. With my 3rd I starting getting contractions and went to the hospital and asked for the epidural but it was too late to get it and my daughter was born soon after. I can honestly say it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be without the epidural. I'm not going to sit here and say it didn't hurt at all, but I got through it and was actually glad that I could get right out of bed and didn't have to wait for the feeling to come back to my legs like I did with my first two. So for this baby I've decided that I'm going to try and do it without one, as long as I don't get induced, since induced labor hurts a lot more and the contractions are much stronger. Good luck!

  • I've always known that I wanted to give birth with minimal to no medical interventions, including drugs.  With some preparation, a birth plan, help from a doula and help from my partner I gave birth to my baby without any drugs.  I plan to do so with my future births, too.

    Perhaps you can do some reading about Lamaze, Bradley and/or hypnobirthing.  It may help you make a decision and help you gain confidence to know that you give birth without the epidural if you choose to forgo the epidural.

    One good thing about forging the epidural is that you will be able to walk and move and go to the restroom on your own--all of which can help alleviate the pain.  There are so many methods available to you--massage, sitting on a birthing ball, kneeling, deep breathing, etc.  Once you explore other methods of managing your discomfort you may decide that forgoing the epidural is the best way to go.


    Good luck momma!

  • i had a epidural after i was induced but it was to late and not in time for my delivery i was not that bad not to say that it didnt hurt. labor was much worse than actual delivery but very managable. however i was still glad that i had it because i had more pain after the delivery than during and without the epidural it would have been worse and i would not have been able to rest and recover as fast. im currently expecting again and im going with it again but will insist on getting it sooner this time. hope that this helps but remember labor and delivery as with pregnancy is different for for everyone, know your body and how you handel pain. I dont rank pain on the 1-10 scale the same as others due to bad burns that i had as a teenager I can tolerate a quite a bit.

  • Thank you everyone for your replies. I'm schedualed to be induced this Saturday (11th). I think I may end up going with the epidural after all. My main thing is that I hate needles, but I hate excruciating pain worse! LOL! After reading some of your experiences, it has seemed to put my mind at ease about someone 'stabbing me in the back' so to speak! Big Smile

    Best of luck to all of you! I will be updating with pictures of our little man as soon as I get the chance! Can't wait to FINALLY meet him! It feels like I've been pregnant forever!!! Smile

  • hey mommibear I am 19 and just had my first baby. i had him naturally at home in a birth pool...and it was amazing! my labor was 38 hours and i hadnt slept all of those 38 hours, but i wouldnt change a thing! it was so AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL and left me in awe! Did it hurt yea, but i was in full control of my body so that i could work with it! he came out being born in the caul , look it up! and with his hand around his face, the water helped my skin to stretch easier so i didnt tear at all and took the edge off of the contractions! right after having him i was fully awake and energized, and couldnt even remember the pain!!!! my midwife was actually telling me to please just sit and relax since i hadnt slept and just had a baby but i couldnt!!!!!!!!!! i was so excited and wide awake....i encourage you to try that sometime!!!! i loved my birth experience!!!!!!!!!

  • That sounds pretty cool! If I wasn't already schedualed to be induced, I would consider trying that. Maybe I'll do that the second time around. I would have loved to still been able to do a water birth at the hospital, but they don't have the kind of tubs to do it in. Sad

    That's awesome, how strong you are! Amazing that you went through 38 non stop hours of labor with no sleep! I hope if it comes to that for me that I can pull through without completely wiping out! Smile

    Congrats on your little one!!

  • I have had one child with nothing....not by choice....he just came early and quickly.  With number two I pondered the epidural and think the best advice I got is that I could change my mind at the hospital....anytime before the needle goes in. :)  I ended up having a fairly quick labor and decided to go with IV only.  It was great.  Heck, we were taking up until about the last 15-20mins....but I again want to mention that I have babies pretty fast.