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Third labour, first epidural!
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Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:54 AM
Just wanted to share my epidural experience for those who are scared of them - like I was!
I have had two drug-free births, which hurt like crazy! This time around, my labour was not progressing 7 hours after my waters had broken, so the ob recommended I be induced. He was happy to leave me for a bit longer, but said with the third it is important to get the head moving down to prevent an arm coming out first and then a c/section being necessary. I trusted him, and went with the induction. He suggested that if I wanted an epidural, they put it in before I was induced.
Apart from a quick sharp needle pain in my back, the epidural was relatively hassle-free. It only really worked on one side, but that was enough to take the edge off the contractions. They tried to put more drugs in once I realised I could still feel a lot on one side, but it was too late, bubs was coming.
A few little pushes and she was out. I felt her head pop out, but there was no pain. None of that horrible stretching and tearing feeling. It was really beautiful. Delivering the placenta, and being stitched was so much easier... I couldn't feel any pain, so enjoyed cuddles with my new bub.
Apart from not being able to walk for about 3 hours after birth (which really was a small price to pay), the epidural was fabulous. I was very nervous getting it, but it made my third labour just fabulous. I know there are risks, and it doesn't always work, but compared to my first two births, my third was an absolute dream. Hubby and I got to chat throughout labour, rather than me being on another planet in pain. Because it was put in before labour was established, I didn't even have to endure the early contractions.
Anyway, just hope that helps with anyone who wants an epidural but is scared of getting one. So glad I was brave enough to get one the third time around.
Posted 25 February 2013 - 10:59 PM
Thanks for posting.
I had 2 drug-free births, but if we go a 3rd I think I'd like an epidural! did you find the 'high' after the birth was less? I am a bit worried about that as I reckon the endorphins from birth got me through some tough first weeks.
Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:42 AM
No, I didn't find the high any less. I had told my husband that the epi blocks some of the hormones that are released at birth and to be aware it may be tougher emotionally. Actually, the reverse was probably true. I found I was able to really enjoy those first cuddles with bubs, and I wasn't as emotionally scarred from the pain.
There is a slight sense of not "earning" the birth as much. Ie, all the pain you go through with a natural labour culminates in huge relief when you finally have bubs in your arms as the pain ends. And you don't quite get that same sense of being a superwoman for pushing through all the pain and getting bubs out. But the midwife and ob were great, looking after me, telling me what a great job I did, when it didn't really feel like a job at all this time!
I tend to get baby blues smack bang on day three and am teary for about two weeks after. This happened again, though with less intensity than the other times, but I'd probably put that down to being more comfortable looking after a newborn being the third time.
If I had another baby, I wouldn't hesitate to get an epidural after my experience. But I know others who didn't like it. Hubby had such a better time too. He hated feeling so helpless while I went through the drug-free births.
Having said all that, I probably would still go drug free for my first birth as the epidural can slow things down and then often a c/section is necessary. My ob seems to believe that all the hard work done in the first labour makes things a little roomier and easier for subsequent births, therefore making the epidural less of a risk.
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