Every mother is different, every baby is different and every labor is different. This time around my pain brought me to the point where I was actually begging for an epidural, something that I didn’t get with either of my other boys. My experience was a little here and there.
I would list the things I didn’t know about getting an epidural, but honestly it’s a pretty long list. My level of knowledge on the subject was pretty scarce, in fact all I knew was that an epidural meant a needle went into your spine and that was enough to scare me away. While I was in labor this time I was waiting for a shot of Nubain just to take the edge off and while I was waiting I began crying out for an epidural.
First thing I learned was that my hospital doesn’t keep an anesthesiologist on hand, instead they keep one on call which meant I had to wait for them to reach him and for him to get to the hospital. Once he arrived I was told to move myself and sit up at the edge of the bed, then to lean over and hug my belly. Lastly, I was told to puff out my back like “an angry cat on a fence” and sit perfectly still. It sounds like a relatively easy process but throw contractions on top of all of it and it was nearly impossible for me to achieve.
Luckily the epidural itself kicks in pretty quickly which meant that there wasn’t anymore serious pain, instead just enough pressure to let me know when it was time to push. Here’s where I learned that an epidural can sometimes slow or even stop your contractions…and it did. Next came the Pitocin to get things going again. Soon after all of those drugs hit my system (only forty five minutes later) I was holding my little man, but the surprises of an epidural don’t stop there. Because there was such a concoction of drugs in my system and absolutely no food at all, I threw up three times not long after I was done with my labor. My head felt fuzzy, I was exhausted and because of the drugs in the epidural itself I was itchy all over for hours on end. In fact, the itchiness was enough to wake me up all throughout the night.
Even still, that wasn’t the end of my lesson. I’ve reached out to some other moms that I know and not all of them have had the same experiences especially when it comes to the week after. I had an extremely sore back for days and a stiff neck, which likely could have been due to the combination of the epidural, the nearly nine pound baby and the uncomfortable hospital bed.
I’m glad I didn’t get an epidural with my other boys because it likely would have deterred me from wanting to get one again, the aftermath for me was too much but I can’t imagine going through my labor without it this time. Those things seem contradictory… Maybe it’s because I’m still not sure if the good outweighed the bad or vice versa.
My mixed opinions are probably not even the least bit helpful, but if you have any questions feel free to post them below. As always, thanks for reading!