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I went without an epidural for 18 hours, 7 of them at 9cm on pitocin. I was already two weeks late, and had been in inactive labor for 72 hours with contractions every 8 minutes and no sleep. I refused the epidural. Eventually the doc said I'd end up with a C-section if I didn't get one. I finally agreed, while at 9cm (Some say you can't!) and she was born 45 minutes later. She was "acynclitic" or sideways, so I wouldn't fully dilate until the epidural relaxed me. Otherwise, I'd not have gotten one. You can decided later than you think, unless your labor progresses really fast.
I had an epidural with my first two. We will see what happens this time when I am actually in labor. My goal with my second baby was to get much further into labor before getting the epidural and I accomplished that.
I didn't want an epidural with my first, and never considered it an option. I gave birth to him naturally, but it was awful. With my second, i knew I wanted one, an asked as soon as I got to the hospital. It made everything so much easier. After experiencing it both ways, my suggestion is to follow the directions of your doctor, but won't be afraid to ask for assistance. Pushing myself to the goal of natural birth only ruined my birth experience.
I really wanted to have no drugs and no epi with my birth with DD. I was very determined to avoid it.
I had to be induced (which I also swore up and down I would not do) because I had a number of health problems and they suspected DD had IUGR.
Luckily I only needed cervical gel to get labour started, then my water broke.
Being that it was my first baby, I expected labour to be long. ..I was wrong (I went from water breaking to birth in 6 hours). I didn't realize how fast I was progressing, so I thought that if I was in *this* much pain at only 3cm, then there was no way I'd make it to 10.
I requested an epi, and they didn't check me before putting it in. As soon as it was in, they checked me, and I was 10cm! Doh!
They pretty much had to turn it off right away, but it was enough for me to gain composure and push my baby out.
As much as I didn't want to get the epi, and still wish that I hadn't, I don't regret it. If I have another child, I will try again to go without, but won't beat myself up if I do. I am glad I was able to go with the flow of my labour.
My first labor was awful, but only becausr of the midwife( I was at the hosp) I requested someone else, but no one was availinle. She was SO mean, until my fiance said something. Even the nurses said something to her. I was in labor for 6 and a half hours and had him naturally no epidural. I did tear a little and needed 5 stitches. With my second, they were so nice, got me a rocking chair and let me walk around. They broke my water with my second because I was in the hospital for dehydratiin due to a stomach flu and my due date was the nxt day, I was 39 and a half weeks. It was the right move because he ended up going #2. He was healthy though my labor was just short of 5hrs and I had him naturally, no epi.