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Does labor hurt even with an epidural?

Forum: Labor and Childbirth


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April 26th, 2009, 05:14 PM
Mommyto2Girls's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,298
I had an epidural with my daughter. I was trying to see if I could go without one, but the contractions got so bad after they broke my water, I felt like I couldn't breath...LOL. I had no complications with it at all. I didn't get it until I was 5 or 6 cm, and they had already ruptured my membranes. Once it kicked in, I had no pain whatsoever, I only knew I was having contractions by looking at the moniter. I really didn't experience the pressure to push though, they had to tell me to start pushing and I only pushed for 27 minutes.
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April 26th, 2009, 10:42 PM
HailandNevansmom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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That sounds awesome lol.. ^^^

I hope mine goes like that.

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April 29th, 2009, 04:54 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
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with both my kids i had epidurals but with son i had 3 pain shots AND an epidural lol sooooo i do not remember a whole lot after epidural kicked in. but i remember the pain quite well because it WORE OFF on me right before i had to push so i felt his head crowning - worse pain ever but 100% worth it. and then with daughter i had 0 pain til 15 mins before she was born but when i knew i could get epidural i did - 8 1/2 cm so i wouldnt feel her head crown much; she was born so fast that i felt it but it didnt phase me she was out before i could say 2 words.
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April 30th, 2009, 09:46 PM
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Here's my two cents...

With my first son, I was absolutely petrified at the thought of having a natural birth, so I got my epi at 4cm. I labored for 19 1/2 hours, I was pumped full of Pitocin to get me to dilate because I wasn't doing so on my own, and I got sicker than a dog with infection during that time frame... I really don't remember much of anything from that birth, other than I kept passing in and out while pushing, and they had to wake me and urge me to do so. It took an hour and a half of pushing, and from what I recall, I felt nothing but pressure.

With my second son, things were different. I had gone into PTL at 28 weeks, and day after day, I dealt with contractions... I began to get used to them, they became a part of my every day, and it got to a point where I wasn't phased by them anymore. I had my son at 35 weeks, and I walked the halls of the hospital until I was in the 8-9cm stage. I requested an epi because I was having horrible back pain - I wanted relief from the back pain, NOT the contractions. They gave it to me, but the epi didn't work. I felt everything, and for me - because I can't speak for everyone else - childbirth wasn't that bad! Maybe the epi did enough to take the edge off, but I still felt all that was going on, and honestly, I'm glad I did. It hurt, but it wasn't unbearable, it wasn't excruciating. It was what it was supposed to be. My son was born after three pushes, ten minutes total, I helped guide his head out. It was awesome.

If we were to have a third child - which we are not, we are done having children and we are both having the procedures to see we don't have an oops - I would opt for an at-home, unassisted natural birth.

If having an epi will give you peace of mind, by all means, go for it...
I wish you all the best, whatever you do!
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May 31st, 2009, 01:45 PM
liveandlove0725's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: California
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My BFF had a botched epidural 2 months ago that left her with migraines back pain 2 weeks straight pp. Her first one was perfect though. She said she'll be going natural next time because it was so scary.

It's important to also remember that pitocin induced contractions are generally stronger than regular contractions. So you have a better chance of making it through with little or no pain relief if you let your body go into labor on its own timetable.

Lastly, there are some fantastic classes that can help you prepare and deal with the pain. I'm trying HypnoBirthing and I've heard it makes a world of difference.

Best of luck to you!! Your pic is adorable!!
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June 3rd, 2009, 10:37 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Peace River, Canada
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I had an epidural and loved it coz it took away all pain, except they turned it right down when it came time to push as they wanted me to feel the contractions.

I felt nothing and was sitting up in bed eating breakfast and watching my stomach clench. It was weird, but worth it, since I had gone 21 hours of contractions with no pain killers and was very thankfull for the relief.

Oh, I want to add.. I was REALLY itchy... Anyone else have that problem?
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June 16th, 2009, 08:24 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: North Metro, Atlanta GA
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From my experience if an Epidural is placed properly and the medication is being administered properly, then you shouldn't feel a thing. With my last two babies they had to turn up the dose of medication, but it immediately helped and I felt nothing for the remainder of labor and most importantly.. delivery!

Yes.. I got itchy too and have to take medication, but once again.. WELL worth it!

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June 19th, 2009, 08:03 AM
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I went in thinking that I was going to try to go drug free, but after being up 24 hours straight, (only in labor for 6 of those hours though) I asked for an epi, just so I could get some rest. I really think I was in transition at that point though. I got my epi, I could still feel the contractions, but it was more pressure than anything and I didn't get too much rest (though DH did!) It definitely altered the type of sensation I was feeling, but I WAS still feeling something. When it came time to push, I could feel the contraction building and didn't need to be told when or how long to push. I do remember that when she crowned, it took my breath away and I did stop pushing momentarily (leading my ob to give me an episiostimy). I don't remember having any pain when she stitched me up afterwards though, so it must have still been effective. I was able to get up and walk around after 2 hours after delivery.

I think for the next one, I'm going to be flexible and see what the circumstances are surrounding the labor before I make a decision about the epi.

Good luck!
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June 24th, 2009, 03:41 PM
Mom4Life_11's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Just popping in from Infants but I had an epi with my daughter that only worked 35% but let me tell you once I had an all natural childbirth with my son that epi they gave me working only 35% or not was much more comfortable and was less pain...hands down to epi here...

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July 1st, 2009, 06:16 PM
Vicki...'s Avatar Mommy to Caleb & Ethan
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I think epidurals are so awesome, I got mine at 5cm and at first it only took on one side and was like that for a couple hours, then when it was wearing off and they gave me more of it, it took on both sides and within an hour of it taking fully I was pushing my son out, and even numb i felt the urges to push not really pain but definitely the urges and only ended up with one stitch and my son was not a little baby, so I think the epi is so great and will be having it again.
Btw I was aslo going to try to have the baby without the epi the first time, but was induced with pitocin which made the contractions very unbearably painful, I won't even go into detail of the pain level before the epi, I will just say I LOVED the epi

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July 10th, 2009, 05:37 PM
meghan.'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I had an epidural and from then on I had a fantastic labour!! I can actually say it was fun. I was texting and Facebooking from my phone

Once I got to 10cm though the pressure became intense and had to start breathing through the contractions again. It wasn't anything like before the epidural, but still intense pressure.
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August 2nd, 2009, 04:00 PM
HS&Fsmom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Originally Posted by New_England_Girl View Post
I would say that either her epidural did not work or she was just being a drama queen. The baby shows on TLC are not very realistic, LOL.
I would not agree with this... I had an epidural when I gave birth to Hugo and I definitely felt the contractions and pushing was horrible. I had to push for an hour and screamed for the major part of it... and I have a very high tolerance for pain. Maybe the epidural was wearing off or it was partly due to the high dose of Pitocin I had been on for 25 hours... but it can definitely be painful even with an epidural.

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August 5th, 2009, 11:52 AM
alicia1984's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I didn't plan to be induced and hopefully next time around I won't have to go through that. The contractions were intense and were mainly in my back. I begged for an epidural and still had painful contractions for a bit until the medicine kicked in. When it came time to push I felt a ring of fire as she was being born. Then poof it was overwith and I was alright. I had sea legs for a bit after having her and had trouble standing. Then for a few weeks I couldn't stand straight. Don't you just like how the doctors come in as you're in intense pain and have you sign the piece of paper that cover their butt when you ask for an epidural? My signature was like chicken scratch since I couldn't handle the back pain. More power to you ladies who can go through natural childbirth. I hope the next time I will be able to try it.

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January 25th, 2011, 03:27 PM
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I gave birth to my daughter 15 months ago. Once my water broke, my husband and I left for the hospital which was 30 mins away. By the time we arrived, I was thinking, "What have I gotten myself into"? I was in so much pain. I wasn't screamimg or anything like that, I was able to keep myself under control but contractions are not fun. I've read some of the other posts about positive pain and I understand where you're coming from but to me, pain is pain and it all hurts!!! So, once I get into the delivery room a nurse determines that I'm already 8cm. I couldn't believe it. This is my first child and we're hardley an hour into this. They ask me if I'm an epidural girl and I immediatley answer "yes". A little background info, needles and I aren't friends. I was that child in the dr's office screaming and crying and kicking the nurse, my poor mother. Well, I must admit that these days I'm not much better. It just all happened so fast and before I knew it, I had a needle in my back and it really wasn't bad and believe me, I'm the drama queen that would tell you all the horrible details. I've been told by more than one person that the labor hurts much more than the epidural and they were right. Once the epidural was in my back and I was lying back in bed I had a few more contractions that were painful but once the epidual was in full effect, I was completely pain free. I could feel the contractions, but there was absolutley no pain. I even felt my baby leave my body but again no pain. I've heard one than one person say that they felt a lot of preasure but I didn't and I think it's because my baby was so small, 5lbs 9ozs. Over the years I have heard many many birth stories and they're all different. I think the epidual works worders for some people and no at all for others. I strongly recommend the epidual!!!
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January 28th, 2011, 01:50 PM
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I had an epidural and it did help a bit with pain but I was still able to feel everything... the epidural didn't completely take it barely numbed my belly, my right leg was fully functional with sensation and movement, my left was dead weight couldn't move it but had sensation....

I had no problems pushing, pushed for 20 mins and 5 pushes and daughter was out but my epi didn't take completely so that could have been a bonus... it did relax me to dilate because I was stalled at 4 for 12 hours....
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January 31st, 2011, 01:22 AM
Calendula's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Originally Posted by Zach and Josh's Mommy View Post
Someone once said to me something that stuck out to me.... they said, "Would you go to the dentist to get your teeth drilled and NOT get Novicaine? Then why torture yourself during labor?" That comment has stayed with me for many years.
Um, because I'm not worried about my tooth having respiratory distress, or developing heart beat abnormalities? Because I don't plan to try to breastfeed my tooth, and therefore am not worried about latching issues that have been linked to the procedure? Because labor and birth are not a medical procedure, and dental work is? Because Novocaine doesn't increase my risk of having intra-abdominal surgery? Or maybe just because I don't care if my tooth and I are alert and undrugged for bonding immediately afterwards? Take your pick.
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January 31st, 2011, 09:53 PM
Jodi Dawn's Avatar Host of the Jan-July 05 P
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I had an epi with my first 2 labors. With the first one I couldn't feel any of the pain after I got it but I felt horrible after it wore off.

with the 2nd one it helped but I still felt the "ring of fire"

with my 3rd child I didn't have any pain meds
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February 3rd, 2011, 06:43 PM
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Well here is my story to add to the pot. You certainly have gotten lots of responses huh?!

With my first I had an epidural once I reached 5 centimeters. It was beautiful- first I was in excruciating pain and then the epidural kicked in and I felt NOTHING. I had a fast labor- it was maybe 6 hours with 4 hours of "real" contractions. I pushed my son out in 20 minutes and was able to relax and enjoy bonding with him afterwards. The bad part about feeling totally nothing was that I got a 3rd degree tear (the worst you can get is 4th degree so 3rd is pretty bad). It is not fun having stitches "down there" so in considering an epidural just be sure to let them know you would like to feel a little bit of what's going on.

With my second I again went for the epidural, but it stopped working and I felt everything. It also caused a drop in blood pressure after they gave it and they had to come in and give me a shot of some medication to bring my pressure back up. Scary! However, I believe this is because they did not give me enough IV fluid prior to the epi. With my first I had two whole bags in, with my second it was only one bag. I will not try to scare you by describing the pain- I'll just say I still plan to get an epi again.

Like some others have said, it is best to go with the flow. Childbirth doesn't usually go according to plan. If you are scared of the pain, but scared of the epidural too...educate yourself about your options. Be careful about people who will try to push you into doing it their way and make you feel like a bad mother if you don't. My plan is to go as far as I can without the epidural (to avoid stalling labor) and then ask for a low-dose epi to take the edge off but still allow me to push.

Be prepared for natural labor even if you are not planning on it...lamaze might come in handy. I did not take lamaze before my second birth but after the epidural failed I was doing all kinds of breathing- lol. And it did help- somewhat.
Pregnant with #3!
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February 10th, 2011, 01:10 PM
mzbrnbear's Avatar GabrielandLiliana'sMommy
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There are a lot of things to consider, but you have to just make the decision you feel good about.
I was induced with both of my children. My son came first, and I was determined not to get an epi, not because I was afraid of effects, or wanted to go "natural", but because I was a heavyset person, and I had to get a saddle block when they put my cerclage in and they liked to never got that needle in my spine. It took 5 sticks, and me crying and puking, and blah blah. Well, after 7 hours of contractions one after the other, I couldn't take it anymore, and I was still not sure, but the anesthesiologist came in, and in between contractions, I explained my concerns. He agreed to take it very slow, and if I said ouch...he would stop. He went a little higher up than normal to put it in, and it went smooth as a babies bottom. My son got stuck in the birth canal because he was sunny side up, and so it took me a while to dialate all the way, but....the epidural let me rest while I waited. Before I got it, it was just pain and work, and pain....After the epidural, I slept for a long time, and thank God, because it took me over 2 hours to push him out. His head was slightly tilted, and he wouldn't come down under the pubic bone. I DID feel the birth, I am not going to lie. The last few centimeters went quick all of the sudden, so they couldn't give me anymore medicine, or I wouldn't have been able to push, so I felt most of the birth, but I was able to spend the 8 hours before that resting, and preparing for some major work! It was worth it!
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March 13th, 2012, 12:21 AM
.:Kati:.'s Avatar kyler's mommy
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I got my epi at 8cm and it was a life saver! I honestly don't think i would have made it through the pain without it.

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