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Old 08-16-2012, 01:06 PM   #1
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Fabulous Birth Experience with an Epi

I know a lot of ladies write about their natural births and I think they are so wonderful to read. While I was pregnant I read a lot of horror stories regarding medicated births and I wanted to share a positive experience with those who are looking to get an epidural but are concerned.

Some background: I have a high pain tolerance, and debated my whole pregnancy between a natural birth and getting an epidural. I went to both types of birth classes, and learned everything I could about the risks and benefits of both. I finally made up my mind after talking with my mother who had me naturally and then went on to have my 3 younger siblings with epidurals. When I told her that this may be my only child and I wanted the "whole experience" she laughed a bit and said she would support me with whatever decision I made. "But look at it this way," she said, "If you were getting a tooth pull and they were offering you pain medication to numb you would you turn it down because you want the WHOLE experience?"

Although, this analogy isn't quite accurate I understood what she was trying to get at. After weighing the risks, I decided I would go with the epidural as long as everything was going well with me and the baby.

So 40 weeks rolled along. I was due June 26th, and my doctor scheduled an NST and an ultrasound for June 28th. I went and while my NST went well enough, the ultrasound scared the bajebus out of me. The tech was measuring 9lb baby for my little 5'2", 115lbs prepregnancy body! The OB didn't help alleviate my worries and suggested we go ahead with an induction. Bleh...

Not wanting my lady parts shred to bits my a giant baby, I went ahead with the induction scheduled for June 29th. Hubby and I went in at 2am, and by 2:30am, I was hooked up to the pitocin and DH was sleeping in the pull-out couch next to me. I hardly got any sleep due to the constant interruption by the L&D nurse and DH snoring, lol. Contractions started coming around 4 or 5am, and were not close together or strong like I had been afraid of with pitocin.
At 7am, the OB came in and broke my water. At this time she warned me that this baby was projected to be quite large and I may need a c-section. I was a bit annoyed at her presumption, but I tried not to think about it too much. I decided that if I need a c-section than oh well. I'd get my baby today one way or another, lol.

Again, I kept waiting for the pain to come. I watched as the nurse turned up the pitocin hour by hour, but still I didn't feel much. My family showed up around 9am, and I got to walk around and was talking and laughing through most of my contractions. A few times I would just bend over bed table and sway my hips a bit, but nothing I couldn't easily handle. My nurse kept asking if things were getting painful, but I just kept saying no, things were great. I think everyone was a bit flabbergasted considering my contractions on the chart were starting to peak fairly high and get closer together. At some point a hospital pediatrician came in and started talking to me about c-sections again. He gave me the rundown of what they would do with the baby should I need one. Again...I was annoyed but I smiled and nodded my head, thinking to myself that what was meant to happen would happen. I was going to try my best to do things my way but if it wasn't meant to be then oh well. I wasn't going to trapped by my birth plans and let deviations from the plan ruin this awesome day. I gave the day over to fate at that point.

Finally at about noon, my nurse told me if I still wanted to get the epidural I could get it now, or I'd have to wait a couple hours since the anesthesiologist had several c-sections she was scheduled for soon. Knowing that I would probably want it at some point, I agreed to go ahead and get it. My contractions were about 2 minutes apart, and I was having to sway my hips through them. The anesthesiologist was there within 10 minutes. I leaned over on the bed with DH near my head. The numbing shot was a prick in the back...not bad at all honestly. Less than a bee sting. The epidural needle going in wasn't bad except at one point it almost felt like a nerve was hit and that only felt weird, not painful. Within about 10 minutes my legs started feeling heavy, and I started feeling great again. Within 30 minutes, my waist down was numb but I could still move my legs on the bed and wiggle my toes. I felt so comfortable all snug in the bed. I was smiling and laughing with my family and the whole experience felt so happy.

My nurse Elizabeth was absolutely awesome this whole time. She had heard all the c-section talk and saw my positive attitude about the whole thing. At one point she mentioned how calm I seemed even though the doctors kept telling me of my risks for c-section. I told her that even though I'd rather have a vaginal birth, if I had to have a c-section I wouldn't let it be the end of the world. She smiled and promised me she would do her best to prevent it for me, and that she loved hearing someone sound so positive.

At about 4pm, the doctor came back in to check my progression. I was still only about 4-5cm, and AGAIN she warned me of the possibility of a c-section . Again...I smile and nodded, beginning to accept that this is more than a possibility but more of a likelihood and thinking that my doctor may be a little scalpel happy. After she left, my nurse Elizabeth suggested I switch positions. She suggested an "unconventional" position that she said has worked really great in the past. She flipped me on my side with one leg up in the air held by a stirrup, and the other spread out behind me. Since I couldn't feel my legs, this wasn't uncomfortable, but it did mean I no longer wanted my dad or brother in the room while I was in this compromising position, haha.

After only an hour of this position, I started feeling "weird". I kept saying that, lol..."I feel weird". What I was feeling was pressure from Samuel's head. I kept thinking that it would feel more intense though, and didn't really think much of it. After about the fifth time I announce my "weird' feeling to my mother, sisters, and husband, DH finally concluded that we should ask the nurse about it. Elizabeth came in to check me, and to her surprise (and everyone else's), I was complete and ready to push.

The doctor had just gone home to eat dinner, not expecting me to go so fast, so she had to be called back. I was shifted to my other side and told to just relax. As soon as that was said, I started shaking like crazy. I later found out this was normal, but DH kept trying to throw blankets on me thinking that I was cold. About 20 minutes later I was doing "practice pushes" with Elizabeth. She said that if I kept "practicing" I would be doing the real thing too soon, so I stopped for a bit and just sort of "labored" down. The epidural really made things easy, since I could still feel the tightening of the contractions but didn't have that crazy need to push that would have made it impossible to wait for the doctor.

Finally the OB was ready and when I started pushing again, she chose to tell me that I would probably need "a little incision to help him out." I stopped pushing, sat up more and started arguing with her. I asked her if I could just try it without the episiotomy, and that I would risk the small chance of a big tear rather than the guarantee of a 2nd degree tear from her scalpel. She agreed to let me try a little longer without cutting. Well...within the next couple pushes the head was out, and with the one after that the body. Philip Samuel "Sammy", was born at 5:47pm at 7lbs. 14oz. So much for that 9 pounder i was so scared of! He screamed from the moment he was born and has been a healthy screamer since, lol! I had two tiny tears that didn't even require stitches and were healed within a few days.

Other than being annoyed at all the scalpel happy doctors, my birth experience was a wonderful, happy, and nearly painless experience. I told my DH I want about a dozen more after this, lol. To all the mamas who are thinking about getting an epidural or have to be induced, just remember to educate yourself on everything and don't be afraid to speak up and ask for other options. Above all, remain positive!

Last edited by kmb324; 08-16-2012 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:12 PM   #2
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Re: Fabulous Birth Experience with an Epi

Ik got epi with first because I had horrible back labor & was overmedicated. Second it was awesomel. I felt I could still feel everything but the contractions. I was more alert the second time only being 5 to 7 hrs after I went in. Both epi. It depends on ur midwife/ ob & all. Glad to hear u had a good experience
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:58 PM   #3
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Re: Fabulous Birth Experience with an Epi

Glad you had a good experience. That position that the nurse put you in is really great; similar to what a peanut ball would do. Your doctor sounds like a jerk, honestly!
Sara- mommy to Claire (01/10) and Micah (3/12) and Corbin (10/14) and someone new (11/16)
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Old 08-16-2012, 06:50 PM   #4
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Re: Fabulous Birth Experience with an Epi

Well I agree she's not exactly the crunchy doctor I had hoped for, but she had been my gyno for years and she had given no previous indication that she was so gun-ho about wanting to cut me, haha. Oh well, it all turned out quite well, and overall I am very happy with the results. She even said to me the next day, "Oh you're the one that surprised us all and just kept going and going."
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:51 PM   #5
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Re: Fabulous Birth Experience with an Epi

"Above all, remain positive" - I like that!

I'm glad that you are happy with your birth experience overall. Congratulations on your baby.
Happiness comes from within
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:29 PM   #6
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Great story!! Ive had 2 awesome epidural births, and 2 CSections and 2 natural births. And honestly in the end the most important part is a healthy baby and keeping a good attitude!

Sent from my phone, excuse any typos.
Kristen: Helpmeet to my amazing DH
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Old 09-25-2012, 04:35 AM   #7
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I'm glad you had a great birth!
Holly, mommy to 6 ~ 4 on earth 2 in Heaven
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