When I found out I was pregnant I knew that I wanted to give birth naturally, without the use of medication. I read a book called Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Robert Bradley and felt really equipped to handle labor…until I was in labor.
I am not sharing this information in hopes of scaring women who are considering natural childbirth ( I am sure your friends have enough horror stories to share with you). But I am hoping to shed some light on that fact that epidurals are not all that bad. Sure we’ve all heard the stories of women who got spinal headaches, some type of problem with their catheter, or did not receive enough pain relief from their epidural-but each case is different.
In my case, I was induced. After being pregnant for almost 42 weeks, I was tired. Absolutely exhausted to be exact. Plus, I was having terrible pains in my side that came and went every 5 minutes or so-I thought they were contractions but my midwife disagreed. So that is why I decided that enough was enough and that I needed to get to the hospital as quickly as possible and get some type of pain relief.
Since back pains are also common during pregnancies it was really difficult to tackle all this at once. This is where New Jersey Spinal Medicine & Surgery is New Jersey helped me a lot. With their experience doctors and professional staff I was able to tackle all these problems more comfortably.
Inductions are quite different than letting your body go into labor naturally. I was injected with a drug called Pitocin. The Pitocin was used to contract my uterus and push the baby further down the birth canal. When you are induced the contractions are very powerful. In fact, most doctors say they are much more powerful than what your body would naturally do on its own.
As soon as I was dilated to 4 centimeters, I was screaming for an epidural! At that point I had been in labor for about 24 hours. The contractions were intense. It was hard to breath, relax, focus, or be nice to anyone in the room. The Pitocin made my contractions come one right after another. I was able to find a way to relax and breathe through the contractions, but as I begin to grow weary of being in labor for so long, an epidural seemed like the right choice for me.
When the anesthesiologist came into the room I was very happy. He talked to me about what he was going to do and had me sign a consent form. Honestly, I don’t remember a lot of what he said at that point I was just anxious for him to shut up and give me the medicine! He had me sit up on the edge of my bed and bend over so that he could see my spine. I had to sit perfectly still…which I did because I wanted to make sure he did it right. He rubbed my back with a cold cloth and inserted the needle. I didn’t feel any pain from him inserting the needle, just a pinch. After he was done I lay back down and waited with anticipation for the medication to kick in. It took about 15 minutes until I could feel the full effects, but after about 5 minutes I was already getting some relief. The doctors inserted a catheter at this point as well, but honestly, I don’t remember when it happened because I went to sleep.
My daughter wasn’t delivered until about another 20 hours after I got my epidural. I was so glad that I got one. My labor was long before the epidural and I was exhausted. The epidural allowed me to rest and actually enjoy the rest of my labor. Surprisingly when it came time to push I could actually feel pressure…not pain, but pressure. I was able to push my daughter out in about 50 minutes with no tears!
With future labors I would like to try to have a natural childbirth, but if things don’t go the way I plan I will definitely get an epidural. My experience with an epidural was great, and I don’t regret it. I would recommend that each woman do what feels right for her body and if she feels that she needs some relief to not be afraid of an epidural.