A Tale of Two Epidurals


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Fort Worth Moms shares birth stories in its editorial series, Stork Stories.When they say that every pregnancy and birth are different, they really mean it. 

Epidural 1: A Smooth Experience

My daughter was really comfy in her wet, little house. I lost my mucus plug at about eight months but stayed at one centimeter until I was induced. Even on my due date she was plenty happy. She had turned head down but had no notion of moving any time soon. I went for biophysical exams every day for about six days around my due date. Everything looked good. She was just stubborn. I was induced four days past my due date. 

It was smooth and uneventful. I watched NASCAR and the France vs USA friendly leading up to the world cup.

Pitocin was given at about 7:00 a.m. and I lasted until about 1:00 p.m. before I decided to get the epidural. The Pitocin made me cramp so bad that I spent 45 minutes in the bathroom.

I ended up taking an hour nap and went from three to eight centimeters. By the time it came time to practice push, she was ready to go. I gave three practice pushes before the nurses said “Okay, rest. We’ll pick back up when the doctor gets here.”

He came about 20 minutes later and my daughter was born three small pushes later at about 5:30 p.m.

Some mothers opt to receive an epidural for their delivery.Epidural 2: A Rocky Road

My son was just as comfy as his sister. He turned but hadn’t engaged. My mucus plug was still intact. I was induced four days before my due date.

Same thing as last time, Pitocin was given at 7:00 a.m. But by 10:00 a.m. I was begging for the epidural. My contractions were stronger and more painful this time because I was given more Pitocin.

I took a 20-minute nap and jumped almost five centimeters. When I woke up I really felt like I was going to poop myself. My nurse just kept saying it was the baby, but I yelled at her to shut up and listen to me. She obliged finally with a rude remark.

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I started screaming so loud that the other nurses came in to check on me. My nurse just kept telling them I was dramatic, and I had an epidural so I was fine. I was confused and in pain. I kept telling my nurse it was time, but she just kept saying not to push, stop yelling, and that the doctor was with someone else.

By the time my doctor came in about 12:20 p.m., my voice was hoarse, and my son was crowning. He barely had time to put on his gloves and catch him. He put my son on my chest before cleaning him up. I scared my son because I was screaming so bad when he was stitching me up. My doctor was told I had an epidural so assumed I wouldn’t feel it but it was too late to do anything.

I had nightmares about my birth with my son for more than a year. I went into it expecting a birth similar to my daughter. Instead it was five hours of pure torture.

My husband was extremely supportive the entire time. He advocated for me when I was in too much pain to speak or was delirious from the screaming. My doctor wasn’t happy with the nurse, and reprimanded her in the hallway shortly after my son was born. 

Not all epidurals are the same.Experiencing Epidurals

Before I gave birth, everyone told me to not get an epidural. I was told epidurals were dangerous. People also said epidurals can make your back hurt really bad.

Both my epidurals didn’t give me any trouble after either birth.

With my daughter, I was in so much pain, but my nurse was amazing and had me move around a lot and sit in different positions. I fell asleep in more than one sitting position.

When it came time to insert the needle, my nurse was very calming and walked my husband and I through everything. It was easy and worked instantly. I could still move my lower body on my own but didn’t feel any pain. It was more like when you sit on your foot too long and it goes numb and tingly.

With my son, it was pretty much exact opposite. My nurse was rude and rushing. She didn’t help me with any positions to help the pain. She was very judgmental and when I would shake because of a contraction she would yell at me to sit still.

My contractions came quickly so there was little window to put the needle in. The anesthesiologist was amazing and patient and walked us through everything. Some time later it failed.

It’s been almost three years since I gave birth to my son. While I do still have nightmares about my birth to him, I don’t have back pain from the epidural. Occasionally when it gets really cold in the winter and my skin is exposed it will cramp in that location slightly, but no more than that. 

Overall, getting the epidural was completely worth it to me. If I had to do it over again, I would still opt for the epidurals.


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