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and wash your hands afterwards." --Robert Heinlein.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I've always wanted an epidural



I've always wanted an epidural and I've never gotten one. I thought this pregnancy would be it, but alas, it looks like it is not meant to be.

I'm all for you brave women who give birth naturally. It's just not for me. Never has been. I think I decided I wanted an epidural when I was a teenager and learned of their existence. Pain is not something I seek after, nor am I strong enough to take it.

With Princess Sparkley I got an epidural. It didn't work. I was actually chewed out by the hospital anesthesiologist at three something in the morning because according to him I was being a wimp. Turns out, I wasn't being a wimp. My body started to go numb, and then stopped. After delivering my baby, the nurses saw that the needle or tube or something had fallen out of my back, thus the medication had stopped dripping into my spine and all feeling had returned to my body. I had about 30 blissful minutes of numbness and then felt it all. And the jerk anesthesiologist . . . my super cool doctor chewed him out and made him come to apologize to me in person in my hospital room.

With Boy, (who I think I'll start referring to as Buddy, since that's what we call him 70% of the time), there was no time for an epidural. It wasn't bad. If I had to pick between quick labor and delivery and an epidural, I'd totally go with quick labor and delivery. Buddy was born about an hour and a half after checking into the hospital. I had been to the doctor at nine that morning, had my membranes stripped to try to induce labor, and he was born around two that afternoon. My doctor almost didn't make it to the hospital. My husband feared for a moment that he would have to deliver the baby himself since the nurses were pretty much ignoring me until I told them I felt like I needed to push, they checked me and I had gone from a 3 cm. dilation to 9 1/2 centimeters in a very very short time, they all ran from the room to call my doctor, etc. As soon as the nurse said I was at 9 1/2 centimeters I said, "I don't get an epidural, do I?" Sadly she said no.

With this pregnancy, the way insurance is working out with my husband being a student and only working part-time, if I want an epidural, we're paying for it. Is it worth $1000 ... or more??




5 comments:

wendys said...

Maybe you will have a quick delivery like with Buddy and you won't have to worry about the cost! I don't have much epidural experience either so I don't have any advice. Are you finding out the gender of the baby?

Nance said...

In the past we've always found out if it was a boy or a girl. I guess this time it depends on how much an ultrasound costs. Maybe we'll be surprised. :)

Cristin Lassen said...

People usually hate me for saying this, but I chose not to have an epidural with Luke and I really didn't think it was too bad. I mean, I'm planning on doing it that way with kid #2. Plus, you know you've already done it twice, so you're totally capable. Also, aren't your labors supposed to get progressively faster? Maybe #3 will just slide out.

Have you tried a method? I did the Bradley method. My sister did Hypnobirthing. Whatever you do, I really feel that the training and practicing beforehand really helped me to do it naturally.

I have a lot of reasons that I am anti-epidural. I mean, I'll get one if I have to and I don't look down on someone who gets one, but after having done it once without one, I really don't think it's all that necessary. I also think that recovery is a lot easier with no epidural. All the nurses commented about that after Luke was born. They said things like, "Oh, be glad you didn't have an epidural... this would hurt, and this would hurt more..."

Jamie said...

I would do anything to have a quick labor. Not so much because of the pain (even though, yes, it's pretty painful!) but because it's so boring sitting there. I thought Liam would be faster than Penny because of the whole "your labor time is usually cut in half with your second child" nonsense, but Liam was 7 hours longer to push out than Penny! Unless there is an emergency or something, I will never ever be induced again. But that's a story for another time. I got an "epidural" with Penny and it turned out to be a spinal. It was the worse experience of my life.

Crisitn, that's funny that the nurses were telling you to be glad you didn't have an epidural AFTER you had the baby, but BEFORE, they do everything but hold you by gunpoint to get you to have an epidural. Or at least here they do that.

Cristin Lassen said...

Jamie is totally right! The same nurses did that kept asking me if I wanted an epidural during labor, were the same ones telling me how grateful I should be that I didn't have one!

Hospitals are really weird sometimes.

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