Tell me what you think!

I am doing a little informal question about medication in labor.  I want all kinds or responses, though I realize that most of our readers are probably pro-natural.  
I hear a lot of mom's that hated the epidural or felt like they were still in pain, or that it caused problems in their labor.  
So this week we have a little vote you can take on the blog.  Let us know about medication in your labor.  Love it, hate it, whatever, I want to know.  Share with your friends so we can get lots of different opinions.  
Also- if you have more to add, go ahead and make a comment on this post-



Christina said…
I voted "Not only did I hate it, It still causes me trouble." and "I hated it, all natural next time". I had a little more to add.

I had a c-section. I had planned for a natural birth, but my water broke at 36.5 weeks, and baby was footling breech (one leg extended and pressing into my spine, one leg in a kneeling position.)

Long story short, the anesthesiologist spent 40 minutes trying to do a spinal on me. He finally asked me if I had rheumatoid arthritis, and when I told him I did, he said, "Oh, you should have told me that sooner. I can't do this. We'll have to put you under." My back was soooo sore afterward. In addition, I stopped breathing while under the anesthesia. When I finally woke, I was completely disconnected for well over 24 hours - I didn't believe my baby was mine, and really wasn't sure I wanted him near me.

So, while I don't have serious problems from the anesthesia, my back still feels bruised frequently (also probably a result of carrying around a 23 lb child), and I do carry some guilt for the way I acted after his birth. So, it causes me trouble, but probably not in the way you meant.
Kiza said…
I voted "I hated it, all natural next time". At just shy of 34 weeks pregnant with my second child, I feel that even more strongly now than ever.

My son is now 2.5 years old and we probably didn't have nearly a horrific birth experience as many others, but it still affected us profoundly and it's something that I still have trouble dealing with.

I was labeled high risk early on for a variety of reasons. I had some spotting three different times during the pregnancy. I threw up - a lot - the entire pregnancy.

I was also not on any form of insurance, so the OB/GYN that I had been going to for ten years - and loved! - told me that I couldn't afford her and essentially kicked me out of her office. That had a rather dramatic effect on my outlook of care providers. After being turned down by a number of OBs for not having insurance, I finally found one. I was in heaven because not only did I like him a whole lot, he was also very natural-birth friendly.

At the end of my 35th week, before we'd finalized my birth plan, my water broke. I'd been having tons of BH contractions so hadn't realized when the 'real' contractions had started. I went to the hospital, where I'd been told that I could labor in water, only to find out that I wouldn't be allowed to since my water had already broken. They also told me up front that since I was at 35w6d, my son would automatically go to NICU when he was born. Hospital policy for any child born before 36w.

I was put into bed on my back, hooked up to an IV and a million and four other machines. I denied drugs. My nurse was awesome. At the end of her shift, another came in. At 16 hours after my water had broken, I asked for a little help. She offered Stadol and Phenegren. My husband and I both said that I COULD NOT take the Phenegren because it made me ill. She said that she would give me a half-dose of the Stadol instead, so that it wouldn't make me ill.

That was a lie. I was given the mix, promptly got terribly ill and so sleepy that I spent all of my energy on trying to stay awake through the birth and couldn't control the pain by myself at all. At some point (I was too out of it to know when), I was given another "half-dose", which knocked me out again. Eventually, I caved and asked for an epidural because I was so emotionally worn out from trying to stay awake and deal with the pain - neither of which I was able to manage successfully.

The epidural, when I finally got it, did nothing but put my legs to sleep and stall labor. I was threatened with Pitocin but fought it and my (third) nurse supported that decision. She did her best to coach me through the pain and the pushing when I felt ready. Eventually, I was given Pitocin against my wishes - under threat of a C-section if I didn't let them give it to me.

My third nurse really fought for me - for which I will be eternally thankful - but eventually warned me that I had been allowed to go over the hospital's standard of 24 hours of labor and that they were being pressured to force a c-section. My OB let me go to 31 hours and then said that he wouldn't wait any more. As he stepped into the room, I pushed hard enough that my son crowned and I was 'allowed' to have a vaginal birth.

I'm unhappy with how he and I were handled after the birth as well, but was pleased that he was not sent to NICU after all. We had a previous relationship with our LC and she did quite a lot to fight for us while we were in the hospital, otherwise I can't even imagine how dreadful the stay would have been.

I'm doing everything in my power to make certain that my daughter's birth will NOT turn out the same way.
Anonymous said…
I think there is a time and a place for an epidural. I planned on having a homebirth attended by my midwife because I wanted a natural birth experience. But after being in hard labor for 90 hours with my water broken she advised me to transfer to the hospital to get an epidural and pitocin so I could rest after being awake for 3 straight days. The epidural was amazing. I was able to finally sleep and felt very grateful for it. I knew all the potential side effects and risks involved but I honestly felt like I NEEDED some relief.

Unfortunately I ended up with a "failure to progress" c-section. I can't say for sure what exactly went wrong. I don't blame the epidural alone for my c-section though. There were many other factors involved.

I'm glad I chose to get an epidural given the circumstances. It allowed me to get my energy and focus back. I was wide awake when my daughter was born and we had no problem bonding and breastfeeding in recovery.
L said…
I voted "it was ok, but not the best experience" and would add "will go all natural next time!" It wasn't horrific, it just didn't work. Especially now that I know all the risks that dr's DONT tell you about epi's and pitocin, there's no way I'm being induced unless it is a true medical emergency. I don't regret being induced last time, the pre-eclampsia was scary; but he'll have to talk me into it next time that I absolutely need it.