Epidurals, should you have one or shouldn’t you? I am most likely to annoy someone here now, but I don’t like epidurals. I don’t like the idea of one, the risks of one, and how they can affect your labour. But that’s just me. And you know me by now, I don’t like a lot of things, and I like to be controversial! Hahaha!
An epidural is a local anaesthetic inserted via injection into a space in the spinal colomn that numbs the whole lower part of your body. It takes around 20 minuted to set up by an anaesthetist and you will have a fine tube coming from your back, to ‘top-it-up’ when it starts to wears off.
The idea of an epidural is that if it works properly you can enjoy a more or less pain-free labour. Although you wont be able to walk, so you will have to labor on the bed and as you are totally numb you wont be able to move around during labour. You will be also have to be attached to a fetal heart monitor throughout. There is a raised risk (quite a lot raised in fact) need for other interventions during your labour such as vetouse, forceps or even a c-section. Enough to make my eyes water already! These interventions are often needed because it is harder to push effectively when you can’t feel what is going on down below and you can’t feel your contractions. And from what I learnt quickly during my labour was: It bloody hurts down there, therefore I want this over quickly and I shall push like hell to get it over with. And that worked perfectly for me!
I knew from the beginning that I did not want an epidural. I didn’t want to raise any risks during my delivery (even more so when it was expected for me to have a hard labour due to my condition) and, call me mental, But I wanted to feel my body doing its job. Its not very often you get to do this amazing thing, and I wanted to be part of my body in doing it. I must be mental to want to feel every contraction, the ‘ring of fire’ and that weird slippery feeling you get when baby (and placenta) come sliding out! I didn’t like the idea of being immobile during labour, And I knew I did not want a catheter fitted… something that is routinely done with an epidural as you cannot hold bladder control when you are numb.
I had to go for several scans during my third trimester due to my KTW Syndrome, which had left me in hospital for the majority of my last 12 weeks. These CT’s were carried out just to check that should I need a spinal for any reason or If i needed a section at anytime, my spine was safe to work around. It turned out it wasn’t as they found a few little lumps running down my spinal column that would make fitting any kind of spinal near impossible and extremely dangerous. The anesthetists own words were “I would not like to go 100 meters near your spine with a needle” GULP! All of a sudden I started to think ‘What if I now change my mind, what if I want an epidural… in fact I KNOW I want one now!’ I was just being silly though. I knew I didn’t want one really and this was Gods way of backing that up even more so. I knew from day 1 that I did not want one and this was the guarantee that I wasn’t to have one!
Would you ever have an epidural? Or have you had an epidural? What was the experience like for you?