It’s been a while since I’ve written about anything to do with pregnancy so I thought I’d do a little something on epidurals for any of those expectant mothers who aren’t quite sure what they want to do regarding pain relief.
The second I found out I was pregnant all I could think about is how much this is going to hurt getting this baby out of me. I always said I wanted an epidural even without doing zero research about how it works, what it feels like and the side affects. So I thought I’d put together a little something just for mums to be to have a read about what an epidural is really all about.
Before I begin on my story I’d like to give you some idea what an epidural actually is. So here goes. An epidural is an anaesthetic injected into the bottom of the spine to stop pain.
A drip will be placed in your arm so you can be given fluids while you’re having the epidural.You’ll be asked to sit down and lean forwards, or lie on your side with your knees up close your chest. You’ll be given an injection of anethasic to numb the skin where the epidural will be inserted. A needle is used to insert a fine plastic tube called an epidural catheter into your back (spine) near the nerves that carry pain messages to your brain.The needle is then removed, leaving just the catheter in your spine.You may feel mild discomfort when the epidural needle is positioned and the catheter is inserted.
Pain relief medicines are then given through the catheter. These take about 20 to 30 minutes to take full effect.
Your chest, tummy and legs may feel numb while the epidural medicines are being used, and your legs may not feel as strong as usual.
While the catheter remains in your back, it can be used to top up your pain relief medicines manually or using an automatic pump.
Please if your a pregnant women and are frightened or anxious please don’t read this next part!!
For those women who manage to birth a child without an epidural I applaud you, I really do It takes a strong women to push a water melon out of a pin hole with no pain relief. Believe me I gave it my best shot. But that just wasn’t good enough and I’d just given up and tapped out around 3 hours after contractions began.
I was very fortunate enough to be having my baby at one of the best hospitals in the country, the John Radcliffe hospital in oxford where the midwives and doctors went above and beyond to look after me. I’d already had it in my head that I maybe wanted an epidural so what they did was get a doctor out to me before it all got to messy and painful to explain what would actually happen blah blah and the side affects.
From my memory There’s not really much to report except I remember the doctor telling me a rare side affect is prolonged lower back pain but not to worry as it’s unlikely to happen. Well fuck me with a feather I’m one of “those” rare ones who now has lower back pain almost every single night I’m in bed. I’m really starting to wonder weather that needle in the back was worth this dull ache I get every single fucking day.
Anyway back to the delivery room…
If I could describe a contraction in one word it would probably be the worst fucking pain I’ve ever had in my whole life. Okay that’s 7 words but it bloody hurt!! If Jesus had a stick I’m sure he’d shove it up my arse just to make things worse. By the 3 hour mark I’d had enough I’m hysterically crying screming and shouting it’s like a scene from the Texas chain saw massacre. I mean the gas and air is pretty good but nothing was beating this pain. I’m screming at them to get me an epidural.
So in they pop and by this time I’m high on gas and air and I really don’t have a clue what’s gong on I just remember being in so much pain and not being able to see because I was crying so hard.
Anyway they put this really cold antiseptic stuff all over my back and it was bloody freezing. I’m told to sit on the bed and bend forward like a prawn (as you do) After that I don’t really know what was happening because between contractions and them continually stabbing me with a needle I had No Idea what was going on. Now I’m not going to lie it really bloody hurt when they finally got the needle in my spine, and I mean IT REALLY HURT. That badly that I just couldn’t control my crying and screming. All in all it took about 20 minuets to get in my spine.
After all that… 5 minuets later I was sat up in bed compleatly numb from the waste down watching only fools and horses on the iPad. It honestly works that quick. The relief was just amazing. The down side was I now had to have a tube fitted up my fanny cause I can no longer control my bladder. Which ofcorse is just icing on the cake isn’t it!
I mean In Heinz sight thank god I had that epidural because after an 18 hour labour I never would have coped without one! Unluckily for me I’m left with lower back pain on a daily basis. I’ve been advised to do stretches and yoga to help. Weill see what happens.
So should you have an epidural? My advice is don’t plan and wait and see what happens.
There’s one thing I really dont regret about my labour and that’s getting that epidural!