Now that I’ve spent two weeks spouting tips for a natural birth, let’s give epidurals some equal play. Around 61 percent of you will get an epidural at some point in your labor, so let’s answer a few nitty-gritty questions. But first, let’s start with some common complaints women have about their epidural experiences:
1. “I was in so much pain but my nurse made me wait a whole hour before I finally got that epidural.”
2. “I asked for just a light epidural, but I couldn’t even move my legs.”
3. “I didn’t want to feel a thing, but I still felt pressure and I could tell when the baby was coming out.”
4. “I put in my birth plan I didn’t want an IV, but I wanted an epidural. My nurse said I couldn’t have an epidural without one. She didn’t honor my birth plan.”
5. “I thought I was going to be able to get up, move around and walk a little, but once I had my epidural, I was a beached.”
6. “Nobody told me the epidural needle was going to be that big. I’m a small person and they should have used a smaller needle.”
I sympathize with every one of the mothers in these situations. It sucks to wait for relief when you’re in pain. It’s weird not to feel your legs or be able to move while still feeling other sensations. IVs are a big fear for a lot of women and it’s hard to shift gears when you’re not expecting a procedure. And, yes, indeed … that epidural needle sure is a big one. Now, let’s get real, shall we?
This blog is not the place to describe the entire epidural process, but I can’t recommend strongly enough the value of learning all you can about it. I cover it pretty darn thoroughly in this book, complete with pictures to illustrate how and where it’s inserted. For now though, let’s just tackle the above.