But she would still do it all over again. Sound familiar?
Ali Fedotowsky is just a few weeks into motherhood, but she already has one war story under her belt: The former Bachelorette star, who welcomed daughter Molly Sullivan Manno with fiancé Kevin Manno on July 6, opened up to Us Weekly about her "excruciating" labor. “I had a really, really hard labor—my epidural stopped working,” she said. “It didn’t work on half of my body, and it stopped working three different times during my labor.”
While the thought of a failed epidural seems insanely painful, one expert shared that it's actually not an uncommon outcome. "Oh, it happens all the time," Prudence Hall, MD, an OB/GYN at The Hall Center, told Fit Pregnancy.
"What happens is people metabolize the anesthesia," Dr. Hall explained. "It's one of those very quick-acting anesthetics and people metabolize it in very different ways. It's fairly common that epidural will wear off."
Dr. Hall explained that in many cases, an anesthesiologist will simply administer another dose once the epidural wears off—unless the woman is at the point in labor when she needs to push. "They want to do short-acting anesthetics because they want the woman to be able to push and not have the epidural be active at that point," she said. "If women don't feel their contractions, they really can't push. Nature wants them to really bear down."
"I don't want women to be afraid or think, 'Ah, I'm going to be left without epidural!'" Dr. Hall added. "That's what happens: They want it to wear off. They anticipate where she is in labor and how long it will take, maybe give her a little bit more or a little bit less medication. You don't want an epidural when the woman is in the pushing stage, which can last for [an hour or two.]"
But Dr. Hall also pointed out that while epidural often wears off during labor, Ali's experience was certainly not the norm. "A 20-hour labor? I wouldn't wish that on anyone," she said. "That's a very, very arduous labor."
Epidural or not, Ali wouldn't change her birthing story one bit. “It was like a crazy emotional experience,” she said. "It is so funny because you go through all of this pain — and the most excruciating pain you can possibly imagine—and a few days later you are holding your beautiful baby, and you're like, 'I could do this again.'”