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Why You Should Say No to an Epidural for Childbirth

Updated on January 23, 2019
Leiahm profile image

Mom of four beautiful children. 2 with Epidurals and 2 without.

My Experience

Epidurals during childbirth are there to take the pain away and well I am not gonna lie, they work. Although my experience with them have not been positive and I will explain why.

My first child was born in 2012. I was induced by Pitocin, another decision I would not make again but it was my first born and my family wanted to be there. I was able to basically schedule the birth of my baby so that my sister and mother, who both lived hours away, could be there. So I went in early that morning and was induced.

Soon enough the pain from the contractions was getting to me and I excepted my Epidural. First of all, getting the epidural is really scary to me. Everyone has to leave the room and you have to hug a pillow and stay completely still while they stick a needle in your spine.Yikes! I felt like crying from fear. I probably did and just do not remember that minor detail.

Then I was numb. I couldn't feel anything from the waist down. The Epidural was a success and I lay there not feeling a thing except when my mom was patting my leg, which I then felt a numb tingly feeling which is hard to explain but it was super annoying to me.

So I went through the whole day stuck in my bed. I couldn't even lift a leg to move. I couldn't feel contractions. They told me when it was time to push because I could not feel a thing!

I realize this is my personal story and I believe most can feel enough after an epidural to get through the notions on their own but for me I was helpless after the epidural. I could not feel myself progressing in labor and I could not feel a need to push. Although it took a long time and there was talk of c- sections I was able to push my baby out with the help of the doctor and a pair of forceps.

So when it was time to have my next baby 2 years later I thought I would try to not have an Epidural, but my water broke late at night and for some reason the hospital could not tell for sure if it was my water and I had plenty of water left. I let them do everything they wanted to. They stopped my contractions, and I pretty much waited until the morning to find out it was my water. So by the time they were ready for me to have a baby I was tired and a little mentally drained from the process. So I decided the Epidural would probably be a good thing to do. I knew I was tired and thought it would help me rest. Soon enough I had another beautiful baby boy


Spinal Headache

I believe it was the next day when I noticed my headache set in. I had a horrible headache and when I told them about it I found out it was a spinal headache caused by leak in cervical fluid causing the pressure to be off around my brain. A complication of my epidural.

I could not get up and move around without a horrible headache. I had to lay as flat as possible to alleviate the pain and I was told it would probably fix itself but it didnt. I was told if the pain was bad enough and didn't subside soon I could have a spinal block.

A spinal block is yet another poke in the spine. They draw some of your blood and inject it into the spine to hopefully form a clot to stop the leak. I was so afraid of this procedure I cried in fear, but I had just had a beautiful baby boy and I didn't want to feel so horrible, especially with a new baby to take care of.

It helped, but only for a short time. After finally going home from my nightmare in the hospital my headache returned and I had to spend days laying flat as much as I could to help with the pain. Eventually my pain subsided but I vowed to never have an epidural again, at least for childbirth.

This is not something they tell you can happen but it is actually very common. According to MayoClinic.org it happens to up to 40% of spinal tap and spinal anesthesia patients. Although they say most resolve quickly and on there own I would not take one day of a spinal headache to take away the pain of childbirth again.

Natural childbirth is possible and it is even possible to enjoy most of it. The pain of childbirth is magical, and a woman's body is amazing. I suggest instead of giving into an epidural that women learn techniques to deal with childbirth ahead of time. Meditate and breath. Because there is absolutely nothing magical about a spinal headache.

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