December 22, 2011

The epidural dilemma

I already know I will be getting an epidural. This is because baby boy is breech and it's recommended with twins anyway. Some don't understand my reasoning for being anxious or nervous about it so I thought I would explain it.

Here are my cons/worries:

1. It's a needle going into my spine.
2. I have no idea how my body will handle it. 
3. It's a needle going into my spine.
4. Will it work 100%?
5. It's a needle going into my spine - I think I've mentioned this before.
6. Will I labor longer because of this drug? I average around 4-6 hours with only about an 1 or 2 of hard labor.
7. How will pushing be for me? My motto when it comes to pushing is "get that baby out ASAP" and baby is out within minutes. I'm telling you, I mean business when I push these little people out. How could I be that successful or quick about it if I can't feel what's going on down in the delivery zone?
8. I hear side effects are rare but still... there's always a chance.

Now for the pros:

1. I only have this one... labor is bound to hurt less.
2. Guess I have another, I will be ready in the event an emergency C-section is needed.

Bottom line is that I know how my body handles labor and delivery without drugs and I have no idea how it will be with drugs. I am guessing just fine especially since I will have great people by my side.

Feel free to comment if you've had an epidural experience (good or bad).


  1. Don't worry!!!
    I had an epidural - it is a needle going into your epidural space, not your SPINE!...It doesn't hurt that much - labor hurts a lot more, and it takes only a few minutes. I'm sure you can handle it.
    About the pushing - It was a first for me, and even so i knew how to push and the actual delivery phase didn't take long at all (maybe 15 minutes). For you it's not a first time and you already know how to push, so i'm sure you'll be fine even it you don't feel it exactely the same. You can ask the doctor to stop the epidural infusion for the final stage of pushing and than you'll feel everything almost the same as with no epidural...
    For conclusion - it'll be okay! I wish you (and the babies and the guys, of course) an easy eventless delivery!

  2. So i know people rave about the epidural... personally i hated it with a passion.

    Getting it put in was not as scary or painful as I thought... then again I was having insane contractions at the time so that may have helped me not realize what was going on. The doctor who did it was quite honestly a jerk, but he did what he did well.

    Now to the reasons i did NOT like the epidural. It gave me the shakes... which no one told me until afterwards was a side effect of the epidural. It took all my physical concentration to stop myself from shaking.

    They WAY overdid my epidural so I felt NOTHING from the waist down and could not move ... at all. I couldn't even wiggle my toes and I Tried... i know not everyone gets their epidural this intensely but no one suggested it was too high and needed to be turned down. Not being able to move or feel anything drove me nuts.

    I had horrible back labor the epidural didn't touch at ALL.

    The entire time it was in i was freaked out i was gong to move wrong and pull something

    I honestly feel like it stalled my labor... a LOT. I was stuck in bed, unable to move, in a weird position...

  3. Thanks Tali - that does ease my mind some!

    Thanks Emma - you have given me some things to think about in regards to the dosage and such.

  4. Hugs!

    Not all doctors recommend epidurals for twins. I'm a doula, and two of my clients have had twins without epidurals--one of them was even a first time mom.

    I know having the second baby breech does add a bit of uncertainty to things...but even if the second baby is vertex, that baby can flip breech after the first baby was born...and likewise, a breech can flip to vertex. Another factor in my clients not being recommended to have an epidural was they had care providers who had experience handling vaginal breech births. A 2nd twin is really the MOST ideal vaginal breech candidate because the pathway has been paved, so there is less risk of head entrapment--the main fear with a vaginal breech birth.

    If there is a desire to have FAST access to an epidural in case a cesarean is needed, then the epidural needle can be placed ahead of time, but no medication put into it after the initial test dose. That should allow you the mobility (even getting out of bed) that I'm going to guess that you had with your previous birth. But only 5% of the time is a cesarean needed for a second twin after the first is born your odds are even lower than that that you will need a "crash" cesarean where there isn't time to put in an epidural. At least that is assuming your care provider has experience with a vaginal breech...

  5. Knitted - Wow... thanks for taking the time to comment! I really appreciate your words. My OB did tell that because baby b is smaller than baby a it will make things much easier. Hats off to you for being a Doula - that is awesome!

  6. I had the epidural with my surro-twins, and it was great. Now, if they let me out of bed and being constently monitored, I would have dealt with the pain. Since I couldnt move, I couldnt easy my discomfort. So I can easily see how each intervention requires another...but the were born hours later, at 35 weeks, both vaginally, at 5:33 and 5:41am.

  7. wow, reading the comments I remember, it can make you itch...weird but true...or was that the demerol

  8. As I offered you on the phone I am more than happy to give you a lumber puncture or an epidural before the delivery just so you know what to expect, I do it all the time. Whenever you feel like it, let me know...

  9. Yes, I will keep that in mind, Avner. I am getting use to the idea and my concerns are subsiding. So sweet of you to offer :)