Monday, 16 February 2015

Epidurals...

Weird post, this one. I have given birth twice & not had pain relief. This is actually for various reasons and not really my choice. I didn't know I was in labour with f so took paracetamol & agonised, 5.5hours later she 'fell out' at home. Not a pleasant experience that I wish to redo, as she was 7.5 weeks early.

With z I was in a different position but that had it's trials. We were fairly new to Luxembourg & I realised F wasn't comfortable with many people so we had to try prepping her & then just leave her. It was 4.5 hrs start to finish so by the time I got to hospital they wanted to do checks & suddenly it was full steam ahead! I recall saying 'I don't even have time for paracetamol now do I, never mind a water birth' & the midwife saying 'no... The heads about to come out...' 

Today I had a minor surgical procedure. It was cosmetic. I had to have a full epidural for it. And now I think I can honestly say I'm glad I didn't have one in labour. 

I know some people will find that strange but I was able to trust my body largely and know that the pain would go. I felt very helpless when I was wheeled to the operating room. Luckily I had a lovely team- I was concerned I don't speak French very well but they spoke English when it was important. We even joked about it. I had been advised to ask lots of questions but I didn't actually need to - I just had to sit very still which was actually fine. It was uncomfortable (funny, that, who'd have thought having a needle stuck in your back would be?! ;)) but ok. And then my right leg started to go numb... Followed by my left leg. The procedure was done in minutes. And then I got feeling back in my feet but not toes a few hours later... 

I don't think an epidural was really necessary, I'm sure in the uk they'd have just done a local anaesthetic. But as hubby said, having needles in that area isn't much fun so it's interesting to say I've had a full epidural... And it took a grand total of 3 stitches. Again, difference between men & women... Hubby was very concerned. I was up & about in the afternoon & saying 'it's only 3 stitches' whilst he was saying '1 there would be more than enough for me'. 

I guess it's hard to explain why I would prefer to feel the pain of labour. That sounds crazy but I would. I felt groggy all afternoon. My back is really sore. You can't see any bruises... I had to be careful not to consume anything prior and wash with horrible red soap stuff. When I first got up I did feel woozy & walking was odd (like, really odd). When I had my babies I was sore but at least I could still move! I was in control of my own body, it was just very sore...

So anyone who's reading this who would like to share their story or thoughts? Have you had an epidural? Have you actively chosen not to have an epidural? Did you regret either decision? I should probably state at this point that my circumstances meant I couldn't have an epidural in labour but every woman is different so if you did have an epidural during labour, I have the utmost respect for you!

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