Saturday, March 20, 2010

this time.

My last time in the delivery room I had a real scare while in labor.

Somehow my epidural was not placed correctly and I ended up having a severe reaction. I became completely paralyzed from the top of my head to my toes-- I couldn't talk and began to have trouble breathing.

My blood pressure dropped significantly and so did the baby's which was enough for the nurse in the room to hit the emergency button. This brought four other nurses streaming into the room along with the doctor in order to get things back to where they should've been.

The strange thing about being paralyzed and on the brink of consciousness was that I was vaguely aware of what was going on, but I couldn't say anything; I could hear what was happening, but I couldn't respond. At one point, I did begin to think that I was going to die, that I was at the end...

This unforeseen event has forced me to reconsider my newest pregnancy and how this baby will be delivered.

For my other deliveries, I relied on the epidural to help get me through some of the pain (it certainly didn't take it all away!), but after my most recent experience, I don't know if I can trust getting it again.

I'm able to trust that God will get me through the pain of a natural childbirth-- I just don't think I have the same level of trust in an anesthesiologist.

I've never enjoyed the whole needle in the back thing, but I was willing to endure it to alleviate the pain. Now, my perspective has changed-- it was that bad.

I am really beginning to feel that this is a possible risk that I will choose not to take this time around. Perhaps God allowed all this to happen so that I might "come around" to this decision.

It seems like I should be able to have a natural childbirth and not have it be some kind of traumatic experience.


Marilyn said...

Hi Sweetie......I've been off-blogging with my own hospital foray!
I had both of my children the natural way....Women have been doing it this way since the beginning of time. You know what "they" say... What doesn't kill you will make you stronger. (( I really think "they" are of the male persuasion!!))
You will do fine..... You won't regret it!
Love Ya',

lots_of_love_four_kids said...

HI! I have 4 children- 3 with epidural and 1 without. The one without was because he decided he was coming VERY fast and there just wasn't time. It is do-able. It is not pain free- but it is natural and the way that God created it! You can do it! :)

Sara said...

Wendy, You can do it! I had 2 of my 5 without any meds. Samuel, I would have had natural too, but I didn't think I could take the physical pain on top of the emotional pain of knowing he was already gone. My 2 natural births were the best by far... it was intense, but wonderful. I taught Bradley Natural Childbirth classes before Samuel and they really helped prepare me to do be able to do it. I would highly recommend the book, Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by susan Mccutcheon (sp??) It has great parts for the dad too:) It will give you practical tools. This is just my 2 cents:) I thought I would share since you posted specifically about it. I never want to push anyone and know that there are certainly the times when you really need meds. But in most circumstances, things can go beautifully without them. I will be praying for you... congratulations!

claire said...

You'd be surprised what your body is capable of in a relaxed frame of mind.
go for broke and try a natural drug free delivery with hypnobirthing or the bradley method. It will be a life changing experience.

Kathi said...

I've had 6 of mine with Epidural, 1 without (not because I'm brave...we didn't make it to the hospital in time).

With Baby #4, they pricked my Spine giving me my Epidural, leaving me with a Spinal Headache for 9 days afterwards (and flat on my back). I was in the same place you are...wondering what to do??? I went ahead with Epidurals, because I.Am.A.Chicken. But they have all gone well.

We had a very Traumatic Delivery with Baby #6, which caused us to rethink things for #7 (we prayed and pondered for 8 months about it), and in the was OBVIOUS God had Everything under Control all along.

You will Know what to do. God will Show you.

*I know plenty of Women who go natural, and say the same thing as Claire, that it's very Life Changing.

Amy Jay said...

Yes, I'm not too sure about epidurals anymore. I had two c-sections. With my first (an emergency c-section), one of my legs was paralyzed for a day afterwards because they had placed the epidural to one side instead of straight in. My second child was a planned c-section. They gave me the epidural before surgery, but they couldn't get it to "take"....they kept asking if I was numb yet, but I wasn't. They kept giving me more and more in the epidural until I told them I was getting light-headed. They said they were sorry, but I was going to have to be put out under general anesthesia for the baby to be delivered since the epidural wouldn't work. I was not happy with that, but what else could I do? Good luck with whatever you decide!

GapGirl said...

So weird you wrote this. This is a topic that has been weighing heavily on my heart. I have been hearing disasters lately. and cases where women have died due to faulty epidurals. Im a wimp and rely heavily on those medications. I am currently in prayer that God works in this labor and doesn't give me the opportunity for a choice... He can always work things out so perfectly... (while I sit here a ball of nerves!) But at the same time Im praying that I DON'T have the baby on the side of the road. Thanks for this post. It has reaffirmed what I have been focusing on!!! You should talk to the Chatty Mommy.... she had her #3 in the bathroom of her home... a great story!

Sarah said...

Pray for God's leading. I'm like you...I HATE the pain. I had all 3 of mine with an epidural and for me it was a good thing because with my first my uterus inverted! A 1 in 10,000,000 chance. If I hadnt' had that epidural it would have been horrible. So then for my next two babies my fear was that it would happen should I get a c-section or "risk" it? Everything after was fine. Epidurals have always been iffy with me...sometimes only one side was numb, one time not numb enough, one time too numb. My advice is ask your doctor WHO the anethesia person is, WHO he/she recommends the most (doctors know who the best is usually) and then have a realy straight forward talk with them about what happened before. I told ALL the medical personnel my nightmare because I wanted them all on HIGH ALERT. It's good for them to know the facts!

blessedmomto8 said...

You are tough. I haven't decided 100% on what I am doing yet. I know God will lead us both to do what is best :) To be honest, I am just so thrilled REALLY BE, like FOR REALLY BE PREGNANT, I am enjoying every minute as I know in 16 weeks or less, this beautiful experience, my last one, will come to an end....HUGS!

FieryCanuck77 said...

Oh goodness, how terrifying for you! My heart fluttered when I read your experience! :( I've had 4 children all without an epidural and it hasn't been too bad! *smile* It's painful and I tend to hyperventilate (thankfully a wise nurse gave me some "laughing gas" with my 3rd born...that helped, even if it made me feel a bit "buzzy"!) but I figured it was a lot better than getting a scary needle into my spine!!! (I've had demerol 4 hours prior to my first baby, and I don't recommend that!) I don't know how your labor/deliveries have gone, but my babies have all been preemies and tiny and swift, so my story may be different than yours. But you'll be surprised with how strong you really are!
I'll be praying that God leads you to a solution that gives you peace regarding the arrival of your newest blessing.

Mrs.Rabe said...

Wowie girl that is so scary!

My last two were completely pain med free - never did have an epidural - I was able to do it because of having a nice big tub to get into (at the hosptial) and stay in through transition! It really does help so much and makes labor go more quickly because you are more relaxed. This is not to say you have no pain - but it really helps so much.

I will be praying for you through this decision and through your labor which I know is a little bit away...:)

Kelly said...

2 with the epi and 4 without....

For me, the only way that I was able to birth naturally was if I was able to get comfortable in SOME way during the contractions. My choice was a warm tub. I actually birthed those 4 IN the tub, and it was wonderful to be able to move freely (almost weightlessly) while in that kind of pain. The warmth was great as well, and I could choose any position that felt "right."

Obviously, that doesn't work for everyone, and most women prefer the hospital setting. However, the hospital births that I know of that went completely natural, the woman had a Doula. Some doulas are paid, and some are close friends who know a lot about childbirth and how to get a woman through it in one piece :) No matter who it is, having that "in your face" coach/partner/advocate ("No, she does NOT want the epi right now. She's doing GREAT! Please be quiet so she can concentrate!) is incredible. I would highly recommend finding someone who can be that person for you, if hubby doesn't feel up to the job.

If he DOES, then there are a couple of great books out there that can help you (and especially him---the non-contracting one!) know what natural childbirth is and isn't and when med intervention is necessary and when a doctor just wants to go home son. This is essential.

And overall, natural childbirth is a glorious ride....embrace it! You'll feel like Superwoman!

Jerelene said...

That is so scary!! I don't blame you for wanting to do without. I had one for the first three and the fourth without. It always scared me so much for them to stick the needle in my scary!!
Just pray about it. You'll know what to do when the time comes :)

k a t y said...

Yes! Find a good midwife and go for it!

Kim said...

With my first delivery I had an epidural, a long long labor and a lot of difficulty and pain afterward (they didn't turn the epidural off for the actual delivery so I couldn't push effectively and well, it was just a mess--though the baby was delightful!).

With my second (and last-- I've only "made" 2 of my 7 kids)I had a LOT of fear going in. I just was scared of labor, scared to get another epidural (I wasn't able to lay on my back with the first without having breathing problems) and as it turned out, the Lord saw fit to take the question totally out of my hands. I arrived at the hospital at 5cm and 43 minutes later I was delivering my Connor. As the nurse said later "We didn't even have time to SAY 'epidural'". So, as you know the old saying "the Lord works in mysterious ways".. He may take the question out of your hands as well!! (BTW this isn't to say that I didn't have PAIN. I did and plenty of it, but when it goes by so quickly you don't have much time to worry about it LOL)

William said...


I'm sure input from a stranger is neither here nor there...but was hoping to add some more encouragement to the mix! :)

All of my births were "natural" and I can honestly say I loved it! I was up and shopping after 4 hrs with each one (Need those diapers!)

My first, I had been 7+ months of my pregnancy in Africa and was just about to turn 18 (way too young, I know). My last was 8 years ago when I was 30. It was WONDERFUL being at home, actually calm and relaxing (nothing weird, no music, no water birth, no chanting, etc).

My home midwife brought a bath that both of us took the night of the birth and it healed my bleeding and his cord MIRACULOUSLY. Some type of "mother's bath" herbal mix in a bag.

Well anyway, if He were to bless me with another (we are right now it the process of adopting two little ones from the DRC, so I hope His timing isn't comical), I would most DEFINITELY continue to have them "natural"...or as long as is possible for this old body. :)

Praying for complete peace in your decision and in your upcoming baby's arrival! :)


Susan said...

I had 3. I never took a Lamaze class, but read on it a little. I learned a lot about breathing. I could hardly believe what a difference it made. That and totally relaxing your body and 'surfing' the pain, while watching the moniter. What a difference.
And YOU are already a pro at this!
I also found they can give you a local if they need to.