I just wanted to contribute to this article because I had an experience during labor and delivery that was extremely painful and uncomfortable. First of all let me explain that this happened eighteen years ago after delivering my second daughter. I am now currently twenty-five weeks pregnant with my third daughter and would like some advice.
I had chosen an epidural upon arriving to the hospital in active labor with my child. I wasn’t even uncomfortable yet and was only four centimeters dilated. The reason I insisted on an epidural immediately was because when I was in labor with my first child (who is now twenty years of age) I waited too long to request the epidural and by the time I was begging for it, my doctor bluntly and coldly informed me it was too late! I had no choice but to deliver her with no painkillers whatsoever and to say it was not a good experience is an understatement.
Okay, so back to delivery number two. I’ll be honest ... I faked my “painful contractions” in order to get that epidural I had been denied the first time. This, in hindsight, may have been my mistake. At first it was heavenly. They settled me into my room, got the epidural going nicely and I laid in bed watching TV and chatting with my husband oblivious to my labor progressing on it’s own. Occasionally a nurse would come in and check on me. My doctor told me he guessed the baby would make her appearance at about 10:00 p.m.
By 10:30 I hadn’t seen my doctor in a couple hours so I rang the nurse. I told her I thought I would be delivering at 10:00. She came in the room and said I had to practice pushing first. I gave my first push and she panicked saying “No! Stop pushing! Her head is crowning!!” I was nervous but also thrilled that I had almost given birth without feeling anything! The doctor appeared, they rolled me off to the delivery room and three pushes later my gorgeous daughter appeared ... piece of cake!
Not so fast. Here is where the horrible pain kicks in. After delivering, they rolled me into another room where I sat up and was handed my baby. As I held her and looked down an excruciating headache began. It quickly turned into a headache I cannot even describe. Worse than any migraine you can imagine. For the next eight to ten hours I dealt with blinding pain which gravitated from the back of my head around to the front with no relief! The nurses handed me two acetaminophen which did nothing. By the morning the headache had subsided. I am very nervous this may happen again to me but I am hoping since it’s been eighteen years since this has happened maybe they’ve improved the epidural and it’s side effects? According to studies, the “epidural headache” only happens in 1 percent of new moms!
My OB/GYN said the chances of this happening again are VERY slim. Also, she said if it does happen, all’s it takes is a highly caffeinated drink to ease the pain. I just want to know if there are other women out there who can relate to this? And if it’s happened to you, what did you do to relieve the horrific pain?