If You Could Have Changed Your Pain Relief Method in Labor, Would You?

Image adapted via Flickr/ A. Vandalay

When I was admitted to the hospital, in labor with my first child, I didn't know what to expect. I had been to the childbirth classes, and I had read up on the natural processes of labor, complications that could arise from it, and my pain relief options. I had it set on early on that I would request an epidural to aid with the pain. (I was plagued with kidney stones through my pregnancy, and I was so over pain at that point.)

My labor was scary, and the birth was scary, too, due to complications, but I was glad I had chosen and received an epidural pain relief method. I've never had a med-free childbirth, with the next two needing to be inductions and my fourth being a c-section, but I don't think I would have changed a thing.

Because I am medically considered “high risk,” I can't safely have a birth I would really want: a water birth in my own home surrounded by my own family. I don't have a typical situation, though, being high risk, so I was curious if other mothers had a “wish I could have done it differently” moment when it came to pain relief choice during a vaginal labor.

{ MORE: 10 Tips for a Family-Centered Cesarean Birth Plan }

I took it to Facebook and asked my friends if they could have changed it, in hindsight, would they have.

Image via Flickr/ theogeo

A 10-hour home birth

“I prepared for my birth with Hypnobabies, had a 78-hour home birth, and 10 hours of pushing, and I wouldn't have changed a thing.” — Crystal

Image via Flickr/ Raphael Goetter

Epidural choices?

“I had two epidurals at one hospital with my first two babies … and [with] my last baby, I had an epidural at a different hospital. I wish I had known there were different kinds of epidurals … I felt NOTHING with the first two … thank goodness … and felt EVERYTHING with the last one. That communication would have been nice. I survived.” — Aimee

{ MORE: What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag for a Vaginal Birth }

Image via Flickr/ abbamouse

Laughing gas versus an epidural

“I wish with [my first child], Leia, I had laughing gas. I had an epidural headache for months afterwards.” — Angie

Image via Flickr/ theogeo

Too late for an epidural

“When I had my son, I had planned on trying to stay med free. My water broke, and by the time I got to the hospital I was 7-cm dilated and begging for an epidural. Midwives told me I was too far and couldn't get it anymore.

“I gave birth naturally, and I wouldn't change a thing. It hurt like hell, but once my son came out, the pain stopped, and it was all worth it. If I get the chance to be a mama again, I will hope for the same natural birth I had with my son.” — Jessica

{ MORE: Attention Expecting Parents: New Warnings About Lotus Birth }

Image via Flickr/ Sharon Mollerus

Med-free all the way

“I was grateful I chose med free with my last, as it was necessary for me to stand up to deliver him! Shoulders stuck behind my pubic bone.” — Jenna

What about you? If you had the chance to change your pain relief method during labor would you? Share in the comments!

{ MORE: 4 Things I Didn't Expect After Giving Birth }

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If You Could Have Changed Your Pain Relief Method in Labor, Would You?

Devan McGuinness is the founder of the online resource Unspoken Grief, which is dedicated to breaking the silence of perinatal grief for those directly and indirectly affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death. Using her own experience of surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan has been actively supporting and encouraging others who are wading through the challenges associated with perinatal and neonatal loss. Winner of the 2012 Bloganthropy Award and named one of Babble's “25 bloggers wh ... More

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1 comment

  1. Aubrey says:

    With my first son, my water broke around 7pm and I didn’t deliver him until 1:30am. I was warned that if I wanted an epidural, I had to take it then because they had 2 people with C-sections and only one anesthesiologist on. Around midnight, I was begging for anything to take the pain away and they gave me a shot, that didn’t help with the pain, it just put me almost to sleep in between contractions. With my next 2, they came so quick that there was never an option to have pain meds or an epidural. Wouldn’t change a thing 🙂 except with the first, I wouldn’t have taken the shot. My first child came out with an APGAR of a 2 at 1 minute and a 10 at five minutes. I think the shot did more to him than me.


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