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i was already leaning towards an epi, but after reading this i'm sure that's what i'll go for.
i don't know if they make you feel sick or not???
but i'd prefer not to as that's what i hate the most.
and after reading about some of the things that gas and pethedine has done to some people i don't like the sound of them! smile good luck everyone.

I highly recommend epidurals!!

When I got to the hospital when I was in labour with DS1 I was nearly 9cm dilated and all was looking good to go! Hopped in the bath with some gas, and was handling the contractions reasonably ok. However things quickly turned pear-shaped when I started getting intense back pain on top of the contractions and tried to push but the pain was too great in my back. As it turned out, DS was posterior hence the back pain. By then I was in AGONY and the gas I'd been taking was no longer offering any relief, so my midwife actually asked if I'd like the epidural. It took nearly an hour for the anasthetist to arrive but once it was put in (along with a spinal block) I was in heaven. Was able to relax a litle bit after all the previous pain and trying to push in vain! One downside to having it was that bub's heartrate dropped twice and then there was talk of a c-section, but thankfully he must have turned into a more favourable position, cause I was told to push and after about 3 pushes he was born.

I am open to having another one this time if the pain is too much!
[Edited on 30/08/2009]

My best advice - go into labour with an open mind, and be open to types of pain relief. Don't have expectations or a concrete plan - these rarely go the way you plan for. You may surprise yourself and not need the epi.

With my first, I wanted the epi, actually, I wanted all the drugs that they had on offer - I didn't know how bad the pain would be or if I could cope with the pain etc, but when DS1 arrived 5 weeks early(2820g - 6lb 3oz), and less than 5 minutes in the delivery room (1hr 30 min labour), I ended up having a drug free birth as there was no time for pain relief to be organised, and was walking around after thinking - that was a lot easier than expected... I could do that again.

I have had 3 subsequent babies, and still am yet to have an epi.
DS2 was 4460g - 9lb 13oz, (7hour labour and the easiest labour!!!) I used gas for the last hour, and found biting on the tube was better pain relief than inhaling

DS3 was 4600g - 10lb 2oz, (1 hr 13 min labour) Used the gas tube to bite on again for the last 20 mins....

DD was 4040g - 8lb 15oz. (50 minute labour)I was only in the delivery room for about 4 minutes before she was born (still in the sac) no time for pain relief.

I am aiming to go drug free with number 5 in January.

To those who have birthed with gas only - I will put money on you being able to birth without it!!!

Just go in with an open mind - don't fully discount anything, whether it be drug-free, or using an epi, and listen to your body and midwives.... they will give you the suggestions and let you know what you can do.

Once that baby is in your arms, the pain is instantly forgotten - you may even forget birthing the placenta afterwards....

Best of luck to all the expecting mums!!!
My advice is just see how you cope with the pain, If your labour is not awfully long you may be able to go without.

I have had 2 epi's and they have both worked a treat for me, I went from writhing in pain to sleeping in a matter of mintues and when DS2 was born at 10lb 5oz I felt him being born but absolutley no pain.

Honestly just do what you feel is right at the time, it is impossible to plan for labour. Keep an open mind and realise that plans change.
All the best gasp]

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