Epidural question

  1. When you have an epidural, how far up should the numbing effect go? I mean to the waist? To the neck??? The reason why I ask, is because when I had one with my first born I was numb all the way up to my neck. It was the most God awful feeling I ever experienced. I couldn't move of course, but I couldn't feel myself breathe. Someone was telling me when to breathe, and then when they took me off the table, I was so afraid they were going to drop me! It was the scariest feeling!!! I knew right then and there what it was like to be paralized. Was that normal for an epidural? I thought they numbed you up to the waist. When I heard them say, "her BP is 80/40, that's when I really got nervous and thought, "Here I just had a baby and now I'm on my way out!" "Good God, my poor husband!!!" Then I heard something about give her Phenergan blah, blah,blah. Everything turned out ok obviously, but was that a normal experience?
    In the recovery room they brought my son to me and that sad part was I couldn't hold him because I couldn't move my arms...
    Last edit by night owl on Mar 29, '02
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    About night owl

    Joined: Mar '01; Posts: 3,254; Likes: 53


  3. by   shay
    Nope. Your level was too high...if it was an epidural. Are you sure it wasn't a spinal? Because it's very common for women with spinals to feel like they can't breathe. Hmmmm...re-read your birth story (thanks, btw... ), it sounds like you indeed had an epidural but that they dosed it too much for your c/s.

    For labor, you're not supposed to be 'numb' from an epidural. You should be able to move your legs, feel pressure, be able to push, etc.. For a labor epidural that they dose for a c/s (commonly use xylocaine w/epi), you should be truly numb up to just below your breasts, able to breathe. It's common for bp to drop w/either kind of anesthesia, especially an epidural that they dose up to spinal capacity.

    Long and wordy....sorry. Hope that explains things a bit.
  4. by   night owl
    It was an epidural because they said so and I was able to move my legs when they wanted me to. I did have a second dose (at 9cm) because the first was wearing off after 3 hours. So they did over do it the second time.
    Glad I had my second child all natural because I'd wouldn't like going through that again.
    Thanks shay. I just always wanted to know if that was normal for an epidural.
  5. by   kids
    I love reading the L&D stuff (I keep thinking maybe some day...)

    Things sure have changed...

    1980: WA State... got a caulal (low epidural) made the pain stop and I was high as a kite (doc who delivered my first child was a good 'ol GP who had been my doc since I was 4, refused to deliver me unless I agreed to be druged).

    1983: So. FLA..."Mrs. XXX, that may be how they did it then and there but here and now we have our babies one of 2 ways, wide awake or sound asleep." (I opted for sleep but found out it wasn't one of my choices).

    1984: WA State...nothin, nada, zip except a heplock and IFM d/t high risk discovered it wasn't so bad in 1983.

    OK, I'll confess I'm not normal
    '80...6 hrs of feeling restless, 6 more hours to delivery @ 2058 (5 days early)
    '83...nothing, water broke, 4 hrs later delivered @ 0715 (2 weeks early)
    '84...woke up in the morning, announced I was going to have the baby today...'decided I might be in labor' that evening...dialated to 4 @ 1930, first true pain accompained by pushing at 1955, delivered @ 2007 (6 weeks early...8 1/2 #)

    Now the kids are 17, 18 & 21...and I want an epidural NOW!

    Last edit by kids on Apr 9, '02
  6. by   rnoflabor2000
    There are the walking epidurals that are supposed to let you actually walk...not a policy at our facility, but most of our epidurals cause inability to move the lower extremities. It also depends upon how you are placed after the epidural is placed. Usually a semifowlers with left tilt. If you are laid out flat, the level of the epidural can rise above the site. But I've never heard of an epidural that rises even that high. Does sound like a spinal. Epidurals and Spinals can both cause hypotension, however; spinals do it more often.