The Epidural Window

When I was in labor the furthest thing from my mind was an orgasm. I wanted to scream, “GIVE THE EPIDURAL!” But I was so much pain that my husband was the one who was screaming for the epidural. He was afraid I was going to miss that “epidural window.”

Looking back I think I had been in labor for three days before my water broke. Since this was my second delivery I was pretty positive I knew what labor felt like — and believe me when I say those contractions sure did intensify immediately after the water breakage.

As I breathed through 3-4 minute contractions in a large 10-bed room, with each area separated by curtains, the nurse softly whispered questions I was suppose to answer. The problem was I couldn’t hear her very well because she was concerned about violating my HIPPA rights.

When I asked her why I wasn’t headed to my delivery room, she responded that she had to verify I was in labor. My mind went to a >>>screeching halt>>>> What? I was literally crying in pain, I had shown her evidence of water leakage, and on top of it all she said I was only 3cm dilated (only 1 cm larger than I had been 5 days earlier).

That’s when my husband went running down the hall looking for the charge nurse. He for one didn’t believe I was only 3 cm dilated — and neither did a second nurse. After all, measuring the cervix is all speculative in my opinion. Nobody has the same finger width, and that folks is what they use for measurement.

After all is said and done, I delivered a beautiful baby three hours later. Note: epidurals slow down labor.

I passed on my L&D epidural wisdom to my friend Cassandra who was due a couple of months later. She delivered at the same hospital, and she probably got my same check-in nurse because Cassandra wasn’t so lucky. She missed the window.

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4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Laura Vivoni said,

    That happened to me with my second child, I went to the hospital already 5cm dilated, my water broke as they kept me waiting to check whatever they have to check and I kept on asking for the epidural and they kept on making me wait and by the time they were able to put the epidural on me I had to push. There wasn’t really any time for the epidural to kick in or anything, it was practically as if I had not taken anything. So I too missed my “epidural window”

  2. 2

    Bloom Maternity said,

    Laura, at least we have stories to tell our children and earned wisdom to share with friends.

  3. 3

    In case anyone’s interested, there is no such thing as an “epidural window.” It’s a myth. A woman is entitled to have an epidural whenver she wants one (IF she wants one) – from zero to ten centimeters dilated.

    • 4

      Bloom Maternity said,

      That’s worth knowing. Thanks so much for sharing and for including your website in case someone would like more information about epidurals.


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