Molly Mathews

My name is Molly. I have been married for 5 years and have two children. A 10 year old step-son, a 2 year old daughter and I am currently 26 weeks pregnant with a boy! I live in the town I grew up in and have a large family that I see often. We all live close to each other right now and I hope it stays that way as we draw a lot of support from one another. I have been a nurse for 6 years, mostly in the emergency department, and I love my job. Since young childhood I dreamed of being a nurse and a mom and here I am both! I couldn't have imagined how difficult the journey would be but neither could I have fathomed the Joy that would come from both. Becoming a mom has made me into a better person in many ways and a bit of a crazy worry wart in other ways! Having support from other moms who have been there before or are there with you makes all the difference in the world!


Spinal vs. Epidural

With my first Cesarean section, I already had an epidural put in for pain so when the anesthesiologist asked if I wanted to switch to a spinal (which was recommended) for the surgery I informed them that they would not be putting another needle in my back. Can you tell that I don’t like needles?   This time around, I don’t think I am going to get the option and that scares me!  I have been doing a little bit of research comparing and contrasting the two.  While they are a lot alike, they do have some bigger differences.  An epidural and spinal are both regional anesthesia.  The spinal is when medicine is injected into the fluid in your spinal cord.  An epidural is when medicine is injected just outside of the sac of fluid around the spinal cord.

I have always been a little resistant to change or as I like to put it one that says, “If it ain’t broke, then why fix it?”  Therefore, if an epidural worked for my first C-section, why shouldn’t it work for the second C-section?  I think the reason I am most scared is that I have heard that you have to lay flat for 12 hours afterwards in order to avoid a spinal headache.  Apparently the fluid from your spinal cord can leak from the hole that they punctured to insert medicine in and therefore, lead to this unbearable headache.

It is things like this that make me really wish that I was going for a VBAC.  I know that realistically I won’t want to move much after delivering anyway, but I remember that within 4 hours of my surgery that they had the catheter out and I was walking the hallways.  They told me the sooner I was active, the sooner I got to go home.  Nobody had to tell me twice!  I may have been slow moving, but I wanted out of there.  The thought of being required to lay flat, with no pillow, and not being able to get up and/or hold my child is killing me.

Did anyone else have a C-section have a spinal?  If so, how was it? 

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6 Comments on “Spinal vs. Epidural”

  • Cassy Fiano Cassy Fiano July 25th, 2012 2:23 pm

    I had a spinal with my second. Pros: I felt literally NOTHING. I felt pressure during my first with the epidural when they pushed on my stomach to get him out. This time, I literally felt nothing the entire time. I was numb pretty much everywhere, and it was nice not having a catheter in the entire time. Cons: the spinal made me throw up. Some people are apparently more sensitive to it, and I am one of them. But they gave me medication for it, and it helped.

    No idea if it was the spinal vs. epidural, but my second c-section was MUCH easier. I was literally doing laps around the L&D ward within hours of having him LOL. The nurses were telling me to take it easy, but I had MUCH less pain afterwards. By the time I went home I didn’t even need the Percocet anymore.

  • Cassy Fiano Cassy Fiano July 25th, 2012 2:25 pm

    Oh, and I was given the option to hold Wyatt in the OR after he was born, too.

  • Natalie Caddell Natalie Caddell July 25th, 2012 3:35 pm

    I felt a little pressure with my first as well. I know you said that you were doing laps around the L & D ward within hours of having him–so did you have to lay flat for 12 hours afterwards? Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  • Cassy Fiano Cassy Fiano July 27th, 2012 1:23 pm

    Not at all! As soon as the numbness wore off in my legs, they took out the catheter and let me get up and use the bathroom. At that point I was free to do pretty much whatever. And even before the numbness wore off, I didn’t have to lay flat. I was sitting upright. They said however I was comfortable was fine.

  • Natalie Caddell Natalie Caddell July 28th, 2012 9:25 pm

    Wow! You have relieved some of my fears. I am glad to know that I shouldn’t have to lay flat. Also, it is great that you had a lot less pain–I hope that I have less pain as well! Thanks!

  • Cassy Fiano Cassy Fiano July 30th, 2012 6:53 am

    You’re welcome! Can’t wait to hear how it goes. :)

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