My Epidural Didn’t Ease My Labor Pain

One mama shares how her anesthetic plan went awry.

My Epidural Didn’t Ease My Labor Pain

I knew I was running out of time. My doctor had already mentioned an induction at my 40-week appointment. I really didn't want to be induced, I knew my body could birth on its own. This was my second pregnancy after all, my body had done it once before.

When I was just over 41 weeks pregnant , I got one last ultrasound. The doctor noticed saw something that concerned him in the placenta and suggested that we induce. So we scheduled our labor and delivery on Thursday. Though I was excited to meet our baby, I was upset that my body hadn't done what I knew it could do.


My body had two days to finally start labor on its own. I tried everything: bouncing and rocking on an exercise ball, walking (a lot), eating pineapple and, with a little help from Pinterest’s “labor kickstart” boards, made a “labor” cake full of spices. Unfortunately, my body never gave in. So on Thursday, we were ready to be induced.

We arrived at the hospital at 5:30am, and by the time my doctor arrived, at 6am, I was 3 centimeters dilated and about 50% effaced. I wasn't having any signs of labor though -- I guess my little guy was just too comfortable. My doctor quickly broke my water and, by 6:40 am, gave me pitocin.

At 7 am, my contraction started, and by 8:30 am, I was buzzing the nurse to let her know I was ready for my epidural. At that point, I was so uncomfortable. My back was hurting, and I was stuck in bed, unable to move because I was hooked up to the pressure cuff, which went off every 5 minutes. I also had a monitor to track the baby's heart rate, a monitor for my contractions and a catheter. There definitely wasn't any getting up.

I needed a whole bag of saline before I could get the epidural, which took about 45 minutes to empty. It doesn’t seem like a long time, but with contraction every minute, it was terrible and felt like an eternity.

The anesthesiologist arrived at 9:15 am. At that point, the contractions were painful and came and go every minute -- I was in tears. They sent my husband out. Though I knew the nurses were here to support me, I was terrified. How was I going to be able to sit still through intense contractions while getting the epidural without him by my side? Thirty minutes later, the epidural was in, and my husband was able to come back into the room. I was feeling good again, but not for long… My right side was completely numb, but I quickly started to feel sharp contractions on my left side. Perhaps my epidural didn’t work as expected?

At 11:10 am, I asked the nurse to prop my left side on a pillow, hoping that it would help even out the epidural -- to no avail. At 11:40, my pain was worse. So my husband asked for the nurse to come back. She did a cervical check and informed me that I was 10 centimeters dilated.

Though the pain was excruciating, there was no time for an epidural do-over. It was time to push. I was so nervous about pushing through the pain I was feeling in my left side. I was questioning my own strength, unsure that I could do it. I remember crying, “I quit, I want to go home.” But there was no turning back. This baby had to come out, and he was coming out very soon! I couldn't wait for it to be over, to finally hold my baby.

Jaxon was born at 12:31pm. I was in love! I couldn't believe that I made this beautiful tiny human --with my husband’s help, of course. He was absolutely perfect and looked exactly like his 4-year-old brother. I was, once again, so excited and terrified at the same time: excited to take him home, but terrified to start this new journey as a mom of two.

Jaxon layed on my chest, skin to skin, and we waited until the umbilical cord turned white for my husband to cut it -- an exciting way for him to welcome our little guy into this world. Not long after, my placenta was delivered, and it immediately ruptured. The doctor stitched up my tear while Jaxon started to latch on. I was so amazed at how quickly my little boy found the breast that I wasn't even paying attention to what my doctor was doing. Jaxon is now 4 weeks new and he's such a sweet and easy-going little guy. Big brother is smitten over him too.

Asia is a married mom of two sweet boys -- a preschooler and an infant. She lives in West Virginia, but calls California home. She’s an amateur photographer and loves taking pictures of her boys.

Did you get an epidural? Do you plan to? Tell us about it in the comments below!

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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My 3-year-old is eating peanut butter toast with banana for breakfast (his request), and we are officially running late for preschool. We need to get in the car soon if we want to miss the morning traffic, but he has decided that he no longer wants the food that he begged for two minutes earlier. What started off as a relatively calm breakfast has turned into a battle of wills.

"You're going to be hungry," I say, realizing immediately that he could care less. I can feel my frustration rising, and even though I'm trying to stay calm, I'm getting snappy and irritable. In hindsight, I can see so many opportunities that fell through the cracks to salvage this morning, but at the moment… there was nothing.

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