"Leg" Labour, Epidural Not Always Safe!

by Dannia

"After I got the epidural, my daughter's heartbeat almost stopped..."

Ever since I was 9 years old and pulled 2 muscles in both legs while climbing a fence I have suffered from leg cramps, so when I became pregnant and got them more frequently I didn't worry and put it down to carrying around all that extra weight! I was right, for 8 months at least.

When I was 36 weeks pregnant I complained to my midwife that the leg cramps were very intense and paracetamol was not helping and asked if there was anything she would recommend. I was advised baths, heat packs, test ect, so when 38 weeks came and the cramps got worse I called triage. I was prescribed co codamol and had a good nights sleep. After a few pain killers I figured I'd take a bath, but while attempting to step over the edge my waters broke!!

I called triage back and they told me to come in, once there I was attached to the monitors and I was contracting every 9 min! That was my leg pain!!

I couldn't understand why I was feeling no pain at all in my tummy or back as I believed this was where the contractions were! I was checked and I was 4 and a half cm. That was at 8pm on Monday October 31st.

I text my fiance and mum and they both came into labour in delivery where I was strapped to the monitors as my daughter's heartbeat dropped with every contraction! Luckily it picked back up and caused no concern.

At 4 am I was given diamorphine as previously I had refused all drugs, but the leg pain was excruciating!

I managed a few hours of sleep before waking with the most pain I have ever felt (like my legs were trapped in some sort of vice).

I slipped in and out of sleep until around 3 pm tuesday afternoon, when I begged for an epidural as I was now 8 cm and couldn't handle anymore.

Almost instantly the epidural affected my daughter and slowed her heartbeat down to almost a stop, the room flooded with midwifes (including students) and doctors and I was told my baby was in distress an I was being taken for a c-section.

However, when I reached theatre, I was given a spinal block and told they were going to try to deliver my baby with the help of forecepts as I was now 10 cm dialated, after 3 pushes and a lot of encouragement from my amazing fiance, my daughter was welcomed into the world at 4:37pm and weighed 6lb 4oz, it was painful, terrifying, exhausting and so so very worth it!

She's now a happy healthy 11 month old and gets sweeter by the day.

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