Is it possible to wait too long to get an epidural?

I’m 24 weeks pregnant and I want my water to break naturally with this baby (hopefully) I was induced with my first son. My question is if I wait at home in labor how long is too long to get the epidural? I’ve heard stories of women not being able to get it because they waited too long to ask for it? Is this true? I’m terrified of pushing a baby out without one. I want to be home when my water breaks but I just don’t know how long to wait after that to go to the hospital.

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They broke my waters once they gave me the epidural, I asked for it after being in labor for 12 hours, I was tired and only 5cm. It did unfortunately slow down dilating for me and 9 hours later I was only 7cm and my son went into distress (he was back to back and face presentating which they hadn’t realized so probably the reason for his distress and I got an emergency c section which would of happened regardless even if I had dilated fully)

Yep, I did. OTOH, I knew I’d be a new mom in about an hour and it would all be over. Allow at least an hour for everything to take effect and for them to get you hooked up to an IV first. Also if it’s a busy hospital the anesthesiologist might be really busy and you have to wait your turn which might be more than an hour. Two hours is better.

With my first, my water broke; from there I was in labor 8 hours before I was wheeled into the delivery room, and got an epidural about an hour after I got to the hospital. My second I was in labor all night and my water didn’t break until just before the birth, after a super painful contraction. I got to the hospital at 6:30 am and was ready to give birth in less than an hour. Had to hold off & do breathing and not push while they scrambled to get a room and the doctor. One push and she was out.

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Yes you can wait too long to be able to get an epidural. Also your water may not break. Sometimes they have to break it for you.

Yes you can wait too long. Once you reach a certain dilation, they won’t have time to properly administer it and it take proper effect.

Edited to add: you can’t guarantee your water will break on its own either.

As soon as your water breaks you should head to hospital
Like why would you wait at all and risk infection?
Also even IF your water hasn’t broke but you are in active labor you should also head straight to the hospital

The “too” long is up to you and what you can handle tbh. I waited till 8cm and 100% dilated before I got mine but that’s because I could still sit still to get it that far, my sister got it at 5cm cause that was her limit. :heart:

I know you say your terrified to have a baby without an epidural, but honestly you would be surprised on what an non-medicated birth is like. I’ve had 2 with no medicine, and 2 with an epidural. I will take a birth with no epidural any day! Yes it will hurt, but once the baby is out, it subsides substantially. Recovery time is much easier without on vs with. Epdiruals can also slow down your laboring, make pushing more difficult, etc. With my 2nd I labored at home til my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart. I lived 10 minutes from the hospital. I had my baby in the hallway (on a gurney) headed to the elevator that goes to labor and delivery. My water broke as he came out. I was up and walking less than 10 minutes after having him and felt amazing. With my 3rd my water broke at home at 6:15am. Got to L&D at 7:45am. Was 3cm. They checked Me awhile later, I was 6 and begging for an epidural. 5 minutes later they had me sitting up getting ready for it, the guy walks in. I start feeling a lot of pressure and said somethings wrong. I insisted they check me again. Sure enough I was a 10 and couldn’t get it. Went thru 6 minutes of horrible pain, and baby was here! Was up and moving minutes later. I did end up with an epidural with my last. He was induced due to too much fluid. And did not want to come out. Labored over 24hrs. But let me tell you, when I hit 6cm, that epidural no longer worked. I felt everything. Only difference is once he was out, I felt soo weak to hold him. My arms felt like 1000lbs. I needed help to get up, which took awhile to even have the strength for that. I needed so much help that first day.

I was induced with my first and they had to break my water and with my second she came out in her sac, so there is no guarantee that your water will break on its on. My dr told me with both my kids that at 6cm if I waited any longer for the epidural it would be too late cause it can take the anesthesiologist up to an hr to get to you depending on how many are in front of you. The sooner the better once you hit 5cm. Best of luck and healthy delivery.

My water never broke naturally with either of my kids. I was refused with my son. The nurse told me that she had 4 kids without it so I could do it. That she had to be home by 7 so I had to get going. I was FURIOUS! I reported her to the hospital.

I have 3 kids every kid I wanted to get the epidural and was too late my 1 month old I literally had the needle in my back and they were all done set up ready to give me the epidural and I had to push :joy: so I went through all the pain of the epidural just to not get it. In my opinion the epidurals not worth it my back doesn’t feel the same it hurts where I got it I regret it. Also my water has never broken on its own it had to be broken everytime

Your water might not break at all! Ive heard of it breaking when baby comes out! I wouldnt advise to be waiting JUST for that. More so wait until your contractions are close together!

I was induced with all three of mine didn’t have an epidural with the last one and it was the best of the labours…

Yep, it’s possible. My doctor told me if I wanted it, I needed to tell them ASAP because the doctor that does them can take hours to show up. They also won’t give it to you if you’re dilated so many centimeters.

Yep didn’t get one with my second. They broke my water at 8 and he was born at 911

Missed my epidural window both times and did that labor with absolutely 0 painkiller. O stars, do not recommend. Was in the hospital both times. Once I didn’t want it until I did. 2nd kid shot out so fast no one had time. From water break to congratulations was 90 minutes