Mom Chooses Epidural for Pain Management

On Dec. 3, 2010, Mandy Holzapfel, her husband, Justin, and son Keegan welcomed daughter Hadley into their family. She was born at 6:59 p.m., weighing in at 5 pounds, 11 ounces and measuring 18¾ inches.

Holzapfel’s water broke at 8 o’clock that Friday morning at Redwood Area Hospital’s Birthing Center. By mid-afternoon, she received an epidural to help manage her pain. Holzapfel’s choice of pain management is shared by many women giving birth at hospitals. More than 50% of women use epidural anesthesia.*

A Wonderful Change

“I was in quite a bit of pain, and then after the epidural, there was no pain at all,” Holzapfel says. “I really liked the epidural. It made labor more tolerable for both me and my husband. It made it more pleasant – so we could share the experience together.”

Holzapfel had not had epidural anesthesia when her first child was born, and she knew she wanted something different this time. “When Keegan was born, I received pain medication that wore off after an hour or two,” she says. “So with this pregnancy, I talked to my doctor – Michelle Cilek, M.D. – about pain management. We discussed the benefits and potential risks of an epidural, and I decided ahead of time that’s what I wanted.”

A Less Wonderful Change

All did not go according to plan, however. Holzapfel’s labor was not progressing sufficiently, and by 6:30 p.m., the decision was made to do an emergency Caesarean section.

Looking back now on her daughter’s birth day, Holzapfel says, “It was a good experience. The emergency C-section was scary

for a little while, but Dr. Cilek and the staff were very supportive and helpful through the whole process. They explained what was going on throughout the epidural and afterward.”

Bonding at Home

The Holzapfel family moved to Redwood Falls in June from South Dakota, though Mandy had lived here previously. She graduated from Redwood Valley High School, and has extended family here. Her mother is Redwood Area Hospital’s chief clinical officer.

With their new addition, the family is happy and doing well. Holzapfel is back at work on her master’s degree in social work at Mankato State University. And proud and protective big brother Keegan wants to help with everything related to the baby.

“I was happy with Redwood Area Hospital’s Birthing Center,” Holzapfel sums up. “The staff was great. And I really like Dr. Cilek. She delivered my son, too.”

* Source: American Pregnancy Association.

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