I wasn't allowed an epidural until I was almost fully dilated and I wasn't in a Catholic hospital. I know we are only going on anecdotes here, but from talking to the nurses, I was told that they don't like medicating pregnant women any more than they have to and the meds do wear off, so medicating too early is something they try to avoid in general.<quoted text>
Yes. Now, who in the Church limits it, I don't know but what I found on the website jives with what I've experienced and other people I know experienced. You are only allowed medication when you are dilated between 5 (I think) and 7 and they give you demerol. I experienced it first hand when I had my son by c-section after 30 hours of labor at a Catholic hospital. The only time I was not in extreme pain was as I was leaving and my doctor gave me a tylenol 3. I wouldn't know how closely all Catholic hospitals/doctors follow it in every hospital, however.
Were you breast feeding after you gave birth? I know I'm getting a little personal here, but that would affect the meds that you were prescribed. They didn't give you any medication after your c-section? That is strange - my SIL had her son in a Catholic hospital - 24 hours in labor, which ended in a c-section after several hours of active labor. She received pain medication as soon as she woke up.
The biggest concern that my friends have experienced with the Catholic hospital around here is that they will not perform tubal ligations (understandably, since it goes against the Church's stance on birth control). I have a friend who has 4 children and had several miscarriages in between. She was told by her doctor during the last pregnancy that she had severe scarring from her c-sections and her life could be in jeopardy if she got pregnant again. She asked if she could have her tubes tied when the baby was delivered so that she did not have to schedule a separate surgery for that. The hospital would not allow it. I honestly don't remember how she resolved the issue, though I know that it is now resolved and she will not be having any more children unless they adopt (which they are planning on doing).
I understand that in some areas that would be a big issue. Where we live, there is a secular hospital 5 blocks down the street from that Catholic hospital. Both are excellent hospitals, too.