Received an epidural anesthesia for ease of labor on 5/25. It took the anesthesologist 5 tries. Normal?
Not unusual. Every patient is different, and the situation at the time of placement can vary. The positioning of the patient during an epidural is very important. If the patient is unable to bend forward to open up the spinous processes it can be difficult to pass the epidural needle. Patient's vary widely in body type, and in some patient's it is very difficult to find the correct landmarks for placement.
It depends. Most of the time it does not take that many tries, however, many factors can make epidural placement more difficult. Proper positioning of the patient is critical. Also, patients who are overweight are usually more difficult. Other things like scoliosis or previous back surgery also make placement difficult.
Sometimes... Labor epidurals can be quite tough to place sometimes. It's hard for pregnant patients to get in the optimal curved position with that big belly in the way. The patient is laboring and it's hard for them to stay very still. Also, if the patient is obese, the landmarks are hard to feel. Maybe there is a back tattoo they are trying to avoid going through. Maybe they are just having a bad day.
Epidural. Not knowing the specifics of your history or your medical condition, it would be remiss to criticize your anesthesiologist in my opinion. Certainly most would not consider 5 attempts at epidural placement "normal" but if you have physical issues that might make placement difficult such as scoliosis or a larger bmi or other issues, this would change things dramatically.