Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Epidural or No Epidural

I find it quite sad the war that goes on between women who deliver naturally and those who take the epidural. There is no special award for going through hours of a painful labor and it certainly does not make you a better mom or more of a woman than someone who chooses to skip the pain. Of course it didn't start at labor and it doesn't end there either. Many women can't conceive on their own without the help of medicine, some can't conceive at all and choose adoption. Does that make them less of a mom? Certainly not, and it definitely doesn't make them any less womanly than Miss Fertile Myrtle. After labor, some women struggle to breastfeed and resort to formula. Some women don't even bother to try breastfeeding at all. Some will breastfeed for eighteen months. Whether baby is fed with breastmilk or formula doesn't matter. Guess why? No matter what route we go to get our baby, no matter what process that baby comes and how that baby is fed, the final goal is the same for all of us, we want a baby to love and care about and we are doing the best we can. So let's all stop judging and pointing fingers at eachother.

With that said, let me go back to epidurals. When I delivered Lincoln, I planned on getting an epidural from the beginning and when the time came to have him, it worked out that I was able to receive the epidural. Everything went more than smooth. I had no negative effects from the drug and it ended up being the best twelve hours of my life. After getting the epidural I ran into a number of women who went naturally and some who wished to go naturally. I thought they were amazing! Hours of pain was something that I was not willing to experience. All of the ladies were sweet, they respected my method and I respected them. In fact I didn't even know about this "epidural war" until I met a girl who insisted on forcing her opinion on everyone and even told me, "If people who got epidurals actually did the research they wouldn't get one" or my favorite "I would never take the risk of hurting my baby". Mind you, she has never had a baby and likes to press parenting advice too. I always kept my mouth shut, but it seems quite silly to think that women who get epidurals are uneducated and selfish. I did my research and was overly impressed with how few risks come from the epidural. Before having Lincoln, I thought I might end up paralyzed if I got one. Thankfully I DID the research and found this NOT to be the case. There are always going to be risks dealing with any drug and it is important to know these risks, but there are also benefits.

This time around I have thought about going naturally. One of my friends just had her baby naturally and her birth story is so absolutely beautiful that it made me think about not getting an epidural. However, after re-reading my own labor story I realized my experience was just as wonderful and I hope this time goes as great as last time. That's the beauty of it all, no matter what you decide to do it is your story and that makes it the best!

Because I have never experienced going natural, I can't give advice on it. But I can tell my experience on getting an Epidural. Here are some of the benefits from my personal experience:
-No pain
-I got to laugh and joke around with my husband for hours and not worry a moment about anything.
-I got to take a nap and get some energy for the active labor.
- I could talk on the phone and keep family updated about how labor was going.
-My body was completely relaxed and I didn't suffer any emotional or psychological effects from the pain.
-When it came time to push, the nurses let me know and baby was out in a half-hour.
-I got complete attention from the nurses as they constantly needed to check my blood pressure and IVs.
-After labor, I had zero pain and recovery was painless. No joke, it was painless.
-I have no fear or anxiety over labor this time around and look forward to delivery because it was literally the most enjoyable twelve hours of my life.

This was my experience. I was one of the very common who don't experience any effects, but there is always that chance. Do the research. Look up the risks, but don't Google and try to find the one in a million horror story because if you want to find proof that an epidural will kill you, you will find it. Believe me, I was positive my Lincoln was going to come out with two heads because it has happened before.

I have decided to go with an epidural because that is what is right for my baby and me.

Whatever you decide is up to you and don't let anyone make you feel inferior or lesser of a woman for your choice. Remember it is your story to tell, so live it how you want to!


  1. Very well said!! I honestly think that people shouldn't push the issue one way or the other. Honestly if my labors were longer I would DEFINITELY do an epidural! But since I'm only in pain during active labor I figure what's the point when the pain is over in 5-10 minutes. I consider myself very lucky. Everyone is different and every baby is different, do what is best for you! Loved this post! By the way you are looking great and totally cute!

  2. I completely agree and very well put! I was definitely on the fence of whether or not to have an epidural, but in the end it was between Heavenly Father and me (honestly Ben didn't really have much of a say ;) heck he wasn't the one in labor!) and we were definitely prepared as much as you could be to go with a natural labor, and everything worked out great! It's such a personal choice and I definitely think that people really need to do research and think about it like you said, but in the end nobody is in labor except them and they are the one's who know their pain tolerance and what they want to get out of laboring and birth. And the most important thing is that the baby is healthy and happy, you really can't ask for anything more then that! Congratulations again!

  3. I went natural with both my boys and let me tell you a pain free delivery sounds WONDERFUL! but I am too chicken to have a needle put in my back, even the thought makes me shutter. More power to those that can! :-) Enjoy it for me! haha! ps you don't even look pregnant!!!