Disclaimer: This post is not to look down on anyone who has gotten an epidural. I’m sharing my personal story. I will share the reasons behind why I choose not to have one, my thoughts I had during both births, and dealing with people about this topic.
I strongly believe we set ourselves up for failure before we even try. Have you ever heard anyone say “I can’t sing, sew, go back to school, go on vacation, get a new job, start a business, and the list goes on.” We are capable to do a lot more than we give ourselves credit. Have you ever done something, and you were surprise you could do it? It’s a great feeling and I hope everyone has experience this in their life. This is the feeling I got after having my first son. I feared to have children due to the pain.
During my first pregnancy I couldn’t decide if I wanted an epidural; throughout my pregnancy I learned of the different side effects:
Nursing – I wanted to breastfeed more than anything and if this could cause an issue, I didn’t want to risk it.
Walking – It’s hard to walk afterward.
Works “some” of the time – I knew people who have gotten one, and it only worked for a short time, only numb 1/2 of their body, and it didn’t work at all. I’m sorry but it only worked on half of the body then it didn’t work.
Slow Down – Epidural make the process go slower and I was hoping if I didn’t take it it would speed up the process.
Fear – I was afraid it would paralyze me and my husband wasn’t to crazy about me getting one.
Linked to Asthma later in life – Wait! Before anyone jumps on me I have found no articles or studies about this topic. Someone I knew at the time shared this information and I did not take the time to find out myself. I did however had a fleeing thought it could be true. My husband had asthma as a child but his sister did not. I didn’t read the article, and I have had no luck finding anything on line.
This is a short list of the concerns I had before going into labor. When I went into labor, I decided to at least try to not have an epidural and if I find myself not being able to handle it, then I would get one. I went into labor at 11 PM and had my son at 7:59PM the next day. I allowed people in the room until around 4PM. I had enough of people staring at me so I kicked everyone out, except my husband. Shortly after five I questioned why I didn’t get an epidural. A huge reason I didn’t give in was because of a nurse named Erica. She made me feel I could do anything. She was so great I even talked about her after having my second child. If I could find her I would thank her for the encouragement, she gave me and helping me discover I am a lot stronger than I ever thought.
My second delivery was so different from my first. First, he came two weeks earlier, and I was not ready for him to come. I was 4cm by 9:30AM and at 3:00PM I was 8cm. I didn’t go into active labor until 2. We got the hospital and they almost didn’t move me to the delivery room. They finally did because once I got fully dilated he wasn’t coming. I will not go into a lot of details about this pregnancy but I was mentally tired when I went into labor. I didn’t want to fight anymore, and I wanted to not feel anything. I thought for sure I would have this baby on all fours. I was emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically tired and I talked about getting one. What I needed in that moment was to be encouraged I could do it but what I got was it’s ok to get one. It annoyed me but I kept thinking about my first delivery. I WILL have this baby with no drugs. I don’t think there would have been enough time for me to get one even if I finally gave in.
I’m proud of myself for not getting an epidural. When talking to other ladies I tell them they should at least try before taking anything. I feel I should share that I received nothing to start my labor which I hear that the drug that is use can cause the pains to be worse. Now the biggest frustration I felt after having my babies was the mother’s who tried to make me feel guilty for not getting an epidural. I was so dumbfounded when I had a mom look at me and say “You don’t get a reward for not taking pain medicines.” Yes, you’re right I don’t get an actual reward but now I feel like I can do anything. I learned that I am a hell of a lot stronger than I have ever given myself credit. The reactions I get from other woman is amazing. One mom was like I spent my whole labor on my phone and then she shared with me how she had a complicated delivery. I’m not saying that’s the reason she had complication was because of an epidural but that information wasn’t helpful. Now I will admit I judged her not because she took an epidural but her attitude towards giving birth and my choice.
Mommy wars are a real thing and it’s stupid. We live in a world with lots of choices and I chose to not get an epidural. I plan to not have one with baby number 3. I wouldn’t of judge her choice to have one but it annoyed me she was trying to push on guilt for not having one. I have done a lot of hard things in my life but nothing compares to having my two boys. I’m proud that I did not have an epidural and I would encourage anyone to not have one. I wish I could tell you all the medical reasons a person shouldn’t and all the benefits of having one (you can search online for the answers). What I did was a BIG DEAL and I will continue to share my story. I will continue to encourage anyone to TRY. Our world tells us woman can do all things, but it’s telling her she shouldn’t give birth without medicine. Woman are looking down on other woman who get an epidural and those who don’t.
We as woman are already battling over so many other areas of life let’s stop battling about the right way to give birth. Woman for century have had children with no pain release. There are studies being done on the effect of having an epidural has on a woman body and new things will come out over the years. It’s a chemical we are putting in our body so yes there will be side effects. When you put Motion or cough medicine in your body there are side effects. This is why it’s a choice and we need to support those around us in whatever choice they decide.