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April 25, 2024

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The Truth About Epidurals

I think I can. I think I can. I think ... maybe I can? The thought of NOT getting an epidural with Baby #3 has me intrigued.

15 Weeks & Counting!

You see that picture of me above? Yeah, that’s me just before delivery WITH an epidural. I wasn’t feeling the contractions. I wasn’t in any really bad pain. I was just sitting there on my big butt waiting for showtime. Now, I’m wondering why I was so quick to take the epidural. Do you wanna know the truth? It made it easy. I was lazy and that just made it easy. There was no medical reason why I should have an epidural.

Did you know that epidural rates are more than 80% in Nashville? Sounds like there are more and more women hopping aboard the easy train without an extra thought about it. I’m not saying this to be mean (because I’ve had epidurals twice!), I’m just pointing out that it seems we are more apt to choose the easy way out. Like getting fast food instead of cooking the meal. It’s quicker and easier. But, like cooking a meal at home, you get so much more out of the experience. With childbirth you can feel what’s going on and actually work with your body to accomplish the task.

I’ve always been one to just follow the leader. To listen to my doctor and do what every other woman coming to the hospital to deliver does. Like it’s the norm. I’ve even had family members ask enthusiastically, “When are you getting the epidural?!” like I was winning the lottery or something.

Well, I don’t want to be part of this so-called norm anymore. Family and friends should ask if I’m ready to deliver a baby, sending words of praise and encouragement. I actually want to be that woman down the hall screaming at the top of her lungs as her baby is brought into the world. It’s like me announcing to one and all within earshot that my little one has been born — like a first birth announcement. There’s just something not right about sitting there in labor and not feeling a thing.

Well, even though I’m scared to death of the pain to follow, I’m really starting to psych myself up to go natural with Baby #3 — my final child.

Why the Change?

My work involves parenting and I’m constantly reading articles on parenting this or that. I’ve heard so many great things about women being able to deliver without any complications AND without the use of an epidural. But, do you really want to know my reason for even thinking about denying myself that bit of relief? My toes! With my epidurals I couldn’t even feel my toes! My Dad was flicking my toes when I labored with my second child and I didn’t even know it. He thought that was hilarious. Not!

Will I Cave?

I really hope not. That’s my biggest concern — that I’ll give in. I’m such a big baby when it comes to pain. I also know that I can easily be persuaded by friends and family to take the shot. So, I’ve either gotta keep this bit of info to myself and my husband or expect family members to try to change my mind. They probably don’t think I can do it either. Which is why I really want to. To prove not only to them, but also to myself, that it CAN be done.

But, I’m also afraid for a few other things:

  • I’m afraid that I’ll pass out from the pain.
  • I’m afraid that I won’t be able to finish and they’ll have to use some kind of forceps or suction to get the baby out.
  • I’m afraid I won’t have the energy.
  • I’m afraid that I’ll turn into a raging lunatic shouting at the doctor and anyone else in sight

So yeah, it’s a big decision. Many of you make that decision without blinking an eye. I’d love to hear how it went. To know what to prepare for. Maybe I should take up some kind of relaxation technique to help get more connected to my body. Maybe that’s the key. Or, start doing some extra exercises that help prepare a woman’s body for childbirth because the stronger you are the easier it will be. Maybe I should actually pay attention to something like LAMAZE. Sheesh.

Let’s take a poll. Let me know if you think I’ll go through with it. I’ll keep you posted at the end of all the blogs to come on my feelings about this decision and where I stand.

About the Author

Kiera Ashford - Baby Watch Blog

Kiera Ashford is associate editor of Nashville Parent and mother of two rambunctious kids and a new baby!