As if, it is already not hard enough to be a woman in this world that society makes it even more difficult by downloading tons of expectations from an expecting mother. Latest being, if you are brave, only if you give birth without taking an Epidural. My birth story changed my perception about epidural for life.
Society and its caretakers are ready with their barometer to judge what kind of mom you will be, even before the baby has arrived. Your pregnancy is your journey and your baby is your blood. Do what you feel is right and what your doctor suggests.
My Epidural & Birth Story
My doctor had asked me to make my birth plan, which was a new concept to me. A birth plan is a series of instructions that you give the hospital on how and what you want when you are in labor. Eg: if you want music or what kind of fragrance you want in the room to calm you down or any other way you can ease the excruciating pain. While these are the easy-breezy questions, the tough ones are more intense, like do you want an Epidural (pain reilef injection) or when do you want it?
They say “Don’t take Epidural, it is for weaklings.” As if “they” are the ones in the pain or they are responsible to deliver the baby safely. It should be as simple as this “When the responsibility lies on my shoulder, it should be my decision to take Epidural or not and everyone should just back off.”
Here’s my birth story! I was in labor for 36 hours, out of which more than 24 hours were without epidural. The baby was higher in the womb, so I was told it might take even longer. Eventually, I gave in. I had to take the epidural (which was a no-no on my birth plan), My water broke and I didn’t feel it because I was numb, resulting in fever and then I was left with no time to push the baby because my fever started affecting baby’s heart rate. So, everything on my birth plan was trashed and the doctor called the shots in the end. I finally had c-section. I delivered a healthy baby boy, which in the end is the most important thing. Because of c-section, I couldn’t immediately feed him (which, was last thing on my birth plan and I could see it waving me goodbye). If there is anything I would like to change from that 36 hours, it’s just one: I would have taken Epidural sooner. The bone-crushing and mind-numbing pain did me no good, it just exhausted me.
In short, control is an illusion, to top it all when you are in so much pain that you blackout I don’t think what society or people around you think should matter. The doctor’s suggestion and Epidural should be just fine.
Besides, when your baby grows up he will be more appreciative of a happy, attentive, and relaxed mom than mother who drove herself half crazy to live up to people’s expectations.
Life Post Baby Arrival
Today, when I look at my baby and his giggles fill my house, I think to myself I had it all wrong. The most important factor is you and your baby should be healthy. So, if your doctor says it’s ok to take Epidural, TAKE it. No evidence is needed that a healthy mind and a happy heart helps you recover faster. I am not advocating any means of birth here. If you want to give natural birth without any pain killers, go ahead and do it. But don’t do it because your best friend delivered two babies naturally without Epidural. Don’t do it because everyone keeps telling you “women have been doing it without painkillers from the beginning of time and it is the most natural thing to do”. It is the same as “don’t get appendicitis operated because Stone Age had no surgeons”. If you are even slightly afraid, pain is too much and the doctor agrees to go for Epidural.
Science has made tremendous progress and it is for us. For our benefit. Learn about the pros and cons of each birthing method. Take an account of your emotional strength and what you are most comfortable with. Then make an informed decision. As far as I am concerned, thanks to amazing postnatal care by my spouse and parents I healed pretty well. I have had no pains post epidural. But every person, every mother, every pregnancy is different. Do what you feel is right for you and your baby. Birth stories are the most unique experience of a woman’s life. Share yours.
Mum Mum Ma
DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor. This is just my personal experience. In the end, we should always follow doctor’s advice.
Mum Mum Ma – Loving Mommyhood 🙂
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