If you think this is a post advocating drugs in child birth-you are correct. If that is something you feel strongly against, you should probably not continue to read. Because frankly, I enjoyed having a drug-induced birth, so don’t judge my epidural.
Before I go any further, I think it’s a shame how their are tribes of mothers that come together to shame other moms. Like, you aren’t cool if you don’t breast feed your kid until they’re 4, or you arent a real mother if you don’t have ‘an all-natural-drug-free’ birth. We should all stop the judging and realize that every mom does the best that they can do. (Go ahead, breast feed your kid for however long they want! that is your choice) I digress.
a long long time ago, in a land where I was naive & child-less, I had this amazing and insane idea in my head: that I would birth completely drug free. I was SO stuck on the notion and convinced myself that my baby (or myself) didn’t need that epidural or that iv-drip, or whatever. I was gonna be one of those ‘tough moms’ that could birth naturally. I was gonna be liberated because I could push a tiny human out of my vagina, and without the use of drugs! When I would tell my friends that had babies how I didn’t want an epidural, they smiled at me and probably thought ‘ha!she has no idea'( which is exactly what I think now) And I would silently judge them for ‘putting their baby at risk’ (sorry!) because they did get drugs.
Fast forward to last year when I became pregnant. Now, I really had to ‘plan’ what was gonna go down on d-day. I talked to mommy friends, I researched, and I talked to my doctor. Yes, I had a doctor. That was another thing, I wanted a doula, again, before I ever got pregnant, but things change and so yeah. Anyway. I trusted in my mommy friends, the research about epidurals, and more importantly, I trusted in my doctor. I had an amazing relationship with my doctor, he didn’t sugar coat shit, he let me know the facts and that’s kinda really important when you are going through something as huge as child birth. So after months and months of listening to advice, and reading tons of articles and blogs (the dangers of epidurals, the benefits of epidurals, why I wouldn’t get any epidural again…) and talking endlessly with my husband, I went on the notion of “well, I’ll just play it by ear.” I had to admit to myself that I didn’t freaking know what was going to happen in that labor room. I’m a first time mom. What if I had to be induced? What if I couldn’t push the right way? What if I needed a c-section? I basically felt like it would be an in the moment experience, and that I would go with the flow. Just go with the flow.
It was towards the end of my pregnancy when I set in my mind that I would just listen to my body and trust in myself. I would trust in my doctor and the nurses and I would trust in my husband (birth coach). I was induced six days after my due date and gave birth to my baby boy the next afternoon. Being induced, like my doctor told me many times, was a long process, and the contractions were intense. Once I was out on the pitocin, the contractions were outrageous-Just think of a menstrual cramp multiplied by a 100000-that probably doesn’t even scathe the surface of the pain but yea,you get it. So it was then and there when I decided to go the drug route. If I choose the drugs, my husband kept reminding me, he wouldn’t ‘think less’ of me- that he just wanted me to be comfortable. So it clicked. I had to do this for me, for my child -not for some ‘I birthed with no drugs’ war story. I wanted the rest of this labor to be somewhat enjoyable.
I was given a pain med through my IV before I was able to get my epidural. It was a quick fix and didn’t last. I was in tears, squeezing my husband’s hand and saying things we can laugh about now. I was having him page the nurse every ten minutes to check if I was ready for an epidural. Breathing through it just wasn’t enough.Once I was 5 cm dilated, I got my -gasp- epidural. It was HEAVEN. And if you’ve gotten one, you know. I felt like a totally different person. I actually felt ready to birth! I was relaxed and at ease. And while I took so long to dilate BEFORE getting the epidural, I literally dilated to 9cm in like an hour AFTER getting the epidural. So contrary to what my hippie drug free friends told me- the epidural didn’t slow my dilation down, it sped it up full force, probably because I was so damn relaxed. I birthed, and thanked God I was on meds because I had to get an episiotomy-(not fun.ouch)
My son was born healthy and crying and gained weight and the whole nine years. And I don’t regret my decision. I honestly feel like the best part of my labor was when the pain was subsided and I could focus on the long haul of pushing. So yes- I love my choice of having a drug-induced labor. In this day and age of modern medicine, it seems like a crime to not use the medicine available to us.
In my opinion, the benefits outweigh the risk, and I just want to say- I applaud those that can birth with zero drugs. That is awesome – just not for me ! I consider myself a strong-minded women, but I’m happy that I budged on something I once turned my nose up at.