August 19, 2011

Some Thoughts On Birth

Fact:  Approximately 50% of all women get an epidural during the labor and delivery process.  

Ever since I learned what an epidural was {you know, the video you watch in eighth grade} I've wanted one.  I've never been scared about the 'giant' needle in my back, or the risk of being paralyzed, my only thought process has been - less pain?  Let's do it!  But recently I've been thinking about all the women in the world from Eve until now who've done it the way God intended.  I've been thinking about how our bodies were created to do this, and that {given circumstances are normal} maybe the best thing, for me at least, is to go the natural route.  Growing up with a doctor for a Dad I guess I've always had a sort of proactive approach to things.  Not in any extreme way, but if I had the choice between a doctor and a midwife, I'd choose the doctor, hands down, one hundred percent of the time.  And while I'm not making any jump to the all natural side of life, I just think that maybe going natural would be a good thing for me, as far as this baby goes.  Or at least starting out with that mind set and playing it by ear.  

I want the moment that Madeline is placed in my arms to be overwhelmingly special - and I know it will be, no matter what, but I guess I've just been feeling empowered lately by the thought of all the pain that will be washed away the moment I see her, and hold her in my arms for the first time. 

That being said, I know that every woman is different.  Everyone reacts to pain differently, and sometimes there are complications where c-sections, or epidurals, or being induced are necessary - and one of those things very well may be a part of our birth story, but at least for now, I'm think we're going to try going natural - and if I don't like it, then next time I'll get an epidural and appreciate it way more! 


  1. You should really talk to a lot of women who have done it before you make your final decision. It is not like dumping a big turd, it takes a lot of endurance. I think it is a fantastic idea, but just don't have false expectations.

  2. I tried the same thing, and I'm glad I did. I made it to a 7 1/2 before getting an epidural, and most of the reason I did it was because his heart rate sank fast, and just kept going down. I went with a midwife (mitch and I didn't want to be left alone to deal with the birth stuff, and midwives stay with you the whole time). She didn't fight me on the epidural (they want you to go naturally) because she knew a c-section could be the case. They called in a doctor b/c things weren't going normally. BECAUSE I had the epidural, they just shot more drugs into it and started the c-section. I was awake and coherent the whole time. I never felt foggy or confused, even though I had the maximum meds they give anyone. Neither was Nathan. He was alert from minute one and had great apgar scores, even after he was so drugged right along with me. If I wouldn't have had an epidural already placed I would've been knocked out. I didn't get to meet Nathan for about 3 hours, and it's an un-ideal situation that I'm still trying to get over, but it would've been much worse had I been knocked out. So, from now on, especially b/c another c-section could quite possibly be in my future, I'm all about the epidural! I loved starting out naturally because it did make me feel empowered like you said. I felt so proud that I could actually do it.

    PS--when you go naturally they let you move around. MAJOR plus. The jacuzzi takes away, like 60% of the pain! It's awesome! I loved having the best of both worlds!

    PPS--a tip my best friend told me is to tell them you WANT an epidural from the beginning. That way, if you decide you want it, it takes about 10 minutes (instead of 30) for the anesthesiologist to get to your room because they already know you want one. They don't have to add you to the (bottom of the) list! You can always decline it when nurse's ask and you'll still get it quickly if you do decide you want it.

  3. All great ideas! Thanks :) I like the idea of still being able to get one, just starting out with a natural approach and playing it by ear lol

  4. So I like your statistics, 50% of women have an epidural. But don't think that means you have a 50-50 chance of "going natural" or not. 99% of women who say they will "wait and see" end up getting an epidural. Trust me. The ones who actually go natural plan and prepare for several months (you still have time) to be physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared for the endurance and pushing through the pain. You can do it, if you really want to. But it has to be the most important element for you to do it.
    And Jeremy has to be on board. It is VERY difficult for men to watch their wives struggle with labor. He needs to be 100% prepared to support your decision, or walk out of the room. He can't sit and chant "get the epidural now, how about now?" Once he pulls his support for natural (and his will power may be surprisingly less than your own tolerance for pain) you will call for the anesthesiologist pretty quickly. Once you get it, you might ask yourself, "why did I wait so long?"
    Personally, I had an epidural every time and I can still see the relief i Nigel's face when I did.I will always remember the calm quiet "Us" time we had when Brian was born. And you will love your baby, no matter what, epidural or not. I promise :)
    Love ya,
    Aunt Alice Marie


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