Strong Women= No Epidural (#4)

Strong women have babies the natural way– without an epidural.

As I lay on that cold, hard table with my legs spread uncomfortably apart and cold hands prodding me, my doctor asked that infamous question, “would you like to get an epidural during labor?” I quickly answered that I didn’t want an epidural, I was going to have my baby naturally. My doctor chuckled and said though he’d never personally been through childbirth, he’d heard that it was pretty excruciating. He said I should keep my options open and remain neutral about the epidural until I was actually in labor. Then I chuckled and told him I would think about it. But I secretly knew I wasn’t going to get it.

In those past 8 months I had been let in on a little secret… Strong women, real women, don’t get the epidural. In fact I had been in circles of women chatting at the park and witnessed epidural-free moms scoff at moms who chose to get an epidural. It was almost painful to watch and I knew I didn’t want to be the mom that other women were frowning down upon. I wanted to feel that pride when I told people I had my baby without an epidural.

There I was hooked up to a million different machines, trying to stay awake on the table, and listening to the steady whooshing sound of my baby’s heartbeat. Each contraction hit me harder and harder until I began to lose consciousness. I would hear my sister’s voice calmly reassuring me one minute and the next minute I’d be waking up from complete darkness. I thought I was going to die and wondered how any woman would choose to do this more than once.

When my doctor came in to see how I was doing, he asked that silly question again. “Would you like an epidural?”

“YEEEEEEEESSSSSSS!” The pain was unbearable and that was the only word I could manage to squeeze out of my mouth. I couldn’t stand it for one more minute, I needed drugs, and I needed them right away. After I got my epidural, it was a world of difference. And don’t get me wrong, labor was still hard and oh yeah, it still hurt. When it was all over with, I never wanted to do it again (I promised myself that I never would). But let me tell you an important lesson I learned on that fateful day in 1998: Every woman that has given birth is a strong woman, regardless of her “epidural status.”

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  1. Kristen Collier says:

    I didn’t use any drugs when I had Jarod, now 9. It was amazingly bad, but I’m glad I did it. If I ever had another one though I would say, “KNOCK ME OUT!”

  2. Yeah, it’s a definite “life boat.” I’ve been in the delivery room with women that delivered without it and man oh man, did I feel bad for them.