What . . . no epidural?

Gals you were great with all the encouraging comments from my last post.  Thanks so much!

Alright, since I am so obsessed with all things naturally-birth related, I wanted to expound a bit on why I am considering/planning a drug-free birth.  First a little personal history.   During my first labor, I took a dose of demerol. HUGE MISTAKE.   It didn’t help a bit with the pain, stopped my contractions, and made me loopy.  This led to pitocin, which led to super-strong contractions, which led to me yelling at JD in my demorol-induced crankiness to find a nurse and get me an epidural.  That’s about all I remember actually . . . sad, isn’t it?  For Jonah and Jesse’s labor, I refused any IV drugs and opted for just an epidural.  When I received the epidurals, it wasn’t really for the pain at the time, as much as fear for what was to come.  With that being said, here’s some of the reasons for why I want to go epidural-free.

  • God made my body to birth babies.   It is natural.  Women have been surviving this for thousands of years and I’m pretty sure I could survive it too.
  • Every friend I’ve spoken who chose to go epidural-free has not regretted it. I spent last night talking with Martha, who’s had three natural births.  Yes, we discussed the pain, but we also discussed how to focus through it, how to learn what works for me to get through the toughest contractions.  As my time draws closer, I want to spend more time talking with those who have chosen this route so I can be as prepared as possible.
  • I can get up much, much sooner. I hate waiting for sensation to come back and having to have help moving my dead legs around.
  • I don’t want a catheter.  After each birth, I ended up with a urinary track infection.  EACH TIME.  With Jonah, I didn’t catch it earlier enough and it developed into a kidney infection.  Yeah, that’s real fun to deal with when you are postpartum.  (I’ve never had a UTI any other time, just after labor)
  • It is cheaper.  I’m cheap.   (BTW, did you know how much money the hospital makes off of each epidural? A lot.  That’s part of the biggest money maker of the birthing process . . . no wonder the nurses are so quick to offer it.)
  • I’m planning on having a doula! I’m very excited about this! I really appreciated what Faith had to say in the comments of my last post about having the support of a doula and/or midwife.  (I did look into having a midwife, but JD just wasn’t comfortable with that, plus it appears that most midwifes in KS do homebirths.  I am definitely not ready for that. The hospital I’ll be delivering at does have nurse midwives though.  I need to call and see exactly what that means . . . )
  • Several of those I’ve talked with or read about have described the birthing process as empowering, incredibly high, etc. Frankly I’m wondering if I’m missing something.  By my nature, I’m not super-emotional.  I tend to be pretty even-tempered, so I don’t know if I’ll experience that emotional high, but what if?
  • I have easy births.  So far, my babies have quickly descended into the birth control and entered the world with little or no pushing.  To be honest, if I had to push for hours like some of you, I don’t know if I would be quite so eager to attempt this.

I’m sure there are more reasons that I am not thinking of at this moment.  And just so you don’t think I’m completely one-sided on this, I do have concerns.  Most concerns deal with after the baby is born though.  And in case you are worrying about me becoming an elitist about this, don’t worry a bit.  This is a personal choice for me that after three other births, talking with others, and reading a LOT of info, that I want to experience.


6 thoughts on “What . . . no epidural?

  1. Just an FYI from Caleb’s birth, it was a good thing I had an epidural. My doctor got stuck in traffic, and they were making me try to wait until she got there. No epidural, definitely would not have been a happy labor/delivery. But, more power to ya sis!! 🙂

  2. Those nurses wouldn’t have been able to keep you waiting if you hadn’t had an epidural. One of the nurses or an on-call doc would’ve had to step in!

  3. I wrote a response to this post last night and then–POOF–it disappeared. Ah well.
    You know I’m cheering you on. I can’t wait to talk about this some more with you (your concerns, too). I’m a little envious, actually. If I could go through the labor and delivery I had with Jack again, I’d do it in a heartbeat. That’s why I’m becoming a doula–b/c otherwise I’d become like the old woman who lived in the shoe who had so many children [b/c she liked to give birth so much] that she didn’t know what to do! 🙂

  4. I’ve had natural for all four births, and it definitely was an incredible experience each time. We’ll have to talk more – there’s too many things I could tell you for me to write them all here…..

  5. For my fist birth I had a midwife and did it naturally in the hospital. If you are not at high risk this is a great option. I know of several great midwifes and I have a close friend who is a midwife at Saint Lukes. I say go for it you can always change your mind if you have to. A doula and a midwife would be a great option.

  6. Kelly, I’m so glad you’re seriously wanting to go natural! I like Aimee’s suggestion about a doula and a midwife — if you can get a nurse-midwife at the hospital, definitely go that route.
    I’m sure your doula will be able to give you lots of good suggestions 🙂 for getting through labor without drugs, and I think you’ll be really glad you did. Having experienced both kinds of births myself, and attended both kinds of births as a doula, I have to say there’s something really powerful and beautiful about actually giving birth, actively pushing your baby into the world and trusting your body to do it (because it *will*), as opposed to just following the medical staff’s directions. It’s a huge difference. It’s like, Yeah! this is what I was made to do!
    . . . aside from all the research-based stuff you can read about regarding why you should avoid the drugs if you can.
    Sorry to get long-winded on you — on my first response!! 🙂
    I’m so excited to follow your story!

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