Ahhhh…..the epidural. I’m going to start out by just letting you know from the get-go that I am PRO-epidural. I am absolutely not a fan of pain, especially labor pains, but I take my hat off to the women who push themselves through natural childbirth.
So, I’ve been through childbirth six times so far. I have experienced childbirth with and without an epidural, but not because I had a choice. Let’s talk about the difference of the 2…actually the 3 different birth experiences I’ve had. They are as different as night and day.
So. I was pro-epidural before I even knew I was pregnant. Even before I was married. There would be no discussion. And there wasn’t. I was induced at 39 weeks with my first baby. Doctor broke my water….got the epidural…had the baby. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. It was marvelous.
Maggie was perfect.
I went into labor with my 2nd baby and made it in plenty of time to get another beloved epidural. Once again, easy peasy. Marvelous.
Lola was perfect, too.
But my marvelous birth stories came to a screaming haunt-literally-with my 3rd baby. I was induced at 39 weeks again and in the beginning, all was fine.
I waited a little bit & then asked for the epidural. The anesthesiologist walked in my room very sluggishly, like he had just been woken up, which he had, come to find out. He put in my epidural and was on his way. I was numb, but not like I had been with my first two. I could still move my legs, but the nurse said that was good! Wrong.
I was being induced with a drug called Pitocin. Pitocin makes your uterus contract, but not like it does naturally. When Pitocin is on full-force, it makes you contract extremely hard and extremely fast, with only seconds in between each contraction. Natural labor contractions are TOTALLY different. This, dear pregnant ladies, is some important information.
Natural labor = Beauty. Induced labor (without epidural) = worse than Beast.
Natural labor contractions come on gradually….they start out like ouch!, and move to geez!, and on to Omg!…etc. Induced labor contractions start out like Holy Mother! And quickly move to GET THIS BABY OUT NOOOOOOWWW! Followed with I’m gonna die!! Please help me, God–I’m GOING TO DIE!! And then to, PLEASE JUST LET ME DIE!
I know this all to well. I can still remember having my baby boy like it was yesterday’s nightmare.
So….the epidural that I got when I was induced did not work. I remember the doctor checking me 10 minutes after starting Pitocin. He said, “Do you feel me checking you?” I said, “Yes….but it doesn’t hurt.” I shouldn’t have felt ANYTHING, people. I was dilated to 5. Seconds later, I felt the first real contraction I had ever felt in my life and I was absolutely silent, with tears streaming down my face. Seconds later, another one, but harder…..then another one & it was even harder. I was absolutely terrified and they immediately called anesthesia to re-do the epidural.
The nurse was watching me & I guess I wasn’t looking too comfortable because she said, “hold on….let me check you before they get here…”. I should have kicked her in the face.
Her next words were frantic….she said, “You’re a 9 and you’re not getting another epidural. We have no time.”
I was screaming…crying…grabbing onto my husband…I was hysterical. I felt like I never imagined I could EVER feel. I was DESPERATE for someone to help me. I was seriously screaming, y’all…..I remember crying, “I can’t do this! I can’t do this! Please help me! Mike (Rooster), I can’t do this !!” And I only had 10 seconds to breathe in between contractions.
The pain was unbearable–I screamed through the contractions and finally his head was out. As it was coming out though, the burn and tearing is indescribable. I was being torn open and feeling it all. “One more time, Lisa….you can do it one more time” was what I heard from like everyone in the room. And then, Jack was born. I was crying uncontrollably. Not because I was happy, though—because I was still contracting. There is no light switch to turn off Pitocin.
I believe I have failed to mention that we had no idea if we were having a boy or a girl. It was meant to be the biggest surprise ever–we had never not found out before. When he was born, I couldn’t even enjoy the moment I had been so excited about for 9 months. Everyone was excited..especially ‘ole Rooster. But I was completely in a different state of being.
I was begging for pain medication & at some point, I was given something but it just made me fall asleep & wake up. Fall asleep & wake up. Not fun.
I was taken to my post delivery room & I promise you, I cried for an hour and a half. I couldn’t shake the experience I had just gone through. I felt so sorry for myself! and I felt so sad that hearing Jack and seeing him for the first time was not a moment I wanted to remember.
Rooster was very happy.
And soon enough, I was too.
This is when Maggie and Lola met him for the first time.
To this day, so many moments about those last hours haunt me. Unless it is absolutely necessary, I will never be induced again.
When I was pregnant with our 4th child, I went into labor, but wasn’t sure if it was the real thing (I know..seriously?) until it was too late. I arrived at the hospital 6 cm dilated and was at 9 cm about 20 minutes later, so I couldn’t get an epidural. This natural childbirth was total bliss compared to the last.
I had contractions that very much hurt, but I wasn’t screaming like a crazy person. I was able to rest for 30-45 seconds & then I would contract again. I pushed for 6 or 7 minutes. The head was out, there was some burning, but it was oh, so different than before. One more push….it’s a girl!! Surprised once again! I looked at Rooster with a huge smile & we laughed! The pain was over. Just like that.
Molly was beautiful and perfect.
(And, see how yellow? She developed Newborn Jaundice after coming home from the hospital, which you can read about here.)
This is how it should be. If you want a natural birth, go completely natural, without being induced. Unless there is something wrong and your life or your baby’s life is in danger, wait for labor to start on its own. The difference is, I’m telling you, nothing that even compares.
So…..do I want an epidural this go round? Ummm….yes. I’m just not a fan of being in pain. I want to be that girl who starts putting on her makeup when she’s contracting, you know!? Not really. I try not to leave the house without it already on. 🙂