A few weeks ago I started to think somewhat seriously about foregoing pain medication during labor.
This isn’t a crusade I’m on, I don’t see any problems with epidurals and I certainly won’t beat myself up if I cave and get one.
I had a spinal cord injury about 5 years ago, and when first consulting with my doctor she encouraged me to speak with an anesthesiologist about my injury to see if it might affect my ability to get an epidural. Good news: it doesn’t.
But during my whole broken neck ordeal, I did experience the wonders of pain killing drugs and I have to say… I’m not a huge fan. Not of the numbing effect… that part’s cool. I’m just not a big fan of the loopy and out-of-it way they make me feel.
I want to experience our daughter’s birth without any chance of weirdness.
I also kind of want to be able to push while squatting.
The closest I have come to vomiting during this pregnancy was while watching a video of a woman receiving an epidural. I had to actually lay down on the ground for a good 5 minutes to avoid passing out. Evidently, spinal cord + needle = tunnel vision for Momma Dub.
Also around the time that I decided maybe I’d go natural for round 1, I experienced my first Braxton Hicks contraction.
At least, I think that’s what it was. It might have been gas.
I was getting up for my midnight pee break, and on my way back to bed, my whole torso tightened up. It wasn’t excruciating, but it lasted a good 3-4 minutes and no amount of breathing or stretch move contortion was alleviating the discomfort. As I knelt on the floor trying to stretch through the pain, I thought to myself, “Okay, maybe I can’t go all natural. Maybe the epidural will be just fine.”
I later confirmed with the Doc that what I had felt was indeed a Braxton Hicks contraction, and not a bad bout of gas.
Which is good, because if I’m considering an epidural over some gas pain, we’re in big trouble.
The memory of the fake contraction is fading, and I’m back to thinking seriously about skipping the epidural. The Hubs is encouraging me to keep an open mind (likely because he doesn’t want to see me in that much pain, or apologize for the loud and explicit language that I use to cope!). Let’s face it, nobody knows what to expect until they are literally in the throes of labor pain, so consider my mind open.
I’ll go as far as I can without it. If that gets me a drug-free birth, great.
If not, please just don’t show me the needle before you stick it in my back.
That ess will gross me right out. And I think you need to be conscious to push.