Natural Vs. Medicated :: My Perspective From Both Sides
After having 4 kids it’s safe to say I have quite a bit of experience giving birth. My first two babies, I opted to be pumped full of that game changing drug, the epidural. After finding out I was pregnant with number three, I decided to challenge myself and go all natural, pain med free. I did the same with my fourth.
So as a mom whose been on both ends of the spectrum here’s my take on them both.
Best if you don’t have a high pain tolerance or just don’t want to feel much of anything at all. Not going to lie, those epidurals with my first and second knocked me on my butt, literally. Of course, you expect not to be able to get up and basically move at all for the duration of the birth, but what I didn’t expect was to be incapable of moving on my own for HOURS after birth. Not being able to have control of my legs was such a big decider of my future no med plans and the ever present memory of having the nursing staff giggle whenever I couldn’t hold my legs up didn’t help. Oh, and you can’t forget about that awful catheter they stick in you. ICK!
Now to be fair, there were bonuses of getting an epidural. All of them include pain prevention. For me the negatives far outweighed the positives.
If you go this route, be prepared to find out how strong willed you really are. In fact, when pregnant with my third and telling people I was going epidural free, their dismissive attitudes was one of the reasons I stuck it out and actually went epidural free. I’m not about to let anyone tell me I can’t do something.
It’s really a mental test more than anything. I knew it was going to hurt. I was not prepared for HOW MUCH it was going to hurt. I’m sure my screams were heard a mile away from Woman’s Hospital.
So why do it twice? That’s simple. Other than the fact of legitimately not remembering the pain I had with my third when it came time to have my fourth (amazing how our bodies work like that huh?), it all came down to freedom. Freedom to move around and walk and snack and oh, how that heavenly hot bath tub soothed my contractions. After I gave birth, I was on such an adrenaline high, I probably could’ve ran a marathon. It was an amazing, empowering feeling that’s tough to describe.
If I had to do it again, I’d choose the no epidural route. To me, the pain is worth the freedom. It’s worth the empowerment I felt.
My best advice if you’re stuck with this decision is do your research.
Then, in whatever choice you make, mentally prepare. Make a birth plan and stick to it. Make the hospital staff stick to it. Have copies made beforehand and hand them out to every single staff member that comes into your room. This is YOUR birth. It is your right to do things YOUR way.
(oh, and if you need a stellar birth plan template, hit me up!)