Thursday, December 22, 2011

To Epidural or Not To Epidural? That Is The Question.

It's 3 days until my due date, but honestly, I probably won't have this baby for another week or so (I must have a very cozy womb...they are usually forced to leave!) Hubby won't be here for the birth. It's a decision we made together. His job right now is saving the world and taking care of his troops. I've got this end of things under control. However, with that said, I am slightly nervous about going into labor/delivery without him. He calms me...relaxes me...and knows not to say a word! Actually, by #5 we are a well-oiled machine. But he won't be in there with me, and that's where my problem starts.

I'm not sure how I'm going to handle the pain without him. His job is to rub whatever I need rubbing- usually my feet- until Dr says it's "go time". I can be bossy or snippity with him and know that he will love me tomorrow and not think any less of me. With two girlfriends subbing in for my hubby in the room with me, I'm going to be less comfortable bossing them around. So I'm a little concerned that I won't be able to relax and breathe my way through delivery.

Truth be told, I'm usually a "do-it-myself" kind of girl. The idea of an epidural has me freaking I've never tried it. (Plus, I'm a self-proclaimed tough girl who doesn't like asking for help.) I need some solid, un-biased advice from the "been there, done that's" of the world. What do you think? Am I going to be brave enough to get the epidural? And do you think it's a good idea??


jagrmerrill said...

My advice- after 2 natural births, don't do the epidural! despite what all the moms who HAVE had them are getting ready to post about how great they are and there are no risks involved...THERE ARE lots of risks! The risk for c-section goes up in the clouds with epidurals because they have a tendency of slowing down labor, then they give you more pitocin to get labor going again, think of it like alternating red bulls and vodka for 12 hours and what that does to your body (yeah lots of people do it, smart? not so much...) You have done 4 natural births!!!! You got this, girl! Don't be afraid =) Birth is just as natural as taking a poo...and how many times have you done that without pain meds? haha (that was supposed to be funny...?) Boss your girlfriends around, and don't apologize later. =)

April Westerhold said...

I have 3 children, 2 with an epidural and 1 had to be a spinal block. For me, it isn't the epidural that is the problem, it is the use of pitocen. Pitocen will force your body in to labor and force it to come on quickly. I have no doubt that I could handle a natural birth if pitocen wasn't involved; however, my water broke with the first 2 but I had no contractions. The babies could not be left inside with no amniotic fluid so pitocen had to be used to get the contractions to start coming. With my first child I dilated from 5 to 10cm in 10 minutes. I was literally screaming for God to kill me, no joke. They finally had to give me a spinal block because the pain was so out of this world that my blood pressure was rising and I went blind. After that wonderful first child experience, I was bound and determined that if any other children had to be brought on with pitocen then I was definitely having an epidural. Believe me, the use of an epidural DOES NOT take away the pain of pushing and even the last 2-3cm of dilation are felt but it did allow me to get some rest beforehand with babies 2 and 3.

I would never tell anyone to get one or not to get one. While each labor is different, I would reflect on your other deliveries and make a decision that you believe is going to be best for you and your baby. Don't let anyone's opinion persuade you. Each person responds differently to the epidural. Personally, after the experiences I've had, I would never not get one.

I think it is common knowledge that anything said in a delivery room is forgotten about afterwards. :) I'm sure your friends will be happy to rub your feet and back and make you as comfortable as you possibly can be.

Happy pushing and Merry Christmas!
april from Party of Five

Stephanie said...

I agree with jagrmerrill (1st comment). You've done this 4x naturally, so you'll do fine sans an epidural. The obvious thing to consider is your pain threshold. And you're gonna do GREAT--regardless of who's in the room with you. Just remember that screaming wastes energy. (The L&D nurse that helped me with my second kiddo very sternly pointed that out. In the middle of my scream-fest, she yelled, "LOOK AT ME NOW!" I complied, and she got right in my face and said, "Stop screaming. You're wasting energy." I'll never forget that, nor the fact that she was right!)

Bethany said...

I'm a natural girl too. And you know what, I think that decision is one you'll make the day the baby comes. I never once thought I would even want to think about an epidural. NEVER. When #4 was born, my husband had the flu.
Granted, he was still in the room with me, but often he was too sick to even hold my hand. I'm a do it myself, don't ask for anything besides a heating pad for my back, don't touch me, don't talk, and whatever you do, don't tell me what to do I've done this kind of laboring woman. And when he wasn't fully involved, I thought about an epidural. I didn't go through with it, because I was scared, but I made the decision in the moment.
You will know what to do. That's one of the fantastic things about having many kids. You know your body and your temperament. I'm hoping and praying that will help you have some peace until you have to decide what to do. And either guilt! :) Hang in there!

Open Eyes said...

I have to agree with April. I was bound and determined to go natural ,however, I was also given pitocen after my water broke to help me progress. Doing natural remedies for progression (walking) was out of the question for me since I had pre-clampsia and my blood pressure would sky rocket. After dilating from a 5cm to 10cm in 30 minutes I begged for the epidural.

I don't think my decision reflects my pain tolerance, I simply needed a break since my contractions where back to back. For me the epidural spaced out the pain so I had a chance to breath.

I wouldn't say to choose one or the other but to go in with an open mind and know that option is there if you need it and that it's OK if you do.

Good Luck and Happy Holidays!