All the reasons I'm DELIGHTED I got an epidural
How you choose to have your babies is entirely up to you.
As the pregnant mum-to-be, it is also entirely your prerogative to have one birth plan (laminated, if you're determined like I was) and then completely change your mind when it comes down to it.
It's your body, your baby and your mind. Remember that.
I was convinced that I wouldn't go for the epidural when I was pregnant with my first baby. In fact, I was convinced that I wouldn't have any pain relief; not the pethidine drip, nor the gas and air, nor the epidural.
What happened in the end was that I had all of those things. All. Everything. The works.
Here's why pain relief worked for me:
1. I am a wuss
I might have declared that I had quite the high pain threshold in the years before I ever experienced labour. I have a couple of tattoos and I'm not into taking tablets for period pains or hangovers. You know, I thought I was a bit of a bad ass. But when those first really tough labour pains hit, I was like 'Give me everything and give it to me NOW!'
2. It stopped me from mooing
There was a point during my really tough contractions when I was lying on my side, sucking on the gas and air tube and there were sounds emanating from some guttural part of me that can only be described as sounding like a cow mooing. One who is on the verge of being put down. I was totally happy to see the other side of that hardship.
3. I was a comfortable observer
After the epidural has taken effect, you can witness the course of your labour on the monitor by your bedside, from a place of pain-free happiness. 'Oh there's another contraction!' you'll declare as you watch the monitor go, quite literally, off the chart. 'Looked like a bad one' himself will nod sagely. I was so glad not to know how bad it could have been.
4. I got some rest
After examining me, the midwife suggested that I had a snooze before we started the delivery. Having had a busy and dramatic day going into labour and rushing to the hospital, it was so nice to close my eyes for an hour, knowing that everything was ok. And it gave me the extra bit of energy I needed to give birth later that morning. Poor Alan found it 'very hard' to get any sleep in the chair beside me though - POOR LOVE!
5. I didn't feel the episiotomy
I had an episiotomy with Jacob and a small tear with Eva but didn't feel a thing and healed up quickly and fairly painlessly with both. Would I have liked to feel someone cutting me down there? Would I f*ck.
6. I thoroughly enjoyed the births
Both of my children's deliveries were problem-free and genuinely enjoyable. It was difficult to know if I was pushing at times, because the epidural makes you numb from the waist down, but I listened to the midwife carefully and followed her direction. I'm not sure I would have had the same experience if I could feel every single thing and was in distress.
7. I was a little bit high
There is a total natural high that comes with giving birth to a beautiful baby but I gotta tell you, the medically-induced high was pretty cool too. Don't knock it..
Did you opt for the epidural or not? Let us know over on Twitter @HerFamilyDotie