I can’t make guarantees for myself, one never knows, but this might be my third labor without excepting an epidural.
After Baby M was born a lot of pregnant women that I knew asked me what labor was like and despite the fact that I spent thirty six hours in labor, I told them all that it wasn’t that bad. There was a lot of general discomfort that stemmed from my contractions but mostly just a really tight, squeezing feeling. Then came time to do all that fun pushing nonsense and within a few big pushes he was here. Nothing too dramatic, nothing excruciating, and nothing that I felt I couldn’t handle.
I walked into labor with Baby J expecting that things wouldn’t be much different. “Heck, I did it once before without an epidural so this should be a breeze,” I thought. Unfortunately, I was a little on the wrong side. Labor is always different because no two babies and no two pregnancies are the same. First difference was with the size of my boys. Baby M came early and wasn’t even a full six and a half pounds whereas Baby J came right on time at nearly eight pounds. Second difference was with their position and the way they made their exits. (Too much information alert). Baby M took his trip out in a normal fashion but his younger brother tried to move out with his head pointed incorrectly, “like trying to put on a turtleneck while looking at the ceiling,” my doctor said. The last difference was with the drugs that I was given. My first son required nothing to get things going or make things do anything at all, I laid in a hospital bed and took a bath before he came. With Baby J my contractions stopped completely while he was in the birth canal… that alone was really discomforting but then I was given a shot of Pitocin to get him moving again which I recently read can really cause an increase in pain.
After two completely different experiences, my last being not so phenomenal, I’m still going into labor with baby #3 with the mental determination to get this done without an epidural. It’s not that I think any less of accepting an epidural or that I’m too tough for one or any garbage like that. The fact of the matter is, I’m afraid of needles and just the thought of one plunging into my spine makes me physically ill. I have this idea that as long as Baby A comes out with his head pointed in the right direction and doesn’t make any unexpected stops then this labor should be a bit better than last time.
Like I said before, I can’t guarantee I will tough it out again without an epidural. Despite the fact that I have delivered two babies already there are still other things that I haven’t experienced in the delivery room (like back-labor which I have heard is awful).
As for anyone reading this that feels as if I was looking down on anyone for getting drugs during labor, I promise I am not. Whatever gets you through your time in the delivery room is up to you and you should never let anyone make you feel judged for how you get through labor. It is a very personal process that is different for every woman and every baby, it’s meant to be a beautiful experience and you should do what you feel is right to make it that.
Cheers to healthy moms and healthy babies everywhere!
As always, thanks for reading!