I firmly believe that during the birth of a baby, a woman has every right to insist on any means available to limit the pain she experiences. If it’s safe for her and the baby, why not? This pregnancy, my attitude was no different and I was asking for an epidural from the minute the pain became more intense. In fact, I even may have yelled and screamed about one a time or two.
My doctor is kind of old school. His father before him was an OB and my doctor is now easily in his late 40’s or early 50’s. Throughout my pregnancy, he exhibited some of these old-fashioned values. Not in the major stuff, he had the best equipment and did all the necessary testing, but in the little stuff. For example, when I had a cold he suggested I avoid OTC medications and stick with “good old-fashioned chicken soup.”
A couple of weeks prior to when I went into labor, we discussed how my previous labor and delivery went, including my love of the epidural. My doctor went on to suggest to me that I try to avoid an epidural this time. He said that I will find I have an easier recovery. I cataloged that information in the back of my mind but was not convinced. I know he has seen a lot of patients, but how could he know if experiencing all the pain of labor can be offset by a quicker recovery?
During my labor when I was demanding an epidural, my doctor convinced me to take some demerol first since it would take a bit to get the anesthesiologist to the room. I accepted it and the demerol made me feel GOOOOD! It lasted maybe an hour and a half and I was demanding the epidural yet again. My doctor insisted that the anesthesiologist had left the building for a brief time and suggested the demerol again. In my pain filled, still slightly high state of mind, I accepted his explanation again. Little did I know I actually didn’t have time to get the epidural anyway. Within minutes of this exchange, I felt the urge to push.
In hindsight, I could be perturbed that the doctor mislead me about the anesthesiologist, although I didn’t insist after he suggested the demerol….I knew from experience that demerol is my friend. Instead of being perturbed, however, I’m actually grateful that it happened the way it did. With my son, I had an epidural and didn’t feel even close to normal for almost a month after he was born. With my daughter, without the epidural, by the end of the first week I felt almost normal (except for the lovely jiggly belly and gaping cavern of a belly button that still lingers). Sure, the labor and most of all the pushing SUCKED, but I got weeks of feeling better for a half hour of severe pain.
I’d make that trade off again.
Well, I actually won’t….Ed isn’t allowed to even stand near me until he “takes care of something.”