Epidurals seem to be a polarizing topic, and I, for one, am (or was) solidly on Team Epidural. Until it happened to me, I never understood people who somehow missed the window for an epidural or those who willfully skipped the epi. I planned on having the biggest one around and I was horrified when the doctor told me there wasn’t time….
Previous to my own experience, I thought natural birth was borderline insane. Do you fight off every cold without Nyquil? Do you suffer through a migraine without Excedrin? To me, epidurals are a marvel of the modern medical world and I was practically looking forward to having this magical pain relief I’d heard so much about.
After experiencing birth without an epidural, I now see there are legitimate reasons to give birth without pain meds. For example, I was up and walking within an hour of giving birth. Actually, the nurses had me move myself from the delivery table to a gurney by myself. When they told me to scoot over by myself, I was flabbergasted. They assured me that I was “fine” and did not need to be lifted to the gurney. They were right. Women are made to give birth, and it totally is possible without pain meds. However, pain meds exist for a good reason and utilizing them during times of extreme discomfort is smart (I think).
All in all, I think what’s most important is that you don’t allow anyone to scare you into or out of an epidural. You will hear horror stories of natural birth and you will hear the worst-case scenario epidural stories. No matter if you’re on Team Epi or Team Natty Birth, just remember that millions of women have successfully given birth both ways – it really does help when you start to doubt yourself.