My grandmother delivered three daughters naturally into this world and why? Well, epidurals weren’t widely used for obstetrics until the 1970’s. If women pre circa 1969 were able to do it, why couldn’t I? What happened in our society that this had become the exception and not the norm? It seemed like high school all over again, that was being pressured into something. Get an Epidural, everyone is doing it!
Some women walk into Labor and Delivery requesting an epidural, and I don’t blame them, labor is painful! But what I couldn’t wrap my head around was the fact that my decision seemed to be inconvenient, impractical, and more or less delaying the inevitable. I wasn’t trying to prove a point, I was trying to truly experience labor and birth, the good, the bad and (several moments of) the ugly.
Trust me, the thought of having an epidural crept up in my mind more than a dozen times. This wasn’t what I had pictured, and as much as I tried to imagine what labor would feel like, this blew it out of the water. Was this what I really wanted? Was this worth it? And for what?
Regardless of what birthing option you chose, it should be met with dignity and respect. Labor is an emotionally and physically exhausting experience and you need to surround yourself with people that support your decision and want to encourage you wholeheartedly. Birthing isn’t about doing what is popular but rather doing what you feel is right for your body and your baby. Opinions are just that and at the end of the day yours is the only one that matters.
Heather Dudley is the Maternal Resource Coordinator and Infant/Toddler Sleep Coach at Cobblestones. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.