I've got a full five months to think about this, but the truth is, I have to go through labor and delivery again. That means I get a cuddly baby in February but it also means I might have not-so-cuddly needle in my spine.
However it was itchy. And the moment they put it in, I went from being the strong woman I am who happens to be in labor to being a "patient" at a hospital and that's just how it felt. All of a sudden I was powerless. Then the baby's heart rate dropped and I had twelve nurses/students/doctors examining my vajay. Embarrassing!
Then I was completely numb from my hips down. Better than blinding pain every few minutes, but not the best way to go about your afternoon, right? Every 30 minutes I was supposed to turn from side to side, but I needed help turning over because I couldn't feel anything. I was like a big sack of potatoes laying there.
I'm kind of a crazy "what would the animals do" person and I just kept feeling like a zoo prisoner. What had there been a fire? Or a robbery? (I saw an episode like that once on one of those crime shows, some dude robbed a delivery room while a lady was in labor!)
Six or eight hours later, the pain-relieving effects had completely worn off and it was time to push. My legs were rubbery, but I felt EVERYTHING when the child came out. At the time it was hella painful but I can't even say it was terrible. Birth is a natural pain like stretching a healing muscle or rubbing a headache. It's not like "injury" pain where your body is in harm's way. I'd pick a contraction over a stubbed toe, for example.
Then afterwards my legs were like jelly for hours! I want to even say it was a half a day before I could really feel confident walking. Not like I needed to go anywhere, it's just that if I had not had the epi I could have recovered a little quicker.
Then final straw was that for six months after the birth, I just had a weird ache in the spot the needle had gone in. I wouldn't call it pain, but it was annoying. I know some people have headaches and horror stories and I had none of that. Just a minor thing to make me think "why did I do that?"
I have to admit the epidural was heaven of a relief from the pain of labor but I'm not in the moment anymore so my thoughts are circumspect.Doing a completely natural birth is the goal of many women, but in the thick of it plenty of people have decided they can't or don't want to handle the pain. Hey, I had an epidural and I might have another one. I'm just saying that now 21 months after the fact, I can't decide which is the lesser of the evils: labor pain or the annoyances of pain relief, not to mention the bigger items like stalled labor and a chain of medical interventions.
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