That is definitely the question.
I have a slight dilemma with this pregnancy. I would really like to go ah-naturale (my joke) and use no drugs with this labor. Now, this is for a lot of reasons. I have only done it once, and even then, it wasn’t completely natural, I had that drug that makes you feel as though you’ve had too much to drink, but yet can feel every ounce of every contraction that comes your way. With contractions less than a minute apart, I was miserable! Then by the time the anesthesiologist got there, I was already 9cm and basically had some epidural like drug that at least made the head of my son coming out not so painful…
So this delivery would be the first one completely pain-free. Here’s why. First and foremost, I still have a labral tear in my right hip. When I get an epidural, my legs feel like they weigh 1,000 pounds EACH. So turning over on either side requires assistance and several in the past, my hips have popped. Seeing as how the legs are numb from the stomach down, I won’t know if I’m injuring myself further or not and there is no guarantee that even though I might be as careful as I can be, that I won’t do something to trigger the terrible arthritis and cause unbearable pain again once the epidural wears off.
Second, I have had terrible epidural pains since the birth of number 5. It’s really bizarre and until I looked it up on the internet, I really thought I was crazy. (which, I still have not mentioned it to my doctor at all, just in case there are a bunch of us crazies out there feeling the same weird pain). Right where the epidural goes (in between the vertebrae of my lower spine) I felt this weird very uncomfortable and extremely painful feeling for the better part of a year. It didn’t start right away. It was actually about a year after #5 was born. I finally googled it and was amazed at the information I found. I was comforted in that I wasn’t alone. But I would rather not get an epidural so that I don’t have to go through that again!
Third, I want to go drug free for my physical self. I have heard from so many women who have gone drug free how they felt better and were up and around almost immediately after the birth. Their recovery also seemed to be quicker as well. Even though I do tend to get up and get going as soon as the epidural wears off (which is usually right after the placenta comes out) it would be nice to start feeling good shortly after birth!
The fourth reason is a rather personal one. I would like to be able to offer up my pain for some very important prayer intentions I have. There is nothing more powerful in my mind, than to unite my suffering with Jesus’ suffering from the cross. I know He wouldn’t mind me doing the epidural, so before you say I’m some religious fanatic using my religion to not do this, I also know how powerful it could be for me to literally suck up my pain for the greater glory of my prayer intention.
So this brings me to last night. I had my first real episode of “consistent” contractions. By consistent I mean every 20 minutes for about 1 1/2 hours I contracted like clockwork. I wasn’t nervous about it, because it’s about par for the course in my last few weeks of pregnancy. What distressed me was the fact that, they hurt!!! And they weren’t even REAL yet!!! Am I that much of a wimp?? My husband would say yes. I kept reminding him that our doctor back home said he had done research on redheads and their natural low tolerance of pain…he thinks our doctor just said that to be nice…
So, I pray that I can follow through. I’ll be honest, I’m scared to death. I mean, my smallest child was 8 lbs. And she was a tad early. All of my children have been born with large heads (they get that from dad, haha) The thought of pushing a watermelon through a small cantaloupe isn’t exactly an exciting thought. Sounds rather impossible. And I’ve gotten to almost the very end of labor without medication and it was crazy! Hurting, crying, and then trying to breathe? That is probably the reason the nurse jumped in front of me and made me breathe like her by blowing in my face to help me focus.
I pray I don’t wimp out. But I am comforted that no matter what, my husband still thinks I’m amazing (has always said this after each birth) and Jesus will love me no matter what. We have opened our hearts to help in the co-creation of another soul for Heaven. I doubt an epidural will detract from that massive gift too much.
Enjoy your weekend.