You know what? I had an epidural with all 3 of my births. I am HAPPY I did and I would definitely do it again. I have had gestational hypertension and eclampsia with all 3 and was induced a few weeks early, each time. The epidural actually keeps your blood pressure down…. Not to mention how painful forcing your body to have a baby when it’s not ready is.
My first, the epidural only froze my leg, I felt everything, I was terrified. I had planned on the epidural but it didn’t work. I felt like I experienced a natural birth without the ability of being able to get into different positions. Did you know when your blood pressure is high, you have to lay on your left side, even if laying like that is making you vomit?
The experience made me scared of giving birth again… Even though I looked into natural birth, after that, it was not recommended with my medical situation so I was definitely trying that epidural again and I must say, if I had to have an induction, I was relieved to be trying the epidural again. With my second, the epidural worked better, but I was still non-stop vomiting throughout the whole thing from pain.
My third was a little labour vacation. I got the epidural early as the nurse and I giggled like we were being “so bad” by giving it to me as soon as the first contraction hit. I spent over 24 hours in labour but I just Netflixed and chilled with the nurse. We binge watched Love is Blind. THIS was the epidural experience I had been promised, lol. After 2 very difficult labour’s, I was grateful for my labour vacation. It felt well deserved.
I also have many friends who have had natural births. I would have loved to try a home birth. Labouring at home seems like such a wonderful experience for this homebody. I am always itching to get out of the hospital after giving birth and they always keep me a few days. To sleep in your own bed after giving birth, use your own toilet…. It sounds like heaven.
My hospital births have not been these beautifully spiritual moments. They are about survival. I hold onto my babies for as long as I can before my body goes completely out of whack. The entire experience triggers trauma from various life experiences and it takes incredible strength for me to make it through each moment. I can’t imagine what the Covid birthing parents went through. I was 3 weeks shy of lockdown when my 3rd was born. I survive and that is my only goal. I can feel good about my birthing choices and proud of myself, while also holding space for the part of me that wishes a home birth was an option for me.
I am that birthing support person who will encourage you to make the choice that feels right for you. If you say you want the epidural, I say “I do not regret getting it.” If you tell me you want to birth naturally, I’ll be saying “I believe in you!” And then I’ll send you links to hypnobirthing resources. I will want to know all the details and live vicariously through your beautiful experience. See I can appreciate and long for certain parenting experiences, while still being proud of my own journey.