isn’t for the faint of heart. I was shushed recently for starting an explanation of what to REALLY expect to someone within the conversation who was pregnant. I was shushed so as not to “scare” her. Scare her???? Really. She’s about to push a basketball out of a 10cm opening, and you think she shouldn’t be a bit prepared for the reality of that? Geesh. What I was going to tell this person is that without an Epidural, it will be incremental pain like you have never known before. You really need to experience it to know what kind of pain I’m talking about. I’ve given birth twice, and I was very ill prepared for the pain of labor the first time. Oh, they tell you it will hurt, it will fell like “continuous, really bad period cramps”. Bullshit! Once that water bag breaks and that soft cushion is gone….you better be prepared to lose your damn mind and wonder why the hell you thought this whole child bearing thing was a good idea. You will curse Eve for eating that damn apple, your spouse/partner for simply being alive, and anyone who is anywhere near you that might have contributed to your current predicament. I literally thought I was going to die right then and there. I remember laying on my side (recommended) in the bed watching the monitor rise and fall with each contraction. I’d bore my head into the solid part of the arm rail as I gripped the rail itself with each rise of the line, and then begged Jesus to please make it end during the brief lull. Keep in mind, many hours earlier I had changed my mind in the elevator, and told the nurse to take me back downstairs….I’d changed my mind about delivering that day, I’d come back another day. She gave us a bit of a laugh and said….”Why? You’re having a baby today, I know you really can’t wait to meet your new little one”. Uhhhmmm, yes, yes, I could wait. I could wait quite a while if need be. There was a screamer near my L/D/R room and that REALLY helped solidify my need to get the hell out of there.
Fast forward 12 hours…..I was the screamer to someone else’s fear. I BEGGED for an epidural. BEGGED, offered to pay cash, told my dad to pull out his checkbook, you name it, I offered it to no avail…..because the most important part of an Epidural is that it can’t be given after a certain point in labor. I dilated very quickly to 8cm….my window closed for that spinal IV of magic medical goodness, and I wanted that window opened back up because I was just not going to make it. I knew my life was over, because there was no way my body wasn’t in the process of blowing up.
Finally, after what seemed like days instead of hours a healthy baby girl popped right on out after a few adjustments to the exit area (which required 200 stitches to repair). She looked like a purple-y little ball, but when put under the lights in the isolette she uncoiled into what I thought looked like a VERY large newborn, and became quite pick with little curls on the crown of her head……in actuality she was considered “average sized”.
I haven’t looked back since. In fact, I even went through childbirth a 2nd time four years later, but I wised up and had the Epidural early. Truth be told, the Epidural sucked for two reasons 1) it made me so nauseous I could hardly move and 2) having a codeine allergy caused me to itch the entire time I had the IV in, as the narcotic was in the same drug family. BUT, the plus side was that there was no pain. I was able to act like a normal person instead of a crazy ass person that screamed at everyone near and far about putting me there. I was more coherent and able to really appreciate what was happening and what was going on after another healthy “average sized” baby girl popped right on out of the previously reconstructed exit area, which also went smoother the second time around.
It’s tough, childbirth. No doubt about that, but I believe one should know the truth, not the sugar coated version. Plus, sometimes the days/weeks after can be worse than the birthing experience itself…….but, I’ll save that for another day!