I Had an Epidural. And I Liked It

Heather Chaet

epidural machineHere are the facts: Almost four years ago, I gave birth to my daughter. I had a c-section. I had an epidural. And I liked it.

I hear that collective gasp from all of you “natural birth” moms. Stop it. Seriously. We all have better things to do (like finding that missing plastic Iguanodon buried under some cushion or figuring out what to do during Snowmageddon #5 of this nasty winter season).

SAHM versus WOHM, to vaccinate or not to vaccinate, to ban playdates a la crazy bee-atch Tiger Mom or allow playdates a la Normal Mom. So many mommy debates. But the one that drives me supercrazy is the labor debate -- to epidural or not to epidural.

Medicine and childbirth have come a long way, baby. We live in the modern world. We have modern medicine available to us, which was created to help us moms in the first moments of motherhood. Just like the machines that monitor the baby’s heartbeat and the ultrasounds we all got. All are part of the great advancements in the medical world that help make childbirth safer.

Now there’s a book out telling me I don’t have to feel guilty about getting an epidural during my daughter’s birth. In his book Epidural Without Guilt: Childbirth Without Pain, Dr. Gilbert Grant, a New York City-based anesthesiologist, illuminates why epidurals are actually good for you (they may speed the childbirth process along and may help with breastfeeding, blah blah blah). He tells women that we don’t have to feel guilty for choosing to have an epidural.

Great. Whoo hoo. But I didn’t need a book to tell me that. I feel fine and dandy about my choice. I didn’t think twice about getting pain relief when I wanted it. To me, it is a non-issue, created by those women who didn’t get one. Those women who are walking around bragging to everyone about how they had a "natural" labor, how badly it hurt, how they survived.

Please. You did not have a better childbirth experience than I did. We each had our own unique experience. Thankfully, we both have our child here in this world, we both love our child ad infinitum. The only thing different about our labors? Mine hurt less.   

How do you feel about epidurals?


Image via Lunchbox Photography/Flickr

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