I do not want to get an epidural. I am not "against" them, the theory is very good. It gives you a rest, while you are totally awake. You can "relax" and dilate and then they can "turn it down" and you can push out your baby. This is pretty much how my first birth went, and with the Mag Sulfate, the IV's, and of course, the Pitocin, I was very glad to go from immobilized and in crushing pain to immobilized and numb as a corpse. Plus I didnt feel a thing when they unecessarily cut my vagina in half and sewed it shut afterwards! Yay.
But as we all know too well, the epidural can go very differently than that. It can slow labor, it can not work, it can partially work, it can lower blood pressure in you and the baby, and it can cause headaches and even paralysis and death in rare cases.
But none of this is why I personally do not want to get an epidural with this baby. The reason that I don't want to get one is this: I see it as a direct route to a C Section. and I see it as them taking away my ability to run away. Yep, I said it. To get the hell up. To move. To switch about. To stand. To empty my own bladder and bowels. To run out the door if it gets too psycho. (I am sure that that is EXTREMELY rare, but I like the option) To rock and roll and rock and roll and rock and roll my baby out. Call me fat call me tall but I don't have very wide hips, and for me, layin there like a flounder does not equal vaginal birth.
Its gonna hurt, labor. Its gonna hurt alot. Its gonna feel like a truck is parked on my back, like my bones are breaking, like my body is exploding, like I am drowning. Go ahead, think that is bad, think that is negative--but I don't. I think it is just how it feels, and my point is that it feels like that for a matter of hours.
A C Section hurts in so many different ways and for so so so much longer. Some people would say forever. Some people think that is dumb. Some people actually prefer a cesarean. Bla bla bla.
But for me, for my family, for my life with baby, this might just be the thought that gets me through the labor pains. That it will soon be over. It will soon be over. Each one brings me closer to the end of pain. Each contraction showing that my body works fine and that everything is going as it should. All the ladies on the birth videos, all the stories in the books, all the women leaning forward, leaning forward, rocking their hips, moaning in low tones, eyes closed, this is Birth. I really feel like I have a chance. But I am not going to try it paralyzed, no matter how nice it sounds, no matter how much it hurts, I cant risk it.
If I need a cesarean, it isn't going to be because I couldn't push while laying flat on my back and completely numb.
My interest in focusing on flowers or beaches or spirals or muzak is lessening as the date draws nearer. Although I do have one distinct memory of "traveling" up into the holes in the drop-ceiling tiles of the hospital when I was in labor with Charlie, for the most part, I am ok with feeling it all. Maybe its a by product of being behind that blue curtain, head lower than my body, stark naked, paralyzed up to the neck ("sorry, Mom, sometimes it can feel like you cant breathe, but you can") arms strapped out, crucifix-style with industrial strength straps that makes me okay with feeling. Feeling is real and feeling is normal and feeling is really my only hope. Do I love pain? Ummm no. But I know what the score is, and had a baby at home. I remember making it through each contraction, and living, obviously. It wasn't easy, it wasn't ecstatic, it wasn't orgasmic, but oh the afterwards sure was! For MONTHS I was glowing, healthy, empowered, optimistic, proud, sane, whole.
I also remember my three other births, and the cuts and the staples, the stitches and burning, the aching and pinching, the fevers (all 3) and infections, the incapacitation, the ice packs and hot packs and pain pills and crying, the not being able to walk or rock or feed or lift or change or dress my baby or toddlers.....THAT is pain. THAT is intolerable pain. Not a contraction. Not a sore coochie or achy shoulders.
Well, this is my reality. I am just a person, putting my thoughts down onto my blog. Just like you and thousands (millions?) of others. You don't need to email my midwife and tell her you are "concerned" about me. You don't need to tsk tsk or shake your head at what I have to say. You don't have to agree with me or refute me. I am sad to say that I am this close to shutting down this particular blog, and I don't want to. I am not sure if I have exhausted all there is to say, or if there is more. I started this almost 2 years ago, before any thoughts of a 5th child were on the horizon. I never knew what a pregnancy of my own would do to this blog. I still have lots of opinions about the state of maternity care in our country, but now feel like I have to be "careful" what I say, lest it speak for my own situation and flip everyone out. This pregnancy and its grey-zone semi-high-risk wierdness has knocked me off my soapbox and has ruined the quality of my writing. On many levels, this pregnancy has turned this blog into a nerve-wracking chore. I am sorry to all of you for all of the ways that it has changed.
I am looking forward to everyone's input about epidurals, etc.
Love to all!