My friends insist that I must have an epideral with this birth.
It’s not going to happen.
I had both of my boys without one and I lived to tell about it.
My reasons for not having one have nothing to do with wanting to have a “natural” birth, and everything to do with my extreme fear of needles. I would never volunteer to get a big ass needle in my back. Oh. Hell. No.
I am also terrified of not being able to feel my legs. .
I’d rather deal with the pain. God blessed me with a very high tolerance to pain, so it’s all good.
I have seen the process of one getting an epideral and I think all of you women who have them done are INSANE. I don’t care if it only feels like a bee sting when they put it in.
So, for those of you who think you will convince me to get one so that I can have a pain free labor, thanks, but no thanks. I’ll stick to the ol’ breathing and focal point method to deal.

40 thoughts on “NEVER. IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

  1. Jennifer

    Dude. You not only can’t feel your legs, you can’t MOVE them either. It’s the weirdest thing! Because your head is saying “MOVE LEG! MOVE!” and nothing happens! It’s so weird.
    HOWEVER, despite my fear of The Needle, I’ll take it over back-labor any day. And I’ll like it.

  2. wickedmonkey

    Good for you! You know what else sucks about epidurals? They itch! They make your whole body itch really bad. Itchy prisoner in your own body, and you can’t run away. Still, I would have another one, but that’s just me.

  3. djmofo

    the whole birthing process is to make the doctors more comfortable not you.
    did they tell you the many cases of back problems because of the epidural?
    same with putting your legs up in the stirrups. it’s for the doctor’s sake. not yours. the most ‘natural’ way to have a kid would be in a position to crouch, not lay down and work against gravity.
    also, most docs are opposed to cesareans, when in actuality, cesareans are less stressful on the body–less prolapsed vaginas, less bladder problems, no tearing, etc.

  4. James

    I feel ya on the needles. If I can avoid needles, I will. I’ve never had a cavity in my life and, when I go to the dentist for cleanings, I don’t let them numb me up just because I don’t wanna have a needle stuck in my mouth!! Arrrggghhh!!!

  5. dani

    if you happen to end up in more pain than you expect, and you entertain the idea of an epidural, see if they have a TENS unit instead. it sort of reduces pain without drugs or anything. but you know, you’re so tough, i doubt you’d even think about pain killers =)

  6. picklejuice

    Ask about a birthing stool. It’s not really a stool at all, in that it’s a covered metal thing that you wrap your legs around, but it’s surprisingly comfy – and best of all, you have gravity working with you rather than against you when you deliver. I sat on a birthing stool in my dining room and delivered my last child – easiest damn birth *ever*.
    Back labor only ever happens when you’re in a fucked-up position, like on your back. Even getting on your hands and knees is better than on your back.

  7. Tanya

    Not just in your back. In your spine. Your spi-i-i-i-ine.
    I’m with you. Additionally, that thought has always been very good birth control for me.

  8. chelle

    Also, ask about a birthing ball (Ithink that’s what it is called). It’s just a giant ball you can sit on/rock on during labor. It’s great for when you are done with walking around. I highly recommend it. I am scared of epidurals too…

  9. Gina

    I had my daughter with an epidural and my son without any medication at all and if I ever had to do it again, I’d have the no medication way in a heartbeat! I’m not a fan of the epidural at all.

  10. cgirl

    dude who thinks caesarians are easier on the body needs to know that the death rate with caesarians is WAY higher than with vaginal births. Would you rather have bladder problems or be dead? I mean, honestly! There are lots of ways of gearing up the muscles and tissues down there in preparation for birth too, which can help to avoid problems.
    Sorry to be a black cloud but I hate seeing the incidence of caesarians in the western medical system. It’s frightening for lots of reasons!
    Right on with the rest of the comment, though, djmofo.

  11. Nicole

    I was the same way. No way in hell is anyone comin near me with no needle to stick in my spine. What if they missed and I was paralyzed forever? O’ Natural is the only way to go! (Especially since both of my labors were short 4 hours and 1 1/2 hours)! A little pain never killed no one. Plus I always like to rub it in. “Oh you had a epidural? I had both my boys natural…..”

  12. Jennifer

    I was hooked up to machines and had to lie down on my side the whole time… While it would’ve been nice to get up and walk around, or squat my baby out, it wasn’t going to happen.
    Hey, I can take a punch like a man, but lie me on my side for 13 hours on absolutely no sleep for 36 hours, and give me a useless, hysterical husband, and I’ll cry like a big exhausted girl for an epidural.
    And seeing as my son didn’t come out my nose, I still say I had my son “natural”. Ain’t no shame in a little pain medication.

  13. Kathleen

    You go, girl! During my pregnancy, I referred to my girlfriends as the Epidural Nazis (You vill get an epidural. And you vill *like* it!). They were convinced that, after one contraction, I’d be screaming for morphine.
    Wrong! I had nothing (not even an IV), spent most of the labor in the jacuzzi in the birthing suite, and was still joking around between contractions *in transition*. And I’ve got the video to prove it, too.
    Personally, I think the Labor and Delivery Gods gave me a fair trade – roughly 8 months of daily vomiting, but a super labor. And I felt great afterwards, while my epidural-ed, catheterized, episiotomied co-mommies were still walking like hunchbacks for several days.

  14. Tracy

    Sorry, my epidural ROCKED, so I can’t say anything bad about it. No pain, no itchy-ness, sure, I couldn’t move my legs until an hour after the baby was born, but it was fine. Didn’t even feel the epidural needle.

  15. keith

    Rent Monty Python’s “Meaning of Life” and fast forward to the hospital scene, where the poor woman is brought in to deliver a baby. All the ruckus and commotion (and of course, sarcastic comedy) going on, and the mother asks “What about ME?!” The doctors look at her strangely and say, “Nothing dear, you’re NOT QUALIFIED.”
    And I believe they’ve captured the attitude of a majority of hospitals, everywhere.
    Yvonne, if you don’t want the epidural, make sure you put it in writing before you ever get admitted (or even “pre-admitted”) for labor and delivery. Otherwise, some wise-ass know-nothing is gonna annoy the ever-living shit out of you, until you actually deliver, trying their hardest to convince you it’s “necessary” or “advisable” or “in your best interests”. Hmmmph.
    Congratulations to you on your decision.

  16. mrs. del toro

    I don’t understand the kind of woman who thinks herself some kind of martyr just because she didn’t get an epidural. Chicks like Nicole. What, do you want a fucking badge?

  17. Kathleen

    Mrs. Del Toro, I won’t presume to speak for anybody but myself. I don’t want a badge, and I don’t consider myself a martyr. For *me*, labor and delivery was, truly, not that bad. My active labor was only about 4.5 hours, and while it was largely back labor, it was manageable. I don’t think I’m better than women who got epidurals; I think I’m damn fortunate that I was able to do without one. Now, had my labor gotten into the 18-20 hour mark, I might have an entirely different perspective. 🙂

  18. Jenni

    My epidurals never worked. Well, it worked at the *very* end with my oldest. My youngest, however….I ended up numb from the boobs on up. Yup, it went in the completely opposite direction. Nothing could be done. I could breathe, but it felt like I couldn’t because MY LUNGS WERE NUMB and I was supposed to push. I did it, I felt everything when Isabella appeared and my husband promptly had a vasectomy. Not. Going. Through. It. Again.
    But I’m sure you’ll be just fine, since you’re anti-epidural. I’d never have one again. Assholes.

  19. theresa

    I’m adding all of that shit to my huge list of “Reasons I Will Never Have Kids”.
    I’m so glad there are people in the world like Yvonne to have kids cuz people like me aren’t meant to. 🙂

  20. mrs. del toro

    Kathleen, if you had read what I commented more carefully, you would have understood that I was pointing out a certain kind if woman, not making a sweeping generalization about all women who choose not to get an epidural.
    For me, it prolonged my labor. Seeing as, I could not feel my butt.

  21. Jennifer

    For me? It SPED UP my labor. And allowed me to actually get some sleep for an hour or two… I’d been stuck at 3cm for hours and hours and they drugged me and VOILA! A baby head!
    Kudos to people who do it without, but I ain’t gonna feel any less of a woman because I didn’t get my epidural-free-birth badge.

  22. yvonne

    I never said nor did I imply that I think I am more of a woman because I didn’t have an epideral. I just said I refuse to have one because IT’S A FUCKING NEEDLE IN YOUR BACK AND I’M TERRIFIED OF NEEDLES.
    That’s all it means. It doesn’t mean I’m stronger or more of a woman than someone who had one.
    Although I do remember reading somewhere that it TOTALLY means I’m a better lover than you needle lovers.

  23. Rachael

    Ugh. I had a spinal when I had to have a cesarean for Eva. It totally sucked. Seeing my legs and feet, but not being able to feel or move them totally freaked me out! I felt like I couldn’t breathe even though I could. I was having a panic attack thinking I was dying.
    Afterwards, vomiting aside, the itchiness freakin’ sucked the ass.
    If the epidural is anything like the spinal in anyway, you can count me OUT.
    Good for you that you’re willing to go natural!! 😀
    Next time, if there are no complications, I hope to do the same. 🙂

  24. Lisa

    I had one each way. Truly enjoyed the second (without) much more than the first. If given the choice I’d choose no. But – that said, if I was looking at hours of non-progressive labor behind me and nothing more optimistic in front of me, I’d surely opt for the epi and the pit if possible. Birthing is a CHOICE and more and more of it is left up to the mother these days. You can damn near do it any way you want to. The point is you do it how YOU want to. Don’t let anyone else tell you there’s any particular way you Should give birth to your baby.

  25. Mikey2

    One of the reasons the docs these days (male and female, I might add) recommend the epi is because there was a drastic increase of docs getting booted in the face, and there’s probably nothing stronger than a woman during childbirth. No joke. I’ll see if I can find the article next time I’m sent to the hospital Library at work. It’s a pretty funny read. 🙂

  26. christine

    My first cesarean was a fascinating experience. I hated the thought of having a needle jammed into my back, but the anesthesiologist was really hot and nice and he totally put me at ease. I know it’s weird, but I kind of enjoyed not being able to feel my legs. It was all very surreal. My second c-section was not quite as memorable–this time the anesthesiologist was a bitch and scared the living shit out of me. I tell ya, it really makes a difference who is sticking that big ass needle into your body.

  27. Lessa

    Heh. Having had three c-sections, and thus 3 epidurals, I gotta say I’m on the fence. I am TERRIFIED of needles, but I was MORE terrified of not being able to see my baby right away – that decided me. I’d done the natural thing (with an occasional bit of demerol when it got bad) but my body just does not DO labor well. at all. Pregnacy? I rock at. Labor? my body screams “you want to put WHAT through WHERE??? are you INSANE?”
    Now – as for if it’s better, or the higher incidents in death yadda yadda. Gotta tell you – bladder problems? the same. C-section they HOOK your bladder and shit back with this big metal thing that bruised my belly BLACK for a week. You still got that cough accidental pee thing that happens too. And lets not even begin to talk about WALKING when you’re split hip to hip and all those muscles that SCREAM every time you move – and the recovery time that is WEEKS longer then with natural birth. Hell, even up to a year after the third c-section I still had painful twinges.
    The worst is the itching, however – which isn’t actually the epidural, but the 24 hour dose of morphine they shoot you up with before disconnecting the epidural meds themselves. Heh. THAT shit itches like a mofo – my nose was the worst, I looked like rudolf. heh.
    The not moving was surreal. I kept trying. I was certain I could move them. My doctor smacked my arm at one point and said “stop that.” so apparently I got some twitching going on. *L* I get restless legs anyway, so it was harder for me….
    and ANY woman who says that fucking needle in your back don’t hurt and feels like a beesting? LIES. fucking LIES. course, the two vertebrea they put it between (6th and 7th? I think thats right) on my back are cockeyed so made for a tricky stick anyway, but I near bit my hand bloody while he was poking me. And for 4 epidurals? I have SEVEN needle scars. One of them fuckers poked me some extra times. Wish I knew who – I’d be kicking ass!
    erm. So yeah. Yvonne? Go natrual girl – you’re blessed to be able to do so, as I wanted too so badly I sobbed for hours after having to submit to the second c-section. (the third I just planned. and asked for a zipper installation. heh)
    you do it your way, and more power to you!

  28. Katherine

    I’ve been a Yvonne reader since her blog was down and she posted at Go Fish for a while. I don’t think I’ve commented yet, but I gotta say – this comment thread has scared the bejeezus out of me! Whatever happened to the good ol’ days when you came to the hospital, they beat you over the head with a 2×4, and you woke up with a beautiful baby in your arms?
    So good luck, Yvonne! I home that whenever I get around to having kids, that my terror of needles and paralyzation will win over my terror of pain and I’ll be able to do it au naturel!

  29. Canadian Lauren

    I had an epidural with my first, it sucked, I had a really hard time pushing and did so for 4 hours..then out came my 9lb 4 1/2oz daughter.
    With my second 21 months ago, was completely natural (and fast, I was only in hard labor for 3 hours), the urge to push was nothing like I had much better than with my first. She was 8lbs 10oz.
    With this one l want to go natural, so we’ll see in 9 weeks time how it goes. I never fill out those birth plans, because things can change so quick and I don’t like being told well you said on your plan blah blah, well a person can change her mind.
    Good Luck Yvonne!!

  30. Tracy

    Good god…”Jammed a need in your spind”
    Ok…here’s how it really works – you take the labor as long as you can – and then the nice man in the nice white coat comes along, gives you a nice lil’ injection to numb the area (which you barely feel, thanks to the strength of the contractions you’re presently feeling), and then when it takes effect, he asks you to curl up, as much as you can, into a nice little ball with your back facing him. You don’t feel the needle go in, the most you feel is just like it would feel if there was something on the chair behind you where your back is – and then you don’t feel anything at all when it takes effect. You do feel cold – as the numbess takes effect – which is one of the reasons hospitals stock booties for laboring women. However – the joy I felt when the numbess came along was sensantional – almost like I had take something to make me high (which no – the epidural does not do!). It didn’t prolong my labor (despite the fact that I couldn’t feel my butt, melly!), and I enjoyed every minute of the labor after I was no longer in agony.
    If that makes me some sort of wimp, or I if I get left out of the “Tuff Vagina” club or something, i’m ok with that.

  31. Jett

    Here is my thinking on the matter: When God made you, me, him and her, he saw fit to encase our spinal cords in a sealed canal, swimming around in viscous fluid. No light. No air. No exposure to the outside world whatsoever.
    That having been said, epidurals freak me the fuck out.
    THAT having been said, I went the natural labor route with 12-year old Sam and 10-year-old Scout. When it came time for Mathias, I’d not slept in three days (literally) from a slow buildup of labor and was not managing the pain (I also have a high threshold) nor the labor in general very well. I was simply too tired. Thus, I opted for the epi. It was administered by a very white man in a very white coat; he was tiny and dapper and his name was Leroy. This made me laugh like a loon once the meds hit, because where I’m from, all the Leroys are very, verrry large black men with imposing demeanors.
    By the way, since I went ‘natural’ the first two times and succumbed to the Big Evil Epi the last one, does that make me an official Turncoat? heh.
    pee ess… FUCK THE PIT. The one instance it was used on me made me feel like my insides were being pounded with spiky bricks, and who the fuck needs THAT?

  32. susan

    No way is anybody sticking no needle in my spine. NO WAY!
    The only medication I had when I was in labor (for 48 hours by the way, son was breech – feet first) was when they gave me an epsiotomy (sp?).
    I don’t need a badge or a medal. Each one of us has gotta do what’s best for ourself.

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