Monday, January 19, 2009

to epidural or not to epidural

This really is the question. Before I even knew I was pregnant I had it ingrained in my head that I would most probably have an epidural - that I wouldn't have the willpower to hold out...and then I saw a birthing instructor...

Anyone who has gone to a birthing instructor knows the fear they instill in you about what an epidural can do during and after labor: the fear of paralysis (trust me, if someone tells you to hold still when you're having a needle injected into your spine, you damn well will hold still!), the slowing down of the labor (which may be true, but isn't necessarily a deal breaker) and the post delivery headaches (eh).

After my 3+ hours total with my birthing instructor I had a newfound identity as a natural deliverer, an organic mother-to-be and a new strong sense of self. I very firmly told my husband that as much as I would complain during labor for an epidural - not to let me have one and to furthermore remind me of all the things that could happen if I were to get one.

Well, my husband did remind me during labor and I basically looked at him with an are-you- kidding-me? look and that was the end of that. I had my epidural and thankfully all went well.

My point in all of this is that I set myself up with expectations - not a birthing plan - I viewed getting an epidural as failing instead of really enjoying? the whole process. Don't get me wrong, if it's something you can tolerate and endure, then go for it! if you think you will spend all your laboring energy and then have nothing left when the time comes to push, then mama, get that epidural, make a few calls, enjoy some television and rest rest rest!

Regardless of how you decide to proceed, a labor ball is a great investment. Hospitals can give you one, but honey, in a backless gown, you might just want to bring your own. The one shown above is the Birth Ball by FitBall:

These are really great during labor (for pain) and post labor (for getting back in shape) and rocking your Babylove on those joyous long nights.

Happy Baby Planning!

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