Having heard so much about labour pains,
I was one of those new moms who decided I would TRY to see
if I could tahan the pain before deciding if I would go for an epidural shot.
I'm not a purist who insists on experiencing the most natural state of childbirth,
but I didn't think I would want to opt for epidural right from the beginning as well.
Part of me wanted to test my own limits and see if I could handle it -
if all our mothers could do it, why couldn't I?
Although the politically correct advice is that every birth experience is personal and different,
and we shouldn't compare, but don't you feel it seemed like a badge of honour
if someone went through labour without any drugs? 🥇
So there I was, lying in the labour room and
going through waves of contraction pains every 5 minutes.
Each time it cascaded over me
Alfred came to the rescue with deep massages on my butt,
which directly relieved the pain somewhat.
Every time it happened it was "ok enough of this gimme the epidural!!"
but when it subsided life was back to normal again
and I couldn't even remember how intense the pain was,
and hey maybe I can tahan it after all.
I didn't like using the laughing gas
(I could have used it wrongly as I was taking deep breaths
and it made me feel groggy and retarded all my reactions)
so it was just me and Alfred against the contractions, again and again.
When i finally checked with him, it had been 3 hours.
He was super supportive and assured me that as long as I was ok,
he was ok massaging me.
I thought ok we are gonna be an A-Team, we can do this!
But at the back of my mind I kept wondering - how long can we keep this up?
After 3 hours my dilation was only 3cm,
not even 1/3 of the journey,
so I gave up. 🤷♀️
When I finally caved in to the epidural,
I was advised to take short shallow breaths of the laughing gas for the process,
and by the end of the shot I was pretty much delirious.
As I lay there and felt the bottom half of my body (and the pain)
disappear into a blanket of clouds,
I was getting hooked up to a drip, a urine tube,
and strapped in to so many machines that I just kept my eyes closed so tightly
and felt tears stream down the sides of my cheeks.
When Alfred came back in and asked me what happened,
I rambled for 10 minutes nonstop.
I was on a drugged up high,
so my emotions were magnified and overwhelming.
I felt scared and unsure, like a lab rat in a science experiment
and a chemical cocktail for birth.
I was so disappointed in myself for not being able to let me body operate naturally,
and guilty that I had to depend on all kinds of chemicals to birth my child.
I drifted off into a vacuous empty space of unsettled sleep,
right up till the baby was ready to birth...
I wanna share this story because i want new mamas to know this -
I wish I didn't give myself this unconscious pressure to have a drug-free birth.
I wish I didn't view an epidural shot as a failure to be a brave mother.
I tried my best, and everyone is indeed different.
I guess it's just one of those cliches -
you'll never know till you experience it yourself.
So go forth and deliver - be brave!
But not so much if you don't want to -
it's gonna be perfectly okay ❤️