Diary of a Fit mommy

Why I Loved My Epidural & Why I’ll Do It Again

Is it just me or does it seem like there is an ongoing mommy war out there over drug free vs “drugged” birth. When I was pregnant with my son, I was such a newbie to the world of pregnancy, birth, and babies. I literally had no clue about any of it! The only things I knew were what I read or heard floating around birth forums and blogs. Everything that I seemed to read pointed to “Natural birthing is best.” By “natural,” meaning drug or epidural free.

The other day, I had a comment on my ultrasound photo asking, “So, are you having a natural birth this time?”

Umm hold up….. Since when did how we choose to give birth become anyone’s business? But to answer that question, yes-I have already decided to have one. No, I am not boasting about epidurals, but it’s time to give a look from another perspective.

I heard such scary stories such as if I were to get an epidural, I would give birth to a drugged up baby or that I wouldn’t be able to feel myself pushing. I was taught that if I chose to get an epidural, I would be harming myself AND my baby. I did NOT want either of these things! So, I began harping about how I was going to have this huge “natural” drug-free birth and yada-yada-yada..

Well, birth day came. And so did 22 hours of painful labor that almost resulted in a C-section due to my small frame and my large baby’s head.

Guess what? That whole “natural birth” idea flew the fuck out of the window.

Why? Well, I wanted to enjoy my labor, for starters. Secondly, I did not want to be in pain for a whole 22 hours since I was already starving and dehydrated from not having anything the day before.

But you know what else? I would do it again in a heart beat and plan on it! I felt great as soon as it kicked in. Now, do not get me wrong-epi comes with its risks, pros, and cons which I encourage you all to read about carefully and over again. Do your own research! But, I actually got to enjoy life again. Some of us cannot handle it while some can. It does not make us a sissy or any less of a woman if we choose to go the medicated route.


After giving birth. I looked like Hell but I was in Heaven!

Nowadays, its such a fad to give birth naturally. Actually, what the hell does that even mean? Aren’t all vaginal births considered natural?

Here are a few facts from a Slate article about epidurals for mothers who want or need to know:

  • “But I won’t be able to feel myself pushing!” In a double-blinded study published in 2001, researchers gave women in early labor a dose of narcotics through an epidural catheter and then split them into two groups, providing half with the current epidural regimen and the other half with no additional pain medication. The women who had the epidurals were equally as able to lift their knees, wiggle their toes, and walk as those who had no additional meds.
  • “But it will increase my need for a C-section!” One study reported that women who request the drugs have smaller pelvises than women who do not, a characteristic that makes labor more of an ordeal and independently increases the chance that a doctor will have to operate. So just because epidurals are associated with C-sections does not mean that they cause them. A trial, published in 1999 by researchers in Mexico, gave epidurals to one-half of a group of 129 women who were in labor, while leaving the other half unmedicated. Then the doctors recorded how long it took for their patients to dilate and deliver, what type of delivery they had, and how much pain they said they experienced. The women with epidurals did, in fact, dilate more slowly and take longer to deliver, but they were no more likely to undergo C-sections than women who did not have drugs. And unsurprisingly, 100 percent of the women who had no drugs described their labors as “very painful,” compared with just 9 percent of the women with epidurals.
  • “But it will cause the need for intrumental assistance.” In 2001, researchers randomly assigned women requesting epidurals to receive either the “old” 0.25 percent local anesthetic infusion or the new low-dose formulation and found that the women with the newer epidurals were 9 percent less likely to have instrumental deliveries such as the use of forceps or vacuum suction.
  • “But I won’t be able to breastfeed or bond with my baby because they will be sleepy or drugged.” A 2010 study published in the International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia followed 87 women who had epidurals during labor and reported that 95 percent of them were successfully nursing six weeks after delivery. As for whether epidurals make newborns sleepy: A 2011 study published by nurses at the University of Illinois at Chicago reported that women who received epidurals had similar levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their umbilical cord blood immediately after birth as women who had no drugs.

Here’s my little squinty eyed guy below:



Giving birth is freaking giving birth. I do not care if they cut the baby out of your womb, give you drugs to sedate you or calm you, give you an epidural, or if you have a water birth at home. It is all the same because at the end of that delivery, you are acheiving a MIRACLE, woman! Who gives a shit what anyone else thinks? Your birth=your business.

There seems to be a slew of mothers boasting and harping on their drug free births as if they deserve a cookie. Well, I don’t know, maybe they do. But do not make the mother who chose an epidural or some kind of pain relief feel bad for her choices.

I heard all sorts of horror stories when I was pregnant with my son and you know what? I gave birth to a wide awake, huge eyed baby boy. He wasn’t drugged despite having edpirual flowing through my veins for almost an entire day. I wasn’t drugged or loopy. We were fine! End of story. You will be too.

So, whatever you decide, mama, just:

  • do what’s best for you
  • do your own research
  • never let anyone make you feel guilty for how you choose to deliver your baby.

Your trainer and friend,