it feels like three days ago, but it was actually closer to two months, when i wrote a post about epidurals. at the time, my opinion on them was based solely on other people's stories (and also science and feminism and other stuff). but now, i am older and wiser and more experienced. and with that transformation, i have taken it upon myself to add my voice to the millions out there with opinions. so, should you ever find yourself in the position of debating whether or not to get an epidural, take it from me: get the drugs.
during my labor, i discovered that my pain tolerance? it was pretty high. or perhaps my contractions were just pretty low. regardless, i learned that i could probably make it through delivery without the aid of drugs. but do you know what people don't talk about enough when discussing epidurals? everything after the whole pushing a kid out part.
and so here is my advice to you: you want to see if you can handle delivering a baby without drugs? let me make it simple for you: you can. but if you choose to go that route, then you get to get stitches with local anesthesia and why would you want to do that? i am ridiculously squeamish about stitches. my younger sister once fainted in the shower and needed to get stitches in her cheek and i could not look at her for weeks until they were taken out, she had to wear a bandaid over them because we shared a room and i am not exaggerating how much i could not handle it. stitches did not factor into my epidural decision at all. but they should have, because afterwards, the people who did not get an epidural told me that they could feel every single stitch being stitched and just hearing that made me squirm. with the miracle of modern medicine, i didn't even know i was getting stitches until the doctor told me what she was doing. let me tell you, i would have made her job so much more difficult if i could feel what was going on. and yeah, people say that you are less likely to tear if you forgo drugs, but according to my doctor, most people tear, and are you really willing to take that risk?
after writing this post, i also learned that i have become a ridiculous over-sharer of things that i would not have previously talked about with people. but on the off-chance that someone is wandering through the internet trying to decide whether to get an epidural or not (as i was), please consider the stitches. and get the drugs.
(there is probably one other post that i might write that is over-sharey about the past couple of months, but after that i'll stop. i promise.)