I Don’t Care What You Think, I’m Having an Epidural!

When I gave birth to Elliott, everything happened quite quickly.

My waters broke at 12 pm the night before. I had just gone to the toilet at my husband’s work Christmas party. Yep, his work Christmas party of all places. Luckily it wasn’t the big GUSHING of waters, it was a trickle down my leg and enough to know that something wasn’t quite right.

I was still only 36 + 5 weeks and it was a surprise. I’ll never forget Mr G’s face when I whispered in his ear ‘we need to go NOW, I think my waters have just broken’. It was Mr G’s last night of freedom, I told him he could let it rip and have a good time because it’d be the last time before I had Elliott.

It was the most nerve-wracking drive home ever. There was no pain, I felt relatively normal, but because I had a pretty good idea of what was happening AND it was late, it took every ounce of energy and focus to drive home.

Mr G was pretty much plastered and crashed in bed, me in the spare room. At about 2.30am I felt my waters trickle out again. I went into the bedroom and told Mr G. The next morning at 7 am he couldn’t remember me telling him anything and I wasn’t surprised!  At 7.30am, I called the hospital, told them what had happened and they promptly told me to have a shower, pack my bags and come into the hospital. WOW…what a whirlwind.

Seedy Mr G jumped into the car and off we went.

No sooner had I arrived, I was ushered into the birth suite, I changed in a sexy hospital gown, I was hooked up to a monitor and the horrible and painful stretch and sweep was performed. OUCH!

Without going into any detail, it was 10.30am when my contractions started and I gave birth to Elliott 5 hours later. I seemed to dilate quickly, I used my breathing and visualising techniques and seemed to be able to get through the contractions with the help of some gas. I remember screaming a bit too loud when Elliott’s head was coming and remember the midwife pretty much telling me to tone down and put my energy into pushing. But then, once the head was out, it was easy.

I Don't Care What You Think, I'm Having an Epidural!

I Don't Care What You Think, I'm Having an Epidural!

I Don't Care What You Think, I'm Having an Epidural!

Recovering with a good swig of lemonade

When people ask me about Elliott’s birth, I see it in a very positive light, painful yes, but a really great experience.

BUT…this does not mean I want to do the same again. Actually, no, I don’t. I’d prefer to have an epidural thank you very much.

Why the change when I know I can do it? It’s because I don’t need to PROVE anything to myself or anyone else, I don’t need to go through the pain of contractions and delivery again. I’m not sure why I would?

I know it’s good pain, I know there’s a beautiful baby at the end of it, heck, that’s one of the thoughts that got me through Elliott’s birth, but this time…this time, I just want to give birth without the pain. I want to be fully present during my birth and focused on the moment, not so focused on how I’m going to get through my next contraction and when the pain was going to end. Although Elliott’s birth was great, there’s a lot I don’t remember.

Heck, I’m completely aware that it may not go in my favour, I could completely miss out on having an epidural or I could go in for a c-section instead, and that’s fine, but I have a choice and this is my plan A.

When I was pregnant with Elliott I remember there being a lot of stigma around giving birth ‘naturally’, and there still is.  Giving birth drug-free, naturally, homebirth, water birth AND, for goodness sakes, getting through pain by orgasm. WHAT THE? That would be the last thing on my bloody mind.

When I was due to have Elliott, I felt some pressure from this stigma and I must admit, it’s one of the reasons I chose to say no to an epidural. I think this is really unfortunate and I have a sneaking suspicion this is the same for many women, particularly those pregnant for the first time.  There is so much pressure on mums to give birth naturally, to breastfeed, to do this, to do that and all the while people are missing the bigger picture!

I was asked numerous times after having Elliott ‘So, did you have him naturally?’  Why, what if I didn’t have him naturally? Why is this anyone else’s business?

And the bigger picture that I think is being missed while we can tend to be so busy focusing on proving something? It’s actually not that big, it can easily be missed, it’s the moments, it’s the emotion, it’s the look on your partners face, it’s the tiny moments in time that will never happen again, it’s the look of the room, the weather outside, the smell in the air, it’s being happy with your choice whatever it is, it’s being happy that you’re doing what’s best for you and your baby.  The bigger picture to me is definitely not going through a drug-free birth for the sake of saying – ‘hey everyone, I did this, X hours with no drugs.’

I think we all have to stop trying to be superwomen.

I Don't Care What You Think, I'm Having an Epidural!

Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

Eva is the Editor and Owner of The Multitasking Woman. She always has her fingers in many different pies but wouldn't have it any other way. Eva is a freelance writer, a social media manager, a Mum to her six-year-old son, one-year-old daughter, six chickens and Benny the dog and wife to Mr G. They all live happily in their little worker's cottage in Ipswich, Queensland, Australia.
Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

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  1. March 15, 2016 / 8:43 am

    Yeah, people really need to keep their opinions to themselves on this issue, and trust that a woman is going to do what is in her best interests during labour. It has nothing to do with them.

  2. March 15, 2016 / 9:31 am

    My first birth was much the same, a little gas but otherwise natural. Except really freaking long and exhausting. I was destroyed. Second time around I went in thinking I don’t think I want the same level of pain again so I was open to pain relief. Some clinical intervention meant my likely slow second labor suddenly went into hyper speed so my body wasn’t coping with pain. I asked for the morphine which I completely regret. It made me dizzy and tired and did nothing for the pain. The midwife agreed it was time for epidural if that’s what I wanted. Did a final check up, still a few cms to go. Rolled on my side in preparation then suddenly OMG, this baby is coming hahahahaha from 7cms, to born in under 10 minutes! Oh boy. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do! Hopefully it all goes smoothly xx

  3. March 15, 2016 / 10:37 am

    I had 2 totally different experiences with the birth of my children, the first was induced, a horrible experience with all kinds of intervention, and the second was with no intervention, and I am equally proud of each. I don’t how a woman chooses to give birth, is any of my (or anyone elses) business. Those decisions are for the women, and perhaps her partner to make, but at the end of the day.
    By the way, did you hit the midwife that told you to tone it down! Holy crap I would have gave her what for, and I can just imagine the mister the night before Elliot was born. 🙂

  4. March 15, 2016 / 2:24 pm

    I understand this. After 2 natural births I felt the same. Nothing to prove. Id done it and this time I was tired and didn’t want to lose more energy than I had to. I knew I was in for a ride when I got home with 3 kids under 5. I couldn’t be Superwoman this time.
    I got to the hospital where I announced after much consideration I wanted an epidural which the midwives of course resisted. After more contractions I demanded they check my progress as they weren’t even certain I was in active labour. Sure enough, I was 8-9 cams dilated. I was pissed. I was going to have to do it all on my own again! Of course I did and in hindsight I had virtually finished the hard part but yeah, didn’t go as it had in my mind. I hope you get there early enough for it to all go in your favour.

  5. March 15, 2016 / 3:28 pm

    I have have like Nicole two totally different birthing experiences. My son was born 9wks early and so there was a LOT of ppl in the room and he really just fell out. It was kind of amazing an really nothing like I expected, I know my body stopped almost instantly when someone in the room said they might have had to intubate and resuscitate my son. My Dr took charge pushed one leg back and literally my baby boy fell out.
    When I found out I was having twins and there were a gazillion complications I was told very early (before 13wks) that regardless of how far along I was having a c-sect. I was beyond terrified of the needle in my back, epidural or spinal or otherwise. My close friend who is a middy told me to tell my Dr who immediately agreed to a GA. This was totally fine between my Dr, my hubby and me. Right up until some complete and total stranger told me that by having a GA (and thus hubby had to wait outside in the little room outside theatre) I was the single most selfish person and i was denying his right as a father! Hubby told me she was an idiot. As it turned out one of the worst complications we were expecting happened and as they cut they cut through the maternal vessels feeding the placenta, covering my Dr head to toe in blood and the race to save me and the girls was on. So had I gone for the spinal or epi I would have been crashed under a GA completely terrified!
    Sometimes we know what is best for us and we need to listen to ourselves more and care less about what people say.

  6. March 15, 2016 / 6:48 pm

    I did things the other way around, had the full cocktail of drugs on offer and then decided to try and be superwoman the second time around……dumb move! I almost had Miss WW standing up as I was in so much pain I refused to move. Can’t say I agree with that choice now, but it was my choice and has absolutely nothing to do with anyone else. I am just grateful that I could have them both naturally.

  7. March 15, 2016 / 7:37 pm

    Love it. I had to have my two by c-section. My obstetrician was really worried that I might feel I missed something, not having either of them naturally… but all I cared was that I got my little bundle of joys out safely. For me the actual birth is such a blip on the radar – I’d rather spend my energy focusing on how I do things once they’re out. But horses for courses! We all have our ‘things’. But you are so right. We don’t have to prove or justify it to anyone. I am loving following your journey with you. I have played the ‘what if’ game about whether we should have another… but sadly I know my hubby (and probably me) just wouldn’t cope. Two is enough.

  8. March 15, 2016 / 8:20 pm

    I forgot to tell you that when my waters broke, my hubby had only been asleep for about 3hrs after drinking a large portion of a bottle of wild turkey at a mates 30th! This also meant that I actually had to drive myself to the hospital in labour via my parents to drop off my dog and for hubby to have a vomit!

  9. March 15, 2016 / 8:29 pm

    I have to say I felt like such a failure when I ended up with an emergency c-section because I didn’t have a natural birth. It took me ages to come to terms with it, although now it doesn’t feel like such a huge deal. I think a lot of it was caught up with the pressure of proving myself in some way now that I think about it. Also this post made me realise I have no idea what the weather was like the day I gave birth, I went to the hospital at 6am before the sun was up and then I was in the examination room with no windows, then surgery, then recovery again no windows and then on the ward the blinds were shut by the time I got up there. I don’t think I’ve ever thought about that until now to be honest. If I ever get pregnant again I couldn’t care less how I end up giving birth, as long as I get a baby at the end. Mind you a little less drugs would be good because I was spaced out of my mind thanks to the pethidine + morphine + all the other things they gave me {but it was an emergency so I really had no choice}. Hopefully you get your epidural.

  10. March 15, 2016 / 8:56 pm

    I had an epidural with #1 and definitely wanted one wiht #2, but she had other ideas. By the time we got to the hospital I was 10cm dilated and she was born within 45 minutes with the help of just a bit of gas!!!

  11. KATE
    March 15, 2016 / 9:54 pm

    Thank you for this post Eva.

  12. March 16, 2016 / 5:13 am

    My sister had her first child naturally just five months before I was to give birth. She told me she’d rather be eaten by a shark than go through that again. That convinced me that I definitely wanted an epidural. Plus, I was induced for both births and apparently that can make them more painful. For wee Isla though my epidural fell out. I could feel so much pain and the mid wife kept saying press the button, but nothing was happening. They ended up having a look at my back and sure enough it wasn’t even in my back. It was too late to do anything about it, so I powered on through and nearly broke Dave’s fingers in the process 🙂 You do what’s right for you and forget about what everyone else says. I don’t get why people think more highly of a natural birth. Say yes to drugs, I say 😉

  13. March 16, 2016 / 8:54 am

    I love this story – hope Hubby wasn’t too hungover that day! Lucky the labour wasn’t too quick, it could have been a memorable Christmas party, 😛 x

  14. March 16, 2016 / 2:41 pm

    You know what the most remarkable thing about birth is? A baby. You get to deliver a human being that you have grown! Not sure why that isn’t what we all focus on really.

  15. March 16, 2016 / 8:39 pm

    I chose not to have an epidural as I suffered from very bad migraines and a side effect of epidurals can sometimes be migraines. Instead I had general anesthetics with both my C-sections which was very much frowned upon but bottom line is the out come of both of those deliveries was two healthy babies and a happy and well mum. Your body, your birth, your choice xxx