Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bless you, Epidural

From early childhood, the fact that labor is painful gets beaten into our minds over and over. Rhythmic breathing, terribly contorted facial expressions, screaming: these are the images we acquire of labor. It is, we surmise, an exceedingly painful experience.

Then one day we find out that some blessed individual in some blessed land came up with a blessed procedure whereby all that pain can be blocked. And lo, this individual called it an epidural. And the women of the world saw that it was good, and used it.

And then, like hearing that people don't like dessert, we find out that there exist women in this world who have access to this procedure, and yet turn it down. Ponder that for one moment. They can be saved from hours of horrible pain, but they refuse. Why? Why, I ask you, why?!?!

I really have no idea, so the best I could do was put my personal whims and biases aside and analyze this objectively. I came up with the following comparison of the two methods.

Reasons to have an epidural
  1. You experience no pain.
  2. You can joke with the nurses during contractions and pushes.
  3. You can catch a few z's.
  4. Zero pain!
  5. You can watch Toy Story 3 while you labor, and enjoy it.
  6. You can treat your husband like a husband instead of a doormat.
  7. Your husband can treat you like a woman instead of a woman in labor.
  8. And the best reason, no pain.
Reasons to go natural
  1. You can brag to your friends.
Your friends will probably think you are "strong", however this is at least partially offset by the fact that they will also think you are "crazy". Now let's consider the final results as well.

If you have an epidural: you get a baby at the end.
If you go natural: you get a baby at the end.

As you can see, a slight edge to going natural there, but not enough to outweigh the positives of an epidural. I am forced to conclude that everyone should be having epidurals during labor.


Relaxed Cat said...

#1. Studies show that women going w/o an epidural heal remarkably faster from childbirth.
#2. Check out a summary of potential problems & effects on the baby on Wikipedia ~ not light matters.

I don't know if I'll use one or not when I have a child, but it's certainly not a no-brainer. There are other, and many would argue better, ways to manage pain.

MommaMcCarthy said...

Spoken like a true wuss, er, I mean MAN.

As someone who had two naturals, the bragging rights are sooo worth the pain ;D

Plus, did you ever meet someone who had an epidural and had quick pushing? Both of mine were out in TWO pushes. I'd much rather feel it and get it over with quickly. It's like taking off a band aid, no?

jeremiah said...

1. As a man, I know everything about labor AND delivery.

2. I did extensive scientific research on this topic to arrive at my conclusions, then wrote this very serious article to describe those conclusions. Everything here is serious.

megan said...

1. Jeremiah is a very serious man who knows everything.

2. I know multiple women who had an epidural with quick pushing (i.e.two pushes)

3. I felt everything while pushing (everything except pain)

Jerkolas said...

Can't argue with such simple logic on a matter that I will have less than 0% influence on in my life.

Melody said...

As an L&D nurse, all I can say is that I commend and support your decision.

As a regular, normal woman who has two kids and by some chance has been present for somewhere around a thousand (and in a dozen or so instances delivered myself) births, I say epidurals are great.

Natural labor has its appeal, but having done natural labor by proxy hundreds of times...I, personally, will pass. Thanks anyway.