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It wasn’t very long after the intense contractions started, that I wanted an epidural! I remember during TOPS birthing classes they had me fill out a birthing plan. In this birthing plan, you wrote down kind of how you wanted your labor and delivery to go. For example if you wanted an epidural or not, and things you wanted your doctor and nurses to know that you might forget when you’re in labor. I wanted to try to have a drug free labor and delivery, until I felt the pain. I was about 4 cm dilated when I got my epidural so I knew I still had a little ways to go before I had to push out a baby, and if it hurt this bad now…I didn’t want to imagine what it was going to feel like then.

They nurse came in and asked if I wanted an epidural and I immediately said yes. They began to prep me for the epidural. Everyone had to leave the room, except one person and I wanted Zach to stay and hold my hand. I had to sit up on the table while Zach sat on a chair in front of me. I have heard awful stories about epidurals and yes I have some to share but I don’t think they were awful. So the anesthesiologist came in, I didn’t see her face, she never introduced herself to me. She just started giving me directions and walked me through the process. So I got a little annoyed that this person was going to stick a needle in my back, I was trusting her completely and I didn’t even know who she was. Anyways, she told me to put my head down and to curl over like a cat. She numbed my back with an anesthetic injection, that she injected like ten times to make a circle around the area she was going to put the epidural needle in. It felt like a lot of bee stings in my back. Then, as she is getting ready to put the epidural needle in I got a contraction. I’m trying as hard as I can to breathe through it and to be as still as possible. The lady says, “Don’t move!” I got so mad. Ya…okay you try to have a contraction and not move…good luck with that. (That’s what was going through my head.) She put the needle in and I can’t really feel it other than a little bit of pressure but I was more focused on the pain of the contraction. All of a sudden the bed starts to shake back and forth, “I must have hit some bone,” the anesthesiologist announced calmly. She was pushing so hard on the needle in my back that it was shaking my bed. As my contraction is finally on the decline, she puts the catheter in and it was over with.

It was about 5 to 10 minutes, or so it seemed, that I started to feel my feet and my legs going numb. The next contraction still hurt but the one after it did not feel nearly as bad and by the next one I couldn’t really feel it. I was kind of loopy with the epidural but I was relaxed. I wasn’t crying hysterically anymore and I was in such a better mood.

Even though I wanted to go through my labor and delivery drug free, it was necessary for me. I thought I would feel like a failure because I didn’t accomplish my goal of having an ‘all natural’ birth as they call it. But I wasn’t. I realized that if I tried to go without and medication, I would have been hysterical, emotionally and physically exhausted, and I wouldn’t have been able to focus on getting the baby out. I don’t believe I would have had any energy to push baby out. I think being so scared, freaking out over the fact that I was only 17 and feeling so uneasy about the whole birthing experience and becoming a mom took away all of my energy.

Just because things don’t go as planned, don’t let it get you down.