Part of me wants to have a natural delivery, but the other part says, sign me up for that epidural now! What did you do?
Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: I went into both of my deliveries thinking I would be able to do it natural, without any anesthesia. But both times, I elected to have an epidural.
Even though I had delivered a thousand babies, being in labor myself gave me a whole new respect for the amount of pain involved! I truly didn’t know what it felt like to have a baby until I went through it myself.
For my first baby, I stayed at home as long as I could stand the pain, but at 10 pm, when I could no longer take it, I had my associate call the hospital and let them know I was on my way. She told them to give me the epidural the second I got there. With false hope, I was checked first, sure I was at least 8 centimeters dilated. I was only 1 centimeter! I got the epidural right away, and I had the baby at 6 am.
With my second baby, I thought, maybe I’ll give this a go without the epidural. But when I was about 3 centimeters, I was feeling quite a lot of pain, and I thought why am I putting myself through this? I couldn’t come up with a good reason at that point, so I decided to put myself out of my misery and request an epidural.
I’m very supportive of women who decide to go through the labor process without medication. It’s a very personal choice.
—Lauren Hyman, MD, a mom of two and an ob/gyn at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center in West Hills, CA