Sunday, January 30, 2005

To Epi, or not to Epi, that is the Question?

*Disclaimer: This reflects my personal (not professional) opinion about peripartum pain control and is not meant to be a means of birth control, nor is it to generalize that all men are wimps like me*
Best friend and his wife expecting. Baby's due date in mid-March. So we were talking about labour, and delivery.
"Go for the epidural!" I say
But they had heard stories about epidural babies needing forceps and vacuum assistance and weren't sure.
Well, I'm not an obstetrician. The last time I delivered a baby was 4 years ago. But I've seen enough pain from labour that I swore years ago that I would never put my wife through that.
Case in mind. Young late-20 plus primigravid. Pain pain pain. Huff huff huff. Cuss cuss cuss. And then the anesthesiologist comes in. Starts the epidural. Several minutes later I asked her how she felt. Her answer?
"I'm fine, doctor. How are you doing?". Smiling. La-dee-da.
Night and day.
Maybe I'm just a wimp when it comes to pain. Women, time immemorial, have delivered with no more anesthesia than punching their husbands' faces while uttering, "Why on EARTH did I let you do this to ME???" But I just can't forget the look of pain those women had. Sweat. Tears. Screams. Even to the extent of being fecally incontinent (okay, okay, I admit, this may have been from sphincter incontinence from the pressure).
Funny thing was, my buddy's comment was, "Oh, CK (another doctor friend in our gang) said the same thing; that she should get an epidural. Is it that bad?"
Buddy, you have no idea. Get some flowers ready, man, for you're gonna owe your wife a big one.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had my two babies over thirty years ago, both with an epidural. With my son I couldn't feel anything. They said "Push" and I couldn't tell if I was or not. It was not a good feeling. With my daughter, she was coming fast and they were a little late with the epidural. She was crowning as they were giving it to me. It went so quickly I did not lose the feeling that I needed. There is a great deal of satisfaction that comes with being able to push when you feel the urge. With both, I had to keep my head down for quite some time after so as not to get a headache. Many women do. If I'd had a third I would have opted not to have the epidural. I'm sure opinion differs greatly depending on one's individual experience. Please keep us posted on what your friend's wife decides and how it goes for her. Kit

5:53 PM  
Blogger vagus said...

Will do. Due date March.
Like i said, it's easy for one to have a biased opinion when experiencing it from the sidelines. What I'm often told, it's the worst pain a women can ever experience, and yet at the same time, the most beautiful experience.
Like I said, i'm just a wimp :)

11:17 PM  
Blogger WMD: Wife, Mother, Daughter said...

I chose epidural for both my sons (in year 2003 & 2005) and no regrets. Contrary to what many women think, epidural still gave me the feeling of natural birth i.e the contraction could still be felt minus the pain, ability to push and need not resort to forceps or vacumm. Epidural helps me to enjoy the birth experience without crying my heart out or traumatizing my husband. He enjoy seeing the baby come out (not to mention, taking pictures etc.) I do not know how it will be if not for epidural. The 5-6 hours of labour pain before epidural was administered was unforgettable.

12:17 AM  

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