A few months ago I wrote all about my natural births. How it was very important for me to go natural and how that worked out. However, for baby #3 I did not go natural. I decided to have an epidural and I wanted to explain why. I will say that birth choices should be made by each mother. Not by the doctor, midwife or anyone else. If you want to go natural, you should. Don’t let anyone tell you it is too hard. If you want an epidural, get one. Don’t let anyone tell you that it is not the best choice for you.
When I got pregnant with my third child, I was tired. Yes, I know all pregnant women are tried, but I felt more tired with this pregnancy. I was older. The older you have a baby the more tired you will feel. I also think that you can only really tell this if you have a baby at different ages. So if you are having your first child in your 30s you are not going to be to be able to tell as much as someone having their 3rd or 4th at that age. I could be wrong but that is my theory and I am sticking with it.
I was 25 with my first, 27 with my 2nd and was now 31 with my third. I could feel it. My best friend also had her last baby at 31 and she said she felt the exact same way. That it was a lot more tiring. It could also have had to do with the fact that we had other children running around that we had to take care of too.
I found out I was pregnant with my son in March of 2010, right after we moved back to the United States from Germany. As the pregnancy went on, we started hearing about a deployment. However, we were told my husband would not have to go until at least January, a few months after the baby was born. He had stop loss until November even though the Unit was leaving in August. I was due December 1st.
Then around the time I was about 7-8 months pregnant they started telling us that he would have to go the last week of November. Maybe. I started freaking out a bit. What if he had to go and that night I went into labor, would they send him back? What if I had the baby two days before he was supposed to go, would they let him stay? Who could I have with me just in case he wasn’t there? Although I had given birth before without my husband, I didn’t want to do it again.
So all of this lead into my decision to not be so into natural childbirth. It wasn’t that I didn’t care. It wasn’t that I didn’t think that was a good choice anymore. I just was tired and couldn’t think about how I could really do it this time, especially if my husband was not there. I needed him. During our 1st birth he was my rock. I just didn’t think I could do it again without him.
So I did what I always told others not to do. I was going to wait until we got to the hospital to decide on the epidural. Now, if you truly want a natural birth, if that is important to you, you can not wait until you go into labor. You have to prepare ahead of time. With exercises and with your mind. You have to decide that natural is how you are going to give birth unless there is a medical reason not to. You have to understand that if you give birth in an American hospital, you will be asked if you want drugs. You have to prepare for that. You can’t just decide when you get there. Because if you haven’t made that decision yet, you will ask for those drugs.
I knew all of this. I knew it well and at the time, I didn’t care anymore. I really just wanted to have a baby.
So in the end the Army was nice to us and pushed my husband’s deployment off. He ended up leaving in February when our son was a few months old.
One night, a couple of weeks before I was due, I went into labor at 3:30 in the morning. My friend came over to stay with our other boys, we headed to the hospital at Ft. Campbell, BACH and by the time we had checked it, it was about 4:30. I was in a room where they were making sure I was actually in labor and how far I was. I was at a 4 and they asked if I wanted an epidural. I said “yes” and that I never had one before. They couldn’t really believe why I had not had one before. I kinda had to roll my eyes because I never regretted having natural births. But this birth was different and for this one I wanted an epidural.
My son was born around 6:15am. He came fast. We went to the birthing room, they gave me the epidural and then he was born. They tell me the epidural didn’t have time to work. Trust me, it did. Having gone through the ring of fire before, trust me, it did something.
My little red-head came out so fast I didn’t even know what was happening. It was quite the experience.
I am 99.9% sure I will never have another baby the rest of my days. However, if I did, I am not sure what I would do. I go super fast. Each birth was faster than the other. So I think I would consider a home birth. Who knows? I am glad I experienced the epidural. I am good with that choice. I want the same for every woman. I don’t want anyone to feel they should do something they don’t want to do. Birth choices are so important.