all the cool people do it pain free

I never thought I’d ever – EVER – contemplate doing what I did yesterday.

What did my twisted mind think would be a good idea?

I researched the reasons why going a la natural is better than getting an epidural.

It’s like, all of a sudden, this no-pain-meds-during-childbirth idea is becoming more appealing (read: in the slightest, tiniest way possible) than just automatically opting for the drugs.


I asked Tim awhile ago if he was nervous about the whole birthing process and he was all, “It’s not like you’ll be in pain, so…”

Seriously? That is THE WORST response you could possibly give to that question.

Telling me that your job is to get yelled at a lot is also probably not the right answer. I mean, really, you just have to STAND THERE while I do all of the work. My job versus yours? Not equal. Being called the reason I’m suffering an inordinate amount of pain is nowhere near on the same level as childbirth.

(sore subject…obviously…the men will never understand…)

I’ve yet to even tell Tim about my deranged research project and the teeny, tiny idea that maybe…just maybe…I could pull it off without any of the drugs. In the beginning, I was all, “Load me up with the goods the second I hit the hospital floor. STAT.

Now, the no-pain-med-birth idea, at least during the whole childbirth process, has seeded itself in my brain.

As for meds versus no meds after all of that PUSH! drama…um…I really haven’t thought that far ahead. The farthest I got was, “I wonder if I could do the whole thing without the epidural…”

Maybe I want the challenge…or the experience…or bragging rights that I DID IT PAIN FREE (and I’d totally want a shirt proclaiming that). I have no idea what it is or why it even sounds remotely appealing to me…because why would someone put themselves in pain on purpose when technology has given them the option to *not* be in pain?

I don’t have an answer to that.

Now, dear husband, how about we revisit that “are you nervous about childbirth” question again, shall we?



39 Responses to “all the cool people do it pain free”

  1. 1 DebbieQ October 15, 2011 at 8:03 am

    OK, so I didn’t even do the “no drugs” thing but I am thinking that it is a good idea if you can pull it off. First birth was a C-section and I WASN’T doing that one without pain meds. Second one, I think the epidural slowed the process down because I had it too early on. The doc was pushing for it and I just went along. Third birth, had an epidural yes but very late in the process. I was able to get up an hour after birth, take a shower and walk around. If I could have done it without drugs, or even had encouragement to go without I would have done it.

    • 2 Jessica October 17, 2011 at 3:25 pm

      I don’t blame you…I don’t think it’s possible to do a c-section without meds – unless you’re totally mental 🙂

      I’ve heard that the epidural can slow things down…and if I do end up with one, I’m hoping I’m mobile after the birth versus totally incapacitated.

  2. 3 Cindy October 15, 2011 at 9:00 am

    First of all, there is no such thing as a “pain free” birth without drugs as far as I can fathom. It hurts. I did it the first time with no drugs (NOT bragging, it’s just how it happened; my stand was I don’t know if I will want them, but if I do I’ll want them NOW!). So, if Tim says it doesn’t hurt, he’s either 1) completely clueless or 2) only knows birthing stories from women who have had an epidural, and early in the process. Cause you know what? Even the first contractions hurt. And I won’t even get into the whole “big head, small hole” discussion of when the baby actually gets pushed out.

    Now some answers/advice from the birthing refresher course I just attended: Currently there are two options in pain relief these days, an epidural (which blocks the pain from the waist area down and makes you all numb in those areas) and a pain reducer (nubine or something like that?) which is delivered through IV. The epidural can slow labor because you can feel the contractions and when it’s time to push you’ll need to be coached through it rather than having it come naturally. Also, once the baby is far enough down the epidural is less effective (although still helpful) because the medication does not reach the pelvic region as effectively. The pain reducer will not eliminate pain, but will “take the edge off” and perhaps make labor more manageable. You will be able to feel the contractions and when to push. The medication also goes to the baby, however, so the timing of when to have the drug is important as it’s best to have it wearing off / worn off when the baby is born so he is not groggy and less able to cry and clear his lungs.

    How your labor progresses, your tolerance for this type of pain, your ability to relax through breathing exercises and other techniques, all of this will affect what you experience as far as pain. Unfortunately you can’t know any of that until you’re living the experience. Don’t you just love all the question marks pregnancy leaves in your life?? In my opinion, the best tact is not to necessarily make a hard-and-fast decision now, but to become educated so you know the pros/cons and can then make the decision when the time comes.

    • 4 Jessica October 17, 2011 at 3:26 pm

      Good plan…knowing the options going in and then making the best decision possible based on how things are going. I know I cannot predict or hope that the birth turns out a certain way…it’s going to happen however it’s going to happen…

      I do just *love* all of the ambiguity that pregnancy holds. It’s like I’ll never know until it happens…so I shouldn’t even try to make a plan.

    • 5 KB November 12, 2011 at 5:31 am

      Totally concur!


  3. 6 Cindy October 15, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Ok, typo corrections: With the epidural you CAN’T feel the contractions. Also, I forgot to add that once the epidural is in you will be confined to bed (including if you have to pee or for any other reason) because your legs will be numb, too, and they won’t want you trying to walk around).

  4. 7 Jeanette Lawrence Ghioto October 15, 2011 at 9:54 am

    I watched Ashleigh give birth to 5 – the before and after vision of her with the epidural bore a strong resemblance to the changing of the incredible hulk… in reverse of course…and not so much green but FLAMING RED… the good part was she was able to participate in the birth of her babies – one was born after one push, another required walking the floor of the hospital ALL NIGHT LONG – and the remianing 3 babies came in between spans of time from check in to spanking the butt to cries of JOY – that all bore better quality WITH the epidural… HOWEVER 33 years ago she came into this world meds free – the secret was waiting until the very last moment to come into the hospital and LOTS of prebirth awareness of what would happen plus determination and concentration…

    • 8 Jessica October 17, 2011 at 3:27 pm

      I have zero pre-birth awareness…which is most of my problem, I think! 🙂 We’re about an hour from the hospital, too, which makes things even more interesting…

  5. 9 bloggingreluctantly October 15, 2011 at 10:31 am

    I have had two babies one with an epidural and massive amounts of pain meds and one without an epidural and minimal drugs. I am planning this delivery with neither…I say this now 🙂 But I felt so much better without the epidural after she was born, I could get up and shower and take care of myself without nurses there to help me. The pain meds I was given did nothing but make me vision a mess and I personally feel like they made me feel overly emotional. It’s been 12 years since I’ve had a baby so I’m taking the classes to learn some techniques to help. I wish you all the best in your delivery and do what is right for you!

    • 10 Jessica October 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm

      Your epidural experience – the one where you feel pretty good afterwards – is what I’d want if I went that route. I’ve never had one…so I have no idea how my body will react. I know how I am with anesthesia…and that’s not pretty…

      I’m definitely taking some classes…and I hope they at least help me mentally prepare for what is to come – regardless of the way it happens.

      And 12 years?! Wow, mama! That’s impressive!! I totally understand, though, since my mom kind of went that route…I’m 10 and 13 years older than two of my brothers!

  6. 11 backstripe October 15, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    My Mary had the epidural. 1990. It wasn’t pain free.

    I guess the technology is better now?

  7. 13 Amy October 15, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    I am planning a natural birth; I know a bunch of people who’ve done it that way, and they all said that although it hurt, it was manageable through preparation and they felt good after…..obviously, if there are medical problems, I won’t go that route, but I’m starting out assuming that my birth story will involve “and I didn’t have drugs.”

  8. 15 jobo October 15, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    That’s a challenge I don’t even want to conquer 😉 you are my hero if you do it 😉

  9. 17 Joann October 16, 2011 at 8:56 am

    My first labor was 58 hours long, yes you read that right. I didn’t want the epidural, I was scared, I didn’t want to be paralyzed, I wanted to be tough. Instead by the time I wanted it, it was too late and then they gave me two different meds that made me forget the whole thing…Jump forward 4 1/2 years to birth number two, 24 hours, bring on the freaking epidural people!! I was singing, laughing, having a grand time. Pushed her out in two sets of pushes, not pain free, but a lot less pain than the first, and bada bing, here’s the baby…I’m telling you, IMHO, BRING ON THE EPIDURAL!! Seriously, I would never want to give birth without it again. Alas that boat has sailed and I don’t have to consider it again, however, that doesn’t stop me from being a pusher of the epi!

    • 18 Jessica October 17, 2011 at 3:32 pm

      58 hours?!?! Um…WOW. How were you still even awake during the active birth process??

      I’m loving the idea of the epidural that makes me happy…versus the one that makes me crazy and loopy…and having minimal to very minimal pain…I think that’s the thing I am most afraid of. Pain.

      • 19 Joann October 17, 2011 at 3:40 pm

        Yes, I was awake for the actual birth, and really awake when the big lummox of a doctor decided to deliver the afterbirth manually with his ham hands. I had a very unique set of circumstances with my first baby. Most of which I don’t share with first time moms until after they have given birth. The second was a snap, the pregnancy, birth, every thing. I didn’t have the loopy feeling from the epidural nor did I have the headache that I have heard so many complain about. I could have headed home that night if they would have let me! I know that most moms want to go in with a plan, but if you do make a plan, make it a loose plan that can loosen up even more for unforeseen circumstances. Anything can happen as giving birth is miraculous and unpredictable. I was induced for both and if I had been given the option of bouncing on a ball or getting in the water I would have totally done it. As it was, I had to make choices as they came. There were no rules to be held fast to. Wishing you the very best!!

  10. 20 Supacoo October 17, 2011 at 11:31 am

    You will be shocked by the passion people have on this topic. I had total strangers walk up to me and spew opinions both for and against! I was really planning on med-free, but getting induced threw everything out the window. Since you have to be hooked up to monitoring equipment constantly during the induction, there werent great ways to manage pain (like bathes, birthing balls, or even walking!). So I was essentially strapped down and had to suffer through the pain without much for coping techniques. Needless to say, I got the epidural (which wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, took about 45 mins to get in correctly, and that hurt like a motherbitch, too), but in the end I was so happy to have it. I felt my legs the whole time, and the cathereter doesn’t hurt nearly so bad going in as it would with it. 🙂

    And I knew we were neighbor-ish, but wasn’t sure exactly where you are! For some reason I was thinkin you were mountainy (evergreen maybe?). Not sure where I got that notion… Email me if you want to chat!

    Sorry about typos, trying to write and hold baby with one arm…

    • 21 Jessica October 17, 2011 at 3:34 pm

      No apologies when there is a baby involved!! 🙂

      People LOVE to give unsolicited advice…it’s like they think they’re supposed to or something…I have no idea…

      That really sucks you had to stay in bed that way, with no other options! I’d probably feel trapped…which wouldn’t make me happy at all!

      And thanks for your epidural experience story…I’m hoping that if I get one, it doesn’t take 45 minutes (or is that the norm?)!

  11. 22 Supacoo October 17, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Also, I can recommend two doulas in this area if you want to give med free a try 🙂

  12. 23 Supacoo October 17, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Sorry, one more thing – even with epidural, I was able to walk and shower and all that immediately after birth… That was a non issue!

  13. 25 thebakerbee October 17, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    I went with the open-minded mentality. I really wanted to try childbirth drug free, but kept the epidural option open just in case. I am glad I left that option open. I could have done it without the drugs, but at some point I realized that I didn’t really want to. The epidural was magic, but there was definitely still pain & more pressure than I can describe. I have the utmost respect for women who birth babies naturally.

    • 26 Jessica October 17, 2011 at 3:35 pm

      That might be what happens to me. I decide, at some point, that I really would rather not be in excruciating pain…and I agree – I completely respect those who DO do it pain free…crazy people. 🙂

  14. 27 Sam October 17, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    We had planned for painkillers, but Fi’s labours were both so fast (around 3 hours each) that there wasn’t time to administer them. Scene from delivery one:
    Fi (through gritted teeth): “Can I have the painkillers now?”

    Nurse (suppressing a sympathetic chuckle): “Oh you’re far too along for that, the baby will be here any minute”

    Turns out she was right. So while our daughters were both delivered drug free, that wasn’t the plan. They were just in too much of a hurry.

    • 28 Jessica October 17, 2011 at 3:36 pm

      3 hours!? Wow! That’s a crazy fast birth…and the kind every woman hopes for, really.

      I feel for your wife in that situation though…wanting the meds and unable to have them. That’d probably make me start crying on the spot!

  15. 29 Michelle Kreifels October 17, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    I too have thought about this and I am no where near the getting-pregnant-stage. Although, I’ve already picked out the jogging stroller. Weird.

    If it were me, I would go without the epidural as long as I could tolerate it. Either way it’s your decision and no one will think less of you.

    My mom was in labor with me for 19 hours, my brother 3 hours, the twins I’m unsure of, and my half-sister was a C-section. The woman is a rock star to say the least, as are all mothers and mothers-to-be.

    • 30 Jessica October 19, 2011 at 10:30 am

      Hey – at least you have something picked out. I had ZERO…which resulted in days upon days upon days (which was probably, technically, weeks) of research…

      Your mom is a rock star! Mine did everyone natural except me…I was the c section.

  16. 31 Papa Guy October 17, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Back in the day, Epidurals were the latest and greatest. MaryJane had both the kiddos with such and she and they are no worse for wear….Pain sucks, unless you just like it as some do…

  17. 33 JessSutera October 18, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Hm. I have to say – until you brought it up, I never really thought about it all that much. But you make a really good point – going pain med free is kind of badass and kind of intriguing IF I were ever to get pregnant myself. Seriously. You’d be my hero, for the record, either way. 😉

  18. 35 Angelia Sims October 18, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I was induced. Labor was about 12hrs long. I got an epidural and had no pain at all. But the pushing part lasted quite a while. Sometimes, I wonder if it was because I couldn’t FEEL anything and wasn’t able to use the muscles needed to get her out. She even got a lump on her head from them trying to get her out with a suction cup. Ouch. Poor fing! I do wish I had gone natural because of that.

    Because of your amazing marathon ability, I totally think you have the ability to do a natural childbirth with no problems. 🙂

    • 36 Jessica October 19, 2011 at 10:33 am

      Sometimes…I think that might be true with an epidural…though I have zero real life experience on that.

      And the lump! Oh my! I’d feel awful as a new mom with a baby who had a lump because s/he didn’t make it out however s/he should have! I know I can’t really control that, but I know I’d feel bad.

      Also? Thank you…though I have no idea how marathon pain correlates to childbirth.

      • 37 KB November 12, 2011 at 5:45 am

        Well, since the closest I come to running now is a) if I’m being chased (not common) or b) Colton is running toward a danger area (ie, street/parking lot…more common), I can’t speak to the runners pain, but my guess is if you have a high pain tolerance then that will transfer over just fine to childbirth!

  19. 38 JaimeLynne October 20, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    I had an epi with both my kids and was a coach for my sister when she gave birth. The best (unsolicited) advice I tell someone considering an epi is to meet with the anastiologists (sp?) prior to delivery. Unless you have a c section you won’t know who will administer it so meet anyone who works labor and delivery. I didn’t go into the delivery room thinking I was going to get it, I actually wanted to try natural, but was open to the idea of getting an epi if I felt I needed it. I truly think I had such a great experience because they were very skilled and listened when I explained what I wanted from the child birth experience. Both times they were able to insert it quickly and it was turned off once I started pushing so I was able to get up and moving very quickly.

    My sister wanted an epi going in and was slightly disappointed she did not have the relatively easy deliver (she was in the room) I had with my daughter. I think part of that was because I was more mentally prepared and didn’t make up my mind about what my labor would be like prior. Okay, maybe the fact that I couldn’t think too long about the actual delivery without completely freaking out and deciding I would rather stay pregnant forever helped me not have preconceived notions, but whatever works right?

  20. 39 KB November 12, 2011 at 6:12 am

    I agree with many of the previous posters saying not to have a hard and fast plan for *any* part of your delivery. Little man IS a Bold after all, so the chance of him following the rules…IDK.

    I was in a pre-pregnancy support group and I can’t tell you how many moms I talked to who were “disappointed” with their birth experience. Coincidentally, these were the same moms who overplanned the whole ordeal like they were planning a party (Yeah, while people do sometimes clap or say “yippie, horray” when the bundle makes his/her arrival, still no party…)

    They were the ones who made the birthing plans and put them in a frame and stood it up next to a basket of goodies for the super busy labor and delivery nurses (so they’d actually read it…they usually don’t though…lol). They had everything planned down to the minute and bottom line is babies DON’T CARE!!

    Whatever is gonna happen is gonna happen… Baby *has* to come out at some point, right! So the moms that did the best and were happiest about their experience were the informed, but roll with it moms.


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