Pretty much from the beginning of my pregnancy I didn't want an epidural. Hell, I was slightly considering a home birth, but then it scared me because I thought about all the "what ifs" and with it being my first pregnancy who knew what would happen. I went on the search for my midwife, but the lovely company I worked for only had midwives about 40 minutes away and I didn't want to travel that far every month and then eventually every week. Little did I know I would be seeing my doctor 2x a week the last 3 weeks of my pregnancy. Thank god I chose a wonderful doctor that was close to home.
The entire 37 weeks I was pregnant I kept in my mind I wasn't getting an epidural. I watched a lot of documentary shows about the side effects of them and I didn't want to take the chance. A close friend of mine just had a baby epi free- if she could do it so can I. My mom was epi free with me 24 years ago so why couldn't I do it? Everyone would ask me why I didn't want an epi and how crazy I was, but everyone has their own beliefs and that was mine. Let me just say, I didn't/don't push my epi free beliefs on anyone because every labor is different.
My pregnancy was pretty much perfect. Minus the glucose test I had to retake and do the 4 hour one because I failed the 1 hour- and I wanted to barf my brains out during the 4 hour. I had gained a fair amount of weight every month, nothing excessive. Every ultrasound and doctors appointment I went to was perfect.
My 33 week appointment. I went in had some swelling (nothing major since towards the end you do tend to swell) and my BP was a little high (up until then it was perfect.) The doc didn't make a big deal and said "if you start getting headaches call right away." I went home- had my last massage before the baby was here. Went to work the next morning and something felt off. I had a killer headache. I worked for a few hours and the headache wasn't subsiding, even with tylenol. I asked a few coworkers what I should do and most of them told me to call- I was being stubborn. Finally - around 11am I called and told the nurse and she asked if anything was swollen and I told her "yes, but not any worse than yesterday." She had me come in anyway- at 2pm. I told Jeremy I was going in & I'd call him once I got home. And...that never happened. I never made it home to call him.
I had protein in my urine. My BP was sky high and I was swollen. The doctor immediately told me I was out of work the remainder of my pregnancy and I was being admitted to the hospital so they could monitor me. YESSSSS I'm out of work! Not really the way I wanted, but I didn't have to work anymore! I was admitted & ended up staying in for 4 days. During the whole 4 days it was a bit of a blur- they had to stop my contractions 2 different times- I had 2 in depth ultrasounds to measure the baby and after the 2nd one they decided to let the contractions continue and see what would happen.
They let me go home- I was on strict bed rest- couldn't do anything except shower and eat pretty much for 3 weeks! AHHHHH
So- fast forward 3 weeks later and I'm getting induced. I was totally against inductions, because once again, I didn't like what I've read about them and how it could potentially lead up to c section. I had no choice in this though. I didn't want to risk something happening to the baby because I was being stubborn.
My friend told me that it was going to be hard to get induced and not have an epi because the contractions are 100% worse than a 'normal' labor. I was still determined.
They started the pitocin and a few hours later they broke my water. A little bit after that I was in some serious pain. It really was a blur. I remember visitors coming in & I didn't want anything to do with any of them. My meme came in and was trying to rub my back and I told her to get off. I wasn't mean to anyone though- I was just in pain and wanted to lay there to focus.
However- I was at a point that I thought I had to take the biggest poop of my life & it was hurting to breathe. I just wanted to push. I asked for an epidural. I needed one- or so I thought.
The nurse came in and I was 8cm and there was NO WAY I was getting an epidural- a little panic did set in & Jeremy later told me he was scared for me..lol. 15 minutes later I said I had to push again and sure enough I was ready! 1 hour and a few stitches later- Rylee joined the world. Epidural free. I was one proud momma.
All I have to say is: you HAVE to be determined & focused. You can't let your mind take over. Stay strong. Have people there to support YOUR decision. Don't let anyone talk you out of it because "you're crazy" for not having drugs. It's your body & your decision. Stand behind it.
It's such an amazing moment to literally feel everything happening to your body. I would do it over, over and over again.