Thursday, August 29, 2013

Hi. My name is Kendra and I had an epidural.

The most popular post I've written here would have to be on the Bradley Method. I get a ton of traffic from expectant moms doing their due diligence and researching if Bradley Method is a good fit for them for a drug-free labor.

It's true that I had an amazing birth experience with Little C and I still can't believe that I made it through a drug-free labor and delivery. I definitely have the Bradley Method classes to thank for giving me the much needed confidence to get through it.

So, what about your second labor? How did it go with Baby P-Nut?

I still have yet to share her birth story and I have been hesitant because I had been feeling somewhat guilty and unsettled about it.

I've been afraid of judgement. Judgement from other moms and bloggers but most of all... judgement from myself. Truth is, I abandoned everything that I believed in and fought for with Little C's birth. I did not remain calm, I did not get through the pain with slow, deep breaths and I DID ask for the epidural at the first opportunity to do so.

Hi. My name is Kendra and with the birth of my daughter... I had an epidural.

This day and age, and especially in many of the blogging communities, more and more emphasis is placed on drug-free labor, going green, breastfeeding, making your own organic baby food, turning Pinterest ideas into reality, etc. If you don't do all or most of these things then you've failed. At least that is how we can be left to feel.

My rational brain knows very well that there is no right or wrong way when it comes to motherhood and it is definitely not one size fits all! Regardless, I have felt like I let myself down for literally begging for the drugs after 1) I had intended on a drug-free labor and 2) I had done it before! Additionally, I felt I let my baby down, which was the worst feeling of all.

But believe me when I say I am so over it. I am no longer ashamed.

I've always said labor is more of a mental game than a physical one and I will be the first to admit that I was mentally not prepared to get in "the zone" for a drug-free labor this time around. This time around actually KNOWING what to expect was not helpful for me, it was the opposite.

As the contractions kept intensifying I knew it was only going to get worse and instead of remaining calm, I panicked.

Here's the thing... my second pregnancy was hard. It feel like my body was revolting against me with morning sickness, severe sciatic pain and hormonal rage I wouldn't even wish on my worst enemy. Then there was the mental component of this pregnancy. I was dealing with so much internally for 9 months which I've done my best to explain in this post.

Combine that with an on-the-go toddler that doesn't care if your back hurts and you are exhausted, a full-time job, and all the other daily crap which keeps right on trucking no matter how miserable you are feeling.

Fact: Life doesn't stand still for a pregnant mama.

As my due date approached I was done. Physically and mentally ready to no longer be pregnant. So when labor started getting real I was just so tapped out and my mental stamina was shot. I could not calm myself down and my super supportive and oh-so-wonderful husband couldn't get me to calm down, and the Bradley Method? Well, that was a distant memory. The epidural was my answer.

Now, let me just take a quick second here to do some patting myself on the back. I labored at home for a solid 6 hours before going to the hospital. I did deep breathing, I got in the bathtub, I moved around. My contractions were 1-2 minutes apart as we left the house for the hospital and upon arriving I was 7 centimeters! So, I'm going to say I didn't take any easy way out of this at all.

Bottom line is I need to do a better job of taking ownership of my journey through motherhood. No more feeling guilty and no more shame. I'm not perfect, I am flawed and that is okay. Judge me all you want because I need no one's approval to believe I am a good mother.

I make decisions that are best for me and for my babies. Of course some will argue that deciding on the epidural was not best for my baby and I say unto you... SHOVE IT! I have a beautiful, healthy baby girl and if taking the epidural is what I needed to safely bring her into this world then no one can fault me for it.

I've had a drug-free labor. I have been lucky enough to experience it in all it's magnificent glory. And guess what? I've had an epidural labor. I have been lucky enough to experience it in all it's magnificent glory.

So gear up, people. I'm going share Little Miss P-Nut's birth story with the world! There will be laughter, there will be tears and (sorry mom) a whole bevvy of F-bombs!

To be continued...


  1. No judging here! Do what makes you happy. I've had one each way too. With O, I wanted a med free fast birth. I think fast was more important. So my line in the sand was, if he seems to be coming quick, I can do it. If he is being stubborn and I'm stuck? Gimme that fucking needle.

    You did great and they are both thriving. Mission accomplished. :)

    1. Excellent points! Mission accomplished for sure! :)

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  3. Girlfriend, there is no shame in the epidural. I went in with a "we'll see what happens" mentality. I had to be induced (on Munch's due date) because of high blood pressure and low amniotic fluid, so I was on the pitocin for almost 12 full hours before I really got going--the nurses said that they'd never seen someone on that high a dose and deal with the pain! So when I finally started to labor, holy crap, the contractions were crayyyyy. I was about 6 cm when they finally gave me the epidural.

    You probably won't be surprised to know that while I was hooked up to the monitors (where I could see Munch's heart rate etc.) I didn't sleep like at ALL and I wouldn't let them give me Ambien. Within an hour of getting the epidural, I fell asleep! Haha, I was in active labor and freaking ASLEEP. But it prepped me for when my water broke and Munch was like ready NOW NOW NOW and I had to not push for a half hour while they waited for my OB. I don't know how I would have dealt with the not pushing, the craziest sensation of my LIFE, and the pain at the same time. I'm sure I would have, but WHOA.

    I've written a book here, and I should write my own post on this! It did feel weird to go from feeling the most intense sensations EVER to feeling no pain and knowing it was masked, but that is freaking life. Munch and P-Nut are here and healthy and that's what counts!

    1. Thanks, Kristin! I can't imagine dealing with the NOT pushing when you so badly want to! That would for sure be insane and I know I would have come UNGLUED if that happened to me. You are right, Munch and the Nut are healthy and that is what is paramount. :)

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  5. One of the things that annoys me most about motherhood is all the "shoulds." I should make my own baby food, and I should use cloth diapers, and I should care that my son watches an obscene amount of Mickey Mouse.

    I wish other mothers were more supportive of each other, because really aren't we all just doing the best we can? Loving our kids, keeping them safe, and trying to make sure they grow up to be nice people.

    Good for you for sharing your incredible birth story!

    1. Yes, the "shoulds." They are the WORST! Well, I support you Baby Mama!! ;)

  6. I seriously can't wait to read your birth story. I've been a little obsessed with them lately. And I do mean ALL of them. No matter what drugs one woman used or didn't use, it's all still so amazing. I've had the hardest time not comparing my pregnancy to others, so I get it, I do. But no doubt you did what was best for you and the baby! Own it girl! :) Oh and love that fact! "Life doesn't stand still for a pregnant mama."

    1. Oh, I just can't wait to read your birth story!!! (if you post one) You are right, it is amazing no matter how it happens. And trust me, I totally understand about comparing pregnancies. The worst is when you are having an epic non-glowing moment and the preggo next to you is all glamorous and perfect and glowing to the hilt! But for what it's worth, you look fab in all your photos! Pregnancy suits you well, TJ!