with my second child, i had an emergency homebirth transfer to hospital situation-i was out of my mind in agony by the time i got there. u bet i got the epidural. it did work, amazingly well. i had a natural, no drug delivery with my first, and well remember how that felt, so to have the crazy, 10cm, transitional, sunny side up baby contrax just *stop*, well, it was so freakish. a huge relief, too.
i wound up being totally knocked out for a section, but that's nothing to do with the epidural.
it didnt cause my son any damage, and i've had no ill effects from it myself, but it sure was nothing like birthing my dd. he was definitely not wide-open awake like my dd, and that devastated and terrified me. his eyes were jumpy, and unfocused for the first hours
that couldve been from the GA also. don't know. anyway, he perked up and woke up just fine in several hrs. he is now 14 months old, talking, running, and hilariously expressive. no problems.
i think it's cool to have experienced both sides of birth, and i would not judge any mama who opted to have the epidural. i would still encourage mamas to learn about the birth process, and to at least try to go it drug free. the feelings you feel after a natural birth, the love, the bonding, the rush. there are no words to describe the POWER you feel, either. dd's birth is still my touchstone of courage, and i will always remember it and feel so proud of myself.
it's very sad to me that so many women never get to feel those things. i feel like it's a very primal part of our womanhood that's being taken from us, our birthing power. i don't judge a mama for opting to get an epidural, not at all, but i do wish that HCP were not so fast to push them, and act like they are super safe and effective all the time.