Originally Posted by anothermama
that the choice to have an epidural is a parenting choice and that if you chose to have an epidural and don't need one and know the dangers, that it's a poor parenting choice.
MANY others took issue with this.
I'm interested in other thoughts and maybe a better way to articulate this.
I am not here to defend the universal use of epidurals, because I don't think they are a good thing for everyone, or even most people. But I did have two epidural births and I knew my risks. For me, I would rather have the epidurals than face some psychological skeletons in my closet from years of abuse in childhood. For once I didn't want pain to put me back into that dark place and steal the most joyful moments of life away from me.
While a greater woman might have found a way to work through that pain and use it to heal herself and not allow the ghosts to affect her anymore, I decided long ago I was too tired to fight or be brave in the face of those ghosts.
I am thankful that I had choices. I do feel guilty that my children had to feel the effects of those drugs because of my past. But I promised them that I will try hard to let that be the only thing from my past that will touch them. I had two very peaceful, joyful births with no complications, and no other drugs or interventions used. I labored in a safe place mentally and emotionally, and pulled my second daughter out with my own two hands and onto my chest. No regrets.
I am glad we live in a day and age when women have birth choices. I just wish that more women would educate themselves and empower themselves to research those choices, insist on them, and realize that they are in control and not the doctors and medical staff. I see too many women who succumb to pressure from doctors and submit to them without questioning anything. I believe that the wide spread use of epidurals is because traditional labor support from other women-- sisters, mothers, friends-- was done away with by our "modern" society. It's very hard to be confident in birth when you don't have any support on one hand, and someone offering pain relief on the other hand. We should not be angry at these mothers-- most of them don't know any better and are a product of their environment and upbringing when it comes to seeing doctors as all-knowing and powerful. Their own mothers probably did not have a good birth experience or even a natural birth. Gently educate people. Tell them about doulas and midwives and homebirths. But don't judge them. Many are just scared.