To medicate or not…?

My original plan, as a treehugging hippy, was to give birth at home in one of those pools. I think in my fantasy, there were no doctors, no drugs – just swimming and re-runs of my favorite comedy on the TV. Well, insurance generally doesn’t side with hippies. In fact, they almost always rule in favor of doctors and prescription medications. And such is the case with my pending delivery. I currently see a doctor once a month, in place of a midwife or doula, and, as I’m reading the baby books  – fine, part of a baby book – I’m pondering “doing drugs” during my hospitalization down the road.

Apparently this is what the epidural looks like - a nasty puncture into your spine. Fun!

See, I don’t really want to go the epidural/anesthesia because it just doesn’t sound right to drug a baby. However, I’m a total pain wuss. Slight headache and I’m useless and reaching for the ibuprofen – well, acetaminophen now because of the lil’ ‘un.

In the part of the baby book I’ve read so far, the American Pregnancy Association reported some studies that showed that use of an epidural can cause the baby to “have trouble latching on or may experience other difficulties with breastfeeding after birth.” However, use of medication “may help some women enter new motherhood in a calmer and more refreshed manner than without medications.”

Of course, all this is predicated on vaginal delivery.

I should talk to my lady parts baby doctor about this. But I won’t trust anything she says because she’s a doctor and a medical degree doesn’t guarantee intelligence.

The baby book lists Lamaze and the Bradley Method as alternatives to drugs. Specialized breathing and relaxation techniques. While self talk can overcome many psychological afflictions, such as depression, bipolar, and anxiety, can it overcome the pain of the lady parts ejecting a watermelon?

Maybe I should read some more baby books, or actually finish one?

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