Why I chose not to have epidural

Jes 2 Comments

I am not that brave at all. I am scared of pain too. However, I chose not to go down the road using epidural. The top question I got was why.

Why suffer through the pain when you have safe and modern medication?

My ready answer was due to the side effects. A mummy labouring beside my ward at that time was vomiting non-stop for an hour after being given epidural. A friend of mine claimed that epidural made her back ache for a few weeks after labour. Others said that epidural made them more prone to back aches for life. The doctors will reduce the epidural dosage nearing the end of delivery so that you have the energy to push the baby out. Otherwise, they can also use a vacuum or forceps to force out the baby but rest assured, there will not be any permanent injury this way.

It is now a common norm to take epidural that nurses will keep on coming in to ask if you want epidural so you got to really be resolute about it. Not everyone will get side effects so you don't have to be afraid of it. However, when the pain kept increasing to the point of you becoming delirious, it's hard to say no.

The best part for me is I only got to refuse it once before the pain started. Once it starts, things happened so fast, the pain from manageable to excruciating happened in a snap and I never got asked a second time.

I think the main reason why I did not choose epidural is, it was unnecessary.

I know I can take the pain. So many mothers in the past did that, my own mother included. Some of my friends did it too and they urged me to remain insistent of not using epidural. The pain lasted for 1.5 hours and that was it.

The moment my baby was out, I straight away regretted not taking epidural. Definitely, the pain was much, much more agonizing than what I can describe to you. Imagine being shot at and the wound was pressed every minute, no tears spilled out, no shouts came out because it was all I can do to bear the pain. It was not a vaginal pain. It was more like a whole bottom half pain with your back so painful like it has already broken away. The only thing to do was convulsed and get through it, hoping for the torment to pass.

It's my own war versus the pain
After my confinement month, I know that if I have a second child, I will not take epidural again. However, it takes some time to get over the traumatic experience and there is probably more dread from me compared to mothers who have taken epidural.

I still believe in short term pain (labour pain) compared to the risk of lifetime side effects or others. The best part of it, is that I can boast that I did not take epidural. Hahaha~

Jokes aside, I think my mentality was, if others can do it without epidural, then definitely I can do it.

So I did. 


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  1. Jes,

    Or it could be you're a masochist?

    You are stronger and braver than I.

    If I were a girl, I would definitely go for epidural. Even better if they can knock me out comppletely like in liposuction surgery!

    The moment I wake up I'll have a newborn all cleaned-up and my big tummy gone :)

    No pain; no fuss.

    OK, I'm not warrior material... :(

    1. Hi Jared,

      I think high chance I am also a masochist, haha! If you are a girl, you will be stronger and braver... Oops! :P

      No leh, the tummy still very big right after delivery. Now you understand why more women opt for caesarean liao.. Anyway, no use for warrior in this practical world. Maybe only for the bragging rights!


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