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Thread: guilty about epidural?

  1. #1

    Default guilty about epidural?

    i had an epidural with my DD and never really felt bad about that. but just the other day a girl i know who has had 2 babys said' i feel really proud of myself for not having an epidural'. does that mean that i should freel bad cause i did? funny, how this issue has come up 17 months on....


  2. #2

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    Hollo, you shouldn't feel guilty at all. Everyone has different birth ideals and different birth experiences. Some people's experience does not live up to their ideal and they feel disappointed. Others feel great because they achieve their ideal. For some people the birth details are not important at all. It is a very individual thing. It is great that you are happy with your birth experience.

    I think where that girl might be coming from, is that it is a very empowering feeling to give birth without pain relief. I had an epidural first time and just gas the second time (it was what I wanted but in all honesty my labour was so quick I had no choice). I was so proud and empowered after my second birth because I had achieved what I had wanted to, even though it was sort of enforced on me IYKWIM. But how other people feel about their births shouldn't change how you feel about yours - the two things are not related.

  3. #3

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    I know what you are saying but I don't think it means that.
    Everyone has different labour experiences and different pain reactions.
    I think if someone feels they were pushed to a certain point where an epidural would have been welcomed, but they resisted because not having an epidural was important to them, well I think they have the right to feel proud of themselves. But I don't think that can then be directed back at you saying you should feel bad or guilty cos you did.
    I wanted a birth without pain killers. I ended up having gas. I am still proud of myself because I know that I really couldnt have gotten through without it.
    But it totally depends not only on the circumstances and the pain threshold but also the mothers expectations of the birth and what is going to happen. Some people are very keen to have an epidural from the outset, some try to stay away. Some want to stay away but circumstances push things a different way.
    So I do think she has the right to be proud of herself but I dont think in any way that her being proud can reflect that you shouldnt be proud of how you did in birth as well.

  4. #4

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    I understand the sentiment and it took me a long time to debrief and feel good about my own birth but now, you know what I am proud that I birthed my daughter, I dont care anymore that I had everything happen that I didnt want, I didnt want to use drugs, I had gas and an epidural, I was terrified of a c/s and ended up having one, but now I just tell myself that I am proud to have birthed my gorgeous daughter. Does that mean things will be different for #2 - damn right they will be but I still have gotten to a point where I can reflect with pride that I did everything possible to get my daughter here and I DID IT!!! My girlfriend just had her bub the other day and I asked if she had drugs and she straight up she said, Yep had an epidural really early. Good on her and all us mothers who all have such differing pain thresholds, birth experiences, but who all have one thing in common. Our aim is to get to birth our children however we see fit, with whatever it takes because all we want at the end of it all is to hold our gorgeous healthy baby in our arms.
    Sorry for the ramble!

  5. #5

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    you should not feel guilty at all.

    Everyone's pain of threshold is going to be different.

    Circumstances may be diff for your next bubs, and you may not need it.

    The main thing is and everyone has said this, is that you have a healthy baby, that's all that matters.

  6. #6

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    You definately should not feel guilty. What's there to feel guilty about?

    I had hoped not to have one too but there reached a point in my labour when i could take no more and even the Dr thought I should have one. I'm fine with my decision as I gave it my best without, but the pain was too much and the epidural helped me get through it.

  7. #7

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    No way! You are the one who controls your feelings surrounding your birth. Please don't be affected by what other people say about theirs.
    On the flip-side, I often contend with friends who exclaim that they are going for an epidural the moment they feel their contractions coming because when they had one with their last birth they had such a great time... When I forget myself I feel as though they think I'm an idiot for wanting to stay away from the hospital as long as possible... Then I remember that my births have nothing to do with their experiences. It is about me and my baby/ies.
    I hope you can toss aside these comments and feel great about your birthing experience again

  8. #8

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    I think her pride might come from setting herself a goal, and then meeting that goal - so good for her! Just like my best friend set herself a goal not to drink caffiene and did it - good for her! No way am I giving it up though!

    If you have birthed in a way you found best FOR YOU, and parent in the best way you possibly can, you should be very proud! I mean, sure, there are studies that show the pros/cons of intervention, but you do what you think is best at the time, with the knowledge you have.
    Epidurals aren't necessarily great for everyone, and perhaps many people utilise them because they're not aware of risks and other options like natural pain relief and excellent birth support. BUT, we come back to this - of course, you did what you felt was best for you with the knowledge you had - and you birthed a beautiful child! No reason not to feel proud. Well done!

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    Don't feel guilty, we all do what we need to do. End result is most important!
    I had an epidural cause for me personally I think why experience pain if I don't need to. I don't feel anymore or less proud cause the fact is I still delivered a beautiful little girl.

    We all need to just set our own goals and expectations and be proud of what we ourselves have acheived rather than comparing cause everyones idea of birthing can vary quite alot.

  10. #10

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    Would you feel guilty for having pain relief if you were having surgery? Pain is pain and everyone experiences it differently during labour. Good for her that she was able to be in a place where she didn't need it (and drew on what she needed to get through). Good on you for recognising that you did need/want it (and drawing on what YOU needed to get through). JMO.

    BTW - I feel PROUD of myself for having an elective C/S to birth my second DD. That's what I needed and I claimed it for myself! All power to us women for this amazing miracle that we are part of.

  11. #11

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    Definitely no need to feel guilty. I had every intention of having a drug-free birth (my notes said no epidural under any circumstances!). After 28 hours of labour, I changed my mind. I think good on me for not being stubborn about sticking to a course of action for something I had never experienced before. I had the epidural and then 6 hours later gave birth to my beautiful, healthy DD. Your baby was born safe and sound, you were safe and sound, and that is the only thing that matters.

    Good on your girlfriend for doing it twice without an epidural, but that doesn't make her a stronger or better person than you. It just makes you both individuals.

  12. #12

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    From what she said, I would assume that maybe she thought that she would need one during birth and when she did it without one, that has made her really proud, she may have just been doubting her own pain threshold.

    FWIW, you don't have to be a martyr when giving birth, if you need/want an epidural then have one. When giving birth we do what we have to to be able to get through it - often having an epidural is what you need to get you to the final hurdle.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by MantaRay View Post
    How other people feel about their births shouldn't change how you feel about yours - the two things are not related.
    That's pretty much I was going to say, your labour was YOUR experience and how YOU feel about it is all that matters. I had an epi with my bub and although looking back, I wish I didn't, thats because of what I wanted in the first place. I certainly don't have anything against epidurals! I know there *can* sometimes be a bit of a pride thing, if you didn't want one and someone else did, but attitudes like that aren't anything to bother yourself with - they're a problem for the people who have them, y'know?

  14. #14

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    thanks everyone,
    i do feel a lot better about it. just needed some perspective i think! and you are right i have my beautiful healthy baby girl to show for it! :-)

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