Get the Epidural - The New York Times
But how often do people really want women to be or do anything “natural”? It seems to me the answer is almost never. In fact, almost everything natural about women is considered pretty horrific. Hairy legs and armpits? Please shave, you furry beast. Do you have hips and cellulite? Please go hide in the very back of your shoe closet and turn the light off and stay there until someone tells you to come out. (No one will tell you to come out.)
Sat Jul 9 17:36:02 2016 - permalink -
It’s interesting that no one cares very much about women doing anything “naturally” until it involves their being in excruciating pain.
No one ever asks a man if he’s having a “natural root canal.” No one ever asks if a man is having a “natural vasectomy.”
This is why I generally believe, and of course I know there are exceptions, but I’m just saying, usually, you should get the epidural.
The criterion for whether we are doing our jobs as women “correctly”— and, yes, it’s a job — is more often than not how many of our own wants and needs we are putting aside.
And there is plenty of science saying epidurals are overwhelmingly safe, as well.
Shouldn’t I be the one to take care of him all the time? He was my peanut that I had created. Wouldn’t I be shirking my maternal responsibilities if I didn’t stay up around the clock? I was worried that I was already a failure.
At which point my friend said, “What are you trying to win?”
What was I trying to win? I thought about it and realized — nothing. There’s nothing to win.
There is so much pressure on women around birth and labor and mothering to do it this way or that way. It’s so easy to believe the notion that having a baby demands complete and total self-abnegation, and anything short of that is not enough.
But here’s the thing: If you’re worried that skipping the pain of childbirth means you’re somehow cheating your baby, or yourself, you’re not. Because the truth is, life offers more than enough pain that you will not be able to skip.
When you have a baby, there will be plenty more pain. The pain of recovery, no matter how you give birth. The pain of nursing. The pain of not fitting into any of your old clothes. The pain of not fitting into even your maternity jeans. The pain of hearing your baby cry and not knowing how to fix it. The pain of wondering whether your partner still finds you attractive. The pain of arguing with your husband while your child is in the other room. The pain of knowing that you witnessed the very first moment of this beautiful person’s life, and that one day, and you hope that it’s at least a hundred years from now, there will inevitably be a last moment.
So really, get the epidural.