I Had An Epidural And I Was Told 'I Didn't Actually Go Through Labor'

by Nicole Christensen
Originally Published: 
A woman screaming while going through labor

I never thought that I would be mom-shamed for having an epidural. And the epidural didn’t even work! Look, I am pro-epidural! Bring on the drugs! I have three kids and with every kid I happily opted for an epidural. Not because I couldn’t handle it. Not because I am weak. I just knew I wanted to enjoy my labors. I wanted to enjoy being able to bring my baby in the world.

High fives to all of the women who have chosen to go without epidural. Good job! However, I never had any thoughts that I would go through labor without one. To me, it was like, do you want to feel pain, or do you not want to feel pain? That how I saw it. No shame here!

The other day I was telling a woman about my first delivery and I said that I got an epidural, but it didn’t work. She responded with, “Oh, you had an epidural? So you have no idea what it’s like to go through labor.” She then literally turned around away from me and started talking to the mom next to her. I was dead to her. It was not a good feeling.

Before even feeling my first contraction I wanted to get an epidural. I had contractions for a few hours when the anesthesiologist came in to give me an epidural. He was rude, short, and quickly did his thing. He walked away. Within a couple of minutes my boobs started going numb, my lips started tingling and I started shaking uncontrollably. I told them I didn’t feel good and that my lips were going numb. I couldn’t feel my ribs anymore. However, I could feel everything in my belly and down. Nothing else was numb. I could feel it ALL!

I kept on telling them that I kept feeling every contraction. By the time they finally believed me was when I was dilated at a 10 and I was about to push. They realized that I didn’t really have any of the effects of the epidural, because I could literally move my legs and position myself differently on the bed. I wasn’t numb at all by the time I needed to push that kid out. I have had two kids since with successful epidurals, so I know when an epidural works.

I pushed my son for an hour and a half. I was exhausted. I could feel myself ripping with every single push. I could feel myself physically being brutalized, but I was continually being told to push. I didn’t want to do it anymore, but then my hubby said, “Honey, I can see him!” That gave me the power to push him even more.

The doctor pulled my boy out and he had a surprised look on his face, “Oh honey. If we knew he was going to be this big we would have done a C-section.” He quickly handed him to the NICU nurses. The nurse checked to make sure he didn’t swallow meconium and then also checked some other things before they handed me my baby. The doctor looked at me again, “You are bleeding a lot. I need to stitch you up right now!” He thought I had an epidural, so he started sewing my lady bits up. He did give me a numbing shot, but didn’t wait for it to kick in. He just was sewing like mad. Nurses and another doctor came in. They were checking my vitals, they kept warning me about a blood transfusion and stuff. I have never had as much medical staff as I had with that first delivery. I was still completely fixated on the little boy that was placed in my arms.

I looked at Derek and said, “Doesn’t he look big?”

I look at the nurse, “Is he like 8lbs?”

The nurse laughed, “No. He is easily at least 9 lbs”

The nurses had to clean me up three times because my boy kept pooping on me. They then took him and started measuring him and they weighed him. Several nurses stood around wondering what the size would be. The scale popped up, “9lbs 14oz!”

One of the nurses said, “Oh man we should have weighed him before he pooped. He would have been easily been over 10 lbs!”

They then checked his head measurement and it was as large as a one month old. 100% for head size. That boy ripped me apart. My nether regions were horrible. The doctors warned me that I might not ever be the same. They gave me so many stitches and recovery was terrible. I had so many stitches that I couldn’t sit down. I was constantly icing and using numbing spray every 5 seconds. It was terrible. At my six week appointment the doctor said that I still had several stitches that were not gone yet. Then I went back at 8 weeks. The doctor told me that I had a couple left. The stitches finally dissolved at 10 weeks.

When that woman said that I have never actually gone through labor, I wanted to scream. My first baby was 10 lbs. I could feel every tear. I could see the panic in the doctor’s eyes when they saw the large baby. I had to watch my son get tested every 30 minutes for blood sugar levels because he was so large. I had to get pressured to feed him every 5 minutes to keep his blood sugar from dropping. I bled for almost 9 weeks. I was so damaged that I kept peeing in my pants, because I had no bladder control.

Don’t you dare tell a woman that she hasn’t gone through labor just because you think you might have had it worse. Pregnancy, labor, delivery, and motherhood is not a competition. How about we start uplifting others as opposed to shaming? I went through labor. I have three babies that I carried for 9 months. I have three babies that I pushed out of my body. The smallest one being 9 lbs. I have three babies that I fed with my body. I have three babies that I have watched grow.

Don’t you dare for a second mom shame me.

Hear what our real-life Scary Mommies, Keri and Ashley, have to say about this when they give their (always real) thoughts in this episode of our Scary Mommy Speaks podcast.

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