Posted by: mommytoo | January 27, 2008


the other day at work i was talking with two co-workers, both of whom i’m friends with, about the upcoming birth.  they’re both a few years younger than me and single, but have serious boyfriends with whom they’re starting to talk about getting married, babies, etc.  one of them said she just can’t imagine giving birth without an epidural; the other said she thinks she might go without.  i said my usual “i just think everyone should have an educated choice,” which is really what i feel (about most issues actually).  it’s a conversation i’ve had a million times, even before d got pregnant, because i feel really passionately about childbirth.

 in the middle of the conversation, this other nurse walked into the room.  he was covering from another unit.  he’s one of those guys that bulldozes everyone and is always trying to give pearls of wisdom, whether it’s about clinical stuff or anything else.  let’s call him bob.  i’ve never been bob’s biggest fan.  so bob interrupts someone else (actually he just talked over her) to say “anyone who gives birth without an epidural is a fucking psycho.”

obviously i wanted to rip him limb from limb.  but i was at work, and really didn’t want to stoop to his level, or “tell him off,” so to speak.  blood boiling, i said “it’s a decision that’s part of something larger.  and i’m guessing it’s not a decision you’ll ever have to make.”  i hate when people say things with such authority, about something so personal — especially someone who is so clearly not an authority on this!  and i feel like this conversation – among women who haven’t yet given birth, but plan to some day – is a rite of passage.  it’s imagining a huge process, decision, the future — when will we be in this position?  what kind of pregnant and laboring women will be we be?  it’s connected to imagining what kind of mothers we’ll be.  it reminds me of when people tell me i don’t know anything, some day i’ll understand that you have to “spank” your kids in order to keep them in line.



  1. I couldn’t agree with you more, Kira. I think you are right about these discussions – the what ifs and what would i dos being a right of passage. having experienced childbirth without any drugs, and i know i wouldn’t do it any other way. it’s mind over matter in my experience. childbirth is such a personal thing between you and your partner. being educated is key and bob clearly is a person to be ignored. love you!

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