Almighty Epidural

quilt image, colorful quilt
I’m not here to stir up (or stirrup, as the case may be…) controversy about epidurals during childbirth.

We all know that every woman is different and every labor is different. I was lucky enough to have a choice in planning my birth experience, although — wouldn’t ya know — things didn’t turn out quite the way I’d planned.

With both my deliveries, I endured several hours of labor before I was deemed eligible for pain relief. During my first daughter’s birth, it proved a hinderance. During my second daughter’s birth, it served its purpose well.

Still…to medicate or not to medicate? That, indeed, is the question.

.

ALMIGHTY EPIDURAL

Many of my friends
hold fast the belief
that pharmacological relief
during labor
isn’t needed.

Their advice I heeded,
but in the end
the reassuring thought
of enduring with naught
but Lamaze
gave me

pregnant

pause.

And so…
the spinal shot?

I got.

.

©2009 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

Labor Talks

Giving birth has been analogized ad nauseum (to death, even?) — perhaps most commonly as something akin to “taking your lower lip and forcing it over your head.” 

Indeed, childbirth can be quite an arduous process, so it’s no wonder that once someone’s been through it, she’s going to want to talk about it.

A LOT.

If you’re unlucky enough not to have one of us moms handy to bend your ear with the trials and tribulations of her beautiful birth story, you’ll find plenty of material online, from the funny to the frightening to the The Great C-section Controversy. You can even listen to birth stories on podcasts, or share your own.

And odds are, you’re dying to do just that.

.

Labor Talks

Do tell me how your water broke
In the midst of a business meeting;
How you almost gave birth in a Buick,
Thanks to icy roads and sleeting.

Oh yes, my dear, I’d love to hear
How many weeks you were dilated;
How people pestered you day after day,
While you waited…and waited…and waited.

I’ll eagerly listen to your description
Of delivery doctors and nurses;
And of the ones for whom you saved
Your most foul and creative curses.

Don’t fail to tell me each detail
Of the pain and the shot that you feared;
How your brave and beloved partner
Fainted just as the needle neared.

I’ll gladly savor your tale of labor,
How you painfully pushed for two hours,
How your grasp left marks on your midwife’s arm
Through your show of womanly power.

Yes, tell me your story, no matter how gory;
Spare me nothing, and take your time.
I’m happy to hear your tale of glory,
But first…you gotta hear mine!

©2009 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz