I used to
To be honest, my epidural was administered when I was dilated to two. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I didn't know they gave them at two either. I'd already been in labor for 18 hours. I'd been awake--for the most part--for 28 hours. I wasn't progressing. The midwife who delivered Garrett walked in, declared that I was still at two, informed me that we were gonna party with some Pitocin, and recommended getting my epidural first. "You can do it at two?" was my shocked reply.
She smiled a smile that suggested that she somehow found my ignorance to be endearing and answered, "Yes. And I would highly recommend it before the Pitocin." I'm glad she knew what she was talking about because it took the anesthesiologist over an hour to finish anesthetizing some woman who'd seen fit to have a Caesarian. That happened to be the hour I clawed at the tile in the shower and wondered how, in the whole wide world, I was only at two. I've since wanted to throw several women into oncoming traffic for walking around at 38 weeks dilated to 4. However, it's been somewhat medically explained to me that when one isn't progressing, in a nutshell, labor sucks. Although, really, I could have written the book on that one. I called my mom, in between contractions, and apologized for being born.
Then he came in. There is no way to describe the anesthesiologist except to say that he had to be an angel sent by God. It's possible that I confessed my undying love for him. I was busy holding myself in the fetal position, with my hind quarters exposed to him and my husband on the other side of the room but I'm sure that proposing marriage to him crossed my mind. That man was about to end the searing pain. And end it he did. Then choirs of angels sang and the world was a better place. Seven painfree hours later, my boy was born.
Dr. John Bonica invented the epidural block in the 1930s. I am surprised that he has not yet been sainted. I adore that man. If I knew where he was buried I might have to visit his grave. I'd put flowers on it and then, oh I don't know, throw myself on top of it in gratitude. See because I wouldn't get dental work done without Novocain. I wouldn't have surgery without general anesthesia. I'm alright with the fact that there are masochists who maybe would have a cavity filled without being numbed, maybe would watch as they had gallbladder surgery without being knocked out, maybe would give birth without an epidural. More power to you. I hope your baby comes out wearing a gold medallion.
But as for me, I'm going to fondly remember my birthing experience. There was no "ring of fire". Thankfully, because, yick. That doesn't sound like any fun. There was no writhing or yelling or screaming or general conjuring of banshee like behavior. It was peaceful. It was calm. It was quiet. Except for the machines that were pumping that glorious medicine straight into my spine.