I’m getting a LOT of feedback, opinions, attempts at persuasion, warnings, all attempting to discourage me from my decision to not use an epidural during childbirth. This advice comes from friends who are mothers and a couple are even nurses with delivery room experience, so I believe them and I know they absolutely know what they’re talking about, and the warnings are given in love and concern for me. However, my refusal to consider an epidural is also made in love and concern — for my unborn, as yet nonexistent-on-this-plane kid. Studies show that the IQs of children born without the use of an epidural are higher than those of kids whose mothers used the drug, and the natural newborns are more responsive during the Moro Reflex Test given upon birth, whereas epidural babies act kinda doped up. I don’t know for a fact that these studies are 100% conclusive or that there is a guaranteed correlation or causation relationship, but if there’s a chance I can give my child an edge in life by just suffering through some pain at childbirth, I can not imagine not doing it. My experienced friends tell me that they greatly appreciated their epidurals and didn’t know how people could go through childbirth without it. I had responded that there are mothers through time who worked on the fields or farms until their water broke, they went aside to push out their kid, and they returned to whatever they were doing as soon as the kid was bathed and fed. But that’s not the life I’m subject to, they reason with me, I don’t have to go through that because I’m in a position where modern medicine and painkillers are available to me. I don’t fault their logic, but I’m all the more determined to do this the way I’d intended. I realize I’m the ignorant one here, but if that ignorance and lack of experience is gonna carry me through, I’m gonna hold on to that ignorance until my own experience forces the light of knowledge on me. But here’s what I know…I know I will be fine. I know it will be pain beyond my wildest imagination, but it will be over soon, and I will know for the rest of my life that I did everything within my control to give this child what I could from the moment of birth, no matter the pain to me. What’s some screaming at childbirth compared to the rest of his/her life?

Besides, I could hold this over the kid’s head when (s)he acts up.