“I had a natural birth with the help of an epidural.”
Iwas 25 when I had my first child, and my plan was to have a C-section, as the pain associated with a natural birth really frightened me. However, both my gynaecologist and my GP advised against a Caesarean, since it’s only recommended for women experiencing difficulties during pregnancy, and mine was running smoothly. So if I was going to do it the natural way, an epidural was a must for me.
After three due dates had passed without even a hint of a contraction, I started to panic, but my doctor assured me that everything was normal. Finally, early on a cold Saturday morning, I saw a jelly-like substance on my legs. I quickly drove myself to the hospital and when I got there, no one could believe that I was in labour. I’m naturally a very calm person and can handle stress and pressure well, so I was very composed.
At 6.30pm, my contractions were still far apart and my doctor administered an epidural in my lower back to induce labour. I was terrified at the length and size of the needle, but all was forgotten in a few minutes when I went numb from the waist down.
My son Boikgantsho was born without complications at 9.25pm, weighing 4.5kg. After two weeks, I had fully recovered from giving birth, and if I decide to have more children, this would still be my choice.
EPIDURAL: THE PROS AND CONS
“An epidural is an anaesthetic injection into the lower back which results in a total loss of sensation during labour. This may sound extremely appealing, but it does come with side effects, including low blood pressure, backaches and severe headaches,” says Dr van der Merwe.
Thoriso Manaka, 30, account manager at an advertising agency