Transitioning Mom: Where is my Epidural Now?

They warn you about the pain of childbirth. They even express all the different means for managing said pain and in such depth that there are literally tons of books written on the topic! Ways to manage the pain often include Lamaze, water therapy, epidural, hypnosis, etc. I opted for hypnosis when this little lady graced us with her presence.

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She was overdue. I was eventually induced. Thanks to Pitocin (the drug they give you to start labor) the contractions were intense but the hypnosis worked like a charm. I literally went to my “Happy Place” in my brain and managed to take up residence there for 5 hours. Then I was distracted & the door abruptly shut on my “Happy Place”. The pain hit me like a title wave, so excruciating, intense, take your breath away, and utterly unbearable, I would come to find out in a few short minutes that I was transitioning. But at the time the nurse assumed I was just beginning “real” active labor so she offered an epidural. When you feel like you are drowning in pain you welcome any floatation device! Then the pain entirely consumed my body as the epidural was placed I suddenly felt the urge to push. Once the epidural was in I pushed and on the second push we had a beautiful baby girl! (It was a huge surprise to me because I could have sworn I was carrying a boy…we didn’t find out the sex, it is one of the last & most magnificent surprise this world has left to offer). I didn’t realize it or know it at that time, but I had just given birth to our last child. I must admit, I would have probably commemorated the occasion even more so if I would have known…I might have slowed down, really savored & soaked up all the experience of delivery, possibly even had someone in the room to capture my expression when they told me it was a girl, that would have been such a treasure. I am however thankful for the epidural, while it did absolutely nothing but add to the actual pain of labor after delivery I felt renewed, I felt nothing, at least not like I just delivered a baby. I was ready for visitors an hour after she was born. I was on cloud nine. No pain!


Fast-forward a few years later and I have experienced so many magnificent and emotional moments throughout her life, a lot of firsts, first steps, first solid food, first word, so many firsts for her and yet lasts for me, as a mom. All of her firsts would be my lasts. It is heartbreaking. (I detest the expression ‘kills my soul’ but if ever I was to use it now would be that time…this is the closest I have ever gotten to an experience that kills my soul). It is in those moments that I channel what I learned through hypnosis for birthing and I go to my “Happy Place” in my mind. It helps mend the immediate pain, just as it did for labor, except for today, today the door abruptly shut!! Suddenly I was in transition and no one was offering me an epidural, no floatation device among this sea of heartache & pain.

Today was the last first day of preschool for both of us. Today was the last day I would accompany my child for the first day of preschool. The last time I would play at the water table, with the play dough, play in the kitchen, and get excited for the preschool school year ahead. The last time I would paint hands with one of my babies on their first day of preschool (something I secretly look so forward to).

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As I sat their painting her sweet little hand I recalled six years ago when I was painting her older sister’s hand and then her brother’s and how quickly the time has passed and how big their hands are now, practically the same size as mine. The time flies so quickly, I barely have time to catch my breath. It seems like just yesterday I was nursing my baby and singing her a sweet lullaby, her tiny little fingers wrapped around mine. And today she had her last first day of preschool.

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Today I had my last first day of preschool. They never warned me about the pain. The pain is real! The pain hit me like a title wave, so excruciating, intense, take your breath away, and utterly unbearable kind of pain, I would come to find out that I was transitioning.

I am transitioning from a mom with babies & toddlers (which I am so familiar with, comfortable with, and truth be told, totally love! And given the opportunity would gladly do the whole baby and toddler thing a million times over) to a mom with children PreK and up. The pain is real! I want my epidural! Where is my epidural now?