Actually, Getting An Epidural Is Cheating At Childbirth

So you've just had a baby? Well, congratulations! This is a magical time for you and your family. So, go ahead and tell me your birth story, because you know us moms love to share the gory details. What's that? You got an epidural? Oh. OK. Sit down, honey, because we need to talk. I don't know if anyone has told you this but, um, you cheated. Yeah, getting an epidural is cheating. Look I don't make the rules. This is just, like, science.

I know what you've probably heard. Epidurals are safe! Epidurals are a perfectly valid choice! Epidurals can help make childbirth an even more rewarding and memorable experience. Well, unfortunately all those doctors, researchers, and women sharing their lived experiences with you are wrong. Give me their names and addresses so I can send the official memo that epidurals are a childbirth shortcut that basically invalidates the entire experience.

Oh I know, I know. "Everyone laboring woman to make the best decision for herself." "How a baby comes into the world isn't as important as what parents do once they're here." Those are common misconceptions, honestly. What counts is how much your childbirth hurt. Take me for example: I didn't get an epidural and I experienced unbearable, white hot pain. It's that pain that makes me a good mother. It makes a ton of sense when you really stop and think about it.

So please, stop getting defensive and just accept the fact that you cheated. I mean, do you really need me to spell it all out for you? Oh, fine. Here's the hard-hitting, cannot be denied, obviously factual reasons why getting an epidural during labor and delivery is basically cheating at the whole childbirth thing. You cheaters.

Because Pain Is Virtuous

Obviously pain, not to mention the tolerance of pain, represent moral fortitude. Suffering is good for your soul (and uterus!) and therefore the pain of childbirth is proof that you're not only physically but spiritually strong. In addition to be morally beneficial in and of itself, by suffering pain you also rid your body of immorality! Getting an epidural and dulling your pain means you have skipped a very important step in giving birth, and that is cleansing your body of wickedness! For shame, madam!

Because Pain Is Also Punishment For Sex

What did you think you were doing? Did you learn nothing under your George W. Bush-era, abstinence-only sex education classes? Sex is dirty! Sex is wrong! Sex is obviously not something our natural bodies were supposed to do, even though it's natural!

So, obviously, if you got pregnant you had sex and that means you, my misguided strumpet, deserve to be in pain. Maybe you'll think twice before you do the sex next time.

Because Our Grandmas Didn't Have Epidurals

Anything that didn't exist for the women who came before us is obviously cheating. In fact, and while we're on the subject, a word to all you cheaters using tampons, menstrual cups, and maxi pads with adhesive strips and wings. What was wrong with sanitary belts? Or even some old rags artfully stuffed in a wad in your undies? They're what your grandma used. Do you think you're better than your grandma? Typical Millennial entitlement, I tell you.

Oh, and also: not contracting polio? Call me old fashioned, but I think living in fear of contracting a deadly and debilitating illness is what makes life exciting. But if you want to cheat with your "vaccines," well you be my guest.

Because You Didn't Work Hard Enough During Delivery

There's literally nothing else to do while you're having a baby other than writhe in pain and agony. What are you even doing otherwise? (Other than cheating, of course.) Pushing? What is pushing, really? By the time I had to "push" I had basically entered a pain-induced fugue state. I assume I pushed because people told me it happened but, honestly, I can't know for sure. I was too busy nobly shrieking as it felt like I was being torn apart by meat hooks from the inside out. You know, the way nature intended!

Because It's Not Allowed

Like, how did you even get that epidural? Some back alley anesthesiologist? I cannot imagine any respect hospital having an epidural as a valid and medically sanctioned option. Clearly you obtained your spinal injections through nefarious means. You are the Lance Armstrong of childbirth! You're using performance enhancing drugs that are frowned upon by all governing bodies!

Because There's Only One Valid Way To Have A Baby

That's right, just one. Vaginally. No drugs. Zero interventions. On your back. With a doctor present. In a hospital. At 12:40 P.M. Between June 3 and November 19. That's it, you guys. Anything else is cheating.

Because If You Can't Cope With Pain You Obviously Can't Handle Being A Parent

Because the challenges of being a parent are exactly the same as the challenges of enduring the pain of childbirth. It's the precise same skill set with no exceptions. So if you're already cheating by getting an epidural, you are not up to the task of parenting. So what are you going to do when the baby is up all night? Get an epidural? Going through a biting phase? Another epidural?! Why don't we just permanently drill that thing into your back if you love it so much and are such a cheating wussy girl that you can't go without it for five damn minutes?!

Because Name Any Other Situation Where You Would Have Relief From Intense Physical Pain

Like, imagine if all painful experiences could be made better by pain medications. Headaches. Menstrual cramps. Lower back pain. Let's just take magical "painkillers" to make those things better. Ha! What an imagination. Oh, why stop there?! Dental procedures? Brain surgery? Let's just all use "anesthesia" to "make these procedures bearable." Let's become a society full of cheating cheaters who cheat!

Because Childbirth Is A Contest

It is totally unacceptable for you to reach the same finish line I did when you didn't go through the same kind of pain. It's not fair! Not fair at all! How dare you! You're not allowed to say we both did the same thing without specifying that you are a big cheater! That means I'm the winner! Only me and the people who gave birth exactly the same way I did.

Because It's Not The Choice I Made

Obviously your choice is an indictment of mine. I am therefore going to do everything in my power to condemn yours and make sure the world knows that you cheat at having babies.

But seriously, you guys: thank goodness that the vast majority of the moms I spend time with are cool. They're smart, funny, thoughtful, kind, compassionate, and, maybe best of all, they get it. By "it" I mean "the fact that every mom has to make the choices that are best for her and what works for one family or person isn't the same across the board." Bless their magical hearts. Oh, and epidurals. Definitely bless epidurals.