Outside view of the hospital where I'll deliver
This week I had what I consider one of my most important appointments. It was a meeting with an anesthesiologist. Here in Spain, you are considered pretty crazy to not want an epidural. In fact, I've heard it can be somewhat difficult to locate a birthing center that will allow you some of the birthing options common to women in the states. (water births, using doulas or midwives, going without IV's or pain medication, etc.) So for those of you who are really into that stuff: don't have a baby in Spain.
Spain however is the perfect place for me! I like being in the hospital around all that medical stuff. And I sure as heck am a fan of epidurals. I had a GREAT experience with an epidural with Renae. I was able to feel my contractions so I knew when to push, and it didn't slow down my labor. Any of my brothers and especially my mother will tell you that I. Am. A. Wuss. Jesse can really vouch for me as a few months AFTER I'd experienced labor, I was unable to handle the pain of a splinter being pulled from my finger. Jesse ended up using a numbing medicine on my finger so he could pull the sliver out without me fainting and screaming in pain (aka fear.) I do not handle pain well.
A typical recovery room
Back to my very important appointment this week. Each woman giving birth must meet with an anesthesiologist a few weeks before her due date. For me, this entailed going to the hospital and answering a series of questions from the anesthesiologist. What past operations have I had? How did I respond to previous anesthesia? Do I take any medicine? Do I smoke? He also looked at my mouth, and my spine. After that he gave me a form to sign which authorizes the hospital to give me an epidural at the appropriate time once labor has begun. I must bring the signed form, and copies of my 3rd trimester blood results in an envelope to give to the anesthesiologist who will administer my epidural. He also made a point to tell me I cannot have an epidural if that form is unsigned, and or left at home. You can bet I have that envelope clearly marked among my other necessary documents to bring and it's in my hospital bag ready to go. I will NOT be arriving without it!
So I guess if you want to go without pain medication during labor here in Spain, you could accidently forget to bring your signed form. Or . . . you could arrive too far along in labor to receive one. I guess I'd be ok with that . . . As long as the labor goes really, REALLY fast . . .