Marit about childbirth: ‘The epidural had not only numbed me, but also my husband’

Image: Laurens Eggen

Marit Haegens-Brugman (33) is married to Dylan and mother of Nami (almost 3 months).

I had seen dozens of childbirth videos, a course hypnobirthing done, me with my pregnant belly Twisterpositions to prevent tears with perineum massage oil, sat on the toilet for hours with soothing music to pump a few drops of colostrum from my breasts and faithfully did pelvic floor and breathing exercises every day. I was all set for my home birth.

And so on the due date of April 1, I was just not ready in my inflatable swimming pool for adults, including cup holder, in which I fantasized about a cocktail afterwards (read: birth bath). Because in reality I had to wait until almost 41 weeks before my now two weeks of contractions became more regular and labor really started.

Small downer

Or yes, really started? I lost amniotic fluid and there were contractions, but after two nights of dealing with irregular contractions and prolonged ruptured membranes, the delivery did not get off to a good start. No progress in my dilation. A big downer. After consultation, I decided that it was better to go to the hospital. I was now 36 hours further after breaking my water and really needed a helping hand to get this started. And I had already tried all the natural options to boost my oxytocin (those in the know know what all those options are…). And now I really had waited long enough to meet my daughter. Already someone who doesn’t take time so closely. That will be a bit later with coming on time. Did she get it from daddy.

Both numb

At the hospital I decided to go for an epidural. Because catching hours of induced contractions after so many hours without sleep, before I could start the contractions I found it very spicy. Fortunately, after the epidural I got relaxation and I was able to laugh out loud. Because the epidural had sedated not only me, but also my husband. Before putting on the drip, a nurse sprayed my arms with anesthetic spray because I am so difficult to sting. And Dylan had forgotten that for a moment when he kissed my arms extensively when I was rolled back from the Anesthesiology Department. I no longer felt my contractions. He no longer has his complete tongue and mouth. Can you guess who had it harder.

“The epidural sedated not only me, but also my husband”

And after a few hours I was really allowed to push. On my side. I loved that. My years of constipation problems had now been useful somewhere, because after the first contractions I cried ‘I know this feeling! This is like I haven’t gone to the toilet for two weeks.’ My mother used to say that I pooped ‘cobblestones’ at a young age. Now I finally understood what she meant.


And in 40 minutes our daughter Nami was there. She was placed on my stomach. A little girl weighing 2675 grams. Born April 8 at 4:30 am. I immediately shouted to everyone in the room, ‘I’d do this again in a heartbeat! Despite the fact that it turned out completely differently than I had envisioned, this was the most beautiful thing I had ever done with Dylan. And that half-used delivery bath? We’ll just use that to play with Nami for once. Can I still use that cocktail cup holder?

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