Getting an Epidural Does Not Mean I Failed at Giving Birth

by Nora McInerny

A baby grew inside me and then came out, and if you try to tell me it wasn't natural, well, I wish you well on your path of righteous judgment.


I was always going to be a cool mom.

Not the Amy Poehler in Mean Girls kind of mom, although yes, I would wear that Juicy tracksuit. The kind of mom who just goes with the flow. Who doesn't fret over nap times and baby vitamins, over milestones or sleepless nights. The kind of mom who isn't always complaining about the brutalities of motherhood while also captioning all of her Instagram photos #blessed (you know who you are).

I started my Cool Mom quest before I was even a mom, when my son Ralph was a tadpole growing in my stomach and my husband and I were being bombarded with questions from friends, family and brochures that showed up in our mailboxes. Where would we give birth (um, a hospital??). Who would be our care provider (uhhhh, a medical professional?). What was our birth plan (hold on, let me Google that).

A birth plan, as it turns out, is exactly what you think it is: a plan for an uncontrollable natural experience, meant to provide a sense of the atmosphere you'd like as you welcome into the world the small human who is bursting forth from your vagina. Areas of interest in your birth plan include: