Reflecting On Labor “Pains”

At this moment 1 year ago today as I write this at 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday March 2nd 2010 I had begun pushing out my baby. Who at the time I did not know was a girl or a boy. As I sit here and reflect on that amazing experience that I will always struggle to find words to explain, I am trying to remember everything that happened. I especially want to remember what it felt like, especially those labor pains when the subject of childbirth, labor, and delivery come up.

To be honest, I don’t remember it as pain. I do remember there was a moment when I was in the transition phase (where the rushes or contractions are right on top of each other) where I though ‘ugh this is intense, I don’t know if we can have more kids’. I didn’t say it out loud and it was a fleeting thought because up until then I had been focusing on relaxing and opening up and right after that thought the urge to push came on.

How effing awsome was that moment when I mentioned to my midwife, doula, and husband that I feel like pushing and my midwife responded to go ahead and push or something like that. I don’t remember her exact words. There was no one counting when I pushed or threatening me or telling me what I had to do. After pushing in the water birthing tub they suggested I try pushing from sitting on the toilet. While in the birthing tub I loved floating and letting the rushes ripple through me while I relaxed but during pushing the water kept me from feeling the weight of my baby move down. While pushing on the toilet I could really feel the baby move down some. But now I can’t remember the sensations as pain. Was it really painful like people say? I mean I remember it being somewhat painful but not that pain like when I broke my arm.

I remember the contractions coming and coming and me trying to relax and open up. I remember eventually the contractions had a peak to them and if I held on until the peak then it was basically over. I remember being to focused like I could barely hear anyone else.

It wasn’t painful it was more badass. It was lke when I was a competitive swimmer and for Christmas Eve our coach had us do the 100 100’s on like 1:20*. It was intensely physical for a long time and then it was over and it felt so good that it was over because you had pushed through for so long.

I don’t mean to make light of anyone else’s pain but after the birth and still up to today I feel pleasantly surprised by the level of “pain” involved with birthing a child. I remember as I was preparing to give birth I was preparing myself for the worst pain imaginable and then some. What I felt was totally managable and it had a purpose. The “pain” triggered endorphines, the baby came out, I held her while being ‘high on life’.

Next birth I thing I may try hypnobirthing. Maybe I can have an orgasmic birth… Or maybe the labor can be shorter. How can I labor for 21 hours with my second born while my first born would possibly need me?

Parenting: questions just lead to more questions. In short prepare yourself for the physical and mental marathon that is giving birth and you will happy.

*For those of you that didn’t swim competitively that means 4 lenths of the pool on an interval of 1 minute 20 seconds. I remember it taking 2.5 house and between each set of 4 lenghts of the pool I could rest maybe 10-20 seconds.

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