Monday, December 14, 2009

It Feels Good to Feel: The Pain and Pleasure of Natural Childbirth

It Feels Good to Feel: The Pain and Pleasure of Natural Childbirth
by Kaitlin Rose

There are many confident women who say they are simply too afraid of the pain to have a natural birth.

But here’s the secret about that pain of childbirth that nobody tells you.
You may never have thought of this way: the pain of labor and childbirth is the only physical pain you will feel in your life that is not associated with something being wrong with your body. You are not hurt. You are not injured. It is the only constructive pain you will ever feel in your life.

I'm not trying to say that it was easy.
It was definitely the strongest, most intense pain I have ever felt. But I can tell you, like many women before me have said and many more to come are bound to say, the pain was worth every minute of it for the result.

I went into labor Tuesday morning. By 7 am Wednesday morning I was only dilated 5 cm.
Now I know I was in transition. I didn't know it then. I felt extremely tired. Fatigued. But I asked myself a very important question, which inevitably helped me move through my transition and be fully open just an hour and a half later.

I asked myself this: what would I do differently right now if I were in a hospital?
My answer was: NOTHING.

I would not get an epidural. I would not ask for pitocin to speed up my contractions. There would be nothing anyone could do for me, because I wouldn't let them. And that crossed my mind too. I was relieved to know I was still in control and I had to keep going for both of us.

The rewards of having a drug free labor and delivery are life-long lasting.
There was a moment during some of the hardest contractions that I had, (and I don't even really remember this, but my doula told me of it later) when my doula asked me, "aren't you glad you are feeling this?" And I said, "yes," in the midst of it all. It was true! I was so glad that I was 100% PRESENT during the experience of my labor and childbirth. I felt everything.

Natural childbirth is truly an empowering journey that you will never forget. You will come out feeling stronger than ever, the experience instilling in you a quiet confidence that will continue to build over time.

Pieces of my life started to come together in ways I could not have fathomed.
I felt a new respect for my mother, and even a different understanding and closeness with womankind in general. I actually had a very profound "ah-ha" moment the day Ella Rose was born. I was holding her, watching her sleep in my arms. That perfect little face, so worn out from the previous days of labor...

This is the closest I can come to describing it: It was as if everything finally made sense. I felt so connected to all living beings on earth. It was positively overwhelming; the grandness of it all.

Ella and I worked together for the first time of many in our lives together.
I am proud (and blessed) to have had a natural birth. And I am proud of my daughter too.

Wishing all of you a safe and blessed birth,

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