Is childbirth painful: A question that most women ponder at some point in their lives. All too often we are afraid to know the answer. I remember thinking about giving birth in my young adult years and cringing at the thought of it: How is something so seemingly impossible, possible? How do women make it through such a long and laborious process? Of course, modern medicine makes the answers to these questions a bit easier. Makes the seemingly impossible, possible.
But, knowing that it could be done without numbing my body, knowing that my own mother did it 4 times without any pain medication and survived! I knew that that was what I wanted. I am not one to go and pop pills as soon as something is wrong with my body anyway, a cold or a headache, usually you will find me waiting it out or looking up every possible natural remedy first. So, naturally, I wanted my body to be able to do the thing that it was built for, the thing that it knows how to do instinctively.
Not everyone can be so lucky as me to have had to only labor for 9.5 hours. I woke up at 3am already with contractions that were 5 minutes apart. These quickly moved to 2-3 minutes apart and than started to double up on one another, some lasting 3 minutes at a time. I moved around the house, from our bed, to the bath, to the living room, spending plenty of time sitting on the toilet (good for counter-pressure). I guess all that moving around helped get Royal in to position very quickly. By the time our doula was able to make it over, I was starting to feel the “undeniable urge” to push. This of course put us on the fast course to getting to the hospital.
The ride to the hospital was hellish, every bump and turn wreaked havoc on my already uncomfortable situation. I had the hardest time getting out of the car into the wheelchair that would eventually take me up to the delivery unit. Tyler had to really coax me to turn my knees towards him to get my out of the car. Seems easy right?
As soon as I sat on the bed in my room at Clark Memorial, my water broke and I was 9 cm. Perfect timing. By this point I was told to wait on pushing until my midwife could get there. If there is one thing in this life that is nearly impossible, this would be it: To not push when my body is demanding me to. There is no way to control it. Fortunately, it was not long before my midwife showed up and I was than 10 cm.
I only had to push for 16 minutes before an 8 pound 3 ounce wonder was plopped into my arms. I didn’t cry, which I had expected to. Instead, after 5-6 hours of groaning and breathing heavily, the first words that I exclaimed were “He’s huge!” I guess that I just couldn’t believe that he had actually made it out and that he was all one complete piece of a human.
If it were not for my husband continually encouraging me that I could do it, my mother holding me in her tender embrace that I love so dearly, and my doula making sure that I relaxed between contractions, I am not sure how things would’ve gone. But they went, and they went beautifully.
So, childbirth, painful? More like hard work. with a reward at the end that makes you forget all that you had to do to get it. A miracle, really. Perfectly the way that God intended it to be.