Some women love childbirth. You can read all kinds of articles on the internet by women who say it was a natural high, that they loved every minute of it, that it was even pleasurable. I went into labor hoping I would be one of those women. I really tried to not think of contractions as pain, but as “rushes” (a la Ida May Gaskin) that helped move my baby down. I tried to distract myself during contractions by singing or remembering Hubby’s and my honeymoon in Hawaii or conjuring up other relaxing images in my mind.
I was determined to do everything as naturally as possible (no drugs, etc.), and I did, but boy did it hurt! It was NOT pleasurable. The only thing in the whole process that I remember as pleasurable was when the placenta came out. I barely even had to push; it just plopped out into a bowl, and the relief I felt then was marvelous. But before that point, I had about 8 hours of light contractions, 48 hours of strong, REALLY PAINFUL contractions, and a couple hours of pushing. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, and (gasp!) I didn’t actually enjoy it very much. But getting to meet my baby was amazing.
I am writing all this because I found myself thinking this morning that someday it will be wonderful to grow another person in my womb and add another tiny, totally dependent newborn to our family. Baby boy is not a newborn any more. He can entertain himself for a while with toys, he sleeps in his own crib (most of the time), and Mama is no longer his whole entire world (although he still likes me quite a bit). 🙂
Some women say, “Oh, just wait a while, you’ll forget all about the pain of childbirth.” Well, it’s been four months, and I still vividly remember the pain. I don’t think I will ever forget it. I do want more babies, lots of them, but I’ll admit I don’t want to ever go through labor again (although, Lord willing, I will do it again, because it’s worth it in the end).
I never understood the sacrifice that my mother and all mothers around the world have made in giving birth and caring 24/7 for a child until I became a mother. This is what God put me here for, to love my husband and grow babies and yes, give birth to them. I’m not saying I have no other purpose than to take care of my husband and babies, but I think that is the most important thing I do. What could be more important than raising up people from infancy to adulthood to love and obey the Lord? Then, I hope and pray, my children will pass on this godly heritage to their own children, and on and on and on until Jesus returns.
Edited to add:
The reasons I chose not to use any drugs were that 1) they can easily pass to the baby, with detrimental effects, and 2) any “unnatural” interventions in the labor process can lead to the need for more and more interventions, and possibly a C-section in the end–for an example, read How Childbirth Went Industrial.
I wanted to do what was best for my baby and for me, and I honestly believe that choosing the pain was the best option in my case. Besides, the sense of accomplishment I felt when my baby was finally here, and without drugs or interventions, was huge. I didn’t have to wonder if drugs were affecting my baby’s first minutes and hours. Baby Boy was very calm but alert, and his Apgar scores were 10 and 10.
That being said, I know there is a point when drugs or C-sections may be necessary, but the percentage of women who really need them is very small.
I’m hoping that my next labor is a lot shorter! It usually is, with the second child.