Today, I’m bringing you one mom’s story of her experience with a natural childbirth. You can find her original post here along with SO many other great posts- check it out!
Nothing could be further from the truth.
I’m not a superhero. I’ve never experienced a lot of physical pain in my life and I never want to. When things hurt, I vocalize it. (Some may call it whining.)
I don’t like pain. I’m not physically tough. I’m a scrawny wimp.
But there was one thing I never doubted in myself: That I would have the ability to give birth naturally.
I remember reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin (a must read for anyone considering natural childbirth) and there is a message in the book that really resonated with me:
We believe childbirth is painful because that’s what permeates our media and culture.Childbirth is infused with the fear of pain. I know from my personal experience that if I believe something will hurt, then it will hurt. And if I’m afraid of that pain, then when I experience the pain, it will be magnified by my fear. You’ve heard of this phenomenon; it’s called, the self-fulfilling prophecy. But if we don’t approach childbirth from a negative perspective (and why should we when it is such a beautiful thing) then there is no pain.
Ok, so if we’re being honest, I know this sounds like total bullshit. I heard about the book Orgasmic Birth by Elizabeth Davis and Debra Pascali-Bonaro, where childbirth is not considered painful but orgasmic, and I was like, what the bleep is this crap? (Full disclosure: I never read the book because I thought the concept was so ridiculous.)
My point is, I didn’t go into childbirth believing it wouldn’t be painful. But, I did go in not being AFRAID of the pain. I never once thought of giving birth in a negative way. I was prepared to embrace the pain because I knew it was part and parcel of one of the most beautiful and natural processes on Earth. I felt privileged to be able to give birth.
And I think mentality is what makes all the difference.
So the burning question is: Did my childbirth hurt?
I can say I distinctly remember three points while I was giving birth to Max that hurt:
2. The same midwife, who was rougher with her hands, started to stretch my perineum when I was pushing. Again, I said, “Ow!”
3. The “ring of fire” right when Max was crowning. It was a burning sensation that lasted for only a few seconds but rewards you with the best gift you could ever receive, a baby. (I would describe the pain as really bad constipation…)
What does this mean? It means of the three times I remember childbirth being painful, two of them were caused by my midwife.
If not pain, then what? Well, I can only describe it as an immense pressure coming from inside of you of a menstrual nature. An intense, powerful force from the deepest, innermost region of your body, your soul. The sounds I made were primal. Inhuman. Uncivilized. RAW.
I have never felt so strong and powerful and primal in my life.
Maybe I’m an anomaly. Or maybe I’m not. I still remember smiling to my doula after birth saying I could do it all over again. She must have thought I was crazy. (In my defense, I was probably high on mommy hormones. And in reality, when the adrenaline wore off, I could barely move.)
I never considered my childbirth to be painful. I know that the pain that other women experience is very real. But I truly believe that too much of the pain is unnecessary and caused by the fear of that pain.
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