There is so much fear that feeds into childbirth and I want to help cut the cord. Show me some grace and let me give it a shot.
Does labour and delivery hurt? Well, yeah. It does. But it’s a different kind of pain. It’s not like a burst appendix, a kidney stone, a broken bone or a stomach flu because pain that comes from those things is a wrong pain–a sick pain–an SOS signal sent out from the body as a way to right itself, to fix itself, because it’s sick and broken and needs healing. On the contrary, labour and birth pain is a right pain–a wellness pain–something completely different, as far as pain goes, than anything we’ve ever experienced. But the problem is that because we have spent so many years reading pain signals as wrong pain, our minds are quick to interpret labour and delivery pain as wrong pain too.
So, what does this mean? How does all this philosophical bullshit translate into real life, when the contractions are coming and the baby’s head is crowning?
Our perception has the power to change the way we experience pain.
It’s widely known that when hit from behind, it’s better if we don’t have time to first look into our rear view mirror because if we do, our body automatically braces for the impact and more injuries happen when our bodies are rigid. It’s why drunk drivers tend to walk away from a fatal car crash.
Maybe this makes me sound like an asshole, but I never knew what love was until I had my first child and not a feel-good love, hell no. A terrifying love. Love that calls me to desperately claw at my own body, open it up, turn it inside out, pull out my heart for his life, my lungs for his breath, my blood for his survival at the same time as a love that holds his bearded face in my hands, belly laughs, the knowing looks, the bridges built between two different places, spaces and time, meet in the middle, hold hands and jump love–a love that tends to fill up a birth room.
Right. Because birth is love, and love is terrifying and it’s hold hands and jump. It only makes sense that it would begin at labour and delivery.
I just love this quote from the documentary “The Business of Being Born“:
“You will go into an altered state of consciousness and you’ll go into a state of…yes there’s bliss and yes there’s pain but it’s all tied up together and you can not have the bliss without the pain and it’s the intangible essence of that that we have so much trouble conveying to women.”