Saturday, April 11, 2009
It’s been interesting to compare Heidi, Esther, and Becca’s births and the pressure I felt. With Heidi I’m pretty sure labor was just as intense as with Esther & Becca – but I was somehow able to separate myself a little more from the pressure. I was there and I felt it, but it was sort of like it wasn’t my body? I’m not explaining this very well. But with Esther & Becca the pressure required every ounce of my attention and I focused on relaxing everything in my body that I could relax so that it wouldn’t work against the pressure from the uterine contractions. I felt with their labors that if I had allowed my mind to drift and dwell on just how intense the pressure was, it WOULD be painful. Does that make sense? I knew that if I just let it be and do its thing and work hard to relax, it was much better for me. It’s also been interesting that the KINDS of things that relaxed me in each labor were different.
Yes, I think labor is more pressure than pain. But, I think a lot of people think when I say that, that I mean it's fun and not hard. I'm not.
It's more pressure than anyone would reasonably expect.
More pressure than you think humanly possible.
Did I like the pressure? NO. Was it fun? NO.
Was it hard? YES.
But it was also amazing. I was giving birth! My body was serving a divine purpose. And my body knew what to do all on its own! I was doing something huge and working toward the delivery of a new baby. What an awesome thing that is.
It just seems like pain is the wrong way for me to describe it. I know that some of us differ on this and I think that’s great. We all experience things differently and we each know how things felt to us. I’m not telling you what you felt wasn’t pain. If it felt painful to you, I’m sure it WAS painful. I guess I’m just wanting to share my own experience of labor vs pain and also a philosophy on pain. So…take it for what it’s worth – but know that it’s just that – my experience and a philosophy.
I love all the comments I've gotten on my birth story and on the subject of pain. Thank you everyone! You guys are awesome! Some of your comments have reminded me of things I didn't mention. Here are my comments on your comments…there are just too many to reply in the comments section!
Liz, I LOVE how you said "pain is meant to communicate something. If you're able to eliminate fear and tension, and you still feel pain, that's your body telling you to find a different position or try something new so that your body can birth your baby." I have read that as well and definitely believe that pain is meant to communicate something. Usually it means something is WRONG and I love how you've pointed out that pain in labor can be your body sending a message to you to try something different!
Qait (that's Kate for anyone wondering...) mentioned induced labor and the pain that accompanies that. I think that the pain of labor that comes with induced labor doesn't fit into the "try something different" category. I felt like induced labor was so unnatural-feeling compared to the contractions that start up on their own. I'm glad I had both though and can compare. I think induced just stinks. Hopefully not too many of you have had to experience or will need to experience that. I think anyone who DOESN’T get an epidural with induced labor is crazy or nothing short of amazing – or a little bit of both!
Abbie, I have NOT read Pain: The Gift Nobody Wants but am requesting it at my library. Thanks for the recommendation! Hopefully it won’t take too long to come in. Our library doesn’t own it, but they can get it for me through interlibrary loan.
Chris asked if I noticed a difference in labor having had chiropractic care versus not. I’m not sure. I DEFINITELY noticed a difference in the pregnancy itself, but labor seemed about the same.
Heather, I think your comment deserves a longer answer than I’ll write here so I’ll be emailing you soon! Remind me of your due date so I can try to get back to you before your baby comes!!