Monday, November 10, 2008

Labor Hurts

Me in my 15th or 16th hour of labor with Oscar, supported by Nelson and Nebo.

Oscar with Nelson, a few hours after his birth

***NOTE: This is not recommended reading for first time moms. I NEVER tell first time moms about how much my labor hurt because it really isn't the defining factor of or the most imporant part of childbirth. Also, I think it's shitty to scare first time moms. So, if you don't want to know, stop reading here.

So, I've been thinking about labor a lot lately, and since I've been thinking about it you get to read about it. Not surprising considering I'll be full term in five days. I've been having some Braxton-Hicks contractions, some actual painful contractions, and my lack of continence has caused me to think my water has broken on more than one occasion.

I had Oscar naturally, at home. This means I did not have the option (benefit?) of any medically administered pain relief during my labor. That means no narcotics and no epidural. This was totally my choice and it is a choice that was right for me and a choice that I am glad I made. In fact, that is how we are planning this birth as well.

But, here's the thing. Pregnancy amnesia is a lie. Sorry to break it to folks, but I remember EXACTLY how painful my labor was when I had Oscar 17 short months ago. "Holy fucking shit I though I was dying" doesn't even cover it. Actually, that does about cover it. Sure, you forget for a little while, when you first see your baby. But the next day when your whole body feels like it was smashed with an asphalt roller? You recall.

In the weeks leading up to Oscar's birth I was excited and anxious. Excited to meet my baby at long last and anxious about what labor would bring. Because, really, no one can accurately describe what labor is like; no two people experience it exactly the same way. But, one thing all women who've labored can agree on is that it hurts. A lot.

So, I was preparing for this pain, a pain the most intense pain of my life. And, prior to labor, I'd never really had any painful experiences. Yeah, a minor broken bone, some stitches, a root canal, etc., but nothing MAJOR. I basically just told myself that it was going to hurt and it was going to hurt worse than I could ever imagine, but it wouldn't hurt more than I could bear because my body was designed for this. It would hurt 0nly as much as I could take.

And, the thing is, that was pretty much true. It hurt a lot and it hurt for a long time (I had prolonged labor). And then, I thought I was dying. Seriously. It hurt so bad, I was certain that I would not make it out alive. I was certain there was something wrong, something really, really wrong. I thought there was no way a person could possibly be in as much pain as I was in and survive. I know that sounds quite dramatic, but it really did hurt that bad. And this lasted for a little while, an hour, maybe?
And then, it stopped hurting. Like completely and totally stopped. And then, after the two hardest and most exhausting hours of my life, I was holding Oscar in my arms and ready to do it all over again.


Anonymous said...

OUCH. I went through some labor (9 hours) with Mini sans epidural, and that was enough for me. I had an epidural for the really horrible part, and yeah, the way you feel the next day doesn't let you forget what it's really like. That and the fact that I was incredibly swollen, like 30 pounds of extra water! Gaah!

But, um, yeah, it's worth it, so you'll get through it and have a new cuddly baby who will maybe not allow you to forget it, but at least block it out for a while.

Susanica said...

Hi Jenni. On the very bright side, all accounts point to baby number two coming out much faster! -M

Cameron said...

Wow, if I was Nelson, I'd be asking for drugs. My wife was drugged up both times, and according to her, it still hurt very much ;) So I can only imagine the drug-free method.

And hey, I am so flattered that you'd want me to guest post, I would be delighted to. Here's my email:
Just let me know when, where, why, and to what extend and I'll do it!!

Xbox4NappyRash said...

I'd be asking for drugs if I had to watch that.

You so look like you are laughing in that first picture.

EllenMarie said...

Hey, all things considered, you don't look too shabby in the first picture! And Nelson looks so patient and sweet. (Eithter that or he's just thanking god he isn't the one giving birth.) Anyway, here's to a SHORTER and EASIER labor this time. You better get Nelson to post your status on FB when it gets going!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the warning. I stopped reading because I've never had children before and the thought of all that pain makes me want to adopt. But your a trooper, and so is every mom who had to go thru childbirth.

Veronica said...

I remember that it hurt ALOT.

I also remember that feeling of relief as I felt her slip out of me and get placed on my chest.

Stimey said...

You know, that is one of the magic things about having a baby. Shortly after you give birth (with some exceptions of course), the pain of labor and pregnancy go away. I appreciate that.

Number 2 was a lot easier for me. Hopefully for you too!

Kat said...

I was all about the epidural. I didn't even feel the contractions or the crowning or all that mess. I am so glad I did it with both girls because frankly if I knew what real childbirth really felt like, I doubt I would have my second little girl.

Oh and I only pushed for 15 min with LaLa and 3 pushes for KiKi. I am lucky like that.

Good luck on your delivery if I don't make it back over here before my move. And congrats ahead of time, I am sure the baby will be beautiful.

Casey said...

Oh man, you just brought back painful memories. That was the worst feeling I've ever felt. I went for the drugs but for some reason they didn't work on me and I felt EVERYTHING. Childbirth sucks ass. Ack. I'm done having kids, two and out!

Anonymous said...

Well, labor amnesia does
eventually kick in, 17 months just isn't long enough. I had my first baby almost 5 years ago and the memory of the pain started receding about 2 days ago. So you will eventually start to forget, it will just take 4 years 10 months and 10 days. Give or take a few hours.

periperijane said...

omigod, he looks like Nelson even in that picture!!

Anonymous said...

I read it. I was feeling brave after drinking a jumbo decaf with lots of milk. No more scared than I was before, but I like your line about it hurting, but not more than you can handle because our bodies are built for this. I keep looking at the ticker on your homepage because it's a good reminder for me.