While my birth didn’t go 100% according to plan (read about that here). I had an amazing experience.
I laboured at home and at the Toronto Birth Centre. My husband caught my son and after he was born the 3 of us curled up on a king sized bed for a nap. I was back home within 3 hours of giving birth. Most of all, I didn’t feel pain.
Let me explain.
Labour was hard, it was the hardest thing I have ever done. But through my whole pregnancy I thought of labour as a physiologic process. Something that I was designed to do. This was the language that I used when I spoke about birth to myself and to others. I went in assuming that it wouldn’t be painful.
During labour, I remember thinking that I would love a break, and that it was really hard work. I am not a runner but I assume this is how marathon runners feel. But, the word “pain” never came into my head.
I will add that I did experience the burning that is affectionately called the ring of fire. But even then, I remember thinking “it burns”, not “it hurts”. I think the mindset and months of self-talk paid off.
I had an amazing birth experience.
You don’t hear that a lot.
In fact, I actually felt awkward sharing it with my mom friends. People trade birth stories like war stories. The crazy experiences that happen, how awful it was.
When I first started meeting up with other moms I felt like I didn’t have anything to add. That if I shared my story it would sound like gloating, or worse, like lying.
But then a friend told me she was pregnant. She told me that she was scared about giving birth because of all the crazy stories that she had heard.
I NEEDED to share!
I LOVED my birth experience! It had not been painful! It wasn’t a horror story!
Amazing birth is possible!
I think the biggest thing for me was the mindset. The words that I used to speak to myself about how my birth experience would be.
I never assumed that it would be painful. But I did assume it would be hard work.
And that’s exactly what happened.
I also had an amazing support team around me who knew my goals and helped me accomplish them.
Lastly, I knew what to expect. I knew that during transition I would think that I couldn’t do it.
I even told my partner that I would say that I couldn’t do it and that he should tell me that I was already doing it.
I knew that as my sons head was moving through my birth canal it would burn. I expected the ring of fire, even if it wasn’t pleasant I knew it would happen.
And I knew that I had to move through it.
Knowing what to expect made all the difference.