Updated: Oct 21, 2020
For the month leading up to my son's birth I spent hours each day in meditation, preparing my mind body and soul for a transformational experience. All of the power of the universe would soon be channeled into my body and life would spring forth. It would be a magical, conscious-altering experience. Or so I thought...
My partner says the walls shook with my last final roar. No one, absolutely no one, prepared me for this. One moment I was fine. Then over the course of ten minutes everything changed. I honestly thought the pain would kill me. I kept my breathing as steady as I could. I let the contractions do what they needed to do without fighting them. I relaxed the best I could into the pain. I did everything right, just like they told me to do.
And still it was the absolute worst pain I've ever imagined. Trying to describe it is like trying to describe the color yellow to a blind person. I thought I was dying. And many women do die. My body was literally tearing itself apart. No one, NO ONE could have prepared me for how insanely excruciating this would feel. And keep in mind I have lived with chronic pain. I can imagine it would be like being hit by a roadside bomb in a war zone and having to be dragged to safety by your unit while your limbs are half hanging off your body. I think none of the books tell you how awful it is because they don't want to scare you. Or maybe it was because I dilated from two to ten in under an hour so my contractions were really, really powerful.
I thought it would be a spiritual and out-of-body experience. It wasn't. I have never been so inside my body. I mooed like a cow with each contraction and I didn't care who heard me. When it came time to push I knew I could get him out if I push with all my strength. I also knew it would hurt worse than anything in the world. I did a quick calculation- prolong this pain or temporarily increase it in order to end it more quickly. I decided to push as hard as I could. I've never screamed like that before. And out he came. and then I can't remember if the pain stopped or if the sweet sight of my baby was the best pain relieving medication ever made. My body could have been ripped in half at that point and I would not have known it. All I knew was that I had a son. And he was perfect.
Immediately following the birth I said if I ever did that again I would definitely get the epidural. But within a couple of days I had forgotten all about it. If I ever have to do that again I will do it unmedicated. It was the best experience of my life!