Dearest mothers & mothers to be out there,
This one goes out to you, honey buns! Everyone probably told you what a blessing motherhood is, how one is never complete without having a child of their own. We live in a society where you are always asked for something. When will you finish the bachelor degree? And the master? How about a PHD? And now that you have that how about having a boyfriend? And why are you not engaged?! At this age you should get married and have kids! You are married? When is the kid due?... and so on and so forward until you feel like you need to meet everyone else's expectations. Screw that! You have your own expectations of yourself and your own plan in life and that is more important than what others think! But that's a lesson everyone gets to learn in time...
Besides the "good advices" that people give you, they come with their own stories and their own projections of how your life should look like. Don't listen to all that. You are not obliged to get married around 23 years old, you will not be a spinster. You are not obliged to have a kid by the time you are 30 years old, though the doctors do recommend it! You need to listen to your body and soul and construct your own way. That's why I felt the need to share today some thoughts I have when it comes to natural birth. I am turning 30 in October and on the 20th of August we were blessed with a baby girl: Emilia Elena. I gave birth naturally and I must admit it was quite an experience! So here it goes...
1) Giving birth naturally is not all rainbows and unicorns like everyone keeps saying - I have not yet met a mother that would really say how much it hurt and how much she has been through when it comes to giving birth naturally, without any help from the medicine side. Somehow they keep saying that yes, it did hurt a bit, but you forget the pain as soon as you get to see and hold your baby.
2) The pain of childbirth will be forgotten once "the deed is done" - nonsense! Weeks after the birth happened, lovely moments with Emilia Elena in my arms, and I still think that I will never forget that pain. Truth be told: it hurts like the blazers! Unlike anything you have ever experienced!
3) If you think you have high tolerance for pain... think again! I have read that the pain of giving birth is similar to having at least 20 bones in your body being broken at the same time. Well... I can handle a lot of pain and I have had my hand broken twice and trained in martial arts with bruises that would stay for weeks... it does not compare!
4) There are different types of contractions (to which you can never be prepared...). First you feel the contractions kicking in, getting from fluctuating to regular and then the intervals shorten more and more. You can handle it with heavy breathing and body movement like you were dancing. Move the hips! But then... the first pushing contractions kick in... and that's a whole different kind of pain!!!
5) Screaming is ok! Let it out! Let it go! When the pushing starts you will physically not be able to keep it in... at least that is what I kept hearing at the hospital ;) everyone screams... it's a normal reaction to the inside pain you are feeling. No! It's not like passing a poo! No, it's not like cramps! And it's ok to scream, as long as you also focus on what the midwife asks of you. Don't forget to breathe. Listen to the midwife - she will guide you!
6) If you plan on giving birth naturally, do a research of the hospitals in your city where they have midwifes specialised in that. You need open minded, well trained people, that will guide you along the way. For example in Kraków it is well known that if one wants a c-section they should go to Ujastek and if one wants a good clean and well done natural the way to go is Zeromski. Make sure you check also the hospital itself by visiting it and getting familiar with the place. You need to know in how much time you can get there ;)
7) There will be people around so you need to let go of the shame and inhibitions. They don't matter there and you'll see you'll forget them as soon as the first pushing contractions kick in. You will want the midwifes there to help and get it done ASAP! In case of natural birth the doctor is less engaged than the midwifes but they are there to make sure all goes well technically.
8) It would be brilliant if you were fresh epilated or shaved. The doctor may need to perform a small cut on your perineum and later on you will need to be stiched where you were cut. It's a standard procedure so don't worry. It's being done on most natural births so it will help the mother to give birth. It's better to be cut than push in a wrong way and tear yourself up.
9) The measurement of the dilatation is done manually by the midwife. I did not read about this part and I always thought that it is something that could be done by some kind of apparatus... some kind of machine... nope! The midwife gets to measure it manually and to my surprise they have the knowledge by "shoving their fingers in" only! Scary... be prepared for it!
10) Seeing your baby for the first time is, indeed! the most magical moment a mother can feel! Even when it's still covered with stuff and it's sticky and purple... you will fall in love with it instantly! Grab a look at the daddy, if he's allowed in the room and he assisted... that look on his face is priceless as well! The love and pride can't be measured in words... and it's totally worth all the pain!
BONUS: Rehab time for natural birth is much quicker (and from what I can see, much nicer!) than the c-section. I was in the same saloon with a lady that came for natural but the baby did not turn so they had to do c-section. She had to take hard pain killers and it took her almost a day to manage to get up from the bed. I was able to do that and walk (slowly) immediately after birth. No pain killers needed ;) Downside for natural is that it hurts like hell to deliver but getting better is fast. C-section does not hurt at all but it takes weeks to get back on track with no pain. Tough choice! I still would go for natural after seeing that! Even if it hurts like the blazers!
How about you? Lovely female readers out there, I would love to hear your opinion on the things that nobody told you when it came to natural birth. Or if you had a c-section what is your opinion on that as well? I must admit I am rather curious ;)
Yours very sincerely,
The Twisted Red LadyBug - newly mum of The LadyBug Baby