When I first got pregnant with my daughter, I was in shock. I was trying to process this huge life change, but mostly, I was thinking, “HOW IN THE WORLD AM I GOING TO GIVE BIRTH?”
Because let’s be honest, I was still traumatized from the birth video they made us watch in high school. AND from all the women who walk around saying, “I was in labor for 6 days straight! There was blood and poop everywhere! The baby’s head was a foot and a half wide! I was screaming for an epidural!”
(Okay, that last one might be accurate.)
Before I actually was pregnant, I would joke “just cut the baby out of me, there’s no way I can give birth!”
But now, it’s been almost five years and two very different births since that first moment, and I have a much different perspective.
Here’s a few things I believe about birth:
1. No matter what, it’s going to hurt.
2. It’s totally worth it.
I think every mom reading this would say they would go through it all again if they had to. And…
3. YOU CAN DO IT.
Seriously. Only the horror stories are the ones people talk about and share. Nobody goes around telling the stories of the women who had their ideal labors… but I promise, they happen just as often.
4. Natural is great.
This is totally my own opinion, and it is definitely not the best thing for everyone. But I find that most women go into it hoping for a drug-free birth. But don’t forget:
5. You are amazing, even if it doesn’t follow your plan.
I can’t count the number of people who have told me this story: They wanted a natural birth, but after a difficult, slow labor, they were exhausted, given pitocin, and then ended up with an epidural. Then they’ll sheepishly say, “I couldn’t do it.” Girl, ARE YOU KIDDING. You just deliberately withstood some of the worst possible pain because you were doing everything you could to give your baby your best. THAT. IS. INCREDIBLE.
You absolutely could do it, and you did. You did what was best!
6. It’s important, but it’s not the most important.
The most important is that your baby and you end up healthy. Both my babies had very different births and then spent some in the NICU, and there were some scary moments. When they finally got out, I didn’t give a crap how they came out of my body, just that they were home.
I started out believing the pain of it was more than I could handle. But giving birth–both times, and both ways–showed me that I am strong. I was always strong. And so are you.
However your birth turns out, or however you want to birth; remember that you are amazing, and you are even stronger than you know. You got this.