The Truth About Childbirth

Monday, June 1, 2015 0 No tags

In college I preferred to arrive to all of my classes at least fifteen minutes early. Especially in the first week, I wanted to make sure I knew where the room was, and more importantly, I wanted to be able to select my favorite seat (front row, most of the time, and near the door).

I am the kind of person who likes to know exactly what they are getting into before getting into it.

So when I found out I was pregnant, as such a person, I wanted to know exactly how labor would go down.


If you have never given birth, but wanted to find out the truth about labor, then you know that even in the most graphic pregnancy literature the exact details of labor are surrounded in a shroud of mystery.

Why couldn’t anyone just tell it like it was? And I didn’t mean the same old, “it’s hard, intense, empowering, etc.” or the ever-evasive, “it’s worth it!”  Specifically, I wanted to know what a contraction felt like. I wanted to know how I, specifically, should prepare for a nearly endless succession of them–with yoga? Breathing techniques? Long walks? Binge-watching Call the Midwife (answer: no)?

Would it be a sharp pain? An all-consuming pain or a more localized pain? A pain that felt like I was going to die or a pain that was at the very least, manageable? I used google and pregnancy chat forums to help me find answers. But even experienced moms weren’t able to give me what I wanted.

I didn’t get it. How were there so few adequate words on something so defining in the life of a woman??

And then my sister, who gave birth five months before me, was able to give me possibly the vaguest answer of all, that turned out to be the most helpful.

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