Monday, July 29, 2013

How Pain Made My Labour Easier

This is going to sound completely crazy, but it took me over 3 years to realize.

A few weeks ago I was attending an amazing Empowered Birth Workshop at my midwifery clinic.  During our discussion, we talked about things that slow down the progress of labour.  Epidurals, inductions... the typical things were mentioned.  Of course, stress and anxiety were also mentioned.  If you are giving birth in an environment that's stressful to you, or you have people around that stress you out, or if you are having anxiety, it can actually delay the progress of your labour.

 The first time I heard about this, I was still pregnant with Aias.  The mere thought of it (ironically) stressed me out. And gave me anxiety! You see, the whole time I was pregnant with Aias, I was anxious and stressed out about everything!  I don't think there was a single moment that went by that I didn't worry about something.  So naturally I was very worried (anxious! stressed!) that I would have anxiety and stress during my labour and it would slow everything down.

I did have anxiety and stress my whole pregnancy... until I started having contractions.  You see, contractions hurt like a bitch.  They feel like you are having the worst period cramps you've ever had, combined with the feeling of being badly constipated.  And once you've gotten over the pain of one, you start having another one.

I was so distracted by the contractions and the feeling of actually giving birth, that it's like my brain forgot to worry.  I didn't have time to be stressed. I didn't have time to be anxious.

Things went fast, and before I knew it, I was holding my baby.

When friends and family asked me later if I had been anxious during the birth, I honestly said "Nope! Not at all!"  For possibly the ONLY time in my 30 years on this planet, I wasn't worried!  Of course, once he was out I picked up where I left off with my worrying, but that's another story.  

Sitting in that Empowered Birth Workshop, we were asked to things that would distract us during labour, of course, they meant distract us from the pain.  Strangely enough, what I think I will need to do during my upcoming birth, is focus on the pain.  Through focusing on the pain, I seem to be able to push my natural tendency to stress and worry about everything aside.

I guess the pain of labour can serve a strange purpose after all.  I can't imagine how stressed out and anxious I would have been if I'd have had a needle in my back and the time to think about it.

Pain, get it?

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