Now that I am nearly 6 weeks out from delivering Trey, I wanted to record my final thougths about labor and delivery.
In my account of childbirth, I described the pain in the best way I could, but truthfully, the pain was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. It was entirely manageable. As I was reading the other day, I came across the following verse. “A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.” -John 16:21. The pain is temporary! For me, the extrinsic sources of pain were the worst: tugging and twisting of hospital monitors, the placement of the IV, the burning of the penicillin in my vein, and the stinging of the needles during repairs. I was able to deal very well with the pain that originated within my body through deep breathing and relaxation.
I went in for my 6 week postpartum check-up yesterday (a little earlier than 6 weeks). I’m healthy and doing well. The midwife and I talked about my waterbirth experience. She told me that when she checked my cervix the second time during labor, she was afraid that I had not progressed very far, because I didn’t seem to be in much pain. She thought that either I hadn’t progressed any (and therefore would not be in much pain) or else I had progressed and was able to deal effectively with the pain. She was surprised that the latter was true. I share this not to brag, but to encourage others that natural childbirth can be done!
I would be remiss not to mention one of the most important aspects of pain relief – William. He was an incredible coach. He believed in me from the beginning. He was calm and collected throughout labor and delivery, giving me constant encouragement and providing for my needs. Even though we have shared this journey of pregnancy and childbirth with everyone we know, it has been a very intimate time for us. We brought this child into the world together. What an amazing experience it was and would do it all over again. (But don’t worry, it WILL be a while before we have another one.)