The Untold Story of Childbirth
“I’m so tired. I can’t do it anymore. I want to be done.” Its 4:00 a.m. and she has been in labor for 24 hours. Her husband is standing on one side of her, gripping her hand. I can see his eyelids beginning to fade as he tries to find the strength to keep supporting her. I am behind her rubbing her back, offering the physical and emotional support she has hired me to give.
“You are strong. You’re body is capable,” I say, trying to offer her words of comfort, “hang in there, you’re about to meet the love of your life.” As the pain begins to grip her body in yet another contraction, the nurse comes in and tells her it’s time to push. Her husband grins from ear to ear and nurses and doctors begin to fill the room. There is pain, tears, excitement and anticipation.
She finds the strength within herself to deliver her precious baby earth side and at that moment, everything changes. A precious newborn babe is placed onto his mother’s chest and love fills the room. It takes over every other feeling. The pain and the fatigue all fade away in the presences of this love. You can feel it in the sigh of relief on the mothers face as she gazes into the eyes of the child she has dreamt about for 9 months. You can hear it in her voice as she smiles to her husband and says, “I can’t believe he’s here. He’s perfect.” You can see it in the tears of joy shed by a new father in awe of the strength of his wife and of the baby he helped create. It fills every corner of that room and would pierce even the coldest of hearts.
So often, we lose this incredible moment in our storytelling of how messy, scary, painful or gross birth is. But what if we shifted the conversation? What if we shared our stories of confidence, strength, power, and love like we’ve never known? As a doula, these are the things I share with my clients. The moment that makes it all worth it. The love that will fill the room and fill their hearts. It is what makes me so passionate about the work that I do with laboring women and their partners. It is what has gotten me through three (soon to be four) of my own births, and it is what we should be encouraging expecting mothers with.
So, if you are expecting and unsure about what childbirth will be like, just remember, the love is worth it.