What Does Birth Feel Like?

by Deborah Cruz

I remember being pregnant as a first time mom-to-be and obsessing over the age old question of what does birth feel like?  It’s a lot like death, we fear it because we have no freaking idea what it really feels like until we are waist deep in it. I was terrified to find out. I knew that there was NO WAY that a baby the size of a watermelon passing through an opening the size of a grape was going to not feel like I was dying. I asked people. I begged to know what birth would feel like. I never got a straight answer.

All anyone ever told me about birth was “It’s such a blessing” (which it is) and you forget about the pain of childbirth as soon as you hold your beautiful newborn baby in your arms. Hate to be the bearer of bad news first time moms-to-be,but that part is complete bullshit; an absolute, bold faced lie. Unless an anvil fell on your head, immediately after giving birth, while holding your newborn and by some miracle missing your child and knocked you unconscious leaving you with amnesia…you will never forget the pain of childbirth. It is an indescribable, unforgettable, and unbearable pain. Who could forget that?

So when our sisters, friends, and other beloved women in our lives ask us,

What does birth really feel like?”

I’ll tell you why, it wouldn’t change a thing. The pain would still be ‘that’ pain, and all it would do is make our girlfriends freak out and it would still hurt. Besides if you dare to be different and actually go against the code and tell someone the truth of what birth feels like, well, they won’t believe you anyways.

I told my best friend that while waiting for the anesthesiologist to arrive to administer my epidural, I told my husband if he didn’t find the damn doctor “with the needle” then I was going to jump out the large picture window that was in my hospital room. He knew I was serious. She thought I was kidding, speaking metaphorically to demonstrate the point. I assure you, I was serious. Dead serious! Not until she was in the throes of her own delightful birth did she recollect my words and realize that I was telling the truth. At that point, it was too late.The scary, horrible, painful truth about what birth feels like is not something you can explain to someone who has never gone through it. For me, child birth feels like a near death experience.

I asked my sister in law (who had 4 children at the time, with no epidural) what giving birth really felt like and I never got a straight answer.Just the typical, you’ll forget about the pain once you hold your baby in your arms and look down into those beautiful eyes. After, I went through the unforgettable ordeal of childbirth, I called her and asked her “why didn’t you warn me?” Her answer to me was this, “ It wouldn’t have changed anything and it would have freaked you out. Once you’re pregnant, it’s too late to change your mind because of a little pain (Little?) Besides, you never would have believed me!!!” And you know what? We were on the phone (states apart) but I swear, I heard laughter in her voice. You know that, I just punked you laugh.

birth, what does birth really feel like, pregnancy, labor, delivery, giving birth

This club, it really does enjoy watching its provisional’s squirm. She was/is right; I would have thought she was crazy, a wimp, a liar, perhaps all of the above but I never would have believed and certainly could not have comprehended what child birth really felt like.

What did birth feel like to you?

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8 comments

Kelly 2010/09/23 - 10:22 am

Okay – I know I'm commenting a lot on you today…but you have no idea how I need this laugh!

But you are so RIGHT!

Reply
Rebekah C 2010/12/26 - 12:41 am

It's true, you never forget it. But after giving birth three times, and having three very different experiences, I never tell women it WILL be the most painful thing they've ever experienced. Because I have not found that to be true with every birth. Only my 2nd, lol.

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