So, its getting down to the wire, internet. I now have 5 weeks until my due date. This has been the longest goddamned countdown of my life, and here it is, very near the end. And here I am, starting to freak the fuck out.
It is easy, at the start of a pregnancy (and really) all through the second trimester (if you ask me) to realize that you are pregnant and deal with that, but somehow avoid the reality of the situation wherein you will actually somehow have to expel this baby from your LOINS. That reality started to set in at my last OB appointment. The ARNP I have been seeing for the entirety of my care said, “Everything looks good. Next time, we’ll do some cultures and look at your cervix!”
At first, the statement, “look at your cervix” was mildly unsettling. You know, just because I don’t really want anyone to ever talk to me about wanting to look at it. It is private, y’all. Leave my cervix alone. Not to mention that I am feeling like a big, disgusting blimp and haven’t been able to shave my bikini line in order to appropriately display my lady parts. (Gasp!) I am aware that my ARNP is used to looking at women’s nether regions and that she probably won’t care about my shaving habits. And I am no stranger to the GYN and people have ventured here before. But I am also aware that this “cervix viewing” can only mean one thing. I am almost done. And one day SOON, a person is going to squeeze out of my vagina and this shit is going to HURT.
I have, thus far, managed to block out the fear of pain and discomfort and pooping. At least for the most part. Hell, I have been so anxious to get this kid out of me, that it has barely been a thought in my head. (Back pain, hip pain, breathlessness, intense heart burn and constant peeing tend to do that to a person, I guess.) But now, here in the home stretch, I am starting to think about what happens when I actually DO go into LABOR. (You know, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. The moment I have been praying would happen RIGHT NOW for the past two weeks.) There is no doubt in my mind that I can do this. I am strong and capable of delivering this child, but I am terrified of the pain and the distruction of my friend, my trusty vagina.
I have read a lot of really good birth stories. I have appreciated how candid and real everyone has been with their most intimate moment, when they meet their child. But lets be real, internet, how much pain are we talking? I mean, I know that the generic answer to that question is something like, “The pain is totally worth it once you see the face of your child” and I TOTALLY GET THAT. But, be for real! Is my head going to spin around? Will I spit pea soup? Will my body split completely down the middle?
- Born This Way: Part Deux (epa82.wordpress.com)
16 thoughts on “Welcome to my Cervix.”
I’ve been worried about this too. One thing that really helped me was reading Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth. The basic jist is that it’ll hurt as much as you think it’s going to hurt. If you convince yourself that you’ll be torn in two, then you probably will be (or at least feel like it). If on the other hand you confront your fears about it now and deal with them and realize that your mind and body are linked then you can reduce your pain by relaxing and believing in yourself and your bodies capabilities. Your body knows what it’s doing, even if you don’t, so have faith in it and let it do it’s thing.
LOVE this book.
I am definitely trying to work on the fear thing. Sometimes I feel like I am totally ready for it and this is what I was made to do…and then other times I’m like, “WHAT IN THE HOLY HELL WAS I THINKING?! Can’t we do this some other way?! I like my vagina!!!” I am getting there…phew…
I am starting to have moments of this as well. I’ll be going along just fine thinking “no problem, women do this all the time” and then suddenly I’m like “OH GOD NO!! Why does it have to come out of THERE?!”. Hang in there. Manda’s right, our bodies know what they’re doing.
Honestly, it wasn’t that painful. I was expecting it to be, because that’s what everyone told me — the sort of “OMG I was begging for an epidural at 3cm” kind of stories… but when it actually happened, I wasn’t totally sure I was in labor at all, because I’ve had periods that were worse (disclaimer: I have periods that start with 8-12 straight hours of I-can’t-walk-because-the-cramping-is-so-bad hell).
I’m not saying it didn’t hurt, just that it didn’t hurt nearly as bad as the stories led me to believe. Contractions were all in my back, and were about 70% alleviated by my husband pressing hard on my lower back area. At no point did I feel like I would need painkillers to get through it. Once I hit transition, and the baby was actually descending/coming out… the experience was not one of pain at all. Instinct just kind of takes over and there I was grunting and heaving like I was taking a huge dump. More comical than painful.
The worst parts, in terms of pain, were getting stitched up afterward (I tore without even feeling it) (also, I am a huge needle-phobe), and the first few days postpartum when everything down there was swollen and it was hard to walk.
I got an epidural after 20 hours of labor. I had on it full blast (amazing) for about 3 hours. Then they turned it off because it stopped my progression and I delivered 7 hours after that. You see, I was in denial that the baby was even coming out of me in the first place, so I wasn’t exactly mentally forcing the issue… The pain was intense, but honestly not as bad as I imagined. You sort of go inside yourself. And then when you are done you will feel about A BILLION times better than you think you will. I expected to be laid up in bed for a solid 24 hours before moving…and then they made me walk and shower and eat. And it was awesome because I wasn’t pregnant any more and I actually felt good. Like extra good. Borderline great. All in all, my birth experience with my daughter was 100% better and less painful than I hyped myself up to believe beforehand. (Especially the stitches…I had three, and I really was terrified of them. But they weren’t that bad. As a side note, if you do tear, they will give you this spray-numb stuff to shoot on there to help with the pain. It works very well. But make sure you close your mouth when you are spraying. That shit gets airborne real quick, and you can have a totally numb mouth like I did if you’re not careful).
You’ll be awesome.
You are going to do great. If I can do it, trust me, anyone can. I think back to two weeks ago when I pushed my gal out and it seems so long ago. The pain is nothing but a memory. I’m still sore, sure, but my body has bounced back in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Seriously, I totally believe my poor vag will recover in good time!
My older child was a drug-free delivery. I don’t remember actual delivery pain. I remember in labour having contractions that made me think “holy God. That was a strong one…am I done yet?” I remember seeing his father turn green as I vomited my way through transition and being so irritated that I had to ask (everyone on the L & D floor) “what is HIS problem?” I remember trying to “quit” once L hit zero station (I stood up, announced I wasn’t doing this and tried to leave!). I remember recovery SUCKED. Pain during delivery? Nope…delivery was the easiest part of having a baby!
It was the most painful thing EVER. Just kidding! I was so damn tired both times and the contractions were ridiculously uncomfortable, but as far as pain… Not so much. I tore the second time an got cut the first. Did not feel a thing. Adrenaline baby! I felt the stitching and was annoyed, but you will be the tough chick that I have always known and loved. Get the epidural if you are worried about pain. Love you! I honestly don’t think anyone would reproduce again if birth was that painful.
Well, LBG there is no question I am getting the epidural, but I am leaning towards askin to be hit over the head with a club or something too, you know, just in case. I have no idea what my pain tolerance is at all. lol. I am also afraid of the epidural!! You know me and needles don’t really get along all that well! Eeek!
You are officially more pregnant than I ever was! How crazy is that? The contractions hurt really bad. The pushing/vagina part did not–you get such a rush of adrenaline I think its impossible to feel the pain. And, like LBG, I ended up needing lots a stitches. I told you before that I regretted the pain meds b/c it just made me confused but didn’t seem to help the contraction pain. I wanted an epi but never got one, so I can’t comment on that. If I had to do it again, I would probably ask for an epi again. But I wouldn’t accept IV drugs again.
You will be fine! You are a total badass! Srsly!
Man, thats not fair! I’m done being knocked up and you got out of it early! Maybe if you call me and we talk on the phone for a while, I will go into labor, just like you did. In te meantime, hot sauce and walking it is! Uuuggghhhh!
I think I will be okay, I just can’t imagine this not being the most horrible experience I will ever have considering what is actually going to happen. How could it not be?! Hello?! A person! My vagina! No!
The best thing I did was not think of it as pain. If you hit your finger with a hammer, you think about how much it hurts. And it might hurt worse than if you don’t focus on that finger. You might want to think about something completely unrelated and then you don’t feel that pain at all.
That’s childbirth. Occupy your mind with something else. Something it knows how to do without thinking. I said the alphabet over and over. It wasn’t always in order, but my brain wasn’t thinking about how to do this baby-birthing. My hypnobirthing classes said that your body already knows how to do this (it’s a lot like pooping) so you just have to let it do its thing without making it harder for yourself. You can do it!
Wow. If you are so scared about what the pain is going to be like you are very brave to ask this question… I am due on Sunday and I try not to think about it too much. I know I can’t even imagine what the pain is going to be like so I’d rather just deal with it when it starts. And by the time it starts I hope that I will be so excited about soon (ish) actually meeting my baby that that pain will be something that I can cope with during my way there. Who knows I might have my first contraction and completely freak out… But I’d rather deal with that then than worrying about that now. haha this will probably come back and bite me as soon as labour starts but we’ll see. Good luck though. Here no one checks you internally until you go over. So my next appointment (when I am five days over due) they are apparently having a little poke to see if they can kick start labour. But until then they leave you alone. All they do is measure your belly and listen to the baby’s heart beat.
How about, so much pain you won’t care if you poop or not. Unless you get an epidural I hear, those must be nice.
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