Why I think going into labour is fun.
Labour. Fun? When I teach Birth Skills class to help mums prepare for labour and delivery, they are often shocked when I describe going into labour as one of the most fun, exciting things that I have ever experienced.
I remember vividly when I was pregnant with Sammy, I would look at mothers with renewed wonder. “She’s done it. So has she, so will I”. My internal dialogue was going crazy, collecting birth stories and wondering how my own body was going to manage. Most people were really happy to share negative stories – why do they do that? It drives me bonkers!
Make sure you go to the movies, because you won’t have time for that for a while.
Make sure you read the newspaper, because you won’t read one for months.
WTF? So what! I am having a baby!! I’m ok with missing the movies. Why do people feel compelled to focus on the negatives? Anyway, that’s a story for another day…
Going into labour. The anticipation. The awareness that your body is preparing for your baby to arrive in the world. Into your arms.
The thought that you go into this as a woman and come out of it as a mother.
No more false alarms. No more Braxton Hicks that you aren’t sure are developing into the real deal or not. No more doubt about whether “the plug” has passed (!)
What unfolds over the next few hours is magical. The feelings intensify. Discomfort intensifies as the contractions become stronger, your amazing uterus contracting rhythmically to ease your baby towards the birth canal.
Each contraction bringing you closer to meeting your baby.
It can get a bit hectic, it can be hard work, it can be not what you expected, it might involve intervention that you were trying to avoid. Sure. I’m not going to sugar coat it. You will call on all your internal resources, all the learning and reading you have done, and it can be really hard work.
But going into labour - well that is just a feeling that I will never forget. I still smile to myself while I am writing this, just imagining it all over again, almost 9 years later.
I invite you to try and focus on those feelings of excitement and joy, and recognise that there may be some nervousness or anxious thoughts, similar to when you try anything for the first time.
The feelings on that magical day when you meet your baby are indescribable.