The Single Momma's Guide:
Many times during the process of labor I thought fuc* this sh*t, give me drugs. But I tried to focus on the breaths between contractions instead of the pain of the contraction itself. The pain of each contraction was so intense I lost focus on everything around me. Between the waves of pain I experienced an almost euphoric feeling of calm.
Tip: Over the summer before my son's birth I got a lot of Braxton Hicks and early contractions, the difference between the two was that the real contractions pulled both my stomach and back and had a wave-like rolling to them. Whereas Braxton Hicks had a tightening in the belly and groin that did not roll, but rather pinched.
I closed my eyes and focused solely on what my body was doing and boy did it hurt. At one point I started arguing with my nurses abut how much it hurt. They believed me but I was sure they just did not understand the depth of my suffering. During a really intense contraction I clamped down on the arm of a nurse with my fingers so tight I remember thinking 'sorry' but being unable to say anything.
All the noise and goings-on were distant as I got to meet my son for the very first time. I was so overwhelmed at the time with thoughts about how I should be feeling. Should I be feeling a bigger amount or different kinds of love? Somehow in all the rush and noise of giving birth I wondered if being a mom should feel different. Within my own self-conscious mind I worried.
But looking back I realize now how intense the emotions were right in that most precious moment. Something I am beginning to realize only now, after caring for and tending to my little man for nearly 12 months is just how strong, how overwhelmingly intense the emotions were. I simply did not recognize what was happening as I bonded with my little son. I felt a totally instant urge to protect him and to keep him near me. No one was going to separate me from my son.
After giving birth I had such an intense hormone rush that I could not sleep for two days. For several days after his birth(day) I had to stay awake and keep my son safe (in my mind). The sense of love grew as I got to know him, breathed in his scent and held his tiny little noggin in my hands. But the love, oh that was always there and there was no need to worry about how or what I was feeling.
All the pain of contractions, tears, moans and utter exhaustion do not really matter. New moms can feel judgment from all over. Do not let worry or other people's opinions daunt your emotions. I love my birth story. Not because it was perfect or I was some other worldly unicorn sining along to a pain-free birth. I love my birth story because I know the secret to a positive labor and delivery, my sweet baby.
After everything we have to go through to birth a new person the good labor story is not about what other people think is good. What matters is holding my son.