Of course, no birth is exactly the same. While Vito's birth found me joking with the doctors and nurses while I was pushing, Iñigo's was excruciating. When the OB did an internal exam, she said she felt the baby's back or butt. Uh oh. She said she might have to reach inside with both hands to turn the baby. OMG! But while Vince and I were waiting, Iñigo couldn't wait. My body pushed him out (nope, I didn't push at all) and I felt every mighty painful contraction. That was kinda awful. Fortunately, because it was my second time, I wasn't so freaked out. I had a really good attitude about it so no trauma.
I guess I'm sharing this because I have a couple of friends about to give birth and they are terrified. I've assured them and encouraged them and even tried my best to make birth sound like the most exciting thing in the world. Yes, it hurts. Yes, it's unpredictable. Yes, things can go wrong. But fear makes it worse. Fear robs you of the joy of the occasion. So try not to be afraid.
I was fortunate enough to have supportive women who told me giving birth may be painful but nature designed a woman's body to bear children. In fact, someone told me—bless her soul—that giving birth will be my moment of glory. I will never feel as powerful and as tender, as god-like and as human. So instead of fearing childbirth, I was anticipating it.
|Welcome to the world, Vito!|
If you're a mommy about to give birth, congratulations! Don't be scared. Arm yourself with knowledge about the childbirth process. Exercise and have a healthy pregnancy. Discuss your birth plan with your doctor but don't get too attached to it in case circumstances demand for a change in plans. If you must undergo CS, trust that it's the best decision since your doctor won't recommend it if it's not necessary. Just make sure it's the doctor's decision and not yours. A lot of women opt for a CS so they won't feel pain but a CS is major surgery that should be your last resort. Click here to know why.
If it makes you feel better, go get a great haircut, get a Brazilian wax, bring pretty bedsheets for your hospital bed, or bring calming scented candles to your birthing pool if you want a water birth—nothing is too silly or frivolous. You're ushering a life into the world! That's powerful magic!
Most of all, remember that giving birth is natural to your body. You have to trust your body that it will do what it was meant to do. You are a warrior, mommy! Be brave and own the changes happening in your body. Fear will freeze your body. Panic will make you lose focus. Instead, listen to your body, be alert to the changes, feel the flow and ebb of the pain. The pain is actually exciting since you know that as the pain sharpens and gets more frequent, that means only one thing: your baby is coming! And that is the best news in the world!
*Katie, Tom and Suri photo from Just Jared, Kourtney photo from Glamour.