I have always been a nerd.
Growing up, I was a real wimp, the kind that always dodged the ball in P.E. class and was last to get picked for teams. I was pretty much bad at anything requiring physical strength or stamina.
Petrified of the pain of childbirth, I told my sweet sixteen-year-old boyfriend (who later became my husband) that I probably wouldn’t want to have kids at all.
It was just too much to ask of women.
Years later, you can imagine my surprise when I not only made it through pregnancy and childbirth, but loved it! My experience was that labor was uncomfortable, but less so than a common cold. At the same time, birthing a baby was so exciting. Little did I know that my body was capable of such a miracle.
After spending 28 years belittling my body for all its shortcomings, I was shocked when out of nowhere, my uterus hit this home run. I felt like a champion, and I wished all women could have this experience of birth.
When I told close friends and family about my amazing birth experience, they remarked, “It’s like you were made to have kids!” After some thought, I realized that I was. Perhaps all women were, if we can find it in our hearts to trust our bodies.
You might be wondering what I did to achieve this. Really, not much.
It boils down to this:
I wasn’t the best student, but I tried to believe. I didn’t even read the book. I did do some of the breathing exercises and I read about some positive birth experiences online. My husband practiced leading meditations and he was great at it.
Hubby and I did this nightly for about three weeks leading up to the birth.
We listened to the hypnobirthing CD nightly for a few weeks before the birth, though I always fell asleep while it was playing.
My job as a teacher kept me on my feet most of the day, but I also went walking three times a week for an hour.
Had planned on a hospital birth complete with epidural, but opted last minute for a homebirth in our one bedroom apartment for reasons that are beyond the scope of this article.
Mine was quietly supportive, calm, present, relaxed, and truly believed in me.
We set up an inflatable kiddie pool in our kitchen. I also liked the shower for earlier labor.
One eight pound baby, one 5’6” Mom, 15 hours, no pushing, and one cosmetic stitch