pain

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know what Grahm and I were up to this weekend. Class. Birthing class to be specific. (It's worth noting that my post-college brain has the attention span of a bipolar fly.)

From 9-4 on Saturday and Sunday, we forced our plump buns out of bed to attend a course that will surely help us master our labor and this whole parenting thing. (Ha.) I'm not sure what we expected... but holding fistfuls of ice for minutes at a time while practicing pain coping mechanisms wasn't exactly it.

Within the first five minutes of the class, our instructor was role playing a woman having an intense contraction. It was extremely awkward and, if I'm honest, totally terrifying. The reality of natural labor had never before been so in my face. I found myself grimacing and turning away, wishing this cooky doula would stop her dramatics. That gal could have won an Oscar, I tell ya.
But it only got worse. Later, we watched a ten-minute video featuring real women and real, drug-free births. I cried and not in the "Oh this is so beautiful" kind of way. No, I cried because this is going to HURT, and I am absolutely terrified.

I just kept thinking, "How am I going to do this? How am I gonna push my kid through my tinkle taco without wanting to die a thousand deaths? What if Sawyer has an abnormally large head? What if I'm in labor for over 48 hours? What if I'm the only one woman in the world who can't do this? What if... what if... what if..."

When we came home after the first day, I felt completely defeated. I bombarded Grahm with questions. I pleaded for a new birth plan, one that included a big ol' needle and a lot less pain. After he calmed down his trollish frantic wife, he reminded me of my own words and talked me through our reasons for choosing a natural birth in the first place.

We aren't doing this for medical beliefs. I don't believe epidurals are bad. I've never watched The Business of Being Born, and I'm not an anti-doctor, beat-the-system kind of person. We're doing this because we want to trust God in our birth. We want to give Him the control, as scary as that is, and we want to rely on each other to bring our daughter into this world.

I may have only been holding handfuls of ice during our pain coping practices this weekend (more painful than it sounds, I assure you), but I was already relying on Grahm to distract me, help me, comfort me, and encourage me to get through those "contractions." I can only imagine what it's going to be like when the real deal happens. I'm going to need him so much, and I have no doubt our daughter's arrival will bond us in ways we never thought possible.

One thing we kept coming back to was the fall of man. After Adam and Eve sinned, God promised that men would have to work and women would experience pain in childbirth. (Remind me to punch those two when I get to heaven.) Pain is inevitable, and I'm still terrified of it. But thankfully, that's not where God leaves it. He doesn't abandon women in their time of need, He is there. He is ever watchful and ever helpful in the midst of the pain. And at the end of it all, He gives us inexplicable joy. Holding Sawyer Marie for the first time, I know with absolute certainty, will be worth whatever pain labor brings my way.

25 comments:

P!nky said...

I'll meet you at the pearly gates to punch adamandeve with you...what were they thinking!!?!?

lori said...

There's gonna be a line for punching those two...

You will rock it. Granted, I did chose to have an epidural, but it's totally all worth it once they're here. I can't wait to see sweet sawyers face! Love her name, btw.

Nagehan said...

I think you will do great. This is exactly what I wanted to do, but like I said before, my water broke before my body wasn't ready to go into labor. I was only 1cm dilated when my water broke which isn't normal. Active labor requires at least 3-4 cm. So, after being in the hospital and denying epidural for 35 hours, I had to give in and get the epidural to see if it would help me get dilated. It worked and here we are with a baby and all is fine. Just know that unforeseen things can happen no matter how much you plan, so don't be too disappointed if things don't go exactly as you planned. Let your body do what it is capable of doing. So excited for you!!

Ktbuttons said...

I have no children and I'm not even pregnant, but I do often think about what it will be like. And I can't help but think of it as a terrifying roller coaster, once you're on it, there is no getting off. I think about this primarily in regards to the birthing process. The baby has to get out somehow and that pretty much equates to fear and pain, all very similar to my disdain of roller coasters.

I have so much respect for you! Not sure I could commit to a natural birth, but I absolutely love your reasoning behind it. God has predicted the pain but also promised us the endurance and ability to complete the task. You've given me a lot to think about! :)

Kaysie said...

I'm going to need to bookmark this for years down the road when I'm also facing the same decision, that I've already mostly decided. Such trust and faith you guys have, you will be wonderful.

Jessica K said...

Beautiful post! Y'all will do great!

Jana Tolman said...

You will do great! I attempted a natural birth with Joshua, but he got stuck and we had to have a c-section. I went for 12 hours with no drugs. It was hard, I'll definitely admit that. And it hurt like hell, but having Dustin and my awesome nurse to help me breath through the contractions was awesome. You can totally do this. :)

Kalyn V said...

I think you'll do great Jena! Obviously I've never been pregnant nor birthed a child, but I've witnessed several babies coming into the world (yay nursing) and it is honestly one of the most beautiful things. I am so excited for you, no matter how your birth goes, it will go the way He wants it to and it will be perfect.

Nicole said...

I'm getting the epidural and I'm still scared of the pain! ha ha. But you're right...put your trust in Him!

Sara said...

You will do great! I have a two and a half year old. My birth plan went out the window when my water broke at home. LOL! Just take it as it comes and you will do just fine! :)

I was terrified, too, but I had a good support system and they helped calm me down a lot.

Kaity said...

Granted, I've never had a baby, but I think your fears are totally justified. But keep in mind, ladies have been doing this for thousands of years. It's what we're meant to do (along with other things...I mean, I am a feminist ;)

You're going to do wonderful and even if you "wimp out" and demand an epidural little Sawyer's entry into this world will be so blessed!

Danielle said...

So sorry your birthing class scared you :( That's the opposite of what a really good birthing class is supposed to you. You should have left there feeling empowered! You will do great! Trust in the Lord and he will carry you through.

Danielle said...

So sorry your birthing class scared you :( That's the opposite of what a really good birthing class is supposed to you. You should have left there feeling empowered! You will do great! Trust in the Lord and he will carry you through.

Whitney Alison said...

You'll be alright girl! I wasn't able to go all natural because I was induced, but I made it a lot farther than they thought it would. The epidural ended up wearing off too ;-P You continue to put your faith in the Lord.

Amy - Louise said...

I've just read your other post on choosing a natural childbirth. I don't mean to be ignorant but is it not normal in the States to have a midwife at the birth? The norm in the UK is to have a midwife led birth not doctor led. I was high risk and had to be induced but I did the rest without pain relief. Birthing class petrified me and I didn't return after the first one! You'll be amazed at how well you'll cope during labour, it is painful but you are so much stronger than you could ever imagine :) x

Katy said...

Are you taking the Birthing from Within classes? That's what my husband and I took before the birth of our baby in June. Having an unmediated birth was amazing and totally worth it! Trust in yourself and in your husband :)

Genna said...

I kid you not, from the second we got engaged I've been telling Cam I did not want children because I would spend 9+ months being terribly anxious of the pain. Everytime I read that verse about the pain of childbirth I want to punch them -__-
But your words are so true. It's a bonding experience for mom and dad, and I can't wait to see pictures of your beautiful baby girl! I'll be praying for your little family, Jena <3

Megan D said...

I'm going to e-mail you, but I wanted to tell you your body was perfectly designed for this. Scary as it may be, you can do it!

whit | Black Little Button blog said...

oh my, this is getting me a bit more terrified now because my husband will most likely be on a tiny ipad screen half a world away. i'll be solo. I'm so glad that Graham will be there for you, and I know everything will work out. for both of us.
-whit

Katie said...

so i planned on most likely having an epidural and I did. however they had to turn it off after only thirty minutes of pushing (to which I pushed for another three hours, which maybe I shouldn't tell you). But am telling you because during it I thought it was the hardest thing ever and yes it was painful, but honestly I already would do it again in a second. I wait to experience those hours again and the moments of meeting my baby and I'm sad they are over just because although so scary and hard, something you only get once. sorry for the long comment! you will do awesome however it turns out. God is in control and that day will be the best day of your life!!

Kim Matheson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kim Matheson said...

I just (well. Four months ago yesterday) rocked a natural childbirth. It was awesome.

Okay so I was absolutely terrified as soon as my water broke (gushed) - that meant something very big had to come out of something not so very big, right? And okay, it didn't tickle. But. It was awesome. It hurt, but it wasn't more than I could handle.

I'm not anti-doc either (though I did have a midwife and doula - but my doc also doesn't deliver babies anymore), but I loved The Business of Being Born. I did cry and it was because the (natural) births were so amazing and beautiful. It helped to get me ready for the "yes it's going to hurt, but you can also absolutely handle it" of labour. Also! I highly recommend Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. Even if you (like me) only read the first half. It's all super positive (if a little bit granola) birth stories.

You are going to rock this, chickie! :) (I deleted my initial comment, which is exactly this comment, but with one omission. I'm going to send you an email - when The Little Dude allows.)

Kathy B said...

This is beautiful. I can't say I envy what you're going to have to go through (everybody knows it's not going to tickle), but having her in your arms is going to be incredible. You are a little powerhouse Missy, your body and strength will surprise you, I'm sure of it.

If ever I find myself in a relationship like yours and Grahm's I shall count myself very lucky. You guys could not be more perfect!

X

Kathy B said...

This is beautiful. I can't say I envy what you're going to have to go through (everybody knows it's not going to tickle), but having her in your arms is going to be incredible. You are a little powerhouse Missy, your body and strength will surprise you, I'm sure of it.

If ever I find myself in a relationship like yours and Grahm's I shall count myself very lucky. You guys could not be more perfect!

X

Karla said...

4 months in I am going back and forth on this. Honestly your words and trusting God have really encouraged me.. I know it wont be a walk in the park but trusting God is my main concern. I just keep thinking this pain will be for a purpose and what an amazing purpose at that!