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.