Friday, September 18, 2009

Birth and the Exploding Vagina

I find it a shame that people try to scare women into thinking birth is SO awful.  I was always told how excruciating labor is, and how it's the most painful moment of your entire life.  This scared the poo out of me growing up, thinking I'd have to choose between having kids, which I'd always wanted, or getting to skip that horrific pain.  Obviously we know which won.

Having given birth twice, I can tell you birth is not as bad as everyone makes it sound.  Of course it hurts, and there's always risk that things can go wrong, that's a given.  But an uncomplicated birth is awesome and wonderful if you can figure out how to manage the pain.  Some people can manage it using non-medicinal techniques.  I had back labor, so i went with epidurals.  I'll focus mainly on my second birth since my first wasn't as great as I would have liked.

Labor pains hurt, there's no doubt about that.  They radiate through your body like cramping death trying to rip out your kidneys with a acid-coated rusty spork.  But it's manageable.  When you first feel them come on, they are spread out, sometimes up to 15-30 mins apart.  They slowly get closer together and you figure out how best to manage them.  By the time they get unbearable, you have the option for an epidural or narcotic.  So there is no horrific pain that people scare you with. 

After the baby pops out and your vagina looks like a bomb testing site, there's more pain.  You have stretched and possibly torn flesh that is located adjacent to an acidic-liquid ejecting device (your urethra) and this healing skin and muscle is going to be expected to stretch approximately once a day during bathroom visits.  This can make for a baaaaaaad time.  But again it's all about pain management, and it's really not as bad as people make it sound.  Drink lots of water to dilute the acidity.  Take some vics, Tylenol, or what have you.  Bite your lip, dig your fingernails into your arm or squeeze one of those weird eye popping alien stress ball thingies. 

My point here, folks, is that birth really isn't all that bad.  If it was, do you think the world would be as overpopulated as it is? 


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“Birth is the sudden opening of a window, through which you look out upon a stupendous prospect. For what has happened? A miracle. You have exchanged nothing for the possibility of everything.”  ~William MacNeile Dixon

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