Welcome to the club.
I remember the moment like it was yesterday. Those two thin pink lines that were so long awaited for had actually appeared, and I couldn’t have been happier (after doing another 5 tests to be sure of course). Finally I could go and buy those little socks, peruse the baby aisle in the supermarket (well, at least with a purpose now) and read all the information possible on pregnancy and raising a beautiful baby with my doting and equally elated husband. All these thoughts flooded my mind with no fear or doubt…..until it hit me like a brick in the sand (about 24 hrs later)….I would have to give birth!!
As women, we often talk about labour and birth with our friends and family. “Just breathe through it,” they’d say, “You’ll be fine,” and even more disturbing “Birth is such a beautiful thing.” I was one of those girls that ever since I can remember was fascinated by birth and would drown anyone I could in questions about their experience. This interest made me feel somewhat prepared, like somehow I wouldn’t be shocked when my time came. Crazy I know. My husband and I attended birthing classes, read countless books and websites, prepared a music play list and bought an exercise ball for me to labour with (we used neither on the day by the way). Some friends told me that nothing could prepare you, but I didn’t believe them. Surely all this knowledge would get me through it. I knew it would painful, and I tried to imagine what that pain would be like. But you can’t. You just can’t.
Well, my baby is now 3 weeks old and even though I had what some would say was a pretty ‘good’ birth, the pain was so unexpected. To be honest, I was traumatised. So was my husband. Just talking with others about watching me in pain, the contractions, and the haemorrhaging brought tears to his eyes for quite some time. Like most, we vowed we’d just have one child.
As I talked to other mothers, the only way I could describe it was that I had entered this club of “truth”. A Secret Society. After giving birth I felt like I had entered a club that only those who had been through it could truly understand. It was as though women had lied to me all this time. Now I could look at other mothers and they could look at me with a “you know the truth” gaze. I began wondering why women go back and have more children once they knew this “truth” and how we ever survive anyways. And yet, a week after this crazy experience, after a week of not being able to fall asleep with thoughts of the pain and the birth, suddenly I was over it and knew I could do it all again tomorrow. I look back on it with no fear or worry and can’t understand why I was ever traumatised. Why? Because giving birth to this little human being who is totally dependent on me, made me feel strong, made me feel proud. This little human had pushed my body as far as it could be pushed in an experience that my body was made for. That my friends IS a beautiful thing. And let’s be honest, birth is a lot easier than a new born!
by Kayla Berzins – New mom of 1