In the weeks leading up to my due date I was determined to prepare myself for labour by finding out exactly what I was in for. So I watched every season of ‘One Born Every Minute’ available on YouTube, and spent hours googling ‘what does labour feel like’. Then, after two weeks of this high intensity internet research I commenced stage two of the investigation – interrogating everyone I knew who had recently had children. There were two statements that I consistently heard;
- “Its like really, really, bad period pain”
- “As soon as you have your baby, you won’t even remember the pain of labour”
So when I rocked up to the maternity ward, I was ready. I had my heat packs, a handy travel pack of panadol rapid, and my super cute blue fit-ball that I planned to leisurely bounce on in a meditative state while practicing the breathing I learnt in my $300 calm birth class. As it turned out, the only thing the heat packs and fit-ball were good for were throwing at my husband, and panadol rapid for labour is the equivalent of trying to treat a gun shot wound with one of those tiny round finger bandaids.
For all you first time mums out there in the pre-labour investigative stage, and to anyone guilty of using the period pain analogy, let me just clear something up for you. Labour is not like period pain. Not even really, really bad period pain. Labour is like someone has stabbed you in the lower back with a cactus while simultaneously amputating every limb from your entire body. The memory of it isn’t surpassed by your love for your baby, it’s blocked out by your nervous system in an attempt to save the pain receptors in your brain from imploding and causing a major aneurysm.
If you ask me, there is nothing in the world that can adequately prepare you for the horror that is childbirth. I will say though- there is truth to some rumours, and I can confirm that it absolutely IS worth it.