I can certainly relate to this authors birthing experiences, Birth as Edge Walking:
"What few people talk about is how fucking terrifying giving birth is. I’ve given birth twice and I completely trust that my body will birth a healthy baby one more time. But I also know how hard birthing is. It is a Descent to the Underworld, a walk along the knife’s edge."
Yes, it certainly can be. Some women make the claim of loving it. Of it being deeply spiritual and orgasmic. While others say it's the absolute worse, most terrifying thing in the world. As one commenter (Asa) said, "I feel like there are two camps in the US regarding birth: there's the "birth is dangerous, and thus must be medicalized" camp, and the "birth is natural, and therefore shouldn't hurt at all" camp. We desperately need a middle ground between these two extremes."
I said something similar in an earlier post, when I came across such camp, or frame of mind, of a woman on Pregnancy Corner who said that these misconceptions of birth being this awful thing needed to be abolished, because it was beautiful, natural, and orgasmic. I just rolled my eyes and laughed! There really are two schools of thought for many people. The Fluffy and the...I guess...Fearful? There needs to be a more realistic POV. The truth is, pregnancy and birth can be both beautiful and terrifying.
I'm not one of those who likes being pregnant, but I'm happy with the end result: a happy, healthy, beautiful child in my life. Pregnancy sucks for me. Both times I've have gestational diabetes. The first hospital made me believe that I was going to have a stillborn, so when it came time to push, I was so scared that I was going to kill him. Yes, I could hear his heartbeat on the monitor, but when I pushed him out, he was going to die. I pushed and struggled and vomited, and about 1-2 hours, I finally gave birth to a beautiful living baby. But it was short lived, because I fell into hysterics from nearing bleeding to death.
Nearly a year and a half later, I don't remember the pain felt by my experience. Yeah, I vaguely remember the countless days and nights I spent crying over having GD and believing that I was a bad woman for being obese and pregnant. Some nights I honestly believed that I was going to lose him, like I did my first embryo.
This pregnancy, I have GD again, but I'm at a much better hospital and I have a better hold over what's going on. No one's telling me that I'm a bad person for being obese and pregnant. No ones telling me that I'm going to push out a dead child. I'm more confident this time. And happier. But I'm also terrified. I'm scared of the pain that I'm going to go through. Like the author in the article, I endured extremely painful menstrual cramps as well, but contraction pain is something else. It's more intense and midol can't help. Curling up in a ball doesn't help. It's uncomfortable and hellish.
Like I've stated in other posts, I've endured hours of agonizing gall bladder inflammation that honest to the Gods rivals labor pain. But I'm still scared. I'm not a fan of pain and I have a low threshold for it. Yet, this time, I'm going to go as natural for as long as I can. Epidurals are great, except they make the delivery longer and you literally cannot feel a damn thing.
"Push in your butt, not in your face."
"I WOULD IF I COULD FEEL MY BUTT!"
Couldn't feel anything until it wore off. When it did, delivery was easy. It was fast.
That scares me. This choice to endure extreme amounts of pain. With the gall bladder thing, that wasn't a choice. This time, I'm choosing to go through with it. What the fuck am I thinking? One of my friends went as long as she could, but finally she gave into the epidural, and she has a high pain tolerance! But sometimes you've gotta do what you gotta do.
I'm also scared that I might have bleeding problems again. Even with having told this better hospital about my problems last time, there's always that fear of what if? What if they can't get it to stop? What if I bleed to death after Vin's born? What if i never get to see Lycan, my husband, or my newborn? What if? It's terrifying to think about. I know the Spirits are watching over us; I know my children are protected by Hecate (another "dark goddess" similar to Kali; a Titan of the Underworld, but also a protector of children). I just gotta have faith in my body and in the hospital staff that everything will work out. They're skilled; they have the experience and the technology. They know that I bled pretty bad last time. They'll be prepared.
I hoping that I can just enjoy seeing my beautiful newborn son. See him, and not fall into hysterics.
Like the author, I know a little about walking on the edge of life and death that is the birthing process; and of strolling through the Underworld. It can be fucking terrifying, indeed. But nothing beats those results.