My body is finally recovering from a bad infection of my tonsils. It was really bad. Now, how does this have anything to do with anything?! Well…let me explain.
The big thought in everyone’s mind when you mention “labor” is unbearable, life–threatening, excruciating PAIN….
But when you take a step back and really think about it– labor pain is of a whole other nature than the typical pain humans experience.
My tonsillitis was 6 days of 24/7 aggravating, pinching, stabbing, raw PAIN. It did not let up, it only got worse. I couldn’t swallow, talk, eat or drink without extreme pain. This was not for 12 hours or even 24 hours, it was for 144 hours. It finally ended– and there was nothing…no applause…no flood of pleasure hormones…no reward for my endurance…and certainly NO BABY.
Pain is typically a way to get your body to recognize there is a problem. Not so with labor pain.
Labor pain has a character, quality, and purpose unique to itself.
While every single labor has its own blue print, there are some commonalities. A slower beginning with little strength, growing gradually over time producing a stronger sensation. A much appreciated quality of this pain is that not every second is consumed with this feeling, there are breaks between every single contraction. The pain becomes very intense towards the end, almost sending the women into another place all but physically. It ends with pressure, causing the women to allow her body to push towards it, climaxing the entire experience with the last energies left to deliver her baby into the world.
This pain is not an indicator of a physiological problem, impending danger, infection or disease. It is perfectly normal. The uterine muscles are contracting exactly the way they were designed to…to do exactly what the body is supposed to do, get the baby safely out of the body, the exact way it is meant to get out.
Your hard day of work ends in the greatest “reward” EVER. A beautiful, warm, fleshy baby to hold to your chest. Really it is the first day of many days of VERY hard work, how appropriate.
…And I have never heard of a 144 hour labor