A few days ago, someone posted the following on the Facebook page for Bring Birth Home:
"I see so many beautiful pictures of women so calmly birthing their babies... it almost makes me feel like a failure in my two home births because I can't seem to master the chill out and breathe and quit fighting the pain. Instead I end up screaming and 'bucking up' against the contractions. (In my defense, both of my children were posterior.) So this is a shout out to the other screamers out there... tell me I'm not alone!" (emphasis mine)
At last count, there were over one hundred responses to this post, all saying "Yes! Me too!"
I was so relieved to see this!
So much of the time, I really feel like a birth failure. Really. That's how I describe myself and how I think of myself. I have never been able to relax through a single contraction. I have never been able to keep quiet through a contraction. I have never been able to mimic the birthing goddesses whose videos we pass around the internet. Instead, I go more for the sweaty, red-faced, yowling, out-of-control style that doesn't really get talked about much in birthing classes - and you'll for sure never see my birth videos being screened in mass quantities in local Bradley classes.
It's so nice to know that I'm not alone.
Which begs the question, of course - are we really doing women a favor when we only share the photogenic-type birth videos? What about when reality hits, and a first-time mom in labor realizes "Oh my gosh, these contractions hurt and I can't maintain that perfect-birth-video airbrushed look and pretend this is painless?" In some ways, that's what happened to me in my first birth. The childbirth classes we had taken focused on painless birth (which my midwife says she has seen once in her entire career), and so the reality of labor made me rather panicky. I would much rather be prepared for the truth than to be focused on the rare event of painless birth.
Enough meandering for the day!! Thoughts, anyone?