30 Days

Real Labour Stories

Noah Toes

This morning I’m trolling through Facebook profiles of old friends and acquaintances that are recent mommies, and their baby photos are melting my heart. I can’t believe that I’m only a month away from meeting this amazing little being I’ve been GROWING IN MY BODY.

I used to really pride myself on the creative things I’ve accomplished in my life, but really nothing compares to making a person. For me, that was always a goal I wanted to achieve, but as I approached my mid thirties it seemed more and more like a pipe dream. I believe whole-heartedly that women everywhere can achieve great and wonderful goals without ever procreating, but to look back on darker times in my life when I really believed I would never have the chance to even try to get pregnant, I feel pretty damned grateful.

This morning at about 5:45 I awoke with my first for real, full-fledged contraction. I think it was like a super Braxton Hicks or something because I shifted positions and it eased up. There haven’t been any more since. It was unlike anything I’ve ever felt, different than cramping for sure. I felt my entire midsection give a squeeze, right down to my pubic bone. It didn’t hurt, but it did make me marvel at what the real deal might possibly be like.

I fell asleep watching ‘More Business of Being Born’ which is a follow up mini series to the Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein documentary ‘The Business of Being Born’. The particular episode I was watching featured various celebrities talking very candidly about their own birthing experiences. It was really touching and honest. I was seriously impressed with model Gisele Bundchen. She spoke of the whole thing as a very empowering, spiritual experience, and she seemed to have mastered the art of staying calm and relaxing through the birth. I figure if she (who has not been blessed with my wide birthing pelvis) can squeeze out a person so serenely, then surely so can I. My grandmother birthed twelve babies, so I’m going to believe that I’m genetically primed for this kind of work.

I am getting nervous. Not afraid, because I really do believe that I can handle whatever happens, and I’m prepared to do whatever needs to be done to bring the baby into the world safely, but I think I can say there’s some fear of the unknown setting in. I think it’s comforting to know that every single experience is unique, and that just because some people had a hell of a time, it doesn’t mean that I will. I think if I keep focusing on the spiritual and very positive elements of birth, it will help tremendously.  Everyone seems to swear by Hypnobirthing, and while I like the idea of deep relaxation, I found this book impossible to read because it’s so, so fruity.

So many of you have babies of your own. What kind of mental prep or labor coping tools did you and your partners employ?




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  1. September 19, 2012 / 9:36 am

    World Birth Rate:

    131.4 million births per year
    360,000 births per day
    15,000 births each hour
    250 births each minute
    4 births each second of every day

    Just remember, as amazing a miracle growing a human in your body is, birthing is one of the most common events in the world. Surrounded by loving support and professionals that can assist in any situation is a bonus. If all of those women can do this so can you. It is going to hurt a lot but though the intensity is high the cause of this pain is love and joy and when it stops you are left with only the good stuff!
    Eyes on the prize baby!

  2. Rachelle
    September 19, 2012 / 4:49 pm

    Before you know it, little Noah will be here and all the pain (if any) will be forgotten. I guess this is something that is built in women that it was all worth it and they want to go through it again. AMAZING.



  3. Mike
    September 23, 2012 / 11:43 am

    I participated in the birth of both my sons, and what amazed me most was how my wife biologically changed into a baby delivering machine right before my eyes. Her entire personality and look changed and she was 100% about the business of birthing. Pain was there, sure, but it was very much secondary to the business of delivering the baby. Clearly something spectacular physiologically happens during the labour, it was amazing to watch and the way I look at her (and women in general) forever changed that day.

    A nurse once told me what I thought at the time was a banal platitude, that “everyone’s baby story is different.” It is quite true. You can plan and prepare, but one mistake I see a lot of people making is getting too attached to their plan, because the process is never exactly how you expected it, 100% of the time. Amy has a very low pain tolerance and desperately wanted an epidural, but both labours were so fast there was no time to arrange an anesthetist. There is an element you can’t control and that will be the best part of your baby story. I edited videos of both my sons births:

    Lochlann: http://youtu.be/H1rUwqG1vus
    Malcolm: http://youtu.be/WU7tjbE5dTc

    You are doing a fine job, you will do a fine job and soon you’ll have a very special person to share your story with!

    • September 24, 2012 / 1:42 pm

      Mike, thank you for this. Your videos are beautiful and they gave me my third trimester cry for the day. Every time Amy got emo, so did I, and watching you paint the nursery choked me up too.

      I know how badly you both wanted a family, and I’m so happy you’ve been blessed twice over. Willow must love her little brothers so much.

      Thanks for reading, and for your words of encouragement. I hope you’re all happy and healthy and doing well in that beautiful home of yours.

      With love,