One of my best friends went into labor yesterday and while talking to her, I found myself totally overcome with jealousy. See, I loved being in labor. I mean really, LOVED it. Sure, sure, it hurt, but not nearly as much as everyone told me it was going to. For the most part it felt like the worst menstrual cramps I’d ever had … but nothing more than that. Pushing the baby’s head out of my vagina … that’s a different story. That whole “ring of fire” thing hurts WAY more than they could ever actually tell you it’s going to.
But oh god, labor made me see myself in a totally new light. It made me realize how unbelievably powerful I am, how strong and brave and solid and funny and beautiful I am. It made me realize that I can actually do the things I set out to do. I wanted to have my child with as little medical intervention as possible, au naturale. And after 19 hours of labor, during which time the only actual medical thing that was done at all was measuring the baby’s heart-rate, I pushed that child out of me without having ever even thought of taking any drugs for the pain.
Honestly, I have never been more proud of myself in my entire life.
And now my dear friend Meag is about to go through the same thing. Regardless of whether or not she has the exact birth that she wants, at the end of it there’s a baby and she will be proud beyond belief of what she accomplished. I only hope that her labor is as satisfying as mine was.
So I guess it’s not really the fact that she’s in labor that I’m jealous of. It’s that I haven’t often in my life felt that good about myself. In my mind there’s always something that I could be doing better. I am a very self-critical person and it oftentimes leads to great unhappiness in me. But what I did while in labor was the best thing I’ve ever done. And I would do it again a million times.
So Meaggie-poo … I wish you the labor you’ve always hoped for. I wish that your daughter will come out strong and beautiful and filled with personality. I wish for you nothing but the absolute best. Come out, baby girl, and meet the world!