What is Labor Really Like?

Towards the end of my pregnancy, all I kept asking myself was “How will I know I’m in labor?”

All anyone kept telling me was “Oh, you will KNOW”

Very reassuring, right?

“It’s like super intense period cramps” the doctors would tell me.

They couldn’t be more accurate.

There’s no other way to describe it. It’s like the most intense period cramps you’ve ever had.

Here’s my labor story:

At 10pm I was in the bathroom washing my hands, getting ready for bed. I then was forced to bend over and hold myself up on the counter because I felt “period cramps”.

Labor had just begun.

I went into bed, mentioned to Joe that I thought I was in labor but wasn’t entirely sure. As the minutes went on, the intense cramps came in intervals, and they progressively got worse. I timed them for an hour, and sometimes they’d come every 5 minutes…sometimes every 2-3 minutes. The “cramps” lasted for about 45 seconds each time.

Off to the hospital we went.

They checked how dilated I was. I knew I was already 3cm from my prenatal visit earlier that day, but now I was 4cm.

By 2am they offered me the heavenly epidural. Of course my first question was “How am I supposed to go to the bathroom?

Well, they insert a catheter into you every few hours. My heart dropped when the nurse told me. I always had a huge fear of catheters, but I honestly couldn’t feel a thing. Not a big deal at all.

I thought it was pretty early on to offer the epidural, but I am SO glad I got it when I did. I was able to sleep pretty well throughout the night and get some rest.

A few hours later, they broke my water (also didn’t feel a thing), and eventually they gave me pitocin to help dilate my cervix.

I started feeling super intense cramps at 11:45am and asked the nurse if she could give me more meds. She checked my cervix and said I was actually ready to push.

QUE THE WATERWORKS

You mean I’m actually about to have a child???? And you want me to push during the painful contractions???

Got myself together and we started the process. I thought it was gonna be like the movies with a bunch of people in the room.

Nope. Just me, Joe, and one nurse.

I pushed for 10 seconds, took a breath, pushed for another 10, took another breath, and did it again. We repeated this during my contractions.

Again, not a bad experience at all. Joe and I were talking and even laughing at times in between contractions. Finally Noah was ready to make his arrival. The doctor came in, I pushed a few more times, and Noah Braiden Beck was born at 12:34pm ❤

They put him on my chest, and time stopped. I can’t even describe the feeling of first meeting your child and looking into their eyes.

I wasn’t even aware of my placenta coming out (which Joe so graciously put on his Instagram story that day………thanks babe @j0ey_beck), or them stitching me up. All that mattered in that moment was the beautiful life we created out of love.

That was it.
Labor was nothing like the movies.

I had gone into it with fears of abandonment, and triggers from sexual traumas.
I thought I was going to lose my shit and cry the entire time.

None of that happened.
All those irrational fears were just occupying space in my mind.

I would do labor all over again.
Our bodies were made for this.

Birthing our child was a beautiful experience. There’s no reason to be afraid. During labor, you are surrounded by love and so many people to support you on your journey.

I had been told so many horror stories throughout my pregnancy, so I hope my story can help put some hearts at ease.

You are beautiful.
You are empowered.
You are strong.

Xo,
Michelle

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