The fact of the matter is, most of the labour stuff I know is coming from you people anyways. From women (and 1 man so far) who I know only since starting to blog, whose lives I've learned about 140 characters at a time, and in some cases, whose real names I don't actually know. This is not to say I don't have friends with children, I do. But for some reason, sitting down and trying to talk to them about their experiences rarely gets us anywhere.
There are a lot of reasons for this. Often, they don't want to talk so intimately about the time they pooped on their husbands. We get easily distracted. I feel awkward asking them to detail the exit of their children from their bodies. And their kids are here, and are a lot of fun, so I'd rather play with those babes than discuss their arrivals. Also, of the people I know who have had babies, some have had medical interventions based on necessity, some have had early arrivals and some have spent the majority of their labour in a car, praying to make it to the hospital. And my goal here is to surround myself with as many natural, positive birth stories as possible, so I can, as mentioned above, convince my vajay it should unclamp. And finally, most if not all my mama friends don't remember their labour in the amount of detail I feel like I need. They never wrote it down, and it's been 4 years, or 1 year or 10 months or even 6 months, and they just can't recall.
So I put the word out to the Twitter world, and got a little help from my friends. Before I knew it, I had offers for birth stories coming from people I'd never spoken to. I had offers for natural birth stories, planned and emergency c-sections, hypnobirths and water births and almost every kind of birth I can imagine (I also learned about something called a Lotus Birth from Mandy at Harpers Happenings, and well, ick). . So I decided, I'm going to read and post them all (or as many as I can before I go into labour, because birth stories will end with the arrival of my daughter). I feel like everyones story can contribute equally well to my experience. And at the end of the day, I have no idea what kind of experience I am going to have just yet, so I might as well be open minded and get prepared.
I start my "birth story recap to get my vajay ready" reporting business with Jill from Baby Rabies. I start here for 2 reasons. 1 being that she is single handedly responsible for about 75% of the stories I received. She has a HUGE following (and for good reason, she's downright hysterical) and she put it out on her twitter and in they came (when Jill tells you to do something, you do it). The second reason is that anyone who has the guts to put the word "Baby" and the word "Rabies" in the same sentence, let alone build their internet persona around it, is a person I want to be best friends with.
Jill's story is perfect. She thinks it's long winded, but as you can tell from my ever loquacious nature, you can never use too many words for me. In her usual style, she combines the right amount of hilarious anecdotes ("These are definitely NOT Braxton Hicks. I’m now noticing my mucus plug. Yay! My vagina finally sneezed!"), and hopefulness ("The car is packed by 6:30. I’m imagining we will be in it by the time lunch rolls around"). Her incremental reporting, her brutal honesty and her unintentional words of advice ( “How can I do this again?” but I stop that train as soon as possible and promise myself to only think about each contraction as they come. That frame of mind helps immensely.") give me a lot of hope for my ability to do this.
One of the things I love about Jill and her story, is that it really resonates with me. Because I know that even if I DO manage to get through this without any drugs, and come out the other end alive and with working lady parts, I won't do it quietly. I'm not going to be one of those women who avoids using the word "fuk", who doesn't tell her husband he's a bastard for doing this to her, and who doesn't shoot bodily fluids at her midwife. No, like Jill I will do all those things. I will worry that the women in the other rooms are getting scared because I'm screaming my bloody head off. Like Jill, I'm going to yell "NO" emphatically when they ask me if I want to see the head emerge with a mirror.
If you've come this far, then good for you. I should probably apologize to Jill for posting her story first, and prefacing it with a novel of my own opinions. But that's the point. To take these stories to heart, and get out of them what I will. To gain an ounce of strength and power, when the pain I feel is getting to be too much and I'm screaming for an epidural. To take something from every story, to remember as I experience that "ring of fire" everyone talks so much about.
So before I talk anymore, here is the link to Jill's story. Go there, read it. Then spend the next several days pouring through the rest of her posts, and learn to love her like I do, and like so many other mommy bloggers out there do. It's one of the few things you can read on the internet, which isn't a waste of your time.
**Because I can't ever just shut up, I have to add, in Twitter-chatting about this post with Miss Baby Rabies herself (and OMyFamily) I got even MORE gems of wisdom out of Jill, and there are seriously things I will take with me into that delivery room and beyond. So here, I share some more:
babyrabies @Babe_Chilla When I ran my marathon I saw an awesome sign that said "Pain is temporary, pride lasts forever." Use that for inspiration :)
OMyFamily @babyrabies @babe_chilla My favorite motivational phrase was "You can do ANYTHING for 5 minutes." It's SO true. One contraction at a time.
babyrabies @OMyFamily @babe_chilla Yes! That's the way you have to think of it - small increments of hell followed by relief :)
OMyFamily Amen. RT @babyrabies: @Babe_Chilla I have to admit, I owe a lot to wanting to prove people wrong.