YOu know, before my last birth I did think that my pain durring my labors WAS my fault.
My history: first birth was painless. Contractions were annoying, kinda hard near the end, but painless. Pushing felt great! Had the sought after birth-orgasm that is supposed to be so rare. I was in a strict hospital, pushing drug-free, in stirrups and there were 2 female strangers in the room. so.. How can this be that I felt so great and in-control?
second birth: military hospital 8hr labor (1/3 the time of the first one) no interventions, upright birth. excruciating pain. I wasn't certain I was going to die, but I was praying I'd at least loose conciousness. birth attended by countless uninvited "guests", which I never noticed until I turned around, so THEY didn't affect me at all. It was hard, it was unexpectedly hard. Ben scheduled a vasectomy, and cancelled it (both at my insistance)
third: home, unassisted m/c at 14 weeks. 4 hrs, as painful as the previous birth. pouring hemmorage pp. But I felt great and in-control.
Fourth birth. Now by this time I had read everything published on birth. TWICE. I was certain that God never intended pain for women, that UC was the way, that water would help me to move easier. Hey..birth was still QUITE painful!! MOstly because I was so relaxed..it was 3 days on contractions. all the same intensity. so If I was relaxed, alone in water, at home, at night....why did it still hurt? I enjoyed my labor. I relished in it. I shared it with everyone who would listen. But I was judged "not good enough" because it wasn't painless. was it really supposed to be painless? Maybe that is nonsense, and another way to make women feel inferior.
Maybe all hard work, work worth doing was the kind of work that was challenging? Now I'vve changed my opinion on a few things...
Those who don't have pain are simply lucky. I am very happy for them. It's like those that have great jobs in this economy. We do everything they do, have the same and more education and training and personality; but it just isn't meant to be for us. I'm ahppy with my lot, and I do my best with it. I shop with coupons and my babies are hard work!
Don't judge yourself. Prepare for a great birth for your baby. There isn't ONE great way to do it, there are many. (yeah, like sex too
) Do we read stories of other people making love and think we don't measure up? I'd pity anyone who did that.
Personally, I think preparing for a painless birth is setting yourself up for dissapointment. It might happen, it will be a nice surprize if it does happen. But from the beginning of women birthing (from history) it's been RARE. I love to read painless-birth stories. It's hard to find them though, isn't it? I imagine that when it does happen..you'd want to shout it from the rooftops, call the local news right? so why don't we hear of it more?
I don't imagine that all women experience pain because they are tense or in a hospital, or are being told what to do . some women WANT that. If they WANT that, why are they still experiencing discomfort?. If you look around, far more women are happy with hospital directed births, then complain about them. Getting what you expect seems to be what creates happiness with one's experience.
Goodluck. It's not a failure untill YOU decide it is.
Carrie (expecting hard-earned blessing #5 in later April 04)