What happens in the delivery room stays in the delivery room. If we were in 1964.
Last week, a 21-year-old asked me about the pain of delivery. The question came after she stated she wants four children. Inside my crazed head, I asked myself: do I be honest? do I start sobbing? How can I properly communicate what happened on that ‘blessed’ December day of pure torture?
I’ve had many moms tell me their day of delivery was traumatic. Others called it euphoric. I call it “just as I had expected”. In essence, a combination of the two. Here’s what I mean:
-the pain was so ridiculous, I went through an entire tank of laughing gas. No one was laughing.
-the pain was so ridiculous, I ordered my husband to email a number of people, telling them how stupid they were. He (thankfully) didn’t send those emails.
-The pain was so ridiculous, that when Toby was chomping on a bag of Nibs Licorice, while I was huffing on gas, I glared at him, took a moment to remove the mask and turn my head toward him as he stood at the end of the bed and screamed: how are those Nibs, Toby? Are they delicious?!
-The moment Alex was born, all the ridiculousness disappeared.
Throughout the entire pregnancy, I had guessed it was a boy. When Toby announced the sex (after pushing for two hours, 13 minutes – who’s counting?!), I had already known and introduced the two doctors and three nurses to Alex. I cried. Toby called our family. And Alex sucked his thumb.
So how would I describe the pain? My boot camp instructor once said giving birth was easier than running a marathon, because you gave birth and could easily walk, unlike a marathon (she may or may not have been one of the people on my list of those to email).
I’ve run a marathon. You can always stop running. You can’t stop contractions that make you yell at a nurse you had politely talked to just hours ago, demanding she order the epidural.
In all honesty: it was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. Could I describe it to you now? Not a chance. I’ve completely forgotten what the pain was like, which is probably some purple grape drink-hormone that’s released into your body that makes you forget so you’ll think about spitting out another child or two.
The cliché is true in this case: it’s the worst day of your life and instantly transforms into the best day of your life. Even if there weren’t any Nibs left to share.