Thursday, June 09, 2011

Labor Pains

Hi Meltingpot Readers,

So I promise this blog won't dissolve into a pregnancy journal, but sometimes I'm just going to have to talk about this very life altering event that is about to happen to the Kinky Gazpacho family. New babies are a big deal. But honestly, I'm not even at the new baby part. I'm still just trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I'm going to have to go through labor one more time.

Dear readers, I'm going to be honest with you. During both of my previous labors I completely lost my ish. I screamed. I cried. I mooed like a cow. I gave up in the middle and tried to go home. I was in so much pain and agony, I swore I'd never get pregnant again. But, like sands through the hourglass, or some other cliche, here I am again, facing that same marathon of labor where the prize at the end is pushing a freaking watermelon out of a pinhole!

But, I'm older now and wiser. I know better. And I want to do better. I've been investigating hypnosis for birth and am trying very hard to believe in the concept of a pain-free birth. But I've been there, done that and can't imagine that all of that pain I experienced was all in my head and that with just the right relaxation techniques it will all melt away. And I know with that kind of skepticism, I'm not going to get very far. But here's the thing, in all of my reading about hypno-birthing and pain-free/drug free childbirth, there is this glorification of women in third-world countries -- mostly in Africa-- who don't fear labor and somehow give birth with hardly a second thought. Conversely, the idea is, that we pampered first-world women make labor a horrifying experience because we drank the collective Kool-Aid that brainwashed us into thinking labor must be painful and must be dealt with a massive dose of drugs.

Well, the last time I checked, many women in third-world countries die during childbirth. And the ish hurts as much there as it does here. I don't buy the glorifying poverty as an example to model. I just don't. But I do believe there must be some truth to the idea that getting rid of fear must make the birth experience more tolerable. And by the way, I've never used drugs during childbirth and don't plan on it.

What do you think Meltingpot readers? Do women in poorer countries know more about birthing babies in a pain-free way? Or is that just stereotype and heresy? Is a pain-free labor even possible? Is hypno-birthing worth the effort? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one.


(p.s. don't you love the photo?)


The Lady Dee said...

Stereotype and heresy!!!!

Anonymous said...

“ …I gave up in the middle and tried to go home….” That is hilarious!

I do not have any children so I do not have any wise recommendations. However, I found one interesting abstract (J Obstet Gynaecol. in 2006 May;26(4):329-31) regarding this topic.

It is a cross-sectional study done at a Nigerian teaching university (University college hospital Ibadan). Its primary goal was to assess the effect of westernization (using educational attainment as a proxy) on childbirth pain perception. Its findings include the highest pain scores among ethnic groups other than the predominant ethnic group (Yoruba) and the lowest scores among those with no formal education. Its conclusion is that westernization through education tends to increase perception of childbirth pain.

Psychological factors seem to play a major role in childbirth pain. So hypnosis may work… A big guess!


Anonymous said...

I do love the picture!
During the process of giving birth, he hipbones are spread apart. This is painful and there's no way around that!

My thoughts are that poor wo,em walk more and thus get more exercise which in turn brings the baby down and inperceivably starts that opening phase. Also I've always thought that the most unnatural position for a woman to give birth in is to be flat on her back on a gurney! In the majority of slow labor cases I've seen,if the woman is able/allowed to get up and walk, the baby is born immediately after and less painfully.

LT said...

Lady Dee,
Thank you.

Thanks for the resource and info. I appreciate it.

Great info! Thanks for sharing.

Waiting for Zufan! said...

Amazing, amazing photo. LOVE that, was going to mention it in a comment even before you noted it at the end.

Congratulations (again, if I said it before)! And I have no advice for you. It is horrible, for anyone, everyone, sometimes bad and sometimes worse. That's my take, after having two "natural" births, the first one supposedly perfect. Yeah right.

Anyway... Exercise a lot. That's my advice. Actually, that -- running, or exercise in general -- is my solution for EVERYTHING, so take it for whatever you think it is worth. :)