Not only does the intense physical strain of labor do incredible things to your body, it does some ridiculous things to your mind. It really is an otherworldly experience, that can turn a woman into an entirely different person. I, for one, became a expletive-wielding demon lady when I was in labor, up until I caved after 10 hours of drug-free contractions and asked for an epidural. In that time, and even after my epidural kicked in, I thought the things every new mom thinks during labor; the things that sound horrible in your mind and definitely out loud but, under no circumstances whatsoever, actually make you a horrible mom. I mean, you're bringing another human being into the world. You're allowed to think whatever the hell you want.
I tried my hand at a drug-free birth, but pregnancy and labor complications took that choice away from me after I tried my hand at a birthing ball, a lukewarm bath, walking the halls of the labor and delivery wing, and standing for hours on end while my partner rocked back and forth with me. I had an unconventional pregnancy, which is to say I was pregnant with twins but, sadly, lost one at 19 weeks. The deceased twin remained inside of my body, while my surviving twin continued to grow. The two made labor and delivery difficult, and the result was me waving the white flag and asking for every drug known to man, forgoing my plan of a drug-free labor an delivery for relief and rest. It also resulting in me thinking and saying some hilariously horrific things that, to this day, my partner doesn't allow me to forget (as if I could).
I had it in my head that I needed to view labor and delivery as this wonderful, amazing experience where I could be one with my body and mother earth and, well, you get the picture. I didn't think of labor and delivery that way, at all, when I was actually experiencing it though, and in no way did my thoughts between and during contractions make me a bad mother. No, it just made me a normal human being who was in a lot of pain and trying to get through it by any means necessary.
So, if you were like me and thought some crazy things when you in the middle of labor, have no fear. You're not a bad mom for any of those thoughts, you're just a great mom who was hurting so damn bad, her mind went to some crazy places.
I knew the end result was going to be a baby, but when I was in the middle of a ten hour, drug-free labor, I was completely convinced that even the cutest kid in the history of kids, wasn't worth the pain. I mean, I could have pushed out a carbon copy of the Gerber baby, and I still wouldn't have been convinced the contractions were worth it. Nope. It was damn near impossible to see the forrest through the trees.
I love my partner dearly and he was wonderfully supportive during my labor and delivery process. Having said that, I hated him. Hated. Him. I needed someone to blame my pain and discomfort on and clearly that person wasn't going to be me, the consenting adult who decided to get pregnant, so I blamed him. I was going to leave him the moment I could walk without wanting to die, and never speak to the man who knocked me up, again.
It is our partner's fault. It was their idea or it was their sperm or it was their choice to be supportive when we got the stupid idea of procreating in the first place, and it's all their fault.
I loved my partner but I hated my partner but I loved him when he brought me ice chips and rubbed my back but I hated him because the ice chips and the back rubs were necessary. He was great drawing the bath and helping me in the tub so I could try and labor the way I wanted, but he was the worst when the pain was too much and it was all his fault, I tell you. All his fault.
True story: I turned and looked at my favorite nurse and told her, "I don't want to do this anymore. Pack up my stuff and I will just stay pregnant." Obviously, that is not physically possible but I was dead serious. I didn't like being pregnant, but I didn't like labor and delivery even more.
I had plans of having a drug-free labor and delivery. I managed to go ten hours without an epidural, laboring with a birthing ball and trying my hand at a tub and walking around the hallways of the labor and delivery wing of our local hospital. Eventually, I waved the white flag and demanded every single damn narcotic available be provided to me immediately. They brought me an epidural and, well, I was much more pleasant.
Look, now that my son is born and bordering on two-years-old, I don't blame him for the pain I experienced when bringing him into the world. The kid was just minding his own business. However, in the moment, I was fixated on bringing up the pain I was feeling at every birthday and prom and potential date and graduation and even the wedding he may or may not decide to have one day. I was never, ever, going to let him forget it.
If I'm going through this trouble and my kid comes out with a cone head, I am going to be pissed. (Of course, he did come out with a cone head because most kids do and he was just the most adorable anyway.)
Like, who in their right mind decides to have a child? This was the dumbest idea I have ever had, and I used to wear JNCOs.
There was only one anesthesiologist available while I was laboring, so when I decided to go ahead and get an epidural, I had to wait. I was seriously asking someone to skip the epidural and just hit me upside the head with a large metal object. I wanted to feel nothing. Absolutely nothing.
I swore, in the middle of some very painful contractions, that I would never put myself through labor and delivery again. Ever. My kid would be an only child and would just have to learn to play with kids on the playground because yeah, no way was I going to do this again.
Of course, time is a funny thing and tends to smooth over the rough edges that were pain and discomfort and fear, and my partner and I are already considering another one. Yes, I'm an idiot.
And then, of course, when it is all over and your little is in your arms, all the pain and the anxiety and the exhaustion and the fear and the ridiculous thoughts that helped you get through it, become instantly worth it. Would you want to labor again, like relatively soon? Of course not (unless you like labor an delivery, in which case you're a goddess amongst mere mortals). But does a brand new baby that you grew and pushed out of you make everything worth it? Surprisingly, yes.