It's no secret that motherhood is incredibly challenging. While there are varying roads that can lead to motherhood (from conception to adoption), I'm going to focus on mothers who know what it’s like to give birth. Pregnancy is rough enough (and for some, rougher still), but nothing compares to the life-altering moments you labor through in order to bring your baby into the world. The pain is beyond excruciating, only adding to the labor and delivery moments that prove moms are strong as hell.
Again, that's not to say that a mother who adopts or doesn't give birth isn't strong. Motherhood tests the very fibers of your being regardless of whether or not you gave birth, or even how you give birth. Women are strong whether they decide to have children, can't have children, or don't want children. And since the "mommy wars" are still at thing, it's worth reiterating that strength is measured in a number of legitimate ways.
Still, I know there were some definitive moments during my labor with my son that left both me and my partner amazed. One was laboring at home for so long, sans any kind of medicated pain relief. Sure, I had a doula coaching me through it and rubbing my back, but the labor pains were something much more intense than I could have possibly ever imagined. Because I was trying for a home birth (which quickly turned into a hospital birth), I was also surprised at the strength I had to get out of a tub, get dressed, walk down the stairs, and get to the hospital. Of course, those final pushes that left me with some birth injuries also showed me how strong I really am, too. So, since motherhood also comes with an extra side of self-doubt, I think it's always worthwhile to look back at those labor and delivery moments that prove you can do just about damn near anything.
They Prepare Themselves This Very Moment (Often On Their Own)
If labor and delivery proves moms are strong, pregnancy is the bootcamp-style training one needs in order to endure birth. Pregnancy is not for wimps. There are physical changes, hormonal changes, emotional changes, changes in appetite, in weight, in size, and by the end you’re more than ready to face the fact that you’re about to push a giant watermelon out of a straw, so to speak.
They Don't Freak Out When Their Water Breaks
Unless you’ve been through all the weird that comes with pregnancy, you can’t possibly imagine what it’s like for your water to break. It’s not that it hurts (unless you’re already having contractions). It’s just that it feels like you’ve had a water balloon in your crotch and all of a sudden it’s burst, which takes you by surprise at the very least.
They Handle Labor Pains Like Bosses
Labor pains suck. They really really suck. Still, moms take all of it. Sure, sometimes they take it screaming, squeezing people’s hands, and maybe even crying, but they do it.
They Put Their Trust In Their Doctors And Midwives
Trusting another human to deliver your child safely is a big decision, and usually a pretty difficult one to make. It’s hard enough trusting your body to know what to do, but then to expect someone else to be sure they’ve got it all under control? It takes guts.
If An Important Member Of Their Delivery Isn’t Present, They Suck It Up And Keep Going
Sometimes, an OB-GYN is double-booked and can’t make it to your bedside to deliver your baby. It sucks. Still, you live through it, you deal with this new stranger staring at your widening vagina, and you keep pushing.
They Don't Care If They're Naked In Front Of Strangers
Once you’re in the depths of labor, you will not care about nudity. Shirt off? Pants off? Bra off? Lady bits all over the place? Sure, whatever. The Pope could walk in, or your high school crush, or one of the stars from Game of Thrones, and you won’t even notice. Even if you did notice, you really and truly wouldn't care.
If They End Up Needing IV’s And Hep-Locks, They’re Like, “Fine, Pinch Me”
Getting pinched by needles is never fun. It’s even less fun when a human is planning an escape route via our genitals. Yet moms muster up all the strength to deal with this while in labor just fine.
They Handle Dilation Checks As If They're Nothing
Imagine having the worst stomach ache of your life, only to have someone suddenly tell you they want you to lay back so they can stick some fingers in your crotch. You’d likely want to punch them, right? Except that moms are so strong they just grin and bear it.
They Don't Care About Blood Or Other Bodily Fluids
We aren’t just talking physical strength here, but also strength of character. When a mama is giving birth, there are plenty of bodily fluids making their way out of her (sometimes including, well, feces). But does that stop her from continuing on her mission? Hell no.
If They Need Something To Move Labor Along, They Agree And Hope For The Best
Many moms often need to have their water broken or need a dose of Pitocin to get the job going. If you’ve ever seen one of those giant hooks they use to break the amniotic sac, you’d have way more respect for mothers. Also, the pain that comes with inducing labor via Pitocin is often way worse than regular labor pains since the body doesn’t have enough time to keep up with making endorphins, so yeah. Moms are superheroes.
If They’re Told They’ll Need A C-Section, They Say, “Do What You Have To Do”
Sometimes c-sections are unavoidable. If you’re told you need one, there isn’t much else to do but be brave and give the thumbs up. Moms are hardcore like that.
If They Need An Episiotomy Or Experience Tearing, They Simply Take The Pain
Giving birth can be painful in more ways than one. Case in point: vaginal tearing. Moms will often be cut into down the perineum or experience natural tearing, which is as awful as it sounds. But you know what? We get through that, too.
They Handle Surprise Delivery Problems As If They've Been There Before
Moms sometimes have to face terrifying news during labor. A baby can be in breech position, or a cord might start getting wrapped around the baby, or any other number of things. Still, moms somehow manage to breathe through it all for the sake of their little ones.
If Their Baby Needs To Be Taken To NICU, They Don’t Completely Lose It
When my son was born and taken immediately to the NICU, I was beyond terrified. But I knew deep down that there was no point in stressing over what I couldn’t control. All I could do was finish the labor process, and get well again to go and see my child. Did I mention us mamas are super strong?
Basically, They Bring Life Into The World Without Complaint Because They're Badasses
Yep. We suffer like hell during those hours (sometimes days!) of labor. We put our all into delivering our babies. We stay as cool as we can throughout the whole thing (yes, even if we’re screaming bloody murder). But all in all, moms are queen bee bad-asses.