When you're nearing the end of your pregnancy, on the brink of no longer sharing your body, and you're this close to meeting the kid who's been camping out in your uterus, crossing the finish line is really all you can think about. Then labor finally starts...and all you can think about is how much giving birth hurts and how much it sort of sucks. But that's OK! Actually (and I'm not just saying this to make you feel better because I don't even know you) if you hated giving birth, I'm right there with you. You aren't alone in feeling stood up by that OB you spent almost a year with (I did not tell you that you could go on vacation, ma'am), or experiencing the uncomfortable comfort of an epidural. And if you opted for the drug-free route, well...there are so many valid reasons why you might not have been totally in love with how giving birth felt.
And if you had a c-section, I mean, you had major abdominal surgery. Other than the cute baby at the end, what's to like? As if it wasn't enough that you share your body with a growing human for nine months (give or take a few weeks), you get to spend a decent couple of weeks (OK, years, if we're being honest) afterward trying to come back to the real world. Have you ever tried to go to the bathroom after a c-section? Yeah, there's no such thing as standing up straighter than 90 degrees in that situation.
Don't get me wrong: My son is nothing short of a smaller, cooler version of myself. And if one more person tells me that it was "all worth it," I swear... Because the whole birthing process isn't easy for many of us. In fact, it's traumatic for a lot of women, or even just "merely" terrifically difficult, painful, and uncomfortable for a great many others. The idea that we're all supposed to bravely, without hesitation, mark into the delivery room, and the march out — no matter what happened during labor and birth — saying, "Oh, it doesn't matter at all because here's my baby," is an incredibly damaging one for women — because what if what happened in that room does matter to you in the days, weeks, and even years afterward? Does that mean you don't love your baby? Isn't that what we're implying here? That because the joy of having your child isn't sufficient to make you love giving birth, that you're somehow a heartless she-beast who will probably eat her young?
Clearly, this is all bulls**t. A lot of us didn't love giving birth, and that fact has nothing to do with who we are as parents, or how we feel about our kids. And if that's the case for you, then you can most definitely consider yourself in solid company. Here are 15 reasons why it's totally fine if you hated the whole giving birth thing.