Labor and delivery are both romanticized and demonized in our society. I don't want to spend any time on the whys and the hows, though. What I want to talk about is my own experience with childbirth. I know my experience is mine alone, and something as personal, taxing, and intimate as labor and delivery can mean a million different things to a million different people. But individual storytelling is a profound tool for self-exploration and connection with others, which is why I'm sharing the labor and delivery moments I wish I could relive over and over again.
My first unmedicated childbirth was, thankfully, only about 15 hours long. I say "only" with as much sarcasm as I can muster, because at least 10 of those 15 hours were the most painful hours of my entire life. But the thing is, dear reader, that they were also some of the most devastatingly beautiful hours of my life. From testing the limits of what I'd ever imagined I was capable of, to seeing my partner in the most amazing and supportive light I'd ever seen, it was all truly a life-changing, overwhelming experience.
Maybe there is something about excruciating, out-of-my-control pain that opens up portals of my spirit, soul, and self that are otherwise unreachable. I imagine that splitting open of spirit is why some people do recreational drugs, go on silent meditation retreats, or dedicate themselves to other extreme spiritual endeavors. These expansive, seemingly spiritual experiences of labor and delivery are ones I'd love to live over and over again, along with the following: