Leading up to the birth of my son, I was super-curious about contractions. Of course, by “super-curious,” I mean “absolutely terrified.” I never experienced any Braxton Hicks contractions, so I was completely in the dark as to what real contractions would feel like. Once they arrived, I was totally overwhelmed. I can only imagine what my baby was thinking during contractions, and how the whole "muscles tensing up at an alarming and painful rate" situation felt like from the inside.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we don’t retain memories of childbirth. I mean, essentially birth is going from that warm, dark, cozy womb you've known for a number of months, to the cold outside world; which is arguably anything but warm and cozy (unless you are way more in control of your birthing experience than I was). So, not only does a baby have to deal with a drastic change in overall scenery, but they have to deal with literally being pushed out of their home by these things called contractions. That has to be intense, to say the least.
I’ve seen portrayals on TV and in films (fellow '90s kids are probably still not over Look Who’s Talking), but really, I don’t think we’ll ever really know what labor is like for the babies involved. We can sure have fun guessing, though. So, with that in mind and because we could all use some fun these days, here’s what I think my son was contemplating during each and every contraction:
"Nope. Nope. Nope."
Trust me, son. I’m feeling the same way, at increasingly frequent internals and about a thousand times more strongly.
"Why Does It Feel Like The Walls Are Closing In?"
To be fair, your space has only gotten larger since the dawn of time (or you know, conception). I don’t blame you for being a little confused when contractions start happening.
"Oh, Because The Walls Are Closing In..."
Don’t worry though, there’s plenty of room for you out here (not counting when you're in swaddles, though). Just wait until you feel what it’s like to extend your arms and legs, little one. It’s a trip.
"Make It Stop"
I’m working on it, I promise. I’m doing everything I possibly can, and some things that I feel I can't, to make this happen for you.
"Can We Go Back To A More Peaceful Time?"
I’m afraid not. Don't worry, though; we have a white noise machine waiting for you at home. Did I mention swaddles?
"What Is All The Commotion?"
Oh, right, you're probably hearing way more (probably loud) voices than you’re used to. They’re here to help. Don’t worry though, they won’t be coming home with us.
"I'm Not Ready"
I understand. I hear you. I’m not sure I'm ready either, to be honest, but we’re both on the ride now so there’s really only one way to get off. Once we’re through, things are going to be pretty awesome.
"OK, I'm Ready"
That’s my boy. Perhaps it’s because you’re ready for the world, or perhaps it’s because you’re sick of getting pushed around in there, but either way, I’m proud.
"You've Got This, Mom"
I can’t even see you yet, and I’m already crying. I know there really isn’t much to do except trust me at this point, but I promise I will do what it takes to finally meet you. See you soon.