I had a friend who was about to have her third babe and she shared, "Giving birth is one of my favorite things ever." At the time I was pregnant with my first babe and thought she was crazy (I mean she was pregnant, so she probably was a bit crazy). This was the first time I had ever heard something positive about giving birth. I was bombarded with horror stories about birth. Everything that can go wrong. The pain. The watermelon coming out of a pea size hole. The screaming. You've heard it all before, so I won't go into detail.
It wasn't for a few weeks that I could really understand what she meant. While it wasn't too painful for me thanks to the epidural I got in the 14th hour of labor, it IS tiring. Then, there is this incredible moment where everything in the last 9 months and everything in the last several hours just fades away. The midwife/doc tells you to push. And you do. Then, with what feels like no warning at all (as if the pregnancy, labor and pushing weren't a sign), they hand you this incredible little person. They are slimy and warm. At first, you don't know how to hold them. They may be crying or they may be completely calm from your touch. You are still shaky from the adrenaline of labor, but this peanut calms you to the core. Everyone else in the room is gone. All the nurses, the doctors, the interns and your spouse seem to disappear. It's just you and this sweet child. I will remember these moments forever. They are my two favorite moments in the history of time.
With my son, after two hours of pushing his perfect cone-head and body came out in one push and surprised me. The handoff was quick and amazing and I instantly knew I loved him.
Something even more incredible happened with my daughter. She came out after only 10 minutes of pushing and when they set her on my chest, I began to cry. I cried not just because I knew I loved her, but because I had experienced parenthood already and I knew how much my love for her would grow in the coming months and years. I was overwhelmed with not just the love of the instant, but also all the love that would come in the future. I was later told by a nurse that her birth was the most beautiful moment between a mother and child she had ever seen. I tell you. It was incredible.
Dear, expecting mamas, do not fear labor. While there are many uncertainties in labor and birth, there are greater joys. Do not give into fear. Instead, anticipate the joy.