Labor Day Special
Ya know, I have not had a baby but I HAVE witnessed a BUNCH of babies come into the world. I'm talking about right there, watched the head come out, kind of WITNESS. One thing that always baffles me is when patients give me a pain rating of 10 out of 10 but they are on their phone, laughing with their family, and playing music. Something just doesn't mesh well in this scenario, right?
Now, I don't know if ya'll know this or not but when your nurse says "on a pain scale of 0 through 10, how would you rate your pain?" What they mean is a 0 is when you can sleep peacefully and 10, well that is like getting hit by a bus after you just got done getting a root canal. People, if you are rating your pain at a 10, PUT THE PHONES DOWN! My field of "expertise" is labor and delivery. Pain is a REQUIREMENT in my department. When you walk through my doors and you are laughing, we know you are gonna be going home. Even when you say your pain is through the roof, we have "spidey senses" about it. Trust us. Do not complain about it hurting so bad so early on, sister, you are just getting started. Wait til you are 8 cm dilated, a physician AROMs you and you lose that cushion of water. That is pain. I can understand that pain tolerance is subjective and individual to every person but I also feel like some women think the whole "labor" thing means there isn't gonna be any work involved.
Yes, it is some sort of painful (from what I have heard) to push an 8 lb bouncing baby boy through a hole between your legs the size of a GRAPEFRUIT. I understand that! I mean, I will more than likely be screaming at the top of my lungs when that happens to me. Now, I have a high pain tolerance so sometimes I have to keep myself in "check" when it comes to being sympathetic to women in labor. For one, I've never had a youngin'. Second, a square peg through a round hole has NEVER made sense to me. Yes, that is a poor analogy but you get the picture. Just remember, the pain will NOT last FOREVER.
Now, don't get me wrong, I completely understand there is pain in all stages of labor. I know that each pain seems like it's the worst experience of your life. I get it. You've either never done this before, or you have that so called "child birth amnesia" in which you have completely forgotten what the pain is like so you might as well have never done this before anyway. So, when your labor nurse gets completely too "personal" in your UNDER YONDER, let her get REAL with you. When she says to you "I understand you are in pain and that you do NOT want an epidural but I can tell you, it's going to get a whole lot more painful." Please know that she means this in the most genuine way. She is not pressuring you to get an epidural, she just wants YOU to know what is coming. Also know that even though your cervix is only dilated 2 cm, you my dear sweet child are about to experience REAL PAIN. Understand this. Know this. It is about to HAPPEN. But again, it will not last FOREVER!!
Now, I am ALL for natural pain management. Give me some dancing down the hallways, or maybe a whirlpool with some fancy jets, or maybe even some candles (have to be the LED kind in the hospital). I love watching women have their babies without epidurals. I find it truly inspiring. I love that they grab hold of their senses and DO THE DAMN THING. Yes, I just got super excited. While I love taking care of all my patients, it's these "GO BIG or go home" women that I adore the most. I love watching them with their partners. Both of them breathing in rhythm together as they harness the will power to use the pain as motivation. Get it Girl!
One day, you will look back at your labor nurses and thank them. It may not seem like it when you're screaming and crying but I promise, one day you will.
So basically what I am saying is that I believe in knowledge is power. Knowing that you are about to experience the worst pain of your life but understanding that you can get through it. When we educate ourselves with this, we find the fight and desire inside of us to tackle whatever it is we are facing. Whether it is childbirth or chemo or maybe even a "back office" upgrade. Knowing that we will GROW THROUGH THE PAIN is a wonderful thought for a BRIGHT future.