Fact: Birthing babies is downright uncomfortable. While there were some, er, simply fascinating orgasmic birth videos making the rounds a while back, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that for most of us mamas, giving birth is anything but orgasmic.
Still, amid all the writhing around in bed - please don't tell me to stand up or squat or go take a bath during labor because I will shiv you - I did enjoy some aspects of pushing H. out into the world. For instance:
Vocalizing. Okay, yelling. Getting loud felt amazing. And not just because it was a perfect excuse to say my piece - where the entirety of my piece was "SHUT IT, NOW, GUYS." It just felt so darn good to yell and moan and whine.
The breaks. Oh, lordy, those breaks! With P.'s labor, the contractions in those final 15 minutes came one right after another with no time to even steel myself for the onslaught so I was just riding this wave of hurt. With H., though, there was about 30 seconds in between each contraction and I enjoyed the heck out of each and every one of those seconds. I just relaxed right into them. Bliss.
My nurse's barely contained amusement. She was trying not laugh because, as she described it later, I sounded like I was about the go Hulk on her. It didn't help that I was growling "BABY, GET OUT. GET OUT RIGHT NOW, BABY." over and over again because H. was turtling in my birth canal and that just wasn't cool.
Having my mom there. Seriously. I don't know why, since it's something I said I'd never, ever do, and it's not like she was holding my hand or anything. But, eh, I knew she'd want to be there and who's in the audience doesn't make much of a difference when you're busy birthing a baby.
My sci-fi focal point. If you watch Doctor Who, maybe you remember the episode where Amy Pond is giving birth in some white alien room and there's some sort of round thing on the wall? Well, the ultrabright light over my hospital bed was also round, so I was just out of my head having contractions pretending I'd been kidnapped by aliens who were monitoring me. For science, or whatever. Those kidnapping ETs gave me something to think about other than when-will-this-@#$%-baby-get-out-of-my-birth-canal.
Walking the halls for a few hours at around one in the morning, peeking into any room with an open door on the sly just to see if anyone else was having a similar experience. (And you know, even though every other room had a birthing mama in it, I didn't hear a peep out of any of 'em. They were either quite reserved or epiduralled to the nines! Hope I didn't scare any of 'em with my "vocalizing".)
The duration. My labor with H. was pretty much EXACTLY as long as my labor with P. Three and a half hours from real pangs to baby. Not complainin'!
The end part. Pushing out the placenta was totes gross, but didn't hurt. H. being a tiny bit early meant that they had to give him a good once over pretty soon after he came out, but as I recall he spent some time bundled on me before all that. And I got to nurse him right away, which I didn't get to do with P.
What did you actually like, if anything, about labor and delivery?