What Does Labor Truly Feel Like?

newborn baby right after delivery - What Does Labor Truly Feel Like? - Your Hamburg DoulaAs another tide of intense warmth courses throughout your body, delicate droplets of perspiration steadily well up from your pores, gently yielding to one another to form glistening pools on your face, shoulder and arms. You are determined to maintain focus, to maintain your composure - fervently grasping to hold onto you: the reasonable, calm, collected, confident you. Unabated, you continue your struggle to anticipate the immanency of the next powerful wave. You're convinced you'll be prepared. You have a strategy - a plan, even.

Yet before you can fully recollect and implement your carefully reasoned strategy, you discover that the next wave is already upon you. This time, it catches you entirely off guard. It crashes over you with such swelling intensity that - without warning - you discover yourself swept up by its vigorous current, carried to the crest of the wave for what can only be described as an everlasting moment of eternity. "How am I going to get through this? When will it end? How many more will I face? How much more intense will they become? I can't get on top of my breathing. I can't find a way to make it more bearable. Nothing is helping. I don't know what to do. CAN I EVEN DO THIS?" As the wave with its deafening roar haltingly recedes, it reveals once again the enduring, rhythmic sensation of your heart robustly pumping the force of life throughout your veins, sustaining your body and baby. The ebb and flow of your breath settles into a comfortable, established rhythm. During this brief reprieve, exhaling the last remaining vestiges of tension, you are surprised by the sheer number of thoughts that tumultuously swirl about your mind during this vortex of timelessness.

While oscillating between a state of conscious thought and mere existence, an inexplicable sensation radiating throughout your body signals the onset of the next ensuing wave as it draws itself up into a deep, robust roll. Crashing over you, it engulfs your body and your mind fully until it once again begins to recede, leaving you feeling raw, exposed and vulnerable, yet paradoxically even more powerful and determined than ever. Despite having removed countless layers of clothes, you discover you are confidently submerged in the sweltering glow of your own birthing energy.

Your awareness soon shifts to the ever-increasing deep state of inward focus into which you perceive yourself gradually wading. Unlike before, your inward concentration persists through the rhythmic, cresting waves that intensely rock you – rock your baby. You acutely sense a forceful, primal passage into both the unknown and the known. Although you’ve never before experienced this sensation, a deep primordial knowingness swells up within you to guide your body’s innate, rhythmic pulsations that gently bring your baby into your arms earthside.

How did you experience the most intense part of labor the first time?

Or perhaps this is the first time you’ll be bringing your little one into the world and are wondering what it might be like? The truth is that the experience of giving birth is unique to each mother. Not only are you bringing a new life into the world, you will become a new version of you.

Above is just one of many experiences or emotions mothers may feel throughout the more intense moments of labor. For some, this transition may be blissful or even orgasmic; for others, it may be associated with pain, fear, loss of control or a plethora of other indescribable emotions. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to experience the birth of your child. The only guarantee is that your story will be uniquely your own. Honor, validate and embrace it.

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