Merciful Labour

When you’re in labour, it feels like nothing you have ever felt in your life. No amount of, ‘I’m here for you’, ‘you can do it’, ‘you are doing good’ can make you feel supported. You are alone. You are by yourself. It is you, your labour and your baby. That’s it.

Let me draw a picture of labour for you so you understand where I’m going with this. You know the way you feel when you have a migraine? And all there is is pain and agony? And no amount of massage, cold compress, or sleep can make you feel better? This is because migraines don’t come in waves. At least not the ones I have anyway. There isn’t a time in the migraine cycle, when there is no sensation of pain. The pain is constant until you take medicine to take it away. And even then, the memory of the pain of the migraine can make you shudder in fear and take another pain killer just to be sure the migraine doesn’t return.

This is not the case with labour.

You keep getting a break in labour, even when you’re at the pushing stage. And the most fascinating thing, is that, when there is no pain, there is absolutely nothing and no lingering memory of it. It’s such a quiet in the storm that many mothers, like I, fall asleep. Fast asleep. For about a minute and a half till the pain returns. It wakes you up. Violently.

That’s where the mercy lies. You don’t remember how the pain feels, so you rest, so you’re ready to push when the time comes.

I am so grateful for the mercy of labour. I can do it again.

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