Now that Charlie is in the nursery at church, I am asked a lot about when we are going to have another baby. It sounded like a good idea until I was recently reminded that labor is NOT awesome.

You would think that I know labor is not awesome because I am obsessed with birth stories. It is so bad that when I view someone's blog for the first time, I always go through and search for their "baby stories." Even if it isn't the way I would personally do it, I like to see what other women choose to do in childbirth and why. It is really fascinating to me. For about a week last year, I was even convinced that I would become a Bradley Childbirth instructor, but then decided it probably wasn't worth it. It's kind of a dying art, you know? Too many c-sections and births with epidurals. I'm digressing....

Well, last week I got a new niece. All I know about her so far is that her name is Emma, she is super cute, and she always wears headbands. My sister, Caitlin, was pretty apprehensive about labor the night before Emma was born and called me for some advice. Instead of saying what I really wanted to say ("I remember being in labor and wondering if I could just roll over and die."), I tried to be really upbeat and positive.

"Labor is great!"

"The pain is short!"

"You can do anything! You are tough!"

The following day, her midwife broke her water and Caitlin sent me this text a few hours later -

"Just wanted to quickly tell you that labor is awesome! Contractions are getting close and really strong but I have relief in between each one! Its amazing!! I can totally do this. Thanks for giving me a pep talk. Let you know when I have the baby."

Yes, that was really her, not her husband (like I originally thought), texting me while in labor. Forget what your doctor may say about serious labor starting when you can't talk through your contractions. If you can text "Labor is awesome!" then you really aren't in serious labor.*

If you guessed that her labor got much worse after that, you are totally right!

So, Caitlin, thanks for the reminder. Labor is not awesome. Oh, and people at church, stop asking me when I'm going to have another baby! I'll let you know, don't worry.

*This rule doesn't apply to my sister-in-law, Ditte.


  1. haha, love this post. The really funny thing is that, by that time in my pregnancy, I could not be HAPPIER to be in labor. Dead of summer really makes you grateful to have that baby. But, still, even if labor isn't "awesome", it is definitely worth it!

  2. Absolutely h.i.l.a.r.i.o.u.s.
    LOVE the story...I can think back to the part when its still fun and games and cracking jokes...then you hit a 6 and the out of body experience begins - still pains me to even write about it.

    CUTE CUTE baby.

  3. I decided once that people shouldn't ask rude questions unless they were prepared to hear potentially embarrassing answers, so I would tell anyone who asked why we hadn't had another kid yet, "I'm impotent." I only got to use it once or twice, though, before I had a coworker who was completely unfazed by it and wanted to discuss my impotency.

  4. I had someone ask me when we were going to have another baby when Eli was only a few months old. Slow down lady! One at a time!
    My labor doesn't get bad until they break my water (they had to do it with all 3) and then I have the baby right away, but it is super intense.

  5. I loved the side note about Ditte because I remember thinking while in intense labor.... Ditte can do it, I can do it... well after 30 hours of labor and 4 hours stuck at a 6, I got an epidural and had to get petocin. Well at least there are women like Ditte who can totally do it and labor is definetly not fun. The best part is that everyone tells me that next child will come lots faster. What 36 hours instead of 48? I don't think that really should count as faster.

  6. let me rephrase myself. labor S U C KS. especially with pitocin. AVOID that if all possible.

  7. I am usually good about not asking when/if someone is going to have another. Usually it is when the conversation is leading that direction anyway.

    Honestly, labor wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, yes it did get harder but, I think overall I got an awesome experience. Minus the mind altering drugs. won't go there again. No, they didn't take the edge off, just made me a little loopy.

  8. I agree that labor is not awesome by any stretch of the imagination. I had no pain meds with any of mine and thought surely I'd die. I did the Bradley class with my first and was COMPLETELY unprepared for what was to come. They LIE. It is not like bad cramps. It is a pain unique unto itself where you will actually sweat and uncontrollably shake in pain.

    I think that about says it. My apologies to anyone going through this soon. I say get the epidural.

  9. First, congratulations on the new niece. I hope the headband is not fused to her skull, with interchangeable flowers.

    Second, I also would like it if people stopped asking when we're going to have another one. I know that I wonder the same thing about other people (and myself, for that matter) but I don't need the external pressure of someone thinking it's time. You know?

  10. I was induced with Chandler and after 15 hours of labor and only being dilated to (barely) a 3, I was never more grateful in my life to have a C-section! With all my future pregnancies I get to schedule my C-section ahead of time, go to the hospital, get the epidural, lay on the operating table and voilá, baby is here! I highly recommend it for anyone who isn't very squeamish with surgeries ü
    Next time someone asks you when you're going to have another one, tell them you had your tubes tied ü

  11. There is nothing beautiful or natural about child birth. It's like saying the movie "Alien" was beautiful when the little lizard popped out of the guy's chest. That is my conclusion after seeing my four kids born.

  12. When people ask me when we are having another one, I tell them that I still remember what it was like to be pregnant and in labor...so clearly I will not be having another anytime soon! I also agree with everyone about pitocin being the worst thing ever! Especially since I was on it for over 3 hours (without drugs) only to be told I needed a c-section! Worst 3 hours of my life! (Oh, I love to hear peoples birth stories too! Dont think I would ever consider teaching Bradley...my mom did, I will stick with being an advocate for it though!)

  13. I might be the only person who really thinks labor is not that bad. even without any drugs!

  14. No, Stephanie, you're not. I don't think labor is that bad either. Not awesome, but its definitely bearable and doable. For me, the PUSHING is what kills me. I would much rather do a drug free labor than one with drugs. Maybe we're both crazy.

  15. I agree with you, Cristin, and Stephanie. I didn't enjoy labor by any means, but it's doable. My friend came over today, and her entire pregnancy's been a breeze. She was telling me that she's planning on going natural, and when I asked how she'd been preparing, she said, "Oh, my mom's going to help me."

    I had absolutely nothing to say to that.

  16. I love birth stories too. no 2 are alike. and everyone has what works for them. but i will say I agree that labor is not awesome. having done it with epidural and without i will say that they were all different and all worth it and I loved and hated each birth for different reasons. and why on earth do people always have to make it their business how many kids and when you should have them? Either you are having them too close together or too far apart, too few or two many. people are nuts!

  17. I spent a good 16 hours on pitocin (induced) before I wanted the epidural. I probably would have tried to go natural, but I wasn't progressing at all, so I went for it...ultimately ending in C-Section. In the end, we may have done a C-section anyway, my kid was HUGE! Quite frankly, I didn't want to induce, it was more my doctor's decision than mine. I think when we have baby #2 I am going to try to do a VBAC and go as natural as possible, but I always have the point of view that things can change.

    On a side note. I was a little upset that I had a C-section, because I wanted to try a "regular" delivery, but I figured that one day, when I am watching my son graduate college, or getting married, I won't be thinking HOW he came out...just that I am so happy that he is here.

  18. The first time I saw a woman give natural childbirth on a baby story I knew I would get an epidural. The look in that woman's eyes was like a wild animal...It scared me!
    I have felt the pain... I have dialated to a 8 without any meds (but that was purely an accident) It is the worst possible pain imaginable and I would never have had another child if I wasn't able to have drugs...
    Sorry, but I just had to give a shout out to all of us who love drugs! Obviously none of them read your blog! :0)

  19. When anybody asks me when we are going to have a baby I tell them in 5 years. Then they shut up.



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