Birth and hangovers… here’s what they’ve got in common

Disclaimer: my Hypnobabies instructor friends may very well kick my butt for writing this post, so if you are a Hypnobabies student envisioning your easy, comfortable birth, maybe skip this post until after you’ve birthed your babe and head over to watch my positive birth video selection instead. I don’t want to be blamed for hypnotizing you into associating childbirth with being hung-over.

Birth is beautiful, amazing, powerful. It’s something to look forward to, something that will show you how strong you are and what you’re capable of. Still, here are the few ways it might be reminiscent of a hangover:

1. At some point you might not be able to help but think “I can’t believe I DID this to myself!”

2. When it’s all over, the whole thing is mostly a foggy memory that you remember only  bits and pieces of (one reason to consider  hiring a good birth photographer).

3. There’s not really anything you can do to stop it once it’s happening.

4. Sometimes people will recommend Gravol and Tylenol, but they often don’t help much and the gravol sometimes just makes you feel more groggy and lethargic than you were to begin with.

5. You might have had a lot of fun getting yourself into this state, but you’re not so sure it was worth the state you are in right now.

6. Expulsion reflex: When your body wants something out, it is going to get it out in spite of you. I recently heard Gloria Lemay compare the reflexive pushing women experience during a mother-directed birth as “throwing down” as opposed to “throwing up”. All of that push-push-push nonsense you see on television is silly… your body knows instinctively how to get rid of things it no longer wants inside! If someone was sat beside you as you hugged the toilet on a hangover day telling you HOW to throw up, they might not live to see the next day. I will never understand why we teach women to tolerate this insane behaviour during birth

7. There’s a possibility that it will only last a few hours, but sometimes it lasts a couple of days. At some point, you might truly wonder if you are going to survive the experience at all. But you do.

However, after a hangover, all you get is feeling back-to-normal and maybe a few embarrassing photos posted to facebook. You don’t get the pride of thinking “holy crap, I just gave birth to a brand new PERSON! I am definitely and obviously amazing!”

Yes, birth can be a bit like a hangover. But you survived those, created some good memories and got some good stories to tell. You will during birth, too… and it will also be one of the most amazing things you will ever get to do.

If you liked this analogy, check out how I think birth is also like text-messaging while driving, or like moving into a new house.

Please feel free to comment below with why birth is actually a really amazing experience and much better than being hung-over.  If you need some reassurance after this analogy, please check out “The Importance of Birth.”

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