A Louis CK clip has been making the rounds the last couple days in a clip from Conan. The clip is about cell phone use, but it actually can teach us a LOT about what all the hype is regarding natural childbirth.
Stick with me here, this is important! Watch the whole clip below and then keep reading:
Louis makes some pretty profound observations in this clip. He talks about how, in our attempt to avoid sadness and loneliness, we actually miss out on an important human experience, and hold ourselves back from experiencing the beauty of allowing ourselves to feel the depth of our emotions and from the incredible joy we can feel on the other side.
He talks about a time where he ignored the impulse to reach for his phone to avoid a moment of sadness. He says, “I was grateful to feel sad, and then I met it with true, profound happiness. It was such a trip. And because we don’t want that first bit of sad, we push it away…. [and so] we never feel completely sad or completely happy.” In essence, we are ripping ourselves off by trying to avoid our fear of having a completely natural and important human experience.
Although it’s tempting in the short-term to reach for ways to avoid what we think might be “negative” emotions or sensations, the truth is that these experiences are a part of what makes us human. They allow us to experience the best in human emotion and sensation as well.
And this is one of the biggest reasons behind the importance of natural childbirth. Can birth be physically challenging? Can it have moments where you might feel scared or uncertain? It doesn’t have to, but it definitely can. But the real experience comes from allowing yourself to feel the physical and emotional sensations of birth, moving through them towards the biggest natural high you will ever, ever get.
The epidural is like Louis C.K.’s cell phone. It can seem like a quick fix to protect you the things you might fear about birth: that it will be too painful, that it will get too hard. Many of us are tempted to reach for it despite what we know about it’s serious risks (just like we know how dangerous it is to text and drive, as he mentions in the clip!) because we are so afraid to really feel the depth of our experiences. But doing so, reaching for a way out of fear, limits our basic, beautiful, human experience and holds us back from one of the most amazing experiences you could hope for: the rush of pulling up your baby on to your skin after an un-medicated birth, feeling as strong, powerful, and amazed as you could ever feel, saying to yourself “I just DID that!”
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