Week 26: Ten spectacular things about labor and delivery

By Published On: August 29th, 2014

There are few things to love about the act of […]

There are few things to love about the act of birthing a child. Unless of course you are:
-Dilated to 9.5 before having a contraction.
-A sadist.
-Done with the entire delivery after you cough, or sneeze.
-The Virgin Mary, and were born without original sin. Theology lesson: This would mean you wouldn’t feel labor pains, since those were punishment for eating the Garden of Eden’s special candy without asking. Thanks for wrecking it for all of us, Eve.
Thanks to centuries of birthing women before us, the technology world has grown to accommodate those in labor with the following:
1. Mesh underwear
These are more comfortable than any granny panty you’ll ever find. True story.
2. Fentanyl
For those who opt out of an epidural, there’s always fentanyl. It’s one of the few times you can legally use a narcotic. Oh sure, labor pains will still hurt; you just won’t care. Note that you only get 1-3 doses of this stuff to help manage pain. And by “manage pain” I mean you go from it hurting a 9 out of 10 to a 7 out of 10. Again, you won’t care. You’ll be like, “Yeah, it reeeeeeeallly hurts. But everything is moving soooo sloooooow.” As you wave your hand in front of your face. Only the first of those doses really even works, so choose your moment wisely.
3. The Birthing Ball
Before this moment, it’s an exercise ball. The one you never used to actually exercise on, just eat ice cream and watch TV. Oh, maybe that’s just me. Mostly the ball is nice to sit down on because it’s:
-Something that gives. After the last 10 months (yup, it’s 10, not 9), it’s nice to have something on you that gives.
-Something that’s rounder than you. Which makes everyone feel better about themselves.
-Something that rolls, thus preventing boredom. If you could get the coordination to move the ball and the IV stand simultaneously, you could get some music and make a video.
4. Ice Pack Maxi Pads
You snap them like an ice pack, toss them into your fabulous mesh underpants, and get instant relief from muscles that probably did more work than the Roman Army did for the 600-700 years it was really running the show.
5. Ice Chips
OK, not really a hospital invention, but did water EVER taste so magnificent? No.
6. Blanket Heater
After you deliver your baby, a nurse layers you in blankets right out of the oven. It’s like knowing what a cinnamon roll feels like in the early stages of baking, without the dangers of cooking.
7. Deep Hypnosis
Finding a mental escape from pain is pretty magnificent. Unfortunately this is easier to do through contractions than it is through a screaming newborn at 2 a.m.
8. A Shower
Nothing was, and never will be, any better than a shower after labor.
9. Guilt-Free Chocolate Cake
10. Good Labor and Delivery Nurses
The people who can give you a crash course in Lamaze or hints and tricks to help delivery go smoothly. The folks who cheer you on and encourage you through the final pushes. A great nurse is the best help you’ll ever have delivering a baby. If you had bad nurse experiences, that’s terrible. Those who can’t be sensitive and understanding to any woman in labor should get a job doing fast food. Because who cares if your Taco Bell burrito was made by a grump? When you’re in labor you don’t need another pain in your hoo-ha.
Of course one can’t dispute that the best part about labor and delivery is being done with laboring and delivering. There is and never will be a better feeling than the relief of finally being done.
Well, maybe except for chocolate cake.