Childbirth: Fantasy vs. Reality (PHOTOS)

Adriana Velez | Aug 7, 2013 Pregnancy

delivery roomAh childbirth, it's never quite how we think it's going to be, especially for first-timers. I remember my pregnant self fantasizing about the glorious labor I was going to have. I would focus on my breath, I would surround myself with pillows and candles, I would remember to bring my soothing labor soundtrack, I would ride those contractions like a surfer. I was so deluded.

We all have those friends with beautiful birth stories. And yeah, we're envious of them. But I think for most of us, childbirth is a little more like a marathon through the mud than a day-long yoga retreat. Here's the labor fantasy -- and the labor reality -- as I see it.

  • What Childbirth REALLY Looks Like

    1
  • Warm, Nurturing Environment

    2

    eyeliam/Flickr

    Ideally you're in a soothing environment with the lights dimmed, the perfect temperature, and nothing but soft surfaces all around you. Maybe you're even birthing at home! There's a birthing tub, of course.

  • Institutional-Looking Hospital Delivery Room

    3

    More likely you're in a delivery room that looks like this. And your insurance doesn't cover a birthing tub.

  • Zen Mama

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    Cali4beach/Flickr

    You're totally calm. Your breathing is under control. You are some kind of combination of warrior goddess of creation and Zen master, all energy and focus.

  • You're Freaking Out

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    Nate Grigg/Flickr

    OMG WHAT IS HAPPENING AM I GOING TO DIE HELP HELP GET IT OUT OF ME.

  • Baby Just Comes Right Out

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    Three pushes and you're done -- it's so easy!

  • Pushing Is Just More Hell

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    Pushing takes forever. You feel like you're about to shit Pluto. (Which is not technically a planet, did you know?)

  • Soothing Sounds

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    JohnLodder/Flickr

    You hear nothing but the soothing sounds of waves crashing on the beach.

  • The Noise

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    That stupid monitor they've got you on goes BEEP BEEP BEEP and it's driving you batty. Oh yeah, everyone in the hallway is yelling for some reason.

  • Postnatal Glow

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    Alan/Flickr

    Afterwards you're glowing like the radiant new mother that you are, and your baby latches on immediately. Ah, maternal bliss!

  • Postnatal Fatigue

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    After the birth you're kind of a fright -- all sweaty, matted hair, bulging eyes. And they're taking forever with your baby! All you want is to hold the baby and then take a really long nap, like for two days.

     

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