“This is going to hurt,” the doctor said to me while holding a giant needle pointed directly at my knee, which was swollen once again.
“Thanks doctor, but I’ve got a pretty high tolerance for pain,” I replied.
You bet your *#$ I do. Why? Because I’m a mom, that’s why.
Growing up in my whiney family, I didn’t want to drink the Kool-aid and join the party. After listening to them, I really didn’t see the point of listening to myself whine as well. I decided I would be tougher. And before I became pregnant, I thought I was pretty good at it.
When I first realized I was expecting, I was overjoyed constantly. During those first six weeks, I didn’t understand what all the whining was about. And then at six weeks and one day, my first real wave of nausea hit and all of the sudden I got it. I whined…and told everyone about it. I just couldn’t help myself…it was the worst nausea I had ever felt. But eventually I got my bearings (week sixteen helped) and rode out the rest of my pregnancy pretty well. I told everyone I was feeling alright and mostly reserved the aches and kicks for my husband’s ears.
When labor hit, I was also unprepared for the pain. I had taken the classes, read the books and trained as much as I could and still. Still, I found myself shocked at the intensity of each contraction. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the pain; it felt too expansive and unrelenting to possibly understand. When I finally got the epidural silent tears of relief spilled down my face, as I was told not move while the needle went into my spine. I profusely thanked the nurse who held my hand and promised her anything she wanted. That gratitude has not faded, even to this day, some three years later.
I am sure had I not received an epidural, there would have been even more pain that would have made those earlier hours laughable. I’ll never know, and I’m okay with that. Still, the pain taught me something. It taught me how to survive. That I was able to physically and mentally go through what I did is a badge of courage and honor. It now knowwhat I am made of, what I can withstand, and what I can recover from. I feel practically bionic as a result but more realistically, I feel resilient.
No longer do I wince at paper cuts, scrapes or bruises. I don’t dramatize my aches or injuries, and I don’t call in sick to work very often. I rest when I need to, and then I get up and go forth to conquer another day. I am a mother, here me roar!