“Most Western women have never been physically tested until we go through labor and birth…haven’t gone eighteen or twenty four hours without food or sleep…allowed ourselves to go a day or two…without a bath or shower, without brushing our teeth and doing our hair and makeup. Even fewer of us would allow anyone else to see, smell, or touch us, unwashed, sweat-soaked, naked, oozing mucus, blood, and feces from out nether regions. When faced with the forces of labor, we can’t hide the fear, the anxiety, the responses to pain…All the inhibitions and trappings of our social selves are peeled away as our bodies thrust and heave, vomit and grunt, cry and leak. The animal is there for all to see.”
-Susan Diamond, R.N. Hard Labor
On Thursday, March 7 I woke up with mild cramps. Uncomfortable? Yes. Gas? Maybe. I decided not to get too excited and carry on with my morning as usual. I did my morning yoga routine and some breathing exercises and then went for a walk with my friend at the park. I mentioned to her I was having some cramps but they seemed pretty far apart and I didn’t want to get too worked up over nothing. After a couple of miles, she headed back to work and I decided to take one more mile loop. By the end of the loop, I was having to stop to breathe through the contractions that seemed to be coming more frequently.