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April Bevin’s Orgasmic Birth Story

APRIL’S ORGASMIC BIRTH STORY

 My Orgasmic, Pain-Free Labour

Written 19 January 2009, by April Bevin

(1 year, 4 days after the birth)

 

I.

When people talk to me about childbirth, I am uncomfortable.

I am almost embarrassed.

They talk to me in understanding tones about suffering, hardship, pain, and wishing it wasn’t necessary for the end result. They are forever saying with empathy, “at least there’s a great reward at the end”. And it’s not even just those who are also mothers, those who have been through the pain of their own labour/s. There are the younger girlfriends expressing horror and fear at the thought of one day enduring childbirth, and the men – the men, expressing pity, relief, and admiration.

And yes, there is a great reward at the end of labour. But in the meantime, as we fear childbirth, offer sympathy to expectant mothers, and embrace the notion of it as inherently dangerous, and the drugs and interventions that go along with that view, are we missing out on one of the most incredible experiences available to women?

As women, do we know what we may be missing out on by accepting these stories of childbirth as ‘reality’, and handing our births over to obstetricians as a medical condition that needs to be ‘handled’?

As a society, are we denying women the freedom, joy, delight and empowerment that labour and childbirth naturally offer?

But what kind of labour would it need to be in order to offer women this experience?
One that occurs easily, naturally, and without pain…?

Exactly.

II.

In his book ‘Childbirth Without Fear’, first published in 1942, physician Grantly Dick Read explores why it is that for some women, childbirth is the most horrifically painful experience imaginable, whilst for others it is incredibly ecstatic and completely pain-free. Sadly, in our Western society today, we are far more exposed to the former experience – Hollywood is forever perpetuating ‘birth fright’, and almost anyone you ask will tell you birth is inherently painful and dangerous. Birth is, in fact, inherently safe, and is to be trusted rather than interrupted (but that is a topic for another post…).

What I intend to do is make the latter experience more widespread and known; women need to know that a pain-free birth is available, naturally and easily. In fact, it is suprisingly simple.

There are three muscle groups in the uterus, two of which concern us in this discussion.
One is the vertical muscles (bear with me, I do not know anatomic terminology), and the other the circular muscles (they go around the uterus).  When a woman goes into spontaneous labour, the vertical muscles naturally contract to push the baby out; the other muscles are designed to stay relaxed during labour.

However, should a woman be fearful of birth (let’s face it, completely understandable given the images and preconceptions she is faced with), her first contraction often initiates the body’s ‘fight or flight’ reflex.  This reflex drains all blood and therefore oxygen from any part of the body deemed unnecessary for either fight or flight, and all the blood is delivered to ‘necessary’ parts of the body such as the limbs. One of the ‘unnecessary’ parts is the uterus; many women are actually trying to labour with an oxygen-deprived uterus! Talk about hard work.

Another function of this reflex is that the circular muscles of the uterus – designed to stay lax during labour – begin to contract. Now your uterus is contracting against itself, and *this* is the cause of the labour pain experienced by most women; this causes labour to be painful, and much more drawn-out than necessary.

What Read invites us to do is not to anticipate pain – rather, to anticipate *new sensations*. Unlike anything we have felt or experienced before, yes. Unavoidably painful? Not necessarily.
Imagine a preganant woman living on a deserted island, alone apart from the man who is obviously necessary. She spontaneously goes into labour; she experiences the same type of physical feeling any woman would feel at the beginning of labour, but due to having no external influence (media, other mothers, etc), she is not expecting any pain. And so, she experiences all these new sensations within her body – undoubtedly these include a degree of discomfort as a small body exits her own! – but no pain.
Now imagine this same woman, but now in our society, bombarded by horrific birthing scenes in movies such as ‘Knocked Up’, where the labouring woman is screaming for drugs, blaming the man, hating it all. In this environment, with these expectations of a painful labour, when she now experiences the initial sensations of labour, the birth fright kicks in, initiates fight or flight, and we’re away…
Every woman may start out with these basic feelings, but it is how we take these on within ourselves that then directs the path of our labour – either painful, or not.
I want to make a point here that there is nothing right or wrong with either way; the purpose of my writing all this is to spread awareness to women that loving your labour IS possible; that it could very possibly be the most euphoric experience of your life, if you so choose.

When I understood this basic concept put forward by Read, I was very excited. My only apprehension was this: what if, even knowing this, I still get scared, and ‘accidentally’ initiate the fight or flight reflex?
That, I guess, is something for each woman to handle her own way; for me it was prayer, and consciously, completely letting it go – over and over and over again in the weeks leading up to birth. Once the birth began, I actually didn’t think about it at all; there was not even a space for fear to exist. All I felt was complete trust, and the space for pain-free, naturally-occuring childbirth opened up…

And with my uterus allowed to function in the way it is truly designed to, without it interrupting and working against itself, labour progressed extremely quickly, indeed.
Beforehand, I was told to prepare; that first labours averaged 12 hours – some women I know have laboured for more than 24… I cannot even imagine how tiring this must be, and commend you!
My first labour was over in 2 hours, 20 minutes — and that includes 1 hour+ of *holding in* the baby in hopes Pete would make it in time (his work is far from both home and hospital).
Had he been home, labour would have been approx 1 hour, 5 minutes.

This may sound like a dream – having such a quick labour. I admit I am grateful to not go through extensive exhausting hours of labouring. And yet I hope, somehow, my future labours will last a little longer, so that I may have more time to enjoy them.

III. Orgasmic Birth

I did not hear of orgasmic birth until after I had already given birth, when I came across this site:
www.orgasmicbirth.com
As yet I have not viewed the movie, just the trailer available on the website. But it resonated with me as soon as I discovered it; you see, I did not experience pain in labour, though neither did I experience orgasm in the first and second stages of labour. However, after choosing not to have the syntocinon injection routinely given post-birth (known as third stage) to stimulate the ejection of the placenta from the uterus (something the body is naturally designed to do on it’s own, without the need for any injection), the placenta came out in it’s own time… and when it did – woOoAaoaoooOOoohhhhhh! (insert ecstatic, highly orgasmic groan of pleasure *here*.)

Yes, I had a naturally pain-free, speedy, easy, EUPHORIC delivery – and to top it off, an absolutely indescribable out-of-this-world orgasm!

Will we be having more children? Yes, please!

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1 Comment»

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