A child arrived just the other day, came into the world in the usual way….

Harry Chapin, Cats in the Cradle

Three weeks ago I gave birth to my fourth child, Lucas. And he pretty much came into the world in the usual way. As an outsider, the labour and delivery was textbook and fell within the parameters of a normal labour and delivery. No complications, no interventions, and I physically came out of it pretty unscathed.

Mentally on the other hand, it has been a real test.

This whole pregnancy, labour and delivery caper doesn’t get easier. Well actually, the labours are easier. My body expedited the labour process with my 2nd, 3rd and 4th children. The pregnancy and delivery part, not so much.

My chiropractor informed me that a woman’s body never fully returns to pre-pregnancy condition. There is obviously some wear and tear that simply remains. Therefore making any following pregnancy a little more taxing on the body.

I don’t understand why pregnancy has to be difficult. What purpose does it serve? High blood pressure, water retention, cramps, back pain, constipation, and the list goes on. Honestly, for as sophisticated as the human body is, it still leaves a lot to be desired.

And the hormones; why do I need to feel like crying one minute and screaming the next. My family around me doesn’t know what they’re going to get from day to day. Again I ask you, what’s the point?

I still need to be a functioning member of society, why am I struck down with these shortcomings? How does this prepare me for motherhood? How will this make me love my baby more?

But the delivery is a whole other monster. This is one instance where ignorance is bliss. With my first child I had no idea what lay in front of me so I just got on with the job of bearing down and pushing with all my might to deliver my daughter.

However, when it came to my 2nd labour and delivery I panicked. I froze, refused to push out of fear because I knew what was ahead of me. And this fear remained with my 3rd and 4th children. In fact, the fear reached a whole new level with my 4th child.

I don’t understand why it must hurt so much to deliver a baby. If that is what our bodies are meant to do, then why make it so difficult. It’s true, what they say, once the baby is born the pain is gone and after a while the memory of the pain fades. Presumably so women go back for more.

Well I went back for more, and this last time I was wondering whether I was going to get out of this alive. Right at the crucial moment I promised myself that 4 children are enough and I would never endure another pregnancy and delivery because it would be insane to put myself through all this again.

Mr M suggested that perhaps nature is trying to limit how many children we have; otherwise we’d all have a dozen kids. I wonder what kind of world that would be?

But babies are so damn cute aren’t they? Melts the heart.

This post was first published on my other Mum’s Word blog “A Child Arrived Just The Other Day”

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