My mom has always been my biggest inspiration and throughout the years, I’ve learned a lot about what her life was like before and after I came into the picture. However, I’ve never thought to ask her about what her actual experience of bringing me into this world was like. Consequently, I decided to conduct an interview with my mom, Jennifer Lantz, about her experience giving birth to me and then to my sister.
The first question I asked Jennifer was to describe the experience of giving birth in three words. She answered by saying “breathtaking, amazing, and inspiring”. This answer really surprised me; I’ve never given birth, but to me it seems like an extremely unpleasant experience and I thought her three words would reflect that. However, her three words were positive ones, which says a lot about how the reward of being a mom outweighs the pain of giving birth.
Next, I asked Jennifer if she chose to get an epidural or not. She answered that she hadn’t, but she wished she would of. Her thought process was that women in third world countries give birth every day without any pain reliever at all, so she should be able to do it on just a muscle relaxer. Hearing my mom’s answer to this question made me think about how lucky we are to live in a country that has the resources and technology to make birth easier. This also made me think about how sombering it is that in some parts of the world, women aren’t given the same choices that we are when it comes to their bodies.
Next, I talked to her about the three stages of birth. I clarified that the first stage of birth was from when labor starts until the cervix is dilated ten centimeters before I asked questions about it in order to make sure that we were both on the same page. Jennifer couldn’t remember the exact amount of time stage one took, but she estimated about 7-8 hours in time. Then, I asked her to describe this stage physically and mentally. Physically, she said the experience was completely exhausting. However, she said what she remembers most was the mental toll is took on her. She recalls being ridden with anxiety because I was her first child and she didn’t know what to expect. However, Jennifer also remembered being incredibly excited to finally get to see me after nine months of waiting.
Then, we discussed stage two, which is after the cervix is dilated ten centimeters until the baby is actually born. Time wise, this was significantly easier for Jennifer; it only took about twenty minutes. She also discussed how mentally, this stage was much easier. In stage two, she knew she was almost done, whereas when she was in stage one, she had no idea how much longer it was going to go on for. Physically, just like mentally, stage two was easier for her. She claimed that this stage was easier physically because she was actively pushing instead of just having to deal with the contractions happening.
Then, I asked Jennifer about stage three, which is the delivery of the placenta. I had heard that some women don’t even realize that it’s happening because they’re so caught up in their new baby, so I asked her specifically about that. She answered that she was aware it was happening, but she was very caught up with me. She said it wasn’t painful, but it was uncomfortable because of what she had just gone through with the whole process of giving birth.
After talking about my birth specifically, I decided to ask her about my sisters’ birth that occurred four years later in comparison to mine. Time wise, they were relatively similar; my birth took between 7-8 hours while my sisters took between 6-7 hours. I also asked her about mentally and physically, which birth was easier. She answered that mentally, the second birth was much easier because she knew what to expect. However, physically it was much more painful. For her second birth, Jennifer chose to get an epidural. However, something went wrong with it, so she was numb in some parts of her body, but had extreme, sharp pain in her back throughout the entire birth. Overall, she stated that the two births were both a completely different experience and she can’t say if one was better or easier than the other.
The final question I asked Jennifer was about her emotional experience throughout both births. She answered that throughout the whole experience, both with her first and second birth, the main emotion she felt was excitement. She said although she did have to concentrate on what she was doing, she couldn’t help but be filled with excitement.
This interview with my mom really opened my eyes as to what the whole experience of giving birth is like. Before this interview, I had never really thought about how there would be good emotions associated with giving birth, I had also just thought about how painful it must be physically and how awful that sounds to go through. However, after hearing my mom describe giving birth as “breathtaking, amazing, and inspiring”, my perspective on the entire experience of giving birth has changed. It was humbly to see that birth is really more than just the physical pain; it’s about bringing someone you already love so much into the world.