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A High Without Drugs

postpartum-high-585As I mentioned when I shared the story of my son’s birth, I had a moment when I thought I must have entered Crazytown. That I must  have been totally nutso for insisting on an unmedicated childbirth experience. Why was I so stubborn? Did I love being in pain that much? Why do that to yourself when there’s a way out?

For me, the answer to that question is “because I can.” I did it once, I did it again. And even though the thought of “I can’t do this!” still rings fresh in my head, I know I would make the same decision again. (And by the time No. 3 rolls around, if a No. 3 rolls around, I know Mother Nature will have helped that memory fade.) And not only can I do it, but holy natural high.

I wouldn’t say I had a natural high with my first. Looking back, I actually think I had a sort of post-traumatic stress. I went from no baby to having a preemie in under three hours and barely made it to the hospital. It’s no wonder I had a panic attack that week. But this time around? I got to experience a less “emergency” childbirth scenario. I made it to the hospital with time to spare, got to monitor my contractions, and although the last five minutes were fast and furious, it was a more laid-back experience all around.

Afterwards? I felt like I could conquer the world. Whether it’s endorphins, hormones or the sense of crazy accomplishment, that natural high is one I wish I could bottle and sell on the street. Two weeks later, I still feel like I could conquer the world. It also helps that immediately after giving birth, any inkling of my pelvic pain disappeared. My recovery has been a breeze this time—probably because I didn’t push for any time at all. My fatigue vanished. Sure, I’m tired. But I’ve had help that’s let me get a little extra snooze in the morning, and this is the good tired—not the sloshing-through-mud-all-day tired. I feel like myself again, and I’d forgotten how good that felt.

Did you get a natural high after giving birth? Feel like a total bad-ass no matter how it happened? Have all of your pregnancy symptoms vanish in an instant? —Erin


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