I have been reflecting today and all week on my labor trying to get my birth story finished. I began to feel sad and at a loss, as I was not able to remember a lot of the details or the chronology of events in the labor process. I was really taking it to heart.
I was trying to remember and be able to articulate what a contraction felt like and couldn’t. I also wanted to remember what I was thinking or doing to deal with them. I want to be able to describe details…but I cant remember many of them.
Today, while I was breastfeeding Elliott I opened up a book I was reading to prepare for childbirth, called Birthing from Within. I flipped to the chapter on endorphins. It basically summed up what I was feeling, by saying that during a natural childbirth, your body produces endorphins as a natural response to pain. The endorphins cause a haze that soften your memories and protect you from lasting trauma. It goes on to say that endorphins cause amnesia about pain and allow for a misty magical memory of your labor. In opposition, it says that when you get an epidural that the natural endorphin haze is lifted and you have a more acute memory of details, which often when retrieved are more traumatic and vivid.
After reading this I felt better about not being able to remember. I felt very at peace during the labor process, and ‘inside my own head’. It felt natural and I felt in control of my body.