^36 weeks, a photo I took of a friend.

I consider having been able to carry life inside of me as a blessing. The miracle of life never ceases to amaze me. Even now I marvel at how much my children have grown through the years. Though it has been several years already since my last pregnancy, I can still vividly recall how I felt while carrying a precious child in my womb.

Knowing that there’s life growing inside of me brought a myriad of emotions. Waves of euphoria would rush into me whenever my baby kicked or moved inside my womb; fits of worry would overwhelm me whenever I fear that I would not be able to be a good mother. It would be pretentious of me to say that everything was all good and happy. Sure, there were some hurdles and challenges that I had to go through as my body went through changes while I was expecting – my doctors said that hormones have a lot to do with the mood swings too. But, with a loving and supportive husband, family, and friends, I would say that it was not such an agony at all.

What’s agonizing was the number of days that I had to count before the baby came out. We all wanted to shower the baby with love and affection as soon as possible. Everybody was ready to dote on my little one that toys, clothes, furniture, and accessories were all starting to pile up in the nursery. I didn’t complain though. I would say that I am lucky to have had so many people helping out with all the preparations – just imagine how expensive it would have been for me to buy all those stuff for my baby.

As everyone took care of all the physical preparations, I had to focus on keeping myself healthy and happy while I was expecting. This would allow the baby to grow healthy and happy too. Even with the unusual cravings I had every once in a while, I made sure that I ate healthy food all the time. It was quite a challenge for me to stay away from a lot of things, like sushi and chocolates though. But, for my baby, I would do anything. – I guess this all of us mothers speaking here.

With all that said, today’s moms can deal with childbirth a bit less painful with methods/approaches such as water birth, analgesia, anesthesia, and hypnobirthing  to name a few. Each of course has pros and cons and with the help of professionals, you would be able to choose what you are comfortable with. To summarize let’s list down the differences among the those mentioned above.

bump, joy, agony, waiting

Water birth.  For a pregnant woman, sliding into a warm bath is perhaps a very welcome comfort. Reports say that immersion during the first stage of childbirth reduces the labor pains. It is also said that immersion or soaking helps to ease the intensity of contractions. Nowadays, birthing pools and immersion tubs can be found in hospitals advocating this method.

Epidural  Analgesia  and/or Anesthesia.  Epidural analgesia is a method that allows complete motor (causing paralysis) and sensory blockade (causing loss of sensation), around or near the site of pain, it is different from anesthesia alone which leads to total lack of feeling. In effect, epidural analgesia reduces  discomfort during childbirth, giving women a more positive birth experience. All in all, an epidural will allow an expectant mom to rest if labor is prolonged.

Hypnobirthing. Simply put, hypnobirthing aim to teach a pregnant woman ways to stay in control and calm during labor and childbirth. Hypnobirthing reportedly reduces and often eliminates the need for chemical painkillers and drugs.

I guess all expectant moms have to deal with the joyful anticipation and the agonizing wait. But, really, there’s no greater joy than seeing our babies for the very first time.