momlogic's Vivian: Hear about that mom in that movie a while back who had an "orgasmic" birth? TLC is airing episodes of "Strange Sex," a six-part series about ... well, SEX. Among those profiled is a really nice woman named Cathy from Houston, a mom of two under 2 who claims she had such an "orgasmic" birth the first time around, she tried to go for it again with her second kid! We had ourselves a powwow to try and wrap our minds around where we went wrong with our own birth plans!
momlogic: Did you orgasm during the birth of one or both of your kids?
Cathy: I guess technically just the one, but I wanted to mention that the births were ecstatic, and beautiful and wonderful in the filming. Both births were those things, but I think really it was because these things can come out of a natural birth. Delivering the placenta really was a release of the tension the first time around. The second time around, my labor was fast and furious, so it was over and done before I knew what was happening. But the first time, there was music playing and a lot of lead-up. I wasn't expecting delivering the placenta to feel as good as it did.
ml: How do you define "orgasmic?"
C: Ecstatic release. Beautiful.
ml: Your natural births -- how did you deal with the pain of labor?
C: There was a lot of prayer around me, so that got me through. The first time around, I started chanting "baby" over and over again to remind myself I'd have a baby at the end of this, and that helped, too.
ml: Do you think you might have reached that ecstatic place through meditation, or was it the actual birth?
C: I think it was the actual birth that led to it. I tried to prepare with music and not think about the pain. I thought more along the lines of having a baby in the end.
ml: It's tough for women to associate the pleasure of orgasm with the excruciating pain of labor and birth. What would you say to skeptics?
C: Don't be fearful. I think women are raised to think of birth as a painful thing when it's a natural thing that's been going on since the beginning of time. Women have been brainwashed into thinking it's the most horrible thing that's ever going to happen to them. It IS painful. The thing is that, for me, the pain went away as soon as the baby was born and I didn't remember the pain at all. My first labor went on for 15 days -- I kept going in and out of the hospital with pre-labor. It made me tired, but at the same time it prepared me really well and I was able to dance and do all the pre-birth stuff that would help me get through.
ml: Think you were high off the pain?
C: Yeah -- exactly! There's something called a "hormonal cocktail," which I think is a really lovely term that's basically how your hormones work together without drugs.
ml: Maybe it was more of an adrenaline shot than orgasm, like how people can pick up cars in fear, combined with the ecstatic feeling of seeing your baby?
C: It could be. Every hormone is all working together in the body at those moments. The very release ... when I saw that movie about orgasmic birth, I could relate to the feeling during that last push.
ml: Do you think orgasmic birth is something women should aspire to?
C: Maybe they shouldn't aspire to having an actual orgasm, but I think aspiring to try to have a natural birth and let their bodies do what the body's going to do, because that's where it comes from -- letting the body release. You get all sorts of feelings from that, and if an orgasm comes from it, that's cool. But that's not really the goal. The goal is the baby. For me, it was having a natural birth both times. It really is an amazing experience that's hard to describe. But if it doesn't happen, know that it's OK -- it's what was planned for you.