Thanks to Diana, I have come across a new blog that I am sure I will love. In this post, Vita Mutari, which translated from Latin means “life transformation,” she discusses the difficulty that sometimes arises with terms surrounding labor and birth:
So I was asked today again about the pain of childbirth…and again I expressed my frustration that what we feel in labor with our babies is “intense”, “incredibly huge”, etc…but that I don’t believe that there is a word in the English language to express what it feels like, as it’s totally unique to anything else you will ever feel in your life. It demands full attention of your body, your mind, your soul….it is one of the few experiences we have that transcends the physical and is all encompassing, taking everything you have and everything that you are….only to have you emerge on the other side transformed, changed permanently – you will never be the same. Sometimes you have a really difficult experience and you come out the other side feeling beaten down, feeling weak and dealing with the consequences of the negativity for the rest of your life. Other times you will emerge with an entirely new respect for yourself, your body, your strength…you will suddenly see yourself as the amazing person that you are!
Which (finally) brings me to these two words…my new favorite words. I think I will start using these words from now on when someone asks about what labor feels like or the pain of giving birth…. VITA MUTARI!! Labor feels like “mutari”….the contractions will grow and you will feel Vita Mutari …the vita mutari will grow in intensity….as the mutari increases, you may vocalize or call out…
Updated to add…
This from the Irish Times: Pain relief “doesn’t lead to more satisfying births”:
“Research on women’s satisfaction with labour has found that the one-on-one support they got from the midwife was a much more important part of the actual experience than the experience of pain. Paradoxically, a lot of women talk about a high level satisfaction along with a high level of pain.” – Midwife and professor Denis Walsh
While there are certainly times when labor pain is “pain” and an epidural can “transform what is a miserable experience into one they actually enjoy because they are not suffering the awful pain,” [quote from a doctor in the article], oftentimes a doula or a midwife or some other support person can likewise transform “pain” into “mutari”.