Think of birth like a marathon
I don't care if you've never exercised a day in your life. On your baby's birth day, you are an athlete, a champion, a bad ass, kick ass marathon runner. AND DON'T FORGET IT!
Let's go over what it takes to run a marathon. You train, you learn different running techniques, you gather all your supplies for race day and what you'll need after the race. You have your support team - your coach, your running mates, your friends who cannot believe you're going to run 26.2 miles. They are so in awe of you and your strength, determination, and abilities. They will be there to cheer you on from the sidelines.
Marathon day comes. You are ready. You're pumped and so is your support team. They know you can do this. You know you can do this. You also know that this is going to hurt but that you will not suffer. You trust your body to get across the finish line... chafed thighs, blisters, cramps and all.
You start your marathon. Your hormones are working. Adrenaline is pumping and as you begin to feel pain, endorphins will release to lessen the feeling and give you energy. You get your second wind and you keep going. Everyone is cheering you on. They aren't worried about your safety or have any thought that you need help. They trust you, your body, and abilities. They are there just to witness your amazing success.
But it will take time. 26.2 miles takes time. You may hit a wall somewhere along the way. You take a break... you walk, rehydrate, eat or drink some of those goo packets (super yuk). You may even talk to a friend who encourages you to keep going. And you do. Because you can.
You finish that marathon. You're sore but feel so good. You did it, you bad ass you!
Guess what? LABOR IS EXACTLY THE SAME AS A MARATHON with one critical difference. You don't need to train for this race. Your body NATURALLY knows what to do if you give it the time, space, and support to do it..... Yet for some reason, we continually make moms feel like they are weak or unable to handle labor on their own. It couldn't be farther from the truth.
You are using the exact same hormones as you do in a marathon and it takes just as much patience, support, and dedication as a marathon. And the risks of discomfort or complications are pretty much the same. With a marathon, you could trip, have a heart or breathing issue, or exhaust yourself. Guess what? In labor there is the risk of a complication as well. But does that mean you don't try to run the marathon (metaphorically speaking). No! You take the risk and most of the time, you cross that finish line unscathed and get that baby!
So think of yourself as preparing for the marathon of your life. Instead of getting a medal and a super cool t-shirt at the end, you get a baby. Don't let anyone treat you any less than a champion preparing for the marathon of your life.