From the baby's point of view
I'm reading this old book and found it quite interesting and it helped me remember as I approach birth day: this is not all-about-me!
Here are some quotes from the author:
It takes three to make a birthday. ... But the person for whom this day is truly vital is neither of you two but the third person; the one who is introduced into the world by your labor: the baby.
The baby is closely confined in warm dark prison of exquisite, neutral comfort. ... There is no friction, no snesation, no change. His eyes are ready but there is nothing for him to see.... He has no need to breathe nor does he need to digest food, so he feels no sensations from within himself. ... He is sealed off from the world, untouched and untouchable.
But the baby is outgrowing his seedbed. Soon your womb which has nurtured him must reject him.
Childbirth cannot be controlled... Once labor begins, your baby is going to get himself born with or without your conscious cooperation. .... There is no way out of the experience except through it, because it is not really your experience at all but the baby's. Your body is his instrument of birth.
You cannot see your baby turned, forced and molded by the muscular contractions which you feel as labor pains. ... You cannot know whether he feels pain and fear.
That baby is the point of the whole labor process. It is his safe arrival with which your body is concerned. He, not you, is the star of the show.
Birth feels like the climax to long months of waiting but it is not really a climax at all. You were not waiting to give birth, you were waiting to have a baby.