5 Things I Never Expected About Birth

Becoming a parent is a transformative journey filled with moments of wonder, joy, and profound growth. Among the milestones, giving birth stands out as an experience that defies expectations and challenges assumptions. While books, classes, and advice from others can prepare you to some extent, there are aspects of childbirth that often come as surprising revelations. In this article, we’ll explore five things I never expected about birth, shedding light on the unique, unpredictable, and awe-inspiring facets of bringing new life into the world.

1. The Raw Intensity of Labor

Before becoming a parent, I had heard countless stories about the intensity of labor pains. However, nothing could have prepared me for the raw power and all-encompassing force that labor brings. The waves of contractions, the deep focus required to manage the pain, and the sheer physical and emotional intensity of the experience were unlike anything I had ever encountered. The sensation of my body working with a purpose greater than myself was both overwhelming and empowering, forever changing my perception of strength and endurance.

2. The Dance Between Control and Surrender

Birth is a delicate dance between control and surrender. Beforehand, I assumed that childbirth would follow a linear path, dictated by my plans and preparations. What surprised me was the unpredictability of the process and the need to relinquish a degree of control. Yet, in embracing this surrender, I found an unexpected sense of freedom and empowerment. As my body moved through stages I couldn’t fully anticipate, I learned to trust the innate wisdom of my physiology and the unwavering support of my healthcare team.

3. The Unearthly Bonding Experience

While I understood that birth would connect me to my child in a profound way, the sheer depth of this bond was astonishing. The moment I held my baby for the first time, a rush of emotions engulfed me—a potent cocktail of love, awe, and an unbreakable connection that defies words. Birth introduced me to a level of vulnerability and tenderness that transformed my relationship with my partner, my child, and myself. The realization that I was embarking on a lifelong journey of nurturing and guiding another human being was both humbling and exhilarating.

4. The Multitude of Emotions

No one truly prepares you for the whirlwind of emotions that accompanies childbirth. The elation of meeting your baby for the first time mingles with a sense of vulnerability, exhaustion, and even moments of doubt. The simultaneous experience of joy, relief, uncertainty, and wonder can be overwhelming. What I found unexpected was the coexistence of these emotions—how moments of fatigue and uncertainty could coexist with a profound sense of purpose and joy. This intricate emotional tapestry revealed the complexity of parenthood and the capacity of the human heart to hold a myriad of feelings simultaneously.

5. The Profound Transformation

While I anticipated that becoming a parent would change my life, I never fully grasped the extent of the transformation. The process of birth—physically, emotionally, and spiritually—marked a turning point that redefined my identity, priorities, and perspective. In welcoming my child into the world, I found myself reborn as a parent, a role that demanded growth, adaptation, and unwavering love. Birth, with its challenges and triumphs, became a catalyst for self-discovery and an opportunity to evolve into the person and parent I aspired to be.


The journey of giving birth is a remarkable testament to the resilience, vulnerability, and strength of the human experience. From the breathtaking intensity of labor to the unexpected depth of emotions, birth reveals the intricate tapestry of what it means to become a parent. As we navigate the dance between control and surrender, we unearth a bond that transcends time and space. Through birth, we are initiated into a transformation that reshapes our very core, inviting us to embrace the unexpected, cherish the journey, and welcome the profound gift of new life.

In hindsight, it’s the surprises, the moments of awe and humility, that shape our narratives as parents. The unexpected aspects of birth become cherished pieces of a story that we carry with us, a story that reminds us of the resilience of the human spirit and the boundless capacity of love.


Q1: Can I predict how my birth experience will unfold? A: While you can create birth plans and preferences, the unpredictability of birth means that outcomes may differ from expectations. Flexibility is key.

Q2: How can I prepare emotionally for the surprises of birth? A: Embrace the unknown by cultivating mindfulness, building a support network, and nurturing a positive mindset. Remember that surprises can bring growth.

Q3: Are there any specific techniques to manage the intensity of labor? A: Breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, and visualization can help manage labor pains. Attending childbirth education classes can also provide valuable tools.

Q4: How can I communicate my birth preferences to my healthcare team? A: Creating a birth plan that outlines your preferences and discussing it with your healthcare provider well in advance can help ensure your wishes are respected.

Q5: Is it common to feel vulnerable during childbirth? A: Yes, childbirth can evoke feelings of vulnerability. Surrounding yourself with supportive caregivers and a birthing environment you feel comfortable in can help alleviate these feelings.


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