Whether they thought it was, ‘zen’ or whether they thought that they were dying, these celebrities have some very, very varied opinions on what childbirth was like. If their testimonies aren’t a convincing argument that labour really isn’t the same for every woman, we don’t know what is…
When her mother, Goldie Hawn, walked into the delivery room:
"She brings a magnolia flower. And she sort of starts to do these visualisations with me. And she’s going, ‘Imagine your va-jay-jay as a large magnolia flower blossoming’."
"We were in this little hospital in Africa when Shi was born. It was just a little cottage, the three of us. It was wonderful, very personal, all three of us in this sweet room. We had an American doctor with us who met the Namibian doctors and they worked in tandem because it was a C-Section and my first and we didn’t know the country. There was one paediatrician in town and one anaesthesiologist, who had come – you have to plan it. I didn’t find it a sacrifice and I didn’t find it a painful experience. I found it a fascinating miracle of what a body can do."
On the recovery process after a C-section: "Everybody told me how much it would hurt afterwards but I think I have a different tolerance to pain than others. By the night after I had the baby, I’m like, "Look, I can’t sit in this bed anymore. I’ve got to get up!" I’ve been up and about since he was born. To me, the pain is no different that when you work out a muscle you’ve never worked out before and it’s sore."
"The pain was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. It was so painful but a different kind of pain — because I knew we were going to meet our son. It was worth every minute and I’ll do it again."
"It was very easy. I went into labour at about one in the morning and I very calmly had my bags packed and woke my husband up after about three hours of walking up and down
my hallway. Then I’m like, ‘Okay, it’s time to go, let’s go now.’ We got in the car and drove to the hospital and that was it."
"The experience was beyond pain. It was a transcendental experience. I just went to this whole other world. I basically had to be the little soldier that I am and really focus on this new beautiful creature coming out of me."
"The first fourteen hours were almost sexy. The (natural hormone) oxytocin was doing all this magic and it felt amazing. Someone gifted me my placenta in the form of a pill. They encapsulate it and I have to tell you that I really loved it. My husband said, ‘did you take your happy pills today?’ and I was really sad when they were gone. They really helped me."
"In some cases more than others, your body experiences a kind of trauma through childbirth that is difficult to explain unless you’ve had that experience. My case was like that, everything from my thyroid to my platelets crashed."
"My delivery was in a bathtub. I wanted to be very aware and present during the birth…I didn’t want to be drugged up," Bundchen said. "It didn’t hurt in the slightest. The whole time my mind was focused in each contraction on the thought ‘my baby is closer to coming out.’"
First published on Elle.com