A woman's birth experience is so powerful, it is seared into her memories and consciousness. Ask any woman —of any age and cultural background — about when she gave birth and chances are, she will be able to tell you all about it in vivid detail. As a woman, my life is divided in half: my life before I was a mother and my life as a mother.
Whenever I see a woman give birth, whether it be in real life or on YouTube, I can't help by relive my own six childbirth experiences. With each moan, with each breath, each cry, each movement, I know exactly what the mother is feeling. I know what it's like to be so inwardly focused that the world could collapse around you and you wouldn't even notice. I know what it feels like to have a baby move through your body. The shaky legs, the ring of fire, all of it. It all comes back to me in one fell swoop; how on Earth did I do this six times?
The video of the 22-year-old mother who gave birth to her third child in the front seat on the way to their birth center — all filmed on her husband's GoPro camera — made me relive the birth of my last child all over again.
I watched this video while taking measured breaths of my own. I may have even panted a little. After the young mother's first primal groan, I knew that baby wasn't going to be born at the birthing center. At some point during childbirth, your mind takes a backseat (no pun intended) and your body takes over and that is exactly what happened about 45 seconds into the video.
Watching another woman give birth makes you relive your own childbirth experience with such clarity it can bring tears to your eyes. I cried my eyes out watching this video. Witnessing a woman giving birth makes you realize how amazing your body is to go through all this and survive. When this mother was holding her newborn baby, all purple and full of goo, a wave of thankfulness washed over me. Each and every life that we helped usher into this world is truly precious.