Experience contractions through these intense photos

Experience contractions through these intense photos

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During my first pregnancy, I spent a lot of time wondering what contractions would feel like. After being in labor three times, I can't say I would describe contractions this way.

For me, they were more of a dull ache in my belly at first. Then a tightening; almost as if my belly was clenching involuntarily; a charley horse of the mid-section. That tightening grew more, and more intense as my labor progressed. Eventually the contractions would feel like slow, escalating pain like my insides were turning inside-out. Right before the pushing phase, I was pretty sure I was being sawed in half.

Sorry to be so brutally honest. Contractions are hard to describe in words. Unless you're in labor right now, these raw photos taken by Denver-based birth photographer Monet Moutrie are the closest you will come to experiencing what contractions feel like.

Of course, everyone's experience is different. And according to Monet, the word "pain" can be self-destructive. She told our site in an email:

"Without any doubt, a contraction is an intense experience. I don't like to use the word painful, because many of my clients choose to approach their contractions with more positive language, which I think is an awesome coping skill! Some of my clients become very quiet and still during their contractions, while others are loud and must move through the waves. My coping mechanism was to hum (yes, hum) and bury my face in my pillow. I do find that as we get closer to pushing, our animalistic nature does grow stronger or take over. The intensity is often greatest in these moments and requires everything within us to move beyond them."

Here are the vivid photos of reactions her clients have had dealing with contractions:

This photo below was especially transportive for me, because you can almost feel her belly hardening as her body works to deliver her baby.

And this image is just so raw, you can feel what she is going through.

Check out this full spectrum of shots Moutrie has taken of women laboring.

All of these images truly take me back to my own labors and how intense contractions really feel; they take over your mind and body completely. The good news? Every wave, every earth-shattering, mind-numbing, soul-testing moment is 100 percent worth it once you meet your baby.

Thank you, Monet, for sharing these exquisite images with BabyCenter. If you want to see more of Monet’s work, please visit her website and Facebook page.

This post was originally published in March 2016

Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.

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