Like Climbing a Mountain

The joy and satisfaction of birth.

Andrea Rudy

11/14/20222 min read

Have you ever climbed a 14er?

A 14er is a mountain that's at least 14,000 ft at the summit. There are quite a few in Colorado! Some people really enjoy climbing them, even though they can be pretty brutal.

There are so many similarities between climbing mountains and giving birth:

  • Pushing your body to do hard things

  • Physical endurance

  • Mental endurance

  • Hunger and thirst

  • Needing community and support

  • Unexpected detours

  • False summits

  • An exhilarated feeling at the top

How to prepare for climbing a mountain, and for giving birth:

  • Physical training

  • Mental training

  • Researching the route

  • Gathering a team

  • Nutrition and hydration

  • Preparing for the unexpected

  • Proper equipment

  • Enjoying the journey

There's this crazy feeling right before you reach a mountain’s summit, when you can't quite see the top and you have no idea if you're 5 minutes away or 5 hours away. People keep coming down and saying, "You're almost there, you're almost there!" It's frustrating because it doesn't FEEL like you're almost there. You might even doubt your ability to move forward and consider giving up and going back.

But then all at once you come over the last ridge and you see the end. One last big effort of endurance, and you're there!

That rush of endorphins and adrenaline, the satisfaction of, "I did it!" It's heady and addicting. It's what makes us keep going back!

It's so worth it.

This correlation was a game changing mindset for me when I gave birth. It was a big reason I was able to keep going. I'd had similar experiences before! Here were a few thoughts I had while climbing mountains that I remembered when I was in labor:

"My muscles hurt so much. But I know they can keep going."
"I just need to concentrate on breathing deeply."
"Maybe I should just turn around. But, I've come so far already, I can't!"
"All these other people around me have the same feelings I am, and they're still going!"
"This is so incredibly difficult. But, look at the view - this is beautiful!"

What are some similarities that you would add?