In a word?
This word, of course, could apply to basically every labor and delivery, as millions of women around the world can attest to.
On Tuesday night’s new episode of Counting On, however, viewers got an up close and extremely personal view of Lauren Duggar giving birth… in especially painful fashion.
The 21-year old admitted she had “mixed emotions” about the experience, which took place back in November and only first aired on television this week.
After experiencing pain due to baby’s head being placed near her back, the wife of Josiah Duggar got an epidural, which had not been on her agenda.
“I was planning to go natural, but when I hit six centimeters, my back was just really hurting,” Lauren explained in front of the TLC cameras. “I knew I wasn’t going to be able to relax and progress.”
The epidural made the reality star “very nauseous,” but it accomplished the key goal oof decreasing her heart rate.
Unfortunately, Lauren wasn’t done. She actually had to endure a second epidural because the first one didn’t work and she remained “in a lot of pain.”
Josiah could only look on and try to sympathize with his wife during the process.
“It was kind of frustrating, I think, for both of us,” he said in the understatement of the century.
Sitting on the confessional couch and thinking back to the harrowing situation, Lauren said:
“I was so exhausted. They would tell me ‘another couple of hours, lay on your side for another couple hours.’ I’m like, ‘It’s been already a couple of hours. Shouldn’t I have the baby by now?
“‘I’ve been 8 centimeters for like 12 hours already.’ Like, come on.”
Due to indescribable back pain, and having been awake for two days, Lauren was given some medicine at one point to help her fall asleep.
The worst was almost still to come, however, as the doctor recommended Lauren under a C-section.
Josiah acknowledged how “scary” it was to consider such a surgery, but then said on air:
“I realize that you want to do anything you can do to protect the mama and the baby.”
Lauren was later given Pitocin to speed up the labor, although she noted that her “contractions after the Pitocin were very painful.”
By this point, Lauren’s back pain was off the charts, but she knew she had to keep going.
“I just remember thinking, ‘Lord, protect this baby.’ I guess that’s what every mother does,” she reflected on the episode, months later.
“Even if they haven’t lost a baby, they always want to protect this baby. The worst could always happen, but you just have to give in to the Lord.”
After days of labor, daughter Bella entered the world.
“It’s just so exciting to finally have her in my arms. After waiting and waiting. Just seeing her after all that work , it’s all was worth it,” Lauren said, while Josiah added:
“It was really a strange feeling seeing your baby girl for a first time and it didn’t take long until she was looking around everywhere.”
About a year and a half ago, as fans know well, Lauren and Josiah revealed a tragic miscarriage.
On this episode, Lauren thought back on how the miscarriage prepared her for motherhood, stating:
“Going through a loss and then holding a child that you’ve been waiting for is probably the greatest thing you can ever feel.
“Holding someone you love so much, you’ve been waiting and praying for, shows you just how great life is.”