There’s no telling how any given woman will handle labor. Whether you’re a professional athlete or a professional couch potato, when your nine months are up, that baby is cooked, and wants out. The contractions start rolling in like a pissed-off King Kong trying to make his way through a tsunami.
In other words, all bets are off.
Of course, I myself am a bit of an anomaly: I gave birth to two children and never once felt a contraction. That’s not because I was in such tremendous shape that the imminent arrival of my daughters was nothing compared to the strength of the love in my heart. Just kidding; it’s because after my water broke during my first birth, I had something called dysfunctional labor (don’t ask). That meant I was technically in labor and dilated to 10 centimeters over the course of 14 hours, but never once felt it. The second time, I had a scheduled C-section that went as planned.
But my own (non-)experiences in labor are what make other women’s that much more astonishing to me. Take the New York woman who recently decided labor was as good a time as any to do an online make-up tutorial. Alaha Karimi, 27, runs a makeup business and, while in the midst of her 10-hour-long labor, decided to do something to take her mind off the contractions once her epidural ran out.
According to ABC News, Karimi instructed her husband to retrieve her makeup bag so she could go “full glam.” It’s a process that normally takes her just 45 minutes, but while in labor, she stretched that out across three full hours — applying mink lashes, a pore-reducing face primer, and even taking the time to contour.
“I had to keep pausing whenever I’d get a contraction, and I had to catch my breath,” Karimi told ABC News. “But, honestly, doing something I loved helped the time go by so much faster and made everything so much easier.”
She posted photos on her Instagram account, where she goes by the handle @makeupbyalaha, and was overwhelmed with support. That is, aside from the comments of a few inevitable naysayers, who said she put her looks before her baby.
“But this wasn’t the case at all,” Karimi explained to ABC. “Anyone who’s gone through labor knows you can’t do anything for hours except wait. Some people walk around, some people read books, some sit and watch TV. I did my makeup and I shouldn’t be shamed for that.”
Karimi’s right — and she isn’t the only mom who’s used her labor time to do something other than … well, wait.
One mom completed an entire college exam. Yep — while in labor. Last year, Tommitrise Collins had a psychology exam scheduled that she took online in her hospital bed in between her contractions, which were three minutes apart.
Another mom took the opportunity while in labor to practice her dance moves. In October 2015, Akilah Wooten decided Whipping and Nae Naeing was the best way to get her baby to finally make an appearance. And it worked — just a few hours after filming herself dancing through the halls of the hospital, she gave birth to a 9 lb., 6.5 oz. baby.
And yes, dancing while laboring is officially a thing now, because apparently at least one other mom has gone viral for epic dance moves: Last summer, Yuki Nishizawa made headlines for dancing during labor to the 69boyz song “Tootsee Roll.”
Even celebs have resorted to creative measures while trying to keep their mind off labor. Just ask actress Kerry Washington, who live tweeted Scandal while she was in labor.
My hat is always off to all moms, regardless of how they choose to get through labor — because giving birth is no easy feat (and neither is what’s in store the next 18+ years). But these moms deserve a special slow clap. It’s not news that women kick butt, but it’s always worth repeating just how cool some are.More On