If I could do it all over again, I probably would not have thrown a wet wash cloth at our labor and delivery nurse. She was an innocent victim in all this. My husband, would not have heard the scorching words “turn off that cr–!”, when he kindly put on soft “Out of Africa” background music. He was just doing his job. Boy, did I want to switch places with him at that very moment. I was in pain greater than I thought was possible.
Before our first child was born into this world, we took a class on how to manage childbirth, otherwise known as “Lamaze”. I think my husband Michael was a little apprehensive when upon arriving at our first class our teacher, Esther, passed around fully exposed photos of herself nursing her baby. Michael asked, “Now… where did you hear about this class?”
Aside from lacking a little, shall we say, modesty, Esther was a pro. She shared the steps that would make the mysterious birth process as safe and comfortable as possible. Living in the generation of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” we needed to know everything! We covered all the bases from pain management to sibling rivalry. On the last evening of our class we ‘graduated’ with plenty of tips for low-stress birthing and lots of laughs.
I was especially flattered to be voted “Most Likely to Have Pain Killers” by my classmates. A few of them prided themselves on their decisions to undergo natural childbirth and good for them. Really. But they were not sure what to think of me when I coined this phrase…“Any way you have a baby is natural childbirth.” Be it at home with no drugs and a midwife, in the hospital full of drugs or adopting your baby. Somehow these babies are all “naturally” born and they are yours.”
Many women tell you that you will forget the pain. Well, I tell you that’s a bunch of malarkey. Here I am twenty-four years later…writing about it. There we were in the delivery room. Trying to live up to my Lamaze class superlative, I was getting all set for my epidural when, BOOM, I was 10 centimeters dilated and ready for action.
I hadn’t been in the hospital more than 20 minutes and I was ready to deliver? My doctor gently took my face into her hands and told me there would be no time to administer pain killers. She was kidding, right? I looked at my husband with wild eyes full of trepidation as I decided not to have the baby. Two hours after first arriving at the hospital I was handed my precious son…9 pounds 6 ounces with a head in the 100th percentile and no pain medication. No more details, I promise.
The point is, you can do everything right. Everything by the rulebook and there will still be some kind of pain in your life. It’s that simple. You can’t escape it, run away from it, or ignore it. Even when you take preventative steps to soften the blows, you are still vulnerable to pain. The world is full of affliction. Don’t be caught unguarded.
As we approach our holiest spiritual time of year, Easter, keep this in mind Jesus died a tremendously painful death on the cross…for you. He lived the life of a human so that we could know that we have a savior who understands our “condition”. The Bible is filled with pages and pages of God reaching down to give us what we need to either tackle our circumstances or to find peace in the beautiful fact that we are so deeply loved and not alone. Through suffering, comes life. Just like childbirth. If you know anyone who is in pain, reach out to them this week. You will be blessed.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” C.S. Lewis