When I was in hospital giving birth to our daughter 47 years ago, we agreed to allow student nurses to observe my labor. Actually, I didn't agree. They never asked the writhing mass of agonizing humanity in the bed. Instead, they asked my 20 year old husband, who said "Sure."
The student nurses engaged with me before and after contractions, asking questions. I remember announcing (loudly) I was never having another child because it hurt like Hell. They giggled and knowingly assured me I would both forget the pain and have more children. Well, that pissed me off.
Seriously, they said that to a woman in hard labor. No sympathy, no drugs, just happy-crap jargon. As if that information would make everything okay. The present doesn't exist, only the future? Nah, if anyone knows reality it is a woman in the throes of hard labor.
Right then and there I made up my mind NEVER, EVER to forget, and not to have more children. True story. I am my own worst enemy.
The first night home with the baby I slept as badly as she did. I kept dreaming famous patriarchal icons got me pregnant and I was going to be forced to deliver their baby against my will. One famous icon was John Wayne. The other was Pope John XXIII. Thankfully, I didn't dream about the sex.
My niece had a baby yesterday. Another niece had a baby last week. One of my granddaughters is due in a couple months. It's all so glorious and exciting I can hardly breathe.
When women I love are in labor I can recall my own labor and delivery crystal clear. Except for the pain. I know it hurt, but I
don't remember hurting.
I kind of wish I had done it again.