I had to go in to the dentist office today to get a procedure done, and while I normally HATE going to the dentist, it was kind of nice to get a break from watching Christopher and finally get to lie back and put my feet up. I don’t know what it is about those dentist chairs, but they are quite comfy, and if it wasn’t for the bright light shining in my face and someone prying my mouth open, I think I could actually fall asleep in those chairs. Anyways, while the dentist was working in my mouth, I got to thinking about how glad I was for modern medical technology. I’m a pretty big wimp when it comes to pain; I think whoever invented anesthesia should have been awarded a Nobel prize. Going to the dentist now is by no means as horrible as I remember it being when I was a kid. They really make sure you don’t feel ANYTHING, not even the anesthesia shot. The only discomfort is that sometimes you end up drooling over yourself because your mouth is open for so long.
With that said, and now with my face half numb, I started to wonder how in the world I was able to survive childbirth with no epidural. Larry and I had taken a 10 week Bradley birth class and our teacher had somehow convinced us that epidurals were the evilest of evils. I don’t think I believed everything she said, but for some reason I had the thought, “Yes, I want to do this.” Some women feel like they need to run a marathon…or climb a mountain; I felt like I needed to have this baby naturally and not have anything dull the pain of it.
I would probably have changed my mind had I endured most of my labor at the hospital rather than at home. Fortunately for me, I guess, I didn’t even have the chance to cave in and change my mind. By the time we got to the hospital, an epidural was not even an option. All they could offer me was an oxygen mask to help me breathe. Luckily for me, Christopher wasted no time in coming out. Within an hour, he was wailing away in my arms.
Larry likes to remind me that the first thing I said after Christopher was born was, “That wasn’t as bad as I thought.” As it says in John 16:21, “A woman, when she gives birth, has sorrow because her hour has come; but when she brings forth the little child, she no longer remembers the affliction because of the joy that a man has been born into the world.” So while it must have been excruciatingly painful, I honestly have no recollection of it. The joy of bringing forth a child, in the end, is the best painkiller of all.