Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day

In celebration of Labor Day, let's talk about labor - the baby producing kind.

The fact that "labor" and "giving birth" mean the same thing is quite telling.  The phrase "giving birth" isn't synonymous with "volunteer work" or "low impact cardio".  Nope.  The word labor, in the non-childbirth context, conjures images of lugging cement bricks via wheelbarrow and digging 10' x 10' holes in 95 degrees.


Not Labor

A few months back, I visited some good friends and their 13-day-old son.  Holy newborn.  He was so tiny and so perfect.  I watched his mini body snuggling and yawning and being all sorts of adorable.  I felt more baby crazy than ever.

At some point I asked about how labor had gone.  The new mom told me the story but seemed to intentionally gloss over the nitty gritty.  I'm comfortable keeping my head in the sand when it comes to the details of childbirth, so I was relieved by her brevity.  But then the new dad interjected with another chapter of the story - an especially scary, painful and gross chapter.  Unlike her, he spared no detail.  I looked at him blankly, trying desperately to not appear nauseous.  She looked at him blankly, trying desperately to remember what the hell he was talking about.  After a moment of deep thought it came back to her and she thankfully added more juicy details.

Turns out, she hadn't intentionally glossed over anything.  She had genuinely forgotten.  Parts of her labor were so traumatic that she had suppressed some of the 13-day-old memories.  That's (also) quite telling.  And, quite effective in suppressing my baby craze.  But, then again, I think the new found LOVE for her tiny, snugly son made it easy for the new mom to forget the scary, painful grossness.  So, maybe not so effective in suppressing my baby craze after all.

Kathryn Heigl looking all sorts of sweaty 
and (VERY) angry while giving birth (aka in labor) in Knocked Up

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