In just about every conversation I have with a group of women, the subject of our children comes up. I guess that it is inevitable, since we are members of the Mom club. We love our children, and we want to share that funny thing that Caroline said, or the cute little picture of Joe with his father. Children are conversation starters, and most moms love to share. It is also inevitable that every mom will share their birth stories, and describe labor and delivery with all the gory details.
I can't share in those tales.
I didn't have labor pains when I was pregnant. Zane came along well before that time. I didn't feel those twinges and pangs that signal the start of the birth process. My water didn't break. I didn't scream out my pain as I pushed my son into the world. I wasn't even awake for my c-section. Since I'd had c-sections before, I didn't even experience the pain that women experience after birth.
At least that's what most people would say. I would respectfully disagree. I may not have experienced the physical sensations that society calls labor, true. But I've had eight years of what I would certainly call labor pains.
Every time my son cries, I feel a pain in my heart. When he is hurt, I hurt. Each time he falls down on the soccer field, I positively ache until he gets up again. It's almost impossible for me to take him to the doctor, because I hurt every time they plunge a needle into his arm, even though I know the good of vaccines. When he is sick, I long to be able to take his fever away, so he can be his normal, hyperactive self. When Zane does something he is not supposed to, and I have to give him a consequence, it hurts me twice as much as it does him.
Once you become a mother, however you begin your journey, your attachment to your children is a shared journey. Our love for them, strong as it is, makes mothers everywhere want to shield their children from the pains and hurts. However, we also know that if we are to adequately prepare them for life, we have to let them explore, make their own choices, and get hurt. That knowledge gouges at our souls, every single time, over a lifetime.
If those aren't labor pains, I don't know what they are.