Monday, February 23, 2009

Kindness of the Heart

Several times over the past five years, I've tried to explain what labor feels like to Dan.

"I just don't get why it hurts so much," he'll say.

"It's like a big belt tightening really hard around your whole middle," I tried one time, squeezing my waist and squinting.

"That doesn't make any sense," he said, shaking his head.

Another time, I told him, "It's like a charley horse! Again and again, though."

"I've seen you in labor," he replied, surely referring to the twelve hours of back labor I endured with Shef without an epidural.

Or maybe he was thinking back to the thirteen hours of just regular labor I had with Mac, also with no epidural.

"I've had a charley horse, and I just don't think that could possibly be an apt comparison," he said.

Then yesterday, Dan leaped off the couch, suddenly overcome and unable to speak because of a foot cramp. He made some grunting noises and grimaced, exhaling sharply several times.

"That's it!" I said, after the cramp had subsided. "That's like a labor contraction!"

"Oh!" he exclaimed. "I get it now!"

"Except," I said, "each one is four times as long as that, and they keep coming for hours and hours."

"Well," he said, unfazed. "Now I totally understand labor. And look how well I coped with the pain!"

I snorted.

"I mean," he continued, "it was hard, but I got through it!"

These types of comments continued off and on for several hours, kind of like a long pre-labor. The kind of labor that is sort of annoying, and only reminds you of how much worse it's going to get.

And so I tell you, Internet: this is going to be unbearable.


LH said...

I can only agree with your final statement. If we could only get someone to give Dan some type of muscle cramping experience for a very prolonged period of time. There are probably people who can arrange something like this. He seems to really want to understand.

Martha said...

Perhaps you can deprive him of potassium and he'll have repetitive foot cramps at night. This should speed up the process! (Then again, I don't think men will ever understand.)