I just posted this little story on my stamping blog and thought I'd share it here, too.
When George and I took childbirthing class, our teacher was a German woman with a very deep, heavily accented voice. At one point, she ordered us to "exp-herience da relax-A-tion." Her voice was sooooo NOT relaxing that George and I started to giggle. Anyway, she suggested we find our happy place and meditate on it during labor. My happy place was a North Carolina beach, with the steady, peaceful waves and the pelicans flying and a Scot in full Highland dress playing his bagpipes to the rising sun. (Yes, I actually experienced this very scene on an early morning beach walk, and it was so incredibly peaceful. Well, sort of weird with the kilted Highlander, but calming nevertheless.) Ahhhh, relaxation.
Fast forward to labor. It hurt sooooo much that I could NOT find my happy place. Every time I closed my eyes to conjure that Scot by the waves, the only image my brain could pull up was of the Pacific coast, specifically some cliffs we'd visited near San Francisco in 1988. The day was overcast and gloomy, and the waves violently crashed against the cliffs with, oddly enough, a German voice-over shouting "Exp-herience da relax-A-tion!" This was NOT my East Coast happy place at all. I could not get there because my giant watermelon-size uterus was teaching me a whole new definition of pain like I'd never felt before.
I begged for the epidural man, who quickly came and took all the hyperventilating pain away. I loved him and would have married him if I weren't already having someone else's baby. God bless the epidural man.
And that is how I flunked natural childbirth.