This post is a part two in a slightly quirky series on what we learn about life and pain from the lens of labour. If you missed the first post, you can find it here.
I’m not a big water person. The pool and I don’t get along. I have a hard time getting past the ick factor of pool floors, kids peeing and everyone in bathing suits. Lakes fare slightly better but carrying the sand in every crevice where algae is not is problematic. Hot baths, however, in your own nicely disinfected tub get the thumbs up.
When I finally made my way to the hospital, 17 hours into labour, and was offered a Jacuzzi bath, I thought I’d give it a try. The big signs posted on the bathroom wall about the disinfecting process (which involved a whole lot of bleach) reassured me.
The distraction of the jets really helped me cope with the pain. Occasionally the nurses would pop their heads in and remind me that no, I could not deliver in the tub. I stayed in for hours until my fingers and toes were as wrinkled as my baby’s when he was born.
It was a good reminder to me of the importance of looking outside ourselves. In our pain we can be so consumed by it that we burrow inward. When we expose ourselves to the forces and currents outside of ourselves, the good and the hard, we become aware of how much is moving beyond the stillness of our pain. When we immerse ourselves in a world that is fluid and constantly changing, we are reminded of just how small we are in a great big world and just how small and temporal our own problems are in the face of the suffering of many.