Betty Duffy

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Prize for Pain

When I was preparing to give birth to one of my kids, my OB asked if I'd be wanting the epidural. I told her I wanted to try it naturally this time, and she put down her clipboard, turned around to face me and said, "You know, there's no prize for enduring the most pain."

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Erin said...

Great article, Betty. I jump back and forth on the pain issue all the time -- whether it's physical or emotional or spiritual. The nurse is right in saying we don't get an award, but... in a way, we do. And yet, it's not always necessary to endure pain. Such a confusing topic. I truly enjoy your perspective here.

Colleen said...

Isn't the pain associated with childbirth an effect of original sin? Women had to give birth naturally for so many years and feel the pain, but why do we get a choice? Are we wimps now?

I'm seriously asking these questions, as I've had three epidural labors and 2 natural ones. There was just something that drew me to try naturally (though three times I "gave up"). I always felt like I was trying to escape the pain instead of embracing it as Jesus did for us on the Cross. It's a good lesson in love!

BettyDuffy said...

Colleen, these are interesting questions, and the Church has not spoken from the chair on them, so we're free to practice that extra devotion if we like and forgo anesthesia, or get the baby out the best way we can.

I, too, have had some with epidural, and some without. My best experiences were without it. But I think the ones I had with epidural were difficult deliveries anyway, and might have gone on forever without a little assist.

Anesthesia holds a worthy place in medicine, and I've been grateful for it the times I've used it. I try not to make it my default position, but I don't think women who use pain meds in labor are wimpy. Don't think of it as "giving up"--when you've just delivered another human being into the world. It's AMAZING!

cubeland mystic said...

"Anesthetics are temporary. Hunger is replaced by yet a new craving. Be in the desert with Christ, even if it means realizing for the moment that we are empty, that we have need, and that need causes excruciating pain."

I love that sentence. It is very true.

BettyDuffy said...


James said...

In Ireland and in the UK, today (Sunday, March 18) is Mother's Day. Happy Mother's Day.