Childbirth. We've all experienced it. Wouldn't be here otherwise.
In spite of the fact that childbirth is one of the very few common experiences shared by all human beings, it remains one of the most mysterious aspects of life. No one remembers his or her own birth and no one who has given or witnessed childbirth can explain or describe it adequately.
And the people we trust most to guide us through the process with the utmost degree of wisdom and experience usually cannot predict exactly what to expect during childbirth either. Everybody's different. Our medical and birthing specialists can prepare us for the expected experience but surprises happen nevertheless.
Childbirth is something that has been happening for a long, long time but controversy still surrounds the best way to accomplish the mission. Geographic location and ancestry play important roles in the procedures surrounding the blessed event but even the procedures change from culture to culture.
Time plays an important role in the process of childbirth, too, especially in the United States. Women giving birth today face different choices than their mothers faced. And those women faced different choices than their mothers before them. And their mothers before them.
It's understood that childbirth is a painful experience for the mother and it's the management, or handling, of this maternal pain that seems to generate the most change from generation to generation. As modern medical technology produces newer and supposedly better drugs to quell the pain, the babies just keep on coming.
In spite of our modern medical explanations about what goes on during fertilization and gestation, all the explanations melt away into the simple belief in miracles after hearing a baby's first cry or watching its tiny fingers curl around your own. It's the joy of that miracle that makes the memories of the pain of childbirth fade into something that quickly seems not so very bad after all.
Most parents will tell you that they just can't find the words to best describe the joy felt once a baby has been born. They can tell you what they did during the childbirth process and they can tell you what they were thinking, too, but they'll also tell you that mere words will never describe their immediate emotional attachment to their newborn baby.
But no matter the descriptions, the procedures, the thoughts, and the preparations, childbirth happens to everybody and is likely to continue, mostly unchanged, for many, many generations to come.