Labor is painful. Somehow, however, I truly did not recognize it or remember it being so. I kept saying to DH, "I don't remember it being this hard last time!"
He assured me that from where he stood, it was. Apparently I writhed in the same way.
With labor, though, the pain comes and goes. Yes, it comes and goes quickly, but there is some relief, even if it is just seconds. Also, when it comes to contractions, they ramp up, so you can feel them coming, you can feel them peak, and you can feel them ramp back down. Before I got my epidural, at the height of my pain, I would try to tell myself, "Just ride the wave, because you know that it will be over soon." And I almost felt myself forget the pain during the moments of relief. It's almost as if it was too much for my brain to record. I don't know where I learned that often your brain will not record pain, if it is severe enough. I'm not sure if that's a myth or not, but what I understand is that your brain tries to forget traumatic experiences as much as possible, and severe pain falls into that category.
Of course, when it comes to the question of why any woman would have more than one child, that theory explains a LOT.
So anyway, labor is over, and we are back at home, adjusting. My body is slowly morphing back into something resembling my pre-pregnancy self. And with that morphing comes, yes, you guessed it, pain.
Kidney pain. My old familiar, er, do I call it a friend? There was so much pain during my pregnancy, so many different kinds of pain, that my kidney pain sort of receded into the background.
Now, as I return to "normal", it's back.
I don't know if I should welcome it or not.