Like a woman in child labor


Just at the thought of it, I remember seeing a billboard advert some years ago which said “What is Beautiful?” I wondered what it could be until I was invited by a friend to do a radio voice over for MTN on “Life is Beautiful”.

Someone said to me just last night that when things are going perfectly well, then there is a problem because life is not designed that way.

Beauty may not always be perfect but it is perfect in the eye of the beholder. Regardless of your views, thoughts and emotions, life is beautiful because everything is designed for its’ purpose.

I was having a conversation with some folks a while back on depression, reactions and suicide. During that conversation, someone asked, “Why would anyone take their own life?”

Well, besides the obvious arguments or responses – because no one should take the life that they didn’t give; because suicide is not the solution to the problems; because there would be punishment in the afterlife for the crime; etc – life is like a woman in child labor. Certain things are just beyond human control.

A woman may wish to be pregnant and have her own children but at that time, she has no idea what exactly to expect during that nine months journey. What to expect when you’re expecting is a book that covers a lot and with the help of BabyCenter, I was able to manage my expectations during my journey. Ante-natal classes thought breathing lessons when in labor but everything you think you know or learnt vanishes at that instant when child labor hits you in the most unbearable way. You may pace, pant, sing, kneel, try to do the breathing exercise, shout, be calm, cry – whatever you do, it is still in the bid to contain the pain and hope to get through it with relief and joy at the end of that process. Whether we work, drink, club, join social societies, pray or meditate – whatever we do is just like what that woman in labor is doing to get through her situation. Just forming activities to keep us occupied through the situation called life.

While some women get through with it in 10 minutes, 1 hour, 10 hours, 24 hours or even days, pain threshold is the bigger challenge really. Little wonder why statistics show a high mortality rate. According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) 2017 report, this is equivalent to “about one woman every two minutes and for every woman who dies, 20 or 30 encounter complications with serious or long-lasting consequences. But it is also interesting to know that according to a US article, not all moralities are because of the pain. It’s because of serious childbirth complications. If you’re getting good prenatal care, the odds you’ll die during labor are extremely small.

The same goes for life. What a person may be able to endure, may be the same thing that totally sets off another person. What a person may be able to take standing up, another may not be able to contain flying. We are different people made of different stuff. Threshold and adaptability differ and cannot be compared. And just as one woman births within 10 minutes and is fine, another may do the same 10 minutes and be loose her life 20 minutes later. Or one person survives a car accident but is unable to bear disappointments in the society and resolves to take his or her life, that’s the way we are unable to answer that question – “Why would anyone take their own life?”

For most women labor hurts a lot, but not only can your heart take it, so can the rest of your body. You’re going to be fine! Just hang on a little tighter, encourage yourself by any means possible. Eventually, when a woman holds her baby in her arms, all of the pain doesn’t matter anymore. When you get to the light after the dark tunnel, all of the hurt won’t matter anymore!

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