Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Pain Game

As a rule, I try to avoid superlatives.

Words like 'biggest,' 'fastest,' 'most' and 'least' tend to give me the heebie-jeebies. Likewise, I tend to avoid using 'always,' and 'never,' if for no other reason than to prevent me from having to eat my words later.

But when STBEW and her friends talked about childbirth as The Worst Pain Ever, well...

Actually, many times I just let it roll past. But the subject kept coming up. Over and over again. At every gathering, they would swap childbirthing stories, and tell each other that it was The Worst Pain Ever.


Childbirthing is not The Worst Pain Ever.

The guys already know, and the women can guess (and I'm certain that even the guys who disagree with me publicly will, in that dark place inside where only men can go, admit it to themselves):

The Worst PainEver is a hard rap in the testicles.

Don't believe me? Let's do a side-by-side comparison:

I will hereby readily admit that childbirthing is an intense, mindblowing pain, one that I will never truly be able to comprehend, no matter how many times I'm told that it's like passing a watermelon through my urethra. No way, no way, no how am I denigrating the intensity of the pain of childbbirthing. Women are a strong, fearsome lot, and they deserve vast amounts of respect for what they go through to keep the species alive.
  1. AGE: Most women who give birth do so between their late teens and early thirties. Yes, I know that it's possible to give birth as early as 13 and as late as 60, but the predominant childbirthing ages fall inside the aforementioned decade and a half. For men, it doesn't matter if you're aged four or ninety-four. There's no age limit as to when you can get a boot in the crotch.
  2. AWARENESS: Even in unplanned pregnancies, the mother-to-be almost always knows that a bundle of joy's about to be visited upon their household. Whole industries have sprung up around the concept of 'natural' childbirthing, with a lot of time spent on techniques to deal with the pain of the process. And, for many in the western world, there are drugs that will lessen, or completely eliminate, the pain of childbirth. Men, on the other hand, are usually quite surprised by a shot to the nadgers. I honestly can't imagine anyone who would plan to have this happen to them. One minute you're riding you bike, happy as can be, and there's a pothole and boom! Or your four year old son wants to show you his big-leage baseball swing and boom! Or you misjudge the amount of space between your eastbound body and that westbound guy with a briefcase and boom! Your neighbor's Irish Setter is a little to exuberant when he bounds over to sniff you and boom! The asshole in the next cubicle who never outgrew his high school locker room days reaches out and boom! You don't even have to be active; you can be sitting there reading the paper, and cross your legs when Big Jim and the Twins are in the wrong spot, underwear- wise, and, quite embarrasingly, boom.
  3. OPPORTUNITY: Let's put it this way: a whole bunch of things have to happen well before the blessed event in order to have the event happen at all, and if I need to 'splain it further then you shouldn't be reading this blog. And there's lots of women who will live full, productive, happy lives without giving birth. I would love to be able to live out the rest of my life without having something impact me where my personal Alleghany meets my Monongahela to form my very own Mighty Ohio, but we all know that ain't gonna happen.
  4. REPETITION: Once a woman gives birth, even in the most extreme circumstances, it's gonna be nine months at the minimum before it happens again. On the other hand, it can not even be thirty seconds after a shot to the groin, and guess what? Yep...boom! And finally:
  5. OUTCOME: Childbirth, as its name implies, brings forth a child. The only thing a shot to the stones will bring forth is a low groan and a little gas.
Yes, I know, not every pregnancy ends well. I've been there. But even though the US has the highest infant mortality rate in the western world, 99.5% of US births result in a child.

So, ladies: the next time you see a guy inadvertenly rap himself in the sack trying to open a bottle of wine, understand his pain.

And guys, if you have any brains at all, if you hear a woman talk about the intense pain of childbirth, for Pete's sake keep your piehole shut.



Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Pain is damaging your foreskin and passinbg out due to blood seeping from your nob!

7:52 AM  
Blogger United We Lay said...

Okay, then.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

Oh man, you are funny! Boom!

Ok I'll give you this: I will never understand the intensity of a knock to the nads. I've seen The Face though and it looks speech stoppingly painful.

However...Yep you knew there'd be a however with me... I had one of the fastest childbirths in history with my second kid. Less than an hour. But I'm telling you the truth-- when I got out of bed a couple hours later I was amazed that my legs were still attached to my hips. I was pretty sure one leg was in the living room and the other was in the kitchen. Yeah it hurt that much.

but then again...I had a nice little baby out of the deal and not an urge to barf, so I guess it does kind of all work itself out in the comparison deal.

(You're blogging a lot lately and I'm very happy about that.)

8:54 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

carol burnett once said that childbirth was like taking your bottom lip and pulling it over your head.

i've heard about ripping, i've heard about poo, i've heard about ungodly pain, and then my mother very sweetly says "but that will all go away, of course, when you see your beautiful baby...and when will that be again, dear?"

11:42 AM  
Blogger Nölff said...

I can say from experience from a BMX stunt gone wrong: I $hat my my pants from the pain.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Blowing Shit Up With Gas said...

I think most guys would secretly agree with you -- and you've clearly thought this through more than anyone I've ever known. Also, I enjoyed the Pittsburgh reference (the Mon, the Al & the O). I may never look at our three rivers the same way.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

I never exaggerate and I always use superlatives...

1:42 PM  
Blogger Notsocranky Yankee said...

I totally agree. Childbirth was wicked painful, but very easy to forget. My daughter tore me up, but I hardly gave it a second thought once I could see her. Our 2 boys were born by c-section and those were about as easy as it gets!

1:52 PM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

dhg: I've heard of that happening. I believe that injury is called a Fornoroner.

uwl: fine.

hth: read my disclaimer. i don't doubt it hurts. but can you replicate your pain right now, right where you're sitting? I can.

col: I await your June announcement.

nölff: The last time I dropped a deuce in my trou was in 1983, while working at a radio station. Not sure if I'll share the entirety of that story.

bsuwg: glad you liked the reference. I was starting to run out of metaphors for the area. I tried working the Yawk in there, but couldn't see how.

hth: I'll always remember that about you.

notso: Yeah--they are worth it, aren't they?


3:04 PM  
Blogger terry said...

hey, a hit to the female crotch is pretty damned painful, too...

i'm just sayin'.

5:53 PM  
Blogger Colleen said...

more like september or october announcement (a fact that my MIL is lamenting...she would like for me to get pregnant NOW thank you very much)

6:28 PM  
Blogger Madame X said...

A quote (by a woman) from a discussion about which hurts worst: to be kicked in the nads or give birth to a child…
I'm not saying I don't believe it hurts. I'm saying I don't think it's as bad as people make it out to be. But, I'll never know. Honestly, if I could spend one day being a man, at the end of the day, after spending it doing whirlybirds with my penis and being able to look at myself in the mirror and think I look great no matter what, and after having sex with no concern about whether this position makes me look fat... after all these things, at the very end of the day, I would ask to be kicked in the nuts.

Just saying.
Oh and the pain doesn't end with the birth of the child...try menstrual cramps and mastitis...good stuff right there.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Miss 1999 said...

Yeah. I saw child birth first-hand. I couldn't even THINK about having a baby for 6 years. No kidding.

11:35 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home