I was reading Beanbean's description of having her stitch removed, and it sounds HORRIBLE. This made me think about all the things that hurt worse than labor.
When I was getting ready for my first natural birth, I was terrified of the pain. Now that I have been through it and know what to expect, I can honestly say that I would rather give birth than go through some other things I have gone through. I had intestinal spasms last year, and that was worse than labor. I got stung by a wasp on my calf once and I would rather go through labor than have that happen again.
It's not that labor doesn't hurt- I thought it hurt terribly and I am not exactly looking forward to that again. BUT... it's do-able. I hate when people say "Want to know what natural childbirth is like? Take your bottom lip and pull it over your head." That's so dumb. That's not what it's like at all. I can't stand the way our society makes it sound like childbirth is so incredibly horrific and impossibly painful.
Of course, I also don't like when women talk all about painless childbirth. It isn't that I don't believe that that happens for some women- I do believe that. However, I think MOST women do not experience "orgasmic" birth, and setting up first-timers to think it might happen for them can lead to shock and disappointment. I wish society would just leave birth alone- not over-exaggerate the pain, and not try to make it seem like it's easy either.
I can't remember exactly how it goes, but my ICAN leader has a quote that she uses and it's something like: "Our society has a secret- it's not that childbirth is painful, it's that women are strong."
And now my little rant is over :)