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TITLE: What's It Worth?
By Michael Ales
11/12/06
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Please give me any feedback you have on this introduction I'm working on. Does it grab you at all or put you to sleep? Thanks, Mike
"I can't go through with this!" she cried.

My wife had been admitted to St. Joe's the night before. The hospital staff had advised me to go home and return in the morning when they were to induce labor. I arrived early and headed to her room to say hello on my way to breakfast; I figured labor would have only just begun. Instead, lying on the delivery table with pitocin running through her IV and in the midst of a more violent than normal contraction, she greeted me with shrieks of pain. Apparently I wasn't going to breakfast, so I took her hand and assumed my coaching role.

I think my fingers were turning purple when my mind was drawn from my own pain to another more pressing matter. I wondered, "What do you mean you can't go through with this?" It's not like she could just get up from the table and call off the pregnancy.

Another contraction. Another cry. She was afraid. Afraid to go forward with what she'd never experienced before. Afraid she might not be able to handle what she'd not had to handle before.


Then I remembered. We'd been taught in classes preparing us for childbirth that the pain was normal. It was supposed to be hard. As her coach I could reassure her that everything would be okay, not because the pain was gone, but because the pain was normal. Many women had gone through with it before. She could do it now.

My wife was facing a mountain in her life. The uncertainty that lie ahead on the mountain’s path was more than she believed herself capable of handling. Emerson suggested, "Do the thing you fear the most and the death of fear is certain." That's one of my favorite quotes. I urged my wife between sobs to take courage in the face of her fear. ”You’ll get through this." I firmed up my grip. "I know it's hard, but you can do it."

She didn't say such nice things back to me. But soon the pain, though maybe not forgotten, was no longer an issue. A beautiful baby girl was born. The result far outweighed the effort. And neither of us would have traded the experience for the world.

I wish someone would have taken my hand years ago and told me that it's okay to face "hard" in life. That something worth doing is worth enduring...
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