I couldn’t have been more surprised if a turkey suddenly appeared on our patio and begged to come in.
Because I’m not cooking this Thanksgiving, my perusal of the Los Angeles Times was slow and leisurely. When I finally arrived at The Opinion pages, I was still in low flame mode--especially since my favorite section has always been Opinion. I relish getting the extra, underplayed “facts” attached to a passionate point of view.
When I glanced at the featured “letter” (nicely placed under a full-color picture), I suddenly remembered I’d sent the paper my own version/opinion of a recent article. I began reading . . . then jumped to the bottom.
Oh my Lord, the letter-writer was me!
Rob said, “Why the sudden shriek?”
Well. Mainly because The Times promises they’ll “let you know” if you’re being published. But four times, now, I’ve simply been surprised. When I sent my email, I knew it was too long . . . yet here I was. Meaning relevance outranks length.
Here’s how it appeared: DEBATING CHILDBIRTH: re “Is ‘natural motherhood’ really more feminist?” Opinion, Nov. 19. Then—my letter:
In 1950, pregnant with my first child, I read Grantly Dick-Read’s “Childbirth Without Fear.” I urged my respected obstetrician to let me deliver “naturally,” or drug-free. His astonishment was obvious.
In those days, that meant no husband present either. For five hours, alone, I suffered a rising river of pain. Finally, no longer able to stand it, I begged for relief. The “shot” put me under—so deep I was still unconscious when my 11-pound, 3-ounce baby boy was born. Subsequently, with five more births, only one was exactly as Dick-Read described—relatively fast and mostly pain free.
Since then I’ve seen a daughter and daughter-in-law give birth, one with no drugs, the other with an epidural. Both scenarios came out great.
My point? Childbirth pain is neither ennobling nor necessary, and nothing is gained by being a “martyr.” Women should feel free to follow their own inclinations.
Today I phoned a few people for copies to send East. Then discovered “copies" aren’t available when you get your news on a phone. Oh, well. It’s still a good surprise.