I hate knowing that someone is in labor. I am a mess until I get the baby report. I keep checking the clock, my stomach is all twisty, I'll even start sweating or breathing shallowly or crying if I think about it too much. I have to force myself not to call the grandma every fifteen minutes to find out if it's over. All I can think is, someone is suffering terribly right now. How can I go about my normal life knowing that something awful is happening? I could never be a doula. I'd spend the whole time hysterical and begging God for mercy. I can't think about my daughters giving birth some day because of the psychosomatic risks. They are five and two, so now is probably a good time to start panicking about it. Must keep typing.
Once I got word of a very bad labor experience which of course got me upset, and I mentioned it to a friend who had never given birth. This person suspected the traumatized mother to be someone on whom I wished some adversity and asked if I were really just sad or if there were some schadenfreude involved. I had to calm myself down by reminding myself that the experience of labor changes one's perception of it drastically. Labor is not a this stinks bad day or a gol-durnit clogged toilet. There is truly not a person in the world on whom I would wish a "bad" labor. They are all bad. It is far too terrible to wish it any worse, and I speak as someone who has never had a complicated delivery. I wish no one had to go through it, especially my favorite person, me.
The scary thing is that I want to say no one deserves to go through childbirth. The truth, ye who think of sin but lightly, is that childbirth is exactly what we deserve.
Anyway. The worse the labor, the worse the fear of going through it again. And that's a fear that just doesn't need to get any worse.