My nephew was born on Halloween. In a generation of six girls, he is definitely a minority. (Which means he will spoiled to within an inch of his life.) My sister let me be with her when she brought her son into the world. Let me tell you the birthing experience is much different when you are just a helpful spectator and not the star of the show. (For one thing it hurts a heck of a lot less.)
I have learned a couple of things after my time in the delivery room. For one thing, the female body is an amazing thing. It is out shined only by the strength of the female mind. A soon to be mother can focus her energies on pushing her child out even at great pain to herself. (Because it REALLY hurts) I have great respect for my sister. Her son was nine and a half pounds. She had to work to get him out.
Second, women say some really humorous things when in the throes of labor. Tessa, my sister, has a tendency to say funny things (without trying to) anyway. But that day she had my mother and I in stitches a couple of times. Some of the phrases she chose are unrepeatable, but one was "I'm hungry too, b*tches!" Needless to say, we found this hilarious.
Third, modesty just needs to be thrown out the window. You don't realize it when you are in labor yourself, but a lot of people see things that are meant for private audiences (if you get my drift). Your doctor checks you, the nurses check you, and well there is really no easy way to keep that covered up when you are evicting your bundle of joy.
Fourth, it is normal for you to change your mind right about the time the baby's head is crowning. It hurts. You are exhausted. And you are going to have to care for an infant once he gets out. What were you thinking with this anyway? At this point you would be perfectly happy if the baby decided just to camp out in there and never come out. Unfortunately, this is not exactly the right time to decide you don't really want to do this whole labor and delivery thing.
Fifth, you had better hope you get a really great ob nurse. My sister had some awesome ones, but she started the pushing process at shift change. So her great nurses left and she got one of the most annoying nurses ever. Nothing is worse than a nurse (Who is not in the process of pushing out a nine pound baby) questioning you when you say that your pain level is at a seven. "What is your pain level?" "Seven." "Really?" At this point, I wanted to boot that nurse right out the window. Never, never, never contradict a pregnant woman. Tessa just looked at her like she wanted the nurse's head to explode. (Then she would understand what a seven on the pain scale felt like.)
The truth of the matter is that you never really understand that giving birth is a miracle unless you see it from the other side. I will never look at a another new mother in the same way. (Tessa gave me that. Thanks, Tess.) This is why husbands, significant others, and family look at a new mother in awe. Something changes in us. Not just the fact that there are changes going on inside our bodies, but that something shifts for women mentally as well. We become different people. Giving birth hurts, it takes a long time, and it HURTS. But somehow along the way, the mother minimizes the whole process to focus on her child. Sure we may have stitches and can't sit right for a week or more. None of that matters as much as the new life we brought to the world. The true miracle is that instantaneous love that bonds mother to child.