When Ronald Lee Haskell was accused of killing six members of his ex-wife’s family in Texas this month, I wondered how long it would take for a news report to suggest that the suspect had “snapped.” The scope and horror of the crime — the victims included four children ages 4 to 14 — meant it took a little while for this media narrative to show up.
Nitrous oxide has a lot going for it. It merely blunts pain, but it also lets a laboring woman walk, perch on a birthing ball, whatever. It’s comparatively cheap, and it’s fast-acting, offering relief in less than a minute. Perhaps most key from midwives’ point of view, it is easily administered by the laboring woman herself. She grabs the mask when she knows a contraction is coming. She stops as the contraction ends. In other words, she is empowered to manage her own pain.
With all the talk about marriage these days, there is a tendency in certain corners to promote it as a panacea for social ills. You see this approach, for instance, when people suggest marriage as a cure for poverty, as if one thing causes the other. Now comes the latest argument for marriage – that it protects wives and children from violence.
We don’t have time. I’m terribly conscious of it. Every moment is gone as I notice it. In our old lives all we had was time — wasted time, long evenings, late mornings. But now: Isn’t it strange how time compresses, how you can be nostalgic for a thing even as you’re in the midst of it?