We're at a wedding, Milkbaby in tow. I'm making polite conversation with strangers. The groom's sister is pregnant. We soon get to talking babies, pregnancy, childbirth.
"I expect it will hurt a bit" she says.
"Um, yeah, it's hard to describe. It's different for everyone, but for me it started off feeling like quite bad period cramps."
"That doesn't sound too bad."
"Yeah but then it ramps up." I'm struggling to find the words. I want to say something profound, but all I can think of is the bruising I was left with on my forehead from pushing my fists into my face during contractions. Not exactly a nice image. "But remember there's no pain between contractions, so you can relax and focus."
She's mulling this over. I scan her face, hoping I haven't scared the bejebus out of her. I look over her outfit. It's a quirky choice for a 'sister of the groom' look.
"I imagine it won't be any more painful than having your elbows tattooed." she says, somewhat out of the blue.
I smile, keeping a poker face, as if she's just arrived at a sufficiently adequate comparison. "Hmm", I say agreeably.
"Because that was pretty painful."
I don't want to disavow her of this notion. Hey, who knows, maybe her labour will be no worse than the pain of having your elbows tattooed. Then again, probably not. It's better she finds out for herself.
"Yeah, it could be." I look at the mountains in the distance. "It could be."