I have a confession to make. I don’t like being the goddess of childbirth. I mean, I understand it’s an important role to play and everything. Childbirth is hazardous, or so I’ve heard, not having gone through it myself. I’ve watched it though and of course, numerous women have prayed to me for a safe delivery. I just don’t understand how I, a virgin goddess, became the expert on all things pertaining to such an important time in any woman’s life.
So good old Jupiter just hands me a new job description one day. Like what the ..? “Here you go, Diana. You can look after this for us.” Apparently, someone decided women needed some protection during childbirth or something. I forget who, probably some man worried about the safety of his male heir or something like that. I was really annoyed. I mean Jupiter never does things like that to Apollo. Oh no, Apollo just gets to ride around in his chariot and stuff. Do I sound bitter? Well, it just rips my tunic the way Apollo always gets to do whatever he likes and I had to take time out from doing my thing to preside over a messy business like childbirth.
It’s not that I’m squeamish, exactly, but you have to admit, it’s pretty brutal. I just never, you know, felt it, not being the maternal type myself. My other roles were just so much more … rewarding. I mean goddess of the hunt! All those arrows and testosterone fuelled men, what’s not to love, right? Being goddess of the moon, not too bad. Cupid used to crack a few so-called jokes at my expense. You know, like “hey Arty, I see you’re just mooning around again”. So lame. But otherwise not such a bad job either.
It was a real blast cavorting around in my short tunic, showing off my hot body hunting and running through the woods. And the glamour of dressing up in my long robes and crown as moon goddess was a nice change of pace. But childbirth was another game entirely. Not so glamorous. I suppose if I’m honest, I felt helpless in the face of so much pain with no guarantee of a successful outcome, even with my intervention.
How do you mortals do it? You put your frail little bodies on the line, enduring the pain to give birth to another tiny mortal. I’ve watched over millions of births and it never ceases to amaze me. It is a miracle, even I have to admit that.
“Nothing is born into this world without labour” – Rob Liano