I had a perfectly lovely time giving birth. Or, I guess, as lovely a time as a person can have while pushing out a 9-pound baby for 24 hours. Everyone we encountered at the hospital was efficient and kind, particularly the NICU nurses who tended to my daughter during her first night on the planet. The nurses on the maternity ward were great, too. They helped me pump that first evening, and then taught me how to breast-feed when my daughter graduated out of the NICU the next day. There was a lactation class, if I wanted to attend, and a roving lactation consultant came to my bedside and helped me several times while I got the hang of it.