Image by elefanterosado via FlickrI stared at the bright red skin on my arm as the white-hot blisters popped out, conforming to the triangular shaped mark that the iron had left hours earlier, a result of yet another careless act of mine. I lay writhing in pain on the bed, feeling the heat seeping into the rest of my body, causing spasms in my core more painful than anything I had ever felt before. Give her something for the pain, my husband had yelled to the bustling nurses, many of whom had stopped to look at the nasty flesh but none of whom seemed interested in making it better. Finally, a doctor, intense boredom kidnapping his handsome features, stopped to assess but abruptly moved on to someone more deserving of his attention. Hours of unbearable pain culminated as bags of ice melted against the hot branded flesh, offering little relief until finally the burning ceased, replaced by intense stabbing in my belly. For several minutes I was sure I would die until it magically stopped and there you were in your naked glory, all 6 lb 12 oz of you surprising us all.