I've heard it said that the birth process is the closest we get to God while in this life. I don't know if that is true but it makes sense because there are so many parallels between birth and the Atonement—emotional suffering, physical pain, blood shed and meeting the unexpected head on. And then comes the life.
Because my mother suffered and bled, I live. As Isaiah said of the Savior, "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). As women we shed our blood monthly just for the possibility of one day giving life. And the Savior shed his blood for all just for the possibility that all would repent and turn to him. But perhaps the most important thing I've learned about the Atonement from giving birth is that when you suffer for someone, you love them more. Logic would tell me that if someone caused you that much pain and suffering, you would resent them or at least have an aversion toward them. But that's not how it is. The moment we see these little ones, our hearts overflow with love. They cause us pain, and yet we love them. It makes no sense, but it is very real.
As women, we should comprehend and relate more to the Atonement. We should ponder and learn more from our birthing experience about the Atonement and then help our children and husbands to understand more about the most important event in the history of mankind.
There is a baby crying down the hall. There is no sound in the world like that first cry—a cry for help and at the same time a cry of joy. That, too, is what the Atonement is all about.