By BERN MORLEY
The subject of childbirth came up recently at a BBQ I was at. Well, more specifically, I was trying to re-create the Malteasers advert where the pregnant lady gets her bump to “kick” a Malteaser from her belly like a soccer ball.
Unfortunately, I was low on Malteasers and as such, after rifling through one of the children’s party bags, could only find a Chico Baby. So, my friend Jodi sat back (she’s 38 weeks pregnant) and I placed a lone Chico baby on her blossoming stomach.
She’s one of those annoyingly radiant women and all you see is baby, no excess fat, nothing but a baby wrapped in skin fronting some organs. So of course, we saw that baby almost sniff out that Chico baby out and go nuts. Unfortunately, this, along with giving us great entertainment, also gave her mild contractions. All fun and games until someone goes into labour.
And labour. SO. MUCH. FUN. Right?
Sarcasm. I need a sarcasm font.
To me, the only thing worse than going through childbirth again would be to hear that Human Nature are planning on releasing another Motown record.
And don’t get me wrong, I understand why there has to be pain. I mean let’s face it, we are dilating (opening) a closed hole to a hole that is 10cms in circumference (try that with your anus guys and I think you’ll get the gist). I also recognise the fact that, after it’s all over, I was so god damned proud of myself that even the fact that a bow-tied, odd looking doctor I’ve never seen before was stitching up my vagina, I’d never been happier. Doesn’t mean I want to partake EVER again.
And for the record, I’ve given birth naturally 3 times. With no drugs. This is due to one thing and one thing, only. They wouldn’t GIVE me any. And I say that with the utmost respect to all midwives who are wonderful, inspiring ladies (and men). They clearly knew I could do it without them, even though all three times, I felt like I would rather rip my own eyeballs out with my fingertips than go through one more contraction.
We got talking about the labour room on the weekend, and the fact that this time, I might get to go in with my girlfriend and see her have this baby. I am very excited, having never been down “that end” before.
She told me that the last time (this will be her third child) she asked her husband to stroke her arm between contractions. So of course he started in earnest to stroke her arm as she requested.
Whilst her head did not swivel 360 degrees, I believe it was the only action separating her from Linda Blair when she told him in no uncertain terms, that he was stroking her arm “THE WRONG FUCKING WAY!!”
How insensitive right! She then told him to leave the room so she could “just get on with it and have the next contraction IN PEACE”. Funny in hindsight, not so funny at the time.
My husband tells me I neither swore nor fouled the table during any of my births. I hope he is telling me truth and that one day, in some kind of heated argument, he doesn’t spit at me the awful truth, that yes in fact, I DID disgrace myself and that he was just sparing my feelings. Oh and I disagree with my husband. I distinctly remember in my last moments, birthing Jack, a low growl and the words “Get this fucking thing out of me!”
This brings me to the Scientologist’s method of the “silent birth”, to save the baby from stress. Hmm, dare I say, that rule was written by a man and he needs to go back and read about my 10cm’ anus stretching anecdote.
I distinctly remember the very first midwife that helped me through my first birth, telling me to “leave your dignity on the shelf honey and retrieve it when you’re done”. That little piece of advice and “don’t forget the URAL” should be in every “What to Expect when you’re Expecting” baby book.
I hope I haven’t scared you today with this post. Because, just like Vegas, whatever happens in the labour ward, stays in the labour ward. You do go back to a normal human being once that child is out, honestly. And to all those who had a baby through the sunroof, i.e. caesarean, please know I take nothing away from your birthing experience. I know it is equally as painful and life changing and who cares how the baby arrives, as long as it’s safe.
To my two best friends – I cannot wait to meet your two beautiful little rays of sunshine. Oh, and be sure to call me if you want your arm rubbed *just* right.
Bern is a Gen X, child of the 80′s. Kept busy being a working mother of 3 children, one with Aspergers, renovating the original money pit and drinking too many coffees in the space of 24 hours. One day she’ll remember to leave the meat out for tea but until then she writes beautiful and amusing posts on her blog which you can find here.
Alright. Time to spill: What’s your labour story?