My elderly aunt and I talked on the phone last week.
We had both watched the same documentary about midwives and the conversation turned to pregnancy and childbirth.
“You know, we didn’t know how to not have babies when we were young, your Nan and I”, she said.
“In the city [Melbourne], we just didn’t know how to stop it.” [I made some non-committal noises, hoping Aunty wasn’t going to talk at length again about how Nan’s prolapsed bladder used to fall out and she had to poke it back in again. I had only just eaten dinner.]
“In the country, in Bendigo, they knew how to stop getting pregnant.” [“Really?” I said, starting to check my emails.]
“In the country, they knew that you should soak a sponge in vinegar and put it up in there, and you wouldn’t get pregnant”. [Splutter. “What? Why? With what? In there? Oh, god, that’s horrible!”].