By SUMMER LAND
Ever since I was little, I’ve wanted to be a mum. I used to watch Father of the Bride Part II and daydream about the day that I’d be rushing in a car with my husband to the hospital. We’d get there just in time for my water to break while checking in and within minutes I’d be on a hospital bed pushing. A doctor would announce, “It’s a girl!” and we’d all live happily ever after.
In reality, my birthing experience was nothing like the movie version. I’m not saying it was better or worse. I’m just saying it was different and that I wish someone had told me the other ways it could have played out. Below I’ve outlined the movie version vs reality so that if you find yourself with a tiny human trying to exit through your vagina – you’ll know what to really expect.
Movie Version: Your water breaks while browsing at a Farmer’s Market.
Reality: You will experience some light cramping which your doctor will tell you to ignore until you’re having full-blown contractions. This could take days.
Movie Version: You’ll be in a bright hospital room wallpapered with pictures of babies and happy families that had delivered there before. Doctors and nurses will flutter about.
Reality: You’ll be in a dimly lit room. Apparently it is instinctive to go to a dark safe place to have a baby. Hence the “mood lighting.” Since you’ve forgotten to bring your birth playlist, you’ll most likely listen to Mama Mia (the movie) on your mom’s Kindle Fire. Twice.
Movie Version: Contractions last about 1-2 hours.
Reality: Contractions last 30 hours.
Movie Version: You already have your baby. (Okay fine, not yet!)
Reality: It will take 15 hours of contractions, bathtub time and an hour of climbing stairs before your midwife will decide to break your water manually with something that resembles a crochet hook.
Movie Version: There isn’t any poop.
Reality: There is poop. You will spend the time in between contractions on the toilet. And since the room is dim, every time you turn on the bright bathroom lights, all of these unidentified little black gnat-like bugs will flock to you and blanket your body.
Movie Version: Contractions hurt, but you still look amazing. Just a little sweaty.
Reality: Imagine someone taking a burning hot rubber band and then wrapping it around your torso and squeezing it tighter and tighter until all of your insides are going to burst through your bones and splatter on the walls around you. You are dripping in sweat and it’s all you can do to breathe, let alone make noise.