I've written on a similar theme before - talking about how Hollywood portrays labour, and what it can really be like! But there is a lot more to be said on the subject. It's something that people tend to keep a bit schtum about - either they forget (you'd have to, or there would be a LOT more one child families around) or they don't want to terrify any prospective mother. Well, today's the day, I'm here to share what I didn't know about birth before I went through it, and I don't care if it puts anyone off children because frankly the Earth is overpopulated anyway.
I was 30 years old when I gave birth. I thought I had my repertoire of noises fully stocked. All the giggles/laughs/very loud laughs that scare grannies on the bus. The high pitched whatwasthatmovingwasthatanotherfuckingmouse squeaks. Pregnancy had added a new one - the huff-huff-groan of getting up off the sofa at 9 months. What I wasn't expecting, though, was my unforeseen capacity for moo-ing. Yep, that's right, birth makes you moo like an unhappy buffalo.
The Scoopy Net
If you labour in water, you may notice a scoopy net on the side of that bath - like the ones you use to catch goldfish. Only this one isn't for goldfish. It's not for anything gold. Women, I'm afraid that's for when you almost inevitably shit yourself. Sorry.
Electricity Is Great
I used a TENS machine when I was in labour and it was great. What you do need to watch out for though, is trainee midwives and boyfriend's getting electrocuted trying to take it off you - I couldn't even feel it buzzing by that stage, but apparently it was pretty damn zappy - they were yelping like kicked puppies. Small amusement for me in between OHGODTHEPAIN.
Not Feeling Anything
I'm sorry (I'm not sure who more for, me or the boy) but I didn't feel anything once it was all over and baby was on me rather than in me. I just laid there like a kicked about cabbage. There's a picture of me somewhere looking like a corpse. I couldn't even look at him let alone delight in every detail and sniff him and what not. I was hollow in every sense. That's what a 2 day labour and no sleep will do for you folks - break you. I think the expectation that you will feel a rush of love is misleading - when you are physically and emotionally exhausted you are more likely to be in shock than in love. This bit isn't very funny is it, I'm sorry...
Did you know that you can get a degree in childbirth? A degree of TEAR that is. Yep, depending on how badly your body rips itself open expelling your precious bundle, you get a degree! Scaled 1-4, 1 is a little one and 4 is goodbye-perineum. I was lucky enough to receive a 3rd degree - thanks, big head! I have to say I much prefer my paper ones.
You Can't Leave...
...until you've pooped (again). Yep, if you need a fucktonne of stitches like I did, then the midwives/witches won't let you leave until you have gone to the toilet for both procedures. Which, after days of no food and totally body shock, just ain't gonna happen. FOR TWO MORE DAYS GODDAMIT.
What did you learn about birth that you weren't expecting?
If you aren't now shaking in terror, why not pop over for some giggles on Mumzilla - I'm not usually quite so cynical...