Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Positive Birth Story

Why on earth do some women take a ghoulish, malicious glee in regaling first-time pregnant women with tales of the horrors of childbirth?? They did it to me, and they will do it again. You know who you are and you should be ashamed of yourselves!
I tend not to comment so much about my births in real life - I try to save all my gory, humiliating details for you, dear reader - but I do always use my second daughter's birth as an example of how great giving birth can be.
Imagine, if you will... the small hours of the morning, a twinge, a pop. The joy (read: sheer terror) of knowing that a birth was imminent. A darkened room at the hospital, my husband, a midwife and me, and the trust in my own body as I retreated into myself to bring forth life (read: ignore everyone and just grunt and get on with it). From first twinge at 2am to giving birth at 4.01am, swift and sure and perfect.
And there is your "positive" birth story.
Ha'way, this is me, you know there is going to be more to it than that, 'eh? I do nothing with grace and aplomb, I'm a Taurean and I bull my way through life leaving shattered glass and china behind me!
Do you want to know the grittier details? Of my mantra as I rode through the contractions? Chanting "Oh f*ck, f*ck, f*ck" as I stared at a specific spot on the wall? Of the midwife asking if I was pushing just as I gave an enormous heave and broke my waters on the bed? Of Thing Two exhibiting her now characteristic enthusiasm and joie de vivre and coming out with one push, like a champagne cork, no time to turn the head or manoeuvre the shoulders, of how the midwife wasn't expecting it so she slithered straight out and fell on the mattress?
Of how you lose your shame entirely, so store these details to share with the world of complete strangers, although you wouldn't share them with your best friend after two bottles of wine usually. Not that you, dear reader, are a stranger. No indeed. You are my close and personal friend, of course. Without you, my life - and all my best material - would be wasted on those who don't appreciate how hilarious I am!
Of course, there is no perfect birth. I've commented before about how labour hurts and is hard work, and even though you are doing "The Greatest Thing Ever!!!"(tm), no choir of angels fan the sweat from your brow with their wings and no fanfare of trumpets nor a ticker tape parade welcome the babe to the world. (Even though Himself had three chances, I never did get my parade...) In my - not so humble, obviously - opinion, any birth that results in mummy and baby coming home together is a positive one, no matter how they got there.
In the meantime, for those of you who are expecting for the first time, I would just like to say (heh, 9 paragraphs in 'just to say') that, hand on my heart, this is an amazing and wonderful time for you. Cherish it (as best you can, because we do know it hurts), because you will look back on this time with real affection and joy, through nostalgic rose-tinted glasses. Lucky, lucky you.

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