When I was pregnant with my first child I tried very hard not to think about the part where my baby made his entrance into the world. I went along to the antenatal classes and listened to midwives talk about dilation in a room full of strangers with big bellies exchanging nervous and awkward smiles and wishing they were somewhere else. Especially after the midwife showed us the forceps. I mean they probably were’t THE forceps they used for me.
But the truth is no amount of classes or books can prepare you for giving birth. And for that matter no two births are the same. Having said that there were a few very unexpected things about childbirth that no one warned me about…
1 It’s hard to tell if you are in labour.
Was that a contraction or a twinge? How far apart did they say they were supposed to be? In the movies one contraction and they are whisked off to hospital in a frenzy of high drama. Real life is far more boring with lots of waiting around bouncing on birthing balls and logging contractions on an app. The truth is that when things really get going you won’t give a toss about logging the contraction on the app.
2 The journey to the hospital is horrendous.
Having contractions whilst in a moving vehicle feeling every bump in the road ind of feels like someone trying to shove back in the thing that is trying to come out. You will be telling your husband to “hurry up and stop driving like a granny” in between contractions, then “stop the f@#$ing car” as another one comes, all the while making a mental note to complain to the council about the state of the roads!
3 Your waters breaking can be very disappointing.
I had my waters broken for both my labours. What came out in my first was what can only be described as a trickle. It wasn’t even like I wet myself. More like a sneeze wee. I was a little disappointed. I was expecting something far more dramatic. Especially since my husband had me sitting on towels everywhere for the last three weeks of my pregnancy just in case my water broke.
4 Your dignity goes out of the window.
It is completely true what they say. When you are in established labour you will not care who wants to come and look between your legs, and you will forget entirely that you haven’t seen your lady garden for at least 4 months and are rocking a 70’s vibe down there. None of that will matter in the slightest.
5 There’s a lot of poo.
You will poo. You won’t care. Chances are the baby will probably poo too. My first came out covered in the stuff! Then there’s the baby’s first poos to deal with. Doesn’t matter how much you wipe, that shit just keeps smearing. Not to mention your first post child birth poo. Actually scarier than giving birth.
6 You will make strange noises.
At one point I’m sure I mooed.
7 You are likely to declare you undying love.
It’s not likely to be said to your partner. More likely whomever is giving you the drugs.
8 Your dignity comes back.
It comes back before you are ready. Normally whilst they are administering the stitches to the car crash that used to be your vagina. #awkward
9 You won’t get the fanfare you deserve.
So you feel like you’ve just been run over by a truck, but you also feel euphoric because you did it. And you deserve to be celebrated. I personally think every mother should receive a ticker tape parade with Gary Barlow serenading them and a bottle of champagne being personally delivered by Gerard Butler. You absolutely deserve it, and more. Yes you have your beautiful little bundle, but you want the whole world to know what you just did. You are woman, and I hear you roar. Unfortunately Gary and Gerard had prior commitments.
10 It’s all totally worth it.
They do tell you that one but it is very true.
11 Don’t look at your stitches.
Trust me. Just don’t do it. Some things can never be unseen.
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