Before I delivered my daughter, my mom would tell me having her wisdom teeth out was more painful than childbirth.
She admitted AFTER I had my daughter, that she lied because she didn’t want me to be scared. Well, you know what’s worse than being scared? Being completely mentally unprepared about what happens when you have a child.
Is it amazing to bring a child into this world? 100% ! But there are so many things that happen to your body before, during and after labor, that are just effing gross and weird. I mean c’mon – the National Geographic nipples, the black line down the middle of your stomach, should I keep going?
However, for some reason, many women like to pretend it’s ALL like a magical scene out of a Disney movie where birds are chirping on the windowsill and some perfect blonde lass is baking perfect cherry pies while she sings and folds laundry (sidenote: if you sing while folding laundry you might need your head checked.)
When friends became pregnant after me and asked questions…I did NOT lie. But, first I would ask if they really wanted the truth or if they wanted to play the bullshit game a lot of other women like to play. If they opted for the truth, I gave it to them. Hard. It’s that same motivation that had me jump on possible little inclusion in a recent story for The Berry about real childbirth experiences (definitely click that link to see the full story – there are some GREAT quotes from other moms just like me giving honest and hilarious accounts of their experiences). My quote sums up a portion of my childbirth story…but not nearly all of it.
My child was 6 days late and while overall I had a great pregnancy, in those final weeks, I literally wanted to punch everyone who said things like, “Hmmmm. No baby, yet?”. I would go to my OBGYN appts begging and pleading and crying for him to put me out of my misery and induce me (that’s what I get for delivering in Boston. In South Florida they don’t give a shit and actually schedule C-sections based on hair appointments. I suppose I should be thankful, even though I was completely over it). And on the night before I was to be induced, she finally decided to make her own entrance.
I knew I wanted an epidural the second I peed on a pregnancy test and it was positive. There was no question in my mind.
Kudos to you ladies who do it sans drugs but that is not my thing. And while the drugs curtailed the excruciating contractions that literally took my breath away and made me feel like I was about to involuntarily reenact “that” scene from Alien, the same cannot be said for the delivery part. It effing hurts, you guys. Yes it’s worth it. But it hurts.
Plus, since I was in a teaching hospital, the medical students and residents have to learn using someone’s vagina, and mine was apparently one of them. Every so often the door would open and an attending physician would say, “Is it ok for (insert one of who knows how many med student’s names) to check you?”
Sure! Welcome to the party. I was like the pregnant Oprah but instead of giving out cars, it was more like, “YOU get to see how dilated I am!” “”YOU get to see how dilated I am!”Annnnnnnd “YOU get to see how dilated I am!” “Someone’s having a baaaaaaaaabyyyyyyyyyyyy!”
After 12ish hours of labor (which actually is not a lot, for you novices), while I was pushing and nothing was really happening, they started whispering about a C-section. I was like…no effing way. I didn’t just go through 12 hours of labor to get gutted like a fish. Something inside of me took over and I literally became superhuman. That kid was out in 20/30 mins.
All I remember, other than looking into her amazing eyes, is that I was FREEZING and shivering like I was standing in a blizzard, naked. I also remember that all I wanted was an ice-cold fountain diet coke, since I did not have one for 9 months. That was my first post-baby drink and it was glorious.
All of the pain, anxiety and weirdness was worth it a gazillion times over. All I’m asking is why don’t we talk openly about it? I love a good surprise, but when it involves X-files level shit and my body, a little heads-up would have been nice.