Things You Don’t Know About Birth

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 over populated anyway.

The Noises

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. 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, but apparently it was pretty damn zappy by that point – 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…

You Can’t Leave…

…until you’ve pooped (again). Yep, if you need a fucktonne of stitches like I did, then the gestapo midwives 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?

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10 thoughts on “Things You Don’t Know About Birth

  1. ahaha. I learnt that I love a TENS machine and that the hynobirthing books LIED! My vulva did not open like a rose, that baby did not glide out and that labour is no BEACH.

  2. How long it takes! 60 hour labour and a failed induction (eek). How the midwives want to check your wee, not to test it, but to make sure you’ve peed. How emotionally draining it is after, the sombre music of Ewan the sheep still haunts me. A fab post Sarah. Claire x #triballove

  3. Oh yes…so true! I wish i’d know ‘not feeling anything’ was a thing before not feeling anything. Now, i thought you’d been a bit quiet recently, but you haven’t been…why would i not be getting emails anymore when you post!? It’s a rhetorical question, I’m going to investigate.

  4. Haha Each of my 3 labours have been massively different! Love your comment on the TENS machine, I remember my partner commenting how painful it was when he touched it (boo fucking hoo) but I could barely feel it. One thing I learnt was that whilst nearing the end of labour, you really don’t give a shit who comes into the room/sees every orifice of your body. Just before my son (now nearly 11) was born my midwife asked if I minded a few students coming in and honestly, she could have invited a whole audience in and I couldn’t have cared less. Dignity! That’s the word…you completely lose it. And don’t give a damn. #NoFilter xx

  5. Oh my gosh with the whole tens machine thing I got zapped a few times myself as all the wires were starting to disconnect and that was when I screamed loudest! With the whole poo thing I didnt poo whilst in labour both times and luckily pooed pretty quickly after so was able to be discharged quick enough! I love the fact I lost my dignity though…. and in a way I’ve lost it ever since! Haha

  6. I do remember the last hour well. It was dark outside and every room in the hospital wing opposite was fully lit up. I know this because my delivery room had wall to wall and radiator to ceiling windows. My bed was next to the window and noone thought to close the blinds so I must have provided entertainment for hundreds of bored patients in the building across the way.
    That’s the sort of pain where you really don’t give a shit. Good for you telling it like it is. xJo #shittinggrapefruits

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