** WARNING: plenty of swearing and anger here. My midwife reckons it’s a good idea (cathartic for me, educational for you) to share the not so sunny sides of pregnancy! I’ve never really written a ‘ranty’ post before but here goes!
1. How long are you past your due date now?
Does it fucking matter? If I tell you, what will you say? Due dates are over rated. They are based on human’s need for control over the natural process that is the birth of a baby. The baby or my body have no idea that a due date exists. They just do their thing when they are ready. Asking me about it or if in the case of a hospital, putting pressure on me by threatening induction, only stresses me out which in fact, can stall labour because the best way for birth to happen is when I am relaxed.
2. Have you had any Braxton Hicks contractions?
Ok first off, who the fuck is Braxton Hicks and why is there a type of contraction named after a man who has never experienced anything near a contraction in his life? I am sick of hearing this fuckers name mentioned to me over and over. Secondly, the standard explanation for them is something like ‘oh they are meant to be practice contractions’. I’ve never experienced a contraction before so how the fuck do I know the difference between a ‘practice’ one and a real one?
3. Ooh get all the sleep you can now cos when the baby comes… ha ha… nudge, nudge, wink, wink…
This REALLY pisses me off. I haven’t slept a full night through in about five months. My husband’s affectionate nickname for me is “Little Fatty Sweaty Betty Bean Bum”. Does that give you an idea of what kind of state I’m in most nights? Or do I need to describe in detail for you. The aching hips and the struggle with a hundred pillows every time I have to turn to the one that hurts slightly less. The night sweats where my massive breasts stick to me. The farts that creep up to my nose and make me want to vom (no matter what I eat!). The incredible, all consuming horniness but no energy to do the deed. The dry mouth but as soon as I sip water to aid it, I desperately need a piss. The maddening itching of my bump. The twitchy, jumpy legs that have a life of their own.
So yes I am sure once to baby is here I will not get much sleep either but it is really very unhelpful to remind me of this. Some kind friends have counter acted this by saying they actually got more sleep with a small baby. so there!
4. Wait till you hear what happened to me! And then proceed to tell me the most horrific story of birth.
Listen, I am sincerely sorry that you had a shit experience. My heart is with you. I feel so much compassion for you as you are clearly still traumatised over it. But PLEASE deal with the experience in a safe space (away from impressionable pregnant women) and accept it. You are walking around spreading your trauma like wildfire to women who are WIDE OPEN. Do you not remember how it feels to tightrope on this knife edge between fear and love? Your story comes back to me in the middle of the night and feeds the fear in my heart. I don’t need that and neither does my baby. Deal with your birth story for you, your child and everyone!
5. Some people’s dogs get really jealous of babies and have to be given away.
Do you think I need anything else to keep me awake at night? And who are these people? I’ve never met anyone who has had this experience. Yes, the Daily Mail likes to report horror stories of babies being eaten by pit bulls. Is this where you heard this, you poor impressionable idiot? Don’t quote shite tabloid newspapers to me… EVER!
6. Have you decided to go to the hospital after all?
Why the fuck would I do that now? After spending nine months preparing my home for a beautiful, natural birth, why would I change my mind? And even if I have, is it any of your business? How unhelpful is it to ask this question? Seriously, think about the words that are coming out of your mouth.
It gets worse…. this has been actually followed by “ooh make sure you have a full tank of petrol… just in case”! Do you not think we are aware that an emergency could happen and in which case we may need to go to the hospital? Of course we will have a full tank of petrol. Birth is not a medical procedure. it is a natural experience and only requires a hospital if an emergency happens. In which case, we will be very grateful for the help.
PHEW! Ok I just want to list a few things that are currently making me very happy and excited to be in this bubble of love with my husband and baby.
- My husband has created me a secret birthing garden with roses, jasmine, bougainvillaea and hibiscus full of cushions, a huge sheepskin and a little fire pit.
- All of the women who have given birth here have beautiful, affirming birth stories and know exactly the right thing to say to me. There’s a little girl named Zizz living in the truck next to ours who brings me daily gifts and rubs my belly.
- My midwife lives literally five seconds from me. I can call her name from my bed and she will hear me.
- I have an Irish, soulful doula called Aislinn who fills me with love and strength whenever I look into her eyes. She is also very practical and is putting together a rota for our neighbours to cook for us after the baby comes.
- The local mule named Oscar broke free and came to our garden the other day. It felt auspicious and quite biblical, in a spanish spring time kind of way.
- A friend just reminded me that to say ‘I have courage’ in Spanish, you say ‘Tengo grande coño’ which literally translates to I have a big cunt! Yes, definitely in the right country….