Ah, shoo. Now that there's a pop in the population of people reading this blog, I feel like I have to be Laurel & Hardy up in herr, like I have to do a little soft shoe as I sing my messages about VAGINA POWER and nasto chemicals in your drinking water and the Elf. (I'm a mom of many colors.) I'll just lower the bar right now and tell you Funny Lady is only one of my personalities. The rest of them you may have to drink to enjoy.
My friend/frenemy (wiminz! right?) messaged me the other day that she's terrified of childbirth. She thanked me for bringing the real with Boss's birth story and said I basically confirmed her worst fears of this aspect of life as she heads toward it herself. Crap. I cannot let this stand. I must right this wrong dong! One of the things that's important to me as a z-list mom writer is making motherhood accessible to non-moms. We all start out with zero children, looking in through the window of other peoples' experiences and it sucks when established moms only tell their war stories. The ripping skin! The face-melting pain! The soggy hospital sandwiches! Scaring the uninitiated is no way to be. I hereby invite the nulliparous to huddle in.
Now, let's not get crazy. It ain't all roses and I'm not trying to push having babies on someone who doesn't want them or sway anyone on the fence. If you have oats to sew or just don't feel like having kids, then run like the wind.
If you want to start a family, here are the reasons you shouldn't be afraid to have a baby. At least not because of the physical pain:
1. Things always seem worse when you hear stories about them. If I told you a tale of woe about living in a house with roaches and peeling wallpaper and couch cushions we flipped every time we spilled a drink or someone peed, your skin would crawl. You know what though? I lived in a house like that once and we had some good times. We used to drink lots of whiskey there and you never worried about making a mess. See? There's always an upside.
2. There's actually a lot that feels good during the course of pregnancy and birth. Sex will blow your mind for nine months, you get great drugs in the hospital and when they peel the tape off your back after an epidural it feels like fingernails raking down your back. You love that. Also, I hear stories of ladies who float in the clouds during breastfeeding, but that has never been my can of beans. Just saying, it's possible.
3. Some women love giving birth so much they practically make a sport of it. Why do you think there are so many birth blogs and message boards where women tell their birth stories? There's a whole birth culture out there. Maybe it's the competitive angle to beat their own time or simply the challenge of executing a physical feat, but I can tell you, someone is enjoying it. I once heard a surrogate explain her reasons for such a career path were that she enjoyed pushing. Maybe you'll discover this is your game.
4. There's a chance you could skip the whole thing. Say you go past your due date and opt for an induction at a hospital that allows you to have an epidural at zero centimeters (allow me to point you to Prentice). I've heard of people who ask for the good stuff before they even get started, they numb up right away, the baby is delivered and they walk away without a stitch. See? While you could be in for 31 hours of
agony excitement you could also just squeeze that baby out in the van in the parking lot like my friend Kate.
Sometimes the only way out is through, and if you're making a biological family from the comfort of your home/Volkswagen van ahem! you're going to need to go through this process. Sure, it's good to read up on reality so you don't just waltz into labor and delivery thinking babies shoot out in elevators and back seats like they do in rom coms, but it's also good to know that you'll probably survive and might even have sex again.
Go on. Take motherhood for a spin.
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