I recently made the mistake of turning the TV on again. This time the telebox had a program called loose women to offer me. I thought that this ironic name for a show where women discussed women’s issues may be of interest to me, as I too am indeed a woman.
What a bloody annoying program that one is! I watched them discuss whether or not the father should be present during the birth of their child as 80% of fathers are nowadays. And maybe it is all a bit much for them, poor little soldiers. Having recently had a small person escape from inside my body I can confirm that it’s really not that tough for the daddy.
My labour was apparently very quick and I should be super pleased with it all. I woke up at 5:30 am on the 7th of October with tummy pains. I was nine days overdue and I had spent those days eating spicy things, walking everywhere and insisting that lovely boyfriend have lots of sex with me. So not really the worst nine days for him, eating his favourite food every day and having lots of sex, poor, poor him.
When you are pregnant you get constipated. That morning when I got up I thought I was ill, the nine months worth of backed up bowel ALL came out. I did not think that my labour had started, I thought that I had finally pushed it too far with the spicy food. It was only when I went downstairs to make a cup of tea that I realised I was getting repeated pains in my back and stomach. I timed them, three in eight minutes. I called the hospital and told them. They merrily informed me that I would not need to come in for hours as labour takes ages and ages and that there was no need to prepare the birthing pool for me. Why didn’t I have a bath.
Lovely boyfriend is still blissfully asleep and I see no need to trouble him as the hospital have assured me that labour takes ages. I run myself a bath and get in. By the time I get out of the bath I am in serious pain. It turns out that when I am in serious pain I shut my eyes. And don’t talk AT ALL. I go and sit on the bed in a towel and lovely boyfriend wakes up. He is confused as to why I am up at 7 am. I can not respond to him.
He leaps up, terrified. “We have to go to the hospital!” I manage to tell him that we don’t need to and that labour takes bloody ages. The thing I need is a cup of tea. He times my contractions. I am having one every minute. He phones the hospital and they say that we should come in. It takes me half an hour to put on pants, leggings and a vest top. He is doing a panic dance in the hallway. I am still muttering about cup of tea. He has dutifully made me one. I realise that I can’t walk to the kitchen.
We get in the car, he has to lead me as my eyes are firmly closed and I may never open them ever again. Then I start to worry that I am the most rubbish woman alive, this is AGONY. And I feel like I am going to poo myself. It is 8:30 am now, I have been in labour for three hours. I have been told that the average first labour lasts for sixteen hours. I can not cope with another thirteen hours of this. And have I mentioned that I feel like I am going to poo myself?
We are in rush hour traffic. I can no longer comfortably sit normally in the car. I am leant to one side, leaning on lovely boyfriend ( yes he is trying to drive, I can’t see anything as I have my eyes closed and I have forgotten this) making very primal, guttural noises. It takes us until 9:45 to get to the hospital.
I walk in the doors of the hospital and hold onto the parking ticket payment machine. I have made it to the hospital so therefore I don’t need to move anymore right? The labour ward is up a floor. Lovely boyfriend is rushing around trying to get someone to help us. Nobody does. He gets a wheelchair and makes me get in it so that we can be in the place that we actually need to be. I can not sit like a normal person so I kneel on it and he puts us in the lift.
I AM GOING TO POO MYSELF. This is my biggest worry. I need a toilet, more than anything. they put me in an assessment room with a student midwife who tries to tell me that they don’t like women to go before they are examined. I ignore her completely and sit down on the most welcome toilet that I have ever seen. There is no poo. Instead there is a loud noise that scares my eyes open. It is my waters. The very white looking student midwife runs in to make sure that there isn’t a baby in the toilet. There isn’t. I am frog marched to a bed.
Lovely boyfriend is calm now. Medical professionals are there. He has done his job and got me to the place that I am supposed to be. He looks pretty pleased with himself. Now labour takes ages and ages. I am trying to get my leggings off so that they can check me over. He gives me a hand. I am now in a vest top and one sock. The midwife comes in and tell me that it is time to push.
This is impossible. LABOUR TAKES AGES! I want a birthing pool, and I am not wearing my birthing stuff. But no, it is time. The time is 10:30 am. I cant have a pool because it will take longer to fill one up than it will take my baby to arrive. I am in an assessment room so there is no gas and air in there. I just have to push. So I do.
When I had found out that I was going to do a baby I had made lovely boyfriend promise that he would not look at anything below my belly button whilst it was happening. I did not want him to be deprived of missing his son come into the world, however I wanted him to still want to have sex with me in future. We shook on it.
I am pushing, the head is crowning. ( If you have never had a baby then you won’t know the searing, white hot pain that this is. It hurts more than any of the rest of the labour up until now. It is worse than a vindaloo ring of fire the morning after. I would like ANY drugs, I don’t care which ones. There are none to offer me. ) The midwife asks lovely boyfriend if he would like to see his baby. Mid push I scream NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! He looks anyway. He told me afterwards that he was transfixed by the horror. He had wanted to look away but he couldn’t, a bit like a car crash.
At 11:14 am all of the baby is out. He is purple, he instantly empties his bladder all over me. I ask if he is ginger ( No, sadly he is not, I was really hoping for a ginger one) and if I pooed myself (No I didn’t, fist bump the air, midwife looks pretty confused) Lovely boyfriend cuts the cord and goes for a little sit down.
I asked lovely boyfriend why he had ignored me shouting no at him. He explained that I had shouted quite a few things and that the first word our child would have heard coming into the world was me loudly dropping the C bomb. He said that he was confused as to why I didn’t hate our new wrinkly gnome baby after what he had just done to me. ( Truthfully I think it is the hormones, because I really do just love him. He has not let me sleep properly since he arrived and I worry that he will die at least five times a day)
So I posed the question to lovely boyfriend, was he pleased that he had been there? If we have another one, would he rather wait outside and come in once the gore has been done with? He said that he would rather be there for me. I don’t think it is all about the baby for him. Men have a very detached relationship with them I think. They get some lovely sweaty bedroom olympics and then they watch from the sidelines as their partner swells and then a baby turns up. He thinks that his job is to take care of me and that means being there to hold my hand.
I have friends whose partners are bump whisperers, want to go shopping for mini clothes and can’t wait to hold the new tiny one. Lovely boyfriend was not really one of those. He loves our son and sits there chatting away to him now he is here.
But before I don’t know how real it was to him. I wonder if he had missed the birth, would he feel any connection to him, or would he just be this super demanding mini him that had arrived and stolen the boobs?
And even though he broke our agreement and saw my most delicate area, stretched and torn, he couldn’t wait to return there again. It didn’t make a blind bit of difference.
So you patronising loose women, you should have done your pelvic floor exercises. Then you wouldn’t be loose and you wouldn’t be trying to find reasons that your men folk are scared of your vagina’s. Don’t go on tele and slag men off for being useless while you are birthing. Of course they are, what on earth can they do? You have to do the pushing all by yourself. They are there to go and get you a cup of tea and a sandwich afterwards.