Thursday, 19 March 2015

33 Weeks' Pregnant - I knew someone who ate a burger once

My biggest bugbear during pregnancy has been putting up with people who have had the audacity to trot up to me and announce how utterly horrific childbirth is knowing full well that I would one day soon have to give birth! Never in your life will you ever have any other medical appointment that people feel they can comment on negatively en mass. You will never have, for example, your Appendix out - and have to deal with friends, family and complete sodding strangers tumbling over themselves to say:

"Oh my goodness! You are going to HATE that! HA HA - Good luck Lassy! It's fecking agony! You'll be lucky to get through it! I don't envy you! Ouch!!" 

People will say "I know something really really bad, but I won't tell you" (gesturing towards my bump).  O.k I would say, that sounded fair to me. I didn't want to know anything bad. Good call!

A matter of minutes later they will then go on to tell me the most horrific descriptions of childbirth. If the stories weren't about themselves they were about friends of friends of friends of friends or third cousin's removed or celebrities - and I am still unsure as to why they felt the need, nay the compulsion, to tell me at all. All I could do was sit and cross my legs and try to block out half of these stories by replaying the 'Dawson's Creek' soundtrack in my head.

You can guarantee however - that they will not tell you a lovely heartwarming pregnancy story or a birth story that is along the same lines of "She said it was like shelling peas", "She blinked and the baby had arrived", "She said the whole sensation was quite orgasmic".

People can not help themselves! Like people who made it through the war. They can't wait to tell you their war story - but their war was worse than everyone else who went through it. Their stories will be so detailed it'll feel like you were there. They will be in Technicolour, Blu ray, high definition 3D and will come complete with sound effects, quotes, minute by minute commentary and facts and figures verified by experts (midwives and witnesses) that will prove beyond doubt that the delivery of their child was the worst delivery on record. 

And they might not have told you pre-pregnancy - but now you are pregnant and about to give birth so what better time will there be than to tell you every single ghastly detail? It is a bit like seeing a man who has balls and another man saying "Ooh, I see you have balls! Let me tell you straight away the exact sensations and feelings you will get when someone kicks them in." 

In my eyes - these horrific birth stories that people feel the compulsion to tell you when you are pregnant are the equivalent of seeing someone in a restaurant who has just ordered a tasty burger. They have made their choice and are sitting back waiting patiently for their food.  You then go over to them and say something along the lines of:

"Ah, I see you have ordered the burger? Good choice. Well done. That reminds me. . . I knew a man who ate a burger once. It was the worst experience he ever had. He swore he would never ever have a burger again. He had injuries that took months to heal. You could hear his screams for miles around. His private parts were never the same again. He said it was like laying an elephant wrapped in barbed wire. People said he could have died." 

It is not the exact equivalent though of course, because that man, after being sickened and scared by the unbearable burger tale could always rethink his order. He could order something else, cancel the burger, Hell, he could even leave the restaurant. I, on the other hand, can not cancel the delivery of my child. I can not say "Oh, what a terrible story, well he will just have to stay up there then and not come out". We (my child and I) can not come to some sort of letting agreement. The upshot of being pregnant is that at the end of your nine months you have to to give birth. He or she has to come out. So - you see - your tales of horror really can not help me in any way, shape or form. 

So, on behalf of all first time pregnant ladies, I am asking you nicely, to say something nice about giving birth (make it up!). Or, as my mother always said, if you can't say anything nice, please, pretty please, don't say anything at all. 

Oh - but if you actually want a tale of terror just trundle up to any disenfranchised looking mother in the supermarket and ask "So, how was your labour?" and they will tell you. And mothers in the Cheese and Dairy aisle will overhear you. And the check out staff will chip in. And before you know it, it will look like the end of a Richard Curtis Rom Com where a village of people stand applauding around you chanting "Childbirth is Hell! Childbirth is Hell!"

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