Okay, so I think the real problem here is that Yours Truly has been watching daytime television. This is a Bad Plan. Because you know what? I think I’m beginning to understand something. And that something is that most of the people in ‘popular culture’, if daytime television is to be believed, are, if you’ll pardon the expression, effed in the haitch-ee-ay-dee. Do you know how I know? Because you do not exist in the Real World.
From my cross-cultural studies based entirely on Yankee television, I see that folks drive everywhere. You go from point a to point b without setting foot on the ground. Or if you do, it’s on pavement. You might have some lawn in your yard, but not vegetables. Maybe fruit, if you live in Florida or California or Arizona. But mostly they’re just for show; not for food.
You buy everything; your clothes, your food, your entertainment, and your health. This last one is the one that bothers me the most. I’ve just watched seven women deliver babies, and of those seven women, *not a single one* was “allowed” to have a vaginal delivery. Not a *single one*. Granted, two of them were legitimate emergencies where the baby’s heart rate dropped alarmingly low a month before the child’s due date, and so the Caesarean section was medically necessary.
But the woman having her ‘first live birth’ being encouraged to have a C-section because she was in ‘a lot of pain’ is, if you’ll excuse my choice of language, EFFING RIDICULOUS.
I believe that c-sections are ‘medically necessary’ so very rarely that they should be, to coin a phrase, RARE. Of every 100 births, fewer than 1 should be a c-section. And to you ladies who decide to have a c-section because “then your vagina won’t get stretched out”, congratulations. Now you have external scarring and a painful, much longer recovery time. For those ladies choosing to have a c-section because they’re afraid of the pain in a vaginal delivery, I have to ask myself what the hell is wrong with you?
First of all, there are medications available to you if you so choose to take advantage of them. Granted, not all of them are safe, and not all of them work all the time. There are many many ways to manage your pain without medication as well, and some of these are far more effective, too. But honestly, do you think life is about living without pain? Pain is a part of childbirth. It. Just. Is. And do you think you’ll have a pain-free labour/delivery/recovery if you have a c-section? Really? So someone cuts through your skin, through several layers of muscle, through your uterus, and you expect to live through that pain-free? Right. Well, you know, it isn’t rocket science.
So. Here’s a shout-out from the Real World: having babies hurts. It hurts for the *rest of your life*, if you’re doing it right. But it’s a good kind of pain. It’s the kind of pain you have when you’re changing the world. Hopefully for the better. It’s the kind of pain you feel when you’re making a sacrifice; giving of yourself so that someone else can benefit. And in that pain, and through that pain, you grow and love, and you Become.
You’ll watch your tiny baby take its first breaths, and your heart will break, and you will be terrified, and you will hurt. You will ache for that child. And if you’re a mum, you’ll miss having her in your body; you’ll miss that closeness. And if you’re a dad, you’ll marvel at this miracle you’ve helped create, and you’ll feel your heart expand inside your chest and that will hurt.
You’ll watch your little one crying, and you will fill with pain because you don’t know what’s wrong and you don’t know how to stop it and you’ll panic and your panic will freak the baby out and it will be a huge freaky, scary cycle, and you’ll be all, “oh why the fuck did I sign on for THIS?” And then it will stop. Maybe an hour later, maybe five years later, but it *will* stop, and you’ll say, “oh. That’s why.” Because you’ll see something so profound, so full of beauty, that your chest will expand *again*. And someday you’ll be watching your son or daughter, and you’ll think, “this is the best thing I’ve ever done. And I’m screwing it up. But I can’t think of anything that I love more than this child. So I’ll keep trying.” And that will hurt. Because you have to acknowledge that you’re doing it wrong, because nobody has all the answers. Not even you. Not the people on the internet, not the books or doctors, not your parents, no one has all the answers. Because, what they don’t tell you is that a lot of this is shooting from the hip and doing whatever is necessary to raise up a well-adjusted, benevolent human.
And some day, you’ll watch your son/daughter walking into school, or riding a bike, or moving out to go to college, and you’ll be devastated. Because you’ll feel your heart couldn’t get any bigger. But it can. It just hurts. A lot. So if you think you can live a meaningful life with children pain-free, you are mistaken. Or, as Big T would say, Mistooken.