The most natural thing in the world? You've got to be f***ing kidding me
Having a baby is pretty messed up…
It's not news that procreation and birth are incredible. Miraculous, even. But I think we say those words without really sitting with the reality of the thing. We literally create miniature versions of ourselves, from bits of ourselves. Like, what?! I don't understand why we're all walking around like that's not absolutely nuts.
Let's start with being pregnant. Before I had my son, I'd see my pregnant friends struggling towards the end of their terms because they were feeling heavy and bloated. It honestly took being pregnant myself to become consciously aware of the messed up truth. They weren't bloated — they had another entire person inside their skeletons. A small person, admittedly. But, any larger and they'd burst.
I mean, I knew this. But I didn't KNOW it. Imagine someone just hopped inside your abdomen right now. How would that feel, do you reckon? It turns out, it feels exactly like there's a person inside your abdomen. Hi, I'm literally Sigourney Weaver in Alien. Nice to meet you.
And how is this torso-dweller meant to breathe when they're floating around in fluid inside me? (I mean, really. Read that sentence again and argue with me.) Fluid, by the way, which they ingest and secrete constantly for months. No offence kid, but that's minging. Oh they can breathe underwater? That'll be handy after they're born... What do you mean that only works in there? Make it make sense! And aren't they starving? Oh, I see. I grew another organ to feed them. Ok grand yeah, that sounds like an absolutely normal thing to do. Cool. Good chat.
It really is amazing. Like, mind-blowingly amazing. Science literally changes our physicality, like we're some sort of morphing supervillains, so that we can make other people. Presumably then, it also invented a really clever and straightforward way for this human to come out? ...I mean, REALLY? Talk about what goes up, must come down. Was there NO other way? Why do I feel like science as an entire concept is definitely male? Surely at this stage we should have evolved to have a handy flap on our sides that pops open when the baby's ready? No no, you have to squeeze it out a tiny hole that's realistically not fit for purpose. Oh and P.S., it's probably going to be agony.
Why is this ok? Oh, it's NATURE? Get the first boat available. It's not ok. I'll never be ok with the fact that the aliens exit via the vagina. Or as I've decided to call it henceforth, my gift shop.
Honestly, what's wrong with you people?
As you may be able to tell at this point, the concept of labour itself is absolutely wild to me. But the things that happen during it are nothing short of batsh*t crazy. For example, I had something called a Fetal Scalp Ph Test, during the birth of my son. Sound ok? This is how the conversation went, roughly translated into layman's terms.
Them: "Hi Laura, we're going to stick something up you and scrape a bit of your baby's head off so we can examine it and tell how much oxygen is in his blood. That ok?"
Me: "Sounds fabulous."
Them: "This will tell us whether we're still going to pull him out of your vagina or pop him out through a hole you don't have yet in your abdomen."
Me: "Deadly, thanks. Absolutely living for it."
As it turns out, they went with the new hole option. The blood oxygen wasn't oxygeny enough, it seems and there was something else about me having a 'tight pelvic structure'. (Putting that on my Tinder profile immediately.)
On that, and not to scare anyone, but can we take a moment to talk about C-sections? Even on TV when you see them making the incision, they cut through one little layer of skin. Something I hadn't really given too much thought to, was that my kid wasn't sitting behind a little layer of skin like, 'hey take me out now!' They cut through six or seven various muscle and skin layers before they even get to the uterus. And then they just sew you back up like you're some sort of life-giving couch.
And the weirdest part? It was fine. No, really. I was fine. In spite of it all, it was fine. Not everyone is fine, but most people are.
In short, birth is bananas. The whole damn thing. And if I thought it was shocking at the time, it's even weirder to me now when I look at my two-year-old son. I sometimes stare at him and think, I made you. I made a human being. I wasn't even good at art in school.
All I'm saying is, it's about time we all admitted just how f***ed up this is.