Show me a woman who’s gone through childbirth and I’ll show you a woman who has shed most of her inhibitions. Particularly if she gave birth (as I did, a couple of times) at a teaching hospital.
By the time they ask if you if you mind 14 or so medical students joining you to witness the miracle of childbirth – if you’re like me – you’re already drugged up and ready to agree to do anything that doesn’t involve having to not push for one second longer. Sure have a look! In fact, come back in a few hours and take a good gander at those stitches if you want to as well.
I’ve discovered that this release of previously held inhibitions regarding your body, your private parts, hell, even your bodily functions (all revealed in an spectacularly unattractive pose with the most unflattering lighting), leads to a new path of being uninhibited in many other areas of your life. Perhaps it’s nature’s way of allowing new Moms the ability to discuss their own horrific labour and delivery story, (which we mistakenly believe everyone wants to hear. Let the postal carrier finish his round!). Every Mom has her own personal expiry date on her own labour and delivery story; for some it’s after that first post-natal get together with the Lamaze Class while others can point to their daughter in the Grade four line- up and recall with great clarity how awful back labour felt. Moms need to discuss these things. It’s almost impossible to stop discussing these things.
Another inhibition which seems to get purged with childbirth is discussing the number of times you have – or don’t have – sex, afterwards. It seems once we’ve shown a good number of people our nether regions, we can’t wait to share what these same body parts get up to afterwards, as well. Other things women readily discuss include: details of their baby’s latest bowel movement; engorged nipples; a blow-by-blow account of a painful period and the ruined clothes it left in its wake; how our once plump breastfeeding boobs now resemble “tennis balls in socks”; and the amount of muffin top overhang we now have (this is best done with a live demo).
Do intelligent women really need to have these discussions? I’m thinking of starting to lobby the pharmaceutical industry for a miracle drug that will not only erase the memory of childbirth, but will seal off that part of our brain which is dying to release any information which elicits an “ewwww” response.
The irony, of course, is that there are still taboo subjects women will not willingly jump into, which include: pant size, household income, the real number of times we wash our sheets per week (month?), what we really think of each other’s advice on how to discipline our children, and our actual commute time or body weight. That’s okay…we’re still ahead of the fellas. They still haven’t been able to talk about our childbirth experience with their friends. And they have no idea how often we wash the sheets.
Read Funny Mummy every month. Visit Kathy’s blog by following the links from www.kathybuckworth.com. Kathy’s latest book, “Journey to the Darkside: Supermom Goes Home” is available in bookstores everywhere.