Monday, 11 November 2013

My Top 5 Mortifying Bits of Pregnancy and Birth

Everyone who's given birth tells pregnant women that by the time you  push your baby out, you no longer care who sees what because your dignity is long gone.  Well, mine had disappeared into the sunset well before I even got pregnant.  I had terrible endometriosis in my 20s (think this is coming back again actually but am doing the mental equivalent of putting my fingers in my ears and shouting "LALALALALA" in the hopes that it might quietly disappear) and was well used to gynaecologists, surgeons, nurses and doctors poking about in my nether regions with a torch.  You couldn't phase me with talk of dildo-cam scans and membrane sweeps.

But it turned out that pregnancy related humiliation lurked in the most unlikely of places.  Here are my top 5:

You might want some backing music for the countdown:


5. Having an enormous, screaming contraction at a red light on the way to the hospital.  All I remember (apart from seemingly unending agony, obviously), is the horror of the driver in the car next to us whose view was of me with my face pressed against the window, mouth twisted into a silent scream as I clawed against the glass with my fingernails and Richard tried frantically to make "it's OK, I'm not killing her, she's in labour" gestures at him (quite difficult to put across in mime, as it happens).

4. I hemorrhaged quite badly after having Rory, although wasn't aware of it at the time as I was so out of it.  Possibly because half my blood was on the floor, now I mention it.  Several hours later, I was lying in a hospital bed looking the colour of porridge and feeling like complete shit.  My parents were visiting and as my epidural had worn off, I thought I'd better attempt to get up and go to the toilet while there were people there to help me stand.  I stood up, immediately felt like I was going to fade away there and then, but before I could get back on the bed, something akin to a waterfall of blood spurted out of me and all over the floor.  "Um, Rich, could you pass me a baby wipe? Only there's a bit of blood on the floor" I said, in a far away voice, despite the fact that I was actually paddling in the stuff.  My dad went green.  Bleeding profusely and uncontrollably from the vagina in front of your father: the wonders of childbirth.  "Nurse to bay 5 please.  One with a big mop and bucket, if you will."

3. Approximately 3 or 4 weeks into starting my new job, I had to have this conversation with my boss:

"So, turns out I'm pregnant.  Hahahaha.  That was unexpected, right?  Wasn't supposed to be able to do that, you know.  Anyway, it doesn't matter because I've been told by my specialist that I won't be able to carry a baby past 12 weeks, and I'll probably miscarry a lot sooner than that actually, so if you'll just be aware that I might need to leave work in a hurry at some point over the next few weeks and then I'll need a couple of days off after the miscarriage..."

About 10 weeks later, after being in and out of hospital with bleeding, off work for emergency scans and spending most of the time that I was actually in work retching into a carrier bag in my cupboard, I then had to have the following conversation:

"OK, I've got past 12 weeks.  Who knew that could happen, eh?  So, um, looks like I might be needing some of that maternity pay stuff at some point"...*retch*...*heave*..."sorry about that..."

Never have I been less popular at work.

2. I had all day sickness throughout my whole pregnancy.  I'm severely emetophobic, so managed to suppress actual vomiting, but would have attacks of violent retching with little warning.  Chain eating Jaffa Cakes seemed to help, so I carried them about with me wherever I went.  One day near Christmas, I'd been to the doctors to beg for medication to ease the nausea because I felt so awful.  I'd turned up at the surgery looking like a sweaty, wild eyed, mad haired, grey skinned, skinny wreck and had been rewarded with some Avomine tablets, which I clutched desperately in my hand as I raced home feeling appalling.  Just minutes away from my front door I started to feel deathly sick.   I stuffed a Jaffa Cake in my mouth.  Before I'd even swallowed it, I'd got another one in there, then another - this was a desperate situation.  I got to a van with a man in it, who was eating a tuna sandwich for his lunch, and the smell pushed me over the edge.  I gave a massive  heave and sprayed his van with bits of chewed up Jaffa Cake, before dropping onto my knees and retching violently into the bushes for a good few minutes.  Still no vomit, but the sight and sound of me probably put him right off his packet of Chipsticks.  I eventually stood up, soggy and muddy because I'd knelt in a puddle, eyes watering profusely, and felt I owed him an explanation, but couldn't find the words ("Sorry, I'm pregnant" would have sufficed, surely?) The best I could do was to mutter "I'm not drunk", before I staggered off down the road, swaying and fumbling for my Jaffa Cakes.  The shame.

1. It was midwife appointment time: One of those boring ones in the middle where they check your blood pressure and your urine and nothing much else happens.  I got my urine sample pot out of my bag and unscrewed the top, as requested by the midwife.  She then went to take it from me, but slipped and knocked my hand upwards.  Both urine sample pot and the contents therein flew up in the air and the walls, the floor the desk, the midwife, my husband and I were all covered in piss.  Time stood still as we all looked at each other in poorly disguised horror.  I wiped a bit of wee off of my mouth.  Awkward.  I wasn't really sure of the required etiquette for such a situation.  It was my urine after all - should I offer to clean it up?  But then again, it was the midwife's fault and her room, so maybe her responsibility?  In the end, she took charge and cleaned it up, while Rich and I sat there in mortified silence, until I broke it with "I bet that happens to you all the time, doesn't it?"  "No," she replied. "NO."  Oh. 


Do not be fooled.  Inside this mild mannered looking pregnant lady lurks a screaming, bleeding, Jaffa Cake vomiting, piss sprinkling employee in disgrace.


22 comments:

  1. My first pregnancy went on uneventful, but I had 2 memorable moments during the second one. My nausea tended to grow during the day and one day I went to the pub with friends when I stepped outside to get some fresh air and puked in front of a row of pub employees who just happened to be having their cigarette break there. They obviously thought the drinks didn't agree with my stomach, but imagine their surprise when a moment later they saw me I pick my hubby and my friends and drive away.
    The second moment was when I was actually in the last stages of my labour, giving one of the final pushes and suddenly, in the other end of the room I saw one of the medicine students, who were supposed to watch and learn, turn suspiciously green on the face and pass out.

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    1. I want to know what exactly pushed him over the edge into unconsciousness? What was coming out of you apart from a baby?

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    2. hahaha, I think he simply realized what real labour is

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  2. Number 1 is truly outstanding. I've enjoyed a good laugh with that one...and am still sniggering ! Thanks for sharing your misfortune ...cheered my Monday right up !

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  3. I agree, laughed out loud at number 1! Fantastic!
    I remember when I was in labour with dd1, finally getting hooked up with some gas and air. I went to town on that thing, and got just a touch carried away. I can remember telling dp that I could see a rugby player, running on the spot and taking layers off himself. Not layers of clothes, layers of person. Then I threw up.

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    1. As one would under the circumstances.

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  4. Awesome. Just awesome!
    Silly midwife should have undone the pot herself. Over the sink.

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    1. She so should. I've thought this lots ever since.

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  5. Thank you so much for that I am having a rotten day and that has made me laugh so much! Thanks :)

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  6. Absolutely hilarious. Loving the jaffa cake spray story.

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  7. "Do not be fooled. Inside this mild mannered looking pregnant lady lurks a screaming, bleeding, Jaffa Cake vomiting, piss sprinkling employee in disgrace"

    Ahahahaha (reading this makes me wish id done more pelvic floors in pregnancy)

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    1. Nobody REALLY does their pelvic floor exercises, do they? (DO THEY?)

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  8. God it's so primal child birth innit. your chunder story is my fav. I opted for a c sectionfor my third child. Thought the recovery would be nicer. Just wasn't expecting blood to pool under the scar. Gave new meaning to the term black box. Freaky.

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    1. Nooo, don't be saying things like that! I've been telling myself that if I ever cave in and have another (which I won't), I'll be offered a c-section as my frist birth was quite traumatic. That sounds...interesting.

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    2. I would say I love this post, but not sure if that's the right way to put it... one thing is for sure, I think this post would be fantastically useful for a contraception / birds and bees talk for school kids!! #MBPW

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    3. I'm available for sex education classes at a reasonable rate. See those teen pregnancy rates plummet.

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  9. Loved this post - sharing the truth makes everything seem a lot more bearable (and funny/enjoyable!!) www.themumdiaries.com

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  10. Brilliant! Great read for a Friday!

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  11. Everyone has a labour story, it's a wonder that some of us do it more than once. My waters broke in Matalan of all places but my labour still took 71 hours ending in an emergency c-section. But the worst bit for me was having heartburn and then the gaviscon made me spew. As I was connected up to a monitor and a drip I couldn't make a dash for the toilet. Spent the next 24 hours wearing a bra full of vomit as my husband couldn't understand my mime for ' get me a bucket' and I just had to spit it down me to yell at him!

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