Friday, 21 June 2013

Lesson 1: The Birth (No Need To Cry)

After countless prep sessions watching One Born Every Minute, those ante-natal classes and three weeks obsessively 'nesting' I was prepared. Hospital bag packed, un-packed and then re-packed (they said I needed two packs of maternity towels - that couldn't be right, surely) and the freezer stocked with meals I had spent ages preparing but we would never eat, I waited.

When I went into labour (picture a whale trying to have a relaxing bath and lots of exercise ball bouncing whilst my husband timed my contractions on his Birthing App - seriously they have an app for everything nowadays) I was feeling quite optimistic. I think it is important to let you know from the outset that I have never been a very broody person, so I was looking forward to the moment I would first see my baby and that natural maternal instinct would 'kick-in' following the experience of bringing life into the world.
It was quite an amazing experience, and woman to woman I am not lying when I tell you it really wasn't as bad as I had expected, but I couldn't help but feel guilty that the often talked about 'sudden rush of love' didn't hit me in the way I was expecting. Don't get me wrong, it is a remarkable process and delivering a healthy baby (we had a boy) after all that anticipation is such a relief. But that was just it; above all possible emotions I was hit solely with an enormous wave of relief. I had seen every OBEM episode going and it is an absolute given that the new parents always cry. Always. And believe me I am a cryer - I've been known to cry at property programmes and Jeremy Kyle. We had even joked about waterproof mascara. 

No prizes for guessing then that I didn't cry. That's right - not a single tear was shed between my husband and I at the birth of our son. It was more of a happy High Five moment, or would have been had both my hands not been attached to a drip of some description. My husband dressed the baby in one of the outfits we had lovingly packed and it was far too big, I was a pretty cross at our wasted effort choosing new clothes and he ended up in a second hand newborn outfit that had shrunk in the wash. It was all quite functional. Kind of how I'd imagine the launch of a product to be after you've designed it and taken delivery but then have teething problems to address.

I want to make it clear that post-labour I was not depressed, or tanked up with painkillers, or experiencing some kind of delayed euphoric reaction. And we were happy that the newest member of  our family had arrived safely - he was gorgeous! 

I was simply underwhelmed by the process in comparison to the picture that I had bought into through witnessing endless emotional labour scenes in films and on TV.

Lesson 1: labour will undoubtedly be one of the most important things you will ever do, but it may not match up to the general expectation and (shock horror) you may not cry - it should be okay to admit as much.

The Unmumsy Mum


  1. I have just come to your blog via Facebook and I wanted to say it's spot on. Exactly the birth I had with the non-rush of love. I'm reading out blog posts to girls at work (all childless) and none of them get it - you are spot on. Hysterical. These should all be published in a book!

  2. Bloody love your blog!
    I too came across it via Facebook and spend most evenings laughing out loud and having to read said exert that made me laugh, out to the husband. Which of course he then laughs too.
    I was interested to read the first post and I'm so glad I took the time too. We were exactly the same, not a tear, not a one! Yay! We're not the only ones, so now I don't feel weird.
    In fact I passed the boy to the Husband within minutes as I felt really unwell and was overwhelmed with a fear that I was going to vomit on said new child's head! At least I was thinking about his wellbeing!
    Thanks for making me realise that actually doing OK at being a mom xxx


  3. Thank you. Just thank you. X

  4. Just finished reading all your posts. What an amazing blog. I was pissing myself laughing (into my pillow so as not to wake the baby!) Looking forward to this blog keeping me company as I continue to juggle a 3 year old and 7 month old. Keep up the great work!

  5. came across your page a couple of days ago and i had to have a look at your blog......and i just want to say my labour was the same, i keep telling my other half i wish i could go through the labour again, i felt empowered but there was no tears from either of us, there was a swift fist bump and him saying he was proud of me, and he then dressed her in something that was waay too big for her while the midwives finished dealing with me, my little girl is now 7 weeks and the tears are here, generally when its 11pm and she just will not go to sleep!! and those tears are both mine and hers, but now i have your blog/page i will have something to laugh at between feeds :)

  6. I too have just read your entire back catalogue in two days - I wish it had been around 8 years ago when I was the one feeling a freak! 2 years ago my best friend had just had her daughter and we went for a coffee. She nervously said she was finding it a bit hard and wanted my advice. I told her that unfortunately it was going to be a bit shit for aaaaaages but not all the time. She burst into tears at relief she wasn't going mental. She introduced me to your blog and I would just like to say thank you for making everyone feel a bit less mental!

  7. I LOVE this. Everyone around me cried at each of my kids' births, apart from me. I just wanted a shower and a cuppa. My husband cried *as* our first child was being born, because he didn't know that the head comes out a few min before the rest of the body, and he thought it was just a head. Seriously.

    1. nothing I've read has ever made me laugh as much as this comment :')