Speak Up

I don't know. I might have mentioned this once or twice recently. I'm pregnant.

I've been thinking about giving birth times 1 and 2 and how that all happened.

I've thinking about birth plans and hopes and dreams and all that stuff.

I've spoken before about how how my control freakery contrasts with a desire for an unmedicated, natural birth. I think I'm probably pretty normal in that respect. The scariest thing about giving birth for me was being scared of giving birth. It's scary. It's messy and it's at least in parts going to be painful. A bit like life itself then.

I was worried about losing control about being out of control and let's call a spade a spade making a tit of myself when it all got too much. I didn't want to embarrass myself or my husband or anyone else who happened to be around. Which is ironic because as I discovered quite quickly none of the health professionals who are likely to be around when you are giving birth are remotely surprised by anything you can do or say, they have quite literally seen and heard it all before.

It was sort of like an out of body experience when I was in active labour. I could hear the noises I was making, obviously, but I couldn't quite believe they were coming out of me. They sounded animal like and when they came out of me I felt transparent. Like my very soul was visible and the pain and fear I was on full show. Whoah, even reading that back was a bit intense.

Giving birth is intense. It's liberating and empowering and you literally turn yourself inside out in order that you can give your child safe passage into the world. I asked Greig if I was scary in labour or if I made him feel uncomfortable. He said I didn't, that he knew I was there but not there and that it was just my way of coping. I was surprised at how 'altered' I felt during and after the birth. Like I was slipping in and out of some other state. I'm aware of how bizarre that sounds.

And it made me wonder if sometimes women feel they shouldn't be transparent giving birth. They shouldn't make strange, animal noises which might shock others. They shouldn't cry or swear and do whatever is necessary to get it done. I hope no woman feels that they should quieten down or give birth neatly or tidily or with less fuss. I hope you speak up and say what you need to say, whether that be actual words or just a strange mooing/baaing/shrieking hybrid (just me then?).