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Things I learnt about giving birth

Fate has a dark sense of humour, and she is not to be tempted. Put a haircut and afternoon tea at Claridge's in the diary, and Fate'll guarantee your little darling arrives a week early (what's that about first ones always being late?). The night before you go into labour, watch Lyanna Stark haemorrhage and die after childbirth before turning to your husband, telling him not to let that happen to you and, well... she'll do her best.

The whole thing is a surreally out of body experience. I can recommend having a few contractions in the confectionary aisle of your local supermarket to really liven up a Monday morning. Side note: if you can't stomach actual food while you're vomiting your way through labour at home, a few periodic handfuls of Haribo work a treat.

Until it's very much an in-body experience. And then it hurts. Dur. And not just in the ways you're fearfully expecting. There's the inability to lay on your back for overwhelming, daggers-like agony. The cracking sensations through the hips as your pelvis comes apart. The weirdly inappropriate leg cramp. The resulting carpal tunnel in the wrists. And that's on top of you know, pushing a human out of your bits. Oh, your poor bits.

There's such a thing as too much information. Knowing just how the nice consultant performed your emergency procedure will leave you feeling like nothing so much as a veterinary patient, rather than a (supremely battered and bruised) human one. And definitely don't make manic, panicked pre-anaesthetic small talk about the drinking habits of university medics.

Creativity is key. You've not known relief until you've come face to face with a nurse brandishing a surgical glove filled to the fingertips with ice chips and wrapped in a pillowcase - iterations of which you spend the next week, er, sitting on.

Give in to your vanity. End up enjoying the hospitality of the NHS for a prolonged period post birth and you'll be unreasonably glad of pedicured toes when you spend hours staring at them out of sexy compression socks, and you'll thank the Instagods you had the foresight to have your eyelashes tinted when the visiting family and friends point cameras as your anaemically wan face.

But say goodbye to your dignity. At this point, I've lost track of the number of people who've peered at my stitched-up bits, held conversations about medical treatment whilst I've been hooked up to the human equivalent of a milking machine, and the less said about water births, the better.

There's bugger all point in planning. You can do everything in your power to make sure your new sprog won't suffer side effects of hospital grade pain relief and choose not to do anything that might hinder early breastfeeding efforts... See 1.

Sit gently, even on the softest of furnishings. Be kind to yourself.

Whatever you do, don't get too close to the business end and its stitches for some time to come. Trust me on this.

This post first appeared on Against Her Better Judgment, please read the originial post: here

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Things I learnt about giving birth


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