AJ and I watched a tv episode last night where one of the main characters has a baby.Can we all just stop and agree here that Hollywood consistently misinforms us about pretty much everything?
I mean really.
With that in mind,
The Top Ten Hollywood Lies About Childbirth
- Everyone screams their heads off. Okay, so it’s not a silent process by any means, but open-mouth screaming? Hollywood: lots of screaming/swear words/calling random people horrible names. Reality: mostly just lots of strange noises you normally wouldn’t be caught dead making.
- Labor starts with your water breaking all over the floor. Hollywood: your water breaks in the middle of the mall or during a conversation that is pivotal to the plot. Reality: you’re in your hospital bed in the throes of active labor when you discover to your shock and horror that you are suddenly peeing all over your doctor. Fewer than 15% of women have their water break before labor.
- Labor starts suddenly. Hollywood: one minute you’re carrying on a conversation and the next minute you’re grabbing your belly and yelling in pain and surprise. Reality: You start feeling funny which progresses to uncomfortable cramping and finally to actual labor.
- As soon as the baby is born everything is finished. Hollywood: after a perfunctory glance from the doctor, they hand you your smiling newborn and you all just look at the baby and stroke their cheek while the room floods with family and friends. Reality: Au contraire my friends. First, you still have to deliver the placenta, which can be surprisingly unfun. Then, there’s usually a brusque nurse with the forearms of a body-builder kneading your abdomen to help your uterus contract and slow down bleeding while you whimper in pain, someone has their arm inside you up to the elbow while they check to make sure everything came out okay, and there may or may not be stitches involved. Next comes your giant mesh underwear and a bag of ice to…ice things.
- Newborns always look perfect. Hollywood: the doctor hands you a snuggly little dolly-faced baby approximately two months old. Reality: This is only slightly true if you have a baby delivered via c-section. Otherwise, expect your baby to look as bad as you would expect someone who just spent several very uncomfortable hours being squished and forcibly pushed out of something that is technically a billion percent too small. “Honey, you just gave birth to…a lizard”.
- Your baby-daddy becomes more baby than daddy. Hollywood: He runs around panicking because he can’t remember where the keys are or if you even own a car to begin with. Reality: most men are pretty nervous and excited, but since beginning labor can take a while, they usually have a solid chance to stay calm and get everything taken care of.
- Labor is excruciating. Hollywood: you go to the hospital expecting to deliver naturally in a zen mood and end up bribing someone to get you an epidural sooner. Reality: Labor really does hurt a lot. It will probably hurt more than you expected it to, but it definitely won’t be as bad as you can imagine it could be. What, was that not comforting? Sorry.
- Labor is short. Hollywood: you rush to the hospital and after a few dramatic moments of orderlies running down the halls and doctors saying things like “Stat!” you are done. Reality: You get checked in and spend several hours at least, just trying to focus through contractions while your husband watches a fishing show and lovingly tries to distract you with random facts about boats.
- Recovery is fast and easy. Hollywood: usually this part gets skipped altogether. That doesn’t mean it isn’t hard. Reality: Sometimes, especially in the case of a c-section or a difficult birth, the recovery can be nearly as hard as the actual delivery. Oh, and do yourself a favor and eat some prunes. It’s just for fun.
- Storks do not deliver babies. Hollywood: They float down from a cloud with your perfect baby in a well-ventilated bag. Reality: Not only do you have to go through the process of building a person from scratch…inside your body, you also have the esteemed privilege of then pushing said baby out of the closest exit.