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8 Times Birth Was a Little Too Real

Photograph by Twenty20

There are few things in life quite so humbling as pregnancy and childbirth. All of your vanity basically goes out the window and is swapped out for "whatever works." You stop caring about what other people think of you pretty quickly when you're in survival—a.k.a. "Get This Baby Out of Me"—mode.

Even though I had read about how primal birth could be, I have to admit that it still took me a bit by surprise at just how "real" things got at certain points. All predisposed notions of that storybook birth... yeah, those were gone real fast.

So after some thought, I decided to compile a list of all the times that pregnancy and birth were just a little too real.

1. Reading the fine print on the water birth supply list

"What would I need a goldfish net for?" I'll give you one guess and a hint: it ain't for goldfish. Just imagining my midwives using this pet store purchased accoutrement to procure "floaters" during labor was enough to make me turn 50 shades of red. Luckily, it wasn't as mortifying as I had anticipated. Still mortifying, but I didn't actually die like I imagined in my head, so that was a plus.

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2. When you catch sight of the postpartum pads and underwear

You wonder how that thing can possibly be a pad. It much more closely resembles a couch cushion. And those hot pants made out of medical guaze? How are those even underwear?! And I'm supposed to wear these?!

3. When the entire fleet of med students enters the room

"Oh, hey! Yes, that's just me and my vajajay. Nice to meet you. Usually I would make you at least buy me a drink first before letting you see my nether regions, but I'm trying to push a baby out right now, so I'm sure you understand."

I mean, I suppose that somewhere in the back of my mind I knew that my placenta would have to come out somehow...

4. The primal sounds

Birth is primal. Like, SO primal. And apparently so are the noises one makes while trying to push a baby out of their lady bits. In the midst of trying to cope with the pain of childbirth, I let out some pretty... ummm... interesting noises. Mooing like a cow and groaning like I was dying were just a couple of the interesting sounds that came out of me.

5. When the birth team said you were at 10 centimeters

Before you reach 10 centimeters of cervical dilation, everything is just a theory. In theory, you are going to have to get a baby to come out from your womb and into the world, but until that time you can live in a naive, little cocoon of ignorant bliss. But when you hear that you are fully dilated, you know what has to come next. Pushing. Insert "Please, Dear God, No!!!! emoji here.

6. Three words: Ring. Of. Fire.

I mean, do I even have to say anything else about this? I honestly can't even talk about it, without having PTSD-esque flashbacks. Way too much realness.

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7. Birthing the placenta

I mean, I suppose that somewhere in the back of my mind I knew that my placenta would have to come out somehow, but I never really realized that I would have to push it out of a busted up vagina right after being completely torn up from the magic of childbirth. That was a fun time.

8. The part where you realize you're actually a parent

Realizing that this human you carried in your body for nine months is now yours to care for and their well-being and future are in the palm of your hand, is pretty insane. If you thought birth was real, then just wait for parenting. It's about to get real on a whole new level.

(Note: I have not had a c-section, so I'm sure there are plenty of those super real moments I'm missing here. Feel free to share them with me in the comments!)

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