Like about 2 billion other women I sat fuming at Denis Walsh’s notion that pain in childbirth is a good thing and helps (oh God here we go again) the ‘bonding experience.’ More guilt mongering cock. I have every respect for natural childbirth – having had an epidural that didn’t fucking work and thus having it forced on me. Did I feel more bonded? Nope. Just stunned relief she was out. I remember the Nigerian midwife yanking out the Girl in a flood of lubricating jelly and gunge while I sat, sweat dripping onto the bed. She asked me if I wanted to hold the baby and I shook my head vigorously. Because I wanted just a few seconds to catch my breath and get my body back. Husband held her while I sat crumpled, head spinning.
Here’s the thing. I knew I wasn’t in danger. I’d already had a baby so I also sort of knew what to expect. I did my breathing. Husband reminded me to breathe in fact (and was rewarded by a spurt of language a Docker would have blushed at). And I tried to think of the word ‘sensation’ instead of ‘pain’. And you know what? If someone had offered me a bullet at one point I would have taken it. Good on you if you want to have a drug free birth. But if you’re a man do not make moral pronouncements on a pain you will never experience. Not unless you’ve inserted a golfing umbrella up your arse, opened it and pushed it out again.