I’ve been thinking about writing this for years. Literally years. I’m sure I’ll wind-up offending someone, but I gotta write it – so here goes.
We as the human race can all endure challenges and life changing events. Yet child birth is only available to women, and it creates a different being at the end. Caterpillars and butterflies come to mind automatically. One little being that goes away and comes back as something else. Its such a visual change that it’s hugely noticeable. It’s more subtle in women although if you look hard enough you can also see it.
I feel I’ve changed since I’ve become a mother. I think I’ve grown- up. You have to don’t you? You go from selfish to self-less. I don’t mean it negatively, you just have no option. When you have no kids you have time, you do what you want or fancy, you think about your contentment and prioritise yourself with your life, why wouldn’t you? With a kid you have no option. They’re there 24-7, never really leaving you. Despite how great some fathers are, the responsibility more often than not is still with the women to cut down her hours, to change her job, to pick up from nursery, to make sure home life is functioning well etc. As my mother-in-law once said to me, once you’ve had a kid you’re never really alone again. And I’d have to agree with her. But the changes come far earlier than that.
As a mum / mum-to-be, you have to make the decision whether or not you want to start a family. Once the male has done his job, whether you wanted him to or not – you then have to decide on what happens next. For some it’s abortion, for others it’s labour. Woohoo – our options are grrrreat. If you go ahead you have to come to terms with the fact that your body and your life are about to change. I remember having a freak-out at 11 weeks when I was preggers w Lo-Lo. CHILDBIRTH! In this modern day and age – did I really have to go through something so pre-historic and frankly, degrading? The process itself is not degrading but everyone feeling they have the right to have a look, a poke, a prod, legs a kimbo, is. There’s nothing nice about it. It happens so often of course that everyone becomes blasé about it. Even we as women become quite removed from it – it’s only a day or so, once in a blue moon, right? Once in a life time… or not at all, not really worth deliberating over. Yet no one talks about the miscarriages or the still births or the pressure of being able to reproduce, the pain of birth, the physical changes, not being able to do start jumps again, the emotional struggles, the guilt. No. It’s just ‘all such a wonderful amazing thing’ (incorporate perma-grin). Women have been doing it for years – you should be grateful!
No – you be grateful.
Our NCT lady said quite rightly – ‘its called labour for a reason’. If it were anything else other ‘natural’ and the ‘order of things’ it would be classed as massive bodily trauma. Women die in labour. Think about it this way, we have a lot of c-sections in this country. We don’t think about it as it is just one of our options when we give birth. But have a think about what it really means. If these women couldn’t have c-sections, if they also couldn’t give birth vaginally – what would be the alternative? There wouldn’t be one. Every mother who’s had a c-section is, in my eyes a mum or baby we came close to losing. My point? Childbirth is a massive thing that we have become desensitized over. And it’s exactly for these reasons that I think all mums are heros. It is through this massive milestone in their life that they really become something else. They go through their own unspoken wars and come out the other side. For me, despite all of this we still chose to continue the human race – that’s the amazing part. This is the metamorphosis of women. Happy impending Mothers Day to all. x