I’m going to tell you the story of my birth. Apparently talking about disappointing and traumatic things helps you let them go. Firstly, I saw no birth canal. This is of extreme disappointment to me. In hypnobirthing, the only thing the mums talked about for months was the birth canal and how they were going to just breathe us out of that canal. They’d all lie on the floor on puffy cushions with us all stuck up awkwardly in the air under giant stretchy pants and breathe and sigh and imagine us sliding down that birth canal as if we were a stick of butter and that canal was a hot stovepipe.
Scarlett told me they were all kidding themselves because we’re not butter, we’re babies and babies have skulls like basketballs, made out of cement. Scarlett knew everything there was to know about being born because she had an older sister who was in the womb-room before her and left the instruction manual behind. Scarlett said her sister got stuck in the canal and they had to send in a crane with a giant claw attached to pull her out, and her mum screamed and yelled instead of breathed and sighed and her sister came out looking like a squashed eggplant.
But I wasn’t scared of the crane with the claw, I still wanted to whiz down that big slide like a hot stick of butter. Mum and I imagined it all the time. She’d sit on the couch with cushions all around and put her hands on her big tummy and tell me what we were going to do when the time came for me to be in the big-girl-world. She said we were going to bounce on the ball and drink hot tea and dad would massage our back and there would be NO PAIN and we’d all smile and love each other and we’d do that until the very last minute before dad drove us sensibly to the hospital with our birth music on the CD player and mum doing soft breaths like a graceful deer giving birth in a field of flowers in a forest under a rainbow.
Except that didn’t happen. Nothing happened. We waited and waited and imagined and imagined and all that happened was Mum got fatter and fatter and I got bigger and bigger. And the fatter Mum got, the less serene she felt and the bigger I got, the smaller the womb-room was and I felt less like a hot stick of butter and more like a rhinoceros in a snuggie.
On day 41, Mum ate vindaloo and I hiccoughed for seven hours straight. On day 46, Mum ate jalapenos in raspberry swirl ice-cream and I kicked for Australia. On day 54, Mum got stuck on the couch and dad had to come home from work to rescue her. It was that day I decided that no matter what, I wasn’t coming out. I’m not sure what changed my mind, maybe it was being stuck on the couch watching TV and snacking from my food Bungee – it was comforting, you know?
Stay tuned for part two…