I'm not gonna lie, childbirth can really suck. Hours of intense pain, fear, hormones, little sleep, contractions and much more can make what's an empowering and exciting time, still kind of the worst. So, there are quite a few inappropriate things every mom wants to say during labor and delivery, but doesn't.
I had two super-long back labors with my babies, followed by beautiful epidurals and relatively uneventful vaginal deliveries. During my first labor, my then husband snored the whole night, startling me awake whenever I managed drift to sleep despite intense contractions. The second time, I had to be induced for preeclampsia. My now ex-husband ate a full breakfast in front of me, while my midwife was breaking my water and right after I was told that I wouldn't be allowed to eat until after the baby was born. Jerk.
And there were times when my nurses and nurse midwives gave me what seemed like pretty unhelpful encouragement and advice that completely rubbed me the wrong way. I was too caught up in the moment to really stand up for myself and make my needs known (or to tell them to shut up). Looking back, there were so many inappropriate things I wanted to say. Should I have said them? Probably not, but it would have been very satisfying.
"You Did This To Me"
Of course I know that it takes two to tango. However, during hour 12 of the worst back labor imaginable — while my annoying, now ex-husband was snoring, eating smelly food, and demanding I watch the movie he wanted to watch on Netflix — I blamed him. It was all his fault and totally not fair that he didn't have to suffer the pain I was feeling. My desire for a child seemed secondary to my desire to make him suffer forever.
Lucky for him, the happy birth hormones soon kicked in and the aforementioned feelings vanished until the second time around. Someday, I genuinely hope someone hooks him up to a labor pain generator, even if it's just for a short time. I 24 hours should do it.
"Give Me The Meds, Or I Will Kill You!"
Like many women, I decided to try to deliver my first baby with no pain meds and no epidural. I bought into the ideal that this would make me a birth goddess (spoiler alert: all laboring moms are goddesses, no matter how they give birth).
A few hours later I had gone 24 hours without any sleep and was experiencing intense back pain, and none of my carefully studied and practiced pain management techniques were working. But, despite all of that, I still felt weird asking for meds. It wasn't until my pain was so bad that I could barely speak that I whispered, "Is it too late for an epidural?"
I ended up proposing to my anesthesiologist which was a bit inappropriate, as she was a married woman.
"I'm Never Having Sex Again"
Along with blaming my ex and his penis for labor, I also vowed never to do it again. And by "it," I mean "have sex with a penis." I was done with this nonsense. I could live without hetero sex. It was totally doable.
Of course, again, the baby hormones (and later the ovulation hormones), would inevitably made me eat my own words.
"I Need My Mommy"
At one point during labor, I regressed to the point that all I wanted was my mom to hold me, touch my cheek and tell me it was going to be over soon. I didn't regress to the point where I let everyone know that I felt like a little girl, though. That would have ruined my badass birthing mama street credit I was working tirelessly to establish.
Every Swear Word She Knows
I really tried not to swear during labor. I normally swear like a sailor, but I didn't want to make anyone uncomfortable or scare the other moms. After all, it was all my husband's fault. The nurses weren't to blame.
My attempts to be nice were thwarted by a bad contraction that made me scream out the "F word," repeatedly. By then, I had lost all shame.
"I Think I Just Pooped"
Pooping on the table was an intense fear of mine, compounded by the experience of labor, which at many times felt like I was going to take or had taken the biggest crap of my life.
Fortunately, I did not poop on the table. There's always next time, though.
"You Want Me To Do What?"
The nurses asked me to do so many things during labor and delivery that were hard, weird, and seemingly impossible. Lunge down the hallway? Let out a primal scream? Put your leg on my shoulder? You want me to do what? Huh?
Of course, despite my reluctance, I followed their directions as best as I could and more often than not, I was glad I did.
"Well, Then You Push"
Seriously. I got so angry at being told to not push, and then push, and then push gently but not too hard. Holy mother of babies, it made me mad. I trusted my providers and tried to follow their instructions but seriously, at times I wanted to get off the table and tell them to stuff it.
Thankfully, my epidurals and the babies crowning between my legs made stomping out of the room like a petulant child impossible. And my awesome labor and delivery support staff really did know what they were doing.
"I Can't Do This"
I felt panic, and I felt fear, and at times I felt like I couldn't go on and that I was going to die or not be able to give birth. Labor is hard. The desire to scream out, "I can't do this," is so intense.
In the end, I could actually do it and even if things got impossible to handle, I was at a hospital capable of seeing me and my babies through the process.
"Baby, You'd Better Be Cute"
Of course they were (and are) beautiful, and I fell in love with my babies as soon as they were placed in my arms. Of course, they were (and are) totally worth it.
However, there are times when I think about reminding them what I went through to bring them into this world (generally when they are throwing tantrums at the store). Instead, I smile and try not to think about next time. I wonder if I can get an epidural now?