Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Thought on Birth; or, Wow, that must hurt like hell

No, I'm not talking about giving birth - though don't doubt for one second I'll be shouting at the top of everyone's lungs for an epidural (or 18) if I ever get pregnant. I'm talking about being birthed. 

While laying (or is it lying? I know, Pepe, I should know this) in bed last night, the beginning of the snore-a-thon starting up beside me (okay, Brad's not that bad, but he does snore off and on), I started to ponder how a baby must feel during the whole process. This is most likely on my mind b/c my cousin's wife had their first child yesterday - a little boy, as-yet unnamed, 4 weeks early (he's totally fine!), 5 lbs. 15 oz., 18" long - and of course one of my first questions to my mother was, "Was she in terrible pain?" 

But what about the poor little person who squeezed through an impossibly small space, his head doubtlessly being smashed on the way? Ow. And if his arm or leg got stuck here or there? That must hurt like a mother. I don't know much about the process of birth (read:  really anything at all about it) except that it's gooey, intense, and painful for the mom-to-be. I'm guessing, as well, that it's not super pleasant for the little one either. 

I posed this to my mother this morning. Her response:  "Well, we don't remember the pain, so . . . . " My response:  "Yeah, and when a two year old falls and hits her head, she doesn't remember it either. But she cries b/c it hurts pretty bad." There Mom had to agree. 

Another thing I don't know about is the whole why-babies-cry-when-they're-born thing. A few ideas come to mind: 
     - crying is what babies do 
     - the world is awfully cold/loud/bright (can they even see when they're first born?) 
     - they're hungry 
     - they miss their warm, snug womb 
     - they're already lamenting the fact that you can't pick your family 
I could go on and on, as I am wont to do. BUT, I'd like to suggest that maybe they're crying b/c they hurt! 

I'm sure countless people out there who are more informed than I on this topic (this is likely about 89% of the population) can explain to me all the ways in which I am wrong. That's par for the course. But since no one can prove my hypothesis wrong (I believe my theory professor called this nondisconfirmability), I'm sticking with it. 

And I just have to say, it's a sucky thought that we enter the world in pain. But - and to think that Brad calls me a pessimist! - if things start out that lousy, at least there's a good chance they're going to improve.


  1. I had a front row seat, when my son entered the world. Honestly, neither of the two parties involved appeared to be in any pain. In fact, my wife said it wasn’t as bad as she’d been warned by other mothers with children. My wife’s female organ, however, looked as though it might have suffered a bit of pain. But, as far as the two human beings suffering during birth, I’d have to answer no.

  2. Damn it woman, you're bumming me out!!! It's child birth, it's suppose to be a happy occasion. Don't make me think about it.

    Too late, now I'm thinking about it. Were my kids hurt by it? Should I apologize to them or just blame it on their mother?

    See what you started?

  3. Yeah, go ahead and blame it on their mom - if she's anything like me, she wouldn't hesitate to blame it on you. All's fair in love and childbirth-pain-blame. Or something.

  4. The fact that you wrote "female organ" is enough to make having written this post worth it.

  5. I would have written "her thing-a-ma-jiggie".

  6. I’m happy to read that you enjoyed my comments. True, I could've called it something else, but then it wouldn’t have been as entertaining a read, now would it?

    I remember phoning my mother several hours after my son was born; telling her that I had no idea the female body could manipulate itself in such a way.

    And another thing.... Take any sixteen year old hormone raged boy and have him witness childbirth, up closer and personal. It is one of the best ways to ensure teenage boys don’t go poking their “business” into someone else’s “business” any time soon. They won’t ever look at a girl in quite the same way for a long, long time.

  7. Diplo, this is too funny! And now we've got "female organ," "her thing-a-ma-jiggie," and "business." I'd like to submit "personal area" as another enjoyable euphemism.