A Hole in One

Whoa!  I’ve heard a thousand bollocky statements about parenting since Kraken Junior landed with a splat on the delivery table. I’d name most of them but it’s just easier to suggest you read any of the shit written by Gina Ford instead. However there is one that makes me weep tears of spinal fluid because it is the most bollocky of all: that mothers always forget the pain of childbirth.

You have got to me shitting me. Forget the pain of childbirth? That’s like asking a woman to forget the time she was tied to a cattle grid and run over by the National Express coach to Aberdeen while it was being driven by sneering goblins drunk on out-of-date absinthe.

Seriously, for me to forget the pain of childbirth you’d have to lobotomise me with a combine harvester. Every single day of my life I am grateful that I do not have my legs strapped into stirrups while a whole human being rips me apart from the inside. I’m also grateful that never again will my minge explode over a midwife’s uniform while I tell her to go fuck herself for telling to me to push.

See, for me, the pain of childbirth is exactly why I am never, ever having another child. I thought I knew what pain was until a freshly-grown cranium emerged from my conjugal nook. No. I did not. From the moment I started to push I thought that some medical freakery or other had left me pregnant with a Winnebago and a foof so small that it had its own atomic number. And that’s glamorising it. I can tell you now that taking two shits into the midwife’s hands and screaming like a lacerated donkey didn’t do much to add levity to the proceedings either. Nor did my loud and enduring statement that “the fucking thing is ripping me in half!”.

You know,  I’m pretty sure that ‘fuck’ was the first word that Kraken Junior ever heard. Or perhaps it was barely audible over the giant sucking sound that heralded her arrival betwixt my shaking legs. In fact when she was slopped onto my chest I recall wondering what in the fuck a baby was doing there because I’d been expecting a small shed.

So how any woman goes on to reproduce more than once is so far beyond my comprehension that I can only conclude that I am missing some vital maternal ingredient. Perhaps I was born without that portion of the brain that erases vaginally devastating experiences. I suspect that if you were to scan my brain there’d be a little black hole where most ordinary women have a little reset button so that once a baby is out they can wipe everything except the foofly scar tissue and go do it all again.

Course, it didn’t help that I actually had post traumatic stress disorder in the months following the birth.  In fact every time I took a shit I’d get flashbacks and break out in the sort of sweat reserved for people facing firing squads. On one occasion I merrily entered the downstairs toilet for a swift plop and exploded back out through the door like Indiana Jones being chased by that bastard great boulder.

So no, this mother won’t ever forget the pain of childbirth. In fact I am thinking of pouring my memories into a glass flask and condensing them until they form a film of tiny, screaming demons before selling them as contraceptives.  It’ll be 100 per cent reliable too. None of this 99 per cent bollocks. The sperm will never get past this particular brew. At least, it won’t in my love tunnel especially now that it’s been on the business end of that Winnebago.

So have you forgotten the pain of childbirth? Or does it haunt you too? Get stuck into the comment box and let me know, you vaginally agonised lot.

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24 Responses to A Hole in One

  1. Lucy says:

    I’ve always thought that a possible reason for not remembering the pain of childbirth to the full extent that you should, is maybe because you don’t get enough space for your brain to process the pain you’ve been through in the days after you’ve given birth.
    Part of remembering is processing, and for that you need to let your brain rest – and of course you don’t get any rest while you’re sticking your nipple in the mouth of a bawling bundle, changing nappies full of black goo, pacing the hospital corridor in a vain effort to stop the screaming, etc.
    I think the post birth loving hormones that are supposed to kick in straight after birth also are meant to have a dulling effect on the rememberance – but then of course, mine didn’t kick in for a further six months.
    I’ve got an incredible memory for things though, which is why I can still remember every little bit of pain I went through five years later, and the memory still makes me shudder. I don’t know how it is for others though.

    • The Kraken says:

      Nice one Luce. You may have a point there, although I have no fucking clue what ‘birth loving hormones’ are. When they were doled out I was not just at the back of the queue I was actually in the other clue for a holiday to Magaluf. And yeah, the memory of pain never recedes. I recall KJ’s head being stuck betwixt my flaps like it happened this morning.

      • Lucy says:

        Sorry that should be post-birth loving hormones. Those that are supposed to make you look at the blood covered potato face you’ve just squeezed out and go “aaaah, how cute” rather than running screaming to the hills.

        • The Kraken says:

          Heh, that makes more sense although I didn’t have those hormones either. I have the maternal wiring of a housebrick.

  2. Fiona hennessy says:

    I can honestly say I can’t remember what it felt like. It was only 3 years ago ish and I am heading that way again! I know I swore (once) when she crowned but the actual sensations I don’t really recall. Of course I had had a healthy dose of pethadine so this may have had something to do with it!

  3. Ko says:

    I’m one of the lucky ones, I don’t remember the pain, good job as I have 4 children!

    I have a theory that for those of us who don’t remember (and I have friends who do and subsequently would not get pregnant again). I think the sheer exhaustion of new motherhood and the release of hormones dulls the memory. I haven’t forgotten that is bloody hurts, but I cannot recall the pain in the way I can a stubbed toe or trapped finger.

    Anyway for me I had the shittiest of pregnancies so the births had to be good. I wanted more children but after my last pregnancy I sent Mr M for the snip!

    • The Kraken says:

      Ko! Four! Oh God, you are a wonder woman. And yesh, I guess if the pregnancies are shite then pushing them out can’t get much worse. You are still a braver woman than me though. Respect!

  4. LauraCYMFT says:

    I don’t really remember the pain but I do remember it was sore. I had the drugs though. Anything they offered, I took LOL

  5. Cathy says:

    Get ready to hate me. Childbirth was not the most painful thing I have ever experienced. And I did it au naturel – not even gas and air. YES I KNOW. I SOUND LIKE A SMUG CUNT AND EVEN I HATE ME.

    I do, however, have the pain threshold of a concrete elephant.

    So if you want to know what the most painful thing I have ever experienced is, no it’s not Girls Aloud’s comeback single, although at times it’s touch and go – it was a fallopian tube rupturing. Not that I knew that was what was happening at the time. It was so painful, in a ripping-from-the-inside way, that I took half a paracetamol and trotted into A&E.

    • The Kraken says:

      You didn’t even have gas n air? Bloody hell. That’s one hell of a threshold you have. I had gas n air and begged for more, including a brick to the back of my head, but the midwife kept saying it was too late. And the fuckers even took the gas n air off me when I had to push. No wonder I am traumatised.

      • Cathy says:

        Yeah that sounds rough. If you want it, you should be able to have it! I hate all this ‘pain is positive’ bullcrap surrounding natural childbirth. We all have different thresholds – and different birthing experiences, so just because one person didn’t feel they needed intervention doesn’t mean they can go around telling anybody else ‘oh just BREATHE THROUGH THE PAIN’. I had a very fast and extremely straightforward labour, which meant I didn’t get too tired or get to the ‘I can’t take any more’ stage, but that was one birthing experience and I am just one individual. I fully support all and every form of pain relief, up to and including heroin if it’s required and who’s to say next time I won’t be smacked up to the eyeballs after 87 hours of fruitless heaving?

        One of the best articles I ever read, ever, was about a tribe in (insert tribal destination, I can’t bloody remember) where the pain of childbirth was believed to increase the bond the parents had with the child. So, to ensure that dear old Dad didn’t miss out, his partner as soon as she went into labour would tie a piece of string around his testicles. Every time she had a contraction, she’d pull the string. HOW DO YOU LIKE THE BONDING NOW, BIG GUY?

        • The Kraken says:

          Oh. My. Fuck. I love that story about string and testicles. Love it! Seriously, I wouldn’t need any pain relief at all if I knew I could inflict such torment with every push. That is inspired.

  6. Kim says:

    I got interested in this when I was writing about birth trauma. Some women retain vivid memories of giving birth years afterwards – the midwife Penny Simkin did some research on this and found a lot of women could remember very precise details 20 years afterwards, including things like unkind remarks by midwives. But for other women it does all seem to disappear. The thinking about PTSD now seems to be that it’s a “memory disorder”, a failure to process events into long-term memory so they remain constantly present and vivid. So maybe the “normal” thing is for memories of painful or distressing events to fade. (I also wonder if that’s true for other kinds of pain, not just childbirth?) I’m somewhere in the middle, in that I remember early labour being painful but I was also given an epidural after about 20 hours so after that the pain stopped altogether.

    • The Kraken says:

      Whoa! An epidural after 20 hours? It sounds like an exhausting length of time. That business about failing to process events is really interesting and really rings true. I’ve explained elsewhere on my blog why pregnancy was such a shock and I didn’t really grasp that I was spawning until I was in labour. I guess that it then became hyper-real and because I couldn’t cope with becoming a mother it the whole malarchy quite made it to my long-term memory. Thank you Kim. You’ve explained something useful to me there.

  7. Christine says:

    Didn’t push Mini D out of the holy of holies so actually can’t imagine quite how that sh*t actually goes down…but…the chances of me forgetting me version of labour are nil. Braxton Hicks for weeks, pessaries, having your waters forcibly broken, drugs to kick labour off, drugs to counter the effects of kicking labour off so quickly, drugs to counteract the infection that having my waters broken kicked off, surgery while conscious, blah etc.

    Getting the little fella rapidly howked out of me was the best bit (and strangely serene) as far as I’m concerned, praise be for good surgeons and a bot load of morphine. At least we all fucking lived. And yes, the thought of having another fills me with terror…

  8. Heather says:

    I do remember thinking ‘this is the worst pain I have ever had and how the fuck does anyone ever do this again?’ and then as the months went by only remembering the thought, not the ackchual pain…then with the second, the pain came back and it was truly shocking (‘Oh God, yes, I do remember this NOW owwwwwwwwwww’ ).

    But you will hate me, my third was nothing like either experience. It was like the hippy dippy books used to say ‘hard work rather than pain’, right up to the last 10 mins (then it was definitely both).

    First two – hospital. Third – home. Probably a coincidence.

  9. sian says:

    I had quite a traumatic birth in which everything went wrong so had an emergency c-sec which also went a bit wrong, I’ve got my 6 week postnatal check tomorrow and thinking of asking for counselling. I’m pretty sure I won’t forget the pain but I do hope I will as I want to have more babies!

    • The Kraken says:

      I hope you forget it too! And if you do need counselling don’t just ask for it, nag for it. My struggles with this have been well documented on this site so you are not alone. I’ll holler on your behalf if you want me to.

  10. I never gave this much thought until now, but actually I admit that I don’t actually remember the pain of it. I had no drugs whatsoever, beside 2 paracetamols, so I can’t even blame the drugs.

    I think in my case it was the fact that I was 42 weeks pregnant and I would have possibly climbed Kilimangiaro in my heels to get the fucking watermelon out of my body and my cankles back to normal size. Yes, I was that desperate to kick out the lazy madame that I possibly blurred the whole thing in my head afterwards. Means to an end, I guess.

  11. Heather V says:

    Excruciatingly painful until the epidural took effect, then I became a normal human being again. Thank god for modern medicine. Who gives a shit whether its “not natural”. Whatever works and gets you through it, that what I say.

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