Swearing, pooping, grooming, orgasms and vagazzling – all will be revealed
I am days away from giving birth. Just writing that practically made my water break.
Growing two human babies in my abdomen has been hard enough… now, I’m being told I have to GET THEM OUT!? I really should have thought this through more carefully.
So, like any new mom, I am preparing for childbirth in the most practical ways I know how – by binge-eating frozen bananas, having aggressive night sweats, watching strangers’ birth videos on YouTube, and calling my OB daily in a hormonal panic.
But for every completely practical question I ask her, there is one completely stupid question that I am far too embarrassed to utter aloud. After all, I have to look this woman in the eyes as she delivers my children. I need her to respect me, not think about the time I asked her about pooping. So, in hopes of getting some of my (and hopefully your,) most embarrassing questions about childbirth answered, I did what any mature woman would do, asked another doctor anonymously, over the phone.
On a Friday evening, Dr. Dena Bloomenthal, General Obstetrician at B.C Women’s Hospital took my call and answered all of my most humiliating questions without reservation or judgment. At least, none that I could sense over the phone…
ME: Hi Dr. Bloomenthal!
ME: So, I am about to give birth to twins and I would love to ask you some questions that I am WAY too embarrassed to ask my own doctor, promise you won’t judge? (she promised. I continued…) I am at a stage right now where my doctor tells me my water could break at any time, anywhere. Just so I can prepare myself – what will that look like?
DR. B: I would say there’s about a liter of water in there, it looks like water from the tap – it’s clear. Some women report hearing a POP! then typically it gushes out in a significant fashion that wets your underwear, and it wets your pants, and it drips down your leg, and it drips on the floor.
SWEET. LORD. We were off to a strong start.
DR. B: The good news is, most things that lead to babies coming out are REALLY OBVIOUS. I think many women worry that they’ll be unable to identify that they are in labor or that their water has broken. They always ask me, “how will I know?” There is nothing subtle about your water breaking. There is nothing subtle about contractions. I have yet to meet anyone who has entirely not noticed labor.
She obviously hasn’t been watching I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant on TLC. I’m going to assume performing the miracle of life all day takes up most of her time.
ME: Let’s talk about yelling. I am genuinely afraid I’ll lose all inhibitions and start howling like Kristen Stewart birthing a vampire baby in Twilight. On a scale of light whimpers to blood-curdling screams, what is the loudest you’ve heard?
DR. B: I think everybody is different and not everybody yells. Some people are quite controlled and are able to breathe through their contractions, some women are far less controlled and scream and swear and kick and bite.
ME: I’m sorry. Did you say bite?
DR. B: Well, I’ve only had one bite. It was just a minor mauling.
ME: Who did she bite?!
DR. B: ME!
I was starting to wonder if she DID deliver the vampire baby in Twilight… but I moved on to a greater concern.
ME: What about swearing? I don’t want my babies to hear their mother yelling filthy profanities as they emerge into the world for their first moments of human life!?
DR. B: I wouldn’t worry about whatever you do- free your mind to go wherever it is that you go. I think part of the reason that all of this is scary is because of a feeling of a lack of control. I suppose the more you concentrate on the fact that you are in a safe place, the easier the experience will be. And remember the staff has seen EVERYTHING. I expect there wouldn’t be too much you could say or do or yell that anybody would take personally or hold against you.
Phew.. I found this quite f*cking reassuring.
ME: Has there been a particular curse word exclaimed in your delivery room that stands out?
DR. B: I don’t know if you can print it.
ME: Try me.
DR. B: C*cks%cker m*therf&!cker.
Nope, can’t print it.
ME: Can we talk about pooping? What’s the deal? Does that really happen during labor?
DR. B: Well you know, the head comes through the pelvis and it squeezes them bowels like a little tube of toothpaste and sometimes these things happen!
She really does have a way with words…
DR. B: The truth about obstetrics is there is blood, and there is pee, and there is poo, and there is water, and there is vomit , and all of this is uniquely human.
ME: Right. This is the glamor of childbirth.
DR. B: Oh, it’s not glamorous. But it’s also incredibly beautiful.
ME: Speaking of beauty, and you can judge me for the stupidity of this question, but, delivery room makeup – what is and is not appropriate? Like, have you had patients with Kardashian Kontour or a full eyelash?
DR. B: OH YES! You want to look good girlfriend! We don’t want to see you with crappy little toes and hairy little legs! (laughs)
ME: Are you serious?!?!?
DR. B: Your baby is meeting you for the first time!! And everyone is taking pictures of you!! I would say look as good as you can if you feel like it. I always comment on a good pedicure or a sassy mommy hair cut. But don’t do it for me! Do it for YOU!
I haven’t seen my toes in months. Remind me to book an appointment for a pedicure, STAT. And, speaking of things I haven’t seen in awhile…
ME: What is normal in terms of… hair… down there?
DR. B: I think people worry too much about their panty line, but I would say it varies – it’s ok to do nothing, just don’t hurt yourself over it, and for god sakes NO SPARKLES.
ME: Excuse me?
DR. B: It’s called Vagazzling.
ME: Yes, I’m, uh… vaguely familiar, but tell me you’ve never seen a vagazzled va-jay-jay?
DR. B: Of course I’ve seen a vajazzled va-jay-jay! What do you take me for, an amateur?
This is perhaps the most shocking revelation of my entire pregnancy. And remember, I found out I was having TWINS.
ME: While we’re on the topic of va-jay-jays… after childbirth, will it ever be the same?
DR. B: No.
DR. B: No. Of course, generally, recoveries are excellent, there is elasticity but exactly the same? Probably not.
Huh. I let us linger in silence as I took a private moment to thank my lady flower for 34 years of service. May she rest in peace. I then took a deep breath and moved on to my final question…
ME: You have delivered thousands of babies, what is the most bizarre thing you’ve ever witnessed in a delivery room?
DR. B: Do you really want me to answer that question?
ME: SO badly.
DR. B: I was privy to an orgasmic birth.
ME: Wait… what… THAT CAN HAPPEN?!
DR. B: Good for her, right? The craziest part was her mom was filming it all on her iPad – and it was like a 25-minute event.
Oh. MY. I hoped my fetuses weren’t listening.
DR. B: At the end of the day, you never know how you’re gonna react. You just need to prepare for anything and remember anything goes. Sure, the experience is painful and long and exhausting and overwhelming, but there is no greater moment in life than meeting your children. You can’t really prepare for that and you certainly don’t want to stifle it. These are the moments we live for.
She was right. I am about to birth two beautiful little babies that I created, that I carried inside of me for 9 months, and that I already love more than anything in this world. No amount of pooping, stretching, screaming, or swearing can take away from that.
I thanked Dr. Bloomenthal for her time, her honesty. and her candor.
With my most embarrassing questions answered, I assured her that I finally feel ready to take on the monumental task of childbirth, without vagazzling.
DR. B: Oh, there’s still time girl… there’s still time.