Recently the internet has nearly completely scared me away from the idea of ever ever getting pregnant or giving birth.
Ever wondered how on God’s green earth a human baby can fit into a body when it’s already completely filed with organs? Have a look at this horrifying gif:
Good lord, where have the intestines gone? The stomach is turned ninety degrees! The bladder is squished paper thin! Even your heart, diaphragm, lungs and sternum get nudged. I’m sorry but this is terribly unnerving. It does not look good or natural or in any way positive.
This gif also doesn’t show some of the other common damage caused by pregnancy. Your skin around that ridiculous abdomen? Destroyed. Your back? Strained to high heaven due to your center of gravity now being shifted to the thirty pound mass sticking out of you. Your feet? Twice their size. Hormones? Entropy is thy name. Your body will never be shaped the way it was before you got pregnant.
I hear that by the end of the pregnancy, women feel like that baby can’t come soon enough. They just want the horrors of pregnancy to be over. But guess what. Birth and post partum SOUNDS EVEN WORSE.
The terrors of post-partum life were brought to my attention recently in this post on ScaryMommy.com. I’ll give you the summary. The post refers to how beautiful the Duchess of Cambridge looked upon exiting the hospital with her brand new born daughter. I mean… look at this woman:
Anyone of course should be impressed with her stunning looks so soon after giving birth, but once I read the Scary Mommy blog post I was frankly… disgusted. Here are some things Kate had just gone through and was still going through when these photos were taken:
- First pee: the author says the first pee “burns like a thousand suns” and you are crying. Yup sounds about right
- First poop: apparently much, much worse than the first pee. Quotes include “writhing in pain” and “cursing [her] husband”.
- A month’s worth of constant vaginal bleeding far more severe than any period you’ve ever had in your life
- From these three points I think we can conclude that the lower part of one’s body is essentially decimated by the birth process.
- Other slightly less traumatizing side effects include
- Incredibly painful breasts that become hard and “spray” (not even a more gentle verb like ‘leak’ or ‘secrete’!) lactation
- Elephant-sized feet and hands
In conclusion, pregnancy and birth appear to be a process of voluntarily causing very very serious injury to your body both internally and externally. Mercifully, one can make a full recovery from this but I am not at all surprised that death in childbirth was hugely common in the past and is still a real concern today.
So how would I or any woman ever subject themselves to this process after reading these things? Of course the obvious answer is it’s the only way to get a biological child of you and your partner without using a surrogate which is A) too expensive for the average couple to use and B) requires you putting the life of your growing embryo literally into the body of another woman which sounds like a last resort scenario. But still, holy shit!
The men of Buzzfeed Blue seem to share my sentiments. In the video below, four men learn about the third trimester of pregnancy. A key scene comes at 1:26; a pregnant woman and a doctor are listing all the sickening side effects of pregnancy (hemorrhoids, inability to sleep, pain from crushed organs) to these men, to which one asks, “What are some of the positives?” to which the only answer is “the baby.”
“It’s nice to know that your body want’s to destroy you,” one of them quips. Yeah. My thoughts exactly.
And yet, despite all of this, nearly all women will willingly go through the pregnancy process and most of them almost inconceivably will do it more than once. The logical conclusion to draw from this fact is that cheating death by getting pregnant and giving birth is, indeed, worth it. I suppose you suffer for a year and then reap many more years of benefits by having the child in your life, so in the end you do get a good return on your investment.
All women do it, so I guess some day I will do it too. But……. fuck.
I would love to hear thoughts from other women especially if you have been pregnant before.
Edit: wow just found this comic about pregnancy, birth etc that really covers it all: https://thenib.com/mom-body-51fde2bc01f