Inaccurate Babying

B and I have been doing the obligatory birthing classes at the hospital, run by a charming doula who has just the right balance of kindergarten teacher and wizened wise woman about her. I've also been doing the pregnancy / infancy book readings.

My friends: we have been misled by movies. I provide a parallel example and notes below.

Parallel example: fist-fights in movies. Put briefly, a movie fist-fight is like a boxing match; two guys square off and swing at each other. Often, they trade punches, smacking each other back and forth until one of them delivers a haymaker. 90% of real fist-fights go like this: the bigger guy jumps on the smaller guy and beats the snot out of him in 10 seconds.

It's the same thing with babies! (bear with me...)

In every single movie depiction of birth, it goes like this:
  1. Woman's water spontaneously breaks, much to her shock.
  2. Couple screams and runs around.
  3. Couple drives like crazy for the hospital while woman is already pushing in the back seat. Hijinks ensue.
  4. Baby is delivered in the nick of time at the hospital.
In actual birth it goes like this:
  1. Contractions happen for twelve hours before you even need to go to the hospital.
  2. You aren't even allowed to check in at the hospital until you're having one-minute contractions every four to five minutes.
  3. Once at the hospital, contractions intensify for several more hours.
  4. By the time the mom finally gets to push, the body's been preparing for something like sixteen hours. Most of the time, the water doesn't even break until well into active labor.
It's like the people who brought us light speed spaceships, romances saved by improbable gifts, and Vin Diesel aren't even trying to be accurate!

1 comment:

Dolce Vita said...

Ha! That's why my "birth plan" began "I want a Hollywood birth: sudden onset of labor, mad dash to the hospital, couple of minutes of labor followed by 'oohs' and 'ahs' over a chubby, pink, glowing infant." (Sigh.) The actual event was what you described.