I have to admit that I am as judgmental as the next person when it comes to motherhood. My particular bugbear, probably due to the surprising emergence of my own hippy tendencies during pregnancy and motherhood, is the earnest, earth mother type.
If anyone suggests that their birth was an amazing, spiritual experience it sends me into a spin, I can’t bear it. I think it is because a lot of this earnest chat is slightly too close to home. I actually had a home birth with my first child, but I also pride myself on being a working class, hopefully down to earth Northern girl, so I try and avoid talking about my home birth as I am not sure it conveys the correct image of me.
As soon as the question is asked of where I had my little boy I can feel the blood rushing to my face and as the words – at home – reluctantly leave my lips I can sense opinions instantly forming of me as one of these women who chant their way through birth in their birth pool in the garden, under their favourite ash tree. While their husband massages their perineum and at the same time prepares the sauce for the placenta stew they will enjoy after the birth.
Let me just tell you, the only thing my fella was doing was clinging onto his little poo catcher (which comes free with the pool) ready to pounce on any floaters, whilst trying to stop our over enthusiastic dog from howling along to each contraction. There was very little, in my opinion that could be classed as “spiritual” at my home birth. Not that I would not recommend doing it at home to anyone who fancied it – I am about to try and do it all over again, the birth pool is being heaved out of the garage as I type, but be under no illusions that just because you are grunting away in the privacy of your own living room, instead of on the ward, does not automatically turn the whole experience into a sensual love fest.
I am just praying that this time round the dog keeps quiet, it’s not good for your concentration when your wailing is topped by a particularly sensitive fury birth partner.
Helen also performs a comedy show for mums.
‘Gas and Hot Air’ is an hour long, daytime show about pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood. Performed by actress and mum Helen Rutter in comedy clubs and small theatres, written during breastfeeding, sleepless nights and copious amounts of weight watchers cake. Babies under one are welcomed with open arms as long as they can’t move much and don’t mind a bit of fruity language.