By KJ Adler
This past winter break I found myself hanging out with a handful of 40-something-year-old women, each of whom has at least one child.
It’s a lot of fun to visit the older demographic once in a while. I get the chance to blend in and pretend to be an adult, one with a mortgage, a husband, and a huge list of things to do every day.
They create this sense of certainty. They have been there, done that. And while what I am experiencing now is a mere memory for these women, at least they are a type of attestation that all of the problems I am dealing with now will pass.
I also like hanging with them because I get a sense of what life will be like after the twenties-honeymoon. Things will hurt more, love will be more reasonable, jobs will come and go, and kids will change everything.
It was at this point during one of our conversations that I was provided with some incredibly unsettling news; when you give birth, the natural way, you will more than likely poop a little bit during the process.
I kid you not. When Junior is coming out of the womb, so will a little bit of last night’s meal.
And not only that, in many cases the vaginal wall rips or will be cut by the doctor a little bit so that the baby will come out easier.
At this point of confession time I was in complete shock. It’s bad enough having to endure labor and push with all of your might so that this little creature that has been growing inside of you can come out and live. But pooping and ripping? How on earth do we females endure it?
The first thing that came to mind was back in the day, when there were no IVs and no cesareans. I have a newfound respect for those brave souls who have had over eight children.
While I was screaming “uncle,” however, the 40-something’s kept going. They told me that after the first birth, sex will never be the same. Although not worse or better, you will have to rediscover your own anatomy. I mean it makes sense; you did just push a watermelon outside of your cooch.
The worst part about all of this is that I just discovered this last winter. And yet, after talking to a number of girls I realized that I was one of the few who had just gotten out of the dark. Most girls who I told these facts to nodded solemnly in response, with a calm acceptance of their fate.
So I thought to myself “Okaaaay. You poop, you rip, and sensation is pretty well altered afterwards, thank goodness for cesareans.”
But no, one of the 40-something’s had just had her third cesarean and it is not very pretty either.
Not only does the recovery process hurt like crazy afterwards, the scar is there to stay and will sometimes have a permanent, bizarre dent on your stomach for the rest of your life.
I thought it was pretty far-fetched of one of my friends to not want children because she saw fetuses as parasitic.
For me, it’s the birthing process. I like my body the way it is, without tears and without major stretch marks.
Maybe when I’m married and allowed to be as fat as I want to be because my husband is bound to me by law I’ll consider children. But presently, the pills will be popped and the rubbers will remain true.
And for those of you who are having babies: Congratulations! I know, I know, the birthing process is pretty undesirable. But think about it—you’re creating a new life, new responsibilities and a new chapter in your own life as a parent. It will all work out and be fulfilling and worth it.
At least, that’s what all of the 40-somethings told me.