Who is even allowed to use the birth centre?

Just returned from a quick excursion to the toilet to find Piglet slumped in his bouncy chair, hanging off the end.  Perhaps the time has come to start strapping him in (what’s that sound?  The sound of social services being called at the fact that I have so far failed to do this).  Either that or I am going to have to start taking him with me to the toilet.  Last night he cried when I left him in his cot in the bedroom while I went to clean my teeth, and I had to take him into the bathroom with me and lie him on a towel on the floor to keep him quiet.  I may never have a moment to myself again.

Anyway, today we have been to the library, so that Piglet got to have an excursion in the pram so that he could go to sleep; and we went swimming.  There was a nap required before the latter as well, and as Piglet did not seem to want to nap in the bouncy chair, or go anywhere near the bouncy chair, crying every time I tried to put him in, and thinks his cot is a receptacle for bicycling his legs around and giggling, we had to leave half an hour early for swimming, and sit in the “London Designer Outlet” (sorry, that still cannot be written without the use of inverted commas) for ages so that we could get a good nap in beforehand.  Luckily, it paid off and Piglet was surprisingly cheerful throughout swimming, managing to crack no less than three smiles.  As usual he behaved impeccably, which made me feel better about having to sit through the following poolside Competitive Mother conversation that took place beforehand.

“My labour was really quick-just six hours.”

“Really?  Mine was three hours.”

“Mine too.”

I HATE YOU.  I HATE YOU ALL.  Perhaps I should just dive into the very shallow pool head first and kill myself now as I am obviously a failure as a mother and as a woman in general.  One of the women even said she gave birth in the birth centre.  The BIRTH CENTRE.  I thought giving birth in there was banned.  Isn’t it just there to make women feel better and make sure that the species doesn’t die out by making us all think that maybe there’s a remote possibility that giving birth is just going to be a matter of bouncing on a beach ball a couple of times, playing some whalesong and sitting in a paddling pool grunting?  One of the women from my antenatal class was banned from using the birth centre just because she’d visited the hospital a few times during her pregnancy worried that she wasn’t feeling the baby move enough, even though there was nothing wrong, and even though the birth centre is like, in an actual hospital.  WHO IS EVEN ALLOWED TO USE THE BIRTH CENTRE?

Piglet is gazing at me forlornly from his baby gym, sucking his thumb.  The look on his face says “yes you are a rubbish mother.  You are not even fit to call yourself a woman.  Because of that caesarean, I am now traumatised for life like it says in your hypnobirthing book.  And it’s ALL YOUR FAULT.”

And if that wasn’t bad enough, due to my rubbishness as mothering, he then banged his head on the lockers in the changing rooms, mercifully not enough to do himself an injury, but enough to make him howl for long enough that all the other mothers considered calling social services.  And then I accidentally poked him in the eye whilst trying to soothe him.  ARGH.

He later did a projectile wee into that very same eye while I was changing his nappy later in the day, which I imagine must sting a bit, but as we were at home and minus an audience, that didn’t even register a whimper.

The Public Badge of Good Motherhood has now been confiscated.


23 Comments Add yours

  1. This is brilliant!! And so true!! I know so many people who’ve planned to pop out at the birthing centre, and it’s never happened!! I’ve been frog marched from there twice now!! A friend of mine was distraught, because she wanted a hypno birth there, and promptly felt like she’d failed as a woman when she too, was frogmarched to the general hospital!! A birth there is becoming stuff of legend, like the Loch Ness monster, and the yeti!!
    Piglet also sounds like my 2 when they were smaller, every excursion had be left for an hour early, to allow naps for the only places they’d sleep, the car or the pushchair… Then sitting in car parks waiting for them to wake up, made up a massive part of my life with them!
    Loved this!

    1. Min says:

      Thank you 🙂 I was also into hypnobirthing, and felt like a failure as a woman and general human being when it didn’t work for me, especially as it had worked for all the other people I knew who had attempted it.

  2. This is funny! I went to the birth centre in labour and they sent me away even though the consultant had written that I coukd give birth there!!

    1. Min says:

      Oh no! Because you weren’t allowed?

  3. The Pramshed says:

    I really desperately wanted the birth centre as it was like a hotel! Baby didn’t want hotel treatment and we were off to the labour ward to be induced. Out of my NCT group, 1 in 8 used the birth centre. Claire x

    1. Min says:

      I don’t think anyone from mine did. I didn’t even see the birth centre, to be honest, so it may well be just a myth for all I know!

  4. Lisa says:

    We don’t even have a birth centre where I am so at least you are given some false hope there?!! Ah no, as a midwife I have to say all mums, no matter if the baby came our the door or the sunroof, have a lot of shit to deal with. And those babies sure know how to make a scene in public ???

    1. Min says:

      Haha, yes they certainly do!

  5. I had five people in my NCT class. One ELCS (me) 1 EMCS, 1 assisted, 1 awful, and one in the birth centre. I don’t like those odds… #chucklemums

    1. Min says:

      Yep, it seems far more likely to have a dreadful birth than a pleasant one. Unfortunately for me, I seem to have a lot of friends who have had idyllic home births though so I think my expectations were far too high!

  6. Jenny says:

    Our town doesn’t even HAVE a birth centre! I thought they were a myth!

    And ohh babies are always trying to make you look bad in public, they know what they’re doing!

    1. Min says:

      Haha, I think they are!

  7. Jenny says:

    I’m so sorry, I forgot this: #chucklemums x

  8. I was induced so I wasn’t allowed but my labour was seven hours and no pain relief – walk in the park! (hahahahahaha – no.) #chucklemums

    1. Min says:

      I was induced in the end too, so definitely no birth centre for me (and the birth plan didn’t even come out of my bag-didn’t seem to be much point when it had “no induction” at the top).

  9. Sarah says:

    How do they manage to wee in their own faces?! Funny creatures with funny appendages. #chucklemums

    1. Min says:

      I know. Piglet was literally born doing a wee.

  10. This is so true – it’s funny how different labour is compared to what you planned…I have to admit when I was pregnant I was confused about birth centres, and decided that in the hospital as close as possible to all the drugs might be better for me! In the end, she was a stubborn mule and wouldn’t turn so sunroof exit it was. #chucklemums

    1. Min says:

      I think maybe we should be advised not to plan at all-I was so convinced it would all be joss sticks and whalesong if only I just thought positively!

  11. Nyomi says:

    Totally agree. I wasn’t allowed to use the birth centre because I had a c section previously. So I had a home birth instead , which was even better so in your face birth centre!!

    1. Min says:

      You are my hero. I would love a home birth (if I ever have another baby, which is unlikely) but I would be worried about my scar splitting open or some other horror they say will happen if you attempt such a thing post C-section. I’m glad you were able to do it!

  12. This is funny. I am dark green with envy for birth centre users. I wanted to swim in the hippy birthing pool so badly but it was not to be.

    1. Min says:

      Me too, but alas! I still get teary thinking about it.

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