There’s nothing to make a first time mother feel more like a failure than knowing that her experience of childbirth falls somewhat short of the idealistic ‘oooh, I just gritted my teeth, pushed a couple of times, and there s/he was and I was in love from the moment I saw him/her’. When this first time mother, who’d devoted herself to pregnancy yoga and attended natural birth classes, experienced near 48 hours labour (half of which lying on her back with an epidural attached to her spine and artificial hormones streaming into her arm only for it all to end in an emergency caesarean under general anaesthetic) it felt as if her path to motherhood was already a dead end. When you then read (say) that Jessica Alba’s experience of giving birth to her daughter was akin to “meditating” (I kid you not) it kinda rubs it in. Thank god, then, for more honest celebs like Emily Mortimer who announces in this month’s Psychologies magazine that she “started reading all these books and doing pregnancy yoga. By the end, you feel you have to go natural in order to be a real woman. I got myself a doula and a water tank and struggled on for 24 hours – and then I had an epidural. I can remember saying to the anaesthetist, ‘Oh, I love you, thank you so much. I don’t know what I was thinking’.” I know what I’m thinking – next time I’m going to forget all that pregnancy yoga nonsense and reach for the drugs before I hit the ‘screaming like a banshee’ bit!

Advertisements