Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Birth conversations with strangers

Friday was my last day of work before the beginning of my vacation time leading into my maternity leave. I've been slowly but surely checking things off my list, trying to get organized for baby but also trying to relax at the same time.  It's hard with so much to do! I've been driving around town a lot, picking up this and that and I'm finding it pretty hilarious how people strike up conversations with me, the visibly pregnant and ready to pop pregnant woman. Here is a sample of the conversations I've had in only four short days so far.

I was walking out of one store when a woman stopped and asked how much longer I had. 
Me: 2 weeks.
Lady: Wow, look at you! You are carrying straight out - you are all baby! You're ready to pop! Are you ready?
Me: Yes (smiles and leaves).

I approached the cash at another store. This time I was asked if I knew the sex of the baby.
Me: No.
Cashier: Wow, how do you do THAT? Don't you want to know?! How can you stand it?!
Me: I like the surprise. (smiles and leaves)

Another store, another cashier.  This time I am asked if it's my first baby.
Me: My second.
Cashier 2: Are you more scared?
Me: Pardon me? (I wasn't sure if I heard her right and was a little thrown off by her question.)
Cashier 2: Are you more or less scared about having a baby this time?
Me: I've never been scared.
Cashier 2: Oh, haha that's good.
The more I think about it, this question really bothers me. What if I was a woman who wasn't confident about birth? Imagine how that question could have affected a woman who was already fearful about childbirth? Jeesh!

Then there was the dude who asked Hubby and I where we were delivering.  I let Hubby do the talking and it was really funny witnessing the whole thing. 
Hubby: Oh, we're having a home birth.
Dude: Oh really, wow! Do you have those people coming to your house to help? What are they called?
Hubby: Midwives? Yes, we have midwives. We've got the birthing tub all ready to go. (Way to go Hubby - add some fuel to the fire)
Dude: Birthing tub? You mean you will have the baby in a bath tub?
Hubby: Kinda, it's a big blow-up tub. We are a planning a water birth.
Dude: (completely dumbfounded) Wow...
Once it sunk in, Dude went on to tell us that his wife had two c-sections and so obviously this was all very knew to him. But he had a neighbour who went to the hospital and had her baby naturally within less than an hour - so "I guess it can be done!". He was really cute. As we walked away smiling, again, I mentioned to Hubby that I guess it's just so normal to us now that we don't realize how casually we bring up the topic of our planned home birth. We totally forget how foreign home birth sounds to some people.

And then, I finally met our neighbours. I was so excited and we ended up chatting for a while and we really clicked! And then I did it. I told her so casually without even thinking first that I was going to be giving birth next door any day now.  I'm not sure her excited looks were out of sheer horror or not.  I joked around with family and friends weeks ago that I had not met the neighbours and it would be quite the welcoming to the new hood if they heard me through the walls the day I give birth.  Well, the neighbours to the left have been warned. I can't help it, I'm excited! We'll see how many clicky conversations we have now...oops!


  1. Oh, I remember those conversations well! Love the cartoon :)

  2. I remember when I told my neighbours we were doing a home birth. They thought I was crazy. I can only imagine the conversations they had when I wasn't around. But alas our home birth was never to be. While I was in labour (at home) it was discovered the little devil had turned and he was breach (feet first) and I was immediately transferred to the Civic for a C. Baby 3 was born in hospital but as far as I was concerned it was as good as a home birth. I loved every minute.
    I can't wait to hear about your home birth. Even though I am done having kids I still love to read birth stories. They are so beautiful and empowering. Every single one.

  3. I am so excited for you as well Alicia!!! I want to hear every detail (well all that you want to share).

  4. I just had our third baby tuesday. It was at the hospital, but my ob and nurse honored all but one of my birth plan wishes (I had like 12 items on my birth plan so I'm pretty happy with the outcome).
    What's funny about the day is for months leading up to my due date colleagues and strangers said the same things/asked the same questions, but on Tuesday... I spent almost two hours walking around town while in labor and no one asked anything. I'm kinda bummed because I would have loved to see the look on strangers faces when I told them "my water broke hours ago, I'm actually having a contraction right now, and after I but these earrings I'm headed to the hospital." :-)

  5. I've had similar conversations related to my med-free labour. The surprise/shock that is was a deliberate choice and that I was successful in doing it.

    Some (not all) people - including parents and non-parents - look at me like I was crazy or a super-hero to have gone that route.

    It um...just seemed the "natural" choice. ;)

    Very excited and happy for you and your family, Alicia. :)