I don’t know about the rest of you ladies out there, but every aspect of my first birth was obsessively mapped out. A duffel bag full of clothes, an iPod full of music, books, phone numbers, cute little newborn outfits – I had it all. Considering a woman gave birth on a bus this week, with nothing but her 3-year-old and shocked passengers observing her – I’m beginning to think all the ways in which we try to “prepare” ourselves for childbirth are pretty unnecessary.
Wang Liyang, a 39-year-old Chinese woman in Chengdu, Sichuan province in China, delivered her baby – unaided- on a bus. There is actual video footage, which is pretty amazing. The images show her child looking confused and one woman visibly grossed out as if she thinks that childbirth is something you can “catch.” Unbelievably, no one comes to her aid until after she reaches down and pulls the baby from her body herself. I’m guessing they all weren’t exactly sure what was going on, as she seems to be in to much pain to communicate.
After delivering her own child, you see her hold the baby upside down and pat his butt, apparently attempting to clear his airways. Holy shit. Can you imagine? My midwives gave us a flier detailing how to deliver a child on our own just in case we couldn’t make it to the birthing center in time. I started to read it and almost had a panic attack. My husband wouldn’t even touch it.
At a certain point in your pregnancy, someone will no doubt say to you – “don’t worry, the baby will come out soon. They always do!” This will usually happen after the 39th week, when you look like you are about to pop and are visibly miserable taking every step. You’ll probably want to punch them in the face. Actually, there was a point in my last pregnancy when I was seriously starting to doubt that the baby would come out. Something about those last few weeks just goes on and on and on.
But if this story shows us anything, it’s that yes, in fact, the baby will come out. Hopefully not when you’re on a bus.