There’s so much talk about the way women are unrealistically portrayed in print media. Lighting tricks, make-up that can conjure lips and boobs from nothing and the evil that is Photoshop are all things real women don’t need impacting our self-esteem, thankyouverymuch. But magazine covers aren’t the only way Hollywood is failing females. The movies make having a baby look like a walk in the park. If I gave birth like they do in the movies, here’s what it would look like.
There will be no “Is that a contraction or backdraft from my burrito?” confusion as my water will break with a resounding splash, signaling that the party is about to start. Even if my water does break at an inopportune moment, like in the middle of the night or while I’m at the mall, I will be birth ready regardless- that is to say full makeup, a fresh blowout and a birthing partner who’s ready to drive me to the hospital immediately and not stuck at work with an hour commute home.
I won’t have to wait for my partner to park the car or waddle my way to the elevator; I’ll just burst dramatically through the doors of the Labor and Delivery department via wheelchair, where a sassy nurse awaits. We’ll have a zany conversation that’s several minutes long during which my contractions will magically pause. She’ll never ask me for my insurance information or ask me to fill out any forms.
Rather than stew in a boring room with no television for hours or possibly days while I wait to dilate enough to get an epidural and grow increasingly annoyed with my partner for wanting to do basic things like eat, sleep and leave me to go to the bathroom all while secretly suspecting that my nurse forgot about me, I’ll go directly from the intake desk to meeting the anesthesiologist. He (it’s always a he in the movies) will be devastatingly handsome and very good at his job, so there’s no way I’ll end up with one leg being more numb than the other or the epidural not working.
We’ll skip the part where I get monitored and checked repeatedly while waiting for the time to push to grow near and just get right down to business. My partner will hold one leg and a drill sergeant of a nurse who secretly has a heart of gold will hold the other. My own obstetrician will be present for the birth, not on vacation leaving me with her associate who I don’t know very well. She most certainly will not ask me if I mind if a student observes my delivery and then usher four panicked individuals with lab coats towards my exposed kibbles and bits.
My toes will be perfectly painted and nary a leg hair will be seen as I pant and pout my face dramatically, my lip gloss never fading or getting cracked even though I’m not allowed to have water and it’s roughly -3 degrees in the delivery room.
It will take me no more than five pushes to get the baby out, and there no pooping on the delivery table or talk of an episiotomy, because no audience wants to know about that. My newborn will not resemble a dying Benjamin Button, be screaming or covered in white goo. Instead she’ll have a perfectly formed, not at all cone-ish head and look suspiciously like a two-month-old who’s just had a fresh bath.
After bickering over what to name the baby in a private room that’s impossibly large and well-appointed given the city we live in, we’ll spontaneously decide to name her after the tough nurse.
(Image: Cathy Yeulet/Hemera/Getty Images Plus)