One Born Every Minute
The channel 4 hit show One a Born Every Minute returns tonight. I’m sure that thousands of women will be tuning in. Those that are expecting their first child, desperate to absorb any birth related information, hoping to prepare themselves for the big event. Others may be mothers reminiscing about the most wonderful day, the day that changed their lives forever. Remembering their empowering labour, the moment the fresh, vernix covered baby was placed on their chest, their partners elated face as their shaking hands cut the umbilical cord.
I won’t be watching One Born Every Minute.
I loved it pre-pregnancy and whilst expecting. I recorded and watched it almost religiously, the highlight of my TV week. So well produced, fast paced, emotive and captivating. Hats off to the team behind it, the dedicated midwives and the women who volunteered to have the momentous occasion filmed. And then I gave birth, and things changed.
My birth wasn’t like many portrayed on television. And I can understand why an experience like mine isn’t often aired. Traumatic and a medical emergency, the scenes were more like something from a bloody slasher horror movie than a heart warming moment of life entering the world. Pre eclampsia, episiotomy, third degree tear, ventouse, postpartum hemorrhage, general anesthetic and surgery weren’t in my birth plan. I’ve been deeply affected by the experience. I have flash backs of midwives bearing their weight down on my stomach, trying to stem the flow of blood, begging the surgical team to save my womb, my body shaking uncontrollably as I went into shock.
One Born Every Minute has lost its magic for me. I’m either terrified, my heart racing with anxiety as the scenes on screen remind me of aspects of my birth, or I’m insanely jealous. Why are those women having such an easy time of it? Why didn’t I get a water birth? Look at her, getting immediate skin to skin, what a cow. No one wants to be that person. The person that resents others for not suffering as she did. I wish that I still embraced birth as the miraculous, natural, empowering event that it is, or should be. But I just can’t. I now fear it, knowing how dangerous and soul destroying it can be. I want to celebrate with women, build them up, but I have to bite my tongue so as not to completely terrify them.
Maybe in the future I’ll be able to watch it again, to feel the emotion that I used to, sobbing into my handkerchief in happiness. But for now, I avoid the anxiety triggering programme.
You can read my full birth story here.