How to Have a Baby

First, how much water should be present? It’s not easy. Do you want to invest in a birthing pool, might you prefer your husband boiling kettles and sharpening his penknife or are you going to settle for your own being broken in hospital by a midwife who wants to get things moving?

It all gets terribly technical but the idea is not to obsess. I can’t stomach women who obsess about childbirth. In the end it’s a simple question of what is in there getting out and you want it to get out as painlessly and healthily as possible with no fuss. The role of water has always been crucial but now, what you do with it indicates the kind of start in life you want your child to have.

Have  Baby

Birthing pools were not an option when I had babies but these days, the serene mother, who imagines she will be in control of her destiny, often chooses it so her baby can float into the world looking waterlogged. You might like that idea.

The home birth is increasingly popular for parents who have read many books about it and don’t want their baby’s first breath to involve disinfectant. This is very cosy with the father boiling kettles and so on. But for even the very slightly neurotic mother, hospital has better resuscitation facilities. Know yourself, know your birthing technique, that’s my advice to you.

Hospital in my experience

This is the only technique on which I can speak with authority since it’s the only one I tried and I tried it three times using three different London teaching hospitals. The first birth was difficult, involving the smashing of my waters by a midwife who wouldn’t allow me to steady myself on the bed head and a third degree tear which had to be stitched under general anaesthetic. The second was OK but, despite my telling the midwife that the birth was imminent, I was given pethidine and the baby arrived drugged to the eyeballs. The third was brilliant. I said the baby is coming, they said no it isn’t, then they took another look and said yes it is. I said I didn’t want any cutting and the midwife told the boy who thought he was delivering the baby that he should listen to the mother.

The baby was born smoothly, there were no stitches and the paediatrician on stand-by pronounced the baby a girl, pink and beautiful. By the time I had sauntered back to the ward, the baby had gone blue and was in intensive care. You can make of that what you will. I would have been in trouble had I involved any waters other than my own. But hospital isn’t a barrel of laughs in the water department.

More water

Someone always gets up your nose giving the baby water when you’ve asked them not to or a bottle when you are trying like mad to make the breast more inviting. This is infuriating because you are devoting all your energy to making this baby yours. Otherwise, hospital is a boon in this respect. Someone else is cooking, you’re not expected to answer the phone or to live any life other than the one involving you and the baby. Your husband may come in with many worries about pasta and school runs but you are relatively protected. At home, you are the wife and mother. Unless you have someone to help, you will very shortly feel knackered and put upon.

Does it hurt?

Only the way squeezing something the size of a melon out of your vagina hurts. Because you know it will get out eventually and that the pain isn’t a deadly disease, you can handle it.


If you want them, go for the lot. If you don’t want the spit and cry, ‘Drugs, never!’ Somewhere in the middle about right.

To scream or not

It would offend me terribly to hear myself scream. This is because I consider myself hard and stoic in the face of pain. But lots of brave women yell and everyone thinks it’s a big laugh. Many women curse their husbands. When I am giving birth I have forgotten what my husband had to do with it.

Me and screaming

After the third birth, a very young nurse with an uppitty expression dropped by my bed and said, ‘You made enough noise yesterday.’ I looked at her askance. I asked her which noise that would have been. She thought I was joking. She said the noise I’d made screaming the place down as the baby emerged. I said it wasn’t me. She said of course it was me. I said it wasn’t. She said it was. She asked what room I’d been in. I told her. She said then it was you. I told her to sod off. She put it down to post partum lying but had I not been in a post partum ecstasy I would have hit her.

Post partum

This means after you’ve given birth and it’s the bit where you cry. I only cried once in hospital and that was after the first birth because I had to be in hospital for weeks and weeks with a tiny, sleepy baby who was still on the six o’clock feed when all the other babies were being winded after the ten o’clock and I’d had enough. The woman in the next bed was called Udder and her son was called Tits. They were Italian. She spelt her name Ada and Tits was short for something starting with Tits but I thought they were out of a Fellini film and were there to haunt me. Sylvester Stallone would have cried.

You are expected to cry a bit owing to your hormones being everywhere and your husband being such a prat. Also everyone expects you to get post natal depression. I never did but I know women who have and it is terrible. I will look after you should it strike you down.

Have  Baby


On the other hand, I loved having him there. He’s n been much use during the labour because he bores easily but for the birth itself, he is great at crying, ‘Push.’ And afterwards he’s been brilliant on the phone telling everyone how it went. I don’t think he’d be much cop with a penknife. I will be at your side if you want me for your births but if the father is to be there, the last person you need is your mother.

Rule: If you must scream, scream at someone. Look for the one who will give your baby water. You will know her by the irritating look on her face.

Filed Under: Health & Personal Care


About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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