I Know Something About Birthin’ Babies

A pregnant woman

Image via Wikipedia

Something has been irritating the split pea soup out of me for years and it’s come up in various TV shows over the last few weeks and gotten me all fired up again.  It aggravates me to no end when a pregnant TV or movie character’s water breaks and then they are wailing and the baby is halfway out 5 minutes later and some idiot is yelling “Push!”  If that’s how it worked, Tink might not be an only child.

For those of you who have not experienced the horror joy of childbirth first hand either by choice or because God wired you differently (perhaps with a penis instead of a vagina), the only thing your water breaking actually means is that it is time to go to the hospital.  It would be fair to compare the womb to a condemned building at this point and it is the doctor’s job to make sure everyone clears out within the 24 hour time limit. 

In my personal experience, my water broke sometime early in the morning but I really didn’t know it.  (Tink may be a teensy teen but she was a mighty big newborn)  I didn’t get to the hospital until 4:00 pm and I still wasn’t in labor.  They had to induce me and Tink made her debut at 2:00 am nearly 10 hours later.  My friend Rita just gave birth to her third (yes, that was not a typo her THIRD) child.  Her water broke and she thought, “Yea!  I’ll pop this baby out in an hour or so.”  No siree, that is not how it turned out.  Normally your third child comes rather quickly especially when she comes barely 2 years after her big brother, but Rita was in labor for 9 hours before her petite little angel flew into the world.

English: Newborn baby Română: Nou nascut

Image via Wikipedia

So there you go.  Two examples of water breaking and babies taking their sweet time to get their first glimpse of the world.  So why on earth do all these shows (just recently on NCIS for example) have a pregnant woman’s water breaking and within moments you hear, “The baby’s coming!  The baby’s coming!  I see the head!!”  No you don’t see a baby’s head you see a short time limit in which to fit your story!  I guess there wouldn’t be a lot of drama involved in a story that went something like: “Oh dear, I think my water broke.”  Hubby or strange man the pregnant woman just met who will now deliver fatherless baby and become his male role model “Oh no!  What do we do?”  Future Mom, “Oh let’s just scoot on over to the hospital, maybe stop and have a sandwich along the way and by tomorrow morning we’ll probably have a baby!”  If that were the case, the strange man might not get roped into staying and becoming a part of the story’s plot and he and might say, “Oh, um in that case I’ll just drop you off at the ER ok?  I have a . . . a . . . root canal scheduled for today.”

I guess this is why doctor’s don’t watch Grey’s Anatomy, Federal Agents don’t watch NCIS and medical examiners don’t watch CSI.  TV producers may know drama, but they don’t know nothin’ about birthin’ no babies!

31 thoughts on “I Know Something About Birthin’ Babies

  1. littlesundog says:

    THAT was a hilarious post. I never had kids, but I know not to ask questions about the birthing process or anything after. I’ll just stay “green” about the whole experience, thank you very much. Sometimes ignorance is safest! I learned this from my mother when my first nephew (her first grandchild) was born. We saw the nurses bring baby Jeff into the nursery to clean him up and my first sighting horrified me. His head was alien-looking having a cone shape to it. I mentioned this to mom who completely lost it saying, “THAT is NOT a CONE head!! That is normal.. they often come out like that but he does not have a CONE HEAD!!” I retorted, “Gee Mom! I didn’t know but it sure looks cone-shaped to me”. I got a glare and “Well, it’s NOT a CONE head.” Another early lesson, this while visiting one of my sisters where I noticed a light, red rash on baby Sarah’s face. I said something and was answered with an irritated, “THAT is NORMAL! All babies get that!! It just came up yesterday but it’s NORMAL!” Sheesh. So now I just find nice things to say and I avoid questions. If someone’s water broke around me I’d just wait for the mother to tell me her version of what was going on or what to do. I’m sure not going to ask!

    • That is HILARIOUS!!! I will tell you a secret, rashes and “cone-shaped” heads are technically normal but they still look weird. Tink had a cone head and what they call Cradle Cap (which commonly gets referred to as cradle crap) and while all of this is “normal” it still looks freaky. But mom’s are especially hormonal so staying quiet, smiling and nodding is a great tactic!

  2. I love the way you write!

  3. katecrimmins says:

    And heaven forbid, don’t ever say they look like little monkeys (which they often do). It makes new moms nuts.

  4. RVingGirl says:

    I KNOW…..I watched that NCIS (love Mark Harmon, byt) and I said to my husband…..well she has a good 8 to 10 hours at least before that baby makes his grand entrance. I have had 4 babies, am a nurse so delivered my fair share and all but once, they take at least 2 hours to pop. One was a spontaneous delivery. The woman was having her 6th so had to be hospitalized because they literally just popped out. I was making her bed one morning with her in it. She said I think I will have this baby today. I asked if she had ANY contractions or twinges. Nope, I turned around to get the fresh sheet and there was her baby boy! No lie. She was laughing.

  5. I just watched American Horror Story and thought the same thing. She went into labor after her water broke 5 seconds before and the it took from 10-11 PM (minus commercial time) for this lady to have TWIN BABIES. Right. I mean, obviously they can skip through a lot of the repetitive labor crap that goes on and on but it was so fake!!

    I enjoyed reading this post! So funny!

  6. I agree. The water should break then the words “One week later,” should appear on the screen (along with several bleeps in the sound track). Then cut to husband, boyfriend, mysterious stranger looking at the ticker tape thingy measuring the contractions, saying (lying through his teeth), “Yes, this one is almost over.”

    Fun post! 🙂

    • I laughed when I saw “this one is almost over”. You are one brave woman to go through this FIVE times! (and Tony was brave too if he kept going into the delivery room wiht you) I think you should send your idea to Hollywood, maybe birthing scenes will become more realistic!

      PS – I’m stealing one of your ideas for tomorrow’s post, but at least I give you credit. I hope that’s ok.

  7. ldsrr91 says:

    Carol Burnett when asked to describe childbirth replied with the following: “Grab your lower lip and pull it over your forehead” that should just about do it.


    • I wholeheartedly agree with Carol! That reminds me, I need to find re-runs of her variety show. Did you ever see the one where Tim Conway is describing the siamese co-joined elephants at the circus? I think that clip is about 30-35 years old. I loved her show.

      • RVingGirl says:

        I suggest you go on You Tube to find that old clip. I love the Gone With the Wind skit where Carol appears wearing the drapes, curtain rod and all. The dentist one with Tim Conway is terrific too. lol

      • ldsrr91 says:

        Yes, that is a classic. He seemed to relish the moment when he could break everyone up with his ad libbing. I would suggest Utube as your best bet on finding it.


        • That whole crew was hilarious but I LOVED Tim Conway. I found a rough copy of it on You Tube and I’m looking for a “cleaner” one. That might have to be a “quickie” post one day when I have writer’s block.

  8. roseshadows says:

    Love the post, I shall get my daughter’s to read it so they know I’m not exaggerating!

  9. Barb says:

    Thanks for the update, sister. I missed Tuesday night’s NCIS, but it’s good to know I’d be hooting through the whole thing. Your version was better.

    • That was just a small part of the episode so there will still be some surprises for you. But as soon as you saw the pregnant woman on Christmas Eve we all knew at some point we’d hear a baby crying.

  10. yearstricken says:

    How long after the split pea soup was irritated out of you did you deliver the post? Very funny post.

  11. GOF says:

    I am so thankful for having been “wired differently”.
    Childbirth is portrayed much more realistically in a British TV production called “One born every minute” currently being shown in Australia. Now I’m even more thankful.

    Why are my legs crossed so tightly while I’m typing this?

    Enjoyed the comment banter above too.

    • GOF interestingly enough if a woman keeps her legs crossed enough, she may not have to experience this childbirth thing first hand! Great point. I love the comments from my readers – much more interesting than the original post.

  12. Pimi says:

    Ho yes: waters broke Friday morning, son delivered Monday morning…

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