It’s true. You do leave your dignity at the hospital door when entering into childbirth.
Pre kids, I was the type of person to get undressed at the gym in a cubicle (there’s no way I’d do it in the middle bit in front of everyone, they might see a boob or something). So when I had my twins, I’m there – right before my operation – being shaved in my private parts by a nurse who’s just walked in and with whom I’ve never met before – and it’s all a bit odd.
I had a C section – so it wasn’t quite as undignified as pushing a baby out the front way, or having an audience peering in giving you stitches afterwards, but I did go through a long process of IVF before I had my twins. This involved lots of laying on my back and having anyone and everyone look ‘up me’ and poke things in there, (and not for any amount of pleasure).
And then afterwards, if we are breast feeding, we then have to get our boobs out for more nursing folk to touch to help us express milk. Or examine us in a whole manner of places depending on how our birth went.
And you can’t complain, you just have to lie back and let them.
You don’t actually care by now.
So we’ve had the baby (or babies in my case) and we are going home but it’s not just dignity we leave behind. We also leave ourselves there.
Before I had my two little bundles I admit I liked to look good, I loved clothes, handbags, make up and things that smelt nice, and I liked to eat and drink out a lot with friends. I enjoyed splurging every now and again, and I had a few holidays that I couldn’t really afford to go on at the time, but I stuck it on the plastic.
I liked getting my hair done at good salons, needed my sleep, liked reading magazines, I loved lying in late at the weekend and really enjoyed a takeaway and a good movie.
…But I left that woman in the hospital maternity ward. I’m now totally selfless. I’m nothing like her anymore.
Every penny I have (which are few) is spent on my twins. I couldn’t make a really big, frivolous purchase on myself anymore because I would feel too guilty that it could have bought them copious things. Something that now makes me happy instead.
I make their food first, (I eat whenever I can), my friends are now their friends Mums, I go anywhere that they like to go and I play with toys and watch things on TV that makes them happy. I devote my entire self to raising them, and I’m at my most happy when they are. And I want it to be like this, it’s totally voluntary – and it feels right.
I read somewhere that most women feel ready to look after themselves again somewhere around their child’s 5th birthday. So for me, in 4 years or so, ‘she’ might make a bit of a come back!! 😉