conspiracy theory

Labor manuals (yes, they exist) tell you, "once your contractions take your breath away, you'll probably be ready to go to the hospital."

A woman who has gone through labor once before will laugh at that particular turn of phrase.

"Take your breath away," she'll snort. "Sure. Right. That's another way of saying 'you can't fucking breathe.' You know what else is 'breathtaking,' by that definition? Choking to death on a mozzarella stick at Red Lobster. Or drowning in a urinal at Yankee Stadium. Was my breath taken away by my 71-hour unmedicated labor? Okay, yes. Technically. But the way this is written, it sounds like it's, you know, breathtaking, when in reality, it just feels like you're getting taken down by room-temp breaded string cheese."

We've heard these stories over and over, for our entire lives.

Labor hurts, it's agony, it's the worst thing ever, please God put me out of my misery and let me die of staph-infected genital warts rather than go through labor again, wah wah wah.



What I'm about to say... there are people, powerful people, who don't want me to say it. But I can no longer look myself in the eye when I'm taking selfies after freshly applying my lip gloss. The time has come for the truth.

I'm breaking the code of the sisterhood right now by publishing this post.

The charade has gone on long enough. Plus, I heard that Dan Brown is about to publish a book about a secret so catastrophically devastating that its mere existence threatens the very foundations of human knowledge, and after we found out about Jesus and that Symbol thingy, what else could it be?

Here it is, you guys.

The Secret.

Not THAT Secret. The Other Secret.

The thing nobody has ever said out loud before except a bunch of times when nobody was around to write about it and publish it on the internet.



And I don't mean it the way the labor manual means it, like a euphemism for "gasping at the sheer terror of heretofore unexperienced crippling pain inside your body." I mean it like labor is AWESOME.

That's right.

Everything you think you know about having a baby is a lie.

All those other ladies, weeping and wailing? They were pawns, foot soldiers in an elaborate scheme to score free postpartum casseroles and keep the rates of teen pregnancy at only "Yellow: moderate to severe teen pregnancy; the next generation of Americans WILL be brought up on bedtime stories from Teen Vogue and Three Little Kardashians."

The labor manual was telling the truth, you guys. We just weren't reading it the right way. (And that's why Dan Brown is going to write the shit out of this book y'all.)

Every contraction you see, when you a woman screws her eyes shut and tears leak out from her clenched eyelids? When she howls at the moon, vomits into a bucket, begs for death?


Sure, we have some negative associations with the idea of "not being able to breathe." You might think of:

1. An ice-cold bath
2. A swift kick to the taint
3. Stubbing your toe on a rusty axe
4. The aforementioned Red Lobster scenario

But no. Don't buy into that (QUOTATION FINGERS) PROPOGANDA.

You know what really "takes your breath away"?

1. Costa Rican Ziplines
2. An unexpected marriage proposal

And yes.

Yes, the unique and exquisite ecstasy of hours of increasingly intense, involuntary muscle contractions, followed by a literal rending of your flesh to make way for a Christmas ham-sized baby that you will name Orcas or Jester. It takes your breath away. In the good way.


Exhibit A.
A real conversation between a nurse and a laboring woman in the Ukraine. I heard it with my own ears and can attest to its absolute truth.

Adelaide: (gasps!)

Nurse: How are your contractions, Adelaide?

Adelaide: Why, they're positively BREATHTAKING, thank you! 

Nurse: Oh, Adelaide, that sounds just divine. Is it like a vista overlooking the Grand Canyon?

Adelaide: I feel like an eagle soaring through the clouds over God's most wondrous creation!

Nurse: That certainly sounds like active and intense labor to me! Would you like me to page the anesthesiologist?

Adelaide: Oh don't let's spoil it, sweet nurse... I'm about to be left breathless by yet another thrilling contraction, and I want to make sure I can savor it! Oh, why can't labor last for always?

(I do not speak Ukrainian but I am 100% sure that this is exactly what these women were screaming about.)

That's EXACTLY how labor is. 

Excuse me, someone is knocking at my door. That's funny. I didn't order a pizza or anything... but I'm sure it's not anything sketc


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