I had lunch with some girlfriends recently and of course, mid-salad, the inevitable topic came up. Giving birth. I’m sorry, but if you know what it’s like to bring a baby into this world, you have the right to talk about it for the rest of your life. And if your baby has a head the size of a honeydew melon, you can justify bringing it up at any meal. (Within reason, of course.) Let’s just say I wouldn’t recommend bringing it up often to husbands, brothers, brothers-in-law, uncles, fathers, fathers-in-law, nephews, and grandfathers. Generally, any man within earshot. All you have to do is mention “maternity gown,” and you can easily clear any room of testosterone. Now, I know that men play a huge part in our children’s lives. (It all starts with a bottle of wine and ends with a 40-week-long hangover.) I just think there are times when they appreciate us not going on and on as often as we do. 

But we can’t help ourselves! It’s like we all bungee-jumped over the Grand Canyon in hospital Granny panties!

Whisper “contraction” over brunch with girls, and within seconds, there is a trickle of head nodding, “no way,” “you have GOT to be kidding me,” “uh, huh”, and giggles and cackles. Not cankles, CACKLES, as in cackling or laughing loud because you can’t control yourself (in a good way) when you’re around girlfriends. Through the years, I’ve heard cackle-out-loud stories of natural birth, C-sections, water birth, working through labor (as in working-in-the-office-during-labor-labor), false labor, 40 hours of labor, breech birth, and even those who went from hospital door to delivery table holding a precious new baby in less than 20 minutes.

Giving birth is beautiful. It’s also extremely painful. I feel like a rock star for doing it twice! And I can’t resist a good venting session with girlfriends who have endured such a life-altering experience. Especially when we have NO IDEA what to expect (hospital Granny panties and all) until we go through it.

When was the last time you had a laugh-out-loud labor story swapping session with the girls?