Reality TV is very divisive. You either love it or you hate it. I love it. From following families who have made millions for just being famous, to watching celebrities eat worms for our entertainment, I watch them all. Of course how real they are is always questioned. I think you can agree that there’s nothing more real than giving birth. So my favourite of them all is One Born Every Minute. If you are not aware of it, this is a fly on the wall insight into the maternity hospitals in the UK. Women of all ages, ethnicity and social backgrounds come to the hospitals and share their birthing stories with us all, and I for one feel privileged each time to be a part of it.
Watching an episode is not always easy!
I remember watching it before I had ever given birth and being in total awe of the women. I also learned so much from the show because there’s nothing like seeing it for yourself to really give you an understanding of what you are about to go through. Some women are quiet and stoic, and birth their babies like the toast popping in the mornings! Others wail like banshees and writhe in pain and curse and swear, and you can tell that it’s a pain like no other. This variety can lead the viewer through many emotions in one single episode. For that reason I have complied a few tips on How to Survive an episode of One Born Every Minute.
You will need tissues. There is no doubt that at some point there will be tears. I cry every time a baby is born because I think it is the most magical and mind blowing event a woman can go through, and the emotion overcomes me. You may cry out of fear if you have never given birth before because it is a daunting prospect. Equally there may be happy tears knowing that you will never have to go through the experience again. So stock up!
Be prepared to be angry as hell so you may need a few deep breathes. It never fails to amaze me at how utterly selfish some partners can be. There have been many episodes that I have watched where the other half is whining because they are tired or just completely disinterested in the events until it gets to the money shot. Well I’m sorry, it takes time and if you are tired, but I’m pretty sure the lady who has been carrying the child for 40+ weeks and is now afraid and in pain is more tired than you are! So I take deep, deep breathes to stop myself from flinging my Coke can at the television.
Whatever your mechanism to handle stress is, get it ready. You may be a nail biter or need a glass of wine. You may cling to a pillow or squeeze a stress ball, in my case I bite my lip. Occasionally, there are episodes where everything doesn’t go to plan. There are complications with either Mam or baby, and honestly I have nearly chewed through my lip on more than one occasion. There is nothing more terrifying but this is the reality of it, and it needs to shown.
Lastly, but by no means least, you need to do some prep work before you view an episode. Specifically if you don’t want to have any more children. You need to compile a list of the unglamorous aspects of pregnancy and labour, and the subsequent infant that arrives. Words like heartburn, stretch marks, back pain, haemorrhoids and episiotomy. Others that pop into my head are mastitis, exhaustion and poo…. lots and lots of poo! You will feel your ovaries shift, and you may need to refer to this list to stop yourself becoming pregnant on the spot.
There’s nothing that puts the longing on you more than someone else’s baby.
If you employ these tactics, you may survive the epic drama that is an episode of One Born Every Minute. Marvel at how utterly amazing the human body is. Look at your fellow woman and appreciate how powerful our bodies are. The other option is to go have another one yourself. I think I’ll stick to chewing my lip…