Watch Out- She's Gonna BLOW!- Our Fear Of Exploding Pregnant Women
|Photo via http:www.morguefile.com|
I read this very tastefully done piece on Yahoo news about a Ms Snookie (?) who is pregnant and said that she is going to "burst". (Do yourself a favor and don't read the comments. In fact, just skip the whole thing.)
This young woman (who is apparently a reality TV STAR!) is worried she is going to burst or explode or basically break and die in the process of, you guessed it- PREGNANCY AND/OR CHILDBIRTH!
Sadly, the sentiment is all too common.
Did I tell you about the time one of my students was told on her hospital tour that sometimes women just, "EXPLODE down there!" (TRUE STORY.)
And if you have been living in a cave you may have missed the last 20 years of hysteria over exploding uteri. Yes, the female uterus is liable to explode at any moment- especially if it has ever been handled by an OB.
Then again, any pregnant woman who dares walk outside in the open air after about six months gestation is bound to have somebody tell her one of the following:
"You look like you could POP!"
"Holy cow, you are ready to burst!"
"Oh my gosh, can you get any bigger without exploding?!"
Yes, gentility still abounds. So many polite people. So many.
I have news for you though. It may be hard to believe but WOMEN were DESIGNED to survive pregnancy and birth.
Your pregnant tummy will not pop.
Your uterus will not rupture.
Your vagina will not explode.
You skin is meant to stretch, as is your uterus and your vagina.
I know we cling to the notion of 16 year old, bounce a nickel off the old abs, FIRMNESS in this country, but it is WRONG. We are meant to stretch. One of the reasons pregnancy and birth take time is because the tissues need that time to S T R E T C H.
If you don't believe me, go to a beach. Look around. We might find it repulsive because we are wacky and backwards and secretly hate motherhood, BUT- you will see proof all around you that women and their bodies successfully accommodate the growing and birthing of a child. Those of us who are lucky enough, bear the scars forever. (Also, my thighs had to get bigger and they ALSO have stretch marks. I don't really see the point of that though.)
We aren't broken. Neither are our lady parts.
Respect the stretch boys.
(Disclaimer- I do realize that sometimes things do go wrong. The chances however, of either severe vaginal tearing or uterine rupture- even with VBAC- are relatively small and often overstated. Do your research.)