Ante-natal #3


Wednesday comes, and with it another visit to Tanglin Mall. This week, after being taught about the miracle of childbirth in the first two weeks (protip: gravity is your friend), we were treated to Some Of The Things You Might Prefer To Avoid.

For starters, the routine episiotomy. There’s nothing "routine" about somebody going near your perineum with a sharpened implement. While I understand there’s a good reason to do it when circumstances dictate, it sounded more like the doctors of Singapore want mothers-to-be up on a bed and cut up as soon as possible, just in case. Just in case your perineum might tear, we’re going to chop at it now, and save some time.

And it was downhill from there. As far as I could tell, pregnancy is a momentary interruption for doctors between rounds of golf, to be tolerated and endured as little as possible, and with no regard for the woman involved. Stuff like being in a room jammed with random members of staff, shouting contradictory instructions simultaneously, or a nitwit pushing down on the top of the uterus like delivery was equivalent to squeezing out toothpaste, or having a go with some medically approved barbecue tongs for what I could only assume was a bet. So I felt less than relaxed after all that.

Perhaps the midwife giving us the class was biased but it sounded like the staff in a Singaporean hospital were trained just to take orders, unlike the troublesome, dissenting midwives of Europe. I figure that you should be thinking about making the poor woman who’s got to deal with producing a baby to be as comfortable as possible, not browbeating her into having things done to her that were fashionable fifty years ago, but hey, what do I know?

Still, it wasn’t all shouting and shoving. There were biscuits to eat too, even if all the talk of perineal cutting and shaving and enemas was affecting my appetite. I stayed smart and kept my theory about how a man would never tolerate a delivery of more than 30 minutes strictly to myself. I’m not dumb, you know.


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