The first birthday wheel has started to spin amongst my friends. Today marked the day of our first.
The party was for my friends third baby so it was fairly low key. No bunting, no banners just some leftover cake and an 'I'm One Today' helium balloon. Toys R Us threw up on the living room floor for the babies while a comfy sofa invited the mums in for some adult conversation, which of course rotated around our babies.
The babies ripped toys from one another's chubby hands and grabbed one another's faces. We tried to be dutiful mothers at first. "No, Mr L don't grab Miss F's hair." "That's an eye Miss E and it's not there for you to poke." At least we pretended. However, as the chat picked up pace the babies were increasingly ignored as they proceeded to use eachother as their personal climbing frames.
The conversation topic eventually stopped at childbirth. Of course, we all love to share our birthing stories. Mostly, I've realized it's because we love to show off. It's funny how as women we are so competitive about our birthing experiences. Maybe it's our way of making an experience, so special to us, but such a common one, unique. After all it's not called labour for nothing and we should be proud of ourselves.
This is how the battle commenced:
Round One - Baby weight.
Mum 1: boasts "my baby was a hefty 8lbs".
No one asks Mum 2 who can beat that so she cuts in patronisingly "Big baby but mine was 8lb7oz."
Mum 3: smugly "I've always had big babies, this one was a 10lber."
Mum 4: Silence.
Why is baby weight such a boastful topic? Well done, you ate a lot. In honesty, don't we all went healthy but not too big babies because the logic is that they will be easier to push out. We're aiming for a small melon not a large one but if a watermelon is on the menu then every mum wants to let everyone know what a hard time she had. Mum 1 thought she had won this round hence why she volunteered the information Mum 2 cut in, thinking she could win it but was trumped by Mum 3, silently laughing.
Round Two - Painkillers.
Mum 3: "I managed to get through it without anything but gas and air."
Mum 2 & 3: "The birthing pool did wonders for us."
Mum 1: "I would never have the epidural again because it didn't work for me."
Mum 3 wanted everyone to know how hard worked so hard on her breathing technique. Even though no one actually asked. She probably left out the part where she screamed blue murder for an epidural when it was too late (was that just me?!). Mum 1 obviously thinks she's losing the boasting session so had to throw in that fact. The non-epidural mums were silently thinking, "whatever."
Round Three - Husbands.
Mum 1: "My husband is such a wimp he actually had to leave the room a few times."
Mum 4: "Can you believe mine fainted? And that was just when they were taking my blood, har har."
Mum 2: "Yeah, mine was all like, 'just keeping pushing you'll be fine'. Like i'm trying to open a sauce lid rather than PUSH A BABY OUT!"
Mum 3: "Poor you, my husband was amazing. Couldn't have got through it without him."
Mum 3 obviuosly didn't get the gist of this one. The wimpier the husband the more opportunity there is to show off about what a champion you are.
Tie Breaker - Would you do it again?
We all then proceeded to state how much we enjoyed the experience and actually it wasn't that bad. The obligatory, it was worth it in the end' was thrown in to compensate. I even heard every NCT teachers favourite, 'it was a positive pain'.
That night I relayed our conversation to the boy and ended on how it wasn't that bad, really. His response?
"You have forgotten!"
Photo credit: http://peachysmile.tumblr.com/