1. On TV: Everyone knows your due date.
2. In reality: Everyone asks you “Any news? Have you had that baby yet?”
“Yes, why of course! I had the baby last week and didn’t tell you.”
3. On TV: Labour must start with your waters breaking.
In a public place, of course.
4. In reality: Your waters breaking is not a precursor to labour.
You face a long and boring wait, analysing every twinge.
5. On TV: You have one contraction and you are immediately in full-blown labour.
6. In reality: You spend six hours faffing with contraction-timing apps, wondering if this is active labour yet.
7. On TV: There is a 98% chance that you will never make it to the hospital in time.
8. In reality: You get to the hospital, twice, only to be sent back home because you aren’t in established labour yet.
10. In reality: Your partner’s No. 1 job is to know where everything is in your labour bag.
11. On TV: You arrive at the hospital at pushing stage.
“This baby is coming NOW!”
12. In reality: You arrive at the hospital for your induction.
Walk around. Get put on a Pitocin drip, spend quite a few hours in labour, and THEN reach pushing stage.
14. In reality: NO ONE needs to tell you to push.
15. On TV: An inexperienced stranger or friend delivers your baby.
16. In reality: A midwife or a doctor delivers your baby.
17. On TV: Congratulations, you’ve given birth to a squeaky-clean six-month-old.
18. In reality: Congratulations, you’ve given birth to an angry walnut.
19. On TV: Visitors can come in immediately. It’s one big party and you look GREAT. Yay!
20. In reality: You require a long, thorough shower before you will consider receiving visitors.
21. On TV: Your hospital room is super nice, and you are the only one there!
22. In reality: You are sharing a postnatal ward with five other women and you can’t wait to get out of there.
23. On TV: You’re up and about as if nothing’s changed.
In reality: You need stitches.
24. On TV: Placenta delivery is about as mythical as unicorns.
25. In reality: You decide between a physiological third stage and an actively managed third stage.
26. On TV: Your partner becomes overcome with emotion at the sight of their newborn baby.
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