Speaker A: Welcome to sharing my truth with Mel and Suzie. The uncensored version where we bear it all.
Speaker B: We do 12345.
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Speaker B: Get it?
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Speaker B: Welcome everyone. Welcome back to sharing my truth. I'm Mel and this is Susie. Hello, darling. How are you today? Hello, babes.
Speaker A: I am excellent. I'm so happy to be here with you today. I'll be honest. I love you.
Speaker B: Me too. The feeling is completely mutual.
Speaker A: Thank you.
Speaker B: So what are we talking about? Oh God.
Speaker A: We have a actually pretty big topic today. You want to know what that is?
Speaker B: Yeah. It's the act of pregnancy. The act.
Speaker A: And then comes next is the second act, which is birth, and then the third act which is having the baby and the baby being there and pretty bad dealing with that. And then we won't get into the next. That'll be a Broadway show for next time.
Speaker B: Yeah. So let me ask you I have kids. You don't.
Speaker A: I know. Congratulations. They are so cute.
Speaker B: Thank you. It's a lot. But what are your feelings about pregnancy, children? What do you think in your heads kind of happening? Pretty little brain?
Speaker A: Yeah, I mean, that's honestly a very loaded question because I have so many feelings towards it.
Speaker B: Really?
Speaker A: I have so many intermingling thoughts into pregnancy and children in general. And it might just be because no, actually this isn't the way. Because I know a lot of people who are my age who don't think like me. But I do not know if I ever want to have children. And I've always been like this. When people were playing with baby dolls, I was playing with Barbies. I wanted to be an adult woman so badly and I liked animals. There was just that true difference. And so that's obviously come with me into my adulthood and I look at a baby, my boyfriend's brother has children. They're sweet. They're not babies anymore. They're like children, but they're so sweet. And I love them so much and I know a lot of other kids that I love. I was a camp counselor. I really love kids. To have my own and to be responsible for this thing and to just know what kind of a world I'm bringing it into is a huge weight that I feel.
Speaker B: I get that's. That's rough. That's not a good thing. I'm not sure that you can spend all that much time thinking about that. But I do understand what you're saying, and it's interesting you say that to me, that you have always thought, I don't want kids because I've got a lot of friends who my friends who haven't had children. And they said to me, like, quite a young age, I never wanted children, and they didn't have children. They didn't want them. And quite frankly, if you don't want them, then you really shouldn't have them because it's a huge thing that's not good for anybody. But I'm sort of curious as to is that a feeling that you have from you? Is it because is it pressure from society? Is it like, your friends? What do you think that is?
Speaker A: Yeah, I don't know. Most, like, all of my friends, like, I know acquaintances who have had children. None of my close knit group of friends have a family yet have or they're not even married. They don't have kids yet.
Speaker B: They're late.
Speaker A: Twenty s? Yeah. So we don't have kids yet, so there's no kids in the group. Even most of us have dogs, and we all take care of those and whatever, but yeah, exactly. Most of us are in somewhat serious relationships and are dealing with that, but none of us have made it to that kid period yet. And I do know that most of my friends want kids. I'm one of the kind of odd ones out that are like, I actually don't know if I do. And there's that hard thing where it's like, my boyfriend is so sweet. I know he'd be a great dad. He's not ever like, I want kids. We're going to have these kids. He's like, if it's something that you want to do, if it's we're ready for it, and if the time is right, we'll do it. But it's like, I want it. If I'm going to have kids, I want his kids because he's so great.
Speaker B: But I just he's literally wonderful.
Speaker A: But yeah, there's that thing of just like, I don't know if I actually want to do that and go through the huge you're changing your entire life. Right? This isn't just for 18 years. This is your entire life. You're changing you're changing your entire body as a woman. Right? We're talking about the whole thing. It's really crazy.
Speaker B: I think it's a very interesting question on a personal level, for me, I always knew I wanted children, right? And as we sort of covered in an earlier episode, I had a very challenging, not particularly stable childhood. So I think for me, I always wanted children, but I always felt in some way that I definitely wanted to raise my children very differently. And I sort of felt, well, I've been shown this example of how not to do it. I'm definitely not going to do it like that. But I always I just I just knew. And then I happened to meet a man who wanted children, and I think for either of us, if we hadn't wanted children, it would have been a bit of a deal breaker, and we made that pretty clear early on, but it's a massive thing. But it's one of those things that until you have kids and it's sort of an incredibly patronizing thing to say, and people say it to people who don't have kids, and it's very annoying, but it's like, until you've had kids, it's like until you've done anything in life, it's very hard to know exactly what that entails. So you have this sort of idea, and I think anybody who wants a child is like, beautiful, bouncing, jubby, lovely baby, adorable. They're adorable, lovely. And it's your baby and blah, blah, blah, you get pregnant. And I think you also have this vision, but being pregnant, you're going to I don't know, you sort of have this romantic vision that you're going to be wearing these sort of floral dresses. Yeah, you're going to Beadow what are they called?
Speaker A: Barefoot and pregnant or whatever. Right?
Speaker B: And you'll be wearing this lovely and you'll be this sort of big, bosom floral dress, beautiful woman running.
Speaker A: That does sound excellent, if that's what.
Speaker B: It was, I've completely made that **** up. But anyway, it's like you have this vision of it being you are literally going to glow, and you're going to bluff them, and you're going to bloom, and you're going to look amazing, like a peony. Whatever it is, none of that **** happened. For me, it was the complete opposite. Oh, ****. I got pregnant very quickly, and I laugh about the fact it's slightly terrifying.
Speaker A: Can I know? Were you on birth control and then you went off it and then you got pregnant right away?
Speaker B: Yeah.
Speaker A: Amazing.
Speaker B: I mean, we planned it. I mean, we literally kind of well.
Speaker A: You obviously just got married.
Speaker B: And I was young when I got married. I was 28. My husband was 27, which was a lot earlier than I thought. And then I had this idea in my head. I don't know, you have these sort of like, okay, we have to be married for a bit. And I remember when I got married, a great odd of my husband said to me, came up to me at the I think it's the engagement party, said, you don't do anything, don't have babies yet. I have some time as a couple and be together and then have children. I think that was actually pretty good advice. And we didn't and we waited. I don't know if I'd wait that long, but waited three years anyway. And I think the other thing is when you're young, you're waiting for this. We're going to be financially stable. We're going to have the right house, and everything's going to be perfect, knowing that baby. And of course, that's ridiculous because you're in your it's not going to be perfect. And quite frankly, probably financially, it's not going to be perfect until you're in your kids are in their teens. It's kind of a weird thing. And I was 31 when my first child was born, and it was quite strange because at the time, you think, well, 31 is kind of normal. And I remember going to the doctor and they're like, oh, you're very young, aren't you? And I thought, what do you mean, I'm young? I'm 31. But actually, most of my friends were a lot older than me.
Speaker A: Wow.
Speaker B: But, yeah, literally, we decided I'm going to have a baby. Came off birth control and I was pregnant. Wow. I mean, very quickly. And I had this weird thing and it was subsequently, like I said, always do some research, everyone is I didn't think I was pregnant. And then I had some blood and I thought, oh, well, I'm not pregnant.
Speaker A: Spotting?
Speaker B: Yeah. And I thought, oh, well, that's a period, or whatever, around the time. Then I found out that actually, that is not the case. And it was literally a little bit of spotting, but I was literally pregnant. Sort of like a month or a second go sort of thing. Wow. I mean, it was very easy and it was good. It was slightly terrifying. ****. Get out of free jail. Cut. All those times when you were younger, she could have got pregnant, but when you didn't want to be pregnant. But I got pregnant quite easily and my husband was a quite heavy smoker, so he stopped smoking as well, so we kind of prepared it, got pregnant quite easily and I literally felt sick from day one.
Speaker A: Oh, my God. That's horrible.
Speaker B: And they talk about morning sickness and I literally felt like I was on a boat.
Speaker A: I mean, I just like motion sickness?
Speaker B: Yeah, it's very severe. And then you can't and I'm obviously, as everyone knows, I'm English, and so I love my cups of tea and I probably have about six a day. I mean, I have three before 07:00 in the morning and you're not supposed to drink a lot of tea or coffee or whatever.
Speaker A: No caffeine.
Speaker B: Yeah, but even like, well, I guess tea has tannin, but it was like, don't drink tea. And I was just like, don't touch you with tea. And I was like, oh, my God, there's something seriously wrong. Wow. And then the other thing, I was like, I love salad, I eat a lot of salad. And I was like, don't show me a bowl of salad. It was very, very weird.
Speaker A: What were your actual cravings? Well, I was what did you want to eat?
Speaker B: Furnace. I was so hot. I mean, my internal temperature must have been about a billion degrees, like the core of the earth.
Speaker A: Both pregnancies were just talking about the first one.
Speaker B: I mean, the second worse along the same kind of thing, but I was really, really hot. And so I had to have, as we call them in England, lollies, which is a lolly. And I had to have, like, boxes of lollies a day. It was terrible. And I just had these very weird you have these very odd cravings. And it was funny because I don't eat a lot of dairy and I haven't been eating dairy, and all I wanted to eat was cheese. It was so bizarre and it's very strange. And then I think that idea that you think, oh, my God, I'm going to look amazing and I'm going to.
Speaker A: Like I said, you're going to glow.
Speaker B: None of those things happened to me. I think I had every hormonal, I had spots, I had pains. I just looked because I'm very short.
Speaker A: I just looked like, oh, God, that's going to be me.
Speaker B: Shine on the *****, no space. And then this enormous stomach. So I was sort of like, I don't know, some kind of caricature. That's what I look like. And if you sort of oh, my.
Speaker A: God, I bet you are beautiful. I bet you're more beautiful than you thought.
Speaker B: No, I really don't think that at all. And the birth was horrendous. Yeah, I think that's. And I really would love to hear anybody's stories, and I empathize greatly and please let us know. But it was terrible. I had my first child in England and so I was in the NHS, which is sort of like the equivalent of Bohip, so state healthcare, but it's very good and it's all free, which is amazing. And the care was incredible, but I had this whole ridiculous lead up. Do you want to know the ridiculous?
Speaker A: Yeah, of course I do.
Speaker B: Okay, so we just renovated our house, and we're very proud of our house, and it was a small house, but that's relevant.
Speaker A: In England.
Speaker B: In England. And we just had the bathroom done, and I started having contractions at about 05:00 A.m.. So Max, my husband, got up. He's like, okay, what can I do? And I said, okay, I want to have a bath because I want to be clean. I'm like an obsessive. I have to be clean. I never go anywhere without having shouts, like my thing. And there's a water break at this point. No, it's a whole different story. Oh, Jesus. So I have to have a bath and have to have a cup of tea. I said, Great, I'll run you a bath. And our bathroom was above the kitchen. I'll go downstairs and make you a cup of tea. It's 05:00 a.m. Great. So he goes down, puts a bath on and goes to make a cup of tea. He puts the kettle on and he's standing there and he's going, why is the bath coming through the ceiling of the kitchen?
Speaker A: Pardon?
Speaker B: Yeah, and my contractions are ranked.
Speaker A: Are you in the bath? And the bath comes through the kitchen.
Speaker B: No, thank ****. I wasn't in the bath. I was downstairs on a ball. Like, you have all these when you have your first pregnancy, you buy all this Paris and Alien kit because you think it's all very complicated. And I have one of those, like, gym ball things. Yeah, I was on this ball guy because as the contractions go, they get worse. Oh, my God. And somebody tried to ask me, explain what they're like. And I said, well, imagine somebody puts, like, a great big sort of crank vice thing like you're doing woodwork up your ****** and go and that's basically it. And you know the size of your ****** holes and you have a baby ******. So you think that person is coming through that?
Speaker A: No, I don't want so it has.
Speaker B: To, over a period of time, get to a size where that baby's coming out. The whole concept is completely terrifying. Anyway, I'm on this ball, and every, like, bouncing up now, and Max is like, don't think you can have the bath or the cup of tea because the ceilings coming through the kitchen. And this is by now 535, 45 in the morning. So my husband is a lawyer, which is very useful in these situations.
Speaker A: Holy ****.
Speaker B: Calls up the contractor. I've never heard so much swearing in my entire life. You get your Effing R standing and of course, he has a Canadian accent. And all the builders are English, so they're just completely terrified. And they know he's a lawyer. And literally the first time in history, these contracts just turn up at 06:00 A.m. And we have a tiny house and I'm going on this ball and these men, these big sort of contractors in this house, and they couldn't even catch my gift because they've all got children. They're just like the shame of it that they've done this to this woman having a ******* baby through her kitchen. Oh, my God. And it was hideous. And then we had to arrange for one of my relatives because then in England, what happens is you have to call the hospital and you call them up and say, I'm having contractions. And then you have this conversation over the phone and they say, well, how many minutes apart? When there's so many minutes apart, then you come in.
Speaker A: Right, okay. Wow. So they don't even tell you to come in at a certain point?
Speaker B: Yeah, exactly.
Speaker A: That's smart.
Speaker B: You know which hospital you're going to because the way the care works is that you've been followed by a midwife and it's all midwifery let's you've been followed by a midwife. You see her every week or whatever, so you know where you're going, you know what you're doing. It's all pretty organized. And then when the moment comes, you call that hospital and then they sort of talk to you over the phone and tell you, okay, how are you doing? And they know by your breathing where you are. And of course, the way it works in England is you go to a hospital that's closed your house, so you get in the car. You're going to get there most of the time anyway, these guys come in, don't look at me. And I'm going and the pains are getting more and more. And of course, I haven't had a bath. I haven't had a cup of tea. You're ******* ******. I am the cranky witch from hell who's about to have a baby. And to me, the idea of going somewhere I haven't had a bath or a shower, it's just beyond horrendous. I can't even fathom how awful this anyway, I obviously have to get in a car and go to hospital. And I do get to hospital, and they're super into sort of at the time, they were very into sort of natural, have the baby naturally and all.
Speaker A: This, like, no epic drugs.
Speaker B: And I was in what we call an NHS hospital, and I got my own room, which I know will probably surprise people, but I wasn't on award. I was in my own room with a bathroom, and I didn't pay for this for free. And they're like, Come in and blah, blah, blah. And I'm like drug. They're like, no, you don't need drugs. And, like, I think I do need my ******* drugs. And they're like, no. And I was there for so long. And then they put me in a bath. I'm in the bath. I mean, it just gets worse and worse. And so you talk about this idea like you see in the movies, if your water's breaking, you've probably seen that many times. When my waters this is ours in and it's broken. Oh, my God. And I'm doing gas and air, which is hilarious. You have this sort of looks a bit like an oxygen tank, and you breathe it in and then you feel a bit better. It really doesn't help that much. And then the pain is getting worse, and then they're starting to think this isn't a very good situation. So I've been there and you're like, no ****.
Speaker A: No ******* ****. It's not a good situation.
Speaker B: And then, okay, we need to do something, essentially. And it was a man who was an obstetrician. I've had, like, by this time, about six different midwives, and by this time.
Speaker A: Like, coming off shift exactly.
Speaker B: Oh, my God, dignity is gone. And I said before, thank God, I said to my husband, I have no idea where I thought this. I've got to get everything waxed down below. I've got a pedicure. I've got to get the whole thing done. I don't know why I thought that. He thought I was mad. And then when about literally a million people had seen up my ******, he's like, oh, I get it. I really get it. Oh, my God, I'm not doing very well. And then I was like, Get my husband. He's got to be here. I don't want him to see down there because your stuff is coming out. It's not romantic. He may see you in a very different light after you've seen all that. Yeah. Anyway, so this man comes along and literally sticks his hand up me and bursts, I guess, my waters.
Speaker A: Oh, my God.
Speaker B: And then you see in the movies, you see the water. The pain I will never experience in my life again was indescribable. It was just horrendous. And I grabbed my husband's hand and my nails went in and I was like, find the ******* man with the drugs right ******* now, kind of thing. Excuse the shouting. And I think you're allowed to shout. And basically they were all a bit hook. Okay? I said, I just find him. And they found him and he was a man. Sorry that he's a man. And I had an epidural. And the way it worked at that time in England is you push for a certain amount of time, they can't let you push forever.
Speaker A: No, you shouldn't, because that can really **** you up.
Speaker B: Yeah. So in that hospital, I think it was an hour and a half, in different hospitals, different all over.
Speaker A: Oh, wow, I didn't know that.
Speaker B: So they let me push, push, and then like, this isn't happening. And they sort of got these sort of things that look like salad tones and tries to jesus. Push around.
Speaker A: **** you're.
Speaker B: Not a salad. It's really horrible. And they're like, this isn't happening, this isn't happening. At a certain point, they start to look very worried and you can see their bucket faces because you've had the epidural. And literally when you have the epidural, you can't feel anything. So when they say push, you're like, but you have no idea what's going on, so it's a very odd thing. And they're like, okay, you have to have a cesarean. This is really not very good. So they wheeled me in and this was very late. Now, I started at five, so this was late in the evening. And they wheeled me in and it was not a good situation and I lost a lot of blood and it wasn't a brilliant thing. It was not good. And my baby was born and they literally sort of shoved it into Max's hands and shoved him into the hallway and didn't tell him anything because that's the doctor's way of just like, get out. Save this woman's life and get out of the way. And they can't tell the relative because obviously the relative is going to go nuts. Obviously it's fine because I'm here, but it wasn't fun. It's very painful because you've pushed. And so I actually, to this day, feel it's a bit damaged because you push very hard and then I don't quite have the same it's different down there. I don't have a lot of women, and that is an issue in their relationships. When you have children, it does change things because some people it can tear and stuff and I don't have that. But I had this cesarean and then you have this baby and this thing you've been dreaming of, this beautiful thing and it is a very intense emotional thing. And I mean, I woke up the next day, basically, or not the next day. I suppose that later in the middle of the night, probably, and you have this baby and I was sort of on drug that I was very drugged up and stuff. But once you sort of are cognizant of the fact you have this baby, it's very intense. I mean, the emotions are unbelievable, but then the sort of reality and then you have to start trying to breastfeed. And for me, because I'd had an emergency cesarean, it just wouldn't work. And it just didn't work. Didn't work, didn't work. And I was in hospital for a week and it was quite tough because there was a lot of pressure to feed this baby naturally and all the rest of it. And my baby was quite big and she was losing weight and all the rest of it. But I think the thing is, as women, we sort of have this idealized, we have this idea in our head and of course, it doesn't necessarily go to plan. And then just the reality of having a baby, which is a huge thing. I mean, physically, just having the baby, your body goes through all this stuff and then you have to feed this baby. And even that, you think breastfeeding. I think we sort of fed this thing, that it works for everyone and it's brilliant and it's natural and actually a lot of women find it incredibly painful. I could literally feel it from my nipple down to my toe, it hurts so much. And I just kept going, but it was really uncomfortable. And I've spoken to a lot of other women who've had the same thing and then, of course, there are many women who don't have it, so they don't know what you're talking about. And then, of course, you've gone through this whole experience, even if it's like mine, where it wasn't a great natural situation or you've had a baby naturally, your body's gone through this whole thing, and then you're supposed to just go home and just kind of know what to do, right? And then just off you go. And I remember the drive home from the hospital was probably the most terrifying drive of our life. And Max drove at about 10 miles an hour, this tiny little thing, and you've just bought this car seat and you have no idea what you're doing. And the thing I would commend the NHS, and I don't know exactly what happens here in Canada, but when you go home for a certain period of time, a health worker basically comes and visits you and checks on you.
Speaker A: Oh, that's very nice.
Speaker B: They check the baby, they weigh the baby. They also check on your mental health and whether you're having issues and they do it very subtly because they ask you certain questions and it's obviously to see if you are suffering from postpartum depression.
Speaker A: I was just going to ask, is that like even the breastfeeding thing? Do you think that's anything to do with postpartum depression?
Speaker B: Yeah, I mean, I think that your body is going through this massive shift and the hormones change. I think it's sort of quite quickly after birth or just going through this wild thing. And I think the other issue is for women who experience extreme postpartum depression is everyone builds up this thing. You've had a baby, and especially if you've been wanting this child, you feel that you should be elated, you should feel all these feelings and it should all be natural and normal. And of course, it isn't always the case, and then you feel terrible guilt. Now, in my case, just because I couldn't feed my baby naturally, I was in hospital for a week. I literally had a moment. It was probably about probably about ten minutes, I'd say, where one midwife came in and she was just pressurizing me and it was just too much and I hadn't had any sleep and I just burst into tears and I cried. And then that was it. And that was and that was fine.
Speaker A: What kind of questions are they asking you?
Speaker B: You said they asked questions. When they come to the home, they had a questionnaire. I can't really remember. They just sort of go through questions and the questions will help them to help them to understand if there's something wrong in terms of your mental health, your mental state. And obviously, I had Alexa, that was 18 years ago in November, so that was a long time ago, but it was a very good system. And then what happens is you kind of have a local clinic that you can go to every week, and then there are midwives there and you can ask them questions. So it's very geared up, the system in England for mothers and getting help and stuff like that, that doesn't mean a lot of people aren't suffering, because I think the whole thing is just such a huge thing. And I think for modern women, which are we're these career women, and we go out, we've got to sort of be supremely successful in the career, and then all of a sudden you have this baby and then it's just like, oh, this is very different, and it's a real sort of shift. And then, of course, emotionally, the way you feel in your body, you have no idea how you're going to feel. You think you're going to have but you don't know how you're going to feel. And it's a big change.
Speaker A: Yeah, it's crazy, because our sex education is not what it should be. How are you supposed to know what actually happens in the birthing room, right? Like, how are you actually supposed to know. What happens during pregnancy.
Speaker B: I don't think they can. I think that's very difficult because you're so young. Personally, I think what would have been really helpful for me, because I went to a very feminist school, and it was all about, you're a woman and you can do anything, and you can rule the world. And that's the kind of education I have. And I went to a girl school, and you can do anything. You could be anybody, blah, blah, blah. And that's absolutely true. But it might have been helpful if they said, well, and when you have a baby, you might need some time off, or you might need this, or you might need a partner who helps you. And again, I mean, how do they say that to you when you're 18? I don't know how they say that to you. It's pretty difficult. But I think it might be helpful if they maybe presented having a child or having to take time off, because even if you take only a year off or six months off, you have got to take some time off. I was working for myself, so I literally took very little time off. But you literally, whatever it is, whether you're taking time off or changing your schedule, you have to do that. And I think that was kind of like, quite a big shock, taking the time off. Well, not for me. I didn't really take time off. I had my own business. I really couldn't, but I had to work around. And I guess it's a shock as to how much I mean, the baby needs you all the time, and I don't think there's any way of knowing that until you have a child. And it's all consuming. It really is. And it starts at 06:00 A.m. And finishes. It just goes continuously. And when children are very young, it's very physical. You're feeding them or bathing them or doing something. It's all the time. All the time. All the time, all the time. And when my oldest daughter was young, I didn't have support of my mom, or I didn't have help from anybody else. I couldn't really afford it. And it's a lot. But how can we help women? I don't know. I think part of it would be educating men. I did.
Speaker A: Great point. That's also part of them, huh?
Speaker B: Yeah. This is your child, too. I definitely think the bond between a mother and it doesn't just happen with a woman. Yeah, you're both there.
Speaker A: Yeah. You need a man to have a.
Speaker B: Baby, and whatever that support is, whether that support is the man says, okay, I'm going to be here for you, and you need to take time off, or whatever it is, or whatever that support takes, that's really up to you as a couple. But I really think educating men, that this is an enormous thing, having a child. You go through hormone like everything in you. It's like metaphysical, it just changes your mind. Everything what you think you are going to feel is never the same. So it's a big thing. And I think that would be probably the most helpful thing in sex education to sort of be a bit more informative about families that men are part of this or the partner, whoever the partner is, whether that is. A man or a woman or whoever your partner is the person physically having the child and the person supporting the person who's having a child. That would be really helpful. There's a bit more education around that. I think.
Speaker A: None of us are getting the education we deserve or need for it. There should be better programs with maybe the doctors, right. And just preparing them, because these are adults now. Maybe you have sex education when you're in high school and junior high or whatever that is, but these are adults now. They should have real sense of what's going to be happening. And I don't think that's happening.
Speaker B: Right, yeah. I don't know exactly what happens here. I mean, I know, like, in the States they have Lamar's or whatever, and in England they have a thing called the NCT, which is a charity, and women's and men, and it is very much about the couple, and in those days, it was very much about male and a female heterosexual couple. But you go and it's a way of meeting other people who are having a baby and they sort of teach you sort of go through some things and it's sort of useful. But it's not run by the government, it's run by a charity. You kind of have to so many years ago, I suppose you have to pay for it. And I'm sure there's a similar thing here, but I think in terms of the government, I don't know. And I think the thing about having children is there are so many challenges today. It's like, where are you going to live in terms of how much space you have, especially in a city like Toronto or London or New York or Chicago, whatever. Where are you going to live? I mean, the space you need and then the sort of worry about, well, that space will be for this long and so on. Yeah. And I think the real reality for most couples is that somebody has to take some time off. And how are you going to do that? You need money and the world is getting more and more expensive. And, you know, I won't sugar coat it. It's pretty terrifying, actually. But for me, having children, I had two. I have two girls. It's the greatest joy of my life. It's the pride and joy of my life. They're what matters. But it's not easy. And definitely for women. And that's for another podcast. How you deal with this, how you manage all of those things, is incredibly difficult because society is telling us that we can have it all. You can have a career and you can have children and you can be married to an amazing man and all these things, or an amazing partner, whoever your partner is, and it's all going to be fabulous. And that's actually not true, is it? No, it's incredibly difficult.
Speaker A: How are you able to have it all when you can barely have some of it and enjoy that you're trying to enjoy?
Speaker B: Definitely. And then, like we said, and then trying to have a life and trying to be happy. And if you're a couple trying to have an amorous life, how the hell are you supposed to do that?
Speaker A: Yeah, I've honestly heard that having a child is actually very lonely.
Speaker B: It can be.
Speaker A: Yeah, obviously it can be.
Speaker B: Right?
Speaker A: So not everyone's pregnancy or having that child is lonely. But if you don't have that right support system, if you don't have the friends who also have children or want to hang out with you when you have a baby or have that man or partner with you who wants to actually be present or have the family support, it's an extremely lonely thing. And how are you supposed to help yourself?
Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. And I think, particularly if we think about modern women, you've been in the workplace, you've had all these you're very good at your job, all these people respecting you, you interact with adults, and then you have a baby and a baby, it's not the same, right? And even to a very young child, it's different. But that switch is incredibly difficult. And I think from my experience and from a lot of my friends, that's why I say it's very interesting when you say I kind of always felt a bit different about it, is I have friends of mine who are really maternal, like innately maternal, and I'd say I'm innately maternal, it just comes to me very naturally. I can't really explain it, but I just sort of feel it, whereas I have friends who it's not I don't think it is natural. Natural in terms of innate, and they have a lot of guilt about that and they feel bad about that, and they shouldn't because what are they supposed to do? Are they supposed to sort of change the way they feel? Because there's so much pressure to sort of be this amazing mother and amazing at your job, an amazing wife or partner. It's a lot of pressure. Math yeah.
Speaker A: It's hard to deal with, especially just as a woman, as someone who, like you said, had done so much before it, and now your entire life as we know it has changed and you have to be the mother to someone.
Speaker B: And that's a crazy change to be a mother. And you also don't discount you feel different however your pregnancy was. I mean, I definitely put on weight because I felt horrendous. And that's the other thing, is you have a baby and you think, oh, well, obviously the bump got everything goes right, it just pops back in and nothing pops back anywhere. Susie and my *****, the size changed about four times. Wow. And I was this weird anathema because I heard Sam the Hyde say this. That the famous actress. Yeah. Everyone keeps saying to her, oh, your ***** are so big, you've had surgery. And she's like, no, my ***** got big, bigger when I had breastfeeding. And then I had the menopause and so on. And I'm like, no, I know she's telling the truth because I always had big *****. And then they got bigger and bigger and bigger. It was like sort of an inflating. I could be in a balloon and flown away. I mean, they just got bigger and bigger and bigger, whereas a lot of women, they breastfeed and they get smaller and I was like the reverse. And then with my second child but also the way you feel about yourself is not good. You don't feel good because your body will never be quite the same. And in my case, I had a cesarean. So you have a sort of cut stomach, and then you sort of have this natural layer of flap over there that never goes away. And you feel I don't know, I suppose you have so much wrapped up before that in the way you are and who you are as a young woman and the way you feel about yourself, and then you just don't feel the same. And it can be quite, quite devastating because you're just not prepared for it. You're not prepared at all.
Speaker A: What was so what was the cause? I know you had two cesareans, so what was the difference? What was the biggest differences, I guess, between the first and second pregnancy and the second birth?
Speaker B: The second birth, I had my second daughter. We were living in Switzerland, which is a very different medical system, and my husband had a corporate job and with that came medical care. So I had a child in a private hospital, which was like, literally night and day in Switzerland. It's unbelievable, right? It's like these beautiful Swiss clinics. They're not kidding. And we lived in a city called Lasam, which is on a lake, and it's all very beautiful, little bit sort of fairy tale, but I just knew, I guess, like a woman, I knew my body, I knew that I had had this horrendous experience and I also am very short and I had a very big baby. And even when Alexa was born, they're like, oh, she's pretty big. I was like, what, you didn't know or whatever? No, she's even bigger than we thought because they follow you, so they kind of have an idea of how big she's going to be and she was pretty big and they're sort of like and then when I had I got pregnant, my second child in Switzerland, and it's different in Switzerland. In England, it's midwifery led, so you're followed by a midway. And only when it gets serious does an obstetrician does a doctor come in and deal with it. Whereas in Switzerland, it was led by the doctor from the very beginning, right. Which has its benefits and has its downsides. When I knew I was pregnant, I just sort of was very nervous going to this appointment, and I just sort of blurted to the doctor, like, I know my body, I know the second baby is going to be bigger, it's not going to come out, I know it's not going to come. I was rambling away, I have to have a cesarean, I don't care, it's just not and she was amazing. My doctor was a female. She said, I understand. And I look, I was very lucky. You look at your medical records from England and then she got them and she's like, you're absolutely right. Statistically, it's probably extremely unlikely you could have a natural birth. I was very lucky. I was in an amazing situation, amazing medical care, and honestly, this hospital was like a five star hotel. It's just unbelievable in the NHS.
Speaker A: So that's the advice here. Have your baby in Switzerland, have the whole thing going on.
Speaker B: It was amazing. And then even the attitudes towards everything from cesareans to breastfeeding to everything were much more relaxed. But having an elective cesarean was very different to an emergency cesarean. But you're still having your stomach cut, right? And I remember saying to, because then I'd had my first baby in England and I had this quite nasty scar. It was sort of like a jaggedy emergency. Quite big. Well, big, but sort of like that, above my stomach, but it was two inches and sort of bit ugly. And there I am, inserts and I said to this private doctor and unfortunately, money talks in the situation. And I said, do you think you could straighten it out?
Speaker A: Little battle scars.
Speaker B: And I have this amazing she straightened it out and now it's probably an inch. Wow. Which is quite amazing that a baby came out of that. My baby.
Speaker A: I mean, she was like a majority.
Speaker B: Though it was even bigger. Was even bigger. But the nicest thing, I will remember this till the end of my days, is excuse me, that she had the baby and you're a bit gaga, you've gone through this and you've had all these drugs in you and whatever, and you've had the baby. And she came to me that night, because I had the baby at like, 07:00 in the morning, and the doctor came to me in the evening and said, I'll never forget this. You're a woman, you knew your body, you were right. If you had had this baby, a term which would have been another ten days, given your height, you know, your five foot, five foot one, five foot, you know, very small is your child would have been your baby would have been over £9, probably £9 something. There is no way you would have had this baby naturally. It would it couldn't physically have happened. So you were right. And you knew. You knew in the in yourself. And it was I think that's probably the most amazing experience I've ever had with the doctor. I was just like, wow, it was unbelievable. Crazy. It's so interesting when and we've talked about this in other episodes where you have a negative experience with a doctor, when you have a positive experience like that, what it does to you. The way it makes you feel, the way it puts you on a path, is sort of indescribable to me, I can't tell you. It made me feel like a bajillion times better, right? And I wasn't in a great state. I had a lot of weight to lose and I had physically had a difficult pregnancy and had felt very sick for most of it and refused to take medication and stuff like that. But it helped me so much. It was amazing. Really amazing.
Speaker A: Yeah. It's so crazy. And I mean, obviously, speaking about this, it's really, obviously making me want children even more mel. I mean, how could I not want to go through all those amazing times?
Speaker B: I know, but I'm giving you 100%.
Speaker A: Obviously we all appreciate that there is that thing of like, this is not an easy thing to do.
Speaker B: Of course not.
Speaker A: Let's stop pretending like it's just the most natural, beautiful thing in the world. Like it's extremely ******* hard and you can't just pretend that it's going to be okay all the time.
Speaker B: No. And there will be moments, I think any mum will tell you there'll be moments which are really difficult. But overall, the only way I can say it to you is they're the biggest joy in my life. And I have two teenagers, so I really teenage years is another whole thing. But they are my biggest joy. But that doesn't mean like, anything that there isn't difficult stuff, right? I mean, they say no pain, no gain. I mean, they're not kidding. Yeah. But I do think if you don't or you feel in yourself that you don't want children and I think there's a huge amount of pressure and you read a lot of stuff about it that of women, like, what's wrong with you? Why do you not want a child? And certainly depends on what cultural background you come from. And there can be a huge amount of pressure that you have to do what's right for you and you and your partner. You have to do what's right for you. I mean, that's another whole thing. If one person wants a child and the other person doesn't want a child, that's a whole different thing. But don't let anybody tell you what to do. I mean, it's the same when you have a child. I cannot tell you the amount of stuff, unwanted advice that people give you, and you're just, like, go away. I'll do the best I can do and just go away. And I think the most I tell you the most disappointing thing to me, and I think disappointing is probably the right word when I had my children, I worked through I've worked the whole time through both my pregnancies and my children, and I am lucky that I've worked for myself. So I've been able to be very, very flexible. But the criticism I've received from other women, the judgment has been that's I think the thing that shocked me the most, I could I just couldn't believe it rather than, like, support. And I think it's a very unflattering side being a female is that we like to sort of bring people down. Like, if somebody else is not doing as well, then we're doing better in some sort of very messed up sense. And I think that's hard because we talk today about female empowerment and women sporting each other and blah, blah, and that doesn't always happen, and I think.
Speaker A: Most of the time, it actually does not happen. We love to pretend it doesn't go through massive judgment.
Speaker B: So if you have your children and you're not working, you get judged. If you do work, you get judged. If you work part time, you get judged, and you're like, how about everyone go off into your thing. You do what's right for you. You do what's right for you, the woman, your partner, your family unit, your child. That's it. That's the end of it. You do right, do what's right for your unit, all the people in that unit, whomever those people are, and that's it. And it has absolutely nothing to do with anybody else. 100% none of their business. And that's what I truly believe, and I've done that. I've done what's best for myself, my husband, my family, my children. But you get a lot of stick for it. You really do, and that's not right. And I don't know. I don't know why I don't know why that's the case.
Speaker A: Yeah, it's hard to tell. I mean, I think women I mean.
Speaker B: We can get to this.
Speaker A: This discussion is a whole other discussion, right? I'm just, like, mostly it's women on women hate more than, you know, men on women hate a lot of the time when it's a social thing, right, where women are trying to judge other women. And it's extremely hard to sometimes be a friend of a woman if you can feel that hard tension, whether it's jealousy or whatnot. And obviously, men are clueless, so it's not like they're doing that kind of same thing. But, yeah, it's that very hard thing where we all actually do want to be friendly and love each other, and it's just not the reality, obviously.
Speaker B: No. And it can be very difficult. I think it's a hard lesson, that's for sure. Yeah, for sure. But I mean, Susie, we could talk about this forever.
Speaker A: I know. And actually, this is an extremely interesting story for myself, because being a woman who doesn't know if she wants a baby and obviously this conversation is not going to change my mind, and it won't change any of our audience members minds of if they want to have children or not. We know that these are the risks of having a baby. We should be knowing. We should know this. Right. This isn't a surprise. It's an extreme medical procedure, if you want to call it that. It's not an easy thing to do. So yeah. Having maybe is the most beautiful thing in the world when you have them.
Speaker B: It is. Yeah.
Speaker A: And it is just a completely new experience.
Speaker B: It is. But it's bringing a life into the world, and that's a big doesn't come without pain. Yeah, exactly. And for me, it's what I wanted. So the pain kind of I've told you my story, but it just kind of gone away. I don't think about it.
Speaker A: I've heard that that's a hormonal thing, like there's a chemical in a woman's brain after they have birth where you forget the not forget the pain, because obviously I'm sure you still remember, but you don't remember it in the same intense way so that you have more children.
Speaker B: I think basically the love for your child is unbelievable. This feeling is just overwhelming. Overwhelming, incredibly intense. And so you just kind of, I don't know, just go somewhere. You just just forget about it. And then you do it again and again and again. In many cases. Yeah. These women who have ten children yeah. I mean, I never, ever beyond that, I was just like, no thanks. Women who have four and five and six and seven kids, I take my hat off. Right. Unbelievable.
Speaker A: But what that ****** can do, honestly, what she can do is incredible. Truly.
Speaker B: Yeah. And we're talking about me and my situation and modern, and if it hadn't been sort of decades ago, I'd be dead. And so you think about women 100 years ago, sort of having babies in fields and sort of having this baby, and now it comes and then going back to work and just like it's mind blowing. And I think that is something to be said about women. It's just their capacity for pain is unbelievable. Because if man, honest to God, and I don't say this in a sort of antimale way, but if men had to have babies, there would not be another baby walking the earth. Yeah.
Speaker A: There'd be no population. Yeah.
Speaker B: I mean, there'd be nobody, because you've seen all those things where they get those sort of little machines and put those little men and sort of try and emulate an actual contraction and they can't even cope in about 10 seconds. And you're like, how about and I've.
Speaker A: Seen them put it on a woman.
Speaker B: Yeah.
Speaker A: The same amount they'll show you, it's the same.
Speaker B: Yeah.
Speaker A: And she's literally like, are you serious yet? Yeah, it's like the amount of pain that we actually deal with month to month.
Speaker B: Yeah, exactly.
Speaker A: Not even childbirth.
Speaker B: Exactly.
Speaker A: It's unbelievable.
Speaker B: So that is a wonderful and seriously beautiful will say, but it is a big thing bringing that into the world. I mean, I wouldn't worry. I don't think you can get too kind of bogged down and depressed with bringing it into the world that we live in because the world we live in is quite frankly beyond depressing. It's horrendous. If you worried about that, nothing would happen. It's awful. So you have to think about you and your family and your units and what you want and so on. But it is a big thing. It's a seriously big thing. It's going to change your life. It'll change everything. And people say, oh yeah, I'm just going to have a baby and the baby is going to fit into my life.
Speaker A: And you're like, yeah, ****.
Speaker B: How is that going to work? It's not a dog. No, that doesn't work. Good luck with that. You've had 2 hours sleep. Okay. But no, I mean you could talk about it forever, but I think no.
Speaker A: And I really appreciate you sharing your story. I think that it's not an easy thing to talk about because it is traumatic a bit. Obviously you've gotten through it and you have these beautiful children. It's not like anyone died or anything like that from it, thank God. But yeah, no, it is an amazing thing what women can do with their bodies.
Speaker B: It's unbelievable.
Speaker A: I do appreciate you sharing your story with us.
Speaker B: Well, as usual, Susie, it's been fantastic to chat and I hope by sharing our story and me telling you my experience and you haven't had kids yet. No, that maybe listen. Yeah, but they get some. Okay. That's kind of an interesting perspective.
Speaker A: Absolutely.
Speaker B: And maybe they can go away and think about what they want to do. But I would reiterate completely individual choice. Absolutely. And you should do it because you want it.
Speaker A: Make that choice.
Speaker B: Your partnership with your partner. You want it because it's big. Absolutely. Thank you, Mel.
Speaker A: This is an amazing talk as always and we appreciate you sharing your stories with us.
Speaker B: Thank you. Thank you.
Speaker A: Lovely Mel.
Speaker B: I love you too, Susan. See you next time, guys.
Speaker A: Love you.
Speaker B: Thanks so much for listening. Please rate and review this podcast and follow us on social at Sharing My Truth Pod and leave us a voicemail on our website sharingmytruth.com to share your stories and experiences with us. We'll see you next time.
Speaker A: Bye bye.
Speaker B: Three, two, one.