I Grunt Like A Man

14 Jul

Our digital camera is officially toast.  Galldurnit.

At least we got our money’s worth out of it.  We bought the Sony Cyber Shot for our Odyssey and it’s taken well over ten thousand photos in its lifetime.  Between our trip and the new baby, that little machine just couldn’t take anymore adventure.  (Interestingly, we are in an age whose technology moves so fast that there is no existing framework for repair yet.  Jake called around to all the local camera shops, and the best help he received was an offer to send the camera to the manufacturer for us.  Can’t I do as much at the post office?)

Anyway, while perusing the Cyber Shots many photos, I came across something, well…how shall I put this?  It is a video taken in my hospital room the night Seabass was hatched.

I should preface this by saying I am not a big believer in birth videos.  I honestly cannot think of any time that it would be appropriate to watch one, other than maybe in a childbirth preparedness class.  But even that is iffy.  In fact, we knew the person in the video that was screened for our childbirth class.  Let me tell ya: You don’t really know the definition of awkward until you have a front row seat at the birth of your boss’ son.  True story.  Relations with his wife will never be quite the same again.

But what I found on our camera is a little different.  It is a clip taken from my hospital room by Jake while I am laboring in the bathroom.  You can’t see me – you can only hear me.  And that is plenty, I assure you.

The clip kicks off with a shot of the doorway to the bathroom, accompanied by a lovely cadence of very manly grunting, deep, low and percussive.  Coming from ME.  The frame shifts to show Jake’s face, brow furrowed and eyes sympathizing, encouraging me through the camera lens.   Then it’s back to the doorway with a variation on the grunting theme: grunt-SIGH.  grunt-SIGH.  It’s almost enchanting.

Listening to myself on that video is like poking a hole into a trance and having a peek.  Was that really me? It takes a second to recognize what’s going on, but then I remember: I was sitting on the exercise ball and had just started pushing, even though the nurses told me to hold off.  Ha! Like I had a choice in the matter.  Every part of my body – including my lungs and vocal cords – was telling me to strain strain strain as hard as I could to push Seabass out.

While I never sanctioned any videos during my labor, I’m so glad Jake went against my wishes on this one.  It’s the only record I have of C’s birth (all the photos from that day were taken after the baby had already arrived) and it tells the whole story in just a matter of seconds.  The lack of inhibition, the pain, the exhaustion, and the angst of birthing our baby – they’re all succinctly wrapped up like a haiku.  It’s kind of a gross little treasure.

I hesitate to open my life up to the WWW with this video, but after divulging that I’m incontinent and that my dog ate part of my son, an embarrassing birth video seems par for the course.  Enjoy my pain.

6 Responses to “I Grunt Like A Man”

  1. Anna July 14, 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    This brought me RIGHT back to my labor!!! I remember hearing myself and thinking – is this really me???? Who knew we could do the things we did to get a baby out!! 🙂 What a neat momento to have tho…

  2. Caroline July 15, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

    That’s birth control at its best.

  3. Jess July 21, 2010 at 2:12 am #

    What a treasure! Seriously. Well done!

    I told my partner to take photos during my labour, no matter how annoyed I got at the time! I was determined to have a visual reference for my birth story 😛

  4. bubba and me July 21, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    Oh good lord, your video gave me a flashback so vivid I was afraid I might start having contractions right here and now! Glad to know I wasn’t the only one making that noise. Seriously, the exact same noise.

  5. hot mama of 3 December 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

    i grunted like a man when i had twin boys.my husband said i handle labor like a champ all 15 hours of it. i had stadol to go sleep for few hours when i woke up i said i have to push my babies out .my pushing took 30 minutes of grunting and pushing two seven pound babies out me.so i pushed 14 pounds out me.you would grunt or make a sound to.


  1. Good Stuff #6: Moms’ Group, a.k.a. “No way – your nipples do that TOO?!??” « Higher Highs, Lower Lows - December 14, 2010

    […] contractions?  Despite how much I practiced those breathing techniques, what came out was just a lot of grunting like an animal caught in barbed wire.)  As each couple had their baby, they e-mailed us their […]

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