A loves babies. She loves real life ones and pictures of babies. She mostly loves her baby dolls who each have names and habits both individual and interesting. A is seven years old and still dearly loves her baby buggy and baby accessories, she rushes in from school and wraps her babies in a swaddle blanket while she wolfs her much-needed snack, offering baby Florence some as she eats.
"How did Albert come out?" A wondered idly as she munched her Friday Fun cake today, in the farm shop cafe. Albert of 3 weeks old being recently introduced to her in the school playground.
"How do you think, darling? Out of his mummy's vagina, " I replied, fairly nonchalantly as A knows all about how babies enter the world - although she has no idea how they get in.
"Mummmmmmmyyyy!! - Don't say that so loudly, everybody is staring at us," her little cheeks pinking slightly, a peak of the teenage embarrassment to come perhaps.
"I meant, home birth, water birth, dragged-out birth...?" she continued.
"Ooooh, I think Albert entered the world in a hospital on a bed darling,"
She took in the information and satisfied by the answer, continued to demolish her cake. For I have talked about birth as such a normal event that she is completely unfazed by it - grant you I do teach antenatal classes for a living. What I do love is that home birth and water birth are in her vocabulary early, I have never talked negatively about birth while at the same time being appropriately honest with her. She has even witnessed birth by accident around at a neighbours house a few years ago. When the woman made the deep, low birth noises A looked quizzically at me.
"Don't worry children!" I calmed, "She is just having a baby, go play shops or something - the baby will be here in a minute"
And after that the birthing noises didn't bother her any more.
Keep it normal, talk to girls early about birth, be positive and empowering and maybe we will start to allay the deep seated fears surrounding birth. Lets bring back birth to the women, where it belongs. And watch this fabulous documentary about our local Independent midwife, Virginia Howes.
I challenge you not to be moved by the simplicity, beauty and normality that birth can be.