My adventures into Motherhood
At my last ante natal check up, I asked the Doc when I was scheduled in for my c-section on the 18th December. He flippantly replied “The afternoon I think, but that’s if we make it that far.” WTF?!? I was tempted to respond with “I find your lack of faith disturbing” but I don’t think he would have gotten the reference seeing as he’s not really the joking type, and he has a point – last time I was 6 weeks early, and again I’m feeling really tight – I could pop at any moment.
Which has brought on a common anxiety for pregnant women everywhere – the mortification of your waters breaking in public. When I talked to my best friend about this, she mentioned an old wives tale of carrying around a jar of pickles. The idea being that when your waters break, you simply smash the jar of pickles and voila! An alibi and supposedly clean get-away. I’d never heard this one before, and it sounds so absurd, so of course I googled it. No, there are not scores of women sacrificing good pickles in order to preserve (hehe) their good name, it’s largely an urban myth circulating amongst ante natal class groups.
But it got me thinking, how would this ploy actually work in these media-savvy modern times? It might have been enough to pull the wool over slack-jawed yokels in the old days, who would rather believe they’re cleaning up pickle juice than someone’s bodily fluids, but today you’re more likely to get tweets like “Woman spontaneously gives birth to jar of pickles in mall. Sadly, no pickles survived” with speculation over whether they were whole or sliced. Personally, I think whole pickles is more considerate to the poor person who has to clean up the mess.
If I decided to carry around a jar of pickles, here’s how I think it could go down:
I don’t venture far from home these days, so I’d only be out and about with my jar of pickles at say, Putney Exchange (my local mall) when all of a sudden I get that gush (some women only experience a trickle, but mine was NOT a trickle last time) and it looks like niagara falls has just erupted out of my leggings, run down my legs and is busy pooling on the floor and into my boots. First I have to stop Sof from trying to play in it while she’s busy pointing and yelling “Messy Messy Messy” alternately with “Wipe Wipe Wipe” and then I fumble around in my large mummy handbag for that freakin’ jar of pickles. Once I have it out and in hand, I triumphantly raise it up high above my head to smash it sufficiently on the ground. (The last thing I want is to have a runaway jar of toughened glass enclosed pickles to chase after) BANG! It goes down on the ground while I shield Sof from the broken glass blast radius. And then I declare loudly to all and sundry “Oh no! I’ve dropped my pickles!!” and make a very swift exit before anyone has time to question me about it (well, as swift as you can in soggy leggings and squidgy boots while dragging a bemused toddler who keeps pointing out that you are leaving the crime scene without cleaning it up) I would have to hightail it straight to the hospital because I expect my contractions will have started by now (based on the efficiency of my labour last time) and I’ll be running away while cramping up every 2 mins down the street. I don’t even have time to wonder which smells worse? Amniotic fluid or pickle juice??
If only they made a purse-friendly sized ‘CAUTION WET FLOOR’ sign that I could discreetly prop up over my amniotic puddle. People never question those and they always assume someone is coming to clean it up. Plus, it’s good health and safety practice – unlike leaving a huge mess of pickles in public.