A Birth Story | Longreads Blog

Put some time aside and have a good read of this long, funny and eye opening yet brutally honest account of one woman’s child birth experience.

If there’s anything I’d take back from labor it would have been the fact that I let two people fish around in my vagina for their own benefit.

I’d been “checked” before. This is what they call it. They want to “check you.” You means your cervix. You are your cervix. “Check” means stick a hand inside of “you”—your vagina—and measure how open your cervix is. They do this with their fingertips, because that is where we’re at with science in 2014: We use fingertips as a unit of measurement. Then you are pronounced whatever number of fingertips wide the gap in your cervix is. You are your cervix.

“I’m a three,” means your cervix is dilated three fingertips. You get checked, typically, at your last few OB appointments. “I” had been found to be closed. Or “soft and closed” or “high and tight.” “Low and soft and closed.” It’s all fucking subjective, obviously, and also means almost nothing. You feel as if you are failing some made-up game you don’t want to be playing in the first place.