When it comes to having a baby, let’s call this movie “Bridget Jones’ Unrealistic Labor”

Renee Zellweger in "Bridget Jones's Baby." (Universal Pictures)
Renee Zellweger in “Bridget Jones’s Baby.” (Universal Pictures)

The lovable Bridget Jones is having a baby … and it got all Hollywood.

Yes, like many a movie, the scenes of going into labor, birthing the baby and then mother and newborn moments are all fairy tales, comic impossibilities and other absurdities. Read my review of the film, here.

Here are just a few of those unrealistic moments:

  • Of course, her water actually breaks and at an inopportune moment.
  • Of course, there’s an epic journey filled with pratfalls and impossibilities just to get her to the hospital.
  • Of course, the dad (or in this case, dads) freaks out.
  • Of course, she actually dilates and is too far along to get the epidural.
  • Of course, she gets feisty and a dad might get hurt.
  • Of course, the doctor is with her the whole time. There’s no nurse who’s handling her case, who has gone missing for what seems like hours.
  • Of course, her labor is a whole 10 minutes.
  • Of course, she pushes out the baby — no C-section needed.
  • Of course, the baby is already three-months-old, alert and adorable. (No cone-shaped head in sight).
  • Of course, Bridget Jones looks amazing and refreshed, just moments after the birth.
  • Of course, she is instantly in love with this baby.
  • Of course, there is a sweet moment between Mom and Dad/Dads.

Can you relate to any of this?

  • Where is the hours and hours of labor?
  • Where is the scheduled induction or the C-section? Or the emergency C-section?
  • Where’s the waiting and waiting and waiting and begging for an epidural?
  • Where’s the starvation and the exhaustion?
  • Where’s the spouse falling asleep or eating a burger in front of her during her labor?
  • Where’s the baby coming out after hours of pushing to have a cone-shaped head and gunk all over him?
  • Where’s the baby who refuses to sleep at all for the first 24 hours?
  • Where’s the weeks of recovery, including sore boobs and a sore butt?
  • Where’s the exhausted mother lacking a shower or clean clothes, sporting the completely uncombed hair and unbrushed teeth?

Like many a Hollywood movie, the myth of a perfect labor gets perpetuated here. It’s creates one more reason why women often feel bad about themselves after birth — like they failed at something that’s supposed to be so natural.

Reality check: Birth is beautiful, but it’s also messy and scary and exhausting and overwhelming and often feels like you are completely out of control … because you are. And sometimes nature takes over, and sometimes it doesn’t and you need a lot of medical intervention.

And that baby doesn’t come out looking amazing. And it won’t be the last time when motherhood or your child disappoints you. And that, Bridget Jones, is reality.



Author: Nicole Villalpando

Nicole Villalpando writes about families in the Raising Austin blog and the Raising Austin column on Saturdays. She also offers a weekly and monthly family calendar at austin360.com/raisingaustin. She tweets at @raisingaustin.

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