I’m not into politics at all.
In fact, the only time I actually even give a damn about politics is if I want to try to pretend to know something about current affairs to make me feel remotely like an adult for a few minutes in my day – or, if I’m compelled to stretch my brain to capacity at some fancy dinner party, where I will no doubt be expected to steer my conversations away from the more pressing subjects of our time, the way I see it, (being “why I detest and loathe making school lunches) to more dry, but relevant matters (like the US debt ceiling, potential increases or decreases in our interest rates and the imminent inception of carbon taxes (blah, blah, blah, right!)
Nonetheless, this lack of interest in politics did not hinder me from becoming a staunch member of the Labour Party almost 4 years ago – Labour Party, meaning I come to the party when it means having babies – meaning I actually go through labour, meaning I’m lucky not to have had any complications to render me ‘too posh to push’.
As a point of order, I need to make it so clear that I respect the Caesarian section procedure in its entirety (not only because I studied Latin in high school and love all things Roman, but also because I am cognizant that not everyone has a choice in ‘the matter’ and that sometimes it is absolutely crucial as a means of getting the baby out alive, safe and well.) However, for me, it just so happens that G.d blessed me with 2 routine, textbook labours and which went relatively quickly and with 2 obviously splendid outcomes. So, because of that I am a proud Labour Party Supporter and for me, if I have a choice, I will always vote Labour, if G.d wills it and I have my time again.
Prior to the births of my babies I never had a ‘birth plan’ or even a ‘game plan’ other than getting that baby out alive and well, and if that meant surgery, then I was open to any and all options. My only other guiding light was to remind myself in the lead up to each D-Day that the whole idea of labour is, bluntly put, just a ‘means to an end’.
When I reflect on the whole birthing process, the whole thing is a completely ‘out-of-body’ experience. The first time round, I was more petrified of the unknown than the fear of inexplicable pain. In retrospect, the pain was bad yes, but the product was so worth it and the after-pain was worse when I had all 4 wisdom teeth removed under general anesthetic. I recall vividly every entire event. The anticipation is worse than any election result night. Tempers flare. People say some pretty crazy things, which they probably don’t mean but only say them to get past the whole election process, like:
Me (pre-final contraction): Umm, I’m feeling quite a lot of pain in my lower back.
Midwife: Jeez, if I had a Dollar for everytime you said that tonight I’d be a rich woman! OR
Me: Ummm, I’m still feeling a bit of pain, maybe we should call the anesthetist guys?
Midwife junior to Midwife senior: Oops, I’ve just notices that the gas hasn’t actually been plugged in or switched on for the last 45 minutes. OR
Anesthetist: Now, I need you to arch your back like an angry cat for me OK.
Me (always the literal thinker): Ahhh, I’m a little hazy right now, and also, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cat arch its back so you might have to show me what you mean…
And, of course, as any Labour Party mom would agree, there are moments, however mundane, that will stay with you forever. We may all be members of the same party, but the way re run our campaigns can be slightly different. I know I run my Labour campaign like a half-marathon, I drink Berry Powerades and I wear a combat sweatband on my brow, I and I spend the entire campaign trying not to swear or dig my nails into my husband! And just like the end of any good victory campaign, the afterparty caps off a 9 month campaign of hard work and perseverence. I personally like to celebrate with some Kosher Rose wine and endless smoked salmon and brie cheese baguettes. (I’ll never forget the midwife’s face when she caught me in my hospital room having a quiet, little drink on my own, a mere 3 hours after giving birth – post-feed OF COURSE!)
At the end of the endurance and the labour there’s a real sense of satisfaction. The physical exertion and mental effort that goes with being a Labour supporter is profound. The pride is immesurable, then sense of achievement – unfathomable. That said, when the midwife asked me if I wanted to bath my secondborn straight after the birth I distinctly recall answering “No, I’ll just have a quick shower and wash and blow-dry my hair, and then I’ll bath him!”. For those brief moments after the birth, all I wanted to do was shoulder my leg in the shower (for some weird reason, I was yearning to experience that supple and limber feeling that comes with not having touched or seen your toes for a good 4 months prior to the D-Date!) and have some ‘alone’ time to reflect and relax on my own for a moment or 2.
So, ever since joining, nearly 4 amazing years ago, I tell everyone I can – first-timers and old hats too – Be bold, be brave, “Vote Labour” – the after-party alone is so worth it, there’s always a chance of re-election, if you’re lucky!