What would be worse…?

About a week ago, Will and I drove to the Sweeney household in Woodstock, IL for their annual Groundhog Day party, two weeks after the actual occurrence of Groundhog Day. (When people lead busy lives, sometimes you have to improvise.)

A grand time was had by all. Drinks were imbibed. Roasted red pepper hummus was consumed. Beer pong was played. And the cinematic Bill Murray classic Groundhog Day (filmed in Woodstock!) was played. And re-played. And re-played again. (Fitting, right?)

Is it me, or does Bill Murray's face look kind of weird and photoshopped here?

Since boys smell bad and have cooties, the group became segregated. The men were relegated to the basement to grunt, scratch and watch sporting events and the women gathered upstairs around the wine and food.

In a group of about eight women, one was pregnant, one was a labor and delivery nurse, and one was pregnant and a labor and delivery nurse. So naturally, the conversation turned to mucus plugs.


Yeah, that was my reaction too.

Or mine was more like, “EWWW!! Wait. What’s a mucus plug?”

Response from my (apparently more knowledgeable) friends:

“Haha Carlie you’re hilarious, the way you know absolutely nothing about anything medical or baby-related!”

“You’re going to be such a cute, clueless mom!”

“Your strong aversion to bodily fluids is precious!”

“It’s funny how you call yourself a woman and you don’t know about these things!”

“I’m concerned for your future children…”


Ok, they weren’t that harsh. I’m friends with very nice people. But laughing and labeling me as “cute” was involved. Which I didn’t mind at all.

They also successfully avoided answering my question.

Seriously, what is a mucus plug? My own mother wouldn’t even tell me when I asked her the next day, since we were in “mixed company.” She needs to learn the earmuffs trick.

I know I could very easily Google the term and have an answer, but I think what’s stopping me is that I actually DO NOT want to know what a mucus plug is. I don’t like to think about mucus at all, let alone an excess of mucus so great as to necessitate a plug.

I’m sorry, is this post as painful for you to read as it is for me to write? Let’s bond in our suffering.

On a related note, Will and I came up with a fun and horrifying game the other day.

It started when I asked the question:

“What would be worse: getting brutally ravaged by machine gun fire like Sonny in The Godfather, or giving birth?”

“Easy,” replied my always practical, sometimes unsympathetic husband. “Giving birth would be worse. With the machine guns, it’s over so quickly, you probably don’t feel much pain. Birth goes on for a long time and you’re well aware of the intense pain and suffering you’re going through.”

Valid point.

This went on for a little while.

What would be worse:

  • Dropping a refrigerator on your foot or giving birth?
  • Stapling your eyeball or giving birth?
  • Being attacked by a shark or giving birth?
  • Removing your skin with a vegetable peeler or giving birth?
  • Amputating your own arm because it’s stuck under a rock and you’re in a deserted canyon or giving birth?
  • Being a character in one of those Saw movies or giving birth?
  • Just watching one of those Saw movies or giving birth?
  • Getting your face chewed off by a monkey or giving birth?

It gives one a lot to think about…

(Namely – just how bad do we really want to have kids??)

4 thoughts on “What would be worse…?

  1. Haha I remember when I learned what a mucus plug was! Luckily I was alone and reading this blog post: http://dooce.com/2009/06/09/just-case-you-were-having-second-thoughts-about-vasectomy, so when I later was with a group of women and the subject came up, I felt I had some kind of privileged information.

    I shudder to think of the pain and all the other gross things that happen (that our mothers would dare tell us!) and have had to be reassured many times that the sting of the epidural needle is far better than that endured without drugs. (but a NEEDLE?! in your SPINE?!)

    And then I start thinking about being an adoptive parent and how that might be “cute”.

  2. So here’s a question to ponder: Have you ever heard a mother say she wishes she’d never had children because of the pain she had to endure to give birth? I never have. There are a lot of conditions that cause pain worse than labor (just ask anyone who has ever had kidney stones and a baby which was worse) and don’t reward you when it’s over with one of the greatest joys of your life. Pain is fleeting and temporary – family is forever! My future grandchild will be worth it, you’ll see.

  3. As a women who has given birth sans medicine, I’d say all of those sound worse than giving birth (including watching the scary movie….you “forget” about the pain of birth after but I bet those scary scenes would give me nightmares for years!). It is excruciating but at the same time manageable and even exciting because you know that you get to meet the newest member of your family at the end. And if you give birth naturally you release a TON of oxytocin, which is the love hormone (the same one that you release at orgasm actually). It helps you bond with your baby and have the highest high of your life. I’ve seriously never felt such joy as in the moments and days following the birth. So I hope that you get to experience this too Carlie! Bethany wants another cousin!

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