Most classic movie fans will agree, there are few love scenes as passionate as the one in “From Here to Eternity.” For those who haven’t seen it, here’s a brief description: Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr roll around on the beach lip-locked as sand fills their bathing suits and water rushes into every orifice.
OK, so that’s probably not the most romantic description, but in truth, I’m sure that’s what happened! Ahhhh, the joys of sex on the beach.
What most people may not recall is the conversation that takes place after Burt and Deborah are done rolling around in the sand. With tears in her eyes, Deborah tells Burt about the birth of her child: Her drunk husband returns home one night to find Deborah in the throes of labor. She begs him to get the doctor but instead he passes out on the couch. An hour later the baby is born.
“Of course, it was dead,” Deborah says, implying that the baby died because the birth was unassisted. According to Hollywood, birth is dangerous and only doctors can make it safe.
Not much has changed in the past sixty years. Even the most independent characters can’t successfully give birth without a doctor perched between their legs. Newspapers, books, and magazines are no better. Pregnancy is always a disease, and birth is always traumatic and excruciatingly painful. Rarely does the media portray pregnancy and birth in a positive light – or laboring women as confident and capable.
Sure, there are smiles to be had after the child is born, and certainly there are smiles during conception. But pregnancy and birth are sheer hell.
Below are some quotes I’ve collected over the years about pregnancy and birth in the media.