I guess that’s why they call it fiction….

My older sister is a novelist. Her fifth book has just been released and I picked up my copy of it last week, and twice I had to hurl it against wall. It’s not that it isn’t a good book, it just features a unplanned pregnancy/threatened miscarriage subplot and I’m not in a place to read it.

I guess it annoyed me more than anything because of the fairly unrealistic portrayal of how these things go down. My sister knows better, she held my hand in the hospital through my first miscarriage, she had a threatened miscarriage in her last pregnancy. I guess maybe people don’t want to read about the details. Her character wakes up bleeding, goes to the hospital, has an abdominal ultrasound (she’s supposed to be about 5 weeks gone) and instantly sees a little wriggling (admittedly described as “shrimp like”) baby with a fluttering heart beat. Sorry that doesn’t happen at five weeks. At five weeks you undergo the indignity of them pulling out a dildo like probe, rolling a condom over it, topping it with conducting gel and inserting it in your holiest of holies for an internal scan. If you are very lucky you might see a gestational sac, if you’re extremely luck you might see yoke sac or fetal pole. At six to seven weeks you might see something like this


That’s an early scan I had with my son at almost seven weeks, he’s the little peanut on the right and that’s his yoke sac hanging out with him on the left.

I’m just a stickler for details. Maybe this is why I’m not a writer because it would interrupt the narrative flow to bang on about beta hcg counts and the intricacies of procedure at the EPU.

I’m not annoyed with my sister for being inaccurate, the media in general annoys the crap out of me with it’s portrayals of trying to conceive, pregnancy and birth. I can’t think of a single thing I’ve read or watched where they have really got it right. I’m thinking of Charlotte on Sex and The City waving around a thermometer in the afternoon and declaring “I’m ovulating now!”, I’m thinking of Juno knocking back gallons of orange juice so she can pee on another test, I’m thinking of every tv show or movie ever (except maybe Friends where at least Rachael was in labour for a convincing amount of time) where labour starts with someone’s water breaking and two seconds later they’re screaming in agony and delivering the baby before the ad break. But I guess all that stuff is dramatic, and people want drama, not all of an episode spent with someone dehydrating themselves and holding in their pee for as long as possible before posting a long message (possibly with photos) to discuss the quantity and quality of their cervical mucus.

And to be honest an awful lot of documentaries about child birth annoy the crap out of me too, especially Portland Babies and a lot of the America shows where no one seems to go without an epidural, an induction, an instrumental delivery or a Caesarian, and every single person seems to spend their entire labour on their back! It gives me the rage.

Thank god for the internet eh? at least everything you read on here is entirely accurate…… 😉


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