I’ll let you in on a little (not so hidden) secret– I am the biggest fanatic of the tv show friends. It’s an oldie but a goody and something that’s always on the tv in our house! With my birthy brain I can’t help but appreciate the story lines that highlight pregnancy, birth, and parenting. The show portrays each journey to parenthood (and what comes after) such a real way that is shockingly progressive given the era it was filmed in.
Today I thought it would be fun to relive some of my favourite friends moments that remind me how they totally got birth and parenting right!
Let’s start with Phoebe. Although it was weirdly a favour for her brother, Phoebs was a surrogate and contrary to popular belief gave birth naturally to triplets!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with surrogacy, the process is similar to IVF in that the embryo (the baby) is created in a lab using the biological parents sperm and egg which is then transplanted to the surrogate. In Phoebe’s words “It’s her egg and his sperm, and I’m just the oven, it’s totally their bun.”
Surrogacy has gained a lot of attention over the past few years ever since Kim Kardashian, who used this route twice due to being diagnosed with preeclampsia in her two previous pregnancies.
Side note: preeclampsia is a condition that can develop during pregnancy that is characterized by high blood pressure, swelling and signs of damage to another organ system, most often the liver and kidneys.
Not only was Phoebe a surrogate she also gave birth to triplets completely natural! In today’s very medicalized society this is an extremely rare occurrence – most pregnancies with multiple babies result in a c-section. There are many reasons for this but the most common seems to be preterm labour and/our the health care providers simply wanting to take babies sooner than the due date.
What can we learn from Phoebe’s situation? That it’s okay to seek alternative ways to have a family and that a natural birth with multiples is possible!
The iconic couple and my favourites Ross and Rachel show us what it’s like to have a co-parenting relationship under comedic lighting.
Although the norm during the time of this episode was getting married had an unplanned pregnancy taken place, Ross and Rachel chose to go against the pressure of their parents and continued to parent as friends. What drove this decision was knowing this is what ultimately is best for their child given how famously on-again-off-again the relationship was.
Rachel had a quote on quote “long” labour that plays throughout the entire episode which is a really accurate picture in comparison to the phenomenon that we typically see on tv – water breaking, arrive to hospital, gives birth 10 seconds later. The illusion of birth and labour that Hollywood has created is a major contributing factor to the fear that is associated with birth, which is why it’s refreshing to see storylines like these.
Infertility + Adoption
When Monica and Chandler decide to start trying for a baby, they’re doing all the right things – tracking ovulation, timing their intercourse, you name it. After struggling to conceive for over a year they decide that it’s time to seek medical advice when they receive some devastating news, turns out they both have fertility issues.
This story line is brilliant and allows a deeper connection with audiences that can relate to what they’re going through. You get to watch as they navigate the emotions that come with infertility but even more than that you get to see them grow as people and a couple as they decide what avenue is right for them, eventually settling on adoption.
Three different births, three different storylines and in the end it resulted in the same outcome – a beautiful family.
Do you or someone you know struggle with infertility? There are tons of resources available to support couples throughout the journey, including me. Click here to reach out and learn more!
Stay well + stay smiling loves!