Jennifer Garner calls giving birth ‘the most romantic day’

Of all the words I would use to describe the days I gave birth, “romantic” would not be among them. It was, however, the first word Jennifer Garner thought of. Jennifer guested on Momsplaining with Kristen Bell, the ‘real talk’ about being a mom on EllenTube. On the season four opener, Jen and Kristen sat with three ladies, one who was five months pregnant, one who had a three-month-old and one whose toddlers were only 11 months apart. The first topic was from the expectant mom who was getting nervous about the actual giving birth part and wanted Jen and Kristen’s take on the experience. While Kristen said to expect a bloodbath, Jen said it was, “the most romantic day you’ll ever experience.” Really?

Any mom who has experienced childbirth knows it comes with a mixed bag of both emotions and physical feelings.

Two such cases? Jennifer Garner and Kristen Bell, who sat down to chat with other moms about a variety of parenting topics in the season 4 premiere of Momsplaining with Kristen Bell.
One mom named Emilie Haskell, who is five months pregnant with her first child, tells the actresses that she’s “feeling pretty good” but “starting to get a little bit nervous about labor.”

“I think it is the most romantic day you’ll ever experience,” replies the Peppermint star, 47. (She and ex Ben Affleck are parents to son Samuel Garner, 7½, plus daughters Seraphina Rose Elizabeth, 10, and Violet Anne, 13).

“You’re a better person than I am because I was gonna say, ‘It’s gonna look like a homicide,’ ” counters Bell, 39, who shares two daughters with husband Dax Shepard: 4½-year-old Delta and her big sister Lincoln, 6½. “Way more blood than you think there should be.”

[From People]

Even as extra as this read, I don’t want to diminish Jen’s recollection by saying she’s full of crap. I wouldn’t say my kids births were romantic or even romantic-adjacent, but honestly, every woman has their own birth experience and maybe Jen’s was that way. Although most of the online dictionaries didn’t offer a definition apropos in this context, the Cambridge Dictionary’s second definition says, “If something is romantic, it is exciting and mysterious and has a strong effect on your emotions.” That definitely applies. But I’m not sure Jen should assure other women that it will be “the most romantic day” they’ll ever experience. Two births are rarely the same, even if they are by the same woman.

After they talked about how romantic it was to shove a large watermelon out your undercarriage, Kristen advised Emilie (the pregnant lady) to make a birth plan and then tear it up because labor never happens the way you plan it to. Jen agreed and it was a cute bit. I remember people asking what my birth plan was and my response was always, “my plan is to birth it.” It was like the birthing classes, my doctor asked me around six months pregnant if I had taken a class yet. I told him no but nervously added, “but I’m signed up for one!” He laughed and told me not to sweat it because, “they let you have the baby even if you don’t take a class for it.” I think birth needs to be about who you are. If you’re a person who wants to know everything up front then get the books, make the plan and have the classes under your belt. But like Kristen and Jen said, just make sure you can let all that go in the event that things go differently, because they probably will. And don’t pack candles and rose petals in your hospital bag because although it could be romantic, I wouldn’t plan on it.

You can watch the Momsplaining episode with Jen here.




Photo credit: Avalon and Instagram

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39 Responses to “Jennifer Garner calls giving birth ‘the most romantic day’”

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  1. Seraphina says:

    I guess the drugs haven’t worn off yet.

    • Christo says:

      I adore her genuinely, but it is all puppies and rainbows for her at times. 13 Going on 30 was autobiographical perhaps???

      • Seraphina says:

        Speaks volumes about Ben if she calls child birth romantic. I would say that genius (getting that dig in) but doubt that’s what she had in mind.

  2. Yamayo says:

    Oh do fuck off.

    It’s as nauseating as Gisele’s smug homebirth story.

    • Ravensdaughter says:

      Team Bell! Of course it’s lovely when they pull the relatively clean baby out of all the mess and put him on your chest, but oh, the pain and the gore! (I waited too long to go to the hospital with my second son and had to deliver “naturally”-hellishly…)

  3. Betsy says:

    From the definition you looked up, yeah I would absolutely say they were romantic. It was like peeking behind the veil that hides the truth from the world – the appearance of a new human is just a shocking miracle. Sadly my first birth was a terrifying surgical experience with my baby having an apgar of 2 and I could not begin to absorb the enormity of what was happening.

    (And I will add: all three of my babies were more or less planned, very much wanted, my doctors treated me like a human and not a vessel, and they were born into stability and sufficient funds. I think creating the expectation for touching the face of God, as it were, is mean and dangerous when a lot of women arena necessarily given the rest of the equation.)

  4. Jennifer says:

    I get it. It’s a real bonding experience for a couple and definitely the most impressed my husband ever was with what I had done.

  5. Eulalia says:

    Sure babe, whatever you say.

    I LOATHE when we have an idealised version of birth and motherhood shoved down our throats as expectant mothers. It makes it so much more isolating when things don’t go to plan for you, and in my experience, it makes you feel like you can’t speak up because other women around you are serving up the Stepford special. That’s what made my PND fester inside me for so long, everyone around me kept telling me what a magical time birth and new motherhood would be and I felt like a failure when I didn’t feel the same way.

    • Eliza says:

      I absolutely love my friend who told me every horrific thing about pregnancy and birth and child rearing. Because it was honest and while no two anything’s are the same I knew potential problems. Ive become that person too. Yes, there are great moments. But hiding the difficulties only makes them more horrible when you run into them because “so and so would be pregnant forever if she could” and “Jane Doe said delivery is easy and painless” and “Silly Sally said newborns just sleep all day and are no problem at all”. Leaning into the Queen of Motherhood title is striping its actual merits away. All those things are hard, women deserve credit for dealing with them, not getting a gold star by pretending they never had obstacles.

      • Justwastingtime says:

        We all need friends like that. When I gave birth to my first I was due at the same time as one of my besties.. the first among our set of close friends to be pregnant….. I gave birth 5 weeks early … I told her every horrible detail including the word pig slaughter (regarding the amount of blood ). She went in with a much more realistic view of what was coming.. 🙂

    • Jocey says:


      I remember standing in the kitchen after my first was born sobbing while thinking to myself “holy shit we just completely and irrevocably fucked up our lives” while simultaneously loving her so much it was almost physically painful. I make a point of telling friends who are having kids about that moment because I think the negative feelings about childbirth and parenting often get left out of the conversation.

  6. Dani says:

    Mmmmm…that epidural must still be going strong because she is delusional.

  7. Case says:

    I understand her sentiment. It’s a very connecting and powerful experience for partners, especially if they are in tune with one another and their needs. I don’t think she’s claiming it’s not painful or difficult or that people don’t experience complications, but there is definitely a side to it that is romantic – your partner supporting you as you give birth to something you created together. Idk. Makes sense to me.

    • Eliza says:

      But I think she’s talking about the physical birth.

      I really don’t think she’s talking about Ben Affleck her exhusband who publically humiliated her with multiple mistresses as being romantic while in tune with her during delivery.

    • Lena says:

      I don’t believe she is talking about labor and delivery but the period immediately after because it is a romantic thing, seeing the being you created together. The day as a whole is the biggest high of your life.

  8. s says:

    Insufferable. Explains a lot. I’d need to excessively drink to be around her.

  9. HK9 says:

    My mother-who loves me more than anything belly laughed in my face when I asked her if she had me without drugs. No Jen, the day you birth a child is many things but ‘romantic’ is not what comes to mind.

    • ChillyWilly says:

      Yeah, possibly pooping on a table in front of strangers and your significant other does not sound romantic to me. Lol

  10. Eliza says:

    I’d expect nothing less from her – selling this saccharin garbage. Pregnancy is difficult, birth is messy, babies are hard. Yes, there is also beauty in there, and love, and special moments you can’t define. But it is not romantic. Not with your husband holding your leg in the air, not with the doctor catching, not with the nurse telling you “just 1 more” for the 4th time.

  11. Yamayo says:

    I mean I’ve had 3. Once the baby is out there is a huge adrenaline rush and a sense of exhilaration that is ‘romantic’ (not) but there’s also blood and tears and stitches and did I mention blood?

    Call it amazing, life-changing etc but NOT romantic.

    By the way in my first comment I mentioned Gisele’s smug birth story.
    I had forgotten the award-winning (pun intended) Marion Cotillard who declared after the birth of her first child that she has achieved her place in the fabric of the cosmos… 😁

  12. Eliza says:

    I made a birth flow chart, lol. So it had many direction to take as I didn’t know what to expect. It ended up close to what I wanted, minus a few things here and there, but I never saw it as a perfect blueprint, more of a guide of my wishes which would be trumped in any emergency situation.

  13. Faithmobile says:

    Both their comments were extreme. My births were neither romantic or bloody(from my perspective). The reality for most women is that it’s a marathon and you need to be prepared and not scared.

  14. JennyJenny says:

    Thank goodness Kristin Bell was there to put a more realistic spin on the birth situation.
    I’d hate for those new Moms-to-be thinking it was going to be anything like ‘Jenn’s World’

    And I LOVE the response your doctor gave you about the classes!!

  15. Alice says:

    This is off-topic, but I have been noticing the way the media writes about children. The general trend seems to be counting daughters as secondary. In the above the quote is “(She and ex Ben Affleck are parents to son Samuel Garner, 7½, plus daughters Seraphina Rose Elizabeth, 10, and Violet Anne, 13).” Just going of the age of the children, both daughters are older, and could easily be written “daughters … and son…”. My interpretation is that this is another instance of unconscious biasing towards men and boys. Anyway, off-topic, but had to get it out of my system. Just my opinion and interpretation. I’m off my soapbox now.

  16. Annehj says:

    I’ve given birth 4 times, and definitely agree they were super romantic days! Never have thought to describe it that way, but totally agree. Also incredibly grateful that was my experience all 4 times…

  17. Mariettaj91 says:

    She’s just ridiculous. Just another reason for me to not like her. I remember when she said basically your life doesn’t start (or something to that effect) until you become a mother. Which pissed me off to no other bc I don’t think I can have kids and I’m 38. My uterus is riddled with tumors and I’m contemplating a partial hysterectomy. I’ve already had 11 removed. Have another 12 brewing lol.

    She’s so extra! Just stop trying to be cute! No wonder why Ben habitually cheated! I don’t know how he was able to be around the fake-ness all the time!

    I’m sure she’s a great mother, etc. but enough with the saccharin s***!

  18. Mumbles says:

    She really is invested in this “earth mama” persona. Not a good strategy in the long run as at some point her children will grow up.

  19. Laura says:

    I guess I could say that the experience my partner and I shared and how he was so helpful and present for me during delivery was romantic in a way, but that kind of seems like a shallow definition. I throw the word romantic around a lot for a lot of things, but labor and delivery, definitely not one of them. Powerful, maybe. I had an easy pregnancy, and I think that was kind of romantic. Having a newborn (she’s 3 weeks old and fussing on my shoulder right now) and dealing with the lack of sleep, being trapped in the house, leaky boobs and hemorrhoids… Not romantic, lol!!! It’s an experience, for sure, and not a negative one, but yeah, let’s be real about how a lot of it sucks but it doesn’t change our love for our children or make us a bad mom.

  20. huckle says:

    I agree with Jennifer. I am divorced now as well and my ex-husband was a drunk. Of course child birth was painful and all that but it was a time when their father was attentive, loving and dependable for all of us. The way he fussed over us and worried about our babies at the time was wonderful. This was the man I fell in love with. Unfortunately, he outgrew that and was never the same way again so I totally understand what she is saying. I feel like after a painful breakup, you’ve got to find something decent to remember otherwise what were you doing there in the first place.

  21. Rocķy says:

    I would definitely describe the 24 hours after birth as romantic. You are in a haze of hormones, people are bringing you flowers, and you are falling in love.

  22. Mango says:

    I thought she was talking about falling in love with her babies,

  23. sassafras says:

    It’s maybe not the word I’d choose, but I had a late miscarriage, a traumatic birth #1 and a calm, relaxed birth #2 and each experience brought me closer to my partner and made me fall in love with him in a new way. We supported each other through the worst and the best and even if he and I separate at some point, I will always love him for what he brought into my life. Huh. maybe that is romantic.

  24. Blerg says:

    I love Jen. The world needs more Jens.

    My own experience birthing my child was romantic in that second definition way (exciting and mysterious and has a strong effect on your emotions), and the memories are also that way–sweet and mysterious and strong.

    But! It was not romantic at all in the typical definition of “romantic,” because I swore at my husband and told the guy who gave me an epidural that I wanted to marry him. He said he gets that quite a bit from the women on morphine.

  25. Emily says:

    My experience in childbirth wasn’t romantic but it also wasn’t homicide. The word I would choose is “empowering.” It made me feel very strong – mentally and physically to manage the contractions at home, to keep a clear head when making decisions … it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be, but the epidural definitely has something to do with that.