Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Chickening Out

I feel like I'm turning into a bit of a chicken the closer I get to going into labor. Heading into this whole process, you know how it all ends. If you watch female-oriented reality TV, you're well aware of the basics of childbirth. The further you get into pregnancy, particularly once you take childbirth classes, you see the rest of the story...and no, it's not pretty. But technically you already knew that going in...it's just officially seeing it that takes it to a whole new level. Regardless, billions of women over the course of history have had babies. I've tried to comfort myself with that fact repeatedly, but it doesn't seem to be preventing me from panicking just a little every time I feel something that seems even remotely like a contraction or anything that might be a precursor to labor. I know it's coming at some point, but I feel like the moment I know it's for real I'm going to be trying to turn back time or something...like wait, are you sure I signed up for this?! I suppose it's much like I've been saying in previous posts, that you just can't fully prepare for this until you're actually experiencing it...there's nothing that compares, so you do what you can to brace yourself for the unknown and deal with it all as it comes. I guess it's just the reality that everything changes at that moment, officially, forever.

Craig warned me yesterday that he read somewhere that you shouldn't watch any birth-oriented shows on TV after the 36th week or so. I'm not sure what the full context of it all was, and while I get it, I don't necessarily believe it. I mean, I don't feel like I'm feeble-minded enough to completely psych myself out with those shows. If anything I'd rather desensitize myself to it a bit, know what's out there, and just keep a level head that while the complications are possible, they're not probable. This morning I watched the breach birth of a twin on "Birth Day", and the gush of blood they showed as the baby popped out wasn't exactly appealing...but heck, I'd rather see it and know it's normal than see it happen as I give birth and wonder if that's supposed to happen, you know?

Of course, over the weekend I watched this show called "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant", profiling four women who had no clue they were pregnant until they were in labor...and in some cases, not until they were at the hospital pushing that baby out. Having gone through this process, I can't imagine how you wouldn't know, one way or another. I mean, there were so many things that had to be a certain way...no morning sickness, no weight gain, no body change, no movement...but apparently these women had no idea. The one thing that probably freaked me out a bit was that all the women pretty much thought they were dying when they went into labor. They didn't know what the pain was, but they knew it was so severe that they didn't think they'd survive it. Yikes. I'm just hoping that because they didn't know they were pregnant they couldn't begin to prepare themselves for it and it was made that much worse because they were caught off-guard. Let's just hope I can get to the drugs before it gets to that point.

I know that ultimately there's no chickening out. I just hope I can act like the future parent that I am and deal with it all gracefully when it happens, regardless of the mess, the fear, or the complete insanity it will bring.

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