Monday, July 14, 2008

Reality TV...post-delivery

I posted on this blog a while back about how reality TV has impacted the childbirth process. Having seen shows like "A Baby Story" for years, I had at least a slight idea of what the process would be like...more than someone would have, say, 20 years ago. Since I've been home all day every day and TV generally stinks, I usually just leave the TV on TLC for their daily run of reality TV shows. A Baby Story, Bringing Home Baby, Jon & Kate Plus Eight, What Not to Wear, 10 Years Younger, each for an hour...then the first four shows each get another hour, with an hour of Take Home Chef somewhere in there (I don't watch that. The guy is really cute, but I'm just not a cooking show person.).

Since giving birth, I have a whole new appreciation for A Baby Story. People think I'm nuts that I watch it, but having been there, I now understand so much more what's going on, what the couples are going through, and the emotions involved in it all. C-sections are still a little out of my realm, but I did have a moment mid-labor where the thought crossed my mind...when Jacob's head was stuck somewhere in my pelvis around the end of hour #2, I wondered at what point they'd have to opt for a C-section, and how I'd feel about that. After all the pushing it would have been a bit of a disappointment, but by that point I think I was pretty desperate to get rid of the massive pressure I was feeling so I'm sure I would have been ok with it. Anyway, I just find the show that much more interesting now that I've been through it and can relate to much of what happens.

Bringing Home Baby chronicles the first 36 hours having a new baby at home. It's mostly new parents, but they do feature some couples that already have kids and need to get their kids readjusted to life with a sibling. It's a lot of the same stuff, from sleepless nights to feeding problems to figuring out how to change or bathe or dress a new baby. This morning a couple was freaking out about swaddling their baby because the SwaddleMe (great invention) was too close to the baby's mouth. I did the same thing, though have since figured out how to avoid that. Again, I can relate to a lot of what the couples go through. Some are more experienced than others, though, so sometimes I feel a little awkward when I'm still having issues with something that a couple conquered in the first 36 hours.

Both shows have a little segment at the end that fast-forwards about 6-8 weeks to see how things are coming along. That is where I find myself back where I was before I went through this process--uncharted territory. By that point, most couples seem well adjusted. Their babies are pudgy and smiling, and they're taking them somewhere, be it their first swim, first trip to the playground, or off to a picnic in the park. Having stuck very close to home this whole time, that is something to shoot for...a life where the baby doesn't have me chained to our living room couch. I know it won't always be like this, that he'll get his immunizations, his schedule will get more consistent, and I will be pumping breastmilk so I don't have to worry about nursing in public. We'll see if we can get that plan in motion a little more after next week's one-month checkup at the doctor. I have an appointment tomorrow at the day care center we picked, and I am freaking out about taking him there...if only because he's still not on a consistent schedule and I haven't really had much practice getting up and getting somewhere on time yet. We have the doctor's appointment next week and I have a dental appointment a couple days after that, so I will be forced to get things moving a bit by then. It will be a relief, but yikes!

Anyway, I'm probably rotting my brain by watching this stuff all day, but for whatever reason I can't take my eyes off it sometimes. Having been there gives me a whole new perspective, and it never hurts to keep it fresh for next time ;-)

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