Today is my first day back from my holiday vacation (which consisted of napping, eating and wearing no make-up, bras, pantyhose or anything that constricted me in any manner). Years ago, I used to fantasize about being rich and famous. These days, I fantasize about being able to lay in bed as much as possible and wear nothing but huge, comfy tarps. Perhaps that’sthe way to go in the New Year – keep your goals and resolutions super low.
I'm back at my day job now after my holiday break and have not only resumed make-up, bras and pantyhose (I recommend Berkshires Maternity Light Support Pantyhose by the way), but I’m also wearing hair extensions and false eyelashes. The bigger I get, the more I hope to resist ugly maternity clothes and glam it up. I worked hard for this pregnancy and paid a lot of money for it that I’m going to wear it well if it kills me. Of course, if I get any bigger, I may have to start carrying around spotlights, smoke machines and background music to distract from my huge ass.
Putting aside fashion challenges for a moment, two things we did during our holiday break (in addition to the napping and eating) was to attempt to put together the nursery and try, once again, to learn more about the birthing process. We took a birthing class a month ago and quite frankly, we didn’t find it very informative. Truth be told, we even ended up dropping out of it. We liked the teacher and there was nothing dead wrong with the class… but we both felt that it was a bit too new agey and stressed natural child birth more than anything else.
To be clear, I’m not saying I’m against natural child birth. I’m just saying I’d rather get all the straight medical facts and all of the options first... then decide what I’d like to do.
There was one class where the teacher (who is a Doula) talked about using your placenta to create art. Apparently, you take your placenta, dry it out, dip it in paint or ink and stamp it on a paper. Now here’s the thing: That’s lovely but is this information going to help me when I’m writhing in pain? “Quick! The contractions are getting closer together! Somebody get my painting kit!!!” I don’t think so.
I genuinely have respect for Doulas. I think they are extremely knowledgeable and if you can afford one (or are friends with one), they can be a valuable asset to a delivery. That being said though, when the teacher (who, again, is a Doula) said that one of the best things about having a Doula is that she can give your husband a break, I couldn’t help but laugh.
Why should he get a break? I’m not getting a break. I’ve endured the brunt of years of fertility treatments, needles, shots, retrievals, etc. This will be the home stretch of feminine torture and I expect him to be there. My only request is if he’s going to pass out or steal focus from me in any way, he can leave the room. Otherwise, no Doula is going to let my husband off the hook. Besides, if I’m going to punch someone because of the amount of pain I’m in, it’s going to be him. I think that was even included in our wedding vows.
And for the record, the more I learn, the more I wonder if I even want to be in the room. I have DESPERATELY wanted a baby and I'm so incredibly grateful to finally be pregnant after so much... but... how should I put this? Me no likey pain. I wonder if I could give birth via Skype????
In lieu of a class, we bought a DVD on Labor and Delivery to see if we could get the plain facts but it also seemed to have a "natural delivery" slant to it instead of a broad cut and dry description. My favorite part was when they interviewed a couple who had agreed not to use any medication. They recounted their story explaining that some point during the labor process, the woman begged for an epidural but the husband refused to let her have one. In the interview, he said, “I’m proud that I stuck to our original plan and I’m sure she’s happy we did too!” The camera then cut to her and her expression was priceless. She said nothing, kind of gave a strained chuckle and had a look of, “You’re proud honey? That’s nice. Next time you’re in pain, I’ll be sure to stab you in the nuts.” I only hope that one day he gets a kidney stone and she tells the doctor not to give him pain medication. "Are you proud now honey??? Are ya???"
What amazes me is I JUST want to know about how far contractions should be apart before calling the doctor. What a contraction feels like. What a mucus plus looks like. Things like that. I have basic simple questions and I keep not getting them answered. What’s almost hilarious is I caught the last couple of scenes of KNOCKED UP this past weekend and I think I actually learned more from that movie than I did from my entire birthing class. Then again, as I said, I did drop out.
My doctor asked us this morning what our birthing plan was and we answered, “To get the baby out in the best healthiest way.” Really. I’m not opposed to anything if my doctor thinks it’s necessary. I don’t need the “experience” as much as I need and want my baby delievered happy and healthy. She actually thanked us for this response as she said it gave us a lot more options.
I suppose that ultimately, you can have all the information you want and all the plans you’d like but no one can predict how it’s going to go. Of all the women I’ve spoken to that gave birth recently, I think only one of them had things go exactly as planned only because it was a scheduled C-Section. In general though, it seems like a ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ kind of deal.
I'd be remiss not to mention that my Russian neighbor informed me recently that babies who are delievered via C-section suffer from claustrophobia. I have no idea where she got this information or if it's true but her conviction in passing on this "fact" was impressive. It reminded me of the time she told me that Gloria Estefan had Selena killed because she coudn't take the competition.
As for putting together the nursery, I don’t think I’ve ever heard my husband curse so much in his life. I also had no idea how long EVERYTHING would take to assemble, put batteries in or simply figure out. There were moments when our stroller/car seat combo was like a virtual rubix cube. There are
levers and buttons and zippers and snaps. It was like an 8th grade boy trying to unhook the bra off of his date.
Overall, I feel like every day, between trying to look good, figuring out exactly what a nipple brush is and learning that a “bloody show” isn’t a television series on HBO, I’m winging it. We have (roughly) six weeks left to go and that will hopefully give us enough time to figure out what the f*ck we’re doing. If nothing else, I hope we figure out how to fold up the pack and play before then.