My Body Does WHAT?!?!
So here i am, 37 weeks pregnant. I’ve never actually gone through the process of going into labor on my own. My first pregnancy resulted in an induction at 38 weeks. So it’s like i’ve never done this before, esentially. With my first pregnancy I watched any and all birthing shows i could find just to search for any/all information I felt i didn’t yet have. I’m the type of person that wants to know what kind of war she’s stepping into before jumping off the plane. If i see other women handling certain situations, or I can see how they handle it/what choices they make to move ahead, I feel I’m better equipped than walking into something and not even realizing whatever that potential situation is could happen.
And still, there was information left out. I had no clue with my first labor that it was not possible to get an epidural in a timely manor because there were so many women in labor at the same time with only one anesthesiologist. Thankfully my husband and I did the labor prep classes and learned the breathing/lamaze technicques because there I was, going all the way to 9.5cm with no drugs, on pitocin, screaming my head off. Screaming. It got to the point the nurses shut my door. I was “that woman”. I did not grow up with a close circle of family members that shared everything, i didn’t have sorority sisters that compared wedding stories, and I had virtually no experience with babies before Gage, let alone labor. So here I am about to burst with my second kid and i’m STILL learning things! Like the infamous “muccus plug”. I’ve read about it, i’ve heard about it, i’ve even heard stories of real life women experiencing themselves. However, i still had no idea what the hell it was until today. And oh boy, does it just make the whole birthing experience that much more alien. My first reaction, “Don’t tell James until i know what this means.” I immediately called my OB. For some reason from the get-go, i’m embarassed. These people deal with laboring women as their career, and here i am stumbling over the story .. hardly even able to form the words, “So I went pee and …. ”
God bless the receptionist for having lunatic women call all the time, she was very patient and just took my info and said someone would call me.
Second step, of course, is to call my very best friend who sees this carnage and gore on a daily basis, and even then i didn’t go into detail .. just ‘i think this is what happened.. ??” and she reassured me i’m normal and that there’s not much pleasantness to labor until the end when you get your gooey baby plopped onto your glamorous hospital gown… and then everyone is snapping pictures not minding the giant blood spot on the chest, or the goop smeared across a blanket.
But the mucus plug is what had me grind to a screeching halt today. Logically, i knew this just meant another step had passed and i’m on my way sometime soon… still, i walk around with every step thinking, “Oh lord, is my water gonna break now?” “Is the baby gonna just fall out onto the tile?”
Knowing fullwell the answer is “No, stupid.” but still feeling these things.
Then it occurs to me on a drive later, what if men had to deal with this?
*pause for hysterical laughter*
Just from the get-go of being pregnant, can anyone really imagine a man going through it? The constant nausea while you clean, cook, do laundry, lay on the couch, do anything BUT have sex. Then you have the physical exhaustion, regardless of anyone else needing to be taken care of in the house, things must still get done. … without calling your mom in for back-up.
The heartburn, the charlie horses, the peeing every few hours at night (although, i understand this is not uncommon for the geezers later in life)
Just those ‘minor maladies’ associated with being pregnant would drive my husband up a wall. He’d be the most paranoid hypocondriac ever! I love the man, but any small tweak or strain and it’s broken or torn or ruptured.
So add to that this last stage of pregnancy. The baby dropping down into your pelvis and still trying to walk. The jabs and kicks and pushes CONSTANTLY because the critter has no room left.
I cannot fathom a man handling this with no less than a medal pinned to his chest.
I think had my husband peed, wiped, and seen elephant snot on the toilet paper, he would have screamed like a 5 year old girl just before dropping to the floor unconcious.
And then the black hole of anxious waiting after that … nope. Women were born to have children, not men.
On the other hand, to be perfectly fair, my husband has seen his fair share of births… god bless him. He’s recovered from each one and gone on to make even more children somehow. I could not stomach looking at the mirror during my son’s birth, let alone be right there in front of the mess watching it unfold – so to speak. Had i witnessed a watermelon pushed out of my husband’s butt, i don’t think i could easily recover from that… at all.
I credit keeping my sanity through my first labor totally to my husband. I was ready to climb the walls from pain and terror, and because he had the stregth to look past his wife’s head spinning, vomiting, cussing, he breathed me through until i got my blessed spinal shot.
I have no patience for putting 3200 nuts and bolts on the floor, grabbing a screwdriver and creating a safe bed for an infant out of the mess, that’s up to him. Sure I can deal with supporting the cussing and throwing of said tools and ranting and raving, but in the end, i’d give up and pay someone to do it, whereas he is a man on a mission to create this thing himself, and he succeeds every time.
I am always in awe of what women handle on a daily basis. One child, or multiple kids, we get things done usually with patience, a lot of times with love , and even some teaching along the way. Throw a grown man at a tantrum-having 3 year old in a store and you get 2 screaming beings. A mom can walk up and handle it usually with minimal tears, some uneasy blushing, but everyone walks out together, and the groceries are bought to boot. We can’t call in sick when we have a runny nose, you simply wipe and move on with no bitching, because certainly your 4 year old does not care that you have snot.
In the end , i guess i’m admitting men need women, and women need men. On a basic level, we balance each other out. I take the 40 weeks of discomfort and weird wacky revelations at what the human body does just to top it off with labor and all the pain and excitement, and ickiness that come with it because I know my husband will be with me and we will both be in awe of the end result. Our little bundle of miracle. And through that experience, I get to wear the motherhood badge with pride, and my husband can bow down a little to what I am able to do with my body besides laundry, dishes, bathing the kid(s), and grocery shopping. Just as I appreciate all the patience, hand-holding, and love he provides. … ah yes, and the fact that he works so i can stay home and wipe noses and butts! (and love almost every minute of it)