There are some life experiences you just cannot get enough information about. They cannot easily be explained. There are others that people just will not explain. I don’t know if it’s to keep a sense of self-importance about it, or if the mystery makes the experience that much more impressive.
Take for instance childbirth. It’s something we’ve all been through – from one end or another – and yet when you are staring down the face of a labor and delivery room, you can feel ill prepared. Ready, but not quite sure of what’s about to happen.
But it happens every day. Every minute. And we’ve all been there. They make television shows about it. When I was pregnant with my first kid, i couldn’t watch enough Baby Story’s. My knowledge of birthing a child was not much beyond ‘out the shoot and down the slide’. But I wanted to know a- what can go wrong, and how should i handle it. (The theory here being if i saw another woman dealing with it, i’d have a better understanding of what I would do) and b-what about AFTER the baby is out?
What’s the process of getting put back together if you are not having a c-section? I didn’t understand this. I had never been in a delivery room, and the cameras seem to stop rolling after the baby is slimy, gooey, screaming, and plopped on momma’s sweaty deflated belly.
You know the terms:
Episiotomy – this strikes fear in every woman’s brain. new mom, experienced mom. doesn’t matter. It’s particularly horrifying to a new mom facing the fear and anxiety of labor, though. I had images of FrankenVag in my mind and how to cope. Stitches. Peeing with stitches?! No thanks! It obviously happens, though. People survive it.
Truth: If you’ve done labor right, you don’t feel the procedure. You wonder, you picture, but you don’t feel it. When you come back down from the labor cloud, it hurts, but I didn’t need much meds to remedy that. In regards to dealing while peeing, turns out a squirt bottle filled with warm water helps immensely with this. … if you live in a home that has accessible warm water. A home where you don’t have to wait minutes to use the restroom, and have bladder control enough to stand and wait at a sink with running water. I think i managed to wait the first two times, then i endured the lukewarm water. It was AZ, afterall, and the water seemingly only existed at lukewarm 9 months out of the year. By child 2, cold water, warm water, it didn’t matter. Similar to most experiences with the second kid, you quickly learn the value of certain processes. Also, stock the freezer with bags of frozen peas. These come in handy as a couch cushion replacement.
(I’m going to do you all a favor and NOT post a picture of this. Let me also tell you, if you are a pregnant first timer, do NOT look up images on Google. Holy Hell. I would rather eat the placenta than repeat my mistake of attempting this. I can never un-see what i’ve just seen.)
Placenta: Ewe. That was the only word association I had for this. Ewe and “huh?”. People eat it. People shampoo with it. I just wanted to understand it. You hear nothing but the importance of it the entire pregnancy. Placement, quality, size, location. Apparently when it’s inside your body, it’s kosher. The minute it leaves your body, you can’t even look at it. My first labor team offered to show it to me afterwards. The nurse was walking towards me with a yellow bin, and a gloved hand lifting and ‘plopping’ the organ into the bin, inspecting it like a ghoulish disgusting ziploc bag of red Gak. All I could get out was “no! no no no no !” as she walked closer and closer to me.
Personally, I think this is the fun part for the team. They have to see countless placenta and it’s sort of like dangling a spider above an arachnophobe. (and no, this wasn’t mine. it belongs to Google)
Then comes the awkward part. Yes, now. The nurse massages your deflated belly to stimulate your uterus to shrink back to a reasonable size. For me, i just dealt with it like i do most uncomfortable situations. No eye contact. Find a spot on the ceiling that fascinates you and just ‘go’. If you’ve been “trying” to have a child for any length of time, this might be familiar to you as conception isn’t as seemingly simple your High School Phys Ed teacher had us all believe.
The rest, i feel, is all documented and televised and well-known. The fatigue, the exhaustion, the lack of sleep, privacy, pride, hygiene, ability to smell again, etc.
I began this post with the intention of segueing into buying a house. I feel i’ve fried your brain enough for now, and will illustrate the reality of that process next. I don’t think it’s entirely unlike labor, by the way…. just less gory.