Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mommy Can Do It!

This week marked the second week of my baby class.  I am one of the lucky ones that I have some experience with babies, so I am approaching this whole mommy thing with some idea of what I am getting myself into.  I had lots of young cousins running around when I was a kid, I was a pro babysitter during my teenage years and it seemed I was always holding or caring for babies at my church.  I realize this in NO WAY makes me an expert, but I have some confidence with the basics. That being said, I also realize I have a lot to learn, especially regarding child birth.  That road is definitely a new (scary, painful, stressful, mysterious) one I have not yet taken and I feel its best to learn and prepare all I can.  If I had a quarter for every time the nurse who is teaching the class said "It's not like they show on TV" I'd be able to buy more pink clothes. 

This post is in no way going to cover all that I will learn, but instead I am going to share some of my own reactions to this enlightening information. 
First lets start with the obvious.  It's pretty clear to me why God gave women the job of childbirth, men can't handle this stuff.  Yes, I am implying that ALL MEN are simply incapable of taking on this monumental task.  Case in point, my own husband isn't even attending the classes with me.  His reaction to blood, hormones, talk of labor, mention of bloodily fluids, or anything else related to all the crazy stuff going on with my body and he is desperate to change the subject or leave the room.  He just doesn't get it, and doesn't care to learn either.  Hence my stance when it comes to him is: Ignorance is Bliss.  I am pretty confident that if he saw the birth video (all 2 minutes of it) last night in class he would have thrown up, fainted, or refused to enter my hospital room on the big day.  So at the hope of at least having him in the room to hold my hand, I am sparing him from the knowledge of all that is going to happen.  Forget him watching our baby's delivery or cutting the cord, I will be lucky if he is able to stay on his feel during the whole process.  Knowing how very worthless he is going to be on delivery day, I hope my Mom is able to be here in time.  And if not, I am thankful to have my friend Julie on stand by to be with me.  Either way, I am relying on the women to help me get through the process!  
Doubting my sincerity?  Consider this:  I have not missed a single day from work thus far despite morning sickness, a crappy first trimester and the fattest ankles you have ever seen.  And now I am going to add months of 90-100+ degree weather to the final trimester and still plan to work until the day my contractions start.  My sister and I painted and set up the nursery and registered for baby supplies without so much as input from Chet.  I go to most of my prenatal appointments alone because Chet is too busy or not interested, heaven forbid the appointment include drawing blood or an exam and he won't even stay in the room.  On the day of my ultrasound which I scheduled at 1:00 PM so Chet would not have to get up early, he rolled out of bed about 20 minutes before the appointment and was grumpy and miserable the entire time.  I didn't get a single smile or laugh from him the entire appointment because he was still in his "I just woke up" mood.  He has no desire to feel a kicks or hear about baby updates and we are stilll unable to decide on a name.   He has actually rolled his eyes or turned up the TV if I try to start a baby talk conversation.  Pawn stars trumps baby talk.  Even watching me put coco butter on my growing belly is something he considers weird.  However, he does feel he can complain about his back pain or being tired lately.  My heart just breaks with sympathy for the poor man.  My other pregnant friends get back rubs and sympathy from their husbands but Chet doesn't even bother to ask me how I am doing.  Yea, it's pretty clear that if someone is going to be prepared for baby- it's going to be me! 

But anyway, back to birth class.  I'd say my nurse is very versed in labor, and has a ton of great information.  But her presentation skills and tact are not exactly what I would have expected.  I went to class with some real fear and anxiety about this experience and have yet to really feel better about it.   During the first class she felt it would be appropriate to share a story about a time her husband brought home a bunch of fish to clean in her kitchen.  His ensuing mess of blood, guts and gunk everywhere made her say "It looks like someone gave birth in here".  The perfect story to tell a scared first time mom, don't you think?  It conjured up a picture in my mind of own delivery room splattered with blood and fluids... and fish scales. 
There was also the time she was holding a life size infant doll and pelvis bones to demonstrate how baby comes through the birth canal.  As she tried to show how baby passed through she said "Opps, hope I don't rip off the baby's arms".  Another perfect comment which made my eyes bug and I whispered to my friend "Can the baby's arms get ripped off?!?!".   Then she dropped the baby by accident.  Oh lord, what am I getting myself into?

This past week was all about labor.  I am glad to know about it but still freaked about the pain.  Terms like "Burning ring of fire" and "back labor" make it sound like such a fun experience.  Especially when I heard there is no pain medication to help with either of those situations.  In one of the videos the new mother was being interviewed and she said one of the best things about delivery was not being pregnant anymore.  Right on Mama, we all hear you on that one.  That gives you some perspective right?  Labor sucks, but hey at least your not pregnant anymore (which can also be pretty sucky).  And to add insult to injury, all the baby daddies got a lesson on massage and ways to help alieveate stress and pressure during labor by practicing rubbing and massaging the Mama's in class.  I was alone so I just watched, Chet was at home watching TV. 

Do I feel ready for labor?  No, not yet but I have about 15 weeks left to go to get me ready.  Does Chet need an attitude change?  Yes, and a shuffle of priorities would be nice too.  But what can I do beside prepare myself and keep laughing as I watch my tummy move and bump with her kicks.  I know I am being a good Mommy by learning what I can and trying to enjoy the ride.  I may not love everything about pregnancy, but I love this baby dearly and it's also an amazing experience.  All in all, this road my be bumpy and a lot of the time I am riding it alone but it's headed in the right direction and has all the promise of a happy ending!

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