Tonight I went to visit a friend who was due yesterday with her first baby. She was still very chipper, active and adorable (and very, VERY pregnant) but admitted several times to being beyond ready for it to all be over. Can’t say I blame her. I’m ten weeks behind her and I feel that way already. I don’t know if it’s the uncomfortable lifestyle, the disproportionate body parts, or the anxiety to meet your little one, but it happens. For me, I think it happened earlier than usual because I don’t know how much longer I can play my “ignorance is bliss” card and actually succeed at my initial game plan, which was to know as little medically as I possibly could before it was moments from actually occurring. That way, I don’t need to think about it for more than five seconds before I’m living it. What’s the point of dreading something this far in advance? But, the longer I am pregnant, the more I tend to read. And the closer I get to going through the pain of childbirth, the more questions I have. Then, throw in the fact that I’ve seen and heard the experiences from two different friends who have gone through it recently, and you’re bound to crash head-first into some of the inevitable off-limits conversations.
The thing that gets me the most is the “language” of pregnancy. As if the birthing process wasn’t enough, they have to make the terminology that goes along with it so gag-worthy it makes your ears bleed. I can’t read through an online article anymore without reading something that makes me cringe. It’s like Bill Gates sits at home and strategically controls the internet so whatever women read in their first and second trimesters is all smiles and rainbows, and the second you hit stage three (the point of no return), he shuts off the rainbow-meter and replaces every smiley word with “leak,” “tear,” or “rupture.” He knows there’s no backing out now. It’s all or nothing, baby – let’s bring out the big guns! Words that I have been trying desperately to avoid in the past six months include dilation, effacing, crowning, and the dreaded epidural. It seems once you are in your third trimester, these words have somehow become part of your daily life. People start asking more intimate questions. Instead of “when are you due?” you get “have you had any contractions?” Instead of “cloth or disposable diapers?” you get “are you going to have a natural birth?” How do I know if I”m going to have a natural birth? Does the thought of having a two-foot needle enter my spinal cord scare the bejeesus out of me? Yes. Will I care about the size of the needle when I feel like my vagina is trying to flip itself inside-out? Probably not. But, for now, I prefer to not think about it. So, let’s leave the word “epidural” for the doctors to bring up when I’m IN that moment. You can ask me afterwards. I’ll consider not slapping you then.
As far as falling into the traps of hearing others’ baby-related experiences, I guess that is unavoidable. Tonight, my friend told me a story about…brace yourself…losing her mucus plug. I have so many problems with that last sentence I just wrote I don’t even know where to begin. First of all, WHY must they call it a mucus plug? If I think about it literally, I picture a champagne cork covered in snot popping out of your lady parts like it’s New Year’s Eve. Apparently, according to her, this is not at all what it is like, but I gotta tell you, the “reality” isn’t much better than where my imagination took me. I know she didn’t mean to (she usually filters herself when I’m around) but I actually had to excuse myself from the room and hang my head over the toilet seat for a few minutes. Glad I left the room when I did, because I heard one loud, disgusted, in-unison “awwwww” from the other girls as I was flushing. Must’ve missed the Climax de Mucus Plug. Darn. I understand fully that there are women out there who want to know everything. They want full details – a play-by-play spreadsheet of how her labor and delivery will go. I am simply saying that I am NOT one of those women. I’m one of those women who hears the words “irritable uterus” or “ruptured membranes” and immediately erases them from her memory. Click-click. Deleted. We signed up for a birthing class and I’ve already made it very clear to Nate that I have no problem getting up and leaving mid-lecture if she threatens to make us watch a DVD with close-ups of a crowning head. “Get in the car, honey. We’re going to Burger King.” I refuse to sit through that, and I guess that’s just how I want to experience it all my first time. Cluelessly. For this girl, ignorance truly is bliss.