Friday, August 19, 2011
Oh, the Horror!
Last night, Mike and I went to our first "prepared childbirth" class. You can get all the information you need these days in books and online, but I thought the act of going to a class would make me feel more prepared. (Besides the fact that I forget information I read faster than Dory the tang fish.)
The class started pleasant enough, with introductions and definitions and niceties. As the class moved on, I found the information sinking into my fish brain, and I was pleased I had decided to eschew my normal "ignorance is bliss" stance for a "prepared childbirth."
We talked relaxation techniques and stance techniques. We talked about how it is very doable to have a medication free labor. And I felt like, "Hey, I can do this! I am woman, hear me roar!" I had nearly begun to think, "Epidural? Who needs an epidural?" And then.
Why do they show this video? Is it a cruel joke? To get you all hyped up on "natural" childbirth and then go wa-bam in yo' face with a whole lot of horror?
I had never intended to watch the...er...sensitive bits of the video. I safely waited until I could see it was just a talking head before I'd look at the screen and quickly avert my gaze whenever it seemed something unsavory was coming. But several times, they caught me off guard, those fiends! I inadvertently saw things that ought not be seen and are the reason we have "people" (i.e. doctors, midwives) for that.
Even when I wasn't watching, I had Mike's face to watch. Mike has the most dramatically expressive face of any person alive today. Sometimes rather than watching movies, I'll simply watch his face. He emotes whatever the main characters are emoting and cringes and guffaws and squirms. He's like a melodrama in and of himself. So even when not watching, I could see the horror brimming and overflowing in his eyes. I have already expressly forbidden him to watch our own childbirth because I can't handle the truth in his face.
It didn't help that the women were all naked in the video. Why couldn't they have covered up with a nice bland hospital gown? It also didn't help that the video was circa 1993 and the women all had 90's bangs. Somehow the 90's bangs made the horror even worse.
All night, my dreams were riddled with visions of labor. (And, by the way, "labor" seems far too tidy a term.) And this morning, all I can picture, for some reason, when thinking of labor is cows and horses giving birth...because it's awful similar. I feel like my mind is going through Willy Wonka's Tunnel.
So, after my night of horrors, disguised as a pep talk on how "You can do it! Childbirth is beautiful and natural!" what do you think I did this morning? Researched epidurals, thank you very much.