Welcome to the Third Trimester!
That’s what the pregnancy website I visit weekly said today: “Welcome to the Third Trimester!” I am in Week 27 and am in the homestretch. These past few weeks, I have been filled with a lot of thoughts like these: “Goodbye, lazy Saturdays”; “Goodbye, personal hobbies”; “Goodbye, vacations as I know them.” The list goes on and on.
I have been in mourning about the things I will be losing by gaining a baby. And this decision was well thought out and all that. And I am sure that once Baby is here–live and in person–I really won’t have a single regret about what we chose to give up. But while she’s just bouncing around in my belly, I have time to miss my childlessness.
To make matters worse, I have been in some strange denial about the actual delivery. I keep pretending this is how it will go down: My water will break (while I am at home and will not be messy at all) and I’ll tell CS, “Well, honey, look at that. Must be time to go to the hospital.” We’ll call ahead and place an order for one cute-as-a-button little girl. We’ll then drive ever so relaxed up to the hospital’s pick-up window to retrieve our order. She’ll be all we expected and more. We’ll both smile and say thanks and then we’ll drive home with our cute little daughter–there will even be flowers thrown in along the way.
We start Lamaze classes next week. I am scared this will pull the blinders off my eyes. I am scared of the film they tell me they will show us. I remember having seen a film in high school similar to what I expect they will show us. That is when my fear of bodily fluids started. Oh, and of high-pitched screeches of human agony.
I was at the OB’s office about a month ago. In the waiting room there was a Lamaze Pregnancy magazine that I (foolishly, I admit) flipped through. There were advertisements for cute little nursing bracelets and the like that lulled me into a false sense of security.
Then there was an article about the top myths of delivery. I should have closed the magazine and gnawed on my cuticles. It would have been more therapeutic. But, no. I read on. The number one myth: 95% of women reported after the fact that the pain was much worse than they expected. Oy. I have a very low tolerance for pain. Like zero on a scale of 1 to 10. I honestly skipped right over this one because I think this is a situation where ignorance is bliss. I mean, what can I do about this now??
Number two: the birthing process lasted much longer than women expected. Great. So it hurts a lot and lasts a long time. Again, I just decided to move along. I will admit, though, that by now my hands were shaking.
Number three: don’t expect He-Man to make it through. Many, many husbands pass out during the delivery. I decided right then that if CS passes out on me, I will strangle him with the umbilical cord on the spot.
There were several others on this list that, frankly, my mind could not take in–not, that is, after reading about this little heretofore unknown fact: Expect to poop on the table. Stop. Rewind. WTF??? Seriously, pain, lasting a while, going it alone–these all SUCK but were kinda maybe things I would have expected. But what is this about pooping? The article said that pregnant women should get used to the idea that they will have to poop on the table in front of their doctor, their husband and the rest of the staff in the delivery room. Whoa, cowboy, whoa. I had NEVER heard this before. I have eight nieces and nephews–all natural births. No hint of this atrocity.
In the course of that next week, it’s as though this fact was always just a shadow away. It seemed everywhere I turned, there it was, lurking and smirking. In that one week: (1) I read about it in pregnancy books (just by happenstance); (2) I had the nerve to ask two mothers whether they did the poopy on the table thing–one said no because she had a c-section, and the other said that her doctor had her do an enema prior to going to the hospital; and (3) I had a friend whose wife just had a baby tell me to get ready to poop on the table. I couldn’t believe he even brought this topic up to me. He claims it’s no big deal, that the staff whisk it away very quickly and professionally.
I couldn’t take it. I couldn’t breathe. This was wrong. All wrong. I mean, apparently what everyone was telling me was TRUE. I can’t let this one go. I can’t even pretend to deny it. My best idea has been to go all liquid once I am at 37 weeks. But really, folks, how can I do that? And would that be safe for the baby? It seems I have three options: (1) a c-section (I can’t consider surgery just to avoid taking a crap, can I?); (2) an enema (unchartered territory that, well, scares the crap outta me–would that do the trick, I wonder?); or (3) swallow my pride, give up all sense of dignity and self-respect, and come to terms with just doing what nature calls upon me to do. These are three really bad options. I am awash in anxiety over this dirty little secret.
So although I am in the homestretch, I have a difficult three months ahead of me. I am going to go stick my head back in the sand and pray the hospital takes our order when we call it in. Ugh.