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The Thing About Giving Birth

Packed my bag for the hospital today. Too much, I’m pretty sure, but the thing is a) I can’t reallyt remember which pants will fit, other than most emphatically NOT regular pants and b) you never know what you’ll bleed on, or otherwise cover in bodily fluids. And I packed a bag for Rob to bring later, with an outfit for the baby and the cover for the car seat and such, and made a list of things that necessarily aren’t in the bag, like make-up and a hair dryer (and if you think you don’t need those things, then more power to you, but I do.)

So from that point of view, we’re ready. I’m ready.

Except, of course, that I’m NOT. See, here’s the thing about giving birth, as I remember it from my first two experiences: It hurts. Quite a bit, and for really long expanses of time. Granted, it ends, but it’s not over yet, so I know, I KNOW, what lies ahead. History leads me to believe that I will not enjoy it; that I will in fact hate it; that I will handle it miserably and be miserable and not have any idea how to cope with such misery.

For various reasons an epidural isn’t an option for me, and I can’t count on talking them into any narcotics, lovely as those sound. If you ask me, the best way to give birth is probably with serious buzz on, but I’m guessing that would lead to visits from social services at best, so I’m pretty much stuck with nothing but my own coping mechanisms, already shown to be remarkably feeble.

Why don’t other people seem to worry about this? They are all blithe about their births–oh, I’ve forgotten all about the pain, it was worth it, it got easier every time, blah blah blah. Well let me just say this: Of course it’s worth it, but that doesn’t make it any more to look forward to, and I have absolutely not forgotten it, and no, it didn’t get any easier at all the second time and I see no reason to expect this to be any kind of improvement. Of course, it MIGHT be–there are signs, for example, that this guy is actually planning to turn around and come out face down, like babies are supposed to, which I’m told will involve a much less painful and probably shorter labor. That would be nice, but for one thing, he might not–the odds are against it–and for another, what exactly does less painful entail? Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but breaking a finger is presumably less painful than breaking a leg, and I wouldn’t be hanging about here looking forward to either if they were on the schedule for the next couple of weeks.

There it is, my festive take on giving birth. Of course, like anyone else, I’ll take a healthy baby first and above all–but after that, I’m pleading with the gods who control all this (and oh, they must be gods…)–could I get one of those easy births where you barely have time to get out of the elevator this time? Please?

KJThe Thing About Giving Birth


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