Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Remember That One Time When I Wrote a Novel about Business?

I ADORE labor and delivery. In fact, if my first doctor were still alive, he could tell you tales of how I swooned and declared, "Let's do that again!" moments after Saylor made her debut (he laughed nervously and told me that wouldn't be a good idea. I'd roll my eyes at that memory if it weren't disrespectful. Cause he's dead.). It (we're talking about labor here, remember?) is the best part of pregnancy. I just don't worship it. To me, it is only another task to be accomplished before claiming my ultimate prize: the baby.

I respect your right to do whatever you can possibly imagine to ensure your comfort and confidence while giving birth.

Also, spell check is on the fritz. Forgive any errors, please.

Author's Note:
Design Mom is a fun blog. I like it. The author, Gabrielle, is currently pregnant (with #5), and so is featuring numerous birth stories. Numerous. Birth stories. It has got me thinking about that whole song and dance we women must perform to usher in the arrival of our children. While I would one day love to write a detailed account of my children's birth stories, I probably never will. Instead, allow me to rant (you have no choice).

Chapter 1:
For me, labor is all business. I don't have time for pleasantries like relaxing music and focal points. To tell you the truth, I just can't get myself excited about the whole labor-as-a-spiritually-enlightening-metaphysical-awe-
inspiring-moment-of-epiphanal-Zen fad. I do not think it is beautiful, and I don't want anyone to see me do it except my partner in crime: the Mister (although, while we're being honest here, I even feel a little sorry for his having to be there - heaven knows I'd leave if I could).

I do think birth is a miracle. I am thankful to have survived three (four, counting my own) successfully, and I marvel to think that my body is capable (with a little help) of such incredible feats of creation, expulsion, and healing. It's incredible. But so are a lot of other bodily functions. For instance, I have a wart on my finger. No matter how many times I coat it with Compound W, watch the skin swell, die and fall off, it heals...and returns. It is an ugly business. The seedy underbelly of bodily processes, I'd venture. I am intrigued and amazed by the skin's ability to regenerate, but my husband refuses to acknowledge my wart, and made me promise not to talk about it anymore (oops. just broke that promise).

So, while I think skin is miraculous, I do not attend classes about it. I don't hire like-minded skin enthusiasts to rub my finger with oils and chant ancient skin...chants. I don't need support persons to indoctrinate me on the finer points of wart removal. I don't "listen to" my wart (I don't lay my ipod on it and play Mozart, either). I don't believe that modern medicine (what with all its male doctors and such) has caused the downfall of "natural" processes. Nor do I condemn methods of intervention and/or medication. I'm not going to take pictures of my grotesque finger in the buff, or make a cast of my wart to be bronzed. I have no wart plan besides this: get rid of it. And I wouldn't be caught dead blowing up a plastic pool in my bedroom - for any purpose.

(Though I completely support any woman who has that urge. It's just not my style.)

I prefer a no-frills approach to warts - and the birthing of infants. When I am in the throes of what feels like a ball of fire being wrenched from my loins, I don't feel like making primal animal sounds or bonding with my doctor. I just want to concentrate. Don't touch me, don't talk to me (unless you're telling me to take a break or that it's all over), just let me do what I need to do. And for heaven's sake, get that bleepety-bleep mirror out of my line of vision! Holy mother of my last shred of dignity! At least if I can't see it, I can PRETEND it was graceful and lovely.

I prefer my imagination to some things.

But that's just me.


Elisabeth (and Tyler) said...

Amen. I'm actually working on a post about awkward newborn pictures.. I think I may preface it with this post. I love you.

Emily said...

No nude pregnancy pics, in fact harldy any pregnancy pics at all, definitely no pics during labor & delivery, save the camera for the baby, that's the photo you want to look back at in 2 or 3 or 8 or 20 years. I adore labor & delivery too. In fact, I'm a little on the labor-as-a-spiritually-enlightening-metaphysical-awe-
inspiring-moment-of-epiphanal-Zen side. But you're right, the best part is the baby! & also right about don't touch a laboring woman - not the husband, not the nurse, everyone be quiet & let me work.

Your babies are cuter than your wart. At least I think they are, I haven't seen your wart - where's that picture? ;)

Parley and Anna and family! said...

I couldn't have said it any better! amen. Amen. AMEN! And a little Hallelujah, too.
I really don't get the mirror. Just thinking about seeing that makes me hurt!

Christy said...

Great post Andrea! I laughed out loud about the mirror. I remember my doctor(or maybe it was a nurse?) asking me if I wanted a mirror to see what was going on too... I was like, Um, your kidding, right?!
HECK NO! I also prefer the imagination over the reality of it all. I don't really look forward to the labor part at all. The pregnancy is hard enough on me I just want it over with and to enjoy my baby. Bring on the drugs! But I respect those who want to do everything naturally.

Lena said...

Okay, so I am really weird, and I kind of want to use the mirror. I mean, how in the WORLD does that part of my body let a 10 pound mass of head and shoulders come squishing out? My only hang up: I am worried that seeing all the damage done will make it hurt even more, and I don't need that. BUT, I do wish they would've offered a mirror during my c-section (my little 7 pound girl was breech, bless her stubborn soul). Ryan almost passed out during the whole event, but I was dying to see the action!

One final confession: I always get in trouble for laughing when it comes time to push the baby out. How dorky can you feel pushing with all your might, until you are shaking from the exertion, and yet, you can't really feel anything happening down there (I obviously get epidurals...who wants to feel the rippage caused by the Jolly Green Giant exiting your body? And why go through hell a moment longer than necessary--I've already endured nine months of pure torture!)

I will stop the over-sharing now.

Mardee Rae said...

I remember the first time I was in labor, waiting impatiently for the anesthesiologist and Spencer, in his need to offer relief, tried to tell me jokes to get me through contractions. Need I say more? Worst. Idea. Ever. And he's still reminded of that often.
Maybe you should lay your ipod on your wart and let it listen to Mozart. If you are going to have a wart, it may as well be a smart one.
ps, I sort of expected this to be an "announcement" post. I know you've said you're done. But I'm used to suspecting everybody.

Sharlee said...

All I know is whatever it took to get it all over with quickly and as painlessly as possible, is the thing I wanted. I actually was pleasantly surprised by the mirror my doctor put in front of me when I had Spencer. I didn't know they did such things but since everyone else (Kendal & Mom) were watching, I thought I might as well be too-made sense.

Amber said...

So I popped on over because I've been missing you and your brilliance and realized this post NEVER showed up in my Google Reader. I even went back to check in case I was losing it (which I am, and I'm aware of that. But that is another post for another day). And now that I've had my fix of you from a few weeks ago, could you get on the ball and post another. Like pronto. Oh and then could you come visit me too. I wore my "f" shirt the other day and it made me really miss you.

Anonymous said...


Michelle said...

Oh my heavens. How did I miss this. When you talked about this post in your recent email to me I thought "hmmm. . .I don't remember a post about birth I must re-read Andreas blog". So THIS is what you where talking about!

Anyhoo. . .I had a wart on my foot and I did the same thing. FINALLY I went to a real doctor and they burnt that little sucker of of my foot. It was ugly but now it is gone!

I flirt with the idea of all things natural. What I like about those freaky little natural hippies is that they BELIEVE you! I have had this pain in my side for a YEAR and my doctor has no clue why. So I go to the freaky natural people. Plus I don't like to take medicine so natural vitamins and such make me feel like I am doing something good for myself.

As for the birthing thing. . .I think births in water are FREAKIN' nasty! Who wants to sit in a pool of after-birth. Although like you, I respect any mothers right to bear a child the way she wants to. Any women who is giving birth to a child should be able to do it the way she wants even if that means being naked on national tv (something else I don't get).

WAY TMI for a public post!

Amber said...

Um, dude. Do you know what day it is? Where the heck are you my blogging friend? March 3rd? Really? Pathetic.