Friday, April 8, 2011

The Unknown... is kinda fun :)

Now that I'm 37 weeks pregnant, and Calvin is considered "full-term," the realities of giving birth and becoming a mom are staring me in the face.  How will I know it's time?  What does a contraction feel like?  What happens if my water breaks in public?  I heard a story of a woman who carried around a jar of pickles once she hit 37 weeks so that she could pretend she just spilled pickle juice on her lap.  Genius.  I think I'll make sure my water bottle is on me at all times. Just in case.

My friend had her baby yesterday and she said that nobody can prepare you for the pain you will experience.  I've heard people say that it's like an out-of-body experience.  I've heard people say you don't even really know what's going on.  One friend said that she doesn't even remember her husband being there for the birth. (Seriously, with these testimonies, who needs Planned Parenthood?  We should get these women into the public high schools! Sounds like good birth control to me!) 

One of the things I never thought I'd be considering is the method of delivery.  I've had a lot of people ask me what our birth plan is. I think this question is equivalent to asking your astrological sign, as if the answer reveals something about the kind of person you are.  Basically they are asking, “Are you in the ‘natural’ camp or are you in the ‘epidural’ camp?  It reminds me of the part in the movie “Baby Mama” where the birthing instructor asks “How many of you are planning on doing natural childbirth? That's a good show of hands. That's so great, you're all so great. And how many of you are planning on using toxic Western medications to drug your baby for your own selfish comfort? Anyone?”    Hahah!  Makes me laugh every dang time. But it’s SO TRUE!  That’s really what people want to ask!  What I’m finding is that women who go “natural” feel very proud of doing all that work, and while there's nothing wrong with that, that’s not the experience I want to have.  I want to be aware of what’s going on and I want to remember the joyous occasion free of pain, with the company of my husband.  So to answer the loaded question – I fully intend to take advantage of Jesus’ blessing in drug form.  :) Just because it’s natural, doesn’t mean it has to hurt!  (For those of you who have seen “Baby Mama”, I’m picturing myself bouncing on the birthing ball, pointing to myself with a “woot woot!”)  

Another question that pregnancy has brought to my mind is “What kind of parent will I be?”  Will I be critical or will I be supportive?  Will I be a germa-phobe or will I be laid-back? Will I be distant or will I be warm? Will I be calm or panicky? I think about the kind of person I am now, relatively unafraid of the world, and I wonder how that will change once I have Calvin.  I don’t want to be that mom that constantly cleans surfaces with sanitizing wipes or doesn’t let my child step outside without wearing protective gear, or makes everybody and their mom wash their hands before passing him around like a white elephant gift, but I wonder what my opinion will be once he gets here.  I don’t want to be like Merlin, Nemo’s dad, who is so afraid that something bad will happen to his son that he doesn’t let him do anything, thus leading to a life lacking experiences.  But because this was my childhood, I will have to be careful not to overcompensate by letting Calvin do anything he wants.  I worry about how much affection Calvin will sense from me, since I’m not a very coddling, sentimental person.  Will I turn into a cuddly-lovey-dovey woman all of a sudden?  These are the things I think about.  These are the unknowns that I look forward to discovering about myself when I take on the title of “Mommy.”

(I also wonder if I'll ever see my calf muscles again)

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