Tuesday, May 8, 2012

37 Weeks: And may the odds be ever in your favor..

Today I crossed the line into a full term pregnancy, meaning that in theory I could have this baby at any moment. What does that feel like? In the last three days I've described it three ways:

It feels like knowing for sure that sometime in the next three weeks you're going to get hit by a car, but you don't know when and you don't know where.

It feels like knowing for sure that in the next three weeks you're going to go to the bathroom to pee, and the serial killer you've been senselessly afraid of for your whole life actual WILL jump out from behind the curtain and stab you. (but don't worry, you probably won't die!)


It feels the way I imagine Katniss feels as the countdown to the start of the Hunger Games begins, except I don't know how many seconds are on the clock.

Obviously I'm being a (tiny) bit dramatic here, but I also completely mean it. Of course, I know that all of those scenarios end only with bodily harm (and I guess also potentially becoming the symbol of a rebel movement in a dystopian world, but I'm not sure how that applies).. and at the end of labor, I'm going to have a sweet new member of my family.

I'm sure I should be keeping my eye on that prize, but that isn't really my style. I know I'll be bowled over by how much I love the baby once it is here, and I know I'll think the whole thing was worth it, but before I get to that end, I know that it is my true nature to be basically incapable of any feeling other than sheer dread at the moment.

As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I started worrying about how I would cope with labor this time around. Knowing how it was, and how it can go wrong, and what recovering can feel like made it really hard to come up with a strategy that would be effective for managing not the pain, but the terror. I read some Hypnobabies materials, and Ina May and Birthing From Within again, but all of those resources seem really geared towards women who have never given birth (or I suppose who have had ideal or uncomplicated labors in the past), because they seem to speak directly to a first time mother's naivete. (Which, bless them, is so important - and if you're one of my expectant first-time mum friends who I spoke to this week, I'm really sorry for lying to your face about how easy birth will be - but it will be for you - really!)

For weeks and weeks I searched out materials about second births that might give me some comfort, or strategies, or peace in preparing for getting this baby into the world, but I found nothing. I asked my midwife for a recommendation, and she made one:

"You can try Hypnobirthing, or other similar programs, I've seen women have success with those, but the truth of the matter is, you might just be one of those women for whom labor is quick, but awful. And so you can take comfort in knowing that yeah, it sucks, but it will be over very quickly."

And somehow, that is the closest thing to comforting reassurance I've heard for this whole pregnancy. It sounds bleak, I know, but I like my midwife's straight ahead style, and I appreciate her honesty, and in my heart I know that she is right.

I believe that there are women for whom birth is empowering and transformative and positive. I've met some of them, and I've read their blogs, and I'm pretty jealous really. But I don't think I'm going to be one of them. Motherhood has been empowering and transformative and positive for me and that is amazing. Labor on the other hand is more like an unstoppable horror show with a happy ending, and I just have to get through it, to get to the other side.


  1. You might like reading this: http://www.gregariouspeach.com/2012/03/29/a-story-of-healing-after-grief-a-homebirth-after-caesarean/

    And watching her birth video:

    1. Thanks for posting this! I can use all the positive reinforcement I can get :)

  2. Seriously Meagan, I love this blog. I don't know why you write (or why most mommy bloggers write), but I like to think it has something to do with recognition - for the self and for others. We write to make sense of ourselves, to ourselves, but also because we hope our words will find life in the histories and experiences of others. Whether or not that has anything to do with why you write, just wanted to let you know that your blog does that for me, for whatever that's worth. I'll be sending lots of postivie 'hurry-up-and-get-this-over-with-safely" birthing vibes - for whatever that's worth too.

  3. ps. I meant 'recognition' as in 'self-recignition' or a moment of recognition ... not like blogging recognition. Ha. Sorry, I'm awkward like that ;)

    1. I totally got what you meant Michelle, and it was so nice to read. I wonder myself why I put stuff out here into the world a lot of the time, it seems like a strange drive, but it is so good to know that other people connect with it!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...