Warning: the words that follow are not Zen-ish, politically correct, or mature in any way. I accept that.
I am freaked the f*ck out about giving birth. I’m not having nightmares, exactly, but birth-related thoughts get pushed to the furthest recesses of my brain to be confined and ignored. Things that make me uncomfortable get compartmentalized pretty well, but the low-level constant anxiety wears on me.
So, birth: it’s what’s freaking me out right now.
I tried desensitizing tonight by watching birth videos on YouTube. Whoa. The first one I watched sounded like p*rn to my husband who was in the other room, so he came into the living room expecting, well, something other than an alien-like head coming out of some woman’s streeeetchy nether regions.
Me: Ack! *eyes averted*
Him: Huh! *totally normal*
First the head popped out while I tried not to look away, then the body just flopped out all at once. A few silent seconds and then the baby started to scream. My husband laughed! … then apologized, thinking he’d done something wrong by the look on my face.
‘Twas not his reaction that was the problem.
There’s something about a woman giving birth that is so… feral and raw. It makes me uncomfortable, like I’m being a voyeur. I’m embarrassed for them that other people are watching them be so primal. I’m embarrassed that their husbands climb into the birth tubs with them (ew), their kids run around while they moan, that they are making sex sounds in front of bystanders.
Remember the Friends episode where Phoebe refuses to give Monica any more massages because Monica makes sex noises the whole time?
Clearly I have hang-ups.
The idea of giving birth feels as intimate (and rife with the potential for awkwardness, discomfort, and embarrassment) as Twister. Twister with innocent bystanders, no less. And this is me. I’ll admit I’m often embarrassed the day after a particularly inhibition-less Twister episode with my husband, like I should be more prim or something. This doesn’t bode well.
So after three eye-searing close-ups of a woman’s hooha streeeetching and producing a wee little alien-like creature (vernix, ew), I moved on to something a little more soft core: hypnobirthing videos.
Have I mentioned we’re starting our
HippieHypnobirthing classes this Saturday? If you’ve ever met me, you know I’m the one in the back of the motivational seminar cracking jokes and rolling my eyes; while I like the idea of yoga, I still struggle not to giggle at some of the phrasing. And yet, HYPNOBIRTHING.
Chalk it up to a project manager’s innate need to assess risk and benefit. Worst case, we blow a couple hundred bucks and six Saturday mornings trying not to giggle. Best case, a zen freaking birth experience. I’m all over that. Plus, it seems like the whole shebang would be less stressful for the partner.
Quiet moans and soft music seem way more my style than the raw (and, honestly? somewhat horrifying) sounds I heard in some of those videos. Though I’m loath to admit it, they left me feeling all creeped out and skin-crawly.
And wondering if an epidural is the way to go, hospitals be damned. (So far, I’m considering the low-level yearning for a needle in my back sort of like cold feet before your wedding: a sign to be heeded, sure, but more evidence of the understanding of the significant transition about to happen than that one should run.)
Now I’m off to Google concrete counters for the kitchen, a little bit of escapism being just what I need if I ever hope to fall asleep.
I’m 29 weeks pregnant with less than a third left to go.