I have some very, very, good news. I'M PREGNANT. I know! You're probably thinking HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? For those of you following what Sean and I have been through, you know that after the events of the last two years---my uterus was left as uninhabitable as the frozen ice-planet of Hoth.* Then, last August, a fancy doctor in Cleveland did an experimental surgery on me to repair "The Ole Gal." When he described the procedure to us, only 9 other women had gone through with it, and of those, 3 of them had gone on to have babies. ** Sean and I knew the odds were against us, but we decided to give it a try anyways. We were frankly shocked when I became pregnant almost immediately.
*If you are reading this blog to seek actual medical information and not Star Wars references, the medical term for what was wrong with me was Asherman's syndrome, caused by multiple D&C's following a placenta accreta. The hospital I went to was University Hospital- MacDonald Women's Hospital.
** Pro-tip- If you nearly die 3 times from pregnancy complications and then conceive a baby who is an ACTUAL medical miracle, the hospital will feature you in their annual development campaign and you can get some free family photography out of it! Woot Woot!
I won't lie to y'all-- this pregnancy has been hard. If I had to pick one word to describe it, it would be "vulnerability," although a close second would be "Cramps," then followed by "salt-and-vinegar-potato-chips." I found myself jealously thinking of my relaxed mental state with my previous two pregnancies. Remember when the biggest concerns I had were axe-body spray and cabbage related office smells? This time around, I've been scared basically the whole time. That's probably why I waited until I was 33 weeks along to type this blog post.
The good news is, Millie's sense of optimism is unhindered, and she recently made me this drawing, which is my new all-time favorite work of art:
Lately, I've been letting the exciting reality sink in: Oh my god! I'm really going to have this baby! But unfortunately, the other reality has started to sink in too: OH MY GOD, I'M REALLY GOING TO HAVE THIS BABY.
Shit. Shit. Double Shit. Childbirth is not the funnest thing I've ever done. So, I broke out my trusty book on "The Bradley Method," to brush up on my skills. For those of you unfamiliar, the Bradley method is a tried and tested natural childbirth technique, which for nearly 30 years has helped expectant mothers see graphic pictures of other women's vaginas.
Now that I'm reading it with the trained eye, I can see that parts of this book are total bullshit.
For example, it contains these reassurances:
"Natural Childbirth can be painless."
(Throws head back and laughs.) Please.
"Partners-- don't let your wife sit on a comfortable couch while she is pregnant. She will secretly appreciate that you make her sit on the hard floor! Even if you overhear her complaining to her friends about you, she's actually just low key bragging that you're such a good birth coach!"
Partners-- don't be fooled by this lying book. I know it seems medically legit because there are so many pictures of vaginas in it, but this is BAD ADVICE.
"Many women actually have orgasms when giving birth."
Yeah, so I'm not buying this one. I get that every labor and delivery is different. Some women like aroma therapy--I preferred for my hospital room NOT to smell like a cheap head shop where teenagers buy bongs. Some women are meaner than snakes-- the meanest thing I told Sean during labor was "don't sing," as he tried to comfort me by crooning along with the playlist.
When I had Millie I actually BROKE MY TAILBONE, and was so preoccupied that I DIDN'T EVEN NOTICE. So, all I'm saying is that if some women get to have ORGASMS-- that's not fair, and I hope all of those women have colicky babies, or, at the least-- really out of tune xylophones.
So, as a public service announcement, I've decided to improve on the Bradley Method's "Six needs of a laboring woman."
The Bradley Method's List:
- Deep, complete relaxation
- Abdominal breathing
- Darkness and solitude
- Physical comfort
- Closed eyes
- The appearance of sleep
- Deep, warm Hot tub
- Husband, Stop Singing
- Die Aroma Therapy, Die
- Delivery Room Ban on Axe body spray
- Open bag of Salt and Vinegar Chips
- Silence from woman one room over, who's painless childbirth is climaxing in a loud orgasm.
If you're a first time mom, the Bradley Method book CAN actually be immensely helpful. However, for those of us who are doing this for a second time, I'd like to recommend Dave Barry's Book, Babies and other Hazards of Sex, as alternate reading. This book, which is subtitled, How to make a tiny person in just 9 months with tools you probably have around the house, will not prepare you in any way for childbirth, but it contains far fewer graphic pictures of vaginas and makes for much more pleasant reading while you are sitting on your coach, enjoying your salt and vinegar potato chips.