Okay, so the past 24 hours have easily been a rollercoaster of emotions for me. And by rollercoaster, I should explain that it’s pretty much only been the part you fear the most… the one where you start to ascend the giant hill and hear the clink-clink-clink of the train carrying you up. All the while you’re mind is racing with everything that could go wrong once you hit the top. Will the descend be as fun as everyone talks about? Will it bring about one of those amusement park accidents you read about in the papers? What if the train becomes unhinged? Is the safety belt latched tight enough? What if you’re not prepared for the drop and you walk away from the experience with even more fear than you began with?
I want the second half of the rollercoaster. The one when the descend makes your belly laugh with joy and a smile splashes across your face without any control. The one when relief rushes over you and you realize that everything is, in fact, okay, that you’re okay, better than okay – you’re crazy happy. The thrill and the rush of how fast everything is going but you don’t want it to stop and you can’t wait to start it all over again. I want that.
Right now, I’m still ascending that rollercoaster hill. Weeks away from having LittleBabyThomsen with a heart filled with fear as I climb towards that life-changing experience everyone talks about… labor.
Yesterday we had a full day filled of baby class – learning about what to expect at the hospital, how many different ways one can have a baby, what drugs one can take vs. how beautifully (?!?) natural birth can be. Don wanted to attend this 8 hour thrill fest – he wanted to learn about everything I had already taken the time to read about. And being how well he supports me, I agreed to go and “learn” about how to push a baby out and then take care of it. After the first four hours of videos, discussion and illustrations, we had our lunch break. The one where Don tells me how much this class is calming his nerves and how he feels more prepared and ready for baby. Funny… it was having the opposite effect on me.
I am now officially afraid to give birth.
I know, it’s silly. For one, I don’t really have much of a choice in the matter anymore – so I better learn to embrace what’s inevitably going to happen vs. fear it. I do believe my hormones have a part in my lacking confidence, but prior to this class I had the confidence. I already knew I was going to go in the hospital, get an epidural as soon as I could and go home with the best gift life has to offer. The contractions, pain, fear… going up the rollercoaster hill. Baby’s first breath, tears, cuddles and the ride home… the descend. But of course, the videos we watched dated somewhere in the 1980s and every video? Yeah, natural birth. And it did not look fun.
While I know, or at least plan, to not put my body through the birthing process naturally, a la “drug free”, I now feel conflicted in that for whatever I do plan, the exact opposite can occur. The classic fear of the unknown from an admitted control freak. I don’t know if I have the strength to birth without an intervention of numbing help. I saw those videos and I’m sorry, I don’t care how “happy” those moms looked post delivery, the 16 to 24 hours prior looked like the worst experience in a lifetime.
I feel prepared to change a diaper, give a bath, deal with spit-up and feedings at all hours of the night. I just wish I could get over this new fear that I didn’t really give much thought to before. Don tells me it’s only 24 hours of my entire life that will give us such a great gift in the end. I just need to find the confidence… and quick. I think LittleBabyThomsen is nearing her last week or two in womb. Tomorrow… back to the doctor to see how we’re both progressing… eek!