Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Too much information. It can be a problem. I am an educated, generally well-informed person, but I am truly beginning to believe that there is such a thing as too much information. Or maybe it's the wrong information. Or maybe the right information in the wrong hands. Who knows. Either way, being preggers has made me realize it's probably not best to know too much about some things, and I count giving birth as firmly in that category. This is not to say that one should go into the experience believing that babies come from the stork or that you farm them from under cabbage leaves, but enough is enough sometimes. At least for me. I suppose everyone is different.

There is a "birth resource center" in Lexington called Baby Moon. I've known several people who've taken prenatal yoga there, and most of those mommies-to-be have ended up nervous wrecks about giving birth. Not in the way that I am nervous. I mean, surely everyone is nervous before they pop out a new member of the population. These women all end up taking Bradley birthing classes, which is totally fine, and they all end up passing around videos of natural births and water births and whatnot. All of these options are cool with me. The problem comes in when these women become literally
afraid that they won't be able to deliver in the manner they've had drilled into their heads. They get all panicky that they may have to be induced, that they may actually want pain meds, that their birth plans won't cover every possible topic, or that (gasp!) they may need a C-section. I understand not wanting these things to happen. I understand having a preconceived idea of how you want your baby's birth to happen. I mean, I dreamed last night that S just sort of "fell out" right here in the chair I'm sitting in. I only had to push once...when I realized that her entire upper body was out and about. While that would be awesome, I'm not banking on it.

While I'd like to think that S's birth will be completely calm and without complication, I am not counting on it. What I am counting on is having faith in my doctor and my nurses. I am counting on the fact that somewhere in their combined years of medical education and career experience, they have learned how to safely get me, my husband, and my baby through the process with minimal hysteria.

I think that too many people put themselves into information overload. It's comforting to know what you're up against. Unfortunately, I think there may be a fine line between having the knowledge you need to prevent yourself from becoming terrified in the face of labor and knowing too much about things that can go wrong...especially when that information isn't coming directly from your doctor. (For instance, from the lady who teaches the Bradley birth method out of her living room.) It's the same concept as going into major surgery. You want to know what's coming, what will be happening, but if you know too much, you're just going to send yourself into a massive panic attack. I'm trying to avoid becoming too anxious about S's upcoming arrival. I'm trying to remind myself every time I feel anxious that this is all going to work out. Women have been delivering babies for a long time- and mostly without fetal monitors and anesthesia and all the rest of the ob's bag of tricks. Come on, if my mother did it, I know I can do it.

I don't really know why I am going on and on about this. Maybe it's to make myself feel better because sometimes I wonder if I'm not doing something wrong by
not enrolling in every possible class and workshop in the city that discusses pregnancy and childbirth. Maybe it's to warn the few of you reading who've not already popped out babies that there's a lot of information out there that can and will freak you out. Who knows...either way, that's what I was thinking about most of the night as I laid awake in bed. I suppose I just thought I'd share.

Oh, and here's a shot of my cartoon belly.

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