Pregnant Books And Birthing TV
I am sure that like most other first time moms in the world I learned all I needed to know about being pregnant, having babies and raising them from random things I had seen on tv… and that dreaded movie they show everyone (in Saskatchewan anyway) in grade eleven about a woman giving birth.. Actually, check that.. I had my eyes closed with my head down on my desk for most of that movie so… the closest I had ever come to seeing a woman give birth was the movie Knocked Up…. and that was about to change.
First of all, I love to read… I love love love curling up with a good book and just disappearing into it. I love everything about books. The way they smell, the way the pages feel, the way the words look… anyway, this is NOT about my love for books. I figured that since I loved books I should probably read a book about how to have a baby… or how to be pregnant at least. I had no shortage of currently and previously pregnant mammas with an outpouring of books that I could borrow called things like “What to expect when you’re expecting” and “THe mother-of-all Pregnancy books”… cute titles… AWFULLY BORING BOOKS!
Seriously? I think I referred to it like twice when I was having things occur that I wasn’t sure were normal… But reading it cover to cover was as dry as watching someone cut their toenails… worse I think… because at least if you are watching someone cut their toenails there is a need to pay attention as sometimes if they cut at the wrong angle a piece of toenail bit could come flying and hit you in the face… or worse… become embedded in your hair… EW! The books were so boring! They told me all the things that might happen to me when I was pregnant… first, I was learning about most of those things as they happened to me… which is the way I like to learn about things… and all the other shit that could happen, that didn’t.. I decided I didn’t want to know about. Like they tell you that sometime along the way you might become subjected to hemroids… so I spent the REST of my pregnancy waiting for them to come… half scared to death.. and they never came… so I decided I just didn’t want to know. And then there was the whole self-fulfilling prophecy part of those books. As soon as I read that I might get pregnancy gums… my mouth started bleeding like a stuck pig. If I read I was going to get it… I got… ten seconds later. So I stopped reading.
BUt I couldn’t tell people I stopped reading… other mothers made scary “you’re already a bad mom and you haven’t even made it halfway yet” faces at me. Moms are scary people… we for some reason feel like pregnancy and motherhood are this one big competition to see who is better than everyone else. Okay so the French judges might have given me a lower score out of ten for not reading those stupid books but I didn’t care. I ate healthy food in between my inherent snacking on chocolate and Dr.Pepper and I took my prenatal vitamins every couple days… I was just fine at being a preggo… and I didn’t have to read those stupid books.. but I did have to say that I was.
Instead of reading “Here let me tell you how your Pregnancy Goes” written by Dr. I have done this nine times already, and cowritten by Dr.Being PRegnant is Such a Blessing… I read things like “Belly Laughs” by Jenny McCarthy… which made me laugh so hard I peed a little (seriously… don’t read this book at the end of your pregnancy when you have the bladder control of a ninety-nine year old woman). Her story was so honest and so real… and definitely happening to me. It was like having a best buddy I could relate to. And I read Rebecca Eckler’s “Knocked Up” which also made me pee. She was also very honest and I loved reading about other mom’s real stories. I still read her blog ninepounddictator.blogspot.com on a semi-regular basis and read her second book (and Jenny’s) about life in the first year with the monster (definitely worth reading). I read these kinds of books… and when I was done I passed them on to other preggos and seriously thought about burning the “What to Expect” books because I wanted to pass on cheer and happiness to other moms not just doom and gloom about how horrible their next few months would be.
So other than Jenny McCarthy and Rebecca Eckler preparing me for motherhood… there were “the moms”… mine and Paul’s…. My mom is the kind of mom that I likely will be. She could barely remember what I weighed when I was born (and I was her first child)… she didn’t know all the details of when I first sat up or rolled over… but she did know my birthday (down to the date and year… pretty darn good I would say)… and she did know that I had hair when I was born and an odd-shaped head because they pulled me out with forceps. She pretty much left me alone to be pregnant and find things out for myself. She would talk about things from her pregnancy when I brought them up… but for the most part… this was my experience and she was going to let me have it.
And then there was his mom…… who I am going to state for the record is a LOVELY, giving, heart warming, beautiful woman whom I love with all my heart… but who is very….. very…. VERY different from my mom… and VERY…. VERY…. VERY… different from me. She LOVES to help everyone else out. She told me ALL about being pregnant… and ALL about having babies… and not just her own… Paul’s sister’s experiences, Paul’s brother’s wife’s experiences… and those she had heard about from her friends. I didn’t need books… I had her. Every day she asked me how I felt… and no matter what I told her… she had the answer to why I felt that way… it was handy… most of the time… and a little much the rest of the time. But I didn’t mind… I loved her stories and enthusiasm… after all, her baby… her smallest little child that she holds so dear in her heart… was going to become a daddy.. and she wanted to take part in that… which is great.
Now, remember me telling you that we lived with them for a month… a whole month… and she is the queen of the TV remote (obviously)… and since it wasn’t my house and there was no high-speed, I didn’t have a lot to do in my spare time (with the exception of pretending to read pregnancy books) so we watched TV… and maybe she likes these shows on her own time too… but I had a feeling it was entirely for my benefit… we would watch “A Baby Story” or “Birthing Whatever the hell”
The first time we sat down and watched one of these shows I wasn’t expecting what was about to come. We sat down and she said “Oh, Katie, this is a great show… you will love it… and it will show you what you are in for down the road”. Cool…a cliffnotes version of those awful books. So I settled in on the couch and tuned in for the awesomeness… All I can say is OH MY GOD… I wanted to cry.. I wanted to bury my head… I wanted to run away and hid and slowly dig this baby out of my belly with a spoon… there was NO WAY I was going to go through what that woman just did. AND if for some reason I had to have my baby come out of my vagina like that… there was no effin’ way that I was going to watch it happen, no way Paul was going to see that happen, and definitely no way anybody else who would ever look me in the eyes again was going to see that happen to.
I think babies are great… I think being pregnant is nice.. I think having a child is a great miracle of life… but I do not, did not, will not, would not, could not… watch that ever, ever, ever, ever again. NO offence to those women on those shows. Having a baby without pain meds, in a bath tub, reaching down and pulling it out those last few inches and then having your husband get his face out of there just in time to cut the cord is real great for you… but I sure as hell knew I wouldn’t be doing that.
And Paul’s mom was right… that show was awesome… awesome at scaring the ever-loving fuck out of me!!!! I mean, I was scared before… now I was sure I was going to die of a panic attack before I even had to worry about a nineteen pound baby bustin’ out my who-ha. And I would have loved to leave it at that… loved to have seen that one show and moved on to real life… oh but she wasn’t going to let me… no, no, we watched those shows every time I was there… every time I would sit down for very long. And even after we moved back to our own house she would phone me tell me that there was an extra good one on whatever channel that I should watch. And I just smiled and said thank you… but what I really wanted to say was “GO AWAY… I DON”T WANT TO SEE THIS…” and I spent the rest of my pregnancy dreaming of how to have a baby without actually having to give birth to it… because thanks to TLC I didn’t think I would survive childbirth.