January 17, 2007

Where's the stork when you need him?

I can't stop thinking about the ship in the bottle.

It's a visual paradox.

Most people see the ship and wonder, "How did it get in there?"

I'm contemplating the neck of the bottle and instead thinking, "How badly would you have to damage the bottle to get that sucker out?"

According to the Internet, Rasbaby is approximately 16 inches long and weighs just over 3 pounds.

I still remember when she was the size of a raspberry.

It's mind-boggling.

Sam and I have started attending a "Childbirth Preparedness" class at the hospital.

We make cervixes out of Play-Doh and commiserate about swollen ankles. It tends to be fun.

This week, we watched a video of a woman giving birth.

The woman in the video seemed to be in touch with her body and with the earth. She had a bearded husband. She opted for a natural childbirth. She was comfortable enough to show her womanly parts, in all their glory, in an educational video.

I couldn't help but notice her face.

She looked terrified.

She looked ready to kill her bearded husband.

She didn't look like someone whose pain could be alleviated by choosing a focal point on the wall, listening to soothing music, or breathing "hee hee hooooo."

This doesn't bode well for me.

I have a low tolerance for pain.

I cry easily.

I'm a wimp.

I want to get an epidural, but I'm scared of that too. Just the thought of a giant needle being inserted into my spine makes me want to run away and hide.

I'm excited to have a baby, but I'd rather not have a baby.

I'd love to outsource the job and say "Wake me when it's over."

That's not the politically correct point of view.

A lot of women rejoice in childbirth. They take pride in giving birth naturally, without drugs. They suffer heartbreaking disappointment if they need a C-section.

Personally, I don't think that experiencing pain is, in itself, an accomplishment.

Earning a Ph.D. is an accomplishment.

Installing the plumbing for a new bathroom is an accomplishment.

Pain is just pain.

It's neither a point of pride nor a point of shame.

It's neutral. It's Switzerland.

Sometime within the next 60 days or so, Rasbaby will be born.

I've read the books and watched the video. On a purely intellectual level, I understand the mechanics of childbirth. I expect to cry and curse and temporarily despise my husband. I'm prepared to be horrified when my baby looks like a shriveled, cone-headed alien.

But there's another part of me that can't imagine this will actually happen. It still feels like something that might happen to everyone else, but somehow I'll earn an exemption.

Maybe I'm just a wimp.

Or maybe I'm still in denial.

But maybe, if I keep thinking about it long enough, I'll discover another way for that little ship to sail out to sea.

1 comment:

Anne said...

Damn Monica, that was a brilliant entry! I have to go through your blog and read more.