Ready, Set, PANIC!!!

Last night reality hit me like a ton of bricks. At some point, this baby inside me is going to come out. And it is going to hurt. Really, really bad.

We had our birthing class last night and practiced a series of relaxation techniques, which I LOVE. There is nothing better than lying sprawled out on a sleeping bag while my husband speaks softly in my ear and massages my entire body. It’s glorious, really. Afterwards, however, we watched a video that completely undid everything my husband and I accomplished during relaxing time.

Our lesson for the night was on second stage labor, which might also be appropriately called “get that bloody baby out of me” stage. The book says it “feels sort of like having a huge bowel movement,” which my husband found hilarious (“why wouldn’t they just say ‘large?’ why the need to write ‘huge?'” he kept saying). I felt pretty confident while we discussed the different phases of labor and how to deal with the pain of each transition, contraction, etc… that is, until we watched it on the television.

Holy Crap.

Now, I have this disease that I inherited from my father’s side of the family. It’s a terrible disease really – involving uncontrollable laughter at completely inappropriate moments. If you get injured in front of me, chances are, I will laugh at you – even though I feel nothing but compassion for you. It’s why I need a Savior… the disease is that bad.

The point of the video last night was to show us how this poor woman used the different relaxation techniques during labor, but as JD pointed out later, anyone who agrees to have their entire labor videotaped is going to be slightly nuts. The sweet couple was a Christian couple, which I should have been thrilled at, but instead, all I could do was laugh hysterically at the Amy Grant song in the background and all their comments about how God is blessing them so abundantly through natural childbirth. The kicker was when their MINISTER came to give them support WHILE SHE WAS PUSHING!!!! Now, I love my pastor, but there is no way he is going to come in while my crotch is fully exposed and a bloody head is coming out. Sorry Pastor Brad. It didn’t help that the movie was made when I was born, so the woman had a hairstyle that looked exactly like my mother’s when she had me.

We all sat on our blankets, chewing on healthy muffins, when suddenly loud moans exploded on the screen and something that must have been a monster appeared in full view. I choked on my muffin. And had to cover my entire face because I WAS LAUGHING SO HARD THAT TEARS CAME OUT OF MY EYES!!!! Our good friends and volunteer leaders for the junior high group are taking the class with us, and kept looking at me – partly out of amusement, but partly because I think they couldn’t believe how incredibly immature I was acting. It didn’t help that my husband, whose favorite topic is POOP was watching the screen diligently so as to know how to coach me well.

Moments later, laughter turned to sheer horror and I was crying for a different reason, silently praying “Lord don’t let that happen to me, oh please don’t let that happen to me.” I couldn’t take the blanket away from my face the entire time, and wasn’t at all comforted when that screaming baby was placed in the mother’s arms. I’m convinced something is wrong with me… and also convinced that had I seen that video years earlier, I would have made a vow of celibacy.

For real… how do women do it… I don’t even know.


12 Replies to “Ready, Set, PANIC!!!”

  1. How do we do it? We just *do*. I’ve had two home births, and there is nothing like the power you feel when you push your baby out. Looking at women giving birth is quite different from giving birth yourself. One thing that video can’t show is what you feel like on the inside. When I was in labor, I was totally zoned. Looking back, it’s kinda like remembering a dream. For me, the contractions hurt, but the actual birth didn’t (aside from “the ring of fire” which was, like 30 seconds maybe). Your body was designed to do to give birth. You can do it, just like women all over the world and for thousands of years.


  2. LOL! YES! It is going to hurt more than anything you’ve ever experienced – and for longer than you can imagine.

    Don’t worry too though; do to freakish part of the human mind, you will later remember that there was pain, but you won’t be able to remember the details of just how much it hurt. Look it u 😉

  3. LOL! I couldn’t stop laughing as I was reading your reaction to the film. Why is it that we laugh at other’s pain and at such inappropriate moments?This family trait isn’t always understood by others, is it? Just imagine, I show these childbirth videos to my classes with 14-17 year old high school students who are pregnant!!! Luckily, these classes really will help you and you will do just fine!!

  4. I really only have a couple things to say…

    I watched my godson emerge from my friend’s bloody crotch and let me tell you — she wasn’t worried about me looking at her crotch. (Though I agree with you, my pastor’s not invited to my currently-non-existent child’s birth, either.)

    It’ll hurt, but we have hips… and then we have children. God’s got the cycle worked out. You’re learning in your relaxation class a different mode of operation; so operate differently babe — don’t freak out about the pain. Just prepare the best you can and keep breathing. Besides, JDs pretty big — his hand can probably handle a few grueling squeezes from yours during labor.

  5. for whatever reason, the memory that kept coming to mind while i read this was when we were camping and you split your chin open…and then FREAKED out when the ranger came, screaming at him, “WILL I HAVE TO GET STITCHES???!?!?”
    i know that you will be fine, you will do well, JD will be a wonderful companion through it..
    but somehow, part of me also knows that there will be many moments of, “WILL I HAVE TO GET STICHES?!?!?!???!” screamed at some poor doctor.
    and anne catherine, my dear, sadly this time, you probably will have to get stitches…

  6. I felt the same way you did. I think it was the unknown that really freaked me out. What will my labor be like? Will I get an epidural? Will my water break all over the place? Now looking back I have one word for you EPIDURAL!!!! It’s God’s gift to women. It was wonderful. I do not feel bad that I missed out on all the pain of transition or the dreaded ring o fire. AND…you can stil “feel” the baby come out. There’s no pain, but it feels like a watermelon is coming out. 🙂

  7. Annie, as an athlete, you KNOW about pain. Think of this labor as an athletic accomplishment. You know about setting a physical goal and getting there. Giving birth is like climbing a mountain, difficult but it only takes endurance and determination to get there. It will be so awesome for JD to be there as your coach. Most of my generation gave birth using Lamaze or the Bradley method—or some combination. That means most of us did not have an epidural. It was an accomplishment—a badge of honor that we kept our baby from any affects of drugs—that we made it without “a little help from our friends”. I am so glad you are taking the class. The class will help to relieve your fears—it is the unknown that makes us afraid and fear intensifies pain. Also, it is wise to do some research on the effect of an epidural on the mother and the baby. There are some side effects that are risky.

    Also, I should add–that I was always known as the “hypochondriac” in my family as a kid. I did not do pain well–but the Lamaze class taught me how to concentrate through pain. I STILL use Lamaze in painful situation (like the dentist) and it STILL helps.

    You can do this Annie. You go girl!

  8. Annie! My sweet friend, it was at this point in my classes that I raised my hand and asked when and what drugs I could have. 😀
    I think you are very brave and strong. You’ll be one of those gals that can get it done!
    luv u!
    Incidently I had to have C-sections so I can’t account for the labor…..sorry

  9. ROFL! I have the same illness as you and laugh when I get horrible, unthinkable news. It’s so humiliating. But anyway, about the birthing. You’ve got A HUGE head start by taking Bradley Classes. You’re going to do just fine! My cousin had her 1st baby 5 weeks before I had my first, and I begged her to tell me the nitty gritty – how bad is it really? She said it got very bad, but that when it got really hard and painful, that was it. She was at the end. And guess what? She was RIGHT! Once it gets so hard you’re not sure you can do it, you HAVE and you’ll meet your BABY. Surreal!

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