My Placenta Apologizes Heartily for Hijacking my Brain

It's Saturday evening and I have very little to say.

Well, okay.  That isn't quite true:  I have loads to say.  I certainly have things in my mind to complain about, and I have pregnancy aches and pains, such as the one where it feels like my entire abdomen is stretching to bursting point and then ricocheting off my spinal chord.  It's one of my least favorite things about pregnancy, this feeling that I'm an overripe tomato about to burst.

Sometimes I wonder how Michelle Duggar does it.  How she has been pregnant at least seventeen times in a row and she does not cry over her aches and pains and the ruin of her body and her distended skin and her vaginal walls and the fact that she has not been able to run fast or jump around or go longer than twenty minutes without having to go pee for most of the year for the past twenty years of her life.  TWENTY. 

I know I must be making pregnancy sound like it's a horrible thing, and if you've never been pregnant and my words give you pause I apologize.  But while there are nice things about it, pregnancy is generally kind of a pain-in-the-butt kind of enterprise.  A pain in the butt, thanks to the sciatica; and a pain in the groin thanks to the relaxin; and a pain in the side thanks to the enlarged uterus; and a pain in your nose thanks to the elevated blood flow that gives you the dreaded swelling and rhinitis of pregnancy.  And a pain in the skin, when you get those nasty little stretchmarks that in some women look like they were branded on them by the apt hand of Rand McNally.

So yes; pregnancy is beautiful and meaningful and awe-inspiring, but it's still painful and uncomfortable.  And long.  Long, because no matter which way you count it –and please spare me the mentally feeble comments about pregnancy being ten months because I HATE THEM on account of their idiocy and inaccuracy– you're still pregnant for about three-quarters of a year.

Pregnant when it's cold; pregnant when it's warm.  Pregnant in between, and only getting bigger and heavier and the end is not something that seems to be in sight until it is and then you start to do the holy-shit dance because no matter how you choose to birth, that little thing that is not so little anymore HAS TO COME OUT.

And, folks, no matter how you look at it, the whole "coming out" bit is never easy.  Just ask any gay person.

Even if you're going to be knocked out cold with anesthesia and you're not going to spend one precious joule of energy pushing because the doctor is going to pull your baby out through an incision in your abdomen, you're still contending with major abdominal surgery and recovery.  Fun only because you get serious opiates to help with the pain, I imagine.

If you're going to play God and be induced early/late/because it's goddamned time/because the baby is 15 lbs already, you're still going to have to endure an induction.  Ask most people who've had an induced birth to tell you their stories, and prepare to bring something to help uncurl your toes later.

And if you're going the natural route, even with an epidural and anesthesia and all the good drug caches that doctors promise, you're still looking at recovery time.  Also, you'll probably tear more easily because you cannot feel the baby– or, anything for that matter.  Does a perineal tear mean something to you?  Because it should. 

AND if you're going natural AND natural, well, then you get to remember every contraction and every stitch and every gasp and the Ring of Fire and all that good accessory stuff as if it had been firebranded into your memory.  A friend of mine claims that you can turn all that pain into an ecstatic experience, and that is fine and all, but somehow I am not 100% converted to the possibility of ecstatic birth. 

Having an ecstatic poop is as far as I go, and those aren't always very smooth.  So you understand where I might be coming from here.

Anyway, I am not sure I fully intended this entry to be such a frank discussion on just how much pregnancy and childbirth are kind of a weirdly raw deal, but there you have it.

May this be the birth control you were hoping to find.

Or, alternately, may you be so very doped up on drugs and/or alcohol when you stumble upon this entry that it all seems like an incredibly funny, impossible tragicomedy that you'll never experience.

Just remember:  amazingly enough, you do forget. 

And things such as this do become incredibly funny, impossible tragicomedies that you can't believe you ever experienced.

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This entry was published on November 8, 2008 at 9:23 pm and is filed under The X-pectant Files. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “My Placenta Apologizes Heartily for Hijacking my Brain

  1. I realized last week, as my car accident back tortured me through my 43rd birthday, that my upcoming series of epidural pain blockers was the closest I would ever be getting to experiencing any part of being pregnant/going through labor. My mom was 43 when she got pregnant with me, her 9th child, and 44 when I was born. And I couldn’t manage a 9th of what she did.
    I know I would not trade my adventurous, globe-trotting 20s and 30s for anything, but, still… For all the crappiness that comes with pregnancy, I will be forever sad to not experience that or to ever hold my own child. I am hopelessly, utterly envious.

  2. “And, folks, no matter how you look at it, the whole “coming out” bit is never easy. Just ask any gay person.”
    OMG, that is so true!

  3. The serious opiates I got for my c-section gave me hives for weeks. Fun time to find out I’m allergic to percocet. Other than that, it wasn’t so bad. I’d do it again for the same result, because she is so cute. Only not too soon!

  4. I’m with Merujo. I understand that pregnancy and labor involve discomfort and pain — and yet, I would have like to have known what it was like for myself, rather than having to rely on others’ descriptions. Despite the joy of mothering Sienna, I don’t think that I will ever truly get over this loss.

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