Today is week 24 or 6 months of being pregnant. I've really inflated in the past month; the belly is out of the closet. There's no point in hiding it, and I keep staring, wondering when the belly button is going to pop out.
Matt is obsessed with the belly. He talks to it. The belly. Not just the baby.
So last night was a second baby class, where we got to talk about the first stage of labor, the phases, and we had to split into groups and write down our fears/concerns about labor on big sheets of paper.
Me, being the morbid freak I am, really really really wanted to scrawl my number one fear on that big piece of white paper. I wanted to write "DEATH!"
Instead I wrote something lame about labor being totally unknowable and anything can happen.
One girl's concern was mean hospital staff. Being mean. I hadn't even thought of that. I figured if anyone was going to be a crazy mean bitch in the delivery room, it was going to be me.
Then we talked about drugs.
I always thought I'd be the type of person to roll on in to the hospital, plop into a wheelchair and tell the nurse, "Give me the morphine. The good stuff, you know what I mean (wink, wink)."
But the truth is I hate needles. I can't stand to watch them inject me or draw blood, something that has been done three times already. When I look at a needle my eyes feel all fuzzy and start twitching and my head feels like it's going to float away from my body, my arms and legs feel like they are going to jump right off my torso. I have a very physical reaction of feeling like I'm going to explode into a million cold and shivery pieces. Not in a good way, either.
I couldn't watch the tape showing an epidural. If anyone had been watching my face you would have thought some torturer was jamming wooden splints under my fingernails. Matt is like this when it comes to eyeballs. He can't stand watching someone get poked in the eye. He won't even touch his own eye, he just screams and curls up like a hedgehog if you point your finger anywhere near his eye socket. One time we were watching the Simpsons and one of the cartoon characters, Itchy, got poked in the eye. With an arrow. Matt screamed and flipped over the back of the sofa, trying, I suppose, to run away from it. A cartoon.
So I'm not watching this epidural; I'm trying not to think about it, and I start to wonder how much pain it would take for me to want one. People talk about the pain of childbirth. They say it is very painful, but then I wonder, what kind of pain? A pain like having your foot severed with a rusty saw? A gunshot in the stomach type pain? Your fingers slammed in the car door type pain? A pain that some small creature is trying to force it's way out of your body by splitting it open? I just don't know, and I suppose it doesn't matter how other people describe it because who's to say what it will feel like to me?
Will I be able to grit my teeth and stand it? Some people do.
Will I beg for an epidural despite my fear of needles? Some people do.
Will I tell my husband to go jump out the fucking window when he tries to hold my hand and tell me I'm doing great? Some people do.
I sometimes wonder what I'm capable of, both good and bad, and now I realize that pretty soon I'm going to find out. And the more I wonder, the more I'm thinking I'm going to try to do it the old-fashioned way. And see what happens.
But don't hold me to it.