Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The final countdown - Part II

And no, I'm not referring to the song they play in the wee hours at the Roxy - eliciting energetic air punching from the drunken rabble populating the glass strewn dance floor. I might add that pre-pregnancy I happily formed part of that drunken rabble on occasion.

The final countdown in this instance refers to the fact that our baby is due any day now. In fact, she could even come this evening. Roberto has suggested live blogging throughout the labour process. I didn't need to respond verbally, I think the look on my face (penetrating eyes reflecting the promise of bodily harm should he attempt to press the matter further) said exactly what I thought about this suggestion.

I do however want to do little film clips - perhaps one of me having a particularly strong contraction (to guilt trip my kids with at some later point) and perhaps when they pull the baby out - though the latter definitely filmed from this end rather than that one. The filming is not for public consumption, but rather part of a little cinematic record we've been keeping for our child and ourselves. The kind of stuff they're fascinated by when they're really small, and which mortifies them when they're teenagers and you think it's fun to show their friends.

In anticipation of us becoming parents, we've had all sorts of advice and warnings. Most notably people are fond of saying "Hooo boy, once that little one comes along, your lives change completely." We've learnt to smile in a good natured way, and nod as though this were really useful to us. But by the time the 30th person tells you the same thing as though they're imparting a valuable piece of ancient never heard before wisdom, it does wear a bit thin.

"Really?" I want to say, "And you don't think that 38 weeks of watching my body morph into a massive 'arse/stomach and not much in between' hybrid, experiencing increasing physical discomfort, exhaustion, biological functional indignities, and a non existent social life haven't been a change?" People mean well, but with hormones and chronic backache it's hard not to get grouchy.

The fact is since the day we are born, our lives are in a constant state of flux, consisting of a stream of changes with required adjustments and associated responsibilities. This progressively escalates with the onset of adulthood: You get your first job and learn to drag yourself out of bed at an ungodly hour every morning, and act (the operative word here being 'act') responsibly. You apply for a mortgage and discover if you want to keep a roof over your head, you often have to swallow your principles and prostitute your skills. You get into a relationship and come to appreciate if you respect and value that person in your life, it's best to keep it in your trousers, even if on occasion the vast amounts of alcohol in your bloodstream tell you differently.

I believe that having children is just another one of these changes that you very quickly adapt to and incorporate into your way of being, because, if nothing else, you have to. But in this case, I like to think that this particular change and responsibility comes with a whole lot of benefits which far outweigh the negatives. Saying this, talk to me again when our child is a teenager, dating someone with a lot of expressive body art, and telling us she hates us as a form of positive assertion (as recommended by her therapist).

Am I scared? Someone asked me the other day. About the birth that is, not the tattooed future boyfriend. The answer is no, I'm not scared. I'm anticipating it to be a grossly uncomfortable at best, horribly painful at worst experience, but also a necessary process to go through so that we can bring our daughter into this world. And for the record, I can't imagine it will be much fun for her either.

I've read as much as I can, spoken to my consultant, attended antenatal classes, listened to midwives, watched birth videos, heard friend's birth stories, and well, I feel that I'm as prepared as I'm ever going to be. And even with a birth plan that pretty much amounts to, "OK, give me the drugs NOW!", I'm aware of the fact that it can all be completely different to what I anticipate, so best not to anticipate too much.

I don't think mentally scaring the hell out of myself ahead of such an experience is beneficial either, this sort of thinking ahead of a challenge seldom is. So right now I'd say my state of mind is cautious anticipation - praying that we both get through it in the healthiest possible way, and putting a lot of faith in the team of people, and my lovely Roberto, that are going to help me get through it. Oh, and at the end of the day, there's always those drugs.

1 comment:

christie said...

I decided not to bore/scare you with my story. Too many people have been already :)

Your experience will be your own and nothing any of us say or do will change that.

Prepare yourself for the most exciting part of your life and in a few months, you'll understand why.

We are all so excited to meet the latest Smithson - will Robert keep your/his facebook profile updated with the latest developments?