no escape from knowing
Like a lot of other third trimester women out there, as I approach my final weeks of pregnancy (thank God) I become more and more aware of the way this all has to end. Yep, to complete this pregnancy and have my baby, I have to push it out of my vagina… my vagina!! And that’s if everything goes well! I am utterly terrified!
To help calm my nerves I have been researching… and researching… and researching… Until I started reading about it, I really had no idea what actual child birth consisted of. I thought I just arrived at hospital, lay on the bed and, with a few hours of good old fashioned pain, pushed out a healthy baby and that’s the end of it.
Like most things in life, until it’s happening to you, you don’t actually realise half of what’s involved, and not a quarter of what could go wrong.
All my reading and stressing and obsessing about this over the last few of weeks has made me wonder, for all the leaps and bounds we’ve made in technology and getting information to people’s fingertips, have we created a generation of over thinkers and worriers? Would I be half as worried about what awaits me at the end of this pregnancy if I hadn’t read about a million other women’s terrible experiences? Should I have just gone in to the process blissfully unaware? What is it about us that makes us take the bad reviews as gospel, when there are actually more positive stories out there to be heard? Why do the horror stories always stick?
With pregnancy, like most other experiences in life, we have been programmed through television shows and movies about what to expect. You also become public property once your pregnancy is showing, with every woman who has ever given birth or even known someone to give birth, telling you all the things that went wrong and how awful it was for them (you also wouldn’t believe how many strangers want to touch your belly… seriously).
I have spoken to my girlfriends, and anyone who will listen, about my pregnancy. It’s been hard for me, 7 months of feeling sick, uncomfortable and scared. It’s not the wonderful experience I expected and for me that’s been devastating. I am resentful of my girlfriends and colleagues who have had symptom free pregnancies and have loved every minute. For me it’s been a mostly miserable experience, with the only reprieve being moments I realise I am going to have a baby with my husband who I love and we are going to be a family. So I understand people wanting to share their scary stories and I try to be patient and not take them to heart. But sometimes I wish I had disappeared from the world as soon as that little stick came back positive, turned off the TV and disconnected the internet, cancelled my phone contract and never told a soul I was expecting. Maybe then I would realise there is nothing to be scared of and like millions of other women every day around the globe, I am probably going to have a healthy baby and a complication free child birth. Maybe somehow, even through the sickness, I could have kept that excitement I felt the day those two little lines appeared.
In this day and age when everything you could ever want to know is readily available, have we lost our innocence and appreciation for mystery? With everything that can go wrong in your life, why spend every day scared of the things that are about as likely to happen as being struck by lightning, bitten by a shark and winning lotto on the same day?
When it comes to knowing, and fearing, it seems these days there is no escape.