Last night in childbirth class, we discussed the various reasons a baby may require a C-section. Of those, of course, were the various breech positions. You know, such as the standard feet-first situation.
CLEARLY it's much more difficult for a baby to exit your body with its wild limbs first.
BUT DID YOU KNOW there is a scenario (albeit a rare one) in which a baby, usually earlier on in pregnancy toward the late second trimester, can be so very feet-first that one of its tiny, premature legs can bust RIGHT THROUGH and pop out of your bits all, "HEEEEY!"
Lord help us.
Our teacher was holding up a chart with five or so different breech position examples (renderings, mind you, NOT REAL), and right in the middle, all nonchalant, was a baby-in-the-womb with ONE LEG jutting straight out of the mother's vagina. RIGHT OUT. Just sticking STRAIGHT OUT OF THERE.
So we're all casually glancing at this chart, and almost at once all of our faces twist and our heads tilt and we're staring at our instructor in confusion.
"Okay but wait... is that? Why is...? But what is that leg doing?"
There is collective horror.
"Yes sometimes that can happen," she says cautiously.
"Ohhhh, so, like, during labor, sometimes a leg will pop out first?" I ask, feeling minimally relieved.
Our instructor appeared hesitant.
"Well, no," she says slowly. "That can happen usually early on when the baby is still quite small. Sometimes maybe late in the second trimester..."
It was then that another mom walked back into the room after a quick break, and the look on her face when she saw what we were looking at was possibly the most hilarious thing I'll see this week.
I just sat there, unsure of what to do with my body and mildly afraid to reposition myself for fear of a baby leg breaking loose.
Another mom piped up with, "Um, I think you should add this to your list of reasons we need to call the doctor."
The other reasons include bleeding and severe swelling and vision problems and such. But a leg protruding from my crotch seems like an incredibly valid reason to call my doctor. Our horror broke and we all laughed so hard there were tears and we moved onto the next mind-numbing scenario.
So, needless to say, last night's class was interesting. But I still maintain that, for me, knowledge is power. I still love learning these things. I still love learning these things alongside Todd. And our instructor is smart and funny and gentle and I kind of wish she could just be with us during childbirth to hold our hands.
Next on the knowledge docket was epidurals.
They remain horrifying to me.
NOW LISTEN. I know childbirth hurts. I know labor hurts. I know epidurals are magic. I know all of you moms who've birthed a child and now Know Everything About Everything (about me and my body and my phobias, of course) are raging at this notion that I'm afraid of an epidural. But to this -- once and for all, after all the advice I've warmly welcomed -- I say, SHUT UP.
I don't want a fucking medal (if I hear that one more time...), I don't want to be "a hero." I don't want accolades or applause. I don't give a shit what any of you (no offense) do or do not think about my "bravery" or lack thereof based on how I choose to birth my baby. This is not about you. Or for you. THIS IS NOT YOUR LABOR. Or your pain.
Or your irrational fear of needles and medical procedures, let's be real.
Last night, as I watched the process of getting an epidural, and held with my own hands the small tube that will be inserted into my spine, I felt actual nausea. You guys, I hate needles. I hate the thought of a needle in my back, a tube in my back. I hate the thought of being confined to bed for however long this takes. I hate the idea of going through this unknown and brand new experience without a real control of my movements and actions and effort.
All of that is currently making me more uneasy than the thought of intense pain.
This is not about believing I'm stronger than pain, this is literally about choosing the lesser of two evils. And I still don't know which evil wins. If I could choose no evils, that'd be great. But that's not an option. You all think I'm stupid for running and enjoying a 50-mile race, too, so perhaps we all come at this with different perspectives.
WHAT A CONCEPT.
But I still maintain that I could experience exactly one contraction, grab the anesthesiologist with both fists and demand he shove that needle so far up my spine I can't feel pain for a month, but right now I just don't know. How could I?
So no strong-arming and raging and capital letters are going to persuade me one way or another because until I'm in that room experiencing childbirth for the very first time and listening to my body and trusting what's happening around me, there is nothing to know.
Except get away from me with that goddamn needle right now.
It's insulting to insinuate that I want to prove something. Uh, no. Nope. Noooope. I used to have to get simple vaccinations LYING DOWN because I would pass out otherwise. A shot. In my arm. So let me process and prioritize my fears accordingly while I still have two more months to do so.
Thank you kindly.
Also, I am pregnant. Which we've all known for months and months and have somehow managed to remember I am also a human being. Weird how that works. Good job, team.
So if I'm in a professional setting and introduced once again to strangers as "Krista, a newlywed and soon-to-be-mom," I'm going to breathe fire. Yes, I am newly married. Yes, I am going to have a baby soon. And actually, both of these things are wonderful. But if I'm being introduced to a client or a colleague or literally anyone in the realm of my profession, I ALSO HAVE A JOB. I am a professional. I have a title. And responsibilities. A salary.
Sure, once we arrive at the the get-to-know-you portion of events, yes, let's discuss my (obvious) pregnancy or that I was happily married on a beautiful June afternoon to the love of my life. That I'm having a boy, and we're excited. And maybe, just maybe, that I also have other interests in my life.
But I am going to throw down if I ever walk into another meeting and the unknown front desk representative says, "Oh, you're here! I was told to watch for a very pregnant woman."
So, in case you haven't noticed, 31 weeks into this pregnancy has quite swiftly brought me to a point of zero tolerance.
I've also lost my tolerance for my Snoogle pregnancy pillow and the wrist guards while I sleep. I was beginning to feel like a prisoner in a straitjacket at bedtime. The last two nights of sleeping with wild abandon have been freeing. Well, as free as I can be with no use of my abs, legs on the verge of cramping with every stretch, and a full bladder.
Baby's still on the move -- a lot. And those movements get more and more pronounced every day. Nausea hit hard again the other day, but it seems to have been a fleeting return. But the post-run soreness in my pelvis is leading me to believe my pregnancy running days are numbered. Or few and far between, which is okay. I've made it this far, and I know my body is strong enough to make a return when the time comes. I'll do what I can in the meantime.
(Look at me! Processing the loss of running like a rational human being!) (See! Some things can change!)
Overall, it's been a good week. I'm healthy, baby's healthy, and aside from sporadic nausea, my body is healthy.
I just don't have time for bullshit. Which is probably a trait I should carry forward into post-pregnancy life, too.
I shall consider this.
Until next time, a bumpdate: up 29 pounds, down many running miles, and still trucking along at 31 weeks. Due date: two months from TODAY.