There has been some moody days this past week. I chalk it up to being displaced while our kitchen was being re-done, then moving back into a dust ball and having to reorganize everything, and oh ya, being 38 weeks pregnant. Almost. There. I remember questioning a few weeks ago if it was “easier”, for lack of better words, giving birth the first time because I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Ignorance is bliss in so many situations. Now I know the pain and subsequent recovery I am in for and I no longer question what is better because I’m pretty sure ignorance was bliss.
Can I share too much information for a second? If you don’t want to hear about the gory preparation for birth, stop reading. I’m terrified of tearing again. I had a stage 3 tear the first time around and recovery was nothing like I expected it to be. I prepared myself mentally for a natural labor and feel like I passed that test with flying colors. But those two weeks following delivery were incredibly painful. My back hurt from my inability to stand or walk upright. I was hunched over all the time and going from a sit to stand hurt like hell. To help prevent tearing this time around, I’ve started doing perineal massage. It’s not fun, hardly the highlight of my day, and just a little reminder of the pain that’s around the corner. I told Willy it feels similar to sticking your fingers in your anus and stretching it from side to side. Sorry for the awful analogy, but it’s only fair that these husbands of ours have some idea of what we have to go through. Honestly, I felt like evening the playing field and actually giving his asshole a little stretch. The first time around I fooled myself into believing that my gymnastics history and ability to do the splits in all three directions would help facilitate labor. Um ya, not the same muscles involved. Not even close. Willy has a friend who claims he read a study about labor pain being equivalent to a man being kicked in the nuts. Over the last few weeks, as I’ve been stretching my perineum, this proclamation has bothered me more and more. Can you imagine if they offered epidurals for men who have been kicked in the nuts? Or coaches to help men through the pain? What a dumb study. In any case, I digress. I’ve been moody this week and a bit resentful that I alone have to go through the pain and recovery that is labor. But truthfully, I’m just terrified. And yet, at the same time, I’m anxious for Van to get here on time… Time is of the essence, you see, because as soon as I go past my due date, my birth plan is subject to change. Again. (You can read Hooper’s birth story here). Sure, it was emotionally exhausting to go so far past my due date the first time but the worst part was that my birth plan went out the window. So I’m struggling with an inner tug-o-war: For a lack of an equivalent analogy, I’m like a man begging to be kicked in the nuts sooner rather than later. And that’s where I’m at.
Physically, there is a venomous snake apparently living in my right upper inner thigh and every now and again he likes to bite me in my groin. The pain is so sharp and unrelenting. It stops me in my tracks and I involuntarily make a face that makes my vegetable eating face appear as though I’m actually enjoying them (I hate vegetables). Willy and I went to the Dodger game the other night and I’m pretty sure the usher there was certain I was in labor. It took the entire first inning just to get to our seats. My midwives have assured me that this is normal and I’ve read of many others that describe the same pain. I know he’s far down there, I feel the pressure, I just wish he’d get off whatever nerve he’s on.