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The Path More Traveled

October 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Julie Davidson

by Mommy MD Guides blogger Julie Davidson

As I write this latest entry, I think about how pregnancy and birth are daunting. But my thoughts were interrupted by the news coverage about a guy on TV in a spacesuit freefalling!  All in effort to break the sound barrier. Introducing Felix Baumgartner, who was the first person to jump from 24 miles up.  There is very little air at that height. And no one to catch you.  And who knows exactly where you will land after your tumble through the sky.  Now that takes daunting to a whole new level.

But still, pregnancy and birth are daunting.  Maybe because of all the unknowns.  Before you’re pregnant, so much of life is predictable. When you leave for work, you know there’s a good chance that traffic will be a headache.  And that when you get to work you’ll get the parking space furthest from the door, and before you get a cup of coffee you’ll learn the client that was not satisfied yesterday is just as miserable today. After work, while strolling down the snack aisle, it’s entirely possible that although there are eight Orville Redenbacher’s flavors, but the store will have run out of the kind you like.

After you get pregnant, suddenly life becomes unpredictable. Pregnancy symptoms come and go. Because pregnancy involves your body, you can get the feeling of being trapped by certain circumstances for the entire pregnancy.  Nine months is a long time to feel nauseous. And to be growing.  And to have bizarre food cravings. You start to wonder: Will you have a boy or a girl? How will the birth go? And don’t even start trying to predict what motherhood will be like!

But one way to be more calm when thinking about having a child is to look at how many people there are in the world.  If pregnancy and birth were that difficult, no one would do it.  Okay, maybe some people would do it once, but lots of people do it over and over. How bad could it be if they keep doing it?

Felix Baumgartner got from space to the ground in about six minutes.  But he was in uncharted territory. Yes, you can expect to be pregnant for nine months, but at least you’ll be in the company of what, like six and a half billion other people? You won’t be in a stuffy spacesuit. No breaking the sound barrier.  The only thing you have to break is your water.  And you can get help with that.

Boo!

October 16, 2012 by  
Filed under Julie Davidson

by Mommy MD Guides blogger Julie Davidson

When you are pregnant, the list of things to worry about is endless. From how you will afford daycare to how you’ll manage with nighttime feedings: There’s always something to concern yourself with.

During my early pregnancies, I worried about the actual labor. Here is just some of what I had on my mind: If I go into labor and I can’t get a hold of my husband, do I call for an ambulance or try to drive myself? What if I have the baby in the mini van on the way to the hospital? If the pain becomes too intense, what will I do? Who will handle the delivery if my OB is out of town?

But at some point in pregnancy it seems like hormones or something (perhaps good old common sense) kicks in, and the freaking out subsides. Right around the 8th month. Which makes sense if you think about the response you often get when you ask a woman that far in her pregnancy how she’s doing. It’s often very similar from all women. “I feel fine; I just want it over with.” Yeah, somewhere after month six, the cuteness you wanted so badly to arrive the first trimester sort of drops off. But the tradeoff is it seems as if you are much less of a worry wart.

This definitely happened to me. With my first pregnancy, it happened when I was on the back of my husband’s Harley. It was the 100 year anniversary, and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be around for the 200-year rally. If the rally had been a few months earlier, I would have worried that the noise of the bike would have put me into labor, let alone the fact that a motorcycle, at best is made for two people, not two and a half. There is a slight possibility I was enticed to go by the cool leather biker gear, but I still think it had to be my body relaxing a bit. Emotional protection.

During my pregnancy number two, I went to Jamaica with less than three months until delivery. Honestly, my biggest concerns were what I was going to wear on the beach and how I should style my hair. Not even a thought of how the cabin pressure during flight could send me into premature labor. Or the fact that if I did go into labor I would be a few thousand miles across the pond from my own doctor.

As I recall all this, I think about a conversation I had with a guy I know whose wife is due in about six weeks. He told me that she wants to go to a haunted cornfield, but he was worried that if she became overly frightened she’ll go into labor. In the cornfield. Now the nervous side of me might think Wow, if she goes into labor in a dark cornfield, that could difficult. There will be nothing but corn and spooky pop-up characters for acres in every direction. An ambulance couldn’t get through the field, so maybe a helicopter…”

And then it dawns on me: She’s gonna be fine. What could possibly scare a woman that far into her pregnancy? By now she’s already experienced major weight gain, fatigue beyond imagination, constant stares, stretch marks, and people reaching out to touch her growing belly. A creepy cornfield can’t hold a torch to what she’s endured to this point.


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