I have a weird relationship with kids.
On the one hand, I absolutely love them. I’m the girl making googly eyes at your baby in the grocery store checkout. I am the one who will hog your newborn when I get the chance to meet her, and will beg you not to make me give her back. Heck, I volunteer rocking babies in the Special Care Nursery just so I can hold sweet, adorable, sleepy teeny-tinies once a week (I call myself a semi-professional baby rocker). And not just babies, kids crack me up. They say the funniest things, they have the craziest theories on the way the world works, and their sweetness can absolutely melt my heart. I spent one summer as a camp counselor to a bunch of eight year olds and loved almost every minute of it (almost because the world’s worst sound is puke from a top bunk to the floor at 4 a.m., and I learned this the hard way).
On the other hand, I am terrified of almost everything related to childbirth. Yeah, yeah, I know, you’re like, uh, Ernie Bufflo? Everyone is terrified of childbirth. Yes, I’m aware of that. I’m telling you that I’m even more insanely terrified than most people you’ve met. Terrified and squeamish, which I know is super strange from a girl who just loves to gross people out with medical anecdotes at the dinner table. A girl whose entire family is in the medical profession. A girl whose mother used to teach Lamaze and wrote a master’s thesis on special anti-nausea acupressure bracelets for pregnant ladies. That’s me!
I think it started when I spent a summer as a library page. I’d often flip through books while shelving them, but the childbirth books basically scarred me for life. I had bad dreams about them. The things I saw in those books? I shudder still to think about them. If you want to basically make me cry on the spot all you really have to say is “episiotomy.” When I started to get really ridiculous about it, Jon basically banned me from reading those books anymore so as to retain some hope that one day we can have some beautiful blond-haired blue-eyed babies (with our genes, that’s all we’re going to get).
Then mommyblogging became a huge trend. Hoo boy. I’ve read so many pregnancy horror stories that I’m pretty sure I know every possible thing that could possibly go wrong. Aside from two friends who have told me their lovely it wasn’t so bad birth stories, I’m starting to wonder if ANYONE has a non-horror-movie childbirth story to tell. (Seriously, women of the world, please start blogging about how fun and not-painful your childbirth experience was. I’d love to read it!) And it’s not just the stories. Lately everyone wants to share their childbirthing with the world via amateur photojournalism. I’ve seen enough photos of slime-covered fresh-from-the-womb newborns that I’ve expressed to Jon my desire that someone please WASH THE BABY OFF before handing him or her to me for the first time. I really hope this is not too much to ask.
And then there was “Knocked Up.” Now, I was under the impression that this movie was a comedy, but I was sorely mistaken. It should be filed at Blockbuster with the rest of the horror fare. When the baby crowning scene came, I seriously started crying. Tears rolling down my face crying. Much like men wince in empathy pains when someone else on TV gets kicked in the nuts, I was weeping for my body and what it will someday endure. One sight of that and I was pretty solidified in my belief in modern medicine.
Speaking of modern medicine, a friend of mine and I recently had a conversation about natural childbirth. Now, more power to ya if that’s your steez, but it ain’t for me. I just took some ibuprofen because my legs hurt from weeding a flower bed yesterday, so you can extrapolate my pain threshold from there. My friend expressed that she would not want to be medicated while giving birth, because she doesn’t want to be out of it or falling asleep during the experience. Of course, my thought is that going to the hospital, falling asleep, then waking up to meet my new baby sounds FANTASTIC. I mean, that’s kind of what happened when I got my wisdom teeth out and from what I understand it’s a much less harrowing experience than bringing a baby into the world.
So, the bottom line is, when it comes to “A Baby Story” I’d rather just not hear it. I love kids, and I hope to have a couple someday. I’m already planning their names and deciding which traits of mine and which traits of Jon’s I hope they get. But if you wish to ever meet my hypothetical future children, who are sure to be adorable, if awkward, little souls, do not tell me about your childbirth experience. At a baby shower not too long ago, many of my mommy friends were singing the praises of special hospital underpants with ice packs built in. I was horrified. YOU MEAN I’M GOING TO NEED AN ICE PACK FOR MY UNDANEEFY BITS? A friend who was there, who has three adorable kids told me she’d save all the scary stuff for when I’m already pregnant, because by then it will be too late. I think it sounds like a plan. Until then, ignorance is bliss.