Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Back to the Future... Well Kind Of

The big day is getting closer, and the closer it gets, the more I am second guessing this whole child-bearing thing (yes, I am WELL aware that at this point, I'm as they say, up creek without a paddle). So I thought, I've done this before, perhaps more importantly I should say, I've survived this before, and instead of questioning my reasoning behind this whole undertaking (again.. a little too late for that!) maybe I should consult the best person to give me advice on what I'm about to go through.

25 year old Brittany, meet 22 year old Brittany.

Dear Older, and HOPEFULLY thinner 25 Year Old Brittany,

I know you are about to have another baby, and you are pretty anxious. We both know that before Ben was born, you were both too naive, and too inexperienced to fully understand what was about to happen. We both also know that you don't have a great memory, so most likely you are in a similar situation again, so I'm glad I can be here to help you. I've left you a short list of things to keep in mind before the baby is born. So, here goes.

-Don't question yourself about what IS and what ISN'T labor. While we may hear about people giving birth in a cab after what they thought was some bad Chinese food they ate, you have never been, nor ever will be that lucky. You will feel real and horrible pain. For the first time in your life, you will actually be unable to speak. This will both terrify and amuse Mike and your mom, but they will never admit it.

-Forget about bringing cards, books, your Ipod with soothing music on it, snacks, and other time-fillers to do in the labour room. All you will care about is where the drugs are, and how soon they will be able to administer them to you.

-If you should happen to go into labour that progresses as quickly as you did with Ben, go over a few things with Mike first. 1) When I call you at work to tell you I'm in labour, believe me.. I'm probably right 2)I'm going to be in a lot of pain, I won't be able to remind you to take me with you when you run out the door to the hospital. This is why my mom is there. 3) When throwing the bags we pre-packed for this occasion, remember to grab the cell phone and put it somewhere you can reach it while we are driving. And, no, I cannot just climb into the back and reach the phone to tell the hospital we are on the way. 4) When we arrive at the hospital, please ensure I am comfortably in a wheelchair BEFORE leaving me in the dust to check me in. (To the nice lady and her wonderful son who so kindly helped me into the wheelchair after Mike left me in the entrance way at the hospital, I am forever grateful, whoever you may be)

-You will want your mom, as childish as that may seem. While Mike may have put you in this state, your mom is the only person you will know in the delivery room that has survived this. She will also gracefully say 'Yes' and lie to your face when you look at her in panic and ask "Will it feel better when they let me push?"

-Mom is also another key component in keeping Mike conscious. We all remember what happened to Mike when he saw the epidural needle. Try not to feel upset when your husband is reclined in a chair, with the nurses fussing over him, placing cool clothes on his forehead to prevent passing out. Mom will promptly ensure he gets some water and a granola bar, while you hack the whole labour thing by yourself for a bit. Don't worry, it won't last long, and the eerie green color will soon fade from Mike's face.

-You will sing Johnny Cash's song, "Ring of Fire" in your head.. just know it's the end of a long process and within seconds you will see your child for the first time.

-You will do all the work, but somehow everyone congratulates Mike just as much. The feeling will pass, and the first time you see the two of them curled up together for a nap you'll realize just how important Mike is too.

-You won't sleep, you will cry wondering what the heck you were thinking; you'll get puked, pooped and peed on. You will feel like a jersey cow, you'll be an emotional roller coaster. You'll say awful things that will make your husband think that just maybe he should call social services. Just remember that as soon as you look into that face (which may still be screaming at that moment) you will melt, and understand it's not their fault and hug the baby a bit closer. Don't forget the first time Ben smiled at you..

-When your best friends call and ask you how you're doing.. tell the truth. They either have or will go through this soon, and we ALL know women are lying when they say everything is perfect. However, lie to those you don't know all that well, you'll regret talking about how your incision is healing to mere acquaintances later.. trust me.

I'm sure you'll be fine.. just remember, afte nine long months of abstinence, it's socially acceptable to have a drink now. Bottoms up!

Love,22 year old Brittany

(We ARE thinner.. right??)