This week in childbirth class we learned all about the epidural, including, but not limited to, passing around a sample catheter and watching a video of one being inserted. I had to use the labor breathing techniques to get through the video, and I'm not even kidding.
I've mentioned this before, but it really grinds my gears that my needle phobia is not taken seriously. Oh, sure, you're terrified to ride in an elevator, or can't touch anything cotton (I have actually known someone with this phobia), it's ok, we're here to help you through it. But fear of needles? Pull it together you big fat baby.
I recognize that it doesn't make sense, but it's not any less logical than any other phobias and most people suffer from at least one illogical fear. I'm not sure if maybe people think that us needle-phobes are primarily concerned about the pain, and that's what gives us a bad rap? I don't even see what's wrong with that, but that's not it anyway. It's the idea of the needle entering my skin, ugh, I can barely even type that. It's like how on our honeymoon we tried snails. They tasted fine, but the idea of what I was eating made the experience gross.
Also, if I ever said anything about my fear, people are always smugly like "just wait until you get pregnant". Um, ok? Yeah, there's more needles than normal when you're pregnant. I subject myself to it because I'm an adult, and there's really no other option. I still hate it just as much. I'm not sure what I was supposed to "wait" for.
I'm under no illusions about my pain tolerance and have accepted that I want an epidural, but just because it's the lesser of two evils doesn't mean I'm happy about it. (Accepted in terms of the needle being shoved in my spine, not in terms of OMG I won't have an all natural I am woman hear me roar birth). I'm willing to bet most first time moms (or maybe pregnant women in general) have some anxiety about giving birth and I don't think adding a major element from your fear landscape is something anyone would seek out. Imagine if claustrophobics had to survive a room that shrinks around you like Four, or if people who have a fear of heights had to bungee jump off a tall building into their hospital room. Not laughing now, are you?
|If you haven't seen the movie, this room continues to get much smaller.|
I'm finding it easy to maintain my denial about labor because I've never done it, and have no context to imagine it. All the ways people have described it on the internet or in person are totally foreign to me and I still have no idea what they feel like. "It's like all your organs are being squeezed out of you" or "It's like your body is about to split apart". Yeah, I'm sure that hurts, but I've never done anything remotely similar.
Here's what I mean. Let's take this scene.
|If for some reason you STILL haven't taken my advice and watched/read Game of Thrones, he's about to get his hand cut off.|
Sure, I've never had a crazy man in the woods cut my hand off with a rusty knife because he didn't care for my choice of vocabulary (and subsequently been forced to wear it around my neck for weeks on end), but I've accidentally cut myself with a knife. That allows me to take that much smaller pain and extrapolate to at least cringe because I have some idea Jaime's experience.
|The lady on the right is basically screwed.|
I've also never been burnt to death for using blood magic, but I've burnt my finger on a hot pan, so again, I can extrapolate.
My point is, I can live in calm denial about labor, but I KNOW I'm going to hate the epidural no matter how it actually feels, so I'm nervous about it. Apparently they give you a numbing agent, but turns out that's a shot too, so, thanks for nothing.
Some happier news is that this weekend is our baby shower! We have a bunch of family members coming to town starting tomorrow night. I'm quite a purist when it comes to bridal showers/bachelorette parties, and firmly feel they should be single sex. I thought I felt the same with baby showers, and wanted the traditional type. I was concerned because I go for quality over quantity in friends, and also all my friends are super successful and many have moved to various cities around the country. I didn't think I had enough girl friends in one city to have an all girl shower.
Then I realized that typical showers are boring and I would hate one. I don't like being the center of attention, or touching, so the thought of everyone watching me open gifts and say "it's so cute!" a million times or, even worse, playing that dumb game where you measure the mother - to - be's belly is right up there under the epidural. Eric is just as much of a parent-to-be as I am, and pregnancy has made me really weirdly clingy, so we're doing a co-ed shower. Plus, this way the grandfathers can attend too, so it's a win win win all around. I don't know all the details, but my mom is amazing at planning showers, so it will actually be really fun and not at all stupid. And I apparently have more friends than I thought, so it's almost like I feel popular, or at least what I imagine being popular would feel like (that's another one I really have no context for).
What would be in your fear landscape - and if you are on the reproductive train (past, present, or future), what fear would you least want to add to the delivery room? My husband actually has no phobias and it's the most annoying thing ever.
Where are my fellow needle - phobes - do you feel you are not taken seriously?