Friday, April 20, 2012

I Don't Know Nothing 'Bout Birthin' No.....

I've always wondered about those ladies that give birth who never knew they were pregnant. My last four posts were about my own experiences and there is no way I wouldn't have known. The missed periods. The nausea. The barfing at the drop of a hat (or at the scent of bacon or the mention of pizza). The greenish tint to my face. The wobbling of the alien in my belly. The belly that slowly morphs into an overinflated yoga ball. It just seems uncanny to me that anybody could miss this. But people do.

After watching numerous episodes of "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" on YouTube, I have picked up trends with these poor women who are completely clueless to the baby making factory at work inside their bellies. It seems that a number of them continued to have periods or had repeated negative pregnancy tests. Some had been told they were infertile. Others were on birth control. They attributed bodily changes to stress or gas or lifestyle changes. I can KIND OF see how this could happen. If you are a large woman, at least, and have never had a baby.

What I can't understand are the women who have been pregnant before and yet don't know they are pregnant again. Does nothing seem remotely familiar to them? That kicking was a baby last time but dancing gas bubbles this go round? I guess if this undetected pregnancy is so totally different from the other pregnancy, you could even rationalize that.

But this is what I don't get. In every single episode the woman begins to describe this awful pain and cramping, which we, the snickering audience, all know is labor. She usually ends up running to the bathroom and plopping the baby out on the floor (head first, of course) or, better yet, straight into the toilet. Sometimes it actually takes the baby squawking and doing backstroke to get the lady to even look down and come to grips with the fact that what she just pushed out was NOT a result of last night's adventures at La Cucaracha House of Beans.

How..... HOW does this not feel the least bit familiar? I can understand that if you haven't given birth there is no way, unless somebody informs you beforehand, to know that giving birth is the sensory equivalent of pushing a watermelon out a hole the size of a lemon. Or rather POOPING out a watermelon through a hole the size of a lemon. Nobody prepared me for that one, either. (Come to think of it, our cat had her first litter of kittens in the litter box. One can only assume she went there awaiting a huge deposit and was met with quite a surprise....five of them.)

But if you've already given birth once, assuming it wasn't a caesarean, certainly some of this would ring a bell to you. Maybe? Perhaps these ladies opted for the epidural too soon first time around and had no clue what labor really feels like. I don't know. But that is another reason that I like natural childbirth. If you know what it feels like when you KNOW you're pregnant, you're better prepared next time, even if caught off guard.

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