Saturday, March 18, 2006

"Discovery" channel...

I have discovered that there is nothing you can't see on TV. Whether it is lawn-mower races or people trying to subsist on a diet of bugs and dirt on a deserted island and actually liking it, you can find it.

But child birth seems to be televisions latest fascination. Or at least it is mine. That's how it always seems. Whatever you are going through in your own life, you tend to find that niche being exploited somewhere on cable. When I was planning my wedding last year, I could not make one trip around the channels without finding "Who's Wedding is it, Anyway?", or "A Wedding Story" or "E's Hollywood Weddings" or "Bridezillas" (my personal favorite) or anything by Martha Stewart. Of course, I was immediately sucked in, as my entire identity seemed to be taken over by planning that one 24-hour period that would turn me from a Miss to a Mrs. (or a Ms., at the case may be).

Now that I am completely emersed in my role as incubator (and a captive audience to boot), I have found the same glut of cable shows dedicated to the joy (and messiness) of childbirth. You can watch, "Birthday", "A Baby Story", "Bringing Home Baby", "Runway Moms" (dedicated to models who get pregnant--ha ha), and "Yummy Mummy" (all about how to be a cool, hip, sexy mom).

I have become engrossed by these shows; I consider them to be, in part, my education, as I will most likely not be able to get my gigantic pregnant bed-ridden butt to a birthing class. Now I realize, before I am blitzed by comments, that how these shows are no substitute for a qualified birthing instructor and a class full of other panting, gestating women about to burst and their glassy-eyed husbands, but really---what options do I have?? Considering I run the risk of actually delivering AT the birthing class if I get up and move around, I will take my chances with what juicy tidbits I can glean from these shows.

But that brings me to today....Discovery Channel is showing "Birth Day--Live". Whose brain-child is this? Bring cameras into delivery rooms at 4 different hospitals across the country during the full moon. Wait for nature to take its course. Show vaginal births AND C-sections all their gory, I mean glory.

The vaginal births I can stand. I hold my breath a lot, make mental notes of what faces to try to avoid when pushing (because some are just so....scary) and I always cry when the blue-ish, slick creature emerges and wailingly protests its way to rosy pinkness.

But WHO thought it would be a good idea to show a live C-section??? I mean, really. The only people who truly ever need to see a C-section are the doctors performing it. It ain't pretty. That's why they put a big sheet between the mom's face and the mom's belly, people!!! Even she doesn't want to see her belly cut open!!!

I tried to watch one. I did. I got as far as the doctor reaching for a scalpel and then freaked out. I switched to the Food Network and watched Bobby Flay travel through Ireland in search of a the perfect Irish breakfast. When he mentioned "blood pudding", I decided watching a C-section might not be so bad. Six of one, half dozen of the other, right? Both are icky, but one ends in a baby...

I flipped back. Right in time for the close-up of....who knows what, but it was very red. And doctors were pulling and stretching it. I watched it through my fingers like I was watching a horror movie (its not so far off--lots of blood and knives).

I asked myself, "Why aren't you changing the station, you stupid, stupid girl?!!" as I watched doctors reach into one person and pull out another, much tinier person. I know full well that tonight I will have nightmares of my torso running around independent of my legs...I can only hope they are cartoon-y instead of chain-saw massacre-y.

And then the C-section was over. And I realized why I had continued watching. Because at the end of that birth, just like at the end of the others, a little baby comes out and indignantly scolds the world with its perfect little new baby cry. Suddenly, I cannot even remember all the icky goriness that led up to that sound because I am crying again...

I guess that's why they say you forget the pain.

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