I’m one of those women who strongly considered adopting because I was so afraid of labor. A month or two after I got pregnant, I had a two-week period of complete freak out and sent this note to a girlfriend:
“Last night I had a mini breakdown and decided that I definitely do not want to push a baby out my vagina. I want even less to have major abdominal surgery. I do not want to feed another human being with my boobs. Also, I will not be pushing a baby out of my vagina. I cannot imagine what my boobs are going to look like after this, let alone my ass. I have never felt less sexy. Also, my vagina is very small. I do want to be a parent, but don’t really want to be a mom. Also, I will not be pushing a baby out of my vagina. No.”
I was irrationally, but seriously, trying to think of other ways to get the baby out of my body. Intense meditation? Osmosis? Teleportation device? How ’bout it, science?
Anyway, I’m OK now. The panic eventually subsided as I made a conscious decision to stop playing Worst Case Scenario. I refused to read anything having to do with labor and related complications, and began screaming, “Only happy stories, please! Only happy stories, please!” when mothers tried to share their graphic labor survival stories.
This was unfortunately necessary, because when you’re pregnant, conversation in a group of women goes like this:
Me: I’m freaking out about labor.
Susie: Don’t worry, you’ll be fine! Just fine! God, I hated being pregnant, though. I was on seven months of bed rest vomiting into a pan.
Lisa: Really? (Pulls air in through teeth.) Yeah, I threw up every single day. Twice. And, hello? Jacob was 11 pounds. I was in labor for 46 hours. They really should have given me a C-section, I was pretty ripped up afterwards.
Gina: And then you’re just praying that you’ll never have to poop again because the thought is so terrifying. My first bowel movement was practically as painful as giving birth. I was so afraid the stitches would pop right out!
Cut to me keening and desperately trying to place my head between my knees, despite the watermelon sized belly impeding my ability to do so.
Susie: Oh, honey! I’m sure you’ll be fine.
Lisa: You’ll be fiiiine. You’re going natural, aren’t you?
Gina: Oh, yeah. You have to go natural.