Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Guilty Pleasure

I only do it when I'm alone.

I don't pursue it as often as I used to - who has the time? And it just doesn't feel as good as it used to. Really I'm just getting too old for it and I can't do it in front of the kids.

I was referring to watching "A Baby Story". What were you thinking?

When I became pregnant the first time, I watched the show obsessively. I probably could have told you the names of every Mom and baby that were on the show that year. I would discuss them in conversation as "The Smiths from New Jersey" or "The Jones family that live near Philly" and "did you see the one where the woman had a baby for her gay brother and his life partner?"

I wasn't kidding when I told you I was obsessed.

I was almost studying these programs, looking for a key or a clue to this mystery process I was going through. That tired old cliche about childbirth that "you can't explain it until you go through it" just didn't hold water for me. I was sure if I watched enough programs and read enough books and surfed enough websites I could get a handle on this. I wasn't afraid of labor pain at all. I was afraid of THE UNKNOWN.

So I made it my job to know everything I could about this process of birth.

If you've ever watched A Baby Story, and if you've ever actually had a baby, you know that the two are NOTHING alike. A Baby Story follows a pretty consistent formula (happy pregnant couple, a little grimacing from the Mom as labor begins, nice speedy epidural, a little "push push push c'mon you can do it!" and voila! pretty little approximately 8 pound baby boy/girl) and wraps it all up in a neat little 30 minute package.

The reality is, uh, different. If it were truly a reality show you'd see that the pregnant woman just spent 20 minutes screaming at her mate because he ate the last of the ice cream, burst into hysterical tears because the pharmacy closed before she could refill her heavy-duty extra-strength heartburn medication prescription, and just ate an entire box of Raisin Bran in an effort to poop just once this week. And please do NOT hand me that baby covered in gunk! Really it's okay. I'll wait 2 minutes while you clean him/her off.

That's strictly a hypothetical pregnant woman of course. Any resemblance to actual pregnant women is purely coincidental. I have no firsthand knowledge of any of that behavior and no I am not crossing my fingers behind my back.

It's hard to cross your fingers while you type.

But yesterday while the "baby" napped (she'll be two in February, how long do you think I can get away with calling her "the baby"?) and Jamie was content playing on the computer I decided to switch it on for old time's sake.

And when they did the close up on that newborn baby (cleaned and gunk-less of course) with his little befuddled face and his squinty eyes looking puzzled and wondering how the heck he got here, I remembered why I do this. Because I will never see a bewildered newborn look at me again, and it makes me a little sad.

Even if I am sitting on the couch yelling at the television.



Colleen said...

When I was pregnant, I wanted to put my head in the sand. I didn't watch anything that I thought might freak me out about the whole labor/delivery process. However, after I had the baby, I was obsessed with watching this show, and others like it.

Dani said...

I never liked that show for two reasons, I think for a many years when I was home with just Zac it was a painful reminder that I couldn't get pregnant and the second reason -- ESPN always had something better to watch. :D

katiebear said...

I'm glad I don't have cable!!!

MamaJoss said...

Oh I was a BIG TIME watcher...then when he arrived (and I experienced it all firsthand I became a hater!)and wooops got pregnant 3 months later I tuned into All My Children...haha! Love your blog over here :)

Norkio said...

I have frequently said that childbirth is the best birth control. As a teen ager, if I had seen anything like A Baby Story or even those birth videos on YouTube, I would have never had sex ever. Then in my 30s I found out that getting pregnant isn't as easy as they tell you it is in high school, lol.