When you're pregnant, you spend a lot of time asking the women who have already given birth for tips. But you never know: are they telling the truth or sugarcoating it? Are they really "experts" because they've gone through labor and delivery?
It was being totally unsure whether my friends were telling me the whole story that made me wonder during my pregnancy if it would just be better to turn off the miracle of life-type movies and find someone who was pregnant . . . and make her take me into the delivery room. It sounds like the perfect way to prepare for the bit day yourself, right? But is it really better to watch a live birth when you're pregnant or to just wait until it's your own time to go?
Since I never got the chance, The Stir reached out to two moms who have been on both sides of the coin. Kristen Henderson and Sarah Kate Ellis are a lesbian couple who got pregnant the same day (a story they've written about in their new book, Times Two). They expected to deliver their "twins" around the same time, but nature didn't quite cooperate.
Initially, Sarah Kate was expected to deliver first. The couple's daughter, Kate, wasn't turned properly in the womb, and doctors expected to perform a C-section. But after attempts to flip the baby worked, Sarah Kate's C-section date passed. And then Kristen went into labor early.
"I figured Sarah would go first, and I'd have a cheat sheet," Kristen confessed. An easy going rocker chick (she's one of the founders of Antigone Rising), she wanted to have the preview to see how things would go, but she wasn't set on it. Good thing, because instead it was Kristen, her doula and a heavily pregnant Sarah Kate in the delivery room when Thomas came into the world. And for awhile, that was OK.
"Honestly, getting Kristen through that, I forgot I was pregnant," Sarah Kate said. "That was really my focus -- Kristen and Thomas . . . Then I got home and realized I was still pregnant." And that's when what she'd just seen kicked in. "Seeing her in all that pain . . . I was already terrified of the pain, but I really, seriously believe my body shut down!"
Having enjoyed her pregnancy, Sarah Kate said watching Kristen give birth made all those "my body can't do that" fears come bubbling up. "I as so scared of giving birth," she admitted. So she stayed pregnant for three more weeks, two weeks past her due date. Doctors were about ready to induce when she finally went into labor with Kristen at her side.
Moral of the story, ladies? If you're an easy going chick who thinks a cheat sheet would be fun, have at. But if you have even the smallest iota of being afraid? Say hells to the no and run away!!
What do you think? Are you looking for a live birth to get in on before the big day?
Image via Kristen Henderson and Sarah Kate Ellis