Man, I have been SO DRAMATIC recently.
Ordinarily (when I’m not pregnant) the problem with someone with my particular personality being super-dramatic and feeling awfully sorry for myself is that I usually find it hard to take my DEEP AGONY serious for more than 30 seconds. So you get a lot of stuff like “Everything is terrible! (beat) NOBODY HAS EVER EXPERIENCED THIS MUCH TOAST-RELATED PAIN BEFORE, EVER.”
But being pregnant is different! I am able to take my melodrama seriously for as much as 12 hours at a time. Which is, frankly, kind of horrifying.
Someone (okay… it was my mom. And she would know! On account of having had some kids.) recently told me that everything also seemed very dramatic to her when she was pregnant, so I don’t know… maybe this is just the hormones! Like it’s some kind of evolutionary maladaptation, where an unfortunate side effect of staying pregnant in the third trimester even though you have to pee constantly is that you feel totally sorry for yourself ALL THE TIME.
It could happen!
Here are some things I am worrying about, and this is JUST THIS WEEK:
- Horrible neck pain! Almost certainly meningitis!
- Migraine! And/or stroking out! Going to be a vegetable, haven’t had Seth sign durable power of medical attorney thing yet, will probably languish on ventilator in coma ward for 17 years!
- Probable impossibility of finding OB-GYN who won’t say things like “Eating peanuts is giving your baby asthma! Now push on my count.”
- What Seth would do for childcare if I got hit by a bus post-Lentil.
- Seth’s refusal to discuss this.
- MUST LOOK UP LIFE INSURANCE RATES.
- Probable implosion of little pseudo-career.
- Careerless rest of life stretching ahead of me, covered in baby spit-up and diapers. ALL THE WAY TO THE GRAVE.
- Where to acquire H1N1 vaccine.
- Sidebar into annoyance about anti-vaccine people.
- Stare at ceiling for a while.
- How I will probably never have my own dog, EVER.
- Think wistfully about dogs I would like to have, like that dog I saw yesterday with his nose stuck blissfully out of the car window, even though the car was parked in a mall parking lot.
- How I need to buy a winter coat that fits over the pregnant belleh.
- How I am too cheap to buy a coat that I will only wear for a few weeks.
- Touring hospital: blech.
- Meeting with new OB-GYN: blech.
- Missing midwives. Wondering just how awful it would be to accidentally not really go to the hospital in time.
- Read up on process of getting birth certificate for out-of-hospital birth in this state. Horror stories of people with toddlers who are still certificate-less abound. Panic.
- LOW-GRADE DESPAIR.
So we found a hospital and an OB-GYN.
OB-GYNs are just not as cool as midwives. I’m sorry! But it’s true. Midwives say things like “And how are you feeeeling?” and doctors say things like “And why didn’t you seek prenatal care earlier in your pregnancy?” while frowning at you. Or their nurses ask you fifteen times if you’re planning on breastfeeding, and respond to all of your questions with “I have a pamphlet about that.”
Ahhhh. I’m sorry – I am grumpy about this. I feel sort of grouchy and defeated about the whole thing, like I was trying to be informed and responsible and research-y, but then you ultimately figure out that it’s just easier to be silent and compliant than to be someone who asks questions like “And do you advise getting both the seasonal flu vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine, or do you feel that the H1N1 strain basically is the seasonal flu this year?”
Because OB-GYNs apparently don’t actually want to answer your questions, they just look at you blankly and then want you to go outside and drink a bottle of revolting orange Gatorade so you can come back for a blood draw that will I AM SURE REVEAL THAT I HAVE GESTATIONAL DIABETES BECAUSE THAT IS HOW THINGS ARE GOING.
PS, I don’t think your OB-GYN even delivers your baby! There’s this whole polite fiction that you have a relationship with your doctor (hah.) but as far as I can tell, the people who actually help you during a hospital birth are the nurses, and you’ve never even met them, you just get whomever showed up for work that day. And maybe your doctor wanders in for the last five minutes to go “It’s a healthy baby mammal!” Or maybe you get one of the many other doctors from that practice, whichever one is on call, it’s not like you should be concerned about who exactly is going to be pulling a person OUT OF YOUR VAGINA, WHY ARE YOU BEING SO FUSSY ABOUT THIS, GOD.
I’m sorry! I’m terribly cranky, I know. It’s just a shock to the system to go from midwives – who ask you questions about your diet and your general health and how you feel and are relentlessly encouraging about your ability to gestate a healthy baby – to doctors, who I assume are both concerned about being sued* and who are also trapped in an insurance-company vise where they only get to spend 7 minutes with each patient. And who therefore are very into sort of CYA testing (they are making me redo all the STD tests the midwives already did. On account of how my husband is naturally running around on me with all kinds of infectious ladies.**) and who don’t really have the luxury of caring about how you feel, because they just want all your numbers to fall in the middle of the graph, where suing doesn’t happen as much.
Because of this and the associated feeling-sorry-for-myself, I have decided to try to institute a rule where I’m not allowed to process something until 24 hours have gone by. I feel like, what with the epic melodrama, I can otherwise not be trusted to make sensible statements, and instead say horrifying things like “You don’t understand!” before bursting into tears and leaving the room to weep piteously and fantasize about how I could totally vanish from the hospital immediately after the birth to lead a double life in Venezuela as a nun/beef farmer.
(THEY COULD NEVER FIND ME. I JUST NEED TO LEARN SOME SPANISH FIRST.)
SO, if you ask me how such-and-such went, you may possibly hear a vague response along the lines of “I’m not sure yet, I’ll let you know tomorrow.”
Don’t be alarmed! It’s just me trying to avoid sounding like a completely insane hysterical person. Because, dang. I’m even starting to bore myself with this routine.
*I don’t think people really sue midwives so much, I guess. You could probably take them for a turban and some wind chimes, but that’s about it.
**I know, I know… this will inevitably come back to haunt me when it turns out that my husband has converted to an obscure form of Pentecostalism that requires him to take a wife in each state.