Thursday, May 24, 2012



So we had a sort of tragicomic visit to our hospital last night to tour the labor and delivery unit. For some reason I had imagined that the tour would be really reassuring. You know: a cute nursery jam-packed with peach-fuzzy newborns and those "It's a Boy!" balloons everywhere. Orderly lists of things to pack and so on.

Instead, well, we got off on the wrong foot, somehow.

Will got stuck on the subway, and so was late. So I was there frantically texting him and worried that somehow he wouldn't be able to get into labor and delivery once the tour had begun. So I guess I was on edge and not in my most zen state going into it.

Then, as soon as the doors to the unit opened, we were met by a woman in labor (behind closed doors, but even so) screaming bloody murder. I mean, it sounded like a horror film. This was not the kind of intense moaning I've heard before on TLC or in the Business of Being Born. This was really unsettling.

The nurse who was leading the tour said something like "That's what natural childbirth sounds like," and seemed mostly unfazed. But at one point even she remarked that she hadn't heard anyone scream like that when a tour was happening. "We have an 80% epidural rate here," she explained. So between the tardy husband and the screaming, by the time we got to the C-section recovery area, I was really really rattled. I think I just don't especially like hospitals to begin with and so the whole thing felt very alien.

I guess I am feeling extremely unprepared for labor. I'm hoping that my childbirth class, which starts in a few weeks, will do a bit to assuage some of my worries, but, well, yikes. It's going to take a while to get that screaming out of my brain.

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