So... there's a reason that curiousity killed the cat and it's not because inquiring minds are wrong. I mean, it's perfectly natural to seek out answers. But I think that curiousity must have killed the cat because it wondered what would happen if it sunbathed under a moving car. Or possibility it wondered what bathroom cleaner tasted like. Either way, this curious cat (meaning me) has got to stop Google-ing things. Like labor.
Now, I'm not an idiot - I know it's supposed to hurt. Biblically, it will hurt. There's nothing about that whole process that doesn't scream "OUCH," but I wanted to read about what I'm actually going to deal with. Boy, is that a mistake.
Now, I don't know how many of you know this (and if any of my kids in youth ministry read this, I hope it solidifies any doubts you have about waiting until marriage), but there's 3 stages of labor in the article/slideshow (yes, slideshow) I read:
Stage One lasts from early contractions until it's time to push. This is the longest stage and for first-time mommies, it can last a whopping 10-14 hours... you have GOT to be kidding me. Oh and there's 3 parts to this stage - early, active, and transition labor. In early labor, it "might be painful or slightly uncomfortable," as described in said slideshow. Then again, it must be in comparison. Oh, and contractions.
During active labor, it lasts from 4-8 hours and epidurals are normally given at this time. Now, I'm not bothered by either item in the previous statement. I'm not even bothered that they say that you move onto the next stage when your cervix is at 8cm. What disturbs me is, that is phrased as exactly the following: "Once your cervix is 8cm dialated (a little larger than a soda can), you enter transition." I'm sorry, a soda can? (I read this and the first thing that popped in my head is me, in the middle of labor, not knowing if I'm ready to go or not, demanding a soda can).
The third part is transition, the "most painful part of labor" (because I guess the rest is luxury in comparison) and I am again disturbed by the description. I read, and I quote, "Cervix opens from 8cm to 10cm (about the size of a bagel). WHAT ON EARTH?! Now, this one made me think a little more. Soda cans are about the same so I get that.. Would this be a mini-bagel, like the ones made by Thomas'. Or would this be a medium size bagel like the Fry's generic brand? Or a Sara Lee bagel?
The second stage involves two events - Pushing, then Crowing and Birth. Apparently, when that bagel is at full capacity, there's the pushing part. I read that the contractions do a lot of this for me, thank God! They say this lasts a few minutes to a few hours. Now, more good news in my reading is the reassurance that "the most painful part is over." That's promising...
The third stage is the delivery of the placenta. Now, my very innocent mind did not even consider this aspect of birth until a few years ago. No movies show this happening, or imply it. No one even talks about it. I'm really hoping that when this happens, I don't have the same experience as a friend of mine - she had some terrible scenarious. With one, they had to scrape out the cervix. Another, the doctor had to yank it out. And so, I laugh at fact that they say it "usually" doesn't hurt. Now, I know those scenarios are rare, but then again, it's rare that I'm giving birth, so ANYTHING can happen.
I probably should start making a list for my hospital bag. I already know that I'm having to add a sandwich for my husband since he's not very productive when hungry. But now, I'm going to have to pack a soda and a bagel for me.