If you truly know me, you know I worry. A lot. I mostly worry about people dying, but that’s a deep dark issue for another day. I always want to be prepared. I want to be prepared for the worst possible scenario at all times – to know the facts. At times, I regret it later, wishing I’d been kept in the dark, but the truth is usually best. Unless I look fat in this. Then it’s ok to lie.
I spend the next few weeks following the ultrasound in hyper-research mode. I spend hours at home (don’t tell, but at work too) researching the alpha to the omega of pregnancy and babies. I ask those I trust to be honest with me and they are. I learn what a hemorrhoid is. I learn that it is likely I’ll get them from the force of pushing out the baby. Turns out (and can I just say NO ONE TELLS YOU THIS STUFF) when you push out the baby, you push out part of your bung hole as well. I can’t lie. The idea of having something also referred to as “piles” growing on the outside of my behind really, really freaks me out. I become obsessed. I engage in a race-for-the-cure if you will. I read and read and read, but can find little consistency in statistics about this issue. How hard is it to find solid research that indicates a) my likelihood of getting/not getting h-roids, b) solid preventative measures with stats about success rates of each, c) average recovery timelines sorted by patient’s height, weight, age, etc.?? I become so obsessed that I don’t even care that our IT person at work, who is a diligent watch-dog of company web-waves, will see that I’ve Googled any combination of “hemorrhoids and pregnancy,” “how to prevent hemorrhoids in labor,” “statistics of hemorrhoids and pregnancy” over and over. I even think about what I’ll say if I have to explain myself in case he tells on me for spending so much work time on hemorrhoid research that, devastatingly, turns up nothing of use to me…until…
Eureka! I find an obscure article from several years ago posted to some medical technology blog that features this strap-on type contraption to keep your behind inside where it should be. The catch is, I can’t find where anyone has used it, and furthermore, see no indication that the device is approved by any medical association. I stare at it and contemplate printing the article and taking it to my doctor, but I’m too embarrassed.
Meanwhile, I chat via email with another of my friends who says, “You’re that worried about the hemorrhoids? Really? That’s not even the worst part.” Huh? Something is worse than the “h” word? We schedule a time for a phone chat – an hour-long conversation that saves my sanity while simultaneously increasing my anxiety. She assures me that the hemorrhoids are really not all that bad – the worst part is the tearing. I squeeze my legs together tightly and clench everything “down there” instinctually as she continues to talk dirty details, but I drink in the honesty like a tall glass of sweet tea. I learn the truth about episiotomies, and thank my lucky stars that I now know to refuse one under all circumstances. Something I wouldn’t have known without asking an honest friend.
I hang up the phone, my head spinning with new information. She sends me articles that are fabulous. Between this friend and my sister-in-law, I learn what seems like a new language. Words like: latching, milk ducts, Pitocin, nipple guards, nipple cream, and all things nipples, co-sleeping, attachment, the list goes on. With this new information, my research intensifies. Hemorrhoids become last month’s Us Weekly, and I focus on these other areas, learning as much as I can (and secretly knowing that probably nothing can truly prepare me for pushing a mini-person out of my wee) to prepare for the worst.
A few additional notes here:
- I apologize if this particular discussion is not very lady-like, but as an Incredulous Mom, I feel it my duty to shed light on the bad along with the good.
- It’s true – no one tells you the bad stuff. I don’t know if it’s because women forget the bad once the little goopy blessing is squalling in their arms, or if people are uncomfortable mentioning such uncouth terms, but I had to seek to find.
- I did find one book that was fabulous and HONEST. It’s called “The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy.” If you are ever thinking of getting your baby-belly on, I highly recommend this book just as much as the infamous “What to Expect” book. It’s funny, insightful, and truthful about the gory details.
And I guess that’s all I have to say about hemorrhoids for now. I can only hope that while pushing out the baby, I don’t look at Nick and see that look of “oooh, that’s gonna leave a mark” when he sees inside stuff making it’s way to the outside. Here’s hoping.