"As for me, I'll take one baby marinated in a dish please"

Did I mention death was a potential side effect of birth?

When dealing with IVF, I made it my mission to read up on every drug I might have to take. I learned the side effects of Luperon, Gonal-F, Citrotide, Clomid and all the others. Not only did I know every headache, bouts of dry mouth, thoughts of suicide, depression, psychotic tendencies, and weight gain that I might encounter, I planned for it. I bought larger clothes, warned Ben of my potential meltdowns, and brought loads of books in case I was too sick to sight see. And for all my preparation, it turns out that headaches and dry mouth were really the only side effects I had. And both were minimal at that.

You would have thought that with all the planning I did for IVF, I might have done some sort of planning for actually becoming pregnant. But the thing is, when a person undergoes any type of fertility treatment (I assume this is true for everybody because it was true for me), planning for something that might not happen doesn’t make much sense. Plus, getting too excited for a big “what if” only leads to further disappointment if it doesn’t work out. So because of this, I stayed as far away from anything pregnancy as possible.

Fast forward to now.

Thanks to my older sister and my mother-in-law, I now have so many pregnancy books that when I look around my house I am constantly confronted by newborn babies and huge pregnant bellies. From Jenny McCarthy to the “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” girl, to the "Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth", and my personal favorite, the “1000 Questions about your Pregnancy” lady who night after night continues to haunt me on my end table.

While this lady might look docile and homely with her full length Mormon dress and 80’s bangs sitting contently with her hand placed on her unborn child reading about the miracle of life, she is actually learning about her sure fate with hemorrhoids and inverted nipples.

I confess that while it seems like the lady in the picture is least halfway through the book, I can only say that I made it about 50 pages before I was so terrified of both pregnancy and child birth that I was convinced we had made a terrible mistake.

The following are just examples of the horror I read about…

Question 170:

Is it true that my abdominal muscles may separate later in pregnancy and leave a big dent?


You’re describing a “diastasis recti,” in which the long vertical muscles of the abdominal wall pull apart in the midline over time. If they pull far enough apart, a large section of the uterus may be covered only by skin, connective tissue (fascia), and peritoneal lining. A “dent” in your abdomen after delivery is a pretty good description. As your belly shrinks to normal size the muscles do approximate, or come together. However, their attachment to each other is often permanently disrupted. In reality this usually means that you will see the separation clearly when you do a sit-up. If the separation becomes debilitating, it can be fixed with a surgery similar to that for an abdominal hernia.

Question 657:

What are the types of episiotomy?

The midline episiotomy, as you would expect, involves a small incision straight toward the anus. A mediolateral episiotomy angles from the fourchette down and out about 30 degrees off the midline, the intent being to avoid extension into the anus and rectum. A hockey stick episiotomy, also called a paramedian episiotomy, begins heading toward the rectum in the midline, but then swerves off to one side or the other just before the anal sphincter.

One type of episiotomy is not better than another. They type of episiotomy used is individualized to the particular patient and the particular delivery. Some women have long perineal bodies (distance from vagina to rectum) and other have very short perineums. Some women get tremendous swelling with pushing, making the tissue fragile and tearable like tissue paper and others have no swelling and the tissue is more elastic. Some women have very large hemorrhoids and others have none.

Finally, your provider’s training will dictate with which incisions he or she is most comfortable.

Yikes! I could list 998 more of these scary questions regarding topics like pregnancy related heart murmur, elevated or dropped blood pressure, breached extraction, viral vs. parasitic infections, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolus, vaginal infections, strokes, trauma, heartburn, permanent darkening of areolas and clotting disorders, just to name a few.

But I won’t name any more. Not for your sake. For mine. I no more want to know about the type of episiotomy I might be unfortunate enough to undertake, then I want my eyeball gouged out with a fork.

But it doesn’t end there. Jenny McCarthy talks about how fat and full of cellulite you will become all the while pumping out the most ominous fumes so horrifically powerful they could make grown man lay down and die. The “What to Eat while Pregnant” book informs its readers that unless you eat one million fruits and vegetables along with quinoa and lean chicken, your baby will come out sickly and mentally underdeveloped. So, Krista, think about that next time you want a beef taquito.

And who cares if you are exhausted and still throwing up. The "Pregnancy Bible" says that if you don’t start exercising and doing pre-natal yoga, your baby and body will not get the blood flow that it needs and you will end up having a C-section, or worse…A stupid kid.

And speaking of C-Sections, "Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" informs its readers that epidurals = C-sections, unless you are one of the lucky ones. So suck it up, be a real woman and push, sans medication. This all coming from a book where the woman in the picture is wrapped in a roll of toilet paper.

So now that I think about it, I’m glad I never prepared for pregnancy. I might have changed my mind.