I have a severe case of addiction to baby shows. Well, more specifically, labor and delivery and midwifery shows. You name it, I watch it: “Portland Babies”, “A Baby Story”, “Labour and Delivery” and my personal favorite “Deliver Me”. I have it bad. Sometimes I’ll watch for hours at a time, totally fascinated. I mean, the other day I was lying in bed dropping off to sleep (yes I was actually falling asleep) when the theme tune from “Deliver Me” entered my ears. I squealed with excitement and HAD to get up to go and watch. As I staggered back to bed after, I began to admit I may be obsessed.
I find the stories on the shows so riveting. Each woman’s own personal situation /medical history/complications and the path she travels down to deliver her baby. It brings you face to face with the diversity of the general population. Everybody is so very different. It’s exciting and even though I’m sure I’m barely getting a glimpse of what the midwifery profession is like. I love watching the midwifery staff or in the US the OBGYN’s at work. It’s so interesting the little scraps of information you pick up. For example, I learned today that a baby inside a mothers uterus is always a full degree hotter than mum. Not a problem until mum has a fever. Hmm… I NEVER new that before and I never realized before how high the rate of c-section deliveries is particularly in the US where on average 33% of babies are born this way. That’s compared to 22 % in the UK. YEAH I’m definitely obsessed.
So far only Gadget Guy and Kayak Man are suffering ill effects of this new development, with Kayak Man being subjected to watching said programming way too early in the morning for the poor male brain to cope with without squealing and turning over to hide his eyes and Gadget Guy being forced to listen to me as I recount all that I have seen and learned with so much excitement and enthusiasm that he’s too polite to tell me to STFU. Yeah ya know I’m lucky to have guy friends who put up with this shit… real lucky. Hopefully if I actually get on the access course I’m aiming for (fingers still crossed interview 1st of June) then maybe I’ll meet other midwifery wanna be’s and I can share this fascination with them and perhaps STOP over loading the guys with TMI. Maybe.
I’m excited. I’m obsessed. it all feels so new and so wonderful. I’m worried. Obsessions can wear off all too fast. Yeah, just ask Kayak Man. He’s the biggest schemer I know and everything new he does is the best thing EVER! Until the next thing comes along which is fine except I can’t afford for the next thing to come along. The fee’s for this access course alone are a big ask for me and if I’m successful in my application I’ll have to go back to university for three full years and live off next to nothing working ridiculous hours with no social life. I’ll eat, sleep and think midwifery and it will possibly be the hardest challenge of my life so far. I’ll be 31 when I get done doing that and probably in student debt up to my eyeballs. I really HAVE to work out if this is a phase and is gonna wear off faster than a high school crush… or is this the real deal and I’ve got to figure it out SOON.
The thing is… I say it’s new. It’s not really a new obsession. I’ve always been fascinated. It’s just I always thought that would all get explained to me, that I would come to understand when I finally fell pregnant and carried my babies and when I was told that is mostly likely not going to happen… well I guess I slammed the door on all that and refused to let myself think about anything even remotely pregnancy/birth/baby related. It was too painful. It HURT. It made me jealous, bitter and angry and AND I felt stooopid – really stupid. I mean, I shouldn’t care right? I can’t get pregnant, so what does all this stuff matter? Why should I care? I got kind of paranoid. I mean, an infertile woman who spends all her time reading, researching learning about all things pregnancy and birth. I feared judgment. Worried people would think I was crazy… unrealistic… torturing myself… or all of the above. Like somehow infertility meant giving up the right to be interested.
I guess I’m a couple of years older now and news of my prognosis is not so raw. Now what matters is less what other people will think and more what will make me happy. I am still interested. I do still care and even if I’m never in a position to use the information to my own benefit to have a baby that doesn’t matter. I don’t have to stop thinking about it… I just have to refocus. I don’t look at it now through the eyes of a woman who waits for the day she can start her journey. I look at it through the professional midwifery lens in terms of how I can use what interests me to make the biggest possible positive difference to others. Yes I’ve refocused. I’ve changed but I’m allowing myself to think about these things that I had shut out of my mind. I’m opening the doors to all that again and it feels exciting and invigorating, like being able to drink water again after a long drought. I do believe the initial excitement will wear off. I know I will be on the same rollercoaster of emotions that any student midwife rides with infertility. Perhaps adding a good few twists and turns all of its own but I don’t feel like I will one day wake up, not interested in the creation of life. Not EVER. Even if I fail.
God I hope I’m right