Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mind Your Own Beeswax

At alternating times in my life I've considered myself a private person. Sometimes I feel open, like I don't mind sharing stuff about myself with other people. Other times I've kept stuff to myself, or only talked about it with David. Husbands are convenient for stuff like that. I don't always want people to know things about me. Its ironic that I'm saying that on the internet where its available for the whole universe to read.

I've always alternated between sharing and not sharing.

When I got my period for the first time, I told no one. No one. Don't ask how that's possible cause you don't wanna know. But I lived in a house where there were tampons available, so any info was on a need to know basis. But in a group setting of girls who are all talking about their period? I'm more than willing to talk about it.

When faced with publicly buying feminine hygiene products at ages 13-15, I was embarassed. When I was in a public bathroom and had to unwrap something noisy, I would unwrap it as slowly and quietly as humanly possible. Its not like anyone else in the bathroom cared, but I did it anyway.

When my youngest brother used to loudly ask what vague feminine hygiene commercials were about, we wouldn't answer. How is he supposed to know that the impossibly happy woman riding her bike, with her hair blowing in the wind, is on her period? Boys just don't get that. My sister and I just told him to ask someone else, and he probably wasn't quite happy with the answer he eventually got.

As private as I've always been about random things, I think I'm the most private about childbirth. Not that I'm unwilling to talk about it and share details, cause I will. I'll tell you about stitches vs. no stitches and which I prefer, I'll tell you about the nurse asking me how I managed to shave my legs and paint my toenails when I was nine months pregnant, I'll tell you about David eating a popsicle while I was in labor with Alana and how I'm still kind of mad about that cause I was hungry.

Those things aren't what I consider to be the private things about childbirth. Not that they're not personal, but I'm open to talking about them.

I just feel like when that little person comes into the world and I get to meet them for the first time, I don't need everybody and their brother and uncle and sisters-neighbors-friend there at the hospital. When both of my girls were born it was just me and David, plus a handful of medical professionals who've now seen me half-naked. We were the only ones there to meet that new little person. We made her, so what claim does anyone else have? We enjoyed peace and quiet and priceless moments with our ladies without the interruption of people knocking on the door asking how much longer. I don't feel like there's a need for everyone I know to be in the waiting room. What do they bring to the table?

Not that I don't understand why other people might want their entire extended family there waiting, or want someone else in the delivery room. But the only person I need is David, even if he complains that the chair is hard or he has a hangnail. He's strong enough to hold up my leg, so he'll do. I want that time with just us and our baby, and the next time we have one I'll want it the same way. No inlaws or distractions. Just us watching the Daily Show and waiting to have a baby.


The Mrs. said...

Its like you read my mind... I didn't tell anybody that I started my period either... and as for havin' the baby.... just the Mr. in the room... (except when we had the youngest one... the oldest one was there!)

I especially don't share things with family... its too weird...

Kerri said...

Even though I consider myself a private person, I had my mom and Matt in the room with me when Camden was born. And then the waiting room was full of both families. I had no problem with sharing that experience & showing off my little guy to everyone. BUT when that was done, I just wanted to be left alone (well, with Matt & Camden). I didn't want constant hospital visits & I certainly didn't want to HOST Thanksgiving at my house for both families a few days later (I didn't cook anything, but about being overwhelmed. Will NEVER do that again with a newborn). So, I totally understand where you're coming from. It is a very special and private experience.

OH! I totally forgot about this: in the days leading up to Camden's birth, my MIL kept hinting that she wanted to be in the delivery room. ("We were all in the delivery room with Sarah" [Matt's brother's ex-girlfriend]). I didn't consider it even for a moment. There was NO WAY I wanted my MIL seeing me half naked & giving "helpful" comments while I was in labor. NO.THANK.YOU.

NikkiDarlin' said...

I would have loved it be like that with the birth of my daughter. But with my husband deployed then i ended up having my mom his mom and his brother's girlfriend in the room. I was in too much pain to even care who was in the room. most the time i had my eyes closed and tried to act like i was alone. If i had a choice his borther's gf def wouldn't have been in there. I don't even know why she was there i hated her. and now that i think about I didn't want my MIL there either.


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