no. 602 – Daytime Television

I got to stay home with XBoy yesterday as he coughed and snuffled and fevered his way through the day. I coughed and snuffled as well and found the remote oddly comforting molded to my hand. We were wholly unproductive.

I found myself perusing the DHLTH channels, including all those cutesy pregnancy stories. While I still can’t force myself to sit through A Baby Story, I did watch a little Runway Moms (being a former supermodel and all…) (don’t click through if you don’t want to be exposed to three very naked and pregnant bellies, because, wow! nothing like cliche website imaging).

One model finds out that during her 35 week ultrasound that the amniotic fluid is low. However, because she’s adamant on having her birth plan, she ignores the initial advice of her OB and requests only more monitoring. 10 days past her due date, and she now has to be induced. Baby is in NICU after swallowing meconium, but luckily, the infant recovers.

I get that women really want to go with a birth plan, which somehow almost always includes "vaginal" and "natural", but to put that before the baby? Snap out of it! This model even says something to the effect that a c-section is surgery and therefore has risks associated with it. Newsflash, honey: no birth goes without risk.

A c-section wasn’t my ideal way of delivering XBoy, but I didn’t burst into hysterical tears when they told me that’s what was going to happen, like a lot of these women do on these shows. I did not place my selfish needs above my baby’s, just so I can go to the Kindermusick session and compare episiotomy scars or forever hold over my husband’s head the old standby, "When YOU squeeze something the size of a watermelon out of your hoo-ha…" in the middle of every argument.

Alright. I totally lost track of my point here. What I wanted to really cover was how different now these shows are and their diversity. They have Birth Day, Pregnancy for Dummies, House of Babies…but other regular shows that provide more current and not-so-happy-happy-joy-joy. There’s Adoptions Stories* and The Baby Diaries, which shows how new moms and dads are given a reality check in the form of sleepless nights and what seems to be the never-ending fussiness of a newborn.

I also sat through Twins by Surrogacy** and Born with Two Mothers*** and realized I related better with these stories the feelings of loss, frustration with the system, and the technicalities that come with ART. I don’t look at these shows as capitalizing on other couples’ pain, which is surprising knowing the amount of cynicism and bitterness I have. I just wish they would stop using the term "implanted" when it comes to the embryo transfer.

* The one episode I watched is where the couple adopted from India and I was surprised that the couple never had any travel involved in their adoption. The couple? They were expecting a baby as well and no one told them they couldn’t still adopt. And people wonder why so many couples look at international adoptions.

** The narrator said that Lupron was used to stimulate egg production – wrong! And the RE didn’t put the surrogate on any meds to make sure their cycles coordinated because as sisters, they thought they were on the same menstrual cycle. Here’s my virtual *smack* upside the RE’s head.

*** While this was a reenactment based on real-life events, it felt like a documentary, which was a good thing because there wasn’t an abundance of over-acting. I liked that Dr. Drew would explain some of the legal and technical issues involved during breaks. On the downside, I really doubt the ending would have been the same if the biological parents had been Anglo, even though it’s how it should be. If you’ve seen this, you’ll know what I mean.