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.

8 thoughts on “no. 602 – Daytime Television”

  1. I just had to comment on the birth plan issue too. Of course I had a plan that was meant for “absolute best case scenario where everything goes perfect”. When things didn’t go perfect I just went with the flow. When my midwife called the doctor in for a possible vacuum extraction and the doctor said that if it didn’t work an emergency c-section would be necessary my only response was “whatever you have to do to make sure that me and the baby are okay, that’s all that matters”. Of course I wanted to avoid a c-section but most definitely not at all costs and my main and most important goal was a healthy baby. Some people just need to prioritize.

  2. I watched like every episode of Bringing home baby when I was home with my new baby, there are some real idiots on that one. Like the couple who didn’t buy a car seat because they figured the hospital would just give them one.

    I’m with you on the c-section thing, I was relieved to have one to end 21 hours of induced labor and over an hour of fruitless pushing. One of my friends was disappointed when she had to have one until a nurse friend of hers told her “the only c-section you regret is the one you DON’T do.”

  3. WTF? I don’t understand the birth plan obsession. I didn’t even have one as there didn’t seem much point when hospitals in Japan don’t offer any pain relief and once you are in labour, they pretty much decide what is going to happen, although you are allowed to express preferences before the birth. (For example I asked not to have an episiotomy unless it was necessary but that turned out to be the hospitals policy anyway so it was all good!)I had a 100% (not so much as a tylenol to help) drug-free birth which I guess is what most people want but I was very determined to just go with the flow. I figured that my body had got me that far, it would know what the best was for Joey to get out was. I would have been happy to have a c-section if it meant him coming out happy and healthy. I am sure I will feel the same way if I am ever bless with another baby.

  4. BIRTHPLAN? My birthplan included many drugs and I was hoping for a c-section. The whole idea of childbirth freaks me out. Luckily, the dr on call agreed with me and gave me a section, ds was 10 lbs.

  5. I’ve never really watched any of those shows. I’ve never been able to relate to them – before my first pregnancy, I had no interest in babies. And after it went bad and things continued not to go well in my nether regions, I couldn’t relate to the happy no-worries attitudes of those shows. Now they just make me cry – partially because I can’t believe I will ever get the happy ending and partially because these stupid hormones make me cry at everything.

    Birth plan. I’m no hero. Natural need not be in the vocabulary. My main plan is for both of us to be alive and healthy at the end of things. My secondary plan is for it to hurt as little as possible while making the primary plan work. So whatever has to happen for those things – have at it doc.

  6. I made a trip to l&d at about 37 weeks because I was worried something was wrong (ha ha, like in my head there wasn’t something wrong EVERY DAY). When the nurse asked me what my birth plan was, I said, “to have a healthy live baby.” She said that was the best birth plan she had ever heard.

    Seriously, I get people want their ideal, natural and crunchy birth and we should all be afforded the right, within reason. If your kid is in danger, it’s not really the time to be stubborn and selfish.

  7. wrt: sticking with the birth plan come hell or high water…that just doesn’t make any sense to me. isn’t the whole point healthy baby, healthy mama? and no matter how you accomplish it, there is NO easty way for the baby to get from the inside to the outside.

    yea i don’t get it.

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